‘If I was Gregor Townsend…’: Ex Bok coach explains how Scotland can beat them
With South Africa suddenly emerging as many people’s favourites to win the World Cup in October, former assistant coach Swys de Bruin decided that it is only fair to start giving advice to their opponents.
The Springboks face Scotland this weekend in their opening match of the World Cup, and with both sides coming from positive Augusts, it will likely be a defining match for either side in terms of progressing to the quarter finals with Ireland in the group as well.
Even though it is a crunch match, de Bruin decided nevertheless to give some pointers to head coach Gregor Townsend and fly-half Finn Russell as to how they can beat the world champions.
“If I was Gregor Townsend,” he said. “Firstly, I wouldn’t play too many phases- if there’s a mistake, scrum, Boks’ ball. I’ll avoid scrums. I will have one or two goes, then turn them, because I’m not so sure we’re turning so well.
“The other thing is, the Boks, what is their biggest strength? Their defence, they’re going to rush us. So what is Finn Russell going to do? He’s going to get guys closer, he’s going to change direction a lot because that’s all methods to beat the rush. He’ll play the blind more, he’ll play the pick and go more. When are the Boks rushing well? When there’s slow ball and the target is set and they are slightly deep. Then they go. So what must you do? You must play away from anywhere where they can rush you. So that, for me, if Scotland can do that they’ll be in the game all day.
“But I still don’t know what Scotland will do if we come with our second pack. Because you can only stay on your feet with what you’ve got for so long.”
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