‘Boks must convert opportunities’

Assistant coach Johann van Graan says the Springboks have addressed the need to be more clinical on attack.

During the first two Rugby Championship games against the Wallabies and All Blacks, the Springboks have looked extremely dangerous when going forward, with a young backline adding a different dimension to the attack.

However, the Boks failed to fully capitalise after establishing early leads in both Tests, allowing the Wallabies and All Blacks the opportunity to snatch last-minute wins.

‘We’re creating opportunities and now it’s just about finishing off those chances,’ Van Graan said in Durban, where the team is preparing for this Saturday’s Test against Argentina. ‘We had a good chat about it, we thought in both Tests we created so many chances in the first 60 [minutes] that we should have been ahead by quite a lot more. Looking at the last 10 minutes, the opposition played really well, so it’s about converting our opportunities earlier in the game.’

By and large, though, Van Graan said they had been extremely pleased by the progress made on attack.

‘I think our attacking mindset has been fantastic. Some of the rugby we played against New Zealand was some of the best from the last four years. The big thing for us is to convert more of those opportunities into points.’

Although the Springboks aren’t in the running for the Rugby Championship title, Van Graan said he didn’t feel this would affect their approach on Saturday.

'It’s about composure and consistency. We want to play good, winning, attacking, aggressive decision-making rugby – there is no such thing about the Rugby Championship being gone.’

Photo: Anne Laing/HSM Images

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