The Art of the Long Dart

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Mar 19, 2023, 13:32

There have been some tries in the past couple of weeks where Ireland and France really showed off their ability to find runners with very long passes. Accurate passes. It's left me wondering how far we are in the arms race to match this capability. At present, amongst the starters we know Erasmus will favour, we do not possess this long-range capability. Even our short-range passing is weak. Of our 9s, Reinach is the most accurate, along with Hendrickse, but even they are not strong long-range passers. It seems Faf will be the favourite to start, but his short and long-range passing has never been more than a shade below average. Accuracy was not what his game was about, after all, being Januarie 2.0. Esterhuizen is a great distributor, but who else do we have who can free up those back three? There are a lot of new players on the scene who I am not familiar with, so I am interested to know who we have who can step in and give us greater variety in our passing game. 

Mar 19, 2023, 13:54

Passing the footie is not part of what SA rugby bring.

Mar 19, 2023, 14:02

I think Libok is a candidate and Willie can also stick some good ones….AM, Pollard and Willemse is not to bad either….Esterhuisen if given time to settle properly @ 12, can distribute and put players in to space better than DDA….Rassie will most probably go with DDA as he suites there Game plan better.

Mar 19, 2023, 14:35

Willie is far and away the best distributor the Boks have. But, we need some connection between him and the midfield. He played his best rugby when we had Morné. Those long bullet passes put Willie right in the face of the edge defender and he was able to wreak havoc. Right now, Willie is a deep-lying player and his influence is minimal as a result. His numbers under Erasmus are quite low. Pollard is the only good passer we have at halfback. I don't think his long range passing is any special, not as good as Morné, but he can do the job. I haven't seen much of Am with long range passing. His offloading and short range passing are usually very good. I don't rate Willemse at all, and he actually had a lot of handling issues last season. His skills aren't very good. Better than Damian, but not good enough. Libbok is a question mark for me. I haven't seen him really unleash an attack against a good defence. I have never seen him lead at attack as a starter. I think Pollard is still the premier Bok 10, even playing below his potential. Jantjies has a phenomenal range of passes, but is not reliable enough. What other new names are there that we can look at? Where is Saffex when we need a list of names? 

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