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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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?
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 →
It seems as if Heyneke announced the squad with only two changes from the side that beat Ireland.
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 →
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 →
I 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.
I’m glad to see I’m not the only one thinking this…even though I often disagree with Brenden…
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.
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 →
Johannesburg – Heyneke Meyer says he is too embarrassed to look at any clips of himself shouting his mouth off in the coach’s box. But it is this image that has had South Africans talking and wondering just what it is the Springbok coach is saying – and to who.
And, is the Bok boss really such an intense man, someone who appears on the verge of having a heart attack throughout the 80-odd minutes the Boks are in action?
“I am very passionate about my job … I love my country and I love my people and as a coach of a national team you have to be a part of the game. Soccer coaches get involved with their teams on the side of the field. I don’t want to do that, but it’s like an orchestra where I pull the strings. Read the rest of this entry →
After Dunedin I wrote that I thought things are improving for the Springboks. The way they played improved, their decision making was more accurate and had it not been for the difficult and unfamiliar kicking conditions at Forsyth Bar, Dunedin, and three or four schoolboy errors, we would have beaten the All Blacks in Dunedin for only the second time in history. Read the rest of this entry →
Come 12:00 this afternoon, many a Springbok fan will get a hernia when Morne Steyn is once again selected to start in the number 10 jersey for the test against Australia at Loftus this weekend.
I highly doubt that Goosen will start this weekend, as many are hoping for, simply because I don’t think its the right time yet.
Many disagree with me, and I am quite aware of the fact that I’m treading on unpopular waters here. I mean, it just makes sense to start Goosen against this year’s weakest opposition, doesn’t it? Or…does it? Read the rest of this entry →
I thought we would be able to beat a pretty weak Australia though, hoping that the Springboks have learned a few things from the Mendoza abortion. It actually seemed we did, although the game plan in the second half was not adequate to adapt to Australia who changed their game.
I was, nevertheless, still pissed off that the Springboks didn’t pull off the win. I thought they could have and should have, but they didn’t. Read the rest of this entry →
The Springbok E-zine brings us weekly “Hotseat” Questions and Answers and this week if was the turn of John McFarland, the Springboks defensive coach, to field questions from the public. I’ve picked a few answers from him which I think are interesting, confusing and indicative of the current mindset in the Bok Camp.
Full article can be read here