Match to be steamed via SSS on Saturday 08 May 2021. Kick-off is at 11:45.
A 7-point plan for Roos to beat Gim:
- Lineout setpiece. While schoolboy set scrums are often friendly towards weaker teams, there is no getting away from poor lineout work. In a stop-start game, losing a few key lineouts can be a coach killer. It has even known to be fatal in some instances. So while Roos might want to borrow from the Garsfontein playbook versus Nelspruit to counter lineout maul drives, their main emphasis must be to make sure their own lineout is 100% on the money as near as possible to perfect. In SBR continuity is not that big. A lot of the good stuff comes from first phase possession. Good ball means a lot!
- Low tackles and holding turnovers. Gim are busy rewriting the book on how to be a successful SBR team for a couple of unique reasons. Amongst them is that they are not overly dependent on high tempo play. Their ability to muscle up in the gain-line winning collisions and recycle ball has been causing a lot of opponent attrition. You seldom see a Gimmie being dominated in contact, separated from his support players or pinged for holding. It all seems to stem from the strength their players possess on their feet. In-form flank Corne Beets is the one who best defines this ability at present. Like many of his teammates, he’s not about the explosive x-factor stuff but rather the efficiency and precision at the impacts. So he engages the defence, often drawing the attention of more than one defender, yet stays upright for an extra second or two longer, while making the go-forward hard yards and allowing Gim to have another go from the next phase. Common to SBR is that the percentage chance of winning holding penalties and steals off the ground increases as the PD’s and tight loose driving grow in number. However when it comes to Gim, opponents struggle to get into breakdown effective positions or isolate their ball-carriers. What the Paul Roos defence cannot afford to do, is try to take on Gim with upper body strength. Rather drop the shoulder a lot lower and make it the mission to get the attacker on the deck ASAP. Yes it might result in more opportunities to offload in contact but it’s worth it to go there in terms of game planning. Couple this with slower rolling away and a very aggressive pilfering strategy immediately after the tackle, to get the ball or at the very least slow the Gim retention game right down.
- Linespeed. It’s no secret the Gim flyhalf is making all the right decisions and bossing the game in the process. His centre pairing are Gib and Raltar. Rock solid. Time seems to slow down when they are in possession. Their pass completion rate is extremely high and their reading of play is sharp. Let’s not mention how effective they are on D. Anyways PRG need to get after the young 10. Put him under pressure like he has not felt this season so far. Do everything to shake the confidence of a known dictator. Outside him aim to do the same. Rush the centres. Smother them. Don’t give them any space.
- Attack speed. The Boland Landbou game suggested that PRG forwards will not pull off too many big plays. The Maroon Machine line is however a very different prospect. Able to operate at incredible speed, they are quite possibly faster than anything Gim has had to defend against so far in 2021. To have pacey backs with hands capable of making accurate passes while moving at full tilt still ranks as the best asset a team can have at SBR level.
- Creative lines and understanding. Like mentioned above Gim are unique and defence is setting them apart. Predicable moves might backfire badly. PRG has to realise that defence could quite easily become a Gim attacking weapon as they have heavy set schoolboys stretched across the park. So the Maroons need elements of surprise. The support running lines they picked, the unexpected and unlikely passes they make and the short kicks they employ might be too high a hurdle to coach this up in less talented backline but Roos can go there and be successful.
- Freshness. Paul Roos has played one match in the same period that Gim played three. There’s a good argument to be made that more early season time on the field together will be a positive for Gim’s cohesion and match fitness. Focusing on the positive for the Stellenbosch faithful, their team are bound to be carrying a lot fewer niggles and other sports science staff attended to body parts.
- Familiarity. Paul Roos has now had amble opportunity to study Gim and put together a comprehensive data pack on their strengths and whatever weaknesses only experienced coaching eyes are able to detect. Plus it was footage generated by proper video production teams at festivals. By comparison for current analysis to go on, Gim possibly only has the Boland Landbou school production match from a few weeks ago.