Former Springbok Joel Stransky has urged South Africa to change their gameplan that is “terrible for the backs” ahead of Saturday’s 100th Test against the All Blacks.
The Boks and All Blacks are scheduled to square off for the the first time since their 2019 World Cup pool game and for the 100th time overall in this fixture in Townsville on Saturday.
But following back-to-back defeats by the Wallabies prior to this upcoming clash, which resulted in South Africa relinquishing their No 1-ranked status to the All Blacks, Stransky said he is a little concerned about the match based on the current form the Boks are in.
“The Springboks haven’t exactly been in great form and have not played particularly well,” Stransky told Gold AM‘s ‘Country Sport Breakfast’. “It’s such a grand occasion and we want the guys to be on form. We want them to deliver a great game and hopefully come away with a win in a game that is worthy of the 100th Test. Let’s hope it is so, but we are a little bit nervous.
“The reality is we didn’t play good rugby [against the Lions] but we did enough to win. I think what has been most disappointing in the last two weekends is that Australia have found a way to get around our defence and, once they did, we spread and then they found a way to get through it.
“What is a little bit disappointing is we haven’t really found that next gear … we’ve stuck to the real basic gameplan that we played and it’s not working for us. We’ve got to do something different, something more and build on what we’ve got. Let’s hope this weekend we can do that.”
Stransky also took a snipe at head coach Jacques Nienaber, who he believes is under-utilising a talented backline.
“I feel deeply sorry for Handre Pollard and the backs. They just get the dregs. They don’t get any ball to play with, they just kick and chase. It’s a terrible gameplan for them.
“If we are going to beat the All Blacks, we’ve got to use that outside backs. We’ve got great backs,” he said.
“Damian de Allende is a great passer of the ball and we’ve never seen him pass. He’s big, strong and powerful and sucks defenders in. Lukhanyo Am runs great lines and is a skillful outside centre and we’ve got speed on the outside and Willie le Roux is a smart fullback.
“I would love to see us use our forwards to carry it up, get a bit of go-forward and then use the width of the field. We are just so predictable in the way we go about things. We are bad at running the ball because we never do it. We don’t square the shoulders up, we don’t draw in defenders. There is so much wrong with our game at the moment.
“But, I think, if we have a go and try to build and do a little bit more than what we have been doing, the guys will come to the fore. It’s such a talented team.”
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