For several matches and the clash against the All Blacks, the Springboks have surprised in many ways.
One week before the clash against Ireland for the head of Group B of the World Cup, South Africa continues its tactical and strategic innovations against Romania on Sunday in Bordeaux (3:00 p.m.), depending on the hard blows and the setbacks.
After the bench of seven forwards at the end of preparation against New Zealand (35-7) which surprised at Twickenham, the use of colored lights in the stands to convey instructions, the Springboks this time placed four scrum halves in the 23 players selected against the Romanians.
Versatility is the key word
“As soon as the list was announced, people wondered why we had taken four scrum-halves. It’s all about versatility. On paper, we have four scrum halves but most can play elsewhere», Explained coach Jacques Nienaber, citing Grant Williams and Cobus Reinach recently seen on the wing, or taking the example of Faf De Klerk, replacing on Sunday.
“Faf did all his training at fly-half, a position he also held with the Lions in Super Rugby, and at Sale in the Premiership. Without wanting to disrespect Romania, it’s a good opportunity for us to test him in ten in a high-stakes match», continued Nienaber who only retained Manie Libbok as the official opener, after Handré Pollard’s calf injury at the beginning of August.
“We take no risks, everything is calculated, he repeated. We liked what we saw in training and we know that the players chosen have the qualities to beat Roumanie”, and if possible largely like the Irish last weekend (82-8).
“The difference in points may count at the end of the group stage. But what counts above all is victory and working on certain technical and tactical points“.
Adapting to Injuries
The South African week could have taken place without any further hitch than the shoulder injury against Scotland of Eben Etzebeth, absent for two weeks and replaced by Jean Kleyne, born near Johannesburg and became selectable again after participating in the Cup 2019 World Cup in the Irish jersey.
Except that misfortune came to the harbor and put hooker Malcolm Marx out of action for many months, injured in the ligaments of one knee.during a freak accident” in training.
At 36, Deon Fourie has worked his way through South Africa and France (Lyon, Grenoble), somewhat behind the scenes, often on the third row, in recent years. Before the call of a possible substitute (Joseph Dweba?), his versatility should be used during the match one week before the clash against Ireland, another final before the letter of this first round after the inaugural France-New Zealand .