British & Irish Lions

Springboks' strength over the ball helped seal 2009 win against Lions, says Gary Gold

0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Heinrich Brussow (Getty Images)
Heinrich Brussow (Getty Images)

With the British and Irish Lions set to tour South Africa in 2021 former assistant coach Gary Gold believes the Springboks' loose trio helped secure the 2009 series between the two teams.

Speaking to Rugby World magazine, Gold said other than their direct style of play, the Springboks' strength over the ball helped them defeat the visitors 2-1 in what was an epic series.

“One of the biggest untold stories of that Lions’ series was our strength over the ball," said Gold.

"John Smit moved to tighthead to accommodate Bismarck du Plessis, who was at the height of his game. Bismarck is so good at the breakdown, and Jean de Villiers is another who doesn’t get enough credit in this area," he added.

Gold also praised Juan Smith and Schalk Burger, but singled out Heinrich Brüssow for his limpet-like ability over the ball.

“Juan Smith and Schalk Burger were good at the breakdown, but Heinrich Brüssow was world class. So if you looked at our team, we had the potential to put a genuine poacher on the ball at every second or third ruck. We were a threat across the field if the Lions didn’t get their cleaners to the breakdown on time."

South Africa won the first test in Durban 26-21 and clinched the series at Loftus Versfeld when they were victorious in the second Test, winning a close fought encounter 28-25 after flyhalf Morne Steyn landed a 52-metre penalty two minutes into injury time.

The Lions won the third Test 28-9. 

The 2021 tour sees the Springboks take on the Lions in three Tests on 24 and 31 July and 7 August next year.

The visitors will also play five other matches on tour. 

Read the full interview here.

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
loading... Live
Cape Cobras 221/10
Lions 61/1
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Rugby
41% - 11393 votes
Cricket
12% - 3284 votes
Football
19% - 5139 votes
Athletics
2% - 687 votes
Boxing
1% - 268 votes
Cycling
2% - 638 votes
Golf
5% - 1409 votes
Motorsport
8% - 2331 votes
Tennis
3% - 923 votes
Water sports
1% - 245 votes
American sports
1% - 335 votes
MMA / WWE / UFC
3% - 896 votes
Vote