No surprise, no change for Springboks

By Lucky Vince Pienaar

Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus could have made a few changes to the team that beat Ireland at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

The Boks play Ireland again on Saturday, 13 July – this time in Durban.

Of course, the most obvious thing was what Rassie should do about Handré Pollard, who unbelievably missed three easy but important penalty kicks in a row on Saturday. To win, the saying goes, you have to get your kicks over.

While it is almost unthinkable that he would drop Pollard, there was the interesting possibility that he would start with Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu at flyhalf with Pollard on the bench.

Mngomezulu’s minute or two in last week’s game proved nothing, and bringing him into play as quickly as possible is an exciting prospect.

Malcolm Marx played a blinder after being a little tentative against Wales, and it would not have been a surprise to see him in the run-on side.

Kwagga Smith didn’t have his best day on Saturday. And whenever he is less than perfect by his magnificent standards, the question arises: is he big enough to be a loose forward, especially eighthman? Well, Rassie seems to think so.

Of course, the strategy with the tight forwards was right on the money and the way the bomb squad walked over the Irish forwards to get the penalty try proved it. No questions there!

In the end, Rassie had the luxury of going with the same side as last week with all players fit and ready to play – a luxury that Ireland’s coach, Andy Farrell, certainly doesn’t have.

When all is said and done, Rassie has decided that the side stays the same – and it’s a decision that is very difficult to argue against.

Forwards: 1. Ox Nche – 2. Bongi Mbonambi – 3. Frans Malherbe – 4. Eben Etzebeth – 5. Franco Mostert – 6. Siya Kolisi (c) – 7. Pieter-Steph du Toit – 8. Kwagga Smith

Backs: 9. Faf de Klerk – 10. Handré Pollard – 11. Kurt-Lee Arendse – 12. Damian de Allende – 13. Jesse Kriel – 14. Cheslin Kolbe – 15. Willie le Roux

Bench: 16. Malcolm Marx – 17. Gerhard Steenekamp – 18. Vincent Koch – 19. Salmaan Moerat – 20. RG Snyman – 21. Marco van Staden – 22. Grant Williams – 23. Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu

Pictured above: The Springboks in action against Ireland. 

Source: Springboks/X

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