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'Simple, negative, boring' - Little honour for Boks claims ex-Scotland coach

By Ian Cameron
Franco Mostert /PA

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Former Scotland head coach Matt Williams has lambasted the Springboks style of play and was equally critical of British & Irish Lions boss Warren Gatland for attempting to ape their ‘simple, negative, boring’ approach to rugby.


The Springboks claimed a series victory last night, bagging a 19 – 16 win over the tourists, who were leading for much of the contest.

Writing in the Irish Times before yesterday’s decider, Williams correctly predicted the Springboks would win the game but said there would be little honour in a series win for either side.

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Williams says that the Lions are making the same mistake that the Australian rugby union brain’s trust have made over recent decades, which saw coaches mirroring the gameplan of the New Zealand teams on the other side of the Tasman.

“Regrettably, Warren Gatland has guided the Lions down the same dead-end path that the Australians took. The Lions game plan is failing because it is a copy of the Springboks.

“For over 25 years the Springboks have mastered a game plan with a simple formula. Select a powerful punter who will kick the ball into the opposition half. Forge a dominant forward pack that will scrummage and maul their opponents off the park. Select a goal kicker with a success rate of 90 per cent plus. Then add a bucket of supreme physicality and bash anything not wearing a green jersey. A simple, negative, boring, yet highly effective strategy.”

Williams correctly predicted the Lions would lose the third Test in Cape Town, by trying match the Springboks at their own game.


“The current Lions game plan that consists solely of physicality and kicking, is trying and failing to “out Bok the Boks”. Without major tactical change, the Lions will fail in the third Test because the Springboks do the mindless physical stuff better than any other team in the world.

“South Africa should out-bash, out-kick, out-trashtalk and out-intimidate both the Lions and the officials.

“There will be little honour for whoever wins. The world has viewed this series as a regrettable and grubby event, in which both the Lions and the Springboks have done rugby a grave disservice.”



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