Former Springbok flyhalf Braam van Straaten believes Marnitz Boshoff is struggling with some technical flaws in his kicking technique. BRENTON CHELIN reports.
Boshoff missed four attempts during last year's Currie Cup final, including a kick after the hooter that would've sent the match into extra time.
Last Friday, at Ellis Park, he missed three of his four attempts as the Lions failed to convert their dominance into points against the Hurricanes.
Boshoff was a revelation for the Lions in 2014. During his debut season he amassed 189 points and was successful with 61 out of 69 attempts, for a kicking success rate of 88%.
His recent wobbles must be a point of concern for the Lions. Speaking to SARugbymag.co.za, Van Straaten said he's spotted some flaws in his technical makeup that need to be addressed.
'That first kick [against the Hurricanes] was a difficult one. It was quite a far way out and he seemed to be trying for too much power. He seems to be struggling with the timing of his extension and is getting out of the kick too quickly. Unfortunately, when you’re not kicking well, it has a ripple effect on the rest of your game.'
Boshoff struggled to assert himself on the match, and the Lions seemed to operate more fluently after the introduction of Elton Jantjies.
It's interesting to note that the Lions' best two performances of last year – the Currie Cup semi-final against the Sharks and the final Super Rugby match against the Cheetahs – came with Jaco van der Walt and Jantjies operating at flyhalf. Jantjies started just three matches for the Lions last season, but with his ability to take the ball to the line, he might be better suited to the Lions' favoured ball-in-hand approach.
'We all know Elton is a really talented player,' admits Van Straaten. 'He has really good hands and his distribution to either side is right up there. But he needs to find that balance between taking the ball to the line and creating pressure with a well-placed kick.
'At times he's guilty of trying to do too much, which was a fault of the Lions on Friday. But they weren’t helped by the missed kicks, which put the captain [Warren Whiteley] in a difficult position.'
No team kicked less than the Lions last week (10 times). This weekend's opponents, the Sharks, weren't afraid to put boot to ball against the Cheetahs, but their accuracy let them down.
'The most important thing is that the Lions choose to kick on their terms, not on the opposition's terms. A good kick is one that isolates the fullback, and hits grass.
'Both teams didn't expect to lose their opening matches. They'll need to knuckle down this week and focus on creating pressure by taking their opportunities. The most important thing is the four log points on offer, not how you played the game.'
Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images