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2532 Topic: Game Plan on Saturday
clevermike

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 12970
Game Plan on Saturday
October 04, 2012, 04:16:34

When watching the Re-Union pregram yesterday there were two things that became evident.   The one was that the panelists stated that they were not sure how the Springboks would play on Saturday = the second one was that they would not commit themselves to predicting the outcome of the game itself.

One thing is for sure - and one of the panelists also said so - is that if it was not for the wayward goal kicking - the Springboks would have won the Dunedin test.    That added to their uncertainty about the game plan to be used on Saturday.

Another issue of importance is that neither of the teams can play the type of game they played against Australia and Argentina.    Against Argentina many of the All Black forwards were standing around in the backline trying to participate  in a passing and running type of game.   If they try that on Saturday - they would be demolsihed up front and that would be the end of the game for them.

On the other hand the Springboks will not even consider playing according to the way they played against the Wallabies.   

So the question remains - what will the game plan for Saturday be - I do not believe outside of the squads itself anybody really knows.   That applies especially to the SA plan.   In previous tests the SA game plan was easy to counter and was very predictable.   This coming test it would be not so easy to predict what would happen.   Let me be more explicit.    In the past the defence against Morne Steyn was easy.   He was extremely predictable in what he was going to do.   In the case of a line oit, scrum or maul likely to be won by teh Springboks - the All Black wings would fall back to cover aimless kicks.   The loosies would target the inside center to cater for the rare occassions Morne did pass the ball.    Morne was no threat - so he could from a defensive perspective really be ignored. 

What is furthermore clear is that in the last four years all Springbok teams have - rather ineffciently most of the time - tried to isolate and neutralize Carter.   Thare is no dout the same would be tried on Satirday and if they are successful,  it would add very mucj to the worries of the All Blacks.   The counter always was - and it was clear also last Saturday in the earlier part of the test - that Carter would stand very deep in the pocket.   He did some gopd runs from that very deep standing position - but ot is unlikely  to succeed on Saturday - since the defence of the Springboks are much better than the case was last Saturday.

Insofar as the issue  of Goosen is concerned, I believe that - as was mentioned by the Re-Union panelists -  New Zealand will have to re-orientate their pattern of play as well.   They would try and isolate Goosen by deefesive means - which in fact would leave defensive gaps further out - which could be exploited.   The second strategy of the All Blacks no doubt will be to attack in the channel - since they believe that Goosen is weak in defence.   It must be stated that that was exactly what the Walabies triied to do - but it was not really effective.

Now lets back to what we may expect to happen on the part of the Springboks.   I say "may" because we really do not know and can only guess about it.   The likely scenario is that the basic strategies used in the Dunedin test would remain as a fundemental component.   However, I also believe that there will be variations on that play in line with some of the plays that were utilized against the Wallabies   The emphasis will be on variation and that is bound to be problematic for the All Blacks- since they would not know what to expect either.    

 


moolaa

Status: Bok regular
Posts: 712
RE: Game Plan on Saturday
October 04, 2012, 08:57:29

 Mike.

For a start let's stop clutching at straws about the Dunedin game. Yes, the Boks were competitive up front but this rubbish about "we would've won if we got all our kicks" is mindless crap to say the least.

If you got your first kick over then the whole game would've been different as the ABs kick off would've been from half way instead of the 22m line. So the whole scenario would've changed from that point on. So let's put to bed the "We would've won in  Dunedin" scenario that Beeno in particular has been waaaaaing on about.

The ABs have proved that after apparently struggling against each opponent in the RC in the first game, they have so far upped their game considerably in the return matches against OZ & Argentina.

Following on from this don't you think they would've studied the Boks' forwards performance in Dunedin and readied a plan to nullify it? Of course they would and there's not too many times where an AB pack wouldn't gain at least parity.

So by gaining parity in Soweto then the difference is going to be in the backs and you can't say the Bok backs are even in the same street. They'll have to be innovative to get through our well organised defence and this includes Conrad Smith who despite your claims rarely misses a tackle!

So they'll attempt to run the ball and with their obvious lack of experience in this art, they'll no doubt [removed] it up and the ABs will pounce. If we manage to score from that, the call will come from Meyer to shut the game down and you'll be back to square one with aimless kicking.

Of course if the Boks are lucky (or skilful!) and they pull off a couple of early tries then it'll be all on. However, just like Dunedin, I'm expecting the Boks to run out of steam in the last 20 mins which has been a sorry trait of their's for many years now.

Witness the last game at Soweto when the Boks were out on their feet and the ABs waltzed over for 2 late tries in the last 6 minutes to McSaint and Dagg to seal the game.

Honest opinion? Very close match and could go either way but all this talk of a 10+ or 20+ win to the Boks being bandied around on this site is pure fantasy!


clevermike

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 12970
RE: Game Plan on Saturday
October 04, 2012, 10:36:13

Moodaa

Thanks - nice post.   However, the issue of the Dunedin game was not said  necessarily by me - but by your own panelists on the Re-Union programme - although much was shouted about on this site as well.   I take it vey seriously if a New Zealand expert said that the Springboks in Dunedin was the better team as far as performances are concerned, I would not try and dispute it.

However, lets look at the issue raised by you - namely that the All Blacks always play better in the second game against the second game against an opposing team in this series.   Yes it happened in the games against the Aussies and the Argentinians - but their are very good reasons for that as well.   Firstly the All Blacks played Australia away in the first game and at home in the second.   The first game was more difficult - but the All Blacks still won convincingly.   The second game was at home - and the All Blacks did play much better - managing to score TWO tries and kicked one concversion and four penalties.  In this game their defence was very good, but they themselves were really to an extent struggling a bit up front and there were some really problematic handling errors in the backline.    

In the Argentina game - the weather consitions in the first game were a freat leveller - but the All Blacks still won convincingly.   The away game was a completely different kettle of fish though and Carter was back.   Carter was the Man-of the March in this game and played a major roll in the game plan used.   The Argentinians did by all accounts not played well - they allowed the All Black forwards to stand around in the backline and thus created opportunities for a fast passing game with overlaps aplenty.   The Argentinians also tried to use a running game - but their ball handling skills let them down and three of the All Black tries came from handling errors by the Argentinians.    Be is as it may - that kind of game plan WILL NOT work against the Springboks.  

Insofar as the second game against SA is concerned - the scenario is not necessarily so easy.   Your claim about penalties are true - but that is not really the issue here.   If the All Black experts say the Springboks were better in Dunedin  on the day in question - I am not going to argue with them.   It was not only the penalties, it was why the penalties was forced onto the All Blacks in the first instance that should be borne in mind.   The real problem is the All Black forwards that was under extreme pressure.

However, the statement made by you is that the All Blacks will raise their game by the forwards.   They still have the same forward pack - but the Springboks have considerably strenthened their pack by the availability of Etzebeth, Bekker and Oosthuizen - no Greyling this time around.   So the question remains in practice - without a change in personnel - how are they going to raise their game and get parity with the Springboks?  I think  - since the Springboks strengthened  their own forward combination - that the  issue about parity in the forwards is an unachievable pipe dream.   What I said is that the All Blacks can benefit from attacking through the channell - that is the only way the All Blacks can really improved their game - but is it going to work out?

I think there is no dispute about the superirority of the All Black backline - especially with Carter in the mix.  I also think that the quality of balls they are going to get will determine how well they function.  Cruden was not really up to standard in the Dunedin and Wellington tests and the return of Carter is a major benefit.    However, the uncertainty is how the Springboks are going to play - they are definitely not going to play the one-dimensional game associated with Morne Steyn - but neither you  nor I know what is going to happen in that case.   What is sure us that they are not going to play a running game every time they get the ball - but they will try that occassionally and the All Black defence could be under pressure.

I give the Springboks the edge by a 10+ margin based on the improvements they made to their team combination - not for any other reason.   What I did say is if the Aff Black forwards does stand around in the backline - like they did against Argentina - and they did not commit themselves to their key role - it will be disastrous for the All Blacks,

  .The only real yardstick that can in fact be used in assessing this game is in fact the Dunedin game.   What else can be used?   Certainly not theoretical fantasies - I do never use them in assessing patterns  in performances - but deal in facts only.    


moolaa

Status: Bok regular
Posts: 712
RE: Game Plan on Saturday
October 04, 2012, 19:38:49

 I take all those points on board Mike but reiterate that the AB forwards are rareley dominated and whilst there are no personnel changes, it's the attitude that will change. Don't forget the Boks were coming off a loss to Oz and just maybe the commitment of our forwards wasn't quite there either in Dunedin.

That said you haven't covered off the habit of the Bok forwards tiring (badly at times) in the last 20. They certainly did tire in Dunedin and I noticed even the injury ravaged Aussies finding a few gaps up the middle late in the game last week.

If the Bok forwards can run for the full 80 then you are a big chance but they've yet to prove they can do it to me.


clevermike

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 12970
RE: Game Plan on Saturday
October 04, 2012, 20:11:58

Moodaa

We will know within 48 hours what has happened.   All glory to the winners.


oimatey

Status: Bok regular
Posts: 1243
RE: Game Plan on Saturday
October 04, 2012, 21:55:37

 If the Bok forwards can slow down the breakdown and turn over as much ball as they did against AUS and against NZ in Dunedin they will win - good goal kicking or not.

 

I reckon Flouw and Vermuelen have as much to do with this resurgence as Goosen does. Night and day difference at the breakdown versus earlier in the year - just converting a few extra contests on the ground in our favor is what has made the difference. Against England we were putrid in that aspect. It improved marginally against the Argies and in the first AUS test, but the real improvement came in Dunedin and at Loftus

 


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