The Springboks And Wallabies Shared More Than Pain In Perth
There’s nothing worse than a draw.
The sensation of it is somewhere between surprise, confusion and the taste left in your mouth after being forced to kiss someone else’s baby.
During the post-match interviews South African captain Eben Etzebeth’s face resembled that of the lass from The Exorcist and one could hardly blame him for giving one-word answers while palming off yet another dollop of ridiculously constructed questions flung out by the Aussie commentators. It told the story of a Test match between two teams in very different stages of their attempts to rise from the ashes.
Australia should probably feel the most sheepish after almost causing the upset of the decade last weekend, only to fall flat against a disjointed Bok team. They had their boomerangs polished on both sides regarding territory and possession, yet failed to capitalise in a match that essentially was theirs for the taking. One can’t help but wonder exactly how many desperate calls Cheika has made to David Pocock this year, as the Wallabies are rather short on “on-field conviction” at the moment. Don’t get me wrong, Hooper handles himself well but he lacks that extra gear his old captain brought to the Wallaby-team.
South Africa on the other hand caught themselves off guard when faced with something a bit meatier than their recent French Affair and the currently stagnant force which is Argentina. The Boks looked disorganised in the loose-forwards and the halfbacks were more indecisive than the Brits during Brexit. For all of Jantjies’ flair, flash and fashion-sense he lacks the steadiness and consistency of a test fly-half, especially when put under decent pressure.
Problem is, it’s slim pickings at the moment. Allister Coetzee must be close to a mild stroke every time Elton sports a faint limp during a game and rumour has it he goes to sleep entombed in bubble-wrap. But seriously, the Boks are in an abyss of trouble at 10 with no tried and tested back-up for the Lions’ boy-wonder. The short-lived Curwin Bosch experiment seems to have been unceremoniously dumped onto the back burner and the rugby gods alone know what Handre Pollard will produce once he is free of injury long enough to be unleashed. Time will tell, and the only thing they can focus on now is the mountain of hard work to be completed before tackling the obnoxious toddler which is New Zealand in their own playpen. It’s going to be the shortest week in Allister Coetzee’s life, no doubt. Another pot of coffee, please!
Last but not least, Mr Glen Jackson, often hailed as the “best in the business” seems to have a unique personality trait in the sense that he gets annoyed, in reverse. After scolding both front rows, only four scrums into the match and with the mayhem continuing, he appeared to give up on rectifying the problem for the remainder of the match leaving us mere mortals flabbergasted.
Funny old world, isn’t it?