It has not been the prettiest of years for the Springboks. They have conceded a record number of tries this year and their defense has been questioned numerous times, but what is more worrying, is the fact that one of our most celebrated players have been the one seemingly left wanting.
The guys from RugbyXV has put together a video of recent tests in 2010, and although most of us have discussed the defensive failings in the Springbok team, it has been surprising to see how IRB player of the Year for 2007, Bryan Habana has been the one found out more often than not.
The problem with this is complex however. One can easily blame the player for his failings, but if you look at the video you can also rightly question the defensive structures or plan and how its implemented, and also if the Springbok coaching staff are aware of the problem and if so, why it was obviously not addressed. (It happened twice against Ireland last weekend too)
For one, a player will be too aware of tendencies if it is pointed out to him (which suggests it has not since he continued to make the same mistakes) and two, defensive structures need to ensure that players trust the guys on his inside and outside which is also based on the evidence, clearly not the case.
Questions then need to be asked on who decides on these structures, and the reasons behind it. If the reasoning behind this is sound, then we need to look to the player and find out why he is failing.
The main thing is, it can be fixed, the question however remains, why wasn’t it…