A trip by Jacques Nienaber to Sale Sharks in England has unearthed a “nugget” for how the Springboks can beat the Wallabies.
South Africa lost twice to Australia in 2021, and will face Dave Rennie’s men Down Under in the 2022 Rugby Championship on 27 August, and on 3 September in SA.
Sale director of rugby Alex Sanderson told RugbyPass that Nienaber, with assistant coaches Felix Jones and Andy Edwards, visited the Manchester club – home to Faf de Klerk and Lood de Jager – while attempting to meet with UK-based SA players.
According to Sanderson, it was while discussing Sale’s defeat by Bristol Bears on 9 April that the Bok management had an aha moment.
“One of the things we talked about, they had watched that dire game against Bristol at home, and the Bristol tactics were pretty smart against a Sale team that loves the physical,” the Sale boss said. “They [the Springboks] do, too.
“It’s got a good set piece, which we have when we are on form. Bristol took all that away from us and so we lost our energy for it, lost our zest and got dragged into what was a really boring game because there was no fight, no real competitive edge on the gainline which we could get our teeth stuck into which we thrive off.
“So, I said look, ‘What’s your tactics on this?’ They have a similar situation against Australia consistently. Rarely win and Australia are a team that takes the set piece away by sacking and doing this and doing that without coming to the fight and then, 60 minutes into a game, South Africa have got to try and chase the game a little and they end up getting a little like Australia and that is where they come unstuck.
“We talked about little things like that, tactically how you could get around it and scoreboard pressure is one of them. If you can get down there and farm a penalty or two and get a couple of kicks on the board, then they have to come to the fight.
“That was one of the things and it was a nugget, because I’m sure we are going to get it again, if not this season.”