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by djp

It once again depends on ou Pietertjie

August 23, 2010 in Uncategorized

Running out of gas, 2 wayward kicks, 1 forward pass, benching influential players, utilizing the bench incorrectly, 1 dubious TMO decision & 1 missed tackle are my reasons for why the Boks lost this past Saturday. I’m not going to go into my reasons coz another blogger already gave his 6 (which was really good by the way) and if you really want me go into detail, all you have to do is ask.

 

No, my blog today is about selection of the 15 players taking the field on Saturday in Pretoria against a Wallaby side that we should be able to beat. The players that impressed ironically were players that either haven’t had that much game time in a Bok jersey this season or haven’t even played for the Boks at all so far this season. Well the latter, there was only one: Juan Smith. JP Petersen didn’t have a bad game but didn’t stand out like fellow backs ala Hougaard, De Jongh & Aplon.  I’m sorry to say but I’m a firm believer that the man-of-the-match award MUST go a player whose team won on the day.

 

  • Remember the 438 game where at 1st they decided that Ricky Ponting and Gibbs must share the M-O-M award but then Ponting did the unthinkable and said the award must actually go to Gibbs – Learn from that Schalk!!

 

And if the Boks had won the game, Juan Smith shouldve won the award. He really could do nothing wrong when on the field. Just last week, another blogger and myself shared our differences when it comes to Smith. He felt Smith is standing in the way of young guns like Potgieter, Alberts, Kankowski & Flow where I on the other hand believes Smith should actually take over the captaincy from John Smit. Why the former was substituted and latter not is something only the coaches will know but Juan Smith, take a bow!!!

Everytime the cameraman showed Fourie du Preez during the game he was talking with an earpiece attached to his head. Whether he was whispering sweet nothings to Hougaard who was on the field, I don’t know but one thing I do know is that Hougaard had a screamer for his 1st Bok start at 9. If he can repeat that performance against the ozzies, which is highly likely, Genia & Burgess will have their hands full with the multi-talented scrummy.

Gio Aplon & Juan de Jongh once again showed that dynamite comes from the coloureds in the cape.. hahahahahaha just joking.. but they really did show its not about the size of the dog.

But with Steyn & Fourie back in the mix these guys will probably be relegated to the bench. Or will they?? I think we can safely say that Habana is definitely the off-form back of the back-three that did duty this past Saturday and if one of the 3 should lose their place in starting line-up it should be him.  Jean de Villiers (one of favourite players by the way) showed once again that he belongs in the midfield and in the midfield alone. Having said that, if I had to choose the centre combination for the upcoming weekend, I’d go for de Jongh and Fourie and my decision is purely based on form. Mind you ou Pietertjie wouldn’t go wrong with bring an energized de Jongh from the bench with 20 minutes to play and cause havoc on the field but like I said, me combination is based on form. BUT ONE THING I PRAY FOR IS THAT OU PIETERTJIE DOESN’T TRY ANOTHER CENTRE-SHIFT-TO-WING BACKLINE. Please P-Divvy!! Please!! It doesn’t work and what message does that send out to the wings in the squad?? HA!? HA!? Come on now!!!

 

Steyn has been the subject on everybody’s lips the last couple of weeks but The Boot must be in the starting line up – more specifically – the nr. 15.

Apart from bringing that leg of his to the table, he also brings an x factor and unpredictability the backline so desperately crave at the moment. A back-three comprising of Steyn, JP & Aplon will offer much more on the offensive (and defensive) end than a back-three of Steyn, JP & Habana would AT THE MOMENT.

In front, I wouldn’t change much or even anything for that matter. Flip did enough to warrant another start and playing at Loftus would give him a bit extra oomph to deliver. But on the other hand Darren, Danie hasn’t put a foot wrong this season (well maybe a knee) so either way, it wouldn’t matter that much to me.

With return of Fourie & Steyn as well as Bismarck & the Beast looking like their old selves again, it will be interesting to see what the bench will look like. Unless P-Divvy rests Smit, one has to feel for Chilliboy. When given an opportunity in the June tests, the guy was insane playing like a 4th loosie and with Bismarck surely to be recalled one can only hold thumps for the 1st black Bok captain.

 

So with that here’s my 22 that should kick some Ozzy butt:

 

  1. Guthro
  2. Bismarck
  3. Jannie
  4. Flip
  5. Matfield – capt
  6. Schalk
  7. Smith
  8. Spies
  9. Hougaard
  10. M Steyn
  11. JP
  12. de Jongh
  13. Fourie
  14. Aplon
  15. F Steyn
  16. Chilliboy
  17. CJ
  18. Danie
  19. Flow
  20. Ricky
  21. Habana
  22. Jean

 

Now I really doubt that Pieter will give Smit a breather (eventho he needed & even hinted that in a radio interview) and I also doubt ou Pietertjie picking Flip over Danie, Aplon over Habana & de Jongh over JdV but this is P-Divvy we’re talking about so one never know.

 

But at the end, it really doesn’t who he plays, as long as we win gaad damnit!! And that’s why come Saturday, I’ll be glued to my seat.. once again screaming for Boks!!

 

I’m outy

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by djp

Make the 20-20 Captain SA’s vice captain!!!

August 19, 2010 in Uncategorized

I just saw a quote of French military leader Napoleon: “In politics stupidity is not a handicap.”  Well, the same can be said about Cricket SA. Before I continue, thank God, Biff finally decided to step down as captain of the 20-20 side!! Now the big heads @ CSA are scratching heads & falling over each other like this is such a huge surprise (The news even came as shock to incumbent coach Corrie). What the hell did they expect!!??  The guy is turning 30 next year and even though he could still play a lot of cricket and some good cricket at that (like for example the Jayawardenes, Husseys & Strausses – all in their mid-30’s), he knows he’s not a young buck anymore & his body lately has been pulling his pants like a toddler to remind  of him that.

Australia, (irritatingly) widely regarded as the team to beat in cricket, has a good system in place where players get groomed to be captain by being the side’s vice captain. Steve Waugh was Mark Taylor’s vice, Ponting was Steve’s vice & Michael Clarke (soon to be Ozzy captain) is Ponting’s vice. Why don’t we have a system like that or something similar in place? I say similar because the Ozzy trend also means that once the captain is replaced by the vice captain, he also retires from international cricket.

 

So the big question on everybody’s lips probably is: Who’s going to be captain?? Botha? De Villiers? Amla? Hell even throw Steyn in there (yeah I said it – Dale Steyn).  Now as some of us know, its not just a matter of picking a captain for 20-20 side because that guy would have to be candidate for vice captain for the ODI and Test side, right? Right? Because we do have the candidates. We do have the players that can captain the 20-20 side and be vice captain of the ODI & Test side and once Biff stepped or gets snubbed from captaincy duties. So who are they?

 

Johan Botha (28)

For the general public, Botha should be 1st in line when it comes to captaincy of the limited over games. Who can forget how calmly & brilliantly he led his troops to a near whitewash in Australia a couple of years back.  To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of Botha, but any guy that can lead a side into Oz and come away with a series victory must have some cricket & leadership skills. BUT that was on the ODI side of things, he only have 3 tests behind his name and that in itself (along with his age) shows how hard it’s been for him to get into the side. Throw in a couple of investigations of his bowling arsenal and suddenly he’s behind the following 2 players (in my books anyways).

 

AB de Villiers (26)

Roomers have been going on for a couple of seasons now that AB is being groomed as future Protea captain. Well that grooming must be happening behind close doors because it certainly isn’t happening on the pitch. AB has quickly established himself as one of SA’s go-to guys. Coming into side as a 20 yr old 7 years ago, averaging 40 + in Test & ODI’s, he certainly has experience and merit for his selection in the side but it’s still unknown whether he has the leadership skills to captain the Proteas. And lets not forget to captain any SA side, soos ons Afrikaners se: jy moet hare op jou tande het because it’s not just captaincy on the field you have to worry about. Having said that, for me he’s the perfect candidate. If not for captain of the 20-20 side, then definitely vice-captain of the Test and ODI side.

 

Hashim Amla (27)

The man at the moment!! Hell, make Him captain of all formats and that’s that… Just joking.. Amla has cemented his spot in the test side & he’s busy doing the same in the ODI side. This past season he basically gate-crashed discussions that AB or JP would be Kallis’ successor as SA’s top run getter. But that’s just his batting and for captaincy, he’ll need a bit more than that. Other than AB he does “come across” as calmer and more mentally strong to take on the responsibility of captaincy but captain of the 20-20 side? Hmmm, I just can’t see that happening.

 

JP Duminy (26)

The only reason I added him to the list is because he has proved (keyword – HAS) he can play well in all formats of the game, hell in some circles he’s hailed the as the new Kallis, Ponting & Lara so its obvious that he does have the talent & potential to become a great. He also posses confidence that borderline’s arrogance which I guess is a good thing in cricket, just ask the aussies. Like AB, he’s also one of the youngest of the 4 candidates so that also a count in his favour but unfortunately his form doesn’t. Just recently kicked out of the test side, he’s no.5 or no.6 position doesn’t look as safe as it use to be a couple of seasons back.

 

Ok, n those are my candidates with AB de Villiers juuuuuuuust shading Amla for captain of the 20-20 side and vice captain of the Test and ODI side based on the following:

He can comfortably play in all formats of the game, he’s got enough cricket experience in all formats to be captain, got the respect of his peers, enough time left to develop into an international captain and last but not least, he’s my favorite Protea!!  

So CSA, stop playing with your cricket balls, and make it happen!!!

 

Ps: i wrote a similar blog a couple of weeks ago about potential future bok captains:

http://blogs.sport24.co.za/djp/can-the-next-bok-captain-please-stand-up


Im outy.

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by djp

Lets start a Duane Vermeulen campaign: Yes Pick Him!!!

August 10, 2010 in Uncategorized

Before the WP – Griquas game started (awesome by the way), I asked my friends: What more does Duane Vermeulen have to do, to atleast get a Bok call up?? We then joked that maybe he should start a P-Divvy fanclub or support base, kissing @ss so much that ou Pietertjie HAS to pick him. Yeah man.. he, Peter Grant (yip, Peter Grant), Jano Vermaak & Jaque Botes I think can all head this P-Divvy fanclub because I think playing awesome rugby just quite doesn’t cut it anymore.

Now mind you, I don’t think Duane helped his chances with an average outing this past weekend AND a yellow card to boot. YES, he did throw an awesome no-look pass to Deon Fourie to finish off an early contender for try of the season. But after seeing the replay, I was actually a bit upset that he didn’t just pass the ball to an open Aplon that didn’t even need to change gears to finish off the move. But as my friend told me who played some club rugby: “A nr. 8 is not use to a winger running next to him.. that and we DID score Dave!!” But Duane has been a rock for the Cape rugby franchise these last 2 seasons and has been snubbed by ou Pietertjie for the 3rd time now in a row now (1st with the e.o.y tour last season, then with this year’s incoming tour and now with 3 deadrubber home tri nations matches). Now being behind players like Juan Smith & Schalk is Burger is understandable but Ryan Kankowski, Ashley Johnson & Davon Rubenheimer?? Dats a bit laughable!! Ryan was injured for most of the Super 14 while Duane & Spies were busy battling week in and week out for not only the best nr. 8 in SA but the whole Super 14 tournament. Ashley had his moments during the Currie Cup last season but is still way off when it comes to being a world class nr. 8. Davon (even tho from my hometown, n even tho I’ve had a couple of drinks with the guy) would fall in the Johnson category.. Sorry Dev.. maar volgens my is Duane beter as jy ou.. bt jy’s nogsteeds my bra n maak di Knysna trots..

 

Of the loosies that played in the Australasian part of the competition, Pierre Spies’ head should be buried in the sand the deepest. He was jus aweful..Like I knew he wouldn’t get a yellow card coz that wud mean that he actually would’ve had to have DONE something on the defensive end. n I just don’t get it.. I’m 1.6m n weigh just over 65kg.. If I had the rugby talent & physical attributes of this man, pheeeww.. lets just say they’ll rename the word “tackle” to something you might hear in the WWE.. But that’s just me.. Now we all know what’s gonna happen in 1 or 2 or all 3 of the upcoming tri nations games’ Spies is gona have a stormer (excuse the pun Duane), ou Pietertjie is going to be quoted that he always had faith in his players and knew the players he picked will come through and us in the Pick Duane Vermeulen Campaign wouldn’t hav a leg to stand on.

But just thinking about the fact that guys like Ryan, Deysel, Ashley, Devon & Potgieter either represented the Boks in mid-week games or tests but Vermeulen has not even been invited to an extended Bok squad trial run makes me really worry that he might not get the call up under current Bok regime (touch wood). Come on ou Pietertjie, pick the guy man!!

Dwindling off the subject a bit, just a quick thought about the Sharks.. Has this franchise learned nothing from their past mistakes??  They have a gift of blooding in new talent and then shooting themselves in the foot by playing them all over the backline denying them to settle in a position. They’ve done it to Frans Steyn, to a lesser extend Ruan Pienaar, Wallon Murray & even before that, a Brent Russell. Now they’ve got Patrick Lambie and they’re doing the same thing to him. OK, I know he’s young and maybe they wana see where best they can utilize him, but please Sharks, please: For the sake of South African rugby (coz im not even a Sharks fan), Find him a position and let him settle in it!!!

Im outy.

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by djp

NZ is on a jetplane.. Again..

August 2, 2010 in Uncategorized

I hate the Aussie cricket team & I hate the Aussie rugby team!! There, I said it!!! When I found out they clobbered this weekend, I had the same smile on my face that I had on when England beat them in the 2003 WC – yip, even playing a northern hemisphere team in the final wont stop me from supporting the OTHER team playing against the Aussies.. There, I said that too..

I think I can now safely say NZ got one had on the tri nations trophy and the other hand is busy taking the wallet out to buy celebration drinks for all involved (maybe even a couple of new handbags). But I don’t care, coz eventho we (Springboks) wont be able to defend our tri nations title this year, we do have the opportunity to jump from 3rd to 2nd place n give the wooden spoon back to his rightful owners.

The Springboks will play much better than they did in the month of July with 2 cardinal factors counting in our favour: Rest & Home ground advantage!! What left now is just playing the right players (ba bye ricky) in the right positions (jean is not a wing). Hmm. Which bring me to centres for the home games: Do ou Pietiertjie stick with the tried and failed Wynand Olivier or start Jean de Villiers n De Jongh (who both can play 12 & 13). I know he HAS to do something with Jaque Fourie out, its just a matter of what..

This 3 week break is also giving players like Smit & Vic, Habana, Spies (& to a certain extend Morne Steyn) a breather, and come back roaring to have another go at the AB’s & Aussies. People have been calling for the heads of the former 3 but I say how bout a Hell No!! If John Smith should be selected (sorry had to laugh at that) for the next game, he’ll become the 2nd springbok to have put on the bok jersey 100 times with Big Vic the next game at Loftus – pending he gets selected for the next two games (laughing at that too). And you don’t get to 100 for the Boks without being consistent – So these guys must play!! & if they still play like shit after their 100’s, drop em!! Easy as that.


I really hope that Juan Smith will be fit to play come 21 August. Not only because he’s a quality player but because of my blog I wrote a couple of weeks back: Will the NEXT Bok captain please stand up!!?? No disrespect to Vic, but one thing this horrible tour also showed was that you cant have 2 “old guys” as captain and vice capt because that would mean you cant substitute both of them. And eventhough my ideal backrow comb will be Louw, Burger & Spies with smith coming off the bench, either Burger or Smith must be appointed vice captain coz like I said, its no disrespect but we’ll have to start thinking post-2011 WC.

Speaking of the WC, man isn’t NZ looking untouchable..AGAIN.. My brother (also a bok fan) told me that the All Blacks is like a an upmarket, fully furnished and catered jetplane!! A jetplane that ONCE AGAIN soured too early into the air and wont have enough petrol to reach their destination and since there are no petrol stations in the air, they are bound to crash. Damn wouldn’t that be funny.. ONCE AGAIN..

I’m outy

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