So after all my bleating about Johan Goosen he now gets to really show his worth as the starting number 10. This particular blogger is as happy as a pig in poo!
And, as all regular readers will know there is something else I do not generally keep quiet about. There are 8 Grey College Bloemfontein old boys in the match 22, with 5 of those in the starting 15. They are:
Starting: Ruan Pienaar, Frans Steyn, Johan Goosen, Jannie Du Plessis, Adrian Strauss
So apparently Peter Grant tops SA’s kicking list and should really be starting for the Boks. That is if the largely Cape based scribes at Sport24 and the way they interpret the data are to be believed. I think there are a lot more things to consider so allow me to touch on a few of them before coming back to the kicking success rates.
I do also want to pay respect to Morne Steyn. Fans are very quick to change their views and turn on someone that has served them well. That is not to say the man should be an automatic selection game after game because of his history (read: John Smit), but it also does not mean the guy deserves malicious treatment. Benefit of the doubt needs to go to him – for a short while at least. Not to mention respect! Read the rest of this entry →
The obviously outcome is that this will simply postpone the inevitable but one can only imagine the strength of a Cheetah’s team that end up with players of this calibre remaining in their ranks (to mention but a few) …
Bismarck Du Plessis
Flip Van Der Merwe
There are obviously many names to add to this list, but the Cheetahs will surely be a far more formidable force if given the opportunity to retain even a small percentage of the talent they don’t retain.
Thankfully, with all the talent in SA, either way it all amounts to a Bok team that many should and do fear!
NB! Spoiler Alert! Stop reading if you haven’t seen Dexter season 4, Sopranos season 5 and Boardwalk Empire season 2.
In addition to sport, one of my major hobbies is watching great entertainment whether it be movies or TV shows. The ones I love the most are usually character driven, like the three mentioned above. You have your lead characters (Tony Soprano, Nucky Thompson and my favourite, Dexter Morgan).
Then you get the additional headline characters that are a main feature of the show and are perceived to be irreplaceable until the writers and producers decide to ‘shake things up’ a bit.
One of the most gut-wrenching TV moments for me was seeing the brutal murder of Rita, Dexter’s wife, at the hands of the Trinity Killer at the end of season 4 …
I thought to myself, Dexter just won’t be the same without Rita. What will the new dynamic of the show be? Will Dexter become even less human? The show went on though and, in my mind, is still just as entertaining.
As we all know, SARU have decided to ‘off’ one of the Super Rugby characters. Not one of the lead characters, but certainly a main feature of the show. We are still in the dark as to who it will be or how it will work, but the odds seem pretty good that the Lions will be on their way and the speculation of a Cats franchise making a return is highly unlikely.
They key thing here is that whoever moves on will be gut wrenching for those fans, but the competition will go on and so will the Springboks and SA Rugby. For better or worse!
So don’t sweat the small stuff
And just for entertainment value, here are another two examples of writers and producers being ballsy and ending two mainstream characters:
Adrianna getting wacked in series 5 of The Sorpanos because of her FBI connections …
And then, another gut-wrencher, Nucky ‘offs’ Jimmy Darmody in what is actually his first kill. Many viewers probably reminisced of Jimmy saying to Nucky in season 1 “You can’t be half a gangster” …
It’s simple folks … The Super Rugby show will go on!
There will be many important areas of the game that the Cheetahs will need to dominate to overcome the in-form Stormers. The breakdown is the obvious area and I think Brussow, Coenie and Adriaan will have that covered.
That alone however is not going to win it for the Cheetahs and it is my belief that it will be won or lost in the back-line, and this is where the Ebersohn twins have a key role to play!
Robert and Sias Ebersohn – The key to a victory over the Stormers?
Sias obviously did himself no favours with his kicking against the Chiefs, and I believe he kicked better than his 3/7 against the Force suggests. He is undoubtedly capable of better but this is not the area of his game that I think will be the most important on Saturday.
I have made no bones about the fact I believe Goosen is the future Bok 10, and my opinion on this stretches back to even before his debut for the Cheetahs. Sias however is a more than worthy replacement and, taking his recent kicking-for-posts exploits into account, for me he is the complete flyhalf outside of goal kicks.
His tactical kicking is phenomenal (just watch the Force game again) and he can break the line at will. Sias and Robert were the shining lights in the Cheetahs back line against the Force and if the rest of that back line were playing the way they usually do the scoreline would have been vastly different.
Everyone keeps going on about Roberts lack of defence and they seem to base this on the number of ‘missed tackles’. What also needs to be considered though is the number of times Robert is responsible for, or assists with turnover ball. He is a smart tackler that focuses on winning the ball and not just bringing the player to ground. Add to that his attacking capabilities and the best side-step since Danie Gerber and you have yourself a match winner.
Some will say that the Stormers cannot be beaten in the back line but I disagree. If the Cheetahs run in two quick tries the Stormers will revert to a panicky state and could start to look like deer in headlights! What really needs to happen on Saturday though is that Robert and Sias need to go back to their roots and be as dynamic together as they were at school.
Yes yes I know, Super Rugby is a different beast altogether but the Ebersohn twins have the experience, skill and talent to cut the line just the same at this level. For those of you who haven’t seen it, or for those who simply want the joy of watching it again, here is a clip of some highlights of the twins playing for Grey Bloem in 2007:
I back the Cheetahs to win by 8 and Sias to put in a man-of-the-match, match-winning performance!