Maybe this can die down the fire a bit, I honestly believe most of us have no cooking clue what we are talking about and should look at the facts first, clearly Smitty is still highly regarded in the Bok camp, I’m still behind my Bok captain and shame on you if you’re not
You’ll also note that the article explains that Smit had a solid game when he came on . . which is exactly what I saw. . .remember Smit is a Hooker not a bloody loose forward. . . yes Bismarck is a freak of nature but don’t expect all Hookers to be. Johnno does his job 100%
Source : http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/Content.aspx?id=151283
SPRINGBOK hooker Bismarck du Plessis defended his angry reaction to being replaced by John Smit in the Boks Tri-Nations Test against New Zealand at the weekend and shot down suggestions there was bad blood between him and the Bok skipper, writes Zeena Isaacs .
Du Plessis was replaced by Smit in the 61st minute, but walked off the field shaking his head angrily — a response which shocked the media and public.
Despite proving himself consistently as SA’s best hooker, the player has had to make way for Smit in the front row to accommodate the Bok skipper, something that is expected to occur throughout the Rugby World Cup. But Du Plessis yesterday denied he was bitter about the situation and spoke openly about his respect for Smit as a player.
“John is our captain and I have great respect for him as a player and for his help to make me the player that I am,” said Du Plessis. “But competition brings out the best in us all and it is always good because when I am sitting on the bench I know I can push him and vice-versa.”
Asked about his angry response to being substituted, he played down the seriousness of his actions and said: “I enjoyed myself (on the field) and (when that happens) you don’t want to go off irrespective of who you are. If you haven’t played in five or six weeks, you want to play as long as you can to get your match fitness up, so it wasn’t disapproval, it was just that I enjoyed myself out there.”
But with Bok coach Peter de Villiers rating both players highly and Smit delivering a solid performance against the All Blacks, Du Plessis will in all likelihood start as Smit’s back- up in their opening Cup clash against Wales in a little over two weeks.
De Villiers quickly shot down suggestions by one of the media members that the team’s best 40 minutes this season was in the first half with Du Plessis starting the Test, and said: “I can’t agree (with that). We played very good rugby last week (against Australia when Smit started). And secondly, the guys weren’t headless chickens on the field (against New Zealand), we had a captain out there. So I trust both of them, I know their abilities and both players are technically and tactically sound. I think we are in a better position than we were a few years back.”
Looking back at the All Blacks Test, Du Plessis was particularly impressed with the team’s scrummaging and scramble defence, but said that they had to work hard to improve their fitness levels ahead of the spectacle given the limited game time they have had in the build-up to the tournament.
He singled out the scrums as one of the key areas to success in the World Cup and said: “If we play at night the field is going to be wet and slippery and the ball will skid. So I think there’ll be a lot more scrums, that is why we have been working so hard in that department.”