‘Attacking rugby won’t win World Cup’

Peter de Villiers believes the Springboks have the right template to win the World Cup and feels the All Blacks will falter if they favour an attacking brand.

The Crusaders have set the standard in the 2011 Super Rugby tournament with some enterprising displays. The stars of this team are likely to form the core of the All Blacks’ side, and New Zealand will employ a similar playing style.

The Springbok coach said on Wednesday that an overly attacking approach will result in disaster, and pointed out that past World Cups have been won by the best defensive teams. He suggested that the Boks would not stray from their current tactics, and even highlighted the Stormers’ game plan as one that could possibly win tournaments.

‘The Stormers have played one bad game [the defeat to the Reds], and in that game they failed to dominate up front. Otherwise they’ve done well to bully opponents, and Peter Grant has been outstanding at flyhalf.

‘They have something in common with the Crusaders. When they make a turnover, they make a lot of metres. That causes defences to scramble. The big defensive hits also create opportunities,’ said De Villiers, who forgets that the Stormers’ are the second-worst attacking team in the tournament with only 12 tries.

‘I am not worried [about New Zealand players like Williams]. As soon as somebody works him out, he won’t be as much a factor. I can’t wait to see him going up against Jean deVilliers. Then we will see if the boxer can box, and if the dancer can dance.’

De Villiers added that an attacking style would be difficult to maintain in a World Cup tournament that spans seven weeks.

‘It’s a risky game, and if you slip up once, you’re gone,’ he said. ‘Everybody wants entertaining rugby, but it’s not about entertainment, it’s about bringing home the trophy.

‘We know what we’re good at, and we plan to stick to it.’