World Cup-winning coach Jake White says South Africa is again seeing that defence is the cornerstone of winning Test matches.
The Boks had to make 235 tackles during their 36-34 win against the All Blacks in Wellington and another 146 in their 23-12 victory against the Wallabies in Port Elizabeth. In the first match, they had just 25% of the possession and in the second, just 43%.
In his latest column for AllOutRugby.com, White said he was pleased that the Boks were ‘not being seduced into running from everywhere anymore’.
‘For the second week in a row, a Bok victory was notable for the defensive effort, and now I’m hearing the Aussies and Kiwis say they need to kick more,’ he added.
‘In rugby, you can keep the ball and run from your own try-line, but if you knock on 95 metres upfield, you get no points for that. It looks amazing, but you get no points.
‘That’s why we see a team with 14 men stop their opponents from scoring, and it’s why it’s possible to beat the Crusaders with 13 men in Christchurch.
‘There’s no reward for keeping the ball for 15 phases. Turning defence into attack is the spectacle these days. That kind of rugby is in our DNA, defence is how we’ve always played.’
Photo: Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images