Heyneke Meyer sticks to the usual…
August 15, 2012 in Uncategorized
South Africa: 15. Zane Kirchner, 14. Bryan Habana, 13. Jean de Villiers (captain), 12. Frans Steyn, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Morné Steyn, 9. Francois Hougaard, 8. Keegan Daniel, 7. Willem Alberts, 6. Marcell Coetzee, 5. Andries Bekker, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Bismarck du Plessis, 1. Tendai Mtawarira Substitutes: 16. Adriaan Strauss, 17. Pat Cilliers, 18. Flip van der Merwe, 19. Jacques Potgieter, 20. Ruan Pienaar, 21. Pat Lambie, 22. JJ Engelbrecht
Given the spate of injuries, one would perhaps come up with only 2 or 3 changes to the side that Meyer decided to stick with. I say “stick with” because it’s still the core of the side that represented South Africa against England in the June tests…and still raises questions about Blue tinted eyerwear…
What is disappointing though is Meyer’s reluctance to expose a backup flyhalf for Morne Steyn to some much needed experience. Every test Morne plays, is a test another up and coming flyhalf could have gained valuable experience! And playing against Argentina is THE opportunity to have done that!
His persistence with Zane “the stats man” aka ”Sideshow Bob” Kirchner is worrying to say the least, especially considering the way we suddenly realised we had a full back when Patrick Lambie replaced him in the first England test.
I am very happy to see Pat Cilliers there rather than Werner Kruger and Lions fans should take heed as it’s only a matter of weeks before Pat signs with the Bulls as well. The selection of Daniel at nr 8 is a matter of there being no one else, but I am happy that Meyer may have resisted the urge to play Daniel on the side of the scrum and Alberts at the back. I feel Alberts adds so much more at 7, while Daniel will make a significant difference by replacing an out of form Spies.
Also very happy for Mvovo to come back into the squad, however, I would have gone for Ruan Pienaar at 9 and Hougaard at 11. Mind you, we might see that in any event as the game progresses, but given that Hougaard’s made known through the past few years that his preferred position is scrumhalf, (and we know Heyneke does not like stirring the boat), we might never see the numbers on those two respective backs as long as Meyer is coach.
On the bench, I’m not convinced by Jacques Potgieter, unlike my Blue Bulls supporting rugby lovers. I have not been impressed by him at all, but, perhaps given the fact that Duane, Heinrich, Schalk, Juan Smith and Spies are injured, I guess it was a toss up between him and Kolisi, and the Blue coin won. Potgieter is being nurtured for future Springbok stardom, and hopefully he will step up to the plate in this test series.
Furthermore, I’m still not sure what JJ Engelbrecht has ever done to deserve his Springbok inclusion, but then, perhaps every coach has his little pet….I do believe though Meyer’s got several…
I may come across as overly critical towards Heyneke Meyer. Well, perhaps I am. My opinion is that Meyer was supposed to know better than just about all his predecessors and the expectation from him was very high given the talent pool we have in South Africa. I mean, 3 of the 6 teams in the Super Rugby finals were from South Africa. Yet, we could only manage a 3-1 win in the 3 Tets series against England who had their fair share of injuries as well.
Ja, there is some tongue in cheek comments regarding the Blue spectacles Meyer is wearing, but I do believe there is some element of bias towards Bulls players present, otherwise I am 100% certain we would not have seen some of the selections made. Can anyone say without a shadow of a doubt that a player like JJ was not promised a direct line into the Bok squad should he sign with the Bulls, whilst he hardly made the Stormers or Bulls sides on a consistent basis?
One might well praise Meyer for being open to “experiment” with uncapped Springboks, and I for one most value his selection of Pat Cilliers, Eben Etzebeth and Marcell Coetzee in this regard. One could say the last two gave him little choice with their performances. But in Pat I think he’s taken a step in the right direction. I wish I could agree with his selections of Kirchner and JJ, but I think there are better players in the likes of Luddik, Lambie (benched due to Zane), Aplon and Juan de Jongh available whom he just doesn’t seem keen to select.
Although I’d agree that one should not underestimate Argentina, I would be greatly disappointed if this team does not put the Argies firmly in their place with a thorough thumping. And with a 63-9 victory back in 2008 under Peter de Villiers, I’d be hoping for something similar if we have any plans on winning the inaugural Rugby Championship this year…a goal I fear is slightly out of reach for the one dimensional Springbok game plan.