SA need to tie these ‘kangaroos’ down ...
IF THE Springboks are to outwit and outplay the Wallabies in their Rugby Championship encounter at the nib Stadium in Perth today then they will have to ensure that they keep a close eye on the quartet of Michael Hooper, Will Genia, Kurtley Beale and Israel Folau,
Ngobeni. writes Vata
The four influential Australians showed the danger they will pose to the Springboks in their 35-29 loss against the All Blacks in Dunedin a fortnight ago, and if not kept in check, they have the ability to end the Boks’ fivematch winning streak.
Independent Media rugby writer Vata Ngobeni takes a closer look at the four Aussie dangermen. amongst the pack makes him extremely effective when the game opens up, and he is a disruptive figure at the breakdown. Hooper is at his best with ball in hand, looking for spaces amongst the forwards, and he provides the perfect linkman between the forwards and backs.
His size remains a disadvantage when compared to his peers on the flank in world rugby and he can become redundant in tighter and more physical games. The Springbok big men will do well to run at him all day as they are almost guaranteed to get over the advantage line.
He is one of the most intelligent rugby players on the planet and what he lacks in size and physical presence, he more than makes up for it with his superior rugby brain. Equipped with a solid pass and the ability to snipe around the rucks and do so with speed, Genia has shown a timely return to form that makes him a major threat to the Bok defence.
Just like many scrumhalves in world rugby, Genia is lethal on attack but is almost non-existent on defence, which will certainly be an area the Springboks will target.
A devastating ball carrier who isn’t scared to mix it up with the big boys. Beale’s strength comes from his ability to run into space and create that very space for his outside backs. He’s the heartbeat of the Aussie attack and having played flyhalf previously, he can vary his game with deft chips and grubbers.
The temperamental Beale blows hot and cold
and it is his lapses in concentration that make him vulnerable. Starve him of meaningful possession and half the job is done.
Don’t give him space, as he is dangerous when joining the backline at pace. His hefty and menacing frame usually takes more than one defender to take down, which sucks in opposition defenders. His superior aerial skills adds another dimension to the Wallabies’ attack and is a weapon the Australians will exploit against smaller wings like Courtnall Skosan and Raymond Rhule.
Folau doesn’t enjoy the dirty work that comes with tight matches and is often found flat-footed on defence. Like his team-mates who excel with ball in hand, Folau struggles to be relevant without possession.
KURTLEY BEALE ISRAEL FOLAU WILL GENIA MICHAEL HOOPER