THE Springboks need desperately to rally and get five points in their game against the Wallabies down in Cape Town this weekend to ensure a final showdown clash at Ellis Park the following week for the Rugby Championship title.
After their game against New Zealand the Boks can consider themselves very unlucky, being on the wrong side of poor decisions made by the referee.
Romain Poite needs to have professional referee training so he can actually referee the game in the right manner.
The tackle on Dan Carter was clearly legal and Poite did go to the television match official (TMO), but he did not ask George Ayoub to look at Bismarck du Plessis's tackle.
Therefore Ayoub could not question the referee's decision and said there was no foul play in the incident. I think Bok captain Jean de Villiers should have asked the referee calmly, "Are you sure, referee? Can we just see it on the big screen to make sure?"
That is where the captain of a team should be able to interfere and ask for the TMO's decision on any particular incident during a match and especially a match of this importance. What also makes me even more angry as a loyal Springbok supporter is that this isn't the first time a referee has made a wrong decision.
It has happened three times this year already for the Boks, the first coming in the Samoa match with the Samoan fullback guilty of foul play by grabbing Adriaan Strauss's testicles. This is absolutely unacceptable in any professional sport and he got away with it.
The player should be cited and banned for up to a year.
The second incident was in Mendoza where Argentina were guilty of biting and eye-gouging Springbok players and De Villiers said to referee Steve Walsh that they wanted the benefit in the game, not after the game.
Walsh did try consulting the TMO but couldn't get contact. He could have at least tried somehow to reach him with the touch judges, even if it took time.
In a test match of this quality we need the correct decision today. We have the technology and it is there to be used.
After the Auckland game, TV commentators Nick Mallet and John Mitchell were spot-on with their comments and really gave their own opinions. This is needed more to help persuade officials to change rules, because that's coming from former coaches who analyse these matches.
Then I think the Boks need to make a couple of changes to the current squad, especially in the front row and scrumhalf positions, if we are to secure five points at Newlands. Fourie du Preez must come in for the out of form Ruan Pienaar.
Jannie du Plessis must go. Anyone but him can be in the team, because the number of penalties and errors he makes in a match are so crucial it costs us dearly.
The Boks must also look at 2009 for inspiration – we played excellent rugby in that year and we won the Tri-Nations because we had a very well balanced squad, our forwards were great and the backline was attacking.
We seemed to use drop goals more back then than we do now and three points in front of the posts can be the difference between a win and a loss so that must be considered in the Bok game plan. The Boks must give Pat Lambie a chance at flyhalf because he deserves it. Siya Kolisi also deserves a chance – both have been in solid form this season so I would give them a go against the Aussies.
It is such a pity that we have a lot of our players injured and overseas at the moment. I think the Boks are missing Frans Steyn – his long range penalties have won us matches in the past – and also Andries Bekker in the lineouts, although we have been solid in that area.
One player though I think Heyneke Meyer must consider building towards the 2015 World Cup is Rory Kockett. His form has been excellent.
I was watching him play for Castres the other day and he nailed a drop goal from 50m out. He is super quick around the rucks, plus his ball distribution is quick and sharp.
He must be considered because we need another scrumhalf of his quality for 2015.
The clash between the Boks and All Blacks at Ellis Park is going to be massive, but hopefully we can capture the title for the first time since 2009.
Matthew McKechnie, Grade 9 pupil at Pearson High School, Port Elizabeth