You are browsing the archive for 2012 November.

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by Baylion

Taking Chances

November 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

It is great to see a new player grab his opportunity to play sport at the highest level with both hands and make a statement: “I have arrived!”.

This year we saw a number of players debut for the Springboks, many of them performing well but only one really stamped his authority on the game, Eben Etzebeth.

Last weekend in the Ireland vs Argentina game young Craig Gillroy took his chances and made his statement and it was great to watch.

FAF du Plessis

But few players this year made as bold a statement as FAF du Plessis over the past week. In his debut match against the Aussies he started with a half century and followed that up with a match saving unbeaten century in the second innings. Now, in his second test, he made another unbeaten half century to save some face for the Proteas.

I realise that good starts in international careers don’t always mean longevity and that poor starts don’t always mean the scrapheap, Jacques Kallis being a good example of the latter, but in the modern game you normally don’t get many opportunities to prove your worth, which makes FAF’s first three innings in international cricket so heart warming.

Well done FAF!

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Lions Challenge 2013 fixtures announced

November 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

Lions Challenge 2013The Lions announced the list of fixtures to prepare the team and keep the players match fit during the first half of 2013 in the run up to the wooden spoon knock out matches.
Not all the matches have been approved by the IRB as yet.and there is no information available at this stage regarding sponsorships or TV exposure.
Essentially, apart from the SA Franchises, the schedule is broadly arranged against progressively stronger teams.
19-Jan-13 vs Russia @ Ellis Park
23-Jan-13 vs Cheetahs @ Ellis Park
2-Feb-13 vs Bulls @ Orlando Stadium
9-Feb-13 vs Kings @ Ellis Park
23 Feb-13 vs Namibia @ Windhoek, Namibia
16-Mar-13 vs Mont de Marsan @ Ellis Park (Current 14th in Top 14)
13-Apr-13 vs US Invitational in Irvine, CA, USA
20-Apr-13 vs US Invitational in Vancouver, Canada
27- Apr-13 vs Chicago Lions @ Chicago, IL, USA
11-May-13 vs Agen @ Ellis Park (Current 12th in Top 14)
1-Jun-13 vs Samoa @ Ellis Park
8-Jun-13 vs French Barbarians @ Ellis Park
15-Jun-13 vs Stormers @ Ellis Park
21-Jun-13 vs Sharks @ Ellis Park
12-Jul-13 vs Montpellier @ Ellis Park (Current 4th in Top 14)
20-Jul-13 vs Grenoble @ Ellis Park (Current 6th in Top 14)
27-Jul-13  Promotion relegation away
3-Aug-13 Promotion relegation @ Ellis Park
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Morne Steyn to Stade Francais?

November 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

The French rugby web site, Le Rugby Nistere, reports that Morne Steyn met with Stade Francais management in London. Apparently the French club has has Morne in their sights for a while now.

If one believes the team, Richard Pool-Jones have already found their happiness in the person of Morné Steyn. The international springbok (28, 42 caps) Stadistes leaders have met in London on the sidelines of Test Match between England and South Africa. And there would be more than a few details set to formalize its coming.

Translation by Google Translate so forgive the mistakes.

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“No more rugby” pictures

November 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

With the rugby over for the year it is time to turn to other sport – bird watching, for one.

Neck Exercise for the off season

Neck Exercise for the off season

Watching a plane landing at St Maarten
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Another Myth Debunked

November 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

Morne Steyn is often viewed as an attacker’s dream, a revolving door when it comes to defence while Peter Grant and and Johan Goosen are regarded as rocks on defence. But is this fact or fiction?

I decided to have a look at this year’s Super Rugby stats to see whether these perceptions hold any water and looked at the main SA flyhalves’ performance on defence*. I’m sure you will agree these figures make for interesting reading.

*In the case of Pat Lambie I included the games when he started at fullback as well
Stats compiled from

Most tackles attempted:

Peter Grant – 172
Morne Steyn – 167

Most tackles missed:

Peter Grant – 37
Elton Jantjies – 37

Most tackles per game:

Peter Grant – 10.8
Morne Steyn – 9.8

Least tackles per game:

Pat Lambie – 6.8
Johan Goosen – 7.7

Best missed tackle percentage

Morne Steyn – 15 % – Myth busted!

Worst missed tackle percentage:

Elton Jantjies – 28.2% – Myth confirmed

Stats:Flyhalf tackle stats


Morne Steyn: During the 2012 Super Rugby Morne Steyn was not only one of the hardest working defenders amongst the flyhalves, he was also the best defender by a country mile – Myth busted

Peter Grant: While Grant puts in a lot of tackles he also misses a lot but his defence is inline with the average SA flyhalf’s defence. He is by no means the rock on defence – Myth busted

Pat Lambie: Lambie attempts the least tackles of all the South African flyhalves and the quality of his defence is only average. Considering that the Sharks made and attempted the most tackles, 3106 and 3553 respectively) of all the Super Rugby teams the stats indicate that he isn’t pulling his weight on defence. Myth busted

Johan Goosen: With only 7.7 tackles per game Goosen is another flyhalf who doesn’t pull his weight when it comes to defence and his tackle success is only average. Myth busted

Elton Jantjies: While Jantjies attempts a lot more tackles than his younger counterparts he is definitely the worst defender of the lot, missing nearly 30% of his tackles. This is an area he will have to work on next year and hopefully the Stormers strong defensive system and coaching will improve this weak area of his game. Myth confirmed

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Mujati move shot down

November 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

Eyewitness News Sport has learned that Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula refused to grant the South African Rugby Union (Saru) a special concession to allow Brian Mujati to play for the Springboks again.

In a written letter to Saru, Mbalula advised that the only way for Mujati to play for the Boks is if the correct process is pursued.

The Ministry said Mujati should be formerly naturalised and carry a national passport as all sportspeople representing a national team are required to do by law.


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Community Cup 2013 – Changing the face of SA rugby

November 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

South African rugby takes another step forward when the inaugural Community Cup kick off in February. Following on the success of the Varsity Cup in recent years it was decided to revamp the limping National Club Championships and create a similar platform for non-Varsity clubs to display their talent.

This can only be a good thing for South African rugby. The Varsity Cup has become a great resource for the provincial unions and franchises to find new young talent but with the restrictions of the Varsity Cup regarding age and academic registration the Community Cup opens up the South African rugby player pool further. Not only do the club players get the opportunity to showcase their talent the Community Cup also provides the opportunity for university students to extend their career past the Varsity Cup.  A number of ex-Varsity Cup players, having reach the age limit, has already joined other clubs in order to continue their playing careers.

Unions not involved in Super Rugby normally struggle to attract good players as the franchise unions sign all the top young talent.  The Community Cup, like the Varsity Cup, will provide a launch pad for a whole new group of players, the amateurs and semi-professionals that currently ply their trade under the radar at clubs.

As the Community Cup is basically limited to the top team of each union other clubs will also be pushed to up their player recruitment if they wish to contest for that top spot in future years.

Current National Club Champions, College Rovers, will kick off the competition on 16 February 2013 and with the final being played on Easter Monday. The winner will then take on the Varsity Cup Champion to determine the overall national club champion

Pool A
College Rovers (KZN)
Despatch (EP Kings)
Worcester Villagers (Boland)
Sishen (Griquas)
SK Walmers (WP) Wildcard

Pool B
Pretoria Police (Blue Bulls)
Durbell (WP)
Bloemfontein Police (Free State)
Welkom Rovers (Griffons)
African Bombers (EP Kings) Wildcard

Pool C
Impala (Leopards)
Roodepoort (Golden Lions)
Noordelikes (Blue Bulls Limpopo)
Raiders (Golden Lions) Wildcard
Bloemfontein Crusaders (Free State) Wildcard

Pool D
Old Selbornians (Border)
Brakpan (Valke)
Witrivier (Pumas)
Evergreens (SWD)
Roses United Wellington (Boland) Wildcard

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ABF for Lambie?

November 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

The Bok EOYT has primarily been used as a trial for Pat Lambie to show that he has what it takes to be a Bok #10. After failing quite spectacularly in the first two tests to play to Heyneke Meyer’s preferred kick and chase game plan he is now, according to news reports, given the opportunity to play his natural game against the English.

And the time has come for the youngster “to put up or shut up”.

For the first time in his senior career Pat Lambie has been playing under real pressure. Oh, I know he has played in tight matches and in pressure situations on the field, but he has had an easy run off the field throughout his career.

When he started playing senior rugby he was immediately ensconced as the Sharks’ blue eyed boy and was always assured of game time, hero worship and blind devotion. Even after poor performances he was above criticism amongst Sharks supporters and the media. Any criticism, however mild, was immediately met with a barrage of scorn, abuse and excuses. On Sharksworld, the Sharks fan site, any criticism of Lambie might very well lead to a ban from the forum.

For three years he has been above criticism but now suddenly, on this EOYT, the youngster was asked to prove himself and he has been given ample opportunity to do so as the other two flyhalves were relegated to holding tackle bags.

This year must have been a very difficult year for the youngster. This is probably the first time in his life that he is not the coach’s favourite. Where, under Peter de Villiers, he was always assured of sufficient game time, either off the bench or with the occasional start, under Heyneke Meyer he picked up more splinters off the bench than kicking tees off the park.

Until this EOYT that is.

During the first two tests he seemed uncertain and withdrawn, never really grabbing the game by the scruff of the neck and stamping his authority on the game. He just cannot afford to do the same against England if he hopes to remain in contention for the Bok #10 spot and it will do no good afterwards for people to blame the game plan, Ruan Pienaar not passing or Jean de Villiers killing the ball.

It is all up to Pat Lambie. It is his time to shine or to go down in flames.

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The ideal traditional Bok team

November 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

With so many people defending the so-called “traditional” Bok game plan of forward driven, bash it up rugby I think it’s time for Heyneke Meyer to select a team that should be able to do this to perfection.

The Boks’ one dimensional ball crashing approach reminds me of the Little Red Riding Hood joke

LRRH: “My, what big teeth you have, Granny”
Wolfie/Grandma: “The better to EAT you with!”
LRRH: “Eat, eat, eat. Doesn’t anyone want to RUCK anymore?”

Possible team:

15 Zane Kirchner
14 Pierre Spies
13 Marcell Coetzee
12 Brok Harris
11 Andries Bekker
10 Morne Steyn
9 Ruan Pienaar
8 Duane Vermeulen
7 Willem Alberts
6 Francois Louw
5 Eben Etzebeth
4 Flip van der Merwe
3 Jannie du Plessis
2 Bismarck du Plessis
1 Beast Mtawarira

16 Adriaan Strauss
17 Coenie Oosthuizen
18 Pat Cilliers
19 Rynhardt Elstadt
20 Siya Kolisi
21 Ryan Kankowski
22 Josh Strauss
23 Wynand Olivier

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Another Lion to carry tackle bags?

November 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

Lions loosehead prop has been called up to the Bok squad as CJ van der Linde heads home with an injury (again). The belated call up for JC means that he probably only join his Lions team mates in carrying tackle bags.

In other Lions news:

The Blue Bulls has released Lionel Cronje from his contract and he will join the Lions for 2013 although, should they need to, the Bulls can call him up during Super Rugby.