Can Springboks Turn it Around for Wallabies?
If anyone thought that 2016 had been a bad year for Alistair Coetzee’s Bok side – then 2017 is sure to have come as an even bigger disillusionment. The truth is, the Springboks have come a long way since that legendary World Cup final back in 1995. When we say this, we aren’t referring to an improvement, either. No, not by any measure.
Now, more than ever, fans want answers from an ever positive (read: blind to the cold hard facts) Alistair Coetzee. Coetzee’s reference to the recent hammering by the All Blacks as being not all negative has definitely not helped his cause. He now finds himself in the precarious position of having to back the decisions that he has made thus far this year. And its – obviously – proving to be no task for the faint of heart.
With the upcoming test against the Wallabies in Bloemfontein on September 30th looming ever closer – on the back of the most ridiculous failure in the history of South African rugby – Coetzee will have to re-evaluate his entire game plan if he is to re-emerge anywhere near the top of things.
There has been increasing amounts of pressure from all avenues that overseas-based players must return to the South African side if they are to have any hopes of salvaging an already dire situation. Names like Frans Steyn, Francois Louw, Bismarck Du Plessis and JP Pietersen have been some of the star names ever circling like flies around a bad broth. And what a bad broth it has been indeed.
In the same vein, those in the know agree that making major changes ahead of South Africa facing the Wallabies is probably not the best of ideas – despite desperate times calling for desperate measures.
Considering that Coetzee is fast running out of time, if any key decisions and major changes are to be made at all, then they need to be made now. It comes down to the lesser of two evils – major changes in the face of all advice pointing to the contrary, or backing the players that Coetzee has been investing in so far this year, possibly to the detriment of the team as well as the country’s rugby morale in its entirety.
A total of six tests remain for the Springboks for 2017, one of which is the upcoming test against the Wallabies. There is also the last test against the All Blacks coming up – with the prospect of a single point scored being one point more than what they have managed thus far.
At least it should not prove too difficult to show an improvement.
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