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Springbok Surname Trivia

September 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

When Jaco Taute became Springbok #839 he also became the first Taute to be a Springbok and with Elton Jantjies being the first Jantjies Springbok I decided to investigate and played around with some Springbok rugby stats

Top 10 Surnames – Number of players

The du Plessis family name has produced the most Boks followed closely by Morkel and van der Merwe although the last Morkel played in a rugby test in 1928, nowadays the family is more into cricket. The last du Plessis’s to debut were Jannie and Bismark du Plessis in 2007. Apart from WP’s JP du Plessis and the Blue Bulls’ Willie du Plessis there don’t seem to be many du Plessis’ in the pipeline.

Surname Number Caps Points
du Plessis 11 153 86
Morkel 10 42 76
van der Merwe 9 46 5
Botha 8 148 352
Louw 8 70 44
de Villiers 7 133 138
Smith 7 94 95
Muller 7 94 48
du Toit 7 46 117


Top 10 Surnames – Number of test caps

Here too the du Plessis family name leads the choir but only by a nose from Botha. At the moment there isn’t Botha who threatens to overtake them but if Jean de Villiers can get 21 more caps de Villiers will take the lead.

Surname Number Caps Points
du Plessis 11 153 86
Botha 8 148 352
de Villiers 7 133 138
Rossouw 6 117 168
Smit 3 112 40
du Preez 6 111 81
Venter 5 111 55
Matfield 1 110 35
Andrews 3 109 60


Top 10 Surnames – Points

With kickers leading the points table Montgomery (Percy) is in a virtually unassailable lead forllowed by Steyn (Morne & Frans) and Botha (Naas). Habana (Bryan) only needs three more tries to move into the fourth spot.

Surname Number Caps Points
Montgomery 1 102 893
Steyn 2 94 618
Botha 8 148 352
Stransky 1 22 240
Habana 1 82 230
van Straaten 1 21 221
van der Westhuizen 5 96 193
de Beer 1 13 181
Pienaar 4 101 174


Top 10 One Player Surnames – Caps

Matfield 1 110 35
Montgomery 1 102 893
Habana 1 82 230
du Randt 1 80 25
Paulse 1 64 130
Small 1 47 100
Januarie 1 47 25
Pietersen 1 43 60
Dalton 1 43 25
James 1 42 154


Top 10 One Player Surnames – Points

Except for Bryan Habana, Breyten Paulse and James Small the kickers rule the roost.

Montgomery 1 102 893
Stransky 1 22 240
Habana 1 82 230
van Straaten 1 21 221
de Beer 1 13 181
Honiball 1 35 156
James 1 42 154
Koen 1 15 145
Paulse 1 64 130
Small 1 47 100

Least successful surname

Once can never say that anyone who got Springbok colours was unsuccessful but the Wessels surname stand out as having had four Springboks, only one of them played test rugby and then only in three tests.

Wessels: 4 Players – 3 Tests

Most succesful One Test Wonder

In 1977, during the isolation years, Robbie Blair played in one test against a world invitation side, scored 21 points and never played in another test. Between 1977 and 1980 no further tests were played and in 1980 Naas Botha took over as flyhalf. Of the players who made their debut in that 1977 test only Louis Moolman went on to get more caps.

Robbie Blair: 27-Aug-77 – World Invitation – 21

Most tests without scoring

Cobus Visagie – 29 tests

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Dixon’s red card – fair call

September 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

When is a kick in the face not a kick in the face? When a Sharks supporter looks at a Sharks player kicking an opponent in the face.

Sharks supporters are up in arms about the “shocking TMO bungle” after “hooker Pieter Dixon (was) red-carded for a completely unintentional boot to the head of a Bulls player”, to quote from the Sharkworld article.

This is not the first time that supporters of a team have been totally at odds with a ref or a TMO’s decision and with the expanded powers of the TMO comes even more moments of unhappiness as on-field incidents can now be referred, not only incidents during the scoring of a try.

Somehow rugby supporters seem to have the idea that an action must be deliberate for it to be penalised. If that was the case very few infringements would ever be penalised as most infringements are unintentional. The on-field decision, and the TMO’s for that matter, deals with whether an infringement took place or not and it is up to the citing commissioner and judicial officer to decide afterwards if it warrants further punishment.

Pieter Dixon’s kick:

From the video footage it is fairly clear that Dixon kicked as he was falling but, giving him the benefit of the doubt, he probably tried to kick at the ball but connected Arno Botha in the head instead. And it clearly was a kick – note the toe-down position of his foot as well as the straightening of the knee. Compare that with the toe-up position of the Bulls player in the fall.

For the video look 4:33 min:

Pieter Dixon's kickPieter Dixon's kick connect

Stupid? Yes.

Reckless? Definitely.

Dangerous? Absolutely.

The TMO’s decision to confirm a red card, which Mark Lawrence already indicated should be the punishment, was not for Dixon kicking Botha in the face on purpose, it was for reckless and dangerous play, unintentional or not. For his stupidity the judicial officer might add a ban to Dixon’s punishment .

Ironically, the Bulls would probably have preferred not to get a penalty at that point as they had the upper hand on the Sharks’ tryline and were in a good position to score a try.

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Frans Failed Fitness Test

September 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

Frans Steyn failed his fitness test so Jaco (who passed matric with 6 distinctions :) ) will start at #13 and Jean de Villiers move to #12.

Jaco becomes the Lions second Springbok this year (and the second since 2007).

Congrats Jaco!

And Pat Cilliers replaces Coenie Oosthuizen (injured) on the bench

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Friday snippets

September 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

All eyes will be on Loftus on Saturday to see whether the new-look Springboks featuring six youngsters will also mean a new-look game plan. Or will they stick to the old kick-and-chase and hope for penalties from 60m in?

Young Johan Goosen will be in the spotlight. Can he revitalise a Springbok backline that has been ineffective for a number of seasons now? Or will it be merely his big boot that will be on display?

I was interesting to hear HM say that the players always had the freedom to play the game as they see it. Does this mean that the Boks limited game plan was due to a lack of vision from Morne Steyn and Jean de Villiers?

Another point of interest will be the bench, will Pat Lambie get to play more that 5 minutes and will Elton Jantjies even get on the field? Time will tell.

And on the forums a number of people are upset with Jaco Taute jumping the queue to get in front of Juan de Jongh and Pat Lambie. As I said before, HM definitely has an ideal team in mind and when the players he wants become available they go right to the front of the line.

Rugby365 reports that there are still tickets available for Saturday’s test and no wonder, at those prices – R550 for the Main and East Lower Stands, R450 for the East Stand, R350 for seating behind the poles and R350 (special offer) for certain East Stand tickets. Or could it be it’s because there are only three Bulls in the match 22?

No wonder SARU took the Soccer City test away from the Lions. At these prices and a full stadium the Lions could have paid off their debts!

This video clip has nothing to do with rugby or sport.

Elsewhere, WP isn’t sure who will be their backup flyhalf. It might be Joe Pietersen or it might be scrumhalf Louis Schroeder, it could even be Brok Harris.

While WP might look to a scrumhalf as backup flyhalf, in Bloemfontein Naka has had enough of a scrummie playing at #10 and has recalled perennial bridesmaid, Sias Ebersohn, to the flyhalf spot. Will he show that he give a sh!t and, for once, play to his potential from the start?

Up in Joburg the strained relationship between the Golden Lions and the Leopard continues with the GLRU reporting the Leopards for using some Lions players without permission last weekend and this could cost the Leopard 5 log points.

And down in Cape Town WP’s backline coach, Robbie Fleck, has named Lionel Mapoe South Africa’s best centre. No matter that the Sharks want Paul Jordaan and the Cheetahs Robert Ebersohn in the Bok side, Mapoe has grown into the #13 jersey this year. With his SBWesque linebreaks and offloads he might be a good #12 with Taute on his outside, for the Lions I mean.

I see the Brumbies are trying to help their supporters pronounce Etienne Oosthuizen’s surname: Oost-hi-zen? :)

Oh yes, and before I forget, the GLRU is hosting an open-for-all Information Breakfast regarding the plans for the future as well as the games planned for 2013. This will be on Wednesday 22 October at the Coke Tin.

GLRU Information BreaksfastAnd another thing, don’t forget the GLRU’s Picnic In The Park on 6 October to watch the Boks vs the All Blacks on the big screen at Ellis Park

Picnic in the Park

Enjoy the rugby this weekend

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Adding to the Foreign Kings woes

September 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

The latest news is that it is rumoured that  the Kings will be allowed only six foreign players but that they will be required to change their name to the Foreign Kings to accurately reflect the demographics of their team.

They will also be required to hand over their franchise to the Argentinians when SANZAR officially approves Argentina’s participation in Super Rugby from 2016.

And to add to their misery of not being able to recruit more foreigners another Eastern Cape boytjie has joined the Springbok ranks in recent weeks.

Cheeky Watson was seen roaming the corridors of the Kings’ Palace mumbling, “If we had been in Super Rugby sooner we could have stopped Johan Goosen from going to Grey College and he would have been in our team now”.

In an interview later Cheeky Watson was asked if this recruitment of players from outside the region, and foreign players to boot, doesn’t contradict the Kings objectives of regional development and transformation. He replied, “Not at all. You see, once these players move to the Eastern Cape they will be from this region and that qualifies as regional development. As to transformation, all these players will be declared honorary blacks and will be given Xhosa names so we will, in fact, be fielding an all black team.”

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Forget about Loftus, the action is at Newlands

September 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

The match up at Newlands between WP and the Golden Lions could prove to be the match of the weekend. With WP, combining a solid defence with attacking flair that was sadly missing in the Stormers, facing a Lions side capable of scoring tries, also sadly missing during Super Rugby, from anywhere we are in for some finger licking good rugby.

It was way back in 2004 that the Lions last won at Newlands in the Currie Cup and they will have their work cut out, not only to contain WP but also to break through their defences. WP’s youngsters have stepped up to challenge and a weak defence gets severely punished, just ask the Blue Bulls (42-6) and Griquas (45-21).

On de udder hand Darren, the Lions are quite capable to break down defences while their defence of their own tryline is not too bad and with Lionel Mapoe and Andries Coetzee, amongst others, in top form the WP defence will be tested .

The battle up front will be one of youth versus experience, with WP front row still eligible for u/21 honours. The WP youngsters will have to be better than their best to front up to the form pack of the season but the Lions will have to improve their possession stats in order to have a fair chance at attack. In the last two game they had to make substantially more tackles than their opponents – Cheetahs (70) vs Lions (208), Lions (173) vs Sharks (130) – and against a strong defence like that of WP this could cost them the game as the margin for error will be small.

At the back the Lions have lost Elton Jantjies and Jaco Taute to the Boks and while that will make a difference they have more than capable replacements in Butch James and Dylan Des Fountain, players with vast experience and who can put pressure on their opposite numbers, while Mapoe has been a livewire on the field and the matchup between him and JP du Plessis could be one of the contests of the match.

While the Lions, in theory, should be the favourites to win this match the WP youngsters have stood their ground well and only a fool would not give them a more than even chance to win at home.

Well, let me be the fool then and go with the Lions to win by 6.

Other picks:
Griquas by 7
Sharks by 9
South Africa by 9
New Zealand by 15

Western Province:

15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 JP du Plessis, 12. Marcel Brache, 11 Damian de Allende, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Jebb Sinclair, 7 Tyrone Holmes, 6 Deon Fourie (captain), 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Don Armand, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff

Substitutes: 16 Deon Carstens, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 19 Helmut Lehmann, 20 Nic Groom, 21 Berton Klaasen, 22 Patrick Howard

Golden Lions:

15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Deon Helberg, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Dylan des Fountain, 11 Ruan Combrinck, 10 Butch James, 9 Michael Bondesio, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Jaco Kriel, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Michael Rhodes, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg (c).

Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Ruan Dreyer, 18 Etienne Oosthuizen, 19 Willie Britz, 20 Ross Cronje, 21 Deon van Rensburg, 22 James Kamana

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The changing of the guard

September 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

With Johan Goosen starting and Jantjies, Taute and Lambie on the bench we could just be seeing the start of a new era in Springbok rugby, provided that the bench players get reasonable time on the field of course.

But be that as it may, these four youngsters represent the future of Springbok rugby and it is up to them to grab this opportunity with both hands to ensure that the old guard is well and truly put out to pasture.

This group of youngsters provide the Springboks the opportunity to move forward and become one of the most exciting teams in world rugby as all four are x-factor players who can, once they settle in, take any team apart provided their forwards give them enough good ball, and we have the forwards who can do that.

Here’s to the new guard!

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We need a captain not a wuss

September 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

Against the All Blacks Jean de Villiers had the opportunity to show why he is captain of the Springboks and he didn’t.

With Morne’s kicking off course he should have made an onfield captain’s decision to replace Morne as kicker and handed the duties to Ruan Pienaar or Frans Steyn, both accomplished kickers and they couldn’t have done worse, but instead he hid behind the coach’s instructions.

Jean is the captain and he has to make the tough decisions on the field and must, at times, override the coach.

My team for Australia:

15 Pat Lambie
14 Lwazi Mvovo
13 Juan de Jongh/Jean de Villiers
12 Jean de Villiers (if Frans Steyn is still injured)
11 Bryan Habana
10 Johan Goosen
9 Francois Hougaard (allow him to play his natural game)
8 Duane Vermeulen
7 Marcel Coetzee (more mobile than Alberts)
6 Francois Louw
5 Juandre Kruger
4 Flip van der Merwe (bit more umph in the rucks and mauls than Etzebeth)
3 Jannie du Plessis
2 Adriaan Strauss
1 Beast Mtawarira

16 Craig Burden (more mobile that Liebenberg)
17 Pat Cilliers (CJ if Pat is still injured)
18 Eben Etzebeth
19 Willem Alberts
20 Ruan Pienaar
21 Elton Jantjies
22 Jaco Taute

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Venientes, viderent, victi

September 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

They came, they saw, they were conquered.

Once again the Sharks found the Sharks nets at the Coke Tin intact. Six times since April 2010 the Sharks came to do battle in Joburg, often as overwhelming favourites, and six times they have been repulsed and to make matters worse, their two junior sides also suffered close losses on Saturday.

No treats for them at the Shark Tank this week. :)

In what was the most entertaining match of the weekend the Sharks tried their best to turn around their recent record on the Highveldt and were well positioned at half time having scored after the hooter had gone but a second half turnaround by the Lions meant that the Sharks once again lost at Ellis Park.

The Sharks dominated possession and territory during the first half and only resolute defence by the Lions and Elton Jantjies’s boot kept the score managable at half time. Trailing 6-16 at halftime the Lions took the second half 22-6 to close out the match.

The match had it’s moments of magic and it had it’s moments of madness.

Keegan Daniel made some telling runs for the Sharks as did Cobus Reinach while Andries Coetzee continued his great form for the Lions and bit of magic set up Ruan Combrinck’s try and Jaco Kriel outsprinted everone for a good try.

A moment of madness by the Sharks cost them when Keegan Daniel protested a perceived knockon and they virtually stopped playing. The ref waved the game on and Coetzee put Combrinck away for a try. An extended TMO break resulted in the try being awarded as the TMO felt there wasn’t clear evidence of a knockon, much to the disgust of Daniel & Co.

Afterwards Lions coach Johann Ackerman said that a different camera angle, available in the coaches box, showed it definitively wasn’t a knockon. Surely all camera feeds should be available to the TMO?

Some storming runs by Jaco Taute and great play by ELton Jantjies resulted in them being called up to the Bok squad but a few other players are putting up their hands for recognition as well. Andries Coetzee continues to perform, Lionel Mapoe keeps improving and the Sharks’ Cobus Reinach is building on some good performances and I wouldn’t be surprised if they get a call for the EOYT, even if only as part of an extended group.

Next weekend: WP awaits the Lions at Newlands and the Lions need to work on two issues if they want to win – better possession and breaking through the WP defence.

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Lions 2013 feedback

September 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

The GLRU had a feedback meeting with stakeholders on Saturday. According to the Lions fan forum, LionsWorld, the Lions schedule is taking shape:

  • Matches against the five SA Super Rugby franchises before the competition starts (Jan/Feb). Matches will be televised.
  • Four Heineken Cup teams have confirmed to play the Lions before the start of the HC (June/July). Negotiations with a fifth is still in process. Matches also has to be approved by SARU still.
  • The GLRU is in talks with Pacific Island, South American and USA teams but nothing has been confirmed yet.

As to player loans the GLRU will consider lending about four or five players, primarily to the Bulls and the Sharks, for Super Rugby. Discussions with players whose contracts expire in 2013 in ongoing to try and convince them to extend.