South Africa take lessons from Wales series

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Apart from World Cup-winning coach Jake White poking barbs at the side for allowing opponents to stay in games for too long, others want to see South Africa impose itself more on games.


IOL writer Ashfak Mohamed said after the Springboks wrapped up their series with a 30-14 win over Wales that the score could have been 50-14.


"It was a much better performance from Jacques Nienaber's side compared to the first two Tests, as they at least tried to take the game to the Welsh instead of just playing off their mistakes," he said.


"After a couple of early ill-advised kicks that wasted possession, the Boks played with much greater purpose on attack. They managed to get inside Wales' half and 22 on a number of occasions, and tried hard to cross the whitewash in the opening 40 minutes.


"But the problem was that they lacked variety with ball-in-hand. Too often we saw No8 Jasper Wiese charging away like a runaway truck at the Welsh defence, but then coming up short or being knocked down."


Kwagga Smith replaced Wiese before halftime.

Despite its possession advantage, South Africa could only score 10 points in the first half.


"Time and time again, the ball was either lost in contact, the wrong option was taken or a questionable grubber was attempted, which was snaffled up by the defence," he said.


One positive was the better form of first five-eighths Handré Pollard, who scored 20 points, and the speed with which he received ball from halfback Jaden Hendrikse.


"The major positive for the Boks was the powerful display from the pack…The front row of Trevor Nyakane, Bongi Mbonambi and Frans Malherbe earned several penalties, and Wales were fortunate to not receive a yellow card for repeated infringements," he said.


While South Africa secured a 2-1 series win, they were far from their best.


"They still need to fine-tune their execution on attack ahead of the Rugby Championship, with a wounded All Blacks ready to pounce on August 6 at the Mbombela Stadium," he said.


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