Guscott labels Boks as ‘very good one-trick ponies’

Former England centre Jeremy Guscott says the Springboks have only “one trick” which the British & Irish Lions can meet in the Test series this month.

Guscott was speaking on ‘The Good, The Bad and The Rugby’ podcast with Alex Payne and former England centre Mike Tindall.

Famously nailing the drop goal that condemned the Springboks to a series defeat by the Lions in 1997, Guscott also toured with the Lions in Australia in 1989 and New Zealand in 1993.

During the podcast, he pointed to the Springboks’ power game from their pack as their “one trick” and said that if the Lions can stand up physically and win the collisions, they will win the series.

“They are ‘one trick’ … it’s a good trick, but it’s fallible,” said Guscott.

“Once you meet it, they’ve got nowhere to go – absolutely nowhere to go. So, we did it in ’97, and where did they go?

“OK, they scored some tries in the second Test [three in Durban], but they had nowhere to go. Today they’ll have nowhere to go because they’re not the greatest passers in midfield.

“They’ve got some excellent [outside backs]. Cheslin Kolbe is awesome [but] Willie le Roux is getting a bit old. He’s vulnerable mentally, and if he drops a couple of high balls, he’ll go missing for the rest of the game.

“You meet fire with fire. That fire is extremely hot, but it’s a bit like England in the [World Cup] semi-final. They met every single collision, and they got the bounce of the ball, and that’s why they won.

“They won those collisions [versus New Zealand]. If you win the collisions against South Africa, I’d pretty much guarantee that you’ll win.

“If they don’t win the collisions, they won’t win the Test series. It is a very good one-trick pony.”

Photo: Steve Haag Sports

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Dylan Jack