The Test series is won by the mighty Springboks. There were never any doubt that we would be able to beat the English in the last two tests to clinch the series, because of the small amount of preparation time for new coach Heyneke Meyer & new captain Jean de Villiers. But we have managed to do so already in the first two tests in front of a packed stadium of just over 60,000 supporters with a 36 – 27 win and 4 tries scored against 3 and the Springboks now making it 10 wins in a row against the old northern hemisphere rival. With the last game to be played next weekend at Nelson Mandela Stadium.
The first half of rugby was something to behold with a spectacular team effort and brilliant individual play and really taking the English on upfront and in the loose, our breakdown work was exceptional, providing quick ball for Hougaardt to feed the back line on the front foot. The momentum did however shift back to English in the second half and they were really determined to claw their way back into the game. It was tense moments as you could see some of the Super Rugby fatique setting in, then finally, JP Pietersen with a remarkable display of his running ability, putting us on the front foot deep in the English half to set up another attacking opportunity, that gave us the breathing space to close out the game.
The All Blacks & Wallabies suffered a bit against their opposition, both only securing their victories on fulltime. It must also be said that the Springboks have sent a warning to our old Southern Hemisphere rivals for the upcoming 4 Nations Rugby Championship that we mean business. Even though we faded a bit, there were definitely glimpses of what we can do as a team going forward and building for the future.
However, there are some injury concern that we picked up in the game, Patrick Lambie (ankle), Juandre Kruger (neck) & Willem Alberts (knee), will most probably be assessed during the course of the day and Frans Steyn also set to miss the last Test as his wedding will be taking place, so a possible 4 enforced changes to the starting lineup for Saturday’s final test match. With Juandre Kruger almost definitely ruled out, will cause some headaches for the Boks, as Franco van der Merwe, probably the most suited to fill in for him. The other possible selections or call ups might be for Juan De Jongh at centre as well as Gio Aplon at fullback, but Heyneke will probably opt to give Wynand Olivier a start. Wynand really looked lost when he took the field and really has never produced any great performance for the Boks. It should still be a cracker, but hopefully we wont lose to many of our starting XV.
A very well done must go to the Baby Boks for making it to the Final of the IRB Junior World Champs. They once again played a really good game and its exciting to see a couple of the youngsters coming through the ranks, with Steven Kitshoff, William Small-Smith & Jan Serfontein just to name a few. Goodluck for the preparation for the final against the Junior All Blacks. This is going to be a great game, make sure you don’t miss the action, could go either way…