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Bok coach defends his ‘boring’ brand

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Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber. Picture: Springboks Rugby

The Springboks are playing to their strengths and will continue to do so when they face Argentina at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday.

AFTER being branded ‘boring’ in the series win over the British and Irish Lions, Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber has come out in defence of their game plan.

With their playbook making provision for an aerial assault and forwards battle, the Boks are playing to their strengths and will continue to do so when they face Argentina at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium tomorrow at 5.05pm in their first Rugby Championship match since 2019.

Having missed last season’s tournament because of Covid-19, Nienaber says when asked about their approach to rugby: “That’s the beauty of rugby. There are different styles, it would have been boring if everybody played the same style.

“If you take the World Cup, we played the team that probably play the most attacking brand of rugby [Japan] in the quarter-final and then played a team with a massive kicking game [Wales in the semi-final].

“Then you played a team like England who’s got a very balanced approach. I don’t think there’s one specific style – your playing style gets determined by (the) athletic attributes of the players.

“We will have a different player and look to amplify our athletic ability. Playing styles differ because athletes differ. That’s why you get different playing styles.”

With the likes of big lock Eben Etzebeth in their squad for tomorrow, the Boks will again look to dominate up front.

But with a skilful backline run by flyhalf Elton Jantjies, Nienaber might just use these specific players – he made 10 changes to the side that beat the Lions 19-16 in the third Test – differently, as the Boks look to successfully defend the title they won in 2019.

New Zealand were crowned winners in South Africa’s absence last year.

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