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Lambie to warm bench again

June 5, 2013 in Rugby, Springboks

It was only last year when one of the most talented Rugby players in South Africa was benched for all but 55 minutes of the entire Rugby Championship tournament.  An out of form Morne Steyn was given ample opportunity, in fact, 291 minutes during the Rugby Championship tests to regain his form, to no avail, and it was up to Lambie to take his chances during the Northern Hemisphere tour, when Steyn was rested, and Goosen was injured.

Zane Kirchner was preferred ahead of Lambie at full back.  The reasons for this is still unclear, but some have said that in 2012 Lambie didn’t play enough at flyhalf to warrant flyhalf selection, while some suggested he is actually a flyhalf therefore Meyer does not want to play him at full back.

Read the rest of this entry →

Bok new captain?

June 4, 2013 in Rugby, Springboks

A little bit of a connundrum faces Heyneke Meyer as he may be forced to select Jean de Villiers’ replacement captain and centre a bit earlier than he would have hoped.  De Villiers is currently nursing a tight hamstring, and may not be ready for the first test against Italy.

It wouldn’t be something that Meyer has not been thinking about. If he at all knows, like we all do, that Jean’s likelihood of captaining the Boks through the 2015 World Cup is very slim, due to his tendency to get injured pre and during the tournament as proven since 2003, he would have already identified his captain for the 2015 World Cup, or at least have some idea.

It seems to be a two horse race actually, and we once again might sit with what many people struggled to accept when John Smit was captain.  A leader in the side ahead of the perceived better player.  I won’t open the can of worms on John Smit vs Bismarck du Plessis again, but looking at the options available right now to Meyer, it seems to stir up a very similar brew as with the previous,legendary Bok skipper. Read the rest of this entry →

Only 11 days left!

June 4, 2013 in Rugby, Springboks

So with only 11 days to go, I cannot contain my excitement for MOB 2013! Last year was epic when we went down to Durban to watch the Sharks beat the Stormers, and met up with Playboy bunnies at Boulevards and just having a lekker jol, this year will be even more epic! Without the Bunnies of course, but this is the Bokke!

Imagine us okes, sitting around the camp fire on Friday night, Dutchman and his wife having a glass or two of Muscadel, Cecil Tires, Jaco and their Castle Lite’s, ‘n vleisie op die vuurtjie… ag lekker!

Then a lekker breakfast at the Spur early the next morning, and in at the stadium gates at 10:00 to start the fires, have our beers, have the best kuier since MOB2012, and then enjoy two Epic test matches, historic test matches being the first ever in Nelspruit, when Samoa do their War dance to the Italians, and we see the hard hitting Samoan’s try and decapitate the Italians.  And then, we see the Springboks take on the Scots, in what will definitely be the best game of this series.  We will listen to “Oh, cloud of Scotland”  being played by the live Scottish band, with hopefullya  few Scots int he stands singing their hearts out (I might actually learn the words just to enjoy the sing along) and then we get the Springboks, the National anthem in a full Mbombela stadium….goosebump stuff. Standing shoulder to shoulder with my best mates, of whom I’ve only met Cecil Tires, hands on our chests, painted in green, with BOKKE painted in yellow on our broad and proud chests! Man, what an occasion it will be!

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Showdown in Bloem!

May 30, 2013 in Rugby, Rugby Championship, Springboks, Super Rugby

ebvserfAn epic battle awaits us this weekend as the two top form South African teams take each other on in Bloemfontein this Saturday.

It will be a battle for top honors in the SA Conference, as the winner of this match will most likely walk away with the top position in the SA log, getting apart from the much forgettable Conference Trophy, a most probably home semi final.

But it is not just the two teams that will battle each other for the SA Conference.  There are also a few mouthwatering personal battles to be fought in lieu of the Springbok side to take on Scotland, Italy and Samoa in June. Players who hope to impress Heyneke Meyer enough to get the nod ahead of their counterpart in the other team. Read the rest of this entry →

Serfontein too good for Baby Boks?

May 29, 2013 in International, Rugby, Springboks, Super Rugby

It’s been reported that Jan Serfontein has withdrawn from the under 20 Junior Springbok side which take part in the IRB Junior World Cup in June.  No reasons for his withdrawal has been given. Read the rest of this entry →

Dear Heyneke

May 20, 2013 in Rugby, Springboks

Dear Heyneke

You know when you were named as the chosen one for the Springbok Rugby Coach job, I was very happy. Ja, I felt sorry for ou Divvy, but he was the maker of his own destiny, like Morgan Mandela said in that Invictus Movie.

So, last year, when you started picking Bulls players like Jaques Potgieter and JJ Engelbrecht, and gave them Springbok caps ahead of players who have shown their worth in the past and were much better in their positions, I started wondering what’s in your head. Are you a zombie?  Then we see poor Lambie on the bench every single game, while Zane Kirchner keeps running on as full back. I wondered, is Heyneke the only one who sees value in NikNaks other than Simba?

Last year ended pretty okayish for you, with some nice wins in the Northern Hemisphere. But now, we are in a new year, and as much as we love beating the Brits, we love nothing more than beating the All Blacks and the Aussies. We hate nothing more than losing to Argentina or some other third tier side.  We want you to win. Like that song goes, We wanna win. Read the rest of this entry →

SA Rugby Mag vs SA Rugby Magazine

April 30, 2013 in Rugby, Springboks, Super Rugby

Not to take anything away from Sport24, but since the article which inspired this post was referring to SA Rugby Magazine, and was linked to from Sport24 to its sister site, Supersport.com, I don’t think the big boys at Sport24 would mind very much. That’s if they even notice this post…

WatsonJesus

Ave Maria?

So, yesterday I commented on this article from Gavin Rich, who was crying foul over how people must move on and forgive and forget Luke Watson for his transgressions, and suggesting those who are still holding grudges against him are stupid and ignorant, because, in fact, Luke Watson is a very nice chap, has apoligised and has changed since the little brat he’s been before.  I’m not quoting verbatim but feel free to read the article and make your own interpretation. Read the rest of this entry →

Ban Rugby for Kids?

April 18, 2013 in Rugby, Springboks

There was talk this morning on two different Radio Stations about the disadvantages of kids playing rugby at too young an age.  This was based on a report in Beeld  (read here for English version) in which one Professor Cilas Wilders, a biokineticist at Pukke, said that the competitiveness of Rugby at Bulletjie Rugby, may negatively impact a child for the rest of his life.

Part of the problem is said to be the immense pressure placed on kids to WIN at all costs, with some parents paying their kids for every try they score.  Another problem is that some parents get aggressive next to the field, and there has been several reports where parents get involved in physical fights over their 6 year old’s on the field.  I think many who have been to these Bulletjie Rugby or similar contests, have seen the boorish behaviour of some parents. 

Dr. Mariette Swanepoel says that the children’s incapability to perform to the expectations of the parents, and even unqualified coaches, has a major emotional and social impact on children.  I recall that if you didn’t play Rugby at school, you were a “moffie” and teachers/coaches were more times than not, discriminatory towards boys who chose, or whose parents chose for them, not to play Rugby.  And that was in the era when Rugby was still “just a game” Read the rest of this entry →

Only 6 places left!

April 17, 2013 in Rugby, Springboks

The Mbombela Test Double Header tickets will go on Sale at 12:00 Today, 17 April 2013.  Many tickets have already been booked by various unions, sponsors and the like, while SARU have taken blocks of tickets which will not be available for sale on Computicket.

Which is unfortunate, because if you live in the Nelspruit area and want to get tickets through Computicket to see the Springboks play in your home town for the first time ever,  you might struggle to get through on their systems, and may be left empty handed, while the white collars of SARU will come from Cape Town and the like to fill up our stadium.  Sorry for you.  it upsets me quite a bit that many local folks won’t manage to get tickets to the game in their home town.  But alas, SARU is SARU….

If you act quickly, however, and from whereever you are, you may still be part of this epic event! Only 6 spots left at the MOB accommodation, and I may still be able to get more test tickets.  So please let me know soon!

Time is running out!

Clink on the Image Below to read more about the MOB!

MO(m)Bela Stadium to Rock!

April 10, 2013 in International, Rugby, Springboks

MOB 2013 is only 2 months away.  “2 months is still long!” You say, but when you consider accommodation to be arranged and tickets to be purchased to have the best possible seats in the house, 2 months is not alot of time at all! Heyneke Meyer has already started with his preliminary training squad, a squad on which I am sure you all have lots to say…

Be that as it may, coming to the MOB is going to be about much more than watching Stampkar rugby by Heyneke’s boys.  It your chance to meet some fellow bloggers, or if you don’t blog, to meet some sports lovers.  Its your chance to be part of a historic event which is the first time ever that Nelspruit will host a Rugby Test Match, and not just one, but two! Read the rest of this entry →

Bok Barometer

March 26, 2013 in Rugby, Springboks

All the SA Teams have now had a start in the Super Rugby Competition and there can really not be many excuses regarding rustiness and lack of fitness. A few players have put their hands up for Bok contention, some taking their chances while other would be contenders are still injured.

Based on performances so far this season, this would be my Bok side if I had to pick today.

Read the rest of this entry →

The Goose with the egg shell legs…

March 19, 2013 in Rugby, Rugby Championship, Springboks, Super Rugby

 

No golden eggs for this Goose! Just laying!

The Springboks and Cheetahs have been dealt a severe blow with the latest injury to Johan Goosen and one has to wonder whether this incredible talent will ever reach his potential.  Having only started Super Rugby last season, he sat out most of the season with a shoulder injury. He then got injured again ruling him out of the Springboks end of year tour and now, the latest injury, will again see him sidelined for at least 6 months while some reports say the whole year! This is a severe blow for the Cheetahs and for the Springboks, and our three horse race has been cut down to two with the leading horse eating dust!

The most worried man though would be Heyneke Meyer.  With Morne Steyn going to France at the end of the season, he is running short on options at securing his flyhalf for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.  Yes, it is still two years away, but with Goosen out this year and Morne in France when the 2014 Rugby Championship is being played, there really is only one name remaining in this race, and that is Patrick Lambie.

Not everyone’s favorite, but who else?  If I was Heyneke, it would be an easy call to make right now.  Patrick Lambie will be my flyhalf this year and next year and the year of the World Cup.  He will be my man around which I plan my game.  Yes, Goosen may well be ready when the time comes, but do you build your game plan around someone who might be ready and who is more on the sideline at the moment than on the field?  And Morne Steyn, with him playing in France, he will most definitely not be available for the Rugby Championship which is the premier tournament for the Springboks.  I guess Heyneke’s job has just been made much easier by process of elimination.

It is terrible for the Springboks though and for Goosen, as he was the favorite to take up the Bok 10 jersey according to the poll, and one has to wonder who will be Lambie’s backup at 10 going into the next few seasons.  Aside from Elton Jantjies, who’s form has been questionable this season so far, who else can step up when Lambie (touch wood) happens to get injured? Catrakilis? Frans Steyn? A miracle return by Liefling?

The Bok number 10 spot is suddenly under threat and in an area where South Africa for once had some options, suddenly there is only one. And boys like Handre Pollard may find themselves in the frame much sooner than they thought…

The battle for number 8 is on!

March 11, 2013 in International, Rugby, Springboks, Super Rugby

With Pierre Spies’ performance this past weekend against the Blues, Heyneke Meyer will have taken note and may even be having a wry grin on his face.  Spies’ performances over the past few years were short of satisfactory, and along with his hand injury last year, allowed for Duane Vermeulen to step up and take his place in the Springbok camp.

Many viewers will regard Spies as the better player, but it is often the non-flashy players who are doing the hard graft around the park and goes unnoticed because they do not rely on open space to ply their trade as does Pierre Spies. Read the rest of this entry →

Springbok Flyhalve: A 3 Horse race!

February 25, 2013 in Rugby, Springboks, Super Rugby

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? Read the rest of this entry →

Allez les Green?

January 15, 2013 in Rugby, Springboks

It is a real blessing that the IRB have established the regulations which makes it impossible for a Springbok, or other national rugby player, to play for another National team.  If not, we may as well have had to face some serious contenders when we play France next.

With their cheque books wide open, they already signed Juandre Kruger and Bryan Habana this season, and if reports are to be believed, Morne Steyn, John Smit and Danie Rossouw are also on their way to France.

Sticking with Pink, Morne Steyn might be off to Stade France who are well know for their bright pink jerseys

This made me wonder just how strong a Springbok squad can we make up just from our players in France, if above rumours are said to be true. Read the rest of this entry →