Boks crying out for big performance from key players in Salta

26 August 2016 - 13:36 By Craig Ray

The Springboks are crying out for commanding performances from key players when they take on Argentina in the second round of the Rugby Championship in Salta on Saturday. Flyhalf Elton Jantjies is the obvious candidate who needs to dictate the game with the same authority he displays at Super Rugby level. To assist him to do that‚ his pack will have to be better.Last week‚ during the Boks’ 30-23 win over the Pumas in Nelspruit‚ SA were very good in the set pieces and tight loose‚ but they struggled at the breakdown‚ with Argentinean flank Pablo Matera and his back row mates‚ proving a menace.Scrumhalf Faf de Klerk was often seen ‘digging’ for the ball. He described his afternoon as “frustrating” because the Boks’ ball security was so careless. Home ground advantage played its part in the end as SA rallied to win. But the Springboks simply can’t be so inaccurate at the breakdown again‚ be it defensive or attacking‚ and expect to come away from Salta with a positive result.Ball protection will be paramount because cheap turnovers and slow ruck ball were costly.When the Boks started putting a few phases together late in last week’s game‚ it caused the Pumas massive problems. Two Springbok tries in the final eight minutes were a direct result of better ball protection.Last week’s match also showed that South Africa will need to be tactically flexible. For nearly 70 minutes‚ the Boks hardly employed any tactical kicking for field position. Towards the end De Klerk lobbed two pinpoint high balls into danger areas and Pumas’ left wing Manuel Montero was exposed.Montero might be peppered a little earlier this week.Openside Francois Louw is also in need of a more consistent match.He showed some good touches last weekend and won three turnovers‚ which is a vital aspect of his game. But a couple of missed tackles and lack of gaining metres with four carries offset what was a steady‚ if unspectacular performance.There is a feeling that Louw is slowly returning to form though.Bok coach Allister Coetzee has only made an injury enforced change for the match with tighthead Vince Koch replacing Julian Redelinghuys‚ while the Pumas’ starting XV is unchanged from Nelspruit. The Pumas left the Mbombela Stadium with a sense of regret after blowing a 10-point lead last in the match.The warmer‚ dryer conditions of Salta might also see the Pumas try to employ the expansive game they have evolved over the past two seasons under Hourcade. There were glimpses of it in Nelspruit as the visitors punched holes in the new Bok defensive system‚ but they were unable to make most of their linebreaks count.“This will be a different game because weather conditions will be different here‚” Hourcade said.“We will see both teams try to play a different ball game. It's still hard for us [the loss to South Africa]‚ but now we will be looking to get some revenge.” Springbok captain Adriaan Strauss said his team had enjoyed a good week despite only having three full practice sessions.“We had a good flight and we have trained well‚” Strauss said. “We have to be better than last week in many aspects. We have to take a step up because we have high standards and we didn’t meet them in Nelspruit.”Teams:Argentina: 15 Joaquín Tuculet‚ 14 Santiago Cordero‚ 13 Matías Orlando‚ 12 Juan Martín Hernández‚ 11 Manuel Montero‚ 10 Nicolás Sánchez‚ 9 Martín Landajo‚ 8 Facundo Isa‚ 7 Juan Manuel Leguizamón‚ 6 Pablo Matera‚ 5 Tomás Lavanini‚ 4 Matías Alemanno‚ 3 Ramiro Herrera‚ 2 Agustín Creevy (c)‚ 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro Replacements: 16 Julian Montoya‚ 17 Felipe Arregui‚ 18 Enrique Pieretto‚ 19 Guido Petti‚ 20 Javier Ortega Desio‚ 21 Tomas Cubelli‚ 22 Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias‚ 23 Lucas González AmorosinoSouth Africa: 15 Johan Goosen‚ 14 Ruan Combrinck‚ 13 Lionel Mapoe‚ 12 Damian de Allende‚ 11 Bryan Habana‚ 10 Elton Jantjies‚ Faf de Klerk‚ 8 Warren Whiteley‚ 7 Teboho Mohoje‚ 6 Francois Louw‚ 5 Lood de Jager‚ 4 Eben Etzebeth‚ 3 Vincent Koch‚ 2 Adriaan Strauss (c) ‚ Tendai Mtawarira Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi‚ 17 Steven Kitshoff‚ 18 Lourens Adriaanse‚ 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit‚ 20 Jaco Kriel‚ 21 Rudy Paige‚ 22 Morne Steyn‚ 23 Jesse Kriel – TMG Digital

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