The Bools tackle at 82% vs 89% for the Canes.....and time and again there are clear overlaps with Hendricks in particular lined up on Umaga on several occasions.
The Sharks were worse....they tackle at 74 % vs the Brumbies 87%. There's the match right there.
And those stats don't even reflect devastating, unchallenged clean breaks like Powell's break and try.
Our tackling was sub standard and defensive alignment was pathetic, with literally no defence behind the breakdown several times.
Why is this happening to a nation that has always been top in defence? Because it's no longer valued.....it isn't sexy. Offloading is and we have got better at that. No forward in the game offloads better than RG Snyman. But we have lost more than we have gained......tackling, defensive alignment, setpiece dominance and the kick chase.
For us to be better than the Proteas at the WC we need to get the basics right.....particularly defence. We also need better selections.
The players who put their hands up today included:
Kriel who drifted nicely outside Umaga....for the Bools first try. But he remains a finisher only.
Hendricks who's scored two spectacular winger's tries with a body swerve à la Jannie Engelbrecht.
RG Snyman who is now our best 5 by some distance.
Vermeulen whose work on the deck kept us in the game.
And in the Sharks game Nkosi had an energetic game.
That's a total of 5 stand out players out of our 2 top teams. Not encouraging in a playoff style weekend.