‘The more they play, the better they will be’ – Tony Brown backs Springboks to improve

David Skippers
Willie le Roux and Tony Brown image.jpg

Willie le Roux on the attack for the Springboks against Ireland and Bok attack coach Tony Brown.

Despite being happy with his team’s overall performance in their series opener against Ireland, Springboks assistant coach Tony Brown identified better execution as a key area to improve on when the sides meet in Durban on Saturday.

Former All Blacks fly-half Brown is widely regarded as one of the best attacking coaches in the business and took over that role with the Springboks after Felix Jones joined England following the Boks’ triumphant Rugby World Cup campaign in France last year.

Although South Afrcia clinched a 27-20 victory in that first Test against the men from the Emerald Isle, Brown feels his troops created some chances which they did not capitalise on and that could have had a big impact on the end result.

‘Some good signs’

“There were some really good signs with the way we spread the ball wide early on, but we need to be more clinical in the next game,” said Brown.

“We had a few chances, but we didn’t execute as well as we would have liked to, so that is one of the things we need to improve on this week. That said, the more the guys play, the better they will be, so hopefully that will get improve with time.”

The 49-year-old believes the Springboks‘ work at the breakdown is an area which they will have to improve on in Durban.

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“It was a tough test there. Both teams worked really hard at the breakdowns, and we know the battle will be fierce again there this week,” he said.

“We need to be strong defensively in that area because the better the quality of the ball we get, the more effective we can be on attack.”

Criticism dismissed

Meanwhile, former Test referee Jaco Peyper, who is now the South Africa’s national laws advisor, dismissed criticism in some circles that it was a dangerous decision for the Springboks to put all six replacement forwards on at the same time at Loftus Versfeld last weekend.

Former Scotland head coach Matt Williams hit out at tactics around the use of the Boks’ bench, saying it “discriminates against backs”.

However, Peyper disagreed and said: “According to the laws of the game, you can do it. I wouldn’t say it’s dangerous bringing on fresh legs at the same time.”

Ireland also opted for six-two splits in favour of the forwards during the Six Nations, and from a player safety perspective that is controlled by World Rugby’s shape of the game which includes specific law guidelines.”

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