Jake White commended Peter de Villiers and the Springboks for their recent performances but believes they need to be more attacking in Australasia.
Speaking to The Mercury, White lauded the Boks for building on the structures that saw them capture the 2004 Tri-Nations and the 2007 World Cup.
It may have taken a year longer than expected, but the Boks are back where they belong.
‘By and large this Bok group has remained the same for the past six years,’ White told the newspaper, ‘It’s taken them that long to gel into the formidable unit that they now are, but it is very pleasing to see that they have achieved what I always knew they could become, that is the best team in the world.
‘Congratulations to Peter de Villiers, I am really happy for him. He has a wonderful record now that reads, played 19 won 14. It is a record any coach would want.
‘It is truly great that we have maintained – and built on – the respect we gained in 2007.’
In the 2009 Tri-Nations, the Boks have won three from three and will soon travel to Australasia to tackle the Wallabies twice and the All Blacks once. White believes the tournament is South Africa’s for the taking, but he’d like to see his old side scoring more tries.
‘We did a lot of kicking in the last three matches, but that is understandable. You can’t afford to take risks at home, so the conservative approach is justified. We played to our strengths, won the penalties and kicked the penalties,’ he said.
‘Overseas, however, we may need to be a little more daring to get the results going our way. We’re not going to be awarded as many penalties overseas as we were in the last three matches. It’s just the way it is.
‘The home team usually wins the penalty count, so the Boks are going to have to do a bit more than rely on Morne Steyn’s kicking boot. If the Boks can score two converted tries in each match and kick at least two penalties, that gives them 20 points.
‘Now even if that’s not enough to win the game, I doubt New Zealand and Australia have it in them to score 28 points against our defence. That means even if the Boks lose, they’ll be good enough to collect bonus points.’