Bok backline eager to shine again in England clash.. The Springbok backline has enjoyed a solid UK tour so far, putting in huge defensive shifts in their opening two games, and they will be looking to take that momentum into their final match of the year against England at Twickenham on Saturday.
Key to their performances on their end-of-year tour to date has been the backline’s defensive form and stealing ability, with some impressive breakdown work having been done against Wales and Scotland over the past two weeks.
Outside centre Lukhanyo Am is one of the main backline players to get stuck in at the rucks, with one of his steals leading to a try for wing Makazole Mapimpi last weekend, while inside centre Damian de Allende and Mapimpi himself both frequently try to pilfer the ball when given the chance.
“We are doing a lot of hard work on defence, creating those opportunities to go for the steal, and we have managed to capitalise on turnover attack and we scored two beautiful tries (against Scotland). So it has become one of our strengths and we will keep on working on it,” said Am.
Also important this weekend will be the Boks’ discipline on defence, with referees being very strict on the high tackle rule, which they will need to be keenly aware of and make sure that they do not make any major errors which could see them punished with a possible card.
“With our style of defence, going high, we work a lot on level change and trying to go for legs, but at times in the outside channels it is kind of reactive (the tackle), where you try to reach out for an attacker,” explained Am.
“But I think as a team, defensively, we work really hard on level changing and tackling low.”
With a pretty inexperienced England side lining up against them this weekend, the Bok backline will be eager to continue their impressive work on defence and at the breakdown, to help their side claim a clean sweep and end the year on a high.
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