Pollard hits back at ex-Bok coach over 'boring' style
Flyhalf Handre Pollard has defended his team’s playing style after former Springboks head coach Peter de Villiers labelled the current style of play ‘boring’, also saying the side doesn’t do enough to use the talents of World Cup hero Cheslin Kolbe in a wide-ranging interview earlier this week with the Daily Mail.
When pressed over the comments by De Villiers at training this week, flyhalf Handre Pollard said he loves the Springbok style, calling it ‘the most beautiful thing’.
De Villiers, who coached the side to a 2-1 series win over the British & Irish Lions in 2009, said that no one would copy the ‘very, very boring’ style which is built around ‘suffocating’ and defending.
“The Springboks are the world champions, and we all are grateful for that. But I don’t think people will copy that style of play,” De Villiers told the Daily Mail.
“Firstly, it’s very boring. Does it give you results? Definitely, but it’s very, very boring.
“We suffocate people with our bulk, and then we base our whole game plan around defending, defending, defending. Instead of creating, creating, creating.
The former Springbok coach also went on to highlight how underutilised Cheslin Kolbe is, a once-in-a-generation talent that doesn’t get enough opportunities due to the way they play. He theorised that if schoolboys had to play like that, few would be interested in the game.
Pollard though, had a differing view, saying the way they play now is because they have ‘been brought up’ that way through the South African system. He said that ‘throwing the ball around’ is nice for TV viewers, but he was happy with their style.
“Why do we accept playing like that? It’s the way we’ve been brought up,” Pollard said at the Springboks media session.
“To me, it’s the most beautiful thing … apart from my wife. That’s the way we play. Throwing the ball around is nice for people watching on TV, but to me the way we play as the Springboks is a thing of beauty.”
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