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Lambie is the best flyhalf in the country

February 17, 2014 in Rugby, Super Rugby

No golden eggs for this Goose! Just laying!

No golden eggs for this Goose! Just laying!

The Lions upset the Cheetahs and the Sharks put the Bulls to bed. Yes folks, that was the first round of Super Rugby 2014 and my,how short was it? Almost as short as Tjokkie Norris’….uhm….oh wait, this is a family site…

 

So looking back over the past weekend, here’s a few things we can take away and look forward to (and not to) for the coming marathon of week in and week out Rugby. Yes ladies, your husbands are now officially back to the couch  on Saturdays and to the local pub on Friday evenings. Oh don’t complain so much, ladies, we moved the entire SuperRugby schedule a day forward so we could be with you on Valentines day!  Be grateful.

So here’s what we learned (and confirmed) ?

  • Welcome back to a much slimmer and fitter looking Frans Steyn.  Jean de Villiers suddenly has competition on inside centre.  He was solid on defense, carried well and cleaned up some spills nicely.  Also, that deft little kick for Odwa’s try was brilliant! Something he must have picked up in France.
  • Goosen is a walking injury. Ok we already knew that, but what we learned about Goosen is that he is not ready for SuperRugby. Nothing wrong with the boy’s style of play and talent, but his body is just not up to the challenge.  Take a year off totally and condition your body properly. But it’s like these coaches, they play the guys 4 weeks before they are recovered then stuff them up for life. I shouldn’t dare say it, but hell, I hope Goosen isn’t a story of what could have been had he not got a career ending injury.

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Sharks: Plumtree panicking?

April 24, 2013 in Rugby, Super Rugby

"Keegan, Marcell, Kanko, F*k off!"

“Keegan, Marcell, Kanko, F*k off!”

Yes, the Sharks are in a spot of bother.  They started off extremely well, winning several tough encounters, and when the flood gates opened on the Rebels, one would have not been blamed fo thinking they may have finally stepped up a gear.

Follow a rather dismal loss to the Stormers, and an uninspiring performance against the Cheetahs, not to even mention, but I will, the plethora of Injuries, and the Sharks are suddenly in a spot of bother to get their initial promising campaign back on track.

Then, Plum goes and as if saying the Cheetahs didn’t play Rugby, (yet still beat the Sharks), wasn’t bad enough, he now goes and throws all his toys out of the cot, and includes the gravity hungry Frans Steyn at Outside Centre with the injury to Jordaan, drops Keegan Daniel and Marcell Coetzee to the bench and includes Derick Minnie from the Lions instead, with Mtembu at number 8. Read the rest of this entry →

New Zealand teams running the most, but SA Flyhalves get the most ball?

March 5, 2013 in Rugby, Super Rugby

 

Week 2 (or is it week 3? these Aussies always just have to confuse everything!) has come and gone and already some teams are being touted as this year’s champions, and others are being written off.  It’s still early days, chaps, so let’s not jump to conclusions too soon, or make any rash decisions.

Lot’s of focus on the Stormers, which I can get because they have been South Africa’s premier team in the Super 15 and as they say, high trees and a certain south easter, does make for some spectacular viewing. 

Last week I asked the readers to vote for their stand out performance of the week in the weekly race to the Bok number 10.  As it stands, despite having a bit of an “off” day against the Chiefs, Johan Goosen is still in the lead on the votes with Lambie in second spot.  Morne Steyn, whilst he will still be around during the Rugby Championship (he is only leaving after the Currie Cup) is backing up the rear.  To me, Morne Steyn was again very accurate with the boot and actually ran a few times with the ball in hand, one of those runs leading to a try and one out of every 4 passes went to the wing.  Lambie on the other hand was a bit stuck in an arm wrestle, and while he did miss a couple, he had a few nice runs and 1 in 3 passes went to the wing.  Goosen was a bit unfortunate to run into a very strong Chiefs side.  He missed several of his kicks (all but 1 in fact), but he remained the go-to guy for the Cheetahs, hoping he would create something for them each time he touches the ball. His defense was a bit shoddy and some of his passes were poor.  All in all, considering zero missed tackles and surviving the onslaught of the Stormers, I pick Lambie as my pick of the weekend.  Who was your top flyhalf this past weekend? 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 →

Highs and lows of 2012 ~ in pictures

December 12, 2012 in Cricket, Currie Cup, International, International, London 2012, Other sports, Rugby, Rugby Championship, Springboks, Super Rugby

As we come to the final few weeks of the year, and with absolutely buggerall to watch anymore, except for some Heineken Cup, where you can see old Southern Hemisphere has-beens in action against the best of Europe, it’s perhaps a time to reflect on the year which is past…a year that flew by quicker than Rickie Ponting’s last test innings…

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Heyneke taking “ugly” too far?

November 25, 2012 in International, Rugby, Springboks

It was a tough year for the Springboks. Something that the results of 7 wins from 12 can confirm.  The 7 wins include 3 wins over England, 1 win over Australia, 1 win over Argentina and a win against each of Ireland and Scotland.

Having drawn the third test against an injury depleted England side in June, flying over now with our own spate of injuries and unsatisfactory Rugby Championship results, I’ll admit, I didn’t think we’d win even 1 match on tour.  But the Springboks pulled it through and comes home with a clean slate on the tour of the UK.  I’d guess congratulations is in order.

But none of the wins, save for the win against Australia at Loftus, was really something to get excited about.  Uninspiring backline play with a lack of oomph! and creative skills was an earmark of this year’s campaign.

But a win is a win, be that by 1 point or by 20.  In fact, the win results this year averages on a scoreline of 24-14. What Heyneke Meyer said earlier this year is that he’d rather take an ugly win over a pretty loss.

Considering the way the Springboks were playing this season though, focussing on forward dominance with the forwards hogging more than half the ball between them and the scrumhalf, is Heyneke not perhaps taking this “ugly win” thing a bit too far?

Springbok’s forward approach smothering the game?

November 20, 2012 in International, Rugby, Springboks

 

20 more phases then Ruan will pass the ball to us….

Heyneke Meyer has done very little this year to confirm the belief the Springbok supporters had in him, when he was announced to take over from Peter de Villiers as Springbok coach.

The record shows that to date, the Springboks won 6 matches from the 11 tests to date, a success rate of 54.5%.  It seems quite average, in fact, poor, for someone who stated publicly that he believes in only one kind of Rugby: Winning Rugby. Read the rest of this entry →

Jean still not rested

November 14, 2012 in International, Rugby, Rugby Championship, Springboks

It seems as if Heyneke announced the squad with only two changes from the side that beat Ireland.

Battered, bruised, but still going on…

While I am happy that De Jongh comes into the outside centre role and that Gurthro Steenkamp comes on as loosehead, I am a little bit concerned for Jean who seems to have been struggling with injury and still not being rested. Read the rest of this entry →

SARU at centre of Bok inexperience

November 12, 2012 in International, Rugby, Rugby Championship, Springboks

The Springboks are still being haunted by SARU’s inability to create stability and consistency within the Springbok Management ranks.

This is what one can conclude when looking at the current lack of depth available in the Springbok squad as compared to arch rivals, New Zealand.

Lack of experience was the major excuse ringing in our ears like a broken record when Meyer’s troops failed to deliver during the Rugby Championship, and New Zealand who seemed to have lost lots of experience too in some key positions stormed to an undefeated victory of the Rugby Championship, winning all their matches. Read the rest of this entry →

Pressure mounting on Heyneke

October 21, 2012 in Currie Cup, Rugby, Rugby Championship, Springboks

With Johan Goosen out for the season, and based on his Rugby Championship selections, Meyer has only two options left at flyhalf for the upcoming Northern Hemisphere tour: Elton Jantjies and Morne Steyn.

After his form left alot to be desired during the RC, Morne was left to rest and refocus, while Goosen and Jantjies took up the reigns at flyhalf.  Last week Morne showed some good form, but last night again, his team’s lack of ability to dominate left him with very little chance to get into any sort of rhythm.

Elton Jantjies’ performance with the boot last night was not enough to give anyone comfort that he will have what it takes on the big stage. Given that it was a crunch game, his lack of conversions shows on a lack of BMT on his part, something that’s been questioned in the past.

So, despite the apparent wealth of flyhalves we thought we had in South Africa, we have an off form player in desperate need of rest and re-focus, an injury prone, talented youngster who is on crutches until next year, and an inexperienced, talented youngster who seems to freeze on the big stage. Read the rest of this entry →

Why Zane is favoured over Lambie

October 10, 2012 in Rugby, Rugby Championship, Springboks

With Ruan Pienaar saying Lambie should decide where he wants to play, I again wondered about the argument between who is better for the Bok side, Lambie or Kirchner.

To the naked eye, Lambie is clearly the better player, being able to play at flyhalf, inside centre and full back. Many say this is his downfall, the fact that he is so versatile, yet to me that is actually a strength.  Players like Stephen Larkham, Berrick Barnes, Matt Giteau, Stirling Mortlock and even Dan Carter have played in various positions throughout their careers and it made them better players overall. Read the rest of this entry →

Boks loss not a “Bok” thing….

October 8, 2012 in Rugby, Rugby Championship, Springboks

Oregan HoskinsI had the wool pulled over my eyes last weekend! The defeat of the Aussies in clinical fashion lead me to believe we have a good chance to beat the All Blacks this weekend.  Say what you want about how bad this Aussie side is, but they still pipped us on the Rugby Championship log by beating Argentina twice, and also are ranked second again on the IRB Rankings. So yes, even this poor Aussie side is better than us despite us demolishing them last week.

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Jean was right – SuperSport – Rugby

October 3, 2012 in Rugby, Rugby Championship, Springboks

I’m glad to see I’m not the only one thinking this…even though I often disagree with Brenden…

via Jean was right – SuperSport – Rugby.

Jean de Villiers may have stunned the whole country with what he said on Saturday night – that the Springboks had not changed their game-plan, but he was right.

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Suddenly it’s OK to miss kicks?

October 1, 2012 in International, Rugby, Rugby Championship, Springboks

I was happy that the Springboks finally managed to convert their efforts into points this weekend, and most of those thanks should go to Bryan Habana who put his hand up and took responsibility for making sure the Springboks score the tries they created. Full marks to him and those giving him a mere 9/10 should really get their heads out of their arses. 10/10 performance!

What does bug me however, is how many Springbok supporters suddenly think it was OK to miss so many kicks this weekend after they crucified Morne Steyn after the Dunedin test. Read the rest of this entry →