- The Springboks remain steadfast in their belief that the only way to counter the Wallabies’ gamesmanship is to simply move on from it.
- As a result, the camp still isn’t commenting on Aussie No 9 Nic White’s theatrics that cost Faf de Klerk a controversial yellow card this past weekend.
- Stalwart prop Steven Kitshoff says the Boks are only focused on playing the hardest game within the law book and not taking “shortcuts”.
Having taken stock of this past weekend’s defeat in Adelaide, the Springboks maintain they will not be drawn into the Wallabies’ brand of gamesmanship ahead of Saturday’s rematch in Sydney.
While Dave Rennie’s charges were excellent in negating various strengths of the South Africans’ game, they also resorted to some sneaky tactics as well, notably scrumhalf Nic White’s theatrics after Bok counterpart Faf de Klerk meekly brushed him in the face.
At most, De Klerk’s errant interference warranted a penalty, but many believe referee Paul Williams gave a yellow card because of White’s reaction.
Frustrating, yes, but the Boks are only focused on moving on.
“It’s a difficult one,” stalwart prop Steven Kitshoff said on Monday.
“As a team, we never look for opportunities [to be opportunistic]. We want to play the game inside the law book with as much aggression, power and speed as possible.
“We never look for shortcuts in any way.”
In the end, Kitshoff argues, such ploys still represent a gamble because it’s down to how the men with the whistle perceive those incidents.
“What happens is that games are played where everyone is trying to gain the upper hand as much as possible and teams do so in different ways,” he said.
“In a situation like the weekend’s, it all comes down to a referees’ interpretations and the way they see things, the way the game is blown and the way play is panning out at that moment.
“For us, we don’t want to comment on the Aussies getting away with certain tricks or tactics. We just want to play a great Test match.”
Diplomatic assistant coach Deon Davids expressed a similar sentiment, pointing out that the only thing that matters is the Boks keeping their discipline.
“I wouldn’t like to elaborate on the referee’s decision or the incident. We just have to learn to get past those situations,” he said.
“We’re quite happy with the discipline of the team at this stage. I believe in terms of penalties conceded before this game, we actually have done so the least.
“We never try to do [questionable] things with intent. We’ve moved on from the incident and looking forward to the next challenge.”
The Springboks announce their team on Tuesday.