Assistant Springbok coach Deon Davids spoke about the depth of the squad in terms of the right options for set pieces at a press conference on Monday from their camp in Australia.
Davids spoke about better decision making for marginal decisions during the game while the width of the field in terms of systems enabled players to play better together and create better scenarios.
On the lock and centre combinations, he said that they had full confidence in placing Siya Kolisi and Kwagga Smith together. “When the Springboks play against New Zealand, coaching takes into consideration various options e.g. ball carrying while line out ability plays an important role. The chance of newer younger players and changing squad structure has not yet presented itself at this stage of the competition,“said Davids.
“We’ve looked in depth at our game management in the last 10 minutes,” he also confirmed. “You must understand that players are under immense pressure and this was a Test where there was a lot of pressure towards the end, a lot of intensity. We’ve looked at it again, and we’re the first to say we could’ve made better decisions in terms of that happened.”
“But things happen and there are different reasons why things went wrong at the end. A lot of it has to do with communication and being able to make that split-second decision based on what you see in front of you. And, obviously, our players would’ve learned lessons based on that experience. Looking at the quality of our players and the experience they have, they will understand what they can do better.”
“In training sessions, we try to paint scenarios in terms of what we can expect or what happened in past and then expose the players to that and challenge them to make better decisions,” he explained.
“But, as I said, there are a lot of things that go with that decision-making process. Sometimes they make good decisions, but the execution isn’t right, sometimes the decision itself is wrong. The more you put players in those scenarios, and the more you use the width of the field in terms of your systems and what you want to achieve – if the players work towards and are exposed to that – the more they’ll start making the right decisions when those scenarios are in front of them again in a game situation,” he added.
Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber will name the team to face the All Blacks in their sixth Rugby Championship match on Tuesday, 28 September.
The match will kick off at 20h05 (12h05 SA time) at the CBUS Super Stadium on Saturday, 2 October.
Story by Fatima Said
Photo courtesy SA Rugby