Springboks 'not good' - Lievremont
August 2, 2010
Marc Lievremont has been impressed by the All Blacks © Getty Images
France coach Marc Lievremont has dismissed South Africa as 'not good' despite their June hammering of Les Bleus.
The Springboks are currently reeling after losing their opening three Tri-Nations games, two to New Zealand and one to Australia, and the French boss sees no way for them to compete with the free-flowing All Blacks.
Lievremont's comments come only months after his side were thrashed 42-17 in Cape Town and while he has little faith in the South Africa's methods, he holds plenty of admiration for Graham Henry's in-form All Blacks. The former flanker admitted that he would attempt to to instil their gameplan in his side as they prepare for next year's Rugby World Cup.
"South Africa are not good at the moment," he told L'Equipe. "They settled on a very pragmatic game, a massive physical engagement and they walked over everyone. That this kind of rugby has been overpowered doesn't worry me at all.
"Of course, the All Blacks' method is the one which we will try to put in place - although I don't like to admit it. What hurts most is the technical quality of the New Zealanders in every department. Everything stems from that. Our difficulties over the last three years essentially come from that."
According to Lievremont, the All Blacks, who romped to their third bonus-point victory of this season's Tri-Nations against Australia last weekend, are showing the sort of form that brought them a thrilling 39-12 victory over a much-fancied France side in Marseille last November.
"They have not hit this level since last November in Marseille against us. To produce this style of rugby in three consecutive matches is extremely rare," says Lievremont.
"They play a game of three-pass phases, maximum, except when they can complete the action. The ball-carrier looks for the contact. They are always going forward, always looking to release the ball, always trying to play while defending. The smallest error from the other side is immediately punished."
The latest Week in Pictures takes in a fiery East Midlands derby and all the action from the Aviva Premiership and Top 14
The rolling maul is becoming an increasingly potent attacking weapon. Conor O'Shea looks at the difficulties of stopping it
The news of James Horwill, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Dan Carter's respective transfers will open the floodgates, writes Tom Hamilton