Defence, errors let Boks down

Disorganised defence and basic errors once again proved costly as the hapless Springboks suffered a 41-13 defeat against the All Blacks on Saturday, according to’s Opta-powered stats.

Despite an encouraging start that saw the Boks take a 7-3 lead early on, they again proved to be the architects of their own demise on several occasions as the All Blacks ultimately ran away with it in the second stanza.

The All Blacks’ first two tries both resulted from basic handling errors from the Boks in their own 22, allowing the Kiwis to launch attacks from a stable scrum, while punishing the visitors’ porous defence with the utmost of ease. It set the tone for rest of the contest.

Although little separated the sides in terms of possession or territory stats in the opening half, the Boks made five handling errors, conceded six turnovers and missed seven tackles (with a successful completion rate of 84%).

The Boks were fortunate to trail by just five points at the break, but there was a complete sense of inevitability when the All Blacks powered away in the second period, outscoring their opponents 26-3. Overall, the Boks made just 62 tackles, but missed a whopping 22.

By full time, the attacking stats also told a story of just how the All Blacks were able to surge past a Bok side that simply had no answer to their pace, power and intensity. In the end, the All Blacks scored six tries to one, made 515m to 237, beat 22 defenders to 13 and completed 14 clean breaks to two.

The 13 turnovers conceded by the Boks indicated their failure to protect possession, with the handling-error and penalty count racking up to 10 and eight respectively.

Beyond the Boks’ basic errors and another poor kicking display, their lineout malfunctioned in the second half, with replacement hooker Malcolm Marx battling with his throw-in. Ultimately, the visitors ended up with just an 81.3% success rate at this set piece.

Few players made much of an impression for the Boks, but there will once again be real concern over the performance of flyhalf Elton Jantjies, who committed a number of basic errors and was clearly targeted by the All Blacks’ runners (he was forced to make eight tackles in the opening half alone).

By contrast, opposite number Beauden Barrett produced another classy performance at pivot, completing 44m, making six tackles, 13 passes and seven kicks.

In the All Blacks pack, debutant Ardie Savea also made an impressive impact after coming into the starting lineup for injured Sam Cane. The New Zealand flanker scored a try, made 40m, completed 10 tackles, beat two defenders and executed two turnovers.

More team and player stats

Photo: Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images

Post by

Craig Lewis