Springbok Flyhalve: A 3 Horse race!
Well well! What a weekend of Super Rugby! Apart from the dull encounter up North in Bulls country and the snooze inducing encounter down under in Brisbane, this weekend’s “kick off” of the Super Rugby season really provided some much needed quenching of thirsts accross continents!
One thing is for sure, and that is the South African teams have a lot of work to do to match the intensity and raw speed of the New Zealand teams. In Australia, only one team really stand out and that’s the Brumbies. Sorry Quade, either go back to boxing, or get Genia back on your inside. Frankly, you are perhaps better at boxing than at Rugby without him!
And how about those Kings, hey? Love them or hate them, for me (with egg in my face) they earned a certain amount of respect for the way they played and kudo’s to the supporters filling a stadium, where Ellis Park would most probably have been as quiet as a….well, come to think of it, is there anything as quiet as Ellis Park right now? I still believe the venue is at the root of the Lions troubles…and perhaps a lesson to be learnt by some that perhaps encapsulating the festive vibes from what the 2010 Soccer World Cup stadiums provided may in fact assist with the longevity of the unions. Traditions unfortunately do not fill the pockets nor pay the bills. Feet do. And pardon the little stab, Luke supporters, but what does he do on the field while someone like that Jacques Engelbrecht chappie is warming the bench? Does he still think he is a quota player or what?
Little Catrakilis was also quite impressive by not missing nearly as many kicks at goal than Elton Jantjies, for who, at this stage it must be both quite a distant memory and dream for playing for the Springboks. Kicking like that will never, ever earn you a recall to the Springboks, and most likely nor to the Stormers. Now, he may have been going through a difficult time with the passing of his father, which was touted as one of the reasons for him being so woefully off form, but we’ve seen in the past the Elton struggles a bit on the big stage and frankly if he wasn’t emotionally ready for this game, he should not have played. I’d venture to say the Stormers would have been better off with Coleman at 10 than with Jantjies. And why Jaco Taute wasn’t used when it was clear Jantjies is not making the cut, only the people who knows why we never attempted drop goals in the 2011 RWC Quarter Final, knows.
But as for the other flyhalves on show this weekend, its clear that no one’s name is currently written in ink on the coveted Bok 10 jersey. Morne Steyn made early in roads and restaked his claim was a massively impressive performance with the boot on Friday. His tactical kicking was accurate, goal kicking sublime, and his decision making was quite good. Heyneke Meyer was perhaps orgasmic after that performance with the boot, but when Lambie all but destroyed Morne’s performance, he probably suddenly sat with a problem in hand, rather than a solution. And the second half performance by Johan Goosen showed why he should not be counter out of the running as yet; he may have had a slower start than the other two, but my oh my, has he got what it takes to leave both of them biting in his dust!
I was thinking of some way to record the readers’ assessment of the 3 flyhalves performances each week, and maybe by the mid way mark before the June tests, we might have an idea who the readers think the front runner is. Vote on the poll on the right who you think was the past weekend’s top performer. At the end we’ll see who is leading and then the question is, will that match with Heyneke’s assessment? Well, we all know what his affinity towards kicking is, and with solid experience behind his name, I do believe Morne is currently perhaps a little hoof infront of Lambie. Goosen perhaps a few yards behind, but beware of that final stretch!