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Springboks great Joel Stransky admits he feels ‘deeply sorry’ for South Africa’s backs

South Africa

Springboks legend Joel Stransky has said he feels “deeply sorry” for South Africa’s backs due to the “terrible” game plan they play under.

Reigning world champions South Africa have come under plenty of criticism for their set-piece and kicking-oriented style of play in recent months, which has become heightened following two consecutive losses to Australia.

South Africa stuck to the game plan against Australia that worked well against the British and Irish Lions, but found little success as they rarely troubled the Wallabies’ defence.

World Cup-winning fly-half Joe Stransky was speaking on New Zealand radio station Gold AM and criticised the game plan which sees South Africa’s backline players given few opportunities to show off their attacking talents.

Joel Stransky on the Springboks’ game plan.

“I feel deeply sorry for Handre Pollard and the backs. They just get the dregs. They don’t get any ball to play with, they just kick and chase. It’s a terrible game plan for them,” Stransky said.

“If we are going to beat the All Blacks, we’ve got to use the outside backs. We’ve got great backs. Damian de Allende is a great passer of the ball and we’ve never seen him pass. He’s big, strong and powerful and sucks defenders in.

“Lukhanyo Am runs great lines and is a skilful outside centre and we’ve got speed on the outside and Willie le Roux is a smart fullback.

“I would love to see us use our forwards to carry it up, get a bit of go-forward and then use the width of the field. We are just so predictable in the way we go about things. We are bad at running the ball because we never do it.”

The Springboks get set to face the All Blacks.

While the Springboks did attempt to run the ball more in their second game against Australia than in any other match this year, they rarely looked dangerous in attack.

Although the backs certainly got the ball in their hands on a more regular basis, they were unable to come up with many ideas, and usually just shipped the ball out wide without making much ground.

South Africa have often relied on the sensational Cheslin Kolbe to offer some spark in attack, but the diminutive winger missed the two games against Australia due to injury and is again unavailable for Saturday’s match against New Zealand.

Head coach Jacques Nienaber has made just two changes to his starting team that lost against Australia last weekend, with both of those changes being made in the forwards.

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