Within the buildup to subsequent week’s Rugby Championship conflict between the Springboks and All Blacks at Mbombela Stadium, DYLAN JACK previews the battle of the halfbacks.
Handre Pollard vs Beauden Barrett
After a troublesome remaining season with French giants Montpellier, Pollard made a profitable return to the Bok No 10 jersey, scoring a attempt to having fun with an ideal sport off the kicking tee in Cape City to steer South Africa to a sequence win over Wales.
Pollard has been the first-choice flyhalf within the Erasmus-Nienaber period and, with a few video games underneath his belt, the World Cup winner must be again to his finest in opposition to New Zealand.
🗣 “Kalika on this place”
Handre Pollard goes over for the primary strive of the match and converts.
🇿🇦 10-0 🏴
— SuperSport 🏆 (@SuperSportTV) July 16, 2022
The fly-half will likely be trying to make it two from two when South Africa welcome Wales to Bloemfontein on Saturday pic.twitter.com/R4zm31ohpA
— World Rugby (@WorldRugby) July 8, 2022
Barrett reclaimed the No 10 jersey after returning to New Zealand from a brief sabbatical in Japan in 2021. The 30-year-old was one of many few All Blacks who got here out of the sequence defeat by Eire with credit score, as his tactical kicking and eye for a possibility stored New Zealand within the contest regardless of issues going fallacious round him.
With over 100 Check caps to his identify, the participant who has so usually been the Boks’ nemesis prior to now will as soon as once more be regarded upon to spark a dysfunctional backline.
Faf de Klerk vs Aaron Smith
So usually a key a part of the Springbok tactical sport, De Klerk was oddly off-colour in the course of the current Wales sequence and misplaced his place because the beginning scrumhalf to rookie Jaden Hendrikse within the third and decisive Check.
The 30-year-old, who not too long ago accomplished a transfer to Japan, performs like a Jack Russell terrier at his finest and will likely be anticipated to trouble the All Blacks on defence and inject some liveliness into the Bok assault.
Smith is probably the most capped scrumhalf in New Zealand’s historical past and broadly considered the most effective passers of a rugby ball on this planet. His accuracy with ball in hand and eye for a spot helped the All Blacks thump Eire within the opening Check of the sequence, earlier than the Irish bought clever to New Zealand’s techniques and tailored within the remaining two Checks.
The 33-year-old has confronted the Springboks 17 instances in his profession, profitable 13 of these Checks. Smith has the flexibility to unlock even the perfect defences, so the Springboks must be cautious of his expertise and know-how.
Picture: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Photographs