Using Schalk Burger, Lood de Jager and Jean de Villiers as the battering rams against Japan should have worked in theory.
“Moer hulle” upfront and gaps would eventually appear out wide for the speedsters Bryan Hababa and Lwazi Mvovo.
Trouble is that the Japanese stood firm against the frontal assault and the Springbok backline was never in the game. Habana didn’t even get one decent chance and there was no Plan B on the table for the Boks.
Part of the problem lay in the mid field. Bok captain Jean de Villiers looked like a player coming back from a long injury enforced lay off and no opportunities were created on his outside.
In fact all de Villiers did was break the game line on a few occasions before going to ground and waiting for Burger and company to support him.
The best centre combination for the Boks in 2015 has been Damian de Allande and Jesse Kriel. And therein lays a major problem for Heneke Meyer.
Will he be able to drop his captain, re-unite De Allande and Kriel and risk altering the fabric of the Bok team by having a non playing captain in their midst?
A possible solution would be to play De Allande from the beach and give him at 35 minutes to play. But, what if that is too late?
Another option would be to move de Villiers to 13 and play Jesse Kriel from the bench.
There is no doubt things will improve when Fourie Du Preez starts at scrum half. Ruan Pienaar was probably under instruction to serve the ball to the big men to batter their way over the advantage line against the Japs.
When Du Preez came on, he brought an edge that had been missing. There was a faster and more accurate delivery from the base of the scrum and for awhile it looked like the Boks where going to take control against the Brave Blossoms.
It seems the flyhalf berth is still open and if Handre Pollard takes his opportunities, he could still end up being the no 10 come quarterfinal time – should the Boks make it that far.
Fullback is another dilemma for Heneke Meyer. Why Willie le Roux was dropped is anybody’s guess and he was missed against the Japanese. Will Meyer continue with his selection of Zane Kirchner? Time alone will tell.
Here is a form based Springbok team that could play against Samoa on Saturday:
15: Willie Le Roux
14: Lwazi Mvovo
13: Jean de Villiers
12: Damian de Allande
11: Bryan Habana
10: Pat Lambie
9: Fourie du Preez
8: Schalk Burger (captain)
7: Siya Kolisi (assuming Willem Alberts is injured)
6: Francois Louw
5: Lood de Jager
4: Eben Etsebeth
3: Jannie du Plessis
2: Bismarck du Plessis
1: Beast Mtawarira
16: Adriaan Strauss
17: Trevor Nkakane
18: Coenie Oostuizen
19: Victor Matfield
20: Duane Vermeulen
21: Ruan Pienaar
22: Handre Pollard
23: Jesse Kriel