Nienaber not tempted to make mass changes

Nienaber not tempted to make mass changes

Springbok head coach Jacques Nienaber took emotion out of the equation when selecting his team for this weekend’s second Rugby Championship test against Australia after their loss last weekend.

Jacques Nienaber
Steve Haag Sports

With such a large squad at his disposal due to Covid-19 regulations, Nienaber could have taken the decision to make wholesale changes, however he’s gone with just two changes in the starting line-up – one being injury enforced.

Last Saturday’s match was decided by one penalty and that’s what Nienaber is focusing on; the fact that the Springboks were beaten at the death in a match that they admittedly didn’t play well in.

“We always look at games from an objective perspective,” Nienaber said. “Sometimes when we win games, we tick four of the twelve important boxes won by twenty points but it doesn’t mean we played well.

“And sometimes when we lose games, we tick eleven out of twelve boxes and the only we don’t tick is did we win the match.

“Sometimes we play well and lose and sometimes we play poorly and win so we try and take as much emotion out of it as possible.”

Handré Pollard’s kicking display has come under the spotlight this week after the flyhalf missed eight points from the tee. This along with the team’s discipline that saw Quade Cooper knock over 23 points were important factors to the loss on Sunday.

“Both the kicking and the defence are my departments, and I don’t think we were on song there and that’s something that we have to fix going into the next game.”

The changes that the Boks have made will see Trevor Nyakane come into the starting line-up for Steven Kitshoff who shifts to the bench and Marvin Orie starts in the second row in place of the injured Lood de Jager.


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