Boks must start well – Meyer

Date published: November 27 2014

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Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has warned his team that another slow start against Wales on Saturday is likely to have dire consequences.

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has warned his team that another slow start against Wales on Saturday is likely to have dire consequences.

South Africa managed to snatch a last-gasp, 31-30 victory the last time these team met in Nelspruit back in June as they recovered from being 17-0 down early on, scoring 14 unanswered points in the final ten minutes.

That result sealed a 2-0 series win for the Boks but said says sticky conditions under the Millennium roof are likely to rule out another miracle comeback if his team can’t match their hosts in the opening exchanges.

“Wales have pushed us close in recent years. They have some world-class players, particularly in the backline. Big physical players. We have to ensure that we stop their momentum and then use our own opportunities on attack,” said Meyer on Wednesday.

“If you think about that game in Nelspruit, it was played in very warm conditions, and on the highveld. There’s always a chance to come back in those situations, as the opposition is tiring in the final quarter.

“Over here, the game is far slower. You don’t want to be chasing the game at the death. The conditions make handling difficult and there is less ball in play time. Even under the roof there is a hothouse effect, and the ball can become slippery.

“You have to play a more tactical game, and you can’t allow them to build up a lead. We can’t let what happened in Nelspruit happen this Saturday. We must start well.’

“There isn’t much between the top sides nowadays. If you look at the two packs on any day, for example, most of the players are of a similar size and weight. You can’t just rock up, especially in these very difficult conditions, and expect to outmuscle or bulldoze your opponents.

“You have to be tactically astute.”

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