Following their 16-15 victory against England in the World Cup semifinals on Saturday night, South Africa has been accused of being terrible for rugby by former Scotland coach Matt Williams. With barely a few minutes left in the game, the Springboks defeated Steve Borthwick’s team in a stunning comeback.
Penalty kicks, which made use of Handre Pollard’s remarkable long-range precision, were crucial to South Africa’s victory at the Stade de France. However, Jacques Nienaber’s team has come under fire for depending on set-pieces to attempt and win penalties rather than more ‘conventional’ strategies.
With their scrum-heavy style of play, Australian analyst Williams is among those who have criticized the world champions and believes that they do not serve as a good representation for rugby union.
What are you offering as incentives?” he asked Virgin Media Sport. You encourage scrummaging to get the penalty by awarding a penalty where you can take three points or kick for touch and start a maul. What remains of the incentive if that one is taken away?
South Africa’s scrum-heavy tactics have been criticised
“When you pass the ball to the backs, there is a lot of room because 16 of your attackers are pinned down. We had fantastic back row moves and fantastic backline plays coming off scrums all throughout the 1990s and the early 2000s; it was fun and fantastic.
The referee wasn’t going to give you a penalty unless you committed foul play or were offside, but the scrums were still present and competitive; you could still score a pushover try. It made the game much better.
Handre Pollard was key on Saturday night
Williams said, “South Africa and England are like great tax accountants, they find every loophole and brilliantly exploit it.” This criticism also included England. Although I value intelligence, that is not beneficial for the bigger picture.
“It’s bad for the other teams in the match, like France, New Zealand, and Ireland, who are attempting to play a more upbeat, entertaining game with the ball in hand. We work in the entertainment industry. Is it a game with 15 players or just 8? It has shifted so much in favor of scrounging and mauling at this time. The balance of the game is completely off.
Williams’ advice is likely to go unheeded in the South Africa camp as they get ready to face New Zealand in the World Cup final. The Springboks’ success in the competition has been attributed to their strategies, which are under the direction of director of rugby Rassie Erasmus. They won’t care if they don’t win “pretty” as long as they win the Webb Ellis Cup.