Mitchell believes Coetzee’s Springboks should display more confidence in their attacking ability

17 September 2017 - 15:29 By Liam Del Carme
South Africa's Eben Etzebeth (C) and coach Allister Coetzee and teammates look on after the Rugby Championship match between New Zealand and South Africa at Albany Stadium in Auckland on September 16, 2017.
South Africa's Eben Etzebeth (C) and coach Allister Coetzee and teammates look on after the Rugby Championship match between New Zealand and South Africa at Albany Stadium in Auckland on September 16, 2017.
Image: AFP

Former All Blacks coach John Mitchell believes that Allister Coetzee’s Springboks should display more confidence in their attacking ability.

Mitchell‚ who is responsible for the metamorphosis of the Bulls‚ believes that the Springboks are far too prescriptive when they have possession in their own territory.

Even before the Boks were handed a humiliating record 57-0 defeat by the All Blacks in Albany‚ Mitchell warned of their lack of conviction with ball in hand.

The drubbing only emboldened his views.

“It’s one pass or immediate kick.

"You need to chance your arm‚” said Mitchell of the Boks’ default setting in Albany.

“At 31-0 down and still come out exit kicking?” he frowned.

“You’ve got to play rugby.

"You’ve gotta build some pressure from anywhere on the field.

“They are too prescriptive on exit.

"It might get you to a semifinal but it won’t win you a championship.”

Indeed‚ the absence of an extra attacking gear proved their undoing when they tantalisingly lost in the semifinal of the last World Cup against the All Blacks.

Mitchell intimated that a change in approach‚ rather than personnel‚ will best serve the Springboks.

While he had high praise for one of his star players Warrick Gelant following a dazzling attacking display from fullback against the Golden Lions‚ Mitchells feels the player should be in an environment in which he can flourish.

“He’s a very special player.

"He’s got the gift of being able to create.

"He can turn a two-on-two to a two-on-one.

"He’s learning to become a better defensive player.

"He can exit kick well and he’s got an attack kick.

“I guess he’d be stifled somewhat in the current Springbok exit plan because they don’t run the ball.

“If you select him but you don’t allow him to run the ball‚ then his creativity is worthless.”

The same applies to the men who already operate in Coetzee’s backline.

Fullback Andries Coetzee‚ wing Courtnall Skosan and flyhalf Elton Jantjies were part of a Lions backline that scored the second most tries in Super Rugby.

They hardly looked like scoring against the All Blacks. - TimesLIVE

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