Davids wants the Springbok forwards to think on their feet after defeat to Lions

27 July 2021 - 10:53
By liam del carme AND Liam Del Carme
Springbok assistant coach Deon Davids.
Image: Deryck Foster/BackpagePix Springbok assistant coach Deon Davids.

Springbok assistant coach Deon Davids says the team's forwards need to think on their feet after SA's first-Test defeat to the British & Irish Lions last Saturday.

Davids wants the Bok forwards to troubleshoot as the evolving challenges present themselves with the team now hoping to overturn the deficit in the remainder of the three-Test series.

The Lions were particularly effective at disrupting the flow of the Springboks' primary phase possession‚ and they were able to stunt the world champions' much-vaunted maul.

“Whether it is legal or illegal or streetwise in terms of what they do there‚ from our point of view we have to handle it better and make better plans and come up with better solutions in order to improve that.”

Having gone into the halftime break with a nine-point lead‚ the Springbok forwards faded as the Lions grew in confidence as the match wore on.

While they grew an arm and a leg‚ the Springboks' game was riddled with insecurity. They found little traction in the scrum once Trevor Nyakane‚ Bongi Nyakane and Ox Nché departed the scene.

Nyakane‚ whose form had regularly been questioned‚ delivered one of his better performances of the season‚ Mbonambi belied his lack of preparation with his energy and accuracy‚ while Nché was a dynamo in the primary phases and the tight loose.

The Boks' grip up front eroded soon after the break however and Davids pointed out the pitfalls.

“If you have that solid base‚ it allows you to execute better. It puts you on the front foot and you can play towards your plan. If things go wrong it influences the attack and then influences your energy expenditure in terms of how you execute stuff.

“Everything has a ripple effect from a set-piece point of view. It is important that we provide a solid base‚ a solid platform. The Lions challenged us in those specific areas.”

The Lions also posed uncomfortable questions of the Boks at the breakdown but it remains to be seen if the hosts will make personnel changes to address their problems.