Rugby World Cup: Stransky says confidence key for first fives

Former Springbok Joel Stransky. Photo / Getty Images
Former Springbok Joel Stransky. Photo / Getty Images

Former Springbok player Joel Stransky has shed some light on the Wallabies' and All Blacks' first five-eighth problems.

Stransky, who scored the match-winning drop-goal against the All Blacks in the 1995 World Cup final, told Radio Sport he has some sympathy for the Wallabies backs after the performance against Ireland on the weekend.

"I always feel for the Nines and Tens, because Will Genia is also attracting a bit of stick.

"The loss of Pocock was a huge loss to them, and they never really competed for the ball. Quade Cooper is a player who needs to be on the front foot [to play well]. But to be fair, I dont know one Number 10 who could have played well [with a front row performance like that]."

On the All Blacks' first five-eighth situation, Stransky said he was grateful not to be in the shoes of the selectors. The back-up option for Dan Carter has been under some scrutiny, but he said it is important to choose a player in the right frame of mind.

"I think you've got to go with the guy who's the most confident and that would be Piri Weepu for me. The consequence of having a Number 10 going pear shaped in a tight game is usually defeat."

Stransky was full of praise for the All Blacks following the convincing win over Japan in Hamilton, saying the home side did everything that was asked of them.

On his own country's chances, he said there may have been a point to Pieter de Villiers' controversial Springbok rotation during the Tri Nations.

"But I think it's probably too early to say. There's no doubt that it was a marked improvement [against Fiji]. It was a more all-round, complete performance.

"We'll only know how good [the win] was when it comes to the good teams."

- Herald Online

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