‘It was said our rugby is boring, stale’- Bok pundits bask in ABs’ decline
The entire rugby landscape has changed dramatically over the past year. South Africa and British & Irish Lions were slugging away in a stodgy series in August 2021 and everyone in New Zealand were loving it.
Both the Boks and the Lions were being savaged seemingly by everyone in New Zealand, from the fans to the press, even to All Blacks head coach Ian Foster.
“I watched it between 10pm and 1am. It put me to sleep,” said Foster.
“The Lions series, the one we had here, the one over there… they’re a very tight, almost risk-free type of series. Teams are almost afraid to play and are relying on a low-risk strategy.
“We are seeing two teams who desperately want to win a big series playing low-risk, highly effective rugby. Two teams playing a similar style… it’s a bit of a slugfest.
“That’s Test match rugby where stakes are high. It’s the whole risk versus reward, isn’t it? You’ve got two teams over there, who want to get up, their line speed is really strong and it’s all about stopping.
“We’ve been criticised in the past for not being able to play around and through line speed, but what you are seeing is two teams that don’t like playing against line speed either. So they kick. That’s the answer if you are not willing to play a slightly more risky game.”
Fast forward to August 2022 and it is the All Blacks that seem to have run out of imagination or excitement in their game, and the Bok pundits are loving the shoe being on the other foot.
After Jacques Nienaber’s side waltzed past the All Blacks 26-10 at the Mbombela Stadium last Saturday, pundits Swys de Bruin, Jono Mokuena and Robbi Kempson discussed the state of New Zealand rugby at the moment, and all came to the conclusion that Foster’s time in charge of New Zealand is coming to an end.
However, Mokuena was not going to miss the opportunity to have a little dig at those in New Zealand given the events of the past year, and said at the end of the discussion: “It was said on their show that our rugby is boring, our rugby is stale, there’s no excitement. Well… who won the match over the weekend?”
This was all light-hearted, but there’s no doubt that Mokuena’s sentiments are shared by much of the South African public.