Handre Pollard rejects jibes claiming the Springboks’ tactics are ‘boring’

Springboks No10 Handre Pollard has defended South Africa’s ‘boring’ tactics, insisting their abrasive style is a thing of beauty.

The world champions are preparing to launch their heavyweight bomb squad against the Lions on Saturday, with a game plan to outmuscle the tourists.

Former coach Peter de Villiers described the strategy as ‘very boring’, but the South Africa camp are not setting out to win any plaudits for style.

Springboks No10 Handre Pollard has defended claims that South Africa’s tactics are ‘boring’

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‘For me, it’s the most beautiful thing in the world… apart from my wife,’ said Pollard. 

‘It’s the way we were brought up and for me personally, it’s a thing of beauty. Throwing a ball around is nice for the people watching on TV, but for me it’s beautiful.

‘I don’t think it’s a big secret, what’s coming.

‘Two sides who play pretty similar games and it’s going to come down to physicality, set-pieces and the basics. It always comes back to that when it’s big Test match rugby.’

Rival No 10 Dan Biggar knows what to expect. The Lions are ready to ‘bar up’ and neutralise the physical siege to give themselves the best chance of opening the series with a victory.

Rival No 10 Dan Biggar says they know what to expect when they take on their opponents

‘We’d all take the style of play they play if we could end up with a World Cup winner’s medal at the end of it,’ said Biggar. ‘They’re heavily reliant on the set-piece, they’re heavily reliant on getting on the front foot in terms of their forward carriers, in particular off nine.

‘You know you’re going to be in a kicking battle when you play South Africa. The amount of kicks on Saturday is going to be pretty high with how they play and what they want you to do.

‘They want you to make errors in your own half to allow them to have territory and get into their power game. You kind of know everything they’re about to throw at you, but it’s very difficult if they do it well or you lose a couple of collisions.

‘Everyone who plays against South Africa knows what they’re going to present. It’s just making sure you’re physical and patient enough to stick in there.’

However, the Springboks could go into the opening game without World Cup-winning captain Siya Kolisi.

The Springboks could go into their opening game without captain Siya Kolisi after he tested positive for Covid-19

He was among a group of players who tested positive for Covid-19 and is still awaiting clearance from a specialist to take part.

‘We wouldn’t do anything stupid,’ said Springboks assistant Mzwandile Stick.

‘We’re hoping to get good news but if not we’ve got great players in our squad.

‘Even if Siya is not fit to play, we trust the other guys in that position.

‘We’ve got great leaders in our team. Handre Pollard has been our vice-captain for a while. A guy like Lukhanyo Am can lead a team. Eben Etzebeth, Bongi Mbonambi, Steven Kitshoff.

‘If Siya is not fit, we know we’ve got players who can do that job.’

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