THE Springboks needed to win with a bonus point against the All Blacks on Saturday, but the emphasis is on win! So when playing a top quality side like the All Blacks, you take every point you can get.
Jean de Villiers did the right thing when the Bokke got their first kickable penalty, went for poles and put three points on the board. But then they seemed to lose respect for the All Blacks and get overconfident as their next two kickable penalties were passed up by rather going for touch, which saw them get no points from both attempts.
Not only did they throw away six points, but the mind game and momentum changed because of this. Against world class quality sides a win is by the narrowest of margins, by one or two points, so when playing a top quality side like the All Blacks, you've got ensure the game plan is first to go for the win, then the bonus point.
The moment the scoreboard starts ticking against the All Blacks, they begin to be rattled and they are world famous for coughing up penalties in their own 22. So the game plan must be to capitalise on this via kicks at goal.
First rattle them and get ahead. They cough up more and more penalties, and just keep punishing them with converted penalty kicks.
Secondly, the first half hooter blows and the Bokke make the decision to attack the best defensive side in the world from within their own 22, and yes, the All Blacks turn it over and score a try to finish the first half with a massive psychological blow to the Boks. That brings up the next topic: the number of turnovers conceded was far too high and as sublime as the pass was from Francois Louw to Bryan Habana for his try, Louw was not up to it against this quality side.
We need a game breaker, a game changer for a fetcher and he is not it! We need someone like Heinrich Brussouw.
Bismark du Plessis, as good as he is, does not have a style of play as a game changer for winning the attack at the breakdown either. Chilliboy Ralapele is arguably the best attacker of the ball at the breakdown for hookers, and needs to play the first 60 minutes and then Adriaan Straus the last 20 minutes.
But Louw and Du Plessis will cost us the World Cup. The Bokke need speed, and game changers and game breakers for their fetcher and hooker positions to meet our style of play or we lose against the All Blacks.
The pack of forwards needs to be leaner and fitter. They were not keeping up either with the speed of the game against the All Blacks and hence defensively the holes opened up for the All Blacks in both halves.
They had two yellow cards and still our pack of forwards struggled.
Our No13 defensively is very shaky! Fourie du Preez only manages 60 minutes – after this his legs are finished.
Then Jano Vermaak should be his replacement – his speed and agility is far superior to Ruan Pienaar's, there's no competition actually as Vermaak is the obvious choice! Butch James is still the best flyhalf out there, second to Daniel Carter and his goal-kicking is now very reliable.
He should be a replacement for Morne Steyn, who has his off days.
Steyn also struggles towards the end in the last 20 minutes against the quality sides, and is not a visionary flyhalf or an attacking flyhalf.
In the game the previous weekend against the Wallabies, there were massive spaces in the last 20 minutes behind the Wallaby backline in their 22. They just needed a high up and under or through ball or a grubber and bang, and it would've been try time.
Steyn did it once with Zane Kirchner feeding the catch to Patrick Lambie for a try and once out of how many other opportunities that went begging. But Steyn lacks these visionary skills, it's just here and there he seizes these opportunities.
James is brilliant on attack and a visionary flyhalf, his mental strength feeds the rest of the team and he doesn't get rattled, he is so strong. Steyn was rattled on Saturday and if it wasn't for his goal kicking he would struggle to get selected.
So play him for the first 20 to 60 minutes, see how it goes, then make sure to bring on James. The Bokke need his mental strength and his visionary abilities, there's no doubt about it – the Steyn and James combo will be solid!
Kirchner and Lambie should compete for the No15, but for me, Lambie with a bit more experience and confidence will be the world's best full back and reminds me of Andre Joubert!
So De Villiers needs to keep his thinking cap on and not do daft things like on the first half hooter from within the Boks' 22, trying to attack the best team in the world, seeing a turnover conceded and a try conceded against us. Go for the win first.
We need some changes or the World Cup will go begging, and this team with a coach like Heyneke Meyer should take it!
So I'm glad in a way we lost on Saturday night, to expose what needed to be exposed for the sake of winning the World Cup!
Adrian de Villiers, Port Elizabeth