It was a tough year for the Springboks. Something that the results of 7 wins from 12 can confirm. The 7 wins include 3 wins over England, 1 win over Australia, 1 win over Argentina and a win against each of Ireland and Scotland.
Having drawn the third test against an injury depleted England side in June, flying over now with our own spate of injuries and unsatisfactory Rugby Championship results, I’ll admit, I didn’t think we’d win even 1 match on tour. But the Springboks pulled it through and comes home with a clean slate on the tour of the UK. I’d guess congratulations is in order.
But none of the wins, save for the win against Australia at Loftus, was really something to get excited about. Uninspiring backline play with a lack of oomph! and creative skills was an earmark of this year’s campaign.
But a win is a win, be that by 1 point or by 20. In fact, the win results this year averages on a scoreline of 24-14. What Heyneke Meyer said earlier this year is that he’d rather take an ugly win over a pretty loss.
Considering the way the Springboks were playing this season though, focussing on forward dominance with the forwards hogging more than half the ball between them and the scrumhalf, is Heyneke not perhaps taking this “ugly win” thing a bit too far?