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Lambie’s future at 15!

November 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

With HM set to “shock” the world and select Lambie as the starting 15 against Wales.

One has to wonder if this isn’t where his future lies.

 

Some will disagree and others will agree. But the fact that Lambie is playing 15 will improve the Boks a lot. He can kick of both feet and can easily slot into first receiver if Morne is caught in the ruck.

 

With Morne on top form and Goosen slowly coming back Lambie’s chances of making the Bok 10 spot his own is diminishing by the day. Add to that the fact the a youngster like Pollard will be making his SR debut in 2014 and you can see where I am going with this. (rumor has it that Hougaard is also training again).

 

And at the Sharks (his franchise) things aren’t looking much better with younster Fred Zeilinga growing in stature and the former WP wonder kid Timo Swiel going the other coastal team (fresh of a u/21 CC trophy). And with Lambie yet to step it up at SR level much like Jantjies.

One can easily see how the Sharks will start with Fred and bring Timo of the bench for that x-factor with Lambie having to scrap with SP for the 15 berth.

 

Many will see this as negative but the fact is South Africa needs a world class 15 if we are serious about winning against the All Blacks more regularly and Zane just ain’t the mustard.

And Willie just does not have the kicking skills for 15.

Thus Lambie is a perfect fit.

 

I for one am just glad that the Lambie question has now been answered and he can concentrate on playing in one position that will be to the benefit of franchise and country.

 

Cheers.

Does SA need 14 unions?

October 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

Just read an article that their might be a re-vote on the expansion of the CC for next season to 8 teams.

This got me thinking do we need 14 unions? Isn’t 8 enough? The smallest 6 unions are financially unviable and only survives because of hand out.

With the 8 unions that would form an expanded CC the whole of SA’s bigger regions are covered and the extra money could rather be used to keep club rugby alive which would be a lot cheaper than the current system.

Most talented youngsters gets signed to the big 4 or 5 unions from the age of 18 already (sometimes 16) and they might later swap one union for another or the EU but even now there is little to no players that move up from the bottom 6 unions to the bigger 8.

And this will just become more so as the game becomes more professional.

If a player is not good enough to get a space in the top 8 unions he must play amateur club rugby and if he is good enough he will then be picked up by one of the unions.

This will give the bigger unions more money to keep hold of the better players for longer and will see less players going to EU or Japan.

South African rugby should be a professional business body and not a charity to the less talented rugby players.

Do we want quantity or quality? I think the result at Ellis Park ended this discussion.

Cheers.

 

Refereeing shambles!!

September 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

Lourens van der Merwe and Shaun Veldsman can be very lucky that the CC is now just a development comp and thus not very high profile anymore.

In a game where neither WP nor Griquas could really round of any of their opportunities it was definitively Mr van der Merwe who had the worst game of anyone on the field.

But what has now blown my mind is that Mr Veldsman after looking at another incident on request from Lourens decided he needed to add additional information and pointed out what he believed to be a punch by Gerhard van den Heever.
What really confused me now is that this whole season we have been told the TMO could only answer the questions asked by the on field ref and is not allowed to go beyond that scope.
I did not even see Mr van der Merwe making the TMO signal on the field. It looked like the line-out was already formed and play was nearly about to continue when Mr Veldsman interrupted Lourens and asked him to look at the big screen. Is this even legal?

Now on the incident it self. It is another case where the replays should be watched at real time speed and not slowmo as this makes it look a lot worse then it is.(same with Rhodes)  But even in slowmo it looked like the Griquas player got his head on the wrong side and run into a swinging right hand of van den Heever an accident.
If van den Heever was able to run with a ball sidestep a player and still time a right hook he really ought to cancel his Munster contract and take up a fight with Floyd Mayweaher Jnr.

If this was the Boks vs All Blacks we would have had another IRB apology.

Lourens van der Merwe had a poor game all around and made more mistakes then right calls on the night. Some of the scrum penalties against a overly dominant WP scrum (after Griquas played a hooker at tighthead) should have been laughable if it wasn’t so sad.

In the end his ineptness did not have a huge influence on the game.
Still should these idiots be allowed to influence a game to such an extent? Surely on calls like these that aren’t clear cut a ref or tmo should mark it and a citing’s commissioner could rule on it after the game is done.

I am really getting pissed off by these guys who actually gets paid for this.

Cheers

WP shows the Boks how it is done.

September 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

So I have to confess that I was in the Karoo this weekend and did not see the rugby live. I am happy that I did not see the whole debacle live as it would have ruined my weekend.

It has now been well documented that the ref was wrong and that the Boks did not deserve to be 14 men for 50 mins.

BUT mean while back in SA another team was down to 14 men for +- 40mins and only seemed to move up a gear.
Many people will say after Nz in Nz and the Saders in Christchurch the Bulls at Loftus is one of the most difficult games to win.
AND WP did it with 14 men and took it in their stride.

The Bokke can do a lot worse than to copy how WP took the red card to Rhodes. The Boks lost all their believe and started making more and more mistakes while WP just maned up and played even harder and better.

Everybody makes mistakes and this weekend there was a lot of mistakes made.
But it is how you deal with those mistakes that makes all the deference.

Romain Poite  was a disgrace on Sa and we will never know who would have won. Esp since both Carter and Dagg was injured and Nz scored 3 of their 4 tries while being 15 vs 14. The fact that Nanu is still allowed on a rugby field is also a disgrace after his 5th? shoulder charge to the head of an opponent this season.

But at for us WP supporters after some hard refereeing decisions going against them the last couple of weeks they decided to take the ref out of the game a drilled the Bulls at Loftus.

Cheers

Boks unchanged….

September 11, 2013 in Uncategorized

Well it is no surprise that HM decided not to change anything with the team after a good performance against a pretty disjointed Aussie team.
One cannot argue to much with HM reasoning with the team selection.

The only feasible change to my mind would maybe have been Kruger for Flip. Nz has always struggled with their line-outs and Kruger’s superior line-out play may have benefited the Boks. Then again Big Flip was good in the Aus game and Kruger is deff a way better impact player than Flip.
In the end considering the weather a heavier guy was maybe the right call.

Their is still questions about JJ’s and Willie’s defensive games and Ruan’s tactical game esp in the wet. But there are no better players than them so they will just have to up their games.

Can the Boks win against Nz? Well yes anything is possible but lets not forget Nz in Nz is a tough tough ask and our comprehensive win against Aus might only have woken them up a bit and made them train that much harder.
Yes they are missing McCaw and he is truly unreplaceable, he only play 60 min and still was top tackler and brakedown arriver, but still this is a quality Nz side that has played together for a long long time now.

We will have to boss the 1st phase and brakedowns to stand any chance of winning.

It is going to be colossal and I can’t wait for the game….

cheers

GIVE CREDIT WHERE IT IS DUE!

September 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

Mr Heyneke Meyer had a pretty rough start to the international scene with many of our supporters not quite being able to understand his reasoning.

And if HM is honest some mistakes was made. Like playing a really out of form Morne Steyn which did not help the Boks nor Morne. Picking truly unbalanced loose-trio’s with one combo being Coetzee, Potgieter and Alberts. Playing JdV at 13 instead of 12. And first trying to force Hougaard to be a kicking scrumhalf and then trying to force him to be a wing. And I could continue but this is not what this blog is about.

HM has really grown in his coaching and although his coaching methodology has never changed his squad did.

Bringing back Flo from England was a master stroke and getting him to gel with Vermeulen just balanced the loose-trio. Of coarse he has been fortunate enough that Steyn regathered his form and that some players like Eben and to a degree JJ has really grown since last season.

Also he is surprisingly fortunate that some players are injured all of F.Steyn, Hougaard and Spies might have made decisions difficult and then the dynamic of the team might not have been the same.

Win or lose on Saturday it doesn’t matter he is really building towards something and with some players still coming back from injury (like Goosen and Taute) and others getting more experienced like Jan and Willie we might be peaking at the right time come 2015.

Some would argue that with a few changes the Boks can be even better atm but that has always been the case that some will rate some players higher than other and some won’t
A coach can never satisfy everybody but atm one can’t argue that this team looks well balanced with the x-factor players in between the more structured players. It is no good having 7 Willie Le Roux’s in your backline.

Cheers.

Now for the real test!!

September 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

So the Boks surprised all by not just winning but humiliating Aus in Brisbane. They played a pretty good game although a lot of early silly penalties (by the captain mostly) really disrupted our flow and we could have dominated from much earlier in the game.

Nick Mallet said it was the best Bok performance in 2 years and it is hard to argue although we still let a few tries slip.

Truth be told this Aussie side looks more and more like they have no clue what is going on. Ewen wants them to play with less structure and more freedom like in the glory days of Aus rugby but their forwards just ain’t up to international standards and an Argentina upset might even be on the cards!!

These new scrum laws has really benefited the Boks with, unlike many in Nz predicted, the stronger you are the more dominance you will have. No more sneaky illegal tactics of old the Aus props so loved to do and they will really struggle until some of their South African born props becomes available.

The All Blacks is a whole other ball game. They do have a forward pack that can match the Boks and have one of the best backlines in the world if not the best? I think the Boks could and should at least match Nz in the forwards with them maybe edging them in the end. (like last year in Nz?)
But the biggest test will still be our defense out wide against the All Black outside backs.

With the Boks almost guaranteed not to dominate the forwards battle so much against Nz the real test of JJ and Willie still lies ahead. I like the fact that JJ against Aus concentrated a lot on his defense even though it dropped his attacking play level a bit.

It is set up to be a monumental game and one the All Black should still be comfortable favorites to win.

A lot will be said about whether HM has vindicated his selection of Kirchner and Willie on the wing. Some will still say that maybe Lambie would have done even better?
That doesn’t really matter because the game was won by Duane Vermeulen and Flo. What a deadly combination they have become and Vermeulen was everywhere and deserved his MOTM.

Cheers

Why plain Zane inflicts so much pain?

September 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

So with HM selection of Zane at FB there has been a plethora of negativity around the fans.

I do not know if is his hair style but he is one of the only Bulls (ex) players that even the Bulls supporters love to hate.

Zane’s first Bok cap was unspectacular against the B&I Lions and had an off day struggling under the high ball and made many mistakes. (incidentally Steyn also made his run on debut that day.)

But he has come a long way since then and has gotten a lot better under the high ball and his defense is also now up their with the best.

Most peoples problem starts with him kicking to much and also never really counter attacking with ball in hand. And although HM and Zane try to plaster over it by saying Dagg statistically kicks more it remains one of his weak points.
With Dagg one never knows whether he is going to attack or kick defensively or attackingely. So even though he might statistically kick more he does do a lot more with ball in hand than Zane.
HM also likes to point out that Zane scores a lot of tries and he does. But in truth those are mostly just rounding off tries being setup on his inside.

So yes I do believe the public is right in saying that Zane is a very conservative player and will 99.99% of the time kick back when receiving a high ball.

BUT does this mean he is a bad player or that HM selection of him is wrong?
Thing is in Genia, Cooper, Folau, Bieber and co. the Aussies do have a very good attacking team and they will be esp good on the counter attack. Yes these players struggled against the All Blacks but Australia do have a mental block against Nz that doesn’t seem to be there against the Boks.
So why try and out run and out pass a team that is one of the better teams in the world at it when you know their tight five is not up to scratch and you can prob brake them there?

Although it is not the popular choice is still believe playing conservatively is the Boks best chance of winning against Aus and Nz esp away from home.

cheers

Boks vs Aus

September 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

South Africa:
15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Willie le Roux, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Flip van der Merwe, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1Tendai Mtawarira.
Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Gurthrö Steenkamp, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Juandré Kruger, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Jano Vermaak, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein.

Australia:
15 Israel Folau, 14 Nick Cummins, 13 Adam-Ashley Cooper, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 James O’Connor, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Ben Mowen, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 James Horwill (captain), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 James Slipper
Substitutes: 16 Saia Faingaa, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Ben Alexander, 19 Kane Douglas, 20 Jake Schatz, 21 Nic White, 22 Matt Toomua, 23 Jesse Mogg

So HM made 3 changes to the team. First of I do feel sorry for Lambie who has done nothing wrong every time he got a run at 15. I hope he gets at least 20 mins and not just 5 or 6 at the end.

Zane is a solid FB and although do not really posses any x-factor like Folau or Dagg he will seldom make any mistakes that other teams can exploit and that is what I believe HM wants for Aus and Nz.
Flip is back for Kruger, this I believe  has more to do with Kruger looking lack luster in Mendoza then anything else.
And Bissy is back. Personally I feel Bismark is the better player anyway with Strauss only edging him in the line-outs. But Bismark’s length en power will be vital in the scrums and his ball poaching ability against Hooper.

All in all a good team the only worries would be JJ’s and Willie’s defense against a much more attacking Aus backline than even the All Blacks faced.
I am excited to see if Le Roux can come more into the fray from the wing than he did at FB?

It will be a very difficult game to win and I do not know why but I have a feeling that Aus will come up trumps. I do believe that in the end for the Boks it will be more important to win against Nz the following week.

Cheers.

Oom TV Willie technically correct?

September 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

Now I have been away for the weekend and see there has been some heated discussions over the matter already. I believe SARU should not let Willie come TV ref at Newlands anytime soon as brandy might not be the only thing flung into his face. LOL

As for the Boshoff try in the end if Willie believed Boshoff would have remained in contact with the ball then D’Allende was coming in from the side and his decision was correct. It was a pretty difficult call to make and one can’t blame a TMO going one way or the other. If you give that scenario to 4 different tmo’s they will prob end up giving you 4 different rulings. Whether Willie was technically correct or even more technically incorrect is up for debate.

I had a bigger problem with the first try where Volmink knocked the ball about 3 meters forward and then CJ playing van den Heever without the ball. I cannot believe that the onfield ref did not rule this immediately as the only way it was not a knock was if Pat had actually ripped the ball out of Volminks hand. If it went from Volminks to Pats hand then it was still a knock as it was knocked into the opposing player.
As Baylion said the TMO could technically not rule on this, although I have seen many a time this season where the tmo went back further than 2 phases, so Willie could not be blamed.

In the end maybe the Lions deserved a bit of luck because of some of the rulings going against them in their 1st two games. But then the WP/Stormers also deserves a lot of luck after all these 50/50 and some 100/0 calls going against them this season.

For the WP it was still an away game and a draw is better than a loss. And maybe come the crunch games they might get some luck back.

Cheers.

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