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by Baylion

Springboks vs All Blacks – Ellis Park, 5 October

July 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

The Golden Lions Rugby Union announced that tickets for the test between the Springboks and the All Blacks at Ellis Park on 5 October will go on sale through Computicket from Monday 15 July.

Ticket prices start at R350

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by Baylion

Not a good weekend

October 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

This weekend was a mini disaster. My Superbru picks were mostly wrong picking only one from five and only the Sharks doing what they were supposed to do – win.

Starting with the Boks vs the All Blacks I think we learned a few things:

  • Johan Goosen is not ready physically for the rigors of senior rugby. It took just 150 minutes of test rugby for him to leave the field injured. (Refer to my post When will Johan Goosen break?) His coaches will have to figure out how to use him and how to toughen him up otherwise he will be lost to SA rugby within a few years.
  • Coenie Oosthuizen is not a tighthead and shouldn’t be on the Bok bench as a prop replacement. Also, he is a penalty machine, worth more to the opposition than to the Boks.
  • 56m kicks are out of range for Elton Jantjies. He might slot them occasionally in practice but shouldn’t try them in a match.

Watching the match I got the impression that the Boks were nervous and rushed, especially in the second half. Ball carriers struggled to cross the advantage line and were often isolated resulting in turnovers.

Another thing that struck me was how often Ruan Pienaar missed out the flyhalf through the match, passing directly to Jean de Villiers. This was probably a tactic, maybe to “protect” the young flyhalves, but it resulted in too few backline players involved in backline movements making it easier for the All Blacks to defend.

On to the Currie Cup.

Griquas vs Lions:

The Lions didn’t seem too interested in playing in the heat on the hardpacked Kimberley field. Their scrums and lineouts were atrocious and Derick Minnie had a nightmare first day back from injury.

Without taking anything away from the Griquas, who were motivated and committed to stay out of the relegation zone, the Lions lackadaisical performance played into their hands leading to a number of soft tries from turnover ball where the Lions poor decision making and lack of commitment showed.

The Lions midfield was without spark and it was left to Butch James and the back three to try and manufacture something.

The result is that the Lions might just have given away a potential home final and will end second on the log unless Griquas can beat the Sharks in Durban next week and the Lions beat the Bulls at the Coke Tin.

Bulls vs WP:

What can one say? WP forgot to bring their rugby game to Loftus and was totally outplayed up front. Unfortunately for the Bulls Griquas’ win over the Lions means that they remain bottom of the log and have a must win game against the Lions next week.

Cheetahs vs Sharks:

I couldn’t watch this match as there was no live streaming available but this is the only game I got right on Superbru and the Sharks, leading the log by two points, have a good chance of finishing top of the log, they only have to beat Griquas in Durban this weekend to ensure that, eve a draw might be enough.

With the bottom four teams within two points of each other only the Sharks and the Lions are assured of semi-final spots, the rest could still make either play-off – semi-final or promotion/relegation – so next week’s games will be crucial to these teams’ fortunes. As the weekend progresses the teams will know exactly what they have to do in their matches.

The log:

Team Played Won Drawn Lost For Against PD Bonus Points
Sharks 9 6 0 3 250 230 20 6 30
Golden Lions 9 6 0 3 256 229 27 4 28
Western Province 9 4 0 5 236 211 25 4 20
Griquas 9 4 0 5 247 271 -24 4 20
FS Cheetahs 9 3 0 6 253 269 -16 6 18
Blue Bulls 9 4 0 5 230 262 -32 2 18


Next weekend:

Fri, 12 October
Sharks vs Griquas 19h10 Durban: Griquas must win, Sharks probably only need a draw

Sat, 13 October
Western Province vs FS Cheetahs 17h05 Cape Town: Winner into the semis, loser might be on the other end
Golden Lions vs Blue Bulls 19h10 Johannesburg: Lions fortunes depend on whether Sharks win, lose or draw, Bulls must win else they play the Kings.

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by Baylion

Point Proven!

October 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

Some people took exception to my view that being a good goal kicker doesn’t make Morne Steyn a good flyhalf and this weekend’s test against the Wallabies proved my point.

Johan Goosen failed as goal kicker and was pulled from goal kicking duties after missing his first two kicks but he continued to play an influential role in the match, as a flyhalf. Even though he didn’t have a perfect game as flyhalf his performance was still instrumental in getting the Bok backline moving and his success on the day was independent from his lack of success as a goal kicker.

However, with Goosen nursing an ankle injury and Ruan’s kicking off target is Heyneke Meyer going to recall Morne for the All Black game and hope his kicking comes right? Make no mistake, we are going to need a goal kicker against the All Blacks as their defence is not going to be as full of holes as that of the Wallabies.

Or will he still go with Goosen and Jantjies but maybe send in Jantjies earlier if Goosen’s ankle/heel injury is still an issue?

I think HM will be more conservative in his team selection for the All Blacks and it depends also on Johan Goosen’s recovery but I think he will bring Morne back into the team.

At centre Jaco Taute did enough, especially on defence, and should get another start now that Frans Steyn is out injured while at lock he will probably go with more grunt with Flip van der Merwe at #4. Otherwise he will stick to his regular team even though Francois Hougaard has not been effective on the wing and should probably be moved to the bench as an impact player.

Possible Springboks team for Soweto:

15. Zane Kirchner
14. Francois Hougaard
13. Jaco Taute
12. Jean de Villiers
11. Bryan Habana
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. Adriaan Strauss
1. Beast Mtawarira

16. Tiaan Liebenberg
17. Pat Cilliers
18. Juandre Kruger
19. Marcell Coetzee
20. Elton Jantjies/Johan Goosen
21. Juan de Jongh
22. Pat Lambie

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by Baylion

Taking on the All Blacks

September 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

After Saturday’s poor display and with the possibility of Etzebeth (banned), Bekker (injured) and Jannie du Plessis (injured) being unavailable for selection some changes up front are necessary especially in the light of the Boks’ struggle to retain possession.

Edit: Etzebeth banned for two weeks, Bakkies will probably be called up. Jannie and Cilliers uncertain, decision tomorrow whether to call upp tighthead replacement.

Heyneke Meyer may need to call in some help if the injuries rule out Bekker and du Plessis. Juandre and Flip (not ideal but they’re there) will replace Bekker and Eztebeth in the starting 15 while Pat will replace Jannie but that will leave us vulnerable on the bench with no lock cover (Willem Alberts isn’t a lock!) and only a loosehead (Dean Greyling) as prop cover.

Additional players can only be called up as injury replacements so call ups should out go to Franco van der Merwe or Anton Bresler as well as CJ van der Linde if Jannie and Andries are unavailable (as far as I know we cannot replace Etzebeth if he is banned).

The Boks:

15 Frans Steyn
14 Francois Hougaard (better on defence than Mvovo)
13 Juan de Jongh
12 Jean de Villiers
11 Bryan Habana
10 Pat Lambie (I know HM doesn’t see him as a flyhalf but he has experience)
9 Ruan Pienaar
8 Duane Vermeulen
7 Marcel Coetzee
6 Francois Louw
5 Juandre Kruger
4 Flip van der Merwe (not my first choice, or second, but he is there)
3 Pat Cilliers
2 Adriaan Strauss
1 Beast Mtawarira
16 Craig Burden
17 CJ van der Linde
18 Bakkies Botha
19 Willem Alberts
20 Johan Goosen
21 Zane Kirchner (not to be used except in an emergency but at a push he can cover fullback, wing and centre)
22 Lwazi Mvovo

Unfortunately this team is weak up front and will still struggle to get and to retain possession and I don’t see them beating the All Blacks but that’s what he have available over there.

As I said in my Springbok Stocktake post, we just don’t have the personnel or the world class players to be really confident about competing with the best.