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by djp

The curse of the Boks’ success!!!

June 21, 2010 in Uncategorized

This morning I read another dude’s blog about how good we got it as a Springbok rugby team & fans. Our team is unbeaten in 3 wins & we’re the envy of many international teams when you look at our depth in many key positions.

But this is all yada-yada-yada for me because lets be honest, we haven’t achieved anything so far this year on the international circuit. Yeah going to Wales and beating them without 9 or 10 of the guys that started the test where we beat NZ in NZ to claim the tri-nations last year was pretty cool, not impressive, but cool. And yeah beating a French team comprehensively in Cape Town will put a smile on any Bok fan’s face (and a beer in his hand) but I’m sorry to say,considering the form of the guys that played, that was expected of the Boks. If you consider all the international trophies and competitions (super 14 included) we’ve won these last couple of years, then we should be able to beat Wales & Italy regardless of who puts on the Bok jersey and we should be able to beat a French team at home. That’s it, no sugar coating needed!!

The REAL tests come defending tri-nations!! The REAL tests come winning our 1st grand slam tour in yeeeeeeaaars with players that have played a lot rugby and managing them with a whole lot fringe players!! The REAL tests come possibly a 3-peat in the tri-nations!! And ofcoz the REAL tests come obviously defending the WC!! AND ALL OF THIS NEEDS TO BE DONE WITH HOLDING KEY PLAYERS’ PLAYING TIME, CONDITIONING, and FITNESS & HEALTH IN THE HIGHEST REGARD!!

 

You take those one by one and just ponder a bit, you’ll realize the mammoth tasks the Boks have ahead of them in just over a calendar year of rugby. But hey, that’s the benchmark these guys have set for them & the fans. LOL, call it the curse of their success. You just have to look at the upcoming tri nations for example. If we do not win ATLEAST one of our away matches in NZ (something unthinkable just a couple of years ago) we’ll be disappointed. Can you imagine not winning the whole thing?? You go to the end of the year tour, when last did we beat Ireland in Ireland?? I bet they still have Jake White’s comments about “just picking 2 Ireland players in his bok team” and play it whenever they face us.

Oh no guys, we haven’t achieved anything yet. Winning 3 games in a row, games that we should’ve won, that’s nothing compared to what lies ahead. Sure it must nice for ou Pietertjie to have the selection headaces he has but that won’t mean shit if we do not continue winning trophies, defending them and start beating northern hemisphere teams like Ireland and France on their home turfs!! AND the All Blacks are still the All Blacks, Australia (eventho losing this wknd against England) is still nr.3 in the World so the tri-nations will definitely not be a 1-team competition. Oh and this reminds me, something must be done with the ranking system coz how can a team that currently holds everything they can possibly win in the international arena still be nr.2 in the world? How can a team like Australia still be nr.3 when they haven’t won anything in years? & how can the French (current 6-nations champions) still be nr. 4 in the world?? I think when you do win an international competition, your rankings must sky rocket but that’s one of my many not-really-thought-through thoughts.

Im outy!!

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by djp

The centre of attention!!

June 14, 2010 in Uncategorized

Western Province and the Stormers may have the delightful pleasure of choosing between a world class, seasoned and up-n-coming centre but the Springboks coach P-Divvy unfortunately doesn’t have that pleasure.

But before I get into that; WHAT A WEEKEND FOR SA SPORTS!!?? Boks beating France, SA the Windies (not a great accomplishment but still..) and The Boyz almost snatching a victory in the opening of the WC.. if that goalpost  was just a ruler’s length wider.. But well done guys!! You made us proud to be South African fans this weekend!!!

Back to my blog.. Are we blessed to have 4 world class centres in the Bok squad or are we looking for trouble?? Of the 4, I thought (n I hate to say this) Jean de Villiers was a bit off the pace when coming into the game and playing him out of position didn’t help much either. Wynand, as always, was solid.. n I don’t mean that in a good way!! Saying he was solid, is like saying to a bride she looks OK on her wedding day. This may sound a bit harsh after just one game and ESPECIALLY after an awesome super14 season with the Bulls but Wynand doesn’t look like he cant make that next step from being awesome in the super 14 n then being awesome in the Bok jersey too.

In my opinion, he’s still no.2 when it comes to 12 for the Boks and the more Jean de Villiers will play, the more he’ll support my opinion.

So where does this leave the young Juan de Jongh??

At WP its pretty easy. Play him on a rotation basis with Jean but he plays from the bench. He can start a couple of games if Jean or Jaque needs a breather. This will definitely help his game learning from these 2 experienced centres. But at the Bok camp, it’s a different story.I hated seeing Jean come off the bench and play wing and I hope n pray that this is not a case of what’s to come. It’s a difficult thing ou Pietertjie but u cant have ur whiskey n drink it too. If you gonna start with Wynand & Fourie then either Juan or Jean must fall out of the match 22 &  make place for a wing / fullback but you can’t take to centres off the bench n play one of them on the wing. I mean what happens when wingers JP, Odwa, Akona & Jongi are fit again?? I really hope you’ll be able to do the right thing by the players ou Pietertjie coz that’s what u’ve always done.

So with this being said, this will be Bok team against Italy:

1. Guthro

2. Chilliboy

3. CJ,

4. Flip

5. Hargreaves

6. Louw

7. Potgieter

8. Kanko

9. Ricky

10 Pienaar

11. Basson

12. Juan

13. Jean

14. Gio

15. Zane

16. Du Plessis

17. BJ

18. Vic

19. Danie

20. Spies

21. Morne

22. Wynand

Potgieter or Chilli wud be my captain.

I know the squad wont look like this come Saturday (not at all actually) but it will be nice to see if our 2nd tier squad can really dominate a not-so-good Italian team.

Im outy.

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by djp

Will the NEXT Bok captain please stand up!!??

June 9, 2010 in Uncategorized

The whole buzz about Ricky January replacing our world class scrummy Fourie Du Preez threw me an interesting question upside the head: WHO IS GOING TO REPLACE OUR WORLD CLASS BOK CAPTAIN??

To go through Smit’s list achievements & accolades as Bok captain is like going through Hugh Hefner’s list of girlfriends coz both are damn impressive n will take a damn long time to do.. But like Hugh, Smit will not be there forever and in my humble opinion the “clever heads” of Bok Rugby isn’t doing a damn thing to grow another Bok captain. The games Smit didn’t play since he took over the captaincy from Corne Krige, the Boks used 3 captains: (Mostly) Victor Matfield, Jean de Villiers once & (showed-alotof-leadership-potential-in the-junior-systems-and-he’s-black-so-will-be-great-for-rugby-transformation) Chilliboy Ralepelle (also once). Of the 3 mentioned, Jean should be the clearcut favourite as Big Vic will probably retire after the WC and Chilliboy, well, I think he still too inexperienced and doesn’t get a lot of game time.

But CERTAINLY there must be more options than these 3 guys.. right?? Lets consider the (or my) candidates and PLEASE GUYS, I’D LOVE TO GET UR INPUTS ON THIS ONE. They are: Juan Smith, Schalk Burger, Dewald Potgieter & Fourie du Preez.

Smith have been around Boks squads for a mighty long time. He’s actually is the most capped (62) Bok currently playing after, John, Vic & Bakkies and he’s still only 28 years old!!! Packed of leadership qualities & with a lead from the front type of game, he certainly won’t have a problem earning the respect of fellow Boks, young and old. But one characteristic I respect the most about the man is his loyalty.. Yes, Fourie can leave the Bulls coz he won everything he could there (and lets be honest, has paid his dues) and sure Schalk has been heared a couple of times that he wont leave his beloved Province, but Juan leads his Cheetahs year in and year out virtually without any stars, through high and low times and that says a lot about the man.

Some of the same stuff above can be said about Schalk. I know that after this (what will call successful) season for the Stormers, one can safely say that he does have what it takes to lead a high profile team. There are however 2 things that counts against him.. The fact that he’s played for so long and the way he plays, he’s body is sure to feel it one time or the other so the question is how long he can still do it. The other thing is Heinrich Brussouw, who few rugby fans will forget – had an awesome season last year. Apart from those 2 factors, he should be head-to-head with Juan Smith.

Dewalds’s chances of becoming Bok captain I think will depend not only the Bok coach but also of the Bulls coach. If Ludeke should hand him the captaincy next season, his stock of becoming Bok captain after the WC will sky rocket. He might be 25 in 2012 but is already mature beyond his years, he has a similar game of Juan Smith but the only question mark about him is how he will interact with his fellow Boks, young and old and can he lead them the way John Smit had to do when he captained greenhorns like Spies, Habana as well as warhorses like Os and Percy.

Fourie, hmmm.. I think it will depend on Fourie himself.. What has this guy NOT won??? What is there still left for him to do but lead his country in battle?? Will he still play for the Boks after the WC?? Only Fourie can answer these questions and should he say “why the hell not?? Count me in” I think the only thing that worries me about Fourie is that he’s more a tactician than a leader or motivator which might count against him.

And there you have it.. those are my candidates. Now ofcoz SARU can mess it all up by forcing the bok coach (whoever it may be) to make Chilliboy the next bok captain *Touch Wood* for transformation (aka political) reasons but if it was up to me, my next Bok captain (obviously considering they’re still playing for the Boks) would be Juan Smith with Du Preez or Jean de Villiers as vice captain!!

Ps: Go Bokke against France!!! (Ek soek my franse hoener peri-peri please)

Im outy

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by djp

Opportunity Missed!!!

June 4, 2010 in Uncategorized

I hate doing what I’m about to do but as a South African rugby fan I feel that I can throw in my 2 cents about Bok selections. When it comes to rugby, I don’t know jack about coaching or team strategies etc. but I have been following the Super 14 vigorously this past season and I think ou Pietertjie could’ve used this upcoming game against Wales to see how / if some the guys who put their hands up in the 2nd toughest competition in the Southern Hemisphere can do the same in tests prior to the Tri-nations.

This is the team that will represent SA this coming weekend:

15 Francois Steyn 14 Gio Aplon 13 Jaque Fourie 12 Juan de Jongh 11 Odwa Ndungane 10 Ruan Pienaar 9 Ricky Januarie 8 Joe van Niekerk 7 Dewald Potgieter 6 Francois Louw 5 Victor Matfield 4 Danie Rossouw 3 BJ Botha 2 John Smit 1 CJ van der Linde

Reserves: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle 17 Jannie du Plessis 18 Alistair Hargreaves 19 Ryan Kankowski 20 Meyer Bosman 21 Zane Kirchner 22 Bjorn Basson

Big ups on Pietertjie for picking Louw, Potgieter, Aplon, (eventually) de Jongh & on the bench Hargreaves & Basson but there were atleast 4 or 5 other openings for new players to come in. In the backline, I think we all know what we’ll get from Odwa, Pienaar & Ricky.. At scrummie, I think Sarel Pretorius, Dewald Duvenage & even Pienaar (especially Pienaar) have done enough to merit a bok selection. Du Preez is out for the rest of the season and if Ricky is going to be our 1st choice nr.9.. then.. then.. jeez.. we’ll be F%*CKED basically. This could’ve been the perfect opportunity to start Ruan at 9 which brings me to 10. I really do not understand what Pieter got against Peter Grant. If it wasn’t for the freak with a boot n ball in Pretoria, Grant will be SA’s best all round flyhalf period!! Of all the players I’ve mentioned or gonna mention, Grant is the unluckiest. I really hope ou Pietertjie will see the light and atleast include him for the winter tests. Thinking about the backline and with our seasoned wings all out with injuries AND all ready having 2 greenhorns in Aplon n de Jongh, I kinda understand why Pietertjie went for Odwa, but I would’ve left him at home and started either Basson or even Van der Heever simply coz they deserved it.

In the forwards, Chilliboy & du Plessis could’ve stayed at home. Gary Botha I think will feature in games this season (pending Bismark’s progress) but it doesn’t look like the Bok coach rates Tiaan Liebenberg, at all.. and that’s sad. Werner Kruger & WP Nel should also count themselves unlucky after solid performances throughout the competition but one forward that should also delete the bok selection panel from his facebook friends is Duane Vermeulen. Like Grant, I really hope that Peter still has plans for him, especially with the lack of game time Kanko had during the Super 14 as well as the the unavailability of Juan Smith.

So with that being said, this is what my squad would’ve looked like against Wales:

15 Francois Steyn 14 Gio Aplon 13 Jaque Fourie 12 Juan de Jongh 11 Bjorn Basson 10 Peter Grant 9 Ruan Pienaar 8 Duane Vermeulen 7 Dewald Potgieter 6 Francois Louw 5 Victor Matfield 4 Danie Rossouw 3 BJ Botha 2 John Smit 1 CJ van der Linde

Reserves: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg 17 Werner Kruger 18 Alistair Hargreaves 19 Joe van Niekerk 20 Ricky January 21 Zane Kirchner 22 Meyer Bosman

But I’m not the Bok coach so I’ll stick my job: Being the fan & support whoever represent our country come Saturday. And who knows, maybe ou Pietertjie still have plans for some of the guys I mentioned above.

I’m outy

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