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Bok #10 – The jury is still out

November 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

Saturday’s match against Ireland brought very few answers to the question of who is to be the Bok flyhalf as Pat Lambie failed to establish himself as the frontrunner in the contest for the #10 berth. Like Elton Jantjies against the All Blacks a month ago he was no more than “solid”, with a poor first half and an average second half, and solid is just not good enough.

Nothing is his display on the day would have convinced Heyneke Meyer that he is a better option than Morne Steyn or Johan Goosen so it will be interesting to see whether the Bok coach will give him another chance against Scotland or whether he will, in fairness, give Elton Jantjies the opportunity to start and play 80 minutes.

It is frustrating for supporters of both Lambie and Jantjies that these two talented youngsters have yet to show the skills we all know they are capable of.

JP Pietersen’s Tackle:

A fraction early and probably didn’t deserve a yellow card.

About the game:

The Irish clearly caught the Boks off-sides in the first half as they manned up and beat the Boks at their own physical game. The Bok forwards were guilty of not protecting the ball in the collisions and too many players were without support when the went into tackles resulting in turnover ball for the Irish.

Of the forwards only Adriaan Strauss and Eben Etzebeth seemed to be game for the contest and Adriaan stepped up as the on-field leader trying to get his charges going, both in his game and through his very vocal “team talks”. Willem Alberts, Juandre Kruger and CJ van der Linde had very little impact on the game and they should be replaced in the starting line-up for the game against Scotland.

While the second half was better for the Boks the backline remained fairly anonymous as the Boks kept the ball mostly amongst the forwards and the only stand-out backline player, for the wrong reasons, was Francois Hougaard. Surely it is time for him to be dropped, if only to the bench.

Credit must go to Irish for not only catching the Boks off guard with their physical approach but also for their solid defence that gave the Bok backline very few opportunities to get anything going.

My team for Scotland:

15 Jaco Taute
14 JP Pietersen
13 Juan de Jongh
12 Jean de Villiers (as we have no other #12 on tour)
11 Lwazi Mvovo
10 Elton Jantjies
9 Ruan Pienaar
8 Duane Vermeulen
7 Marcell Coetzee
6 Francois Louw
5 Franco van der Merwe
4 Eben Etzebeth
3 Jannie du Plessis
2 Adriaan Strauss
1 Heinke van dr Merwe (I won’t risk Beast and unfortunately JC Janse van Rensburg isn’t on tour)

16 Schalk Brits
17 Pat Cilliers
18 Guthro Steenkamp/CJ van der Linde
19 Flip van der Merwe
20 Willem Alberts/Arno Botha
21 Francois Hougaard
22 Pat Lambie
23 Lionel Mapoe

49 responses to Bok #10 – The jury is still out

  1. the scrum was the only area of forward play the sharks dominated. the lineouts belonged to WP. so did the collisions.

  2. let’s be honest you back Jantjies because he is a lions player. i am not saying that janjies isn’t good but honestly he has less super rugby and or currie cup experience than lambie does and on current currie cup form lambie has shown more promise. i am not a shark and i was one of the first people to say lambie is not the future flyhalf because his kicking was poor and i am a western province supporter too. but let’s stop expecting the coach to think like us and just start expecting the positive results.

    • Maybe so but I believe he’s being treated unfairly. After being on the bench for the last two tests of the RC he now doesn’t deserve to even get into the match squad? WTF is he even on tour?

  3. Wow really hot debate going, I for one am glad that for the first time in a very long time the boks have 3 world class flyhalwes to choose from. I have to say that I am a huge Lambie fan, but this was not his best year and still lead the team to 2 finals, Jantjies has a lot of flair but struggles with consistancy. Next year could be very interesting as all 3 players pick up experience in strong teams. Hope we run in a few tries against Scotland

  4. Just by the way, Meyer has confirmed that Lambie will continue at flyhalf for the remainder of the tour, sorry to burst your bubble

    • Don’t know where you read that. At the moment a lot of perhapses and maybes, no announcements yet. But he’ll probably start Lambie against Scotland with Elton maybe on the bench.

      • I didn’t read it, I watched and heard it coming out of Meyers mouth with my ears and my eyeballs

        • Interesting that you are the only person who picked up on that gem of an announcement. Not one of the sports web sites or papers did. Good for you.

          Anyway, it won’t surprise me given Meyer’s treatment of Jantjies so far.

  5. What is good for everybody to see that when it comes to the general play of a flyhalf, it is directly linked on how the forwards perform against the opposition. Gives also a bit of perspective as neither Jantjies or Lambi offered any more flair and creativity than Morne. Obviously now the reason according to many is only “the game plan”, but when Morne was playing it was “Morne and the game plan”.

    Don’t get me wrong, my opinion was that Morne shouldn’t be on this tour at all as he seriously would need a proper vacation, with no rugby at all for a while. Personally I would like to see Jantjies playing at flyhalf now as the right position for Lambi would be fullback. Goosen will be the 1st choice anyway, providing he is not injured.

    And about the game plan: I seriously doubt HM plan is to let the opposition control the front and take silly penalties..

    He knows what he is doing, give him a chance as well.

    • If everyone is equal ito the general game, then Lambie is ahead in terms of his goal kicking at least, which should put him ahead of everyone else at this stage.

      The problem with Meyer’s entire game plan is that it is based on the assumption that our forwards dominate. And if that doesn’t happen, there is no fall back. We need a fall back to create play even of our forwards cannot dominate.

      WP did this briliantly in the final, when despite being scrummed to pieces, they managed to contain the Sharks and score when the opportunity was there.

      I do not see the Springboks plan at this stage provide for that.

  6. Meyer keeps digging himself a hole. So if Elton looks a bit better against Scotland, is he then the choice based on 1 game, although Scotland is a much easier opposition than Ireland? Also not fair, is it.

    To be fair, Meyer should give Lambie chance to settle into the Springbok position. You cannot expect to settle in after one test. And yes, Lambie had a start at flyhalf but that was under a different coach. Also, Jantjies played 50 minutes in one test under Meyer. Lambie only played 55 in 6 tests under Meyer. Also not fair imo.

    The sensible thing to do is to give Lambie another go against Scotland and even another one against England. You cannot judge a player after only 1 tests, especially if he is an extremely talented player.

    Meyer has more opportunity to decide on his flyhalf next year. Just as his “last chance” words since Mendoza, I doubt any player has had their last chances, unless you don’t play according to his plan, like Daniel did and paid the price.

    • As I said in another comment, Lambie has played in 18 tests already (6 at flyhalf) and started in 8 (2 at flyhalf), more than enough time to “settle”.

      Maybe he’s just not as good as his supporters seem to think?

      • maybe you not as good as you think you are

      • And then you need to ask yourself when did he play those tests, how many minutes did he actually play and under which coach was it?

        He played 4 tests during the Rugby Championship but only 55 minutes. THat’s hardly a single test.

        The only other time he played at flyhalf was under De Villiers against New Zealand in Wellington with a second string side because of the world cup.

        He also subbed as Flyhalf on the same tour when we played Australia in Sydney and created two tries when he came on, while the Boks were nowhere in that game at the time.

        If you are seriously advocating that the chances Lambie got sofar at either flyhalf or fullback under Meyer is enough for him to settle into Meyer’s game plan then you are sorely deluded.

        • No, I question the notion that Lambie should be “given a chance to settle” at the expense of a direct competitor over whom he has no clear advantage and this after he already had 18 tests in which to cement his place in the Bok side, whether at flyhalf or fullback, and couldn’t do so, at least not in HM’s mind.

          • Lambie didn’t play 18 tests under Meyer.

            In fact, for the 6 tests listed behind Lambie under Meyer, he only played 215 minutes. That is 35 minutes per game, with only 80 minutes as flyhalf.

            You keep harping on about the 18 tests whilst conveniently forgetting that Lambie didn’t play a single test at flyhalf this year before Ireland. In fact, up to the Ireland game, Lambie only played 55 minutes during the Rugby Championship, all as FB sub.

            Elton did play a test at flyhalf. He played more minutes in 1 test at flyhalf than Lambie did in 5 tests at replacement full back.

            So if Elton at least did the basics of what Meyer expected of him, he would have been the first choice ahead of Lambie who sat on the bench for the whole Rugby Championship, even watching as Elton takes the field for Morne while only being in the camp for a small while.

            And you talk about “fair”?

            Maybe Elton just didn’t impress Meyer enough to warrant a chance ahead of Lambie who obviously did.

            Clear advantage? What was Jantjies’ kicking at goal success in the CC semi final and the match at Soccer City?

            What was Lambie’s success rate against Ireland and in the Currie Cup final?

            BMT and accurate goal kicking, I think, is the one obvious difference.

            The fact that Lambie did not cement his place in the Bok squad is merely because Meyer doesn’t share the vision Div had. Under Div, Lambie was becoming the permanent full back. Under Meyer, Lambie was a permanent bench warmer.

  7. Who will HM call up to cover for Beast? JC?

  8. I see Beast won’t continue on tour. Pity and one can only hope that his heart issues aren’t more serious than have been let on.


  9. Hmmm Lots of comments on this one I see! I think Lambie should be given an extended chance to prove himself. Don’t drop him after just one game. Sure, he didn’t set the world on fire, but the entire game was disappointing.
    I would start lambie in the remaining 2 games, but put Elton on the bench and maybe give him 20-30mins in each game to show what he can do
    Both are brilliant flyhalves and both deserve a chance to claim the 10 jersey. Unfortunately only one can start a game. MS shouldnt be on the bench!!!

  10. On your team:
    I would give Lambie another go and have Elton on the bench.
    I would also start Beast it was just hart palpitations and not an injury should be fine.
    I like the Coetzee move this gives us a bit more speed in the loose trio.
    But thats just me will be interesting to see what HM does

  11. Have to agree Lambie was a bit disappointing, but then the whole bok team was disappointing.
    For me: Strauss, Eben, Flo and Pienaar was on par the rest was pretty bad.
    Also our loose trio seems unbalanced.
    Taute struggles at 13 at international level and Hougie’s confidence is shot.

  12. Lambie was poor compared to his normal standards, he hasn’t played enough at fly half for the Sharks, Plumtree is to blame for that. Lambie has never played fly half where his forwards dont have the upper hand, and it showed in the first half. He looked lost, and un-decided and shifted into kick or pass mode, and didn’t attack the gain line (Morne Steyn esque). Whether this is because it is HM gameplan taking hold, but it was not the usual Lambie. Taute performed well at 13, nothing special but he did always draw 2 or 3 tacklers with his strong running and defence was much improved, he just needs to learn to get the offload off to the support runners. I would still have him at 15 like everyone else though. I can’t see JdJ making a much bigger impact as the ball coming from 10 and 12 is slow and predictable, and neither number 10 or 12 bother to draw the defender before making their pass, meaning there will never be an overlap created out wide.
    On a positve note, Strauss, Flo & Eben were outstanding, so were the two prop replacements Cilliers and Heinke they scrummed well, and put in some great tackles. I wish we had an athletic number 8 Vermuelen is just another crash ball forward, and provides nothing extra no passing skills, offloads or any general pace (Keegan Daniel anyone?). Against Scotland I would play Lambie for the first 50-60mins, then bring on Elton. Also someone send an email to HM and tell him Taute can kick long range goals Lambie and Pienaar don’t have the natural distance to their kicks.

  13. Just a question is our team just good enough to be rated third and we just do not have the personnel to be in the top two.

    • We are 2nd now and should be consistently above the Aussies. The All Blacks have an experienced pool of All Black players while HM has blooded 11 new test Boks so far, which makes our team relatively inexperienced

  14. Who do you play when both the incumbent and backup do not deserve to be in the game and there is a few of them. I see Baylion had put in Franco in that would be a good choice it is not like Kruger did light up the stage and HvMerwe played quite well when he came on.

  15. Look Lambie wasnt outstanding but in his defence his runners didnt give him alot of options,JDV was looking to stumpkarr and Taute almost had the same mindset,Lambies defense was really solid and he kicked his goals he was under huge pressure from a coach who basically said he had one chance “take it” or you gone,just because we have changed flyhalves doesnt mean all our runners are now going to be these dynamic hole hitting machines,our whole psyche has to change from all the years of playing with a one dimentional 10(MS) this will take time but this tour is the ideal platform to start,Lambie will mature but we need consistancy and he needs to know his coach really backs him and not just ticking the “I gave you your chance” box

  16. Congrats to HM on his 1st away win. Alberts and Vermeulen cannot be in same team. Did we not miss Habana. Kirchner was relatively good. Taute will never be a true center and needs to be dropped. Frans and De Villiers is also not the answer they to much alike. I was actually rooting for ireland aftre 40min wish we had loss then there could have some serious changes. Why did we not take Basson on the tour he is so much better than Hougaard and Mvovo and he can play to HM strengths.

    team changes Schalk Britz in Pat Cliiers in Coetzee in
    I will give Lambie another chance and De Jong in. I will Hougie another chance. I would have put Basson in.

    • Houghie needs to come off the bench. Taute at 15 and Mvovo and de Jongh to start. I would play Jantjies at 10 with Lambie on the bench. Rest Strauss for Scotland and give Britz or Chili the nod

  17. I don’t think Lambie was given the opportunity to shine …. especially in the first half. Nerves, great defence and a kak gameplan stifled any natural flair. If the way Keegan Daniels was dropped after one game is the guideline, then I can’t see Lambie at 10 next week.
    I have always preferred him at 15 anyway.
    Jantjies should play against Scotland and then the better performer against England.
    Taute does not impress me at 13 either. de Jongh is far better imo

  18. You are such a bonehead. You are the one that is biased.

    I think Baylion was quite fair in his assessment and he wasn’t advocating Lambie being dropped, he just said it would be interesting to see what happens.

    Jantjies has been part of the squad for quite a while and has not really been given a fair shot.

    Lay of that booze, it’s not working for you.

  19. thats ridiculous, what is your problem with Lambie and what is your obsession with Elton? Give it up already. How can you expect to give Lambie one bloody shot at 10 then remove him? your posts are always extremely biased and therefore have no credentials. “failed to establish himself “? are you drunk? he did everything right, sure he didn’t light the world on fire, but he needs more time there, get your head out of the clouds and look at the bigger picture please

    • Firstly, Elton is the better flyhalf, as simple as that :)

      But seriously, it is Heyneke Meyer who has made this a contest, and an unfair one at that, having stated that he wants to use the EOYT to find his other flyhalf (we all know Goosen is THE one in his mind) and that he only wants to focus on two flyhalves from next year.

      Elton had 50 minutes against the All Blacks during which his performance was on par with Lambie’s against the Irish while playing for a losing side against better opposition.

      So how’s it fair if he doesn’t get an equal chance during this tour?

      I’ve said before that HM should look to use all four flyhalves over the next year or two on a rotation basis and that it is way too early to cut the contenders to only two.

      • Then put Elton on the bench and drop Morne, you can’t simply drop Lambie because Elton needs game time. it doesn’t work like that. Elton is not half the player Lambie is, take those lions glasses of mate

        • So it was OK to drop Jantjies after 50 minutes against the All Blacks but not OK to drop Lambie after 80 minutes against a depleted Irish side?

      • In your opinion. Fortunately not everyone runs around with red and white blinkers. While he is talented Jantjies does not have the defensive game – so is good on attack but battles behind a losing pack. Peter Grant, Lambie much better options. Goosen never going to make it – too injury prone.

        • “Peter Grant, Lambie much better options” and that is your opinion.

          FYI, Peter Grant missed more tackles than Jantjies during this year’s Super Rugby

        • Stuart, Wilkinson was also injury prone and he ‘made it’. Also, don’t consider two or three unlucky scenarios to be ‘injury prone’. Goosen will have many an extended run without injury ;)

          • Green Man old chap, are you suggesting that this Johan Goosen fellow is in the same league as the magnificent and awe-inspiring Jonathan Peter Wilkinson?

    • And sheriffff, you really should read the complete thought: “failed to establish himself as the frontrunner in the contest for the #10 berth”

      • look I can’t argue with you, you just care about Lions Lions Lions!! Elton Elton Elton, you are blinded by your obsession with your provisional players. as I said, look at the bigger picture

        • Tell me about this so-called bigger picture

          • Lambie is a bok 10 Elton isn’t. Big enough for you?

          • LOL, if Elton played for the Sharks and Pat for the Lions, Sherry would have been singing another tune, blinkers, pot calling the kettle black here. Elton deserves a chance at start, agreed. And Goosen will harden up and shake off the injuries. Orange and white blinkers I guess.

          • A voice of reason!, Yeah!! :)

            As I said before, the Cheetahs and the Boks have to manage Goosen carefully so that we have his services for a long time.

        • Sorry, but Lambie has had 18 tests already, 6 at flyhalf and 2 starts at flyhalf. And he still needs more games to prove himself?

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