Eddie Jones believes Wales can beat the Boks in Saturday’s quarter-final, backing it up with insights into how to do so.
The outgoing Japan coach led his side to an upset win over the Boks in their opening pool game, and suggested Wales could emerge victorious at Twickenham if they followed a similar blueprint.
‘Despite their terrible luck with injuries, Wales pride themselves on their fitness. South Africa are a big, physical side with some old heads so Wales have to try and keep the ball in play for more than 40 minutes of the game,’ Jones wrote in the Daily Mail.
‘With Japan we tried to move the ball around to make South Africa play as much as possible and stretch them. Wales should do the same. They should not kick for touch but kick infield whenever possible and lessen the break between set pieces. Increasing the tempo is a key strategy.’
Jone suggested Wales had nothing to lose, and could throw the Boks off their game if they kept the scoreline close going into the latter stages of the match.
The new Stormers coach also highlighted the importance of gaining the upper hand at the set pieces.
‘Wales have to get quick and clean set-piece ball and then focus on getting over the gainline as quickly as possible. That’s exactly what we did with Japan to keep the Springboks on the back foot. We tried to play with real speed because then you can take away their rush defence, their big hits and put them under pressure.
‘Rather than them using their physical prowess to intimidate us, we were able to use the speed of the ball and keep them under pressure for most of the game.’
Jones said the battle between No 8s Duane Vermeulen and Toby Faletau would be a ‘key head-to-head’, and that he would send big centre Jamie Roberts in hard on flyhalf Handré Pollard.
‘Pollard’s a brave guy but he’s not a dominant tackler. So if Wales send in Roberts they can gain line momentum relatively easily, but Wales have to go with pace and precision to succeed.
‘Damian de Allende at 12 is a very good player but he’s quite an inexperienced Test player. If Wales attack Pollard, then De Allende will want to defend tighter. That may end up opening a few gaps, which would give Wales the opportunity to play wider and find spaces to exploit in midfield.’
Jones said Wales needed to disrupt scrumhalf Fourie du Preez, who he labelled the ‘heart and soul’ of the Bok team, while suggesting they should also target Bismarck du Plessis.
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