"7-1 Split" South African Flanker Believes Unusual Springboks Bench could Return at Rugby World Cup - Ruck

“7-1 Split” South African Flanker Believes Unusual Springboks Bench could Return at Rugby World Cup

South Africa surprised the rugby world with their unusual yet effective tactic, in their record 35-7 victory over the All Blacks last Friday night at Twickenham. The Springboks opted for a new-look replacements bench of seven forwards and just one back, which proved to be an effective tool to tackle New Zealand.

South African flanker Dan du Preez discussed that Springboks fans should expect to see that tactic return in France, following the resounding success it brought against Ian Foster’s side. This 28-point deficit is the All Blacks’ heaviest defeat in their history, with the emphatic statement sending shockwaves throughout the rugby landscape, less than two weeks to the competition.

“The Boks decided at the eleventh hour on Friday evening to replace Willie le Roux, who struggled with a knock, with Kwagga Smith on the bench,” wrote Du Preez for South African outlet Rapport.

“We saw a 7-1 bench for the first time … and how it worked! This is the first time I have seen it. The way we play, and the fact that we put such a big onus on set piece, could be the reasons why the Boks might also follow that route in the World Cup.

“Having worked with Rassie Erasmus and Jacques Nienaber, it doesn’t surprise me when they try new things. When they chose a 6-2 bench at the last World Cup, pundits said they were crazy, and look how well it worked. They don’t come up with plans just for the fun of it. They know what they are doing.”

Cobus Reinach was the sole back on the bench, for the one-sided victory over the All Blacks. The replacement Springboks on the history making day were; Bongi Mbonambi (hooker), Ox Nche, Trevor Nyakane (both props), Jean Kleyn, RG Snyman (both locks), Marco Van Staden, Kwagga smith (both back row), Cobus Reinach (scrum half).