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Ken Borland



Run of defeats against Wallabies rankles De Villiers 0

Posted on February 02, 2018 by Ken

 

It is a run of defeats that South African captain Jean de Villiers has admitted rankles him, the veteran of 79 Tests having played against far better Wallabies teams since making his debut in 2002.

Australia’s five straight wins against South Africa is a record for them, but they have also won seven of the last eight meetings.

De Villiers said Friday that that record is “simply not good enough. That can never be acceptable and this team has now inherited that record, so it’s our job to rectify that.”

De Villiers also added that the 2012 Springbok class is a distinct team to last year’s, pointing out that they were responsible for six of those seven defeats. But there was more than just a hint of mental block when South Africa thoroughly dominated the Wallabies in the first half in Perth but failed to put them away.

Full preview – https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2012-09-28-rugby-championship-test-sprinkboks-hungry-for-wallaby-meat/#.WnhFva6WbIU

Delight & relief off the grid for Coetzee 0

Posted on June 20, 2016 by Ken

 

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee admitted that his delight and relief were both off the grid after his team’s exceptional comeback win over Ireland at Ellis Park on Saturday.

Having lost the first Test in Cape Town last weekend, the Springboks looked almost certain to suffer a rare series loss on home soil when the Irish capitalised on an horrific first half by the home side to lead 19-3 at halftime.

For Coetzee and captain Adriaan Strauss, defeat would have meant immense pressure on both of them as they look to guide South African rugby into a new era. So the stakes were high, even by the do-or-die standards that always suffocate Springbok rugby.

But a remarkable second-half performance saw the Springboks run in four tries in a compelling display of power and pace as they snatched a 32-26 victory.

“Obviously I’m more than 100% relieved and more than 100% delighted with the way we came back,” Coetzee said when he was asked afterwards what sort of mix of relief and delight the triumph had invoked.

“The way we put the second half together is how we planned to play and it was testament to the resilience and character of this team. Resilience is one of the core values of this team and we would never have beaten a quality Ireland side without it.

“When you add the first half to what happened last week, we were in a hole and we would not have worked a way out of it unless this team had something special. When their backs were to the wall, they showed they can fight. I believe that as a team we are on the right track, we are embarking on a journey to becoming a good team. Today was a building block, it showed not to write us off,” Coetzee said.

The new Springbok coach did not shy away from how awful the first half was, though, with the Springboks making a litany of basic mistakes. They again gave away a flurry of penalties in the opening half-hour, allowing flyhalf Paddy Jackson to kick Ireland into a 12-3 lead, and they made a string of passing and handling errors, while also once again showing terrible ball-retention skills in contact. Plus the Irish kicking game produced great dividends due to a number of spilt aerial balls.

“Obviously I’m not pleased with the first half. I don’t think it was a lack of urgency, more a lack of discipline. The guys were over-exuberant, they showed a bit of inexperience, and those penalties just broke our rhythm.

“The impact from the bench turned it around for us, the ball-carries, at the right height, got us momentum. We looked after the ball and we were better tactically. Before that we were losing ball through poor carries and not fielding the high balls.

“The work ethic was terrible in the first half and we had to step up the work-rate in the second half. There were no forwards coming around the corner. But in the second half we lifted the work-rate and we were more accurate,” Coetzee said.

The coach said it was important to keep perspective in the thrill of such an unlikely victory, even though he had allowed the players some post-match jubilations.

“Now we start from zero again. I allowed the players to jump around a bit tonight, but we shouldn’t get too excited about just beating a team. The war has not been won, just a battle. We need to take all the emotion out and improve on tonight’s performance, we have to get the basics right in Port Elizabeth. The next game is the next building block,” Coetzee stressed.

http://citizen.co.za/1168147/delight-and-relief-off-the-grid-for-coetzee/

Bulls not able to get attacking play going 0

Posted on May 16, 2016 by Ken

 

Bulls coach Nollis Marais admitted that his team were never able to produce the attacking play they are aiming for after they went down 31-8 to the Waratahs in Sydney at the weekend, leaving them with must-win games against the Stormers and Lions at home over the next fortnight.

The Bulls only crossed the tryline in the 74th minute against the Waratahs, at which stage the game was already gone, having spent most of the second half pegged back in their own territory.

“We’re focusing on how we want to play and I know it did not look like that today. We were in the game in the first half, but we weren’t accurate enough, we should have scored but we didn’t use those opportunities. The next 30 minutes we weren’t in the game at all, there were too many turnovers and easy exits for the Waratahs.

“But they are a good, experienced side and there’s a huge difference in the number of caps between the two sides. We always knew that it would be a long road this year with a dozen guys making their SuperRugby debuts. But we have to be better next week against the Stormers, our arch-enemies, and then against the Lions. We have to beat those teams if we are to have hopes of contending,” Marais said.

While there was some endeavour in the first half, the Bulls played slow, risk-free rugby after the break, but still managed to make numerous mistakes, and it sadly resembled much of the rugby they played last year before Marais came in with his new approach.

“It’s always difficult travelling and if you have five to 10 minutes when you slip tackles and concede too many penalties then you can get a hiding. We just need to focus on what we need to do better and there are so many things we need to focus on,” Marais lamented.

 

Just 20 poor minutes enough to take gloss off Bulls’ win 0

Posted on March 09, 2016 by Ken

 

It was just 20 minutes of poor rugby in the second half, but Bulls coach Nollis Marais admitted it was enough to take the gloss off their 45-25 victory over the Melbourne Rebels in their SuperRugby match at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria at the weekend.

Before that, the Bulls had produced some champagne rugby to storm into a 42-3 lead and seemed to have guaranteed themselves a bonus point in their first home match. But poor ball-retention, struggles at the breakdown and aimless kicking all contrived to let the Rebels back into the game, their four unanswered tries robbing the Bulls of a bonus point that could prove crucial in the long run.

“Those 20 minutes in the second half we let them back in the game. We should have had the bonus point, but only two of their tries they really had to work for. I don’t know where the idea came from to kick so much, so many little chippies!

“And our defence was really poor for those 20 minutes of the second half, we made simple mistakes which changed the momentum in their favour. We weren’t very good at the breakdown either, we were penalised four times there in the second half and that allowed the Rebels to have lineouts in our half,” Marais said after the game.

“But last week we couldn’t score a single try and this week we got six, so that is a positive and shows us the way to play moving forward. We’re trying to play ball-in-hand rugby after seven or eight years of playing the same way, and we need to stick to the plan. Some of the tries we scored were brilliant and that’s the way forward. When last did we score six tries?” Marais continued.

Unfortunately, the Bulls then let the Rebels score four tries, meaning they only took four log points away from the game and leaving them still five points behind the Stormers in South Africa Conference 1.

“We were fully aware that the bonus point was vital, we were in position to score again, we got there but we just couldn’t finish. We gave away penalties which allowed them easy exits and we took the pressure off them,” captain Adriaan Strauss said.

“So there are mixed emotions, it was good to win and to play a good brand of rugby, but we needed the bonus point. We’re happy, we’ll enjoy the win, but we let the bonus point slip so there are some regrets. But it’s a step in the right direction. If we get quick ball, if we’re on the front foot, we showed we can play some rugby, but if not we get stuck,” the outstanding hooker said.



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