Three things that cost us the game

The All Blacks are a super team and probably deserved winners. They took the boks on at Ellispark and kept their composure.

South African supporters, I believe, are generally speaking happy with the progress our team has shown this year. The Springboks had their opportunities and could have won the game. There were enough line-breaks but the final pass, support and decision making were lacking to round it off. One thinks of the two Willie le Roux opportunities, the Etzebeth and Kolisi breakaways and feel it was so close you could almost taste victory.  Continue reading

The respect is back

It is the uncertainty factor that produces the biggest satisfaction and enjoyment in sport. That uncertainty brought about by not being sure whether you’ll be able to be victorious or not. That’s why as athletes and human beings we seek and thrive on competition. We find it in challenging ourselves to complete a marathon or to play against individuals or teams with higher rankings. That’s why as nations we play test matches and why even in test matches we want to compete against the very best.

It is sort of boring to play against a team that you know you are going to win. The uncertainty factor is absent and therefore also the real joy in the victory.

I’ve been living in NZ now for 12 years and for only the second time in 12-years there is a real uncertainty in Kiwi land about a test match against South Africa. The last time was in 2010 after the 2009 Springbok victory in Hamilton. The uncertainness in 2010 was not because it was felt that SA played good rugby but because there was uncertainness about the All Black team’s ability to handle the box kick and Matfield in the line-out. Continue reading

Some thoughts on the England victory

All credit to NZ for not blaming the virus in the team or end-of-year-tiredness for their loss at the hands of a committed England team.

The NZ players did look more than a bit pale and lethargic as they entered the field and even the Haka lacked its normal spark.

Punctiliously, I don’t however think it was either the virus or tiredness that saw NZ losing this match. It was the England tactics and their good defence that won them the match.  Continue reading

Some thoughts on the weekends test matches

Nick Mallet during his tenure as Springbok coach made himself very unpopular by saying that he is not too concerned about criticism from South African rugby fans because in his opinion they don’t know much about the game anyway.

Coincidently, he now seems to be as critical as the SA rugby fans about the rugby dished-up by his prodigy’s Springbok team.

Where Mallet was hostile and pompous towards the media Heynecke seems to be more open and willing to show the public that their opinions count.    Continue reading

Bokke over coached?

What the hell is going on with our beloved Springboks? This, I believe is the main question every SA rugby supporter wrestle with at the moment.

Wrong players in key positions, an unbalanced back row, injuries to key players and playing an outdated game plan has all been voiced as probable reasons.

Heynecke has responded to most of these criticisms by making changes to the team but still the team seems to be tentative almost scared to do anything.  Continue reading

Heart breaking

The Soweto test match ended-up as just another heart breaking experience for Springbok rugby fans.

The All Blacks seems to be in a different class altogether but I thought South Africa had an opportunity to clinch the test.

What was required was to keep the game tight with just bit more preciseness in terms of clinical execution on attack and defence.

The first New Zealand try came totally against the run of play and culminated from a knock on by Jean de Villiers (if I remember correctly). That try exposed our defensive weaknesses on the edges and gave the All Blacks the believe that they could win the match. That try was one of four turning points in the match the other three being the try in the first seconds of the second half; the injury to Johan Goossen and the missed penalty try for Kieran Read taking down a Springbok maul.  Continue reading

Like a Rhino in a China shop

This test will be remembered as the Dean Greyling test as he was like a Rhino in a china shop; a demolisher on a rampage that cost us the match in my opinion (an opinion that Heynecke Meyer seems to share). It must be the single worst effort by a South African rugby player in a test match ever.

In the end it was another test that got away due to ill-discipline, poor kicking (tactical and place kicking) and poor passing. We threw away 17 points with kicks (5 penalties and a conversion) as well as a very plausible try scoring opportunity in the first 5 minutes of the game. That is another 7 points bringing the amount of points that we pissed away to 21. Jean de Villiers said it after the match; “You can’t expect to win against the All Blacks if you mess up so many point scoring opportunities”.    Continue reading

Kotsenswaardig

My predominant feeling after the SA/Australia match was that I want to puke. It was one of those matches that the Aussies didn’t won we lost it.

They didn’t create the win we created the loss through bad mistakes, stupid decision making and by going into a defensive mindset.

There were a number of things in this match that left me wanting to puke afterwards but let me outline the 5 main ones:

  1. No line speed on defence
  2. Stopped playing and going on a defensive mindset after taking the lead in the first half
  3. Losing the ball in contact mainly because we try and barge through defenders instead of attacking space
  4. Horrible decision making at crucial times in the match
  5. Bringing the playmakers on too late in the match. Continue reading