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by Baylion

Springbok mix and scratch side

September 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

Heyneke Meyer made some changes to the match 22 for the test against Australia. Some of the changes were expected but he’s left the Boks with a very unbalanced backline bench.

South Africa:  15. Zane Kirchner, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Jean de Villiers (captain), 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Francois Hougaard, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.

Replacements: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Pat Cilliers, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Francois Louw, 20 Johan Goosen, 21 Patrick Lambie, 22 Lwazi Mvovo

Dropping Bekker from the team is a good idea but unfortunately he was stuck with selecting Flip van der Merwe on the bench as he didn’t bother to bring a better option into the squad when he had the chance.

Leaving Flo on the bench gives Michael Hooper a free run at the ball for the first 60 minutes or so although there is a bit more variation amongst the loosies with Duane at #8.

Hougaard is an ideal impact player and should have started on the bench with Mvovo on the wing.

Selecting both Goosen and Lambie on the bench means that there isn’t a specialist midfield cover. We know by now that Lambie is just there for in case Kirchner gets injured and will probably play no role in the match. Selecting de Jongh on the bench would have given the backline replacements more balance but then, Juan also isn’t on Meyer’s Top of the Pops list.

Goosen must be a quick learner, getting up to date with Meyer’s strategies and game plans inside a week. It will be interesting to see if HM gives him game time. Good luck to the youngster.

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by Baylion

Don’t underestimate the Wallabies!

August 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

All and sundry seems upset with Heyneke Meyer’s failure to get the best out of the Bok side, and rightly so. While we haven’t lost a test under Meyer yet we need to look at the opposition we played and our “progress” in the five tests so far. Unfortunately our performance seems to be going backwards.

vs England:
Although England is ranked fourth we played a weakened England side missing something like 11 players. FFS, they pulled in a guy who was in Joburg for a wedding!

First test: The Boks won a relatively close affair.

Second test (+): The Boks won comfortably although they allowed England back into the game in the second half.

Third test (-): Playing dire rugby and Steyn misfiring with the boot saw us scratch out a draw.

vs Argentina:
The Pumas are ranked 8 in the world and have never beaten the Boks.

First test (): While we won easily enough we weren’t convincing for a top team against the number 8.

Second test (-): We cannot even blame jetlag for this result as the Pumas travelled back and forth across the Atlantic.

The Wallabies:

We might feel fairly confident that we should beat a Wallaby side that lost twice to New Zealand, the last time a whitewash. In addition their Super Rugby sides were, for the most part, fairly poor.

But it would be a mistake to discount them as a force. While they lost against Scotland with a weakened team they ended up beating the Six Nations champions, Wales, 3-0 during their winter tour, albeit in close matches.

Their two test losses to New Zealand is more an indication of the All Black’s strength rather than the Wallabies’ weakness and, keep in mind, the All Blacks only outscored them 2-1 and 1-0 in tries.

So it would be a serious mistake for South Africans to underestimate the Wallabies.