SA View: Heartbreak in the 100th as Boks ‘set the table, kill the calf and forget to eat’

An All Black try from fractured play right off the bat. A card for daring to try to intercept. You couldn’t have designed a worse start for South Africa. And yet, the lead changed seven times. A true fetcher, a fired up skipper, a superior second row, and Frans ‘Malbec’ Malherbe winning his familiar two-penalty […]

SA View: Heartbreak in the 100th as Boks ‘set the table, kill the calf and forget to eat’

An All Black try from fractured play right off the bat. A card for daring to try to intercept. You couldn’t have designed a worse start for South Africa.

And yet, the lead changed seven times. A true fetcher, a fired up skipper, a superior second row, and Frans ‘Malbec’ Malherbe winning his familiar two-penalty scrum margin. George Bridge never looked comfortable under the garryowen. The ball was jarred from New Zealand carriers more times than I ever recall in the professional era.

With a few minutes to play, the embattled Boks had somehow managed to eke out a one-point lead, and even had possession.

But with all that, it still felt like South Africa had set the table, hell, built the table and the chairs, killed the calf, cooked it down, put the food on the plates, and then forgot to eat!

Twice or maybe three times, a series of brutally effective pack play had won the Boks the ball well inside the Kiwi half, and Faf de Klerk or Herschel Jantjies hoofed it high.

The time was ripe. The All Blacks were just as tired. The Bok wings are quick as hell. But the ball was wasted on speculators.

It was if the Boks kept hoping their lucky try would be duplicated. And the All Blacks, too, passing sloppily, hoping it would stick. But Jordie Barrett cleaned up at the back, Bridge never hung his head, and on the other side, the Boks smashed All Black runners, or jackled them.

And so it came down to kicks. A kick. As it seemed it would.

And what a kick it was. One of the best I’ve seen to win this level of Test match.

Flushed. Pure. Roped.

I told myself before he kicked, that Jordie simply had to miss it. He was due a miss.

But the raccoon-haired fullback held his nerve and broke Bok hearts.

It was a proper Test.

It’s a pity the Boks never play off ten. But the counter argument is this style of rugby creates 1-3 point contests with the No.1 attacking team.

This was a full blown masterpiece of Bok forward play. Sadly, their backline could not equal them.

All of the Bok forwards stepped up, even Kwagga Smith, who I’ve critiqued harshly.

But an over reliance on the base kick robbed the Boks of that extra punch needed to win.

Jordie, take a bow. There are areas to work on for NZ: the midfield, the high ball, set piece, and handling. But they knew how to keep at it, kept composure when it mattered, and took the biscuits.

Good on you, old foe and friend.

Source : The Roar More   

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Mario Ledesma slams ‘disrespectful’ act

Argentina coach Mario Ledesma believes his team was treated disrespectfully after they weren’t included in a Rugby Championship photoshoot in Townsville. Ledesma delivered a post-game press conference tirade with a twist, labelling treatment of his team in the lead-up to Saturday’s Wallabies clash in Townsville disrespectful. Ledesma, a former assistant coach with the Wallabies, took […]

Mario Ledesma slams ‘disrespectful’ act

Argentina coach Mario Ledesma believes his team was treated disrespectfully after they weren’t included in a Rugby Championship photoshoot in Townsville.

Ledesma delivered a post-game press conference tirade with a twist, labelling treatment of his team in the lead-up to Saturday’s Wallabies clash in Townsville disrespectful.

Ledesma, a former assistant coach with the Wallabies, took aim at the decision to press on with a Rugby Championship captain’s photoshoot in Townsville on Friday despite the fact they were not yet in town.

Instead, Australian captain Michael Hooper, New Zealand’s Ardie Savea and Springboks leader Siya Kolisi were left to front cameras for the shoot ahead of Townsville’s historic double-header.

It’s understood previous efforts to stage the shoot while the teams were based in south-east Queensland fell through and that plans to reschedule on Friday with all four teams were thwarted when Argentina’s flight was pushed back from its original time.

Winless in all five games during the tournament, including a 27-8 loss to the Wallabies on Saturday, Ledesma was clearly unimpressed when he discovered the shoot went ahead anyway.

“The boys and staff felt really disrespected,” the coach, who is being assisted by former Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, volunteered.

“We’re not asking for much; last year when South Africa pulled out, we came over here, went through strict lockdown.

“We were away from home three or four months and we’re the only team that haven’t played at home for more than two years.”

Los Pumas drew and won against Wales before losing two Tests away to South Africa en route to Australia, where they have since lost twice to New Zealand and once to Australia.

The stage is set for a spicy conclusion to their Rugby Championship, with a rematch against the hosts on the Gold Coast on Saturday.

“We’re always travelling, we never complain but we feel sometimes we’re getting treated with disrespect and we just continue, cop it on the chin,” Ledesma said.

“We spent three weeks in a one-hour radius to get to the picture and all of a sudden we’re 1400km away, cannot get here and they take the freaking picture.

“They made a video, everyone is joking, having a good time and our captain is not there…and nobody said anything.”

Source : The Roar More   

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