No talk of parades for Boks

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The Boks came from 1-0 down in this incoming series to beat Ireland 2-1 after recording a 19-13 win on Saturday night.

“I am on holiday for a week and my folks are in Grahamstown, so I might pop in there. But I’m not so sure about a parade, I think I will leave that for the World Cup in 2019, when we win it!” Coetzee joked.

The Boks coach knows that, while winning this Test series is a great achievement, especially after looking pretty ordinary for about 140 minutes in the first two Tests, there are going to be bigger tests over the next four years. The next test will come in the Rugby Championship in August, where the mighty All Blacks loom large in the Boks’ path.

But Coetzee can take heart in the fact his team have got better and better as this series progressed. After Ireland won the first Test and took a 19-3 lead at Ellis Park in the second match, the Boks produced 20 minutes of brilliant rugby to square the series ahead of the third Test.

On Saturday, the Boks were a lot better, especially at scrum time, while they also looked good when they kept the ball alive. But they were still shown up by an Irish team, who looked like scoring every time they had the ball in the Bok half. And, if it wasn’t for the Boks scrambling on defence and Faf de Klerk’s heroics in making two vital inceptions, there would be no talk of parades.

“We will have a good wash up and we see where we can polish and get better in certain areas, where we can still massively improve on. Some of our aerial skills we can get better at. Our contact skills (as) well,” Coetzee said.

“It was a better tactical performance from us, it’s just the execution of certain kicks. But there is growth. The more we play together, the more we will get better as a team.

“The resilience, the fight in the team, the character and the attitude, I’m really pleased. A team should have those ingredients and I’m happy with that.”

One of the big positives that came out of Saturday’s third Test was the performance of flyhalf Elton Jantjies, who put in his best display in a Bok jersey. When the Boks got front-foot ball he hit the line hard and made metres, while his distribution was also good. However, it was his tactical kicking and his attacking kicks that were superb on the night. The Lions No 10 created JP Pietersen’s try with a lovely cross kick, and his up-and-unders really put the Irish under pressure.

“The way we want to play tactically, Elton was better tonight. It was sometimes just the execution, both him and Faf,” Coetzee said.

“The score before halftime was testimony to that, no space out wide, only space in behind, and he executed a perfect kick into space, and that is what we would like to see more often.”

Coetzee on Saturday night also reaffirmed his loyalty towards locally-based players for the rest of the year, although he says SA Rugby has given him the licence to pick experienced stars who play in the United Kingdom and France.

“I’m very happy with the players back home, although SA Rugby has given me the freedom to select as many overseas-based players as I can,” Coetzee said. “But I’m pleased with the players we currently have, giving them as much Tests as possible moving forward.

“If you don’t have enough players in a certain position, we will look at overseas-based players.

“You must remember we also had six injuries leading up top this Test match, so I’m really happy that we have selected quite a good group of players. Obviously players will need to keep performing in Super Rugby and we will check what we need to improve the squad. But for now I’m pleased with what we have,” the Springbok coach added. - Cape Times

Original source: No talk of parades for Boks

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