Ox back for the Boks

Ox back for the Boks

Jacques Nienaber has made five changes to the starting team from last week. Jessie Kriel replaces the injured and banned Kurt-Lee Arendse, Jaden Hendrikse starts and Herschel Jantjies for the concussed Faf de Klerk. Additionally Duane Vermeulen has demoted Jasper Wiese to the bench, Joseph Dweba starts in place of Bongi Mbonambi (out with a injury sustained in training), Malcolm Marx moves back to the bench and Ox Nche starts at loosehead for Trevor Nyakane who drops out of the squad.

Probably the only worrying statistic for the Boks is the 25 missed tackles against an All Black team that did not have a lot of good ball. Fortunately the swarming Bok defense (and some wayward All Black passes) could make up for mistakes from team mates, but the Boks will have to improve in this area.

This is not a Bok team that will dazzle with complicated back line moves but when they on top of their game they suffocate the life out of other teams through set piece domination, mostly brutal defense, breakdown aggression and the ability to use their kick chase as an advantage (provided the kicks and the chase are spot on and the opposition struggle to take the high kicks).

The Boks did try to play more ball in hand rugby especially in the first 15 minutes of the game, but did not really threaten the All Black defense in any significant way. The Boks tries both came from exploiting of All Black mistakes (one from Barrett messing up a high kick), and I doubt very much the Boks will deviate from the plan to pressure the All Blacks and capitalize on errors.

15 Damian Willemse, 14 Jesse Kriel, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Ox Nche.
Subs: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Jasper Wiese, 21 Kwagga Smith, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Willie le Roux.

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