Springboks boss Jacques Nienaber has explained why he isn’t tempted to make a big change in his squad for next Saturday’s final game of the 2021 rugby championship against the All Blacks on the Gold Coast. Only one change was made to the XV – Ox Nche from a loose head with Trevor Nyakane moving to a tight head where injured Frans Malherbe loses.
“No, we play No1 and No2 in the world,” Nienaber said when asked why he limited the changes in his starting XV to one. The restriction was similar on the bench, the only adjustment seeing Jasper Wiese take over from Marco van Staden who injured his shoulder last weekend.
“Yes, one of our strategic goals is to create depth in the team, but the most important thing is also to win. Whenever we get the chance to do that, to give our rotating players a little more visibility in test matches, we will, but we will miss so many rugby test matches in 2020 because of Covid, I thinks that as a team we need to get back to the norm we were in 2019 and we are still working towards that. From that point of view, when you play # 1 and # 2 in the world, you’re playing with your best possible team. “
Nienaber also answered questions during the virtual media session regarding the current kicking-intensive Springboks’ playing strategy and whether the same will be true for Saturday’s rematch against the All Blacks they lost. 19-17 last weekend in Townsville. It was the third rebound loss for the 2019 world champions and the coach was in a hurry to know if it was now time to change course.
“You always have to look at it objectively,” insisted Nienaber, whose record as Springboks boss is five wins and four losses. “We could have managed two games, the first Australian test match and the one last week, we could have managed it a little better at the end of the game, we could have perhaps changed or made a few substitutions from the point of view of the ‘coach. We could have recovered a little more energy in the team.
– RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) September 28, 2021
“Are we going to change our strategy? It depends on what New Zealand is doing. If New Zealand changes their strategy and the way they defend and do things and give us space in a different area of the pitch, we will take it, but if they charge the front line with 14 defenders and only one in the back, so obviously the space is going to be in the back and our ability to adapt to the image they paint us will be key. It depends on where they give us space.
“Our option will always be to attack space and sometimes attacking space will be keeping the ball in hand because there is space in front of you in the first row and sometimes the space will be on the edge and then you have to use your pass and then sometimes the space is behind them and then unfortunately you have to use the kicking set to get into that space. Rugby will always stay the same in terms of that – you try to attack the space and you also try to attack space with what you think is good, your DNA as a team. We think (kicking) is our DNA, we think that’s what we are for good.
“Yes we can’t hide it, we have lost three games trotting now, but in the Australian first test match and this last match with two to three minutes remaining we were able to win those matches. We talked about it and we can still go and improve in terms of the management of this department and it is not only the players, it is also the management.
Nienaber added that winning the 2021 Rugby Championship title was not a priority when he took over from the Springboks. “The big thing when I was named in January 2020, the two big things we were aiming for were the Lions series and the World Cup. All the other tournaments were important, but these are the big ones we need to focus on… and we’re still getting closer to our 2019 level.
“What these last three games have taught us, or taught me personally, is what our DNA is, what are we good at, what pressure points do we need to put pressure on to try to get results that suit our players, our style of play and the athletic abilities of our players. the opposition.
“It was clear to me, so we’re still trying to get that back and go into 2022 if we have the opportunity to gain more testing experience in our rotation group, we would like to do that. only positive from Covid with an expanded team, the young people entering the mix, we have had the opportunity to have them with us now. Not always playing, but the environment will not be new to them and it will not be new to them. “There won’t be this huge void. They will know how the system works and our big target is still 2023.”
“This year, the Springboks have adopted a style of play that is foreign to them.”
– @bensmithrugby why this current South Africa game plan is not ‘DNA’ and never has been. #NZLvRSA #RSAvNZL #Rugby Championship https://t.co/71ayuUyZUv
– RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) September 28, 2021
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