The time when a tactic simply to grind out a victory was sufficient, is over. More than ever these days, winning the big matches requires a strategic master-plan.
The key to the Boks win over the ABs, was tactical thinking, meticulous planning and competent coaching. Rassie Erasmus has always been a deep thinker and the Bok victory in Wellington is proof he has gained the support of his team.
At the expense of possession and their own attack – to a man, they were completely committed to his defence focused strategy. The Boks effectively slowed down the delivery and recycling of AB ball at the tackle area. Coupled with their rush defence, this placed enormous pressure on a flatline attack.
Meanwhile, the ABs stuck to their belief they are the most skilled side in world rugby at executing under pressure, and to their credit, came within an inch of victory at least a dozen times.
But it wasn’t to be, and victory for the Boks was not by chance.
For 18 years now I have regularly analysed our Coaching Courses and often refer to them as a “rugby think-tank”, which highlights different schools of thought and diverse ways of approaching matches.
There is no one-way to coach, and just like players, coaches also get better with practise.
This was probably the best game of rugby I have ever seen. Even better than the 1990 All Black v Wallaby match in Sydney, which climaxed with a Jonah Lomu try on fulltime.
Beware of this inexperienced Bok team under Erasmus. Over the next 12 months, it should be intriguing to see how they grow.
Tune into Murray Mexted’s RadioSport interview below discussing the All Black victory in further detail: