Springboks dismiss 'boring' tag
August 3, 2009
Peter De Villiers is happy with his side's precise gameplan © Getty Images
Peter De Villiers has defended his side's tactics after critics labelled the bruising Springboks as 'boring'.
De Villiers, whose side recorded back-to-back victories over the All Blacks with their 31-19 triumph in Durban on Saturday, backed the technical ability of his players after their kicking game suffocated the All Blacks.
The visitors were forced to counter attack from deep and their frantic play led to eight penalties being dispatched by fly-half Morne Steyn, who broke the Tri-Nations scoring record with a 31-point haul.
"We've looked at the guys we have and it suits us to play this way ," De Villiers said. "It's not boring at all, technically it's spot on and it's what is needed at the time. There will be times when we can throw the ball around and add an attacking dimension to our game, but it's not that time yet. The quality aspect of this side is our variety.
"The greatest thing is we are not happy with where we are. There is definitely more in the tank."
De Villiers also said a kicking-based game required more skill than most pundits realise, and any criticism over the style of play is tempered by the success currently being enjoyed by the Springboks.
"The execution of those kicks to ensure they land where we want them to, as well as the defensive lines, takes a lot of work," he said. "The guys don't only do their job, they do that extra bit to make cover tackles or whatever is needed at the time."
Winger Bryan Habana, who won his 50th cap, harried opposite Joe Rokocoko all game under the high ball, yet rarely had a chance to show his pace with ball in hand. Despite this, he questioned why the tourists didn't try something similar rather than persisting with expansive rugby.
"It's never easy to play out of your own 40. The ABs did that on a couple of occasions and we were able to force them into errors and get the turnovers," he said. "When you slowly start building points - three points, six points, nine points - it puts a lot of pressure on the opposition to take chances and they make those mistakes."
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt won the tactical battle and set his team on course for a shot at the Grand Slam. Tom Hamilton reports from Dublin
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