What will make South Africa lose out on a World Cup? There are a couple of reasons why this might happen.
The Springboks have the most brutal set of forward on the planet at the moment and when they are firing they crush the opposition at lineouts, scrums, rucks, and mauls.
In recent times they have also developed a really creative back 3 that can rip apart defenses.
They do however have a couple of hurdles to overcome that can stop them from getting to a final and should they get there, stop them from winning:
- Goal kicking – In the 2019 World Cup, Handre Pollard was kicking like a machine. He looks to be getting back to health but is only on the backup list for the World Cup. Manie Libbok kicked brilliantly for the Stormers but has had a few under-par performances for the Springboks and those missed kicks can and probably will cost South Africa in vital matches.
- Missing personnel – Lood de Jager, Handre Pollard, and Lukhanyo Am are huge omissions from the squad. Lood de Jager usually racks up the most tackles in the team around the rucks to go with his good work in the lineouts. Handre Pollard is both the vice-captain and a dependable kicker. Lukhanyo Am is however a key piece in the Springbok backline both running the defense and the creative spark that allows that exciting back 3 to shine.
- 80 minutes of concentration – Over the years the Springboks have gotten better at this but they still let themselves down at times. They can be utterly dominant but then have times when they are just flat. This has allowed many teams to come back at them and grab wins, especially the All Blacks.
I hope they have solid answers for those areas to ensure they advance through the pool, quarters, and semis but it will be an uphill battle.