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Meyer Cheapening Bok jersey?

September 4, 2014 in Rugby, Rugby Championship

Bok FanWith 31 new test caps in 29 tests since his tennure started, one has to start wondering if Meyer knows what he is doing.

It’s become concerning to me that the number of debutants under Meyer seems to be increasing virtually with every match, yet, we keep on hearing people say he sticks with too many old players.

Factually, I cannot agree too much with the latter sentiment. The only “old” players in terms of age is Victor Matfield and Jean de Villiers, whilst, to be honest, there is not too much we can replace them with at this stage. Perhaps too late even if one looks into the preparations for the World Cup next year.

Perhaps the sentiment should rather be that Meyer is sticking with too many players who are not performing well, instead of looking at age but then we can also say that he doesn’t stick long enough with new players before he tries someone else…

Some people have expressed concern that there are too few new players coming through, and that Meyer is not identifying new talent. The former sentiment is totally untrue. Under Heyneke Meyer, as of today, 31 Springboks have made their debut. Between the 31 players, they average 6.8 caps per player since debut, while Eben Etzebeth is the most capped at 25 test caps. If Warren Whitely runs out onto the park on Saturday, he would become debutant number 32.

But somehow when we look at the current squad at the Rugby Championship, which is around 30 players big, we seem unable to recognise those 32 debutants.

That is because several of them have come and gone. Only 9 of those 31 debutants are in Saturday’s squad, while a further 3 players are in the extended squad. So, 12 out of the 31 debutants are still playing . And that is why one would never tell that 31 players have made their debuts under Heyneke Meyer. Twenty players (consider this 3 players short of a full match day squad) have dropped off.

For more and the complete list of players and how New Zealand stack up, visit SportChat.co.za

 

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.

Read more on SportChat.co.za

Get your Braai On!

June 6, 2013 in Rugby

Check out these awesome Braai’s from Kalahari!  I mean, you’ve painted your Land Cruiser Blue, you hanged those Blue balls on the back, you got your Blue Bulls flags all over, and imagine the awe and amazement when you park near Loftus, and take this beauty, rugby ball shaped, all Bulls braai off the back to braai your lekker Blue Bulls steak!  The envy of everyone in Pretoria!

 

Blue Bulls Charcoal Braai

Click on the image to order yours now! 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!

mob2013

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 →

Stormers should not try so hard!

May 3, 2013 in Rugby, Super Rugby

It’s always seen as a bit of an injustice when a team loses a Rugby match despite having played the best Rugby all game long.  That was the case again this morning when the Stormers, despite winning every aspect of the game, lost to the Blues in North Harbour by an agonising 1 point.  What makes this loss even more agonising, is that the Stormers scored the only 2 tries of the match, while the Blues, traditionally known for their dangerous running rugby, didn’t score a single try.  A feather in the Stormers defensive cap as you may, but that’s where the party ends.  Scoring the most tries doesn’t win you matches.  Scoring the most points does.

It’s irritated me to some extent when, for the past two seasons, the Stormers suffered harsh critisism for not scoring enough tries. Yet, the ended first and second on the log, which is the important thing in this competition. I mean, you can be everybody’s favorite team, but if you don’t bring in the money, you soon find yourself on the street…like the Lions. 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 →

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…

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 →

Historic Match in Barberton!

February 21, 2013 in Rugby

 On Saturday the Lions will be playing the Mpumalanga Pumas in Barberton, the small little Lowveld town in Mpumalanga, famous for being one of the richest in gold resources in South Africa.  It is also the home of the Barberton Daisy, and emblem of the Northern Transvaal and Blue Bulls.

Barberton was established in the 1880’s, when the Barber brothers discovered gold in the mountains.  I won’t bore you with the history of gold diggers,first gold mining in South Africa,  illustrious hotels, horse racing, famous “bar ladies”, the first South African Stock Exchange, concentration camp, one of the largest prisons in South Africa, the oldest rocks in the world and the home of Jock of the Bushveld, all part of the rich history of my home town.

Eureka City Racecourse

 

But want to elaborate a little bit on the history attached the Coronation Park, the field where the Lions will be taking on the Pumas.

To my knowledge, this will be the first time in history that a match of this caliber will be played on this unique Rugby field.  Today the home of Barberton Rugby Club, Coronation Park is steeped in History as much as the historic town itself. 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…

Read the rest of this entry →

Fifty Shades of Green

November 23, 2012 in Humour, Rugby

Adapted from an email

All tied up…

The novel “Fifty Shades Of Grey” has seduced women – and baffled blokes.  I was one of the lucky ones who thought I bought my wife a gift, and she returned the favour, let’s say….50 fold…

Now a spoof, Fifty Shades Of Green, offers a treat for the men. The book has author, Bakkies Groenewald, recounting his love encounters since his wife read the notorius book.  Here are some extracts of Fifty Shades of Green. Read the rest of this entry →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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