Champions respond, they grab a result from the jaws of defeat. Look at that historic Test match in 2013 when New Zealand came from behind to break Irish hearts. Cruden had a second bite of the cherry to slot the kick over!
By: Benedict Chanakira
Meyer has been sounding like a broken record in the last few tests. Below par Bok performances have so many positives in his eyes. The fans have been critical of Heyneke but have every right. This is their team. Character, know how to win and courage. Some of the terms to be associated with Springbok displays. I am sure behind closed doors that passion displayed in the coaching box is unleashed towards some parties. The centre combination of De Allende and De Villiers has not kicked on. The Springbok ls can not afford to leave x-factor gifted Frans Steyn out for much longer.
Another area of concern is the scrum which was obliterated by the Pumas who credit to them put in a valiant effort that ended in similar fashion as Wales; Defeat! There needs to be a solution, Guthro is past it, for the loyalty afforded him by Meyer. Could the Lions frontrow which has terrorised most teams get a look in? An area requiring attention considering how Australia’s scrum was massacred!
Handre Pollard has now secured his position as one for the future and he is the next in line behind Morne Steyn. Handre Pollard, who has not really impressed but has been backed by Meyer. Performances that were shown in his Junior Springboks days were not replicated at senior level. Glimpses maybe but he has not impressed. Goosen’s move abroad seems to have cast him away too.
Makes me wonder of Pat Lambie. Clearly will not be an option at 15 with Le Roux the incumbent. His future in the green and gold after being touted for greatness seems to leave him in the wilderness. Injury and a lack of backing from Meyer contributing factors as he is down the pecking order as a fullback and flyhalf!
Hate him or love him; Morne Steyn is an important cog in the Springbok machine. He changed the game in Salta and should start in Australia and New Zealand. This is the best chance to beat the two sides and assess how far South Africa’s character is.
Australia had a dream start, but failure to take their chances and to beat a side reduced to 14 men twice showed they still short of their ability. Roll a week later and reality and common sense prevailed. The All Black side dismantled their Tasmanian neighbours and what stuck out was their immense defence. The stage is set as the only barrier stopping South Africa to a maiden Rugby Championship title is New Zealand. The World Champions are looking the benchmark once again and despite the Peyper Horror show last week look further and further away from a defeat. They have lost only once since that 2011 World Cup win.
Expect a return for a few stalwarts to the line up and based on his performance a start for Marcel Coetzee. Time is ticking for the Springbok coach as a win over New Zealand is required soon. With little building towards the future, no scalps over New Zealand or a title South Africa need to change one of those. Win percentage will mean nothing if none of that is achieved year end. It will leave Meyer with one goal in 2015. Win the Rugby World Cup as he continues to favor the experience of stalwarts instead of the hunger and exuberance of youth.