The Springboks aren’t where they need to be regarding their breakdown performance and overall discipline, reports JON CARDINELLI in Newcastle.
In the wake of the 34-16 victory against Scotland, Heyneke Meyer declared himself satisfied with the result as well as several aspects of the performance. The Bok coach commended the team’s lineout display, the goal-kicking performance of Handré Pollard and the standard of defence.
The discipline, unfortunately, still seems to be a problem. Meyer admitted as much in the aftermath, and suggested that one or two players may be punished following some senseless transgressions at St James' Park.
The Boks conceded 12 penalties against Japan. They were slightly better against Samoa, only conceding 11. While they won the game against Scotland, they offended on 15 occasions.
One of those transgressions landed Jannie du Plessis in the sin bin. In the 34th minute, the tighthead prop was shown a yellow card for a shoulder charge.
The Boks didn’t concede a point during Du Plessis’s absence. However, as Meyer stressed after the game, those yellow cards are going to cost the team dearly at some stage.
‘Good discipline is non-negotiable,’ Meyer said. ‘I’m going to be hard on players, because you can’t play with 14 men. It’s unacceptable. I’m ready to make tough decisions.
‘As for the breakdown and the penalty count, we have to be very hard on ourselves in this area. It could end up costing us a potential World Cup final. That’s the difference in a final, one penalty and three points.’
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