Bulls “forced” to make changes

February 28, 2013 in Rugby - Bulls

Hi all,

In my post prior to the Bulls’ opening game I said that the team selection was a bit conservative in my view. However the 22 guys that made the cut did their job and put four points in the bag.

Bulls team for Saturday against the Force:

15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Sampie Mastriet, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Mornè Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies (captain), 7 Arno Botha, 6 Jacques Potgieter, 5 Juandrè Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Mornè Mellett
Substitutes: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Grant Hattingh, 19 Jean Cook, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Louis Fouchè , 22 Jan Serfontein

With injuries to Stegman, Potgieter and JJ Engelbrect the Bulls management has been forced to make some changes and exciting changes they are.

Sampie Mastriet comes in for Engelbrecht and in turn, Mapoe moves to outside centre and Olivier moves to inside centre. Sampie is an exciting player with LOTS of gas and I hope he gets more opportunities than Mapoe did on Friday night. Mapoe will be closer to the action this time around and I hope he can display some of his running and stepping skills that we know he possesses. With Olivier at 12 we can expect the same tried and tested combination between Steyn and Olivier, I just pray that Olivier makes some passes to the exciting players on his outside. I wonder if there is any correlation between Wynand’s reluctantcy to pass and his playing in the Japan league. Surely there, against much weaker and smaller opposition, Wynand was able to run, break tackles and gain big chunks of ground without ever considering to make a pass. If this is the case the Bulls management should pull him aside and rectify it, or pick someone that is willing to distribute. Just a thought…..

In the loose trio, Potgieter and Stegman were injured and they will be replaced with Arno Botha (7) and Jacques Potgieter (6) respectively. The fact that the Bulls won’t have an out and out fetcher does not concern me a great deal especially against a Force team that no longer have David Pocock playing for them. What excites me, however, is that in Spies and Potgieter they have two very fast and very strong runners and Arno Botha could be the link that puts these boys into some space/on the front foot. On Friday night Arno was everywhere and provided good support when Stegman and/or Spies broke some tackles.

Every time Dewaldt Potgieter comes back I hope that he gets through his first game, but he has rotten luck when it comes to injuries. At one point in his career he was being touted as a possible Bok captain but sadly the numerous injuries have curtailed his progress.

Having said all of that, I am EXTREMELY happy to see young Serfontein on the bench. The kid has buckets of talent and promises to be a very exciting player. I hope he gets an opportunity to strut his stuff, and begins to stake a claim for a starting position.

I think the Bulls have the squad to go all the way, but they might just fall short due to some inexperience in some positions. I mean, losing to Bok flanks and being able to replace them with another two Bok flanks shows good depth. Player rotation and morale management (of the players that warm the bench or don’t make the 22) will be crucial though.

I am hoping a for a win with four tries for the bonus point. Even if th win is only by 1……….

Nice way to start the season! Go Bulls

February 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

Morning Blogland,

Today I am a happy Bulls supporter. After the build up last week and the long wait for Super rugby to start here in SA, my nerves were shot. I am very happy with the outcome of the game and the way the Bulls performed on their first outing.

I was very satisfied with Spies’ performance. He made his tackles, even tackled some Stormers backwards, he did his fair share of work at the rucks and best of all he made some telling runs, gaining lots of ground and putting the Bulls on the front foot. I think he showed the Bok selectors and Duane Vermeulen that he is back and ready to work his way back into the Bok team.

I had a feeling that Elton Jantjies would not have had enough game time (he actually had none) to integrate with the Stromer team, and his poor place kicking did not help the Stormers’ cause at all.

Morne was back to his best. The hard work that had gone into his tactical kicking before the season started has apparently paid off. He always put his forwards on the front foot, and thanks to a masterclass show by the forwards in the scrum, Morne had lots of opportunities to go for poles and converted them like the Morne of old.

The debutant Morne Mellet impressed me immensely as the Stormers said during the week that they would target him at scrum time. But that was all for naught as the young prop dominated at scrum time and also did his fair share of work around the park.

It wasn’t the best game by both sides but that was to be expected as it was the first game in the South African conference.

The Sharks and Kings (would you believe it) also played good rugby to win their games! I think we are going to have some great rugby to look forward to this season.

 

Finally! The wait is over! Bring on the S15!

February 19, 2013 in Rugby - Bulls

It has been a very long time since my last post and hopefully I will get into the habit of posting regularly in the future.

But before I get to the rugga, just a quick mention of the Proteas.

There has been a lot happening on the cricket front but I have just not had the time to write something about Graeme and his team of winners. I just want to congratulate the Proteas on their performances against the Ausies, Black Caps and Spot-Cheaters (Probably not fair to call them that anymore but hey, I still don’t trust any result that they are involved in). The lads have shown that killer instinct as well as a willingness to dig in and fight back whenever the situation required it. Well done! I hope at some point over the next 18 months we can translate our test arena dominance into ODI and to a lesser extent T20 success.

This past weekend, the S15 got underway with matches between the Aussie teams and all that I can say is that I could not watch more than 5 minutes at a time as the quality of rugby wasn’t very good. Not having seen the Tahs in action (They had a bye) I can’t comment on the Aussie conference as a whole but I dont see any of the teams progressing to the play off stages, except of course, the team that finishes top of the conference and gets a free ticket, even though they might not deserve it. I have to say though, of the four Aussie teams that were in action, the Brumbies looked the best and with their major new signing, David Pocock, will probably be the team to beat in the Aussie conference. Now watch the Tahs prove me wrong over the weekend!

That being said, the focus of this weekend’s matches for me, will be the Bulls vs Stormers.

Being a Bulls supporter since i was old enough to sleep with a rugby ball in my crib, I am salivating at the prospect that awaits us at Loftus on Friday evening. A traditional North-South derby to get us started is a great way to gauge where the balance of power will lie looking forward at the rest of the tournament. Both teams made the play-off’s last year with the Stromers winning the conference and the Bulls and Sharks getting through with their standings on the overall log. However, the Bulls couldn’t muster a good performance against the Crusaders and once again, the Stormers choked on the big stage of a semi final. I was actually impressed that the Bulls made it to the play-offs as they lost the core of their team after the 2011 RWC. But, as they say, that is history and doesn’t count for much on Friday.

This season though, I feel that the Bulls will be triumphant at Loftus. I reckon that without Burger and Etzebeth the Stromers pack will lack that grunt in their pack that is always needed to beat a Bulls side. And with the form that Hougaard is in (when he is not texting models and based on the game against the Cheetah’s) and Morne Steyn finding his kicking boots (hopefully not those purple ones) I feel that the Bulls will have the edge.

Victor Matfield has also been added to the Bulls coaching staff and will bring with him invaluable experience and expertise. This, coupled with a healthy competition for a place in the starting 22 across most of the positions, bodes well for the men in blue for Friday night and the rest of the season.

The team selection for Friday night was conservative in my view,  but playing against last year’s conference winners and losing semi finalists, I can understand that the coaching staff went for experience in stead of the bags full of young talent that the Bulls currently possess. It would have been unfair to expect Ulrich Beyers, Jan Serfontein or Francois Venter to take on De Villiers, Habana, Aplon and Taute in a very important game (Could possibly determine the conference winner). It is a bit disappointing that only one of these undeniable talents made it onto the bench. Im also disappointed that Arno Botha did not get the knod in place of Stegmann, but all things considered, not the worst 22 that they could have picked.

Im looking forward in particular to the match ups between:

  1. Spies vs Vermeulen

Spies has stated that he wants his Bok jersey back and Duane is the man that he has to get it back from. Pierre has had a long break and I sincerely hope that he will get back to his destructive best for this battle. I have always felt that Pierre should be played in a wider roll after 5 or 6 phases of attack. Only once the defence has been disrupted or placed on the back foot should this man be given the ball, preferably in some space. He will have to up his work rate rate and defence as well.

2.  Kruger vs Bekker

These two alternated in the number 5 jersey for the Boks last year and both have a lot to prove. The line outs promises to be an epic batlle and both these players will want to impress Heyneke early in the season. Personally I don’t rate Bekker because of the fact that when his pack suffers (Usually because he is waiting between the centres) he goes missing. His runs in open field can be devastating though!

3. Steyn vs Jantjies

I will be the first guy to admit that Steyn, based on his form last season should go nowhere near the Springbok number 10 jersey but that being said, Morne is one of those players that will do anything to get back to the top. I heard some encouraging things being said about him from people that watched the Bulls vs Cheetas pre-season game and I pray that his kicking form has returned. He is one of those fly halves that falls apart when he is off target in terms of his place kicking so I reckon that if he is successful with his first attempt it will kick the rest of his game into gear. Elton is a prodigiously talented player and has all the makings of a good fly-half, however, his lack of game time due to the sad passing of his father as well as the fact that he has new team mates, might make things a bit tricky for him.

It will be very interesting to see the changes, if any, the coaches have made to their game plans in the off season. I am sure that the “5 second rule” will force the Bulls to be more attacking or at least do something other than kicking possession away. I see this as a very positive thing because I have witnessed what the Bulls are capable of when they have that attacking mind set and with exciting players like JJ, Mapoe and Basson in the backline, it will only make sense to play that brand of rugby.

I cant wait for Friday evening!!

PS – Good luck to both teams as well as their supporters, I am sure it is going to be a massive game!

North vs South V2 (The aftermath)

April 2, 2012 in Uncategorized

Hey blogland,

MMMMM yummie! Don’t you just love the taste of humble pie! LOL

So the Stormers have beaten the Bulls at Newlands in the “first leg” of this year’s Super 15 Competition. Well done to Jean and his Stormers as well as their supporters, it was a physical battle and I am enjoying my humble pie :)

A couple of notes that relates to my previous post: (http://blogs.sport24.co.za/vendetta/north-vs-south-v1)

The loosies:

The battle was very even, I feel that Spies is still improving his form after the last 2 average seasons and the Bulls defence was not physical enough. Spies made some judgement errors in terms of decisions. I remember 2 or 3 penalties within Morne’s range that was not taken. I’m sure in the post macth analysis this morning they will address this issue. The Stormers edged this battle in my opinion.

The tight 5:

Again, a very even and physical battle. I feel that Etzebeth bossed Flippie and I am very impressed how he (Eben) handled himself in such a big game. The line-outs were even and so were the scrums. I just want to make a general comment in that the referees have no clue what is going on at scrum time and about 70%

The halves:

Being such a physical battle, there is not much to report here. Morne’s kicking has let him down for the 3rd time this season. I wonder what the problem is, and I hope they sort it out soon.

The centres:

Bulls had too much trouble penetrating the Stormers’ backline.

The back 3:

Even contest, Joe’s kicking was outstanding.

So, there you have it…….

North vs South V1

March 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

Hey blogland,

Looong time, no see. From me that is. I have been reading the other posts but have not had time to write my own.

Happy to see that Met Uysh called wallabokissass on the bullshit he writes every 3 hours. I thought that was quite funny and enjoyed all the “replays” of the stupid stuff wallboJackass has entertained us with over the months. My favorite is still the fact that he reckons Brok Harris is/was Bok material. I actually just fell of my chair again, laughing at that statement.

But this is not a personal vendetta with Kevin, but because he is so confident that the Stormers will win on Saturday, I thought I will just add my 3c.

The loose forwards:

Spies, Jaque Potgieter and CJ Stander vs Duane, Elstadt and Kolisi

I wasn’t very surprised when Coetzee named Elstadt instead of Koster. Koster to me is just another Kanko with less phusical presence. He has been shown up when playing against bigger packs and naming Elstadt in his favorite position was the way to go. Having said that, Jaques Potgieter is worth 2 loose forwards for the amount of work he gets through. And not only does he do a lot of work, he does is (Off the record) FUCKING (Back on the record) well. CJ Stander and Kolisi have both made commendable progress in their careers and have done their reputations justice with their showings in Super rugby thusfar. Spies is on the comeback trail and despite my reservations of him becoming captain, he has improved his work rate and performances week by week (Evidence – Refer to Man of the Match award against Reds).

Outcome: Bulls 55% Stormers 45%

The tight (light) 5:

Flippie and Juandre Kruger vs Bankies Bekker & Etzebeth

Mouthwatering stuff really! Probably the four guys in line for Victor and Bakkies’ spot in the Bok team at the moment. For me, the Bulls will edge this one based on fact that somehow Victor always but Bekker in his place in these matches (Refer to evidence – 2010 Super 14 Final) and I am sure that Victor would have given Juandre some insight on how to boss the Stormers at line-out time. Flippie and Etzebeth will probably cancel each other out at the rucks, wich leaves a mouth watering battle for the number 5′s.

Dean, Chilli and Werner vs Kitshoff, Liebenberg and Harris (LOL)

Easy one for the Bulls, 3 Springboks vs 3 “Never-will-be’s”

Outcome: Bulls 60% Stormers 40%

The Halves:

Hougie and Morne vs Duvenhage and Bash.

I don’t know what the Bash nickname means exactly but its definitely not because he tackels like Butch. I feel that the Bulls have the upperhand here as well. Morne’s kicking and Hougie’s abbility to change games will ensure that the Bulls win this all-important battle for supremacy.

The Centres:

Wynie and Sadie vs Jean and Juan

This will be an even battle. Jean has never made Wynand his bitch and visa versa, but I think the two youngsters will have a point to prove. Juan’s superior experience over Sadie will probably swing it slightly in the Stormers’ favour.

Outcome: Stormers 55% Bulls 45%

The back 3:

Basson, Akona en the Zane vs Habana, Aplon and Joe.

Again, very evenly matched. Aplon probably better than Akona, but Basson much better than Habana, even though Brian has improved since last year (Slightly). Nothing to choose between Zane and Joe, seeing that Zane has added joining the backline to his skill set.

Outcome: Bulls 50% Stormers 50%

DIT GAAN ‘n RILLER WEES!

I think the Bulls might just edge this game and I hope that it will be a game without any controversies or off the ball crap.

Unlike some other bloggers making comparisons and predictions, and leaving it there, I will revisit my post on Sunday and gloat/eat humble pie where necesary

Have a lekker one okes!

……..And world peace!

PS: Apologies for spelling etc. Ek is ‘n boer en het nie lus vir spelcheck nie!

Vendetta’s weekly wrap-up and bowling with a wet ball

January 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

Hello blogland,

So this last week has been quite interresting in terms of sport and there are a few things I would like to focus on.

Firstly, I would like to touch on the EPL. I witnessed a gross injustice on Sunday afternoon. After a challenge for a ball about ten metres outside Spurs’s box, Mario Balotelli intentionally stamped on Scot Parkers head. After his initial yellow card, he should have seen the ref (Webb i think his surname is) giving him his marching orders. Instead, Webb unfortunately followed the ball and did not see the moment when this thug tried to inflict harm on an opposing player. I thought to myself that Karma will make an appearance, Parker will steal the ball off Balotelli and Spurs will score. Instead (to my dismay as I am a United supporter) he wins a penalty and puts away the winner for City. Where is the justice in that? Balotelli has been seen sporting a shirt saying “Why always me?” I can tell you why bad things happen to you, you are a bad sportsman and human being. Be that as it may, Manchester put Arsenal away after Wenger subbed one of the better Arsenal players on the pitch with someone that clearly lacks form or comitment and the 3 point gap remains….

The Proteas continued their inability to defend big scores on Sunday by losing to Sri Lanka by two wickets at the Wanderers. What is going on here? It seems that the bigger the score they make batting first, the worse we defend the total. This is something that Gary Kirsten AB, and to a lesser degree Graeme Smith will have to address as a matter of urgency! Batting first, it looked like the Proteas were never going to get past 260 but AB and Graeme stood up and were counted. I was especially happy for Graeme as I have supported him from day one and I believe he still has a lot to offer. This was supported by the way he initially sytruggled (Strike rate of about 40) and them once he found his feet, obliterated the Sri Lankan bowling attack. Let’s hope that in the near future he can get back to his best form and do that from the beginning of the innings. Now, I am not blaming the batsmen for the loss, but i feel that we were about 25-30 runs short. I know the pitch was a tad more difficult in the morning, but I feel we could have gone a bit harder from the outset. Having said that, AB has his first series victory under his belt and I am sure he has learned a lot from these last two defeats. We also have to take into context that we were missing the number 1 ODI batsment as well as the greatest cricketer of all time, so all is not lost.

Staying with cricket, what an epic fall from grace for the number one ranked test team in the world. I understand that it is their first match of the series and they havent played much cricket of late, but with all their backroom staff and all the preperation going into this series I expected better. The batting was abismal, nobody, except for Prior in the first innings showed any determination to stop the rot. I wonder if any bookmakers were invloved? It has opened the series up though and I am expecting some fireworks in the next test.

Onto rugby, and it looks likely that Meyer will be appointed as Springbok coach. Bitter-sweet for me, as it will be a loss for the Bulls franchise but I see the bigger picture and I am extremely happy for Meyer as well as Springbok rugby. Should Meyer be appointed I do not expect a 180 degree turn around after the circus that was Pieter de Villiers. Much like what he did at the Bulls a couple of years ago, I expect Meyer to identify and build structures, young players and a gameplan over the nest two years, perfect the beforementioned in the third year and then demolish all before him in the fouth year. But we want to see results, right? Results dont just happen, they are planned for, and with Meyer, I believe we will have the best plans in place.

Now, on a more personal note, my LMS cricket team played our 2nd fixture on Sunday morning in Benoni. Having rained the night before, the outfield was quite wet but the pitch was dry, being covered the night before. The next time I hear commentators making excuses for bowlers because of a wet ball, i will be morte sympathetic. I went for a “couple” in my first two overs but came back nicely in the closing overs when the ball was a bit drier. Had a good day in the field though, inflicting two run-outs and taking a catch. We won our second game in a row, being a bit lucky as the opposition dropped 5 or 6 catches.

I cant wait for the Super rugby seasopn to begin!

Have a good week guys!

2012: Some good, some bad

January 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

Hello fellow bloggers,

I truely hope that all of you have had at least some sort of break from your jobs and that the time spent with family over the Xmas period was cherished and enjoyed to the fullest.

The theme for this post is not very specific but captures a summary of what has happened in 2012 so far, some good and some not so good.

It seems that all the South African S15 franchises are very busy with their pre-season preperations. As most of you know already my blood is baby blue and my favorite flower is the Barberton Daisy. The good news from the Bulls camp in terms of their pre-season prep is that Big Vic has joined the coaching staff yesterday as consultant and will no doubt add immense value, not only to the line-out analysis, but also the general structure of the Bulls’ game plan for the season. Some more good news is that the Bulls have not had any disruptions, other than Wynand Olivier’s injury, that I am aware of. The Cheetah’s and Lions have also been very quiet, the Cheetah’s less so, being added to the pre-season tournament to be played in the Cape. So on the premis of no news is good news, I am sure that the preperations in the two Cats’s camps are going as planned.

Unfortunately the same can not be said about our two coastal franchises. With Rassie apparantly being forced to leave Province and the Sharks to scared to play provibnce in the pre-season tournament begs the question what is going on in those franchises. The Sharks have also lost a fair amount of talent during the off season, the latest being JL Potgieter making yet another move, this time overseas.

I for one am very excited about the rugby season ahead. I am not expecting my Bulls to win much silverware this year (I am not writing them off) but with some very exciting youngsters, a new captain, and hopefully a tweaked game-plan, the prospects of what they could deliver is very exciting. What’s the saying? A change is as good as a holliday. In that case, the Bulls have had ample of both.

On the cricket front SA have had a very promising start to the year. Winning our first test series on home soil since 2008 has put away the lack of ability the side has shown recently to put away opponents in a test series. I must admit i was fearing a draw at Newlands after the dsastor at Kingsmead. I have to admit that JK had an absolute incredible 150th test and has shown the critics once again, that he is probably the most complete cricketer to ever play the game. Th ODI’s have also started with a bang under the leadership of myt favourite cricketer, AB de Villiers. I feel sorry for Graeme Smith and his curr4ent lack of form, especially with everybody else around him in rich vains of form, but the time has come for him to make a century or go back to franchise cricket.

On the “bad” side of the coin when it comes to cricket, what the hell has happened to India? The look like a team without guts, plans, skills, patience, leadership and most of all test cricket players! There current performances against the Aussies are nothing other than pathetic! Is the the result of Gary Kirsten leaving their structures or that their batsman are using the test matches as warm-ups for the opcoming IPL??

Also, the number one ranked team in test cricket England, or SA (A) if you prefer, have had a horrible start to their year. They are 111 for 7 (Nelson) at the moment. One would have thought with all the training camps they have had prior to the start of this series againsts the Pakistanis, they would have had a better start. On top of that, they have elected to bat first, and at 111/7, im sure that Strauss would rather have bowled first. Having said all of that, a test consists of 4 innings and not only one, so we will see if they continue the rot, or come back and prove themeselves the best at test cricket.

On a more personal note,I have started playing outdoor cricket again. The league is called Last man standing (www.lastmanstanding.com) and is played by amateurs. 20/20 8 a side with some interesting rules and loads of fun. If any are you are also playing in this league (it is played world wide) we can maybe deicate some posts to our stats etc….

Our team was off to a good start as we won our first game in the last over and here are my stats.

Batting: 5* of 5 deliveries to finish the game.

Bowling: 1 for 13 of 4 overs, having bowled in both the power plays.

Not too shabby for someone that hasnt played outdoor cricket in 9 years hey???

What has been some of your sporting/personal highlights/blunders of the year so far?

Peace out!

Vendetta

Who will lead the men in blue?

November 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

Hello blogland,

I haven’t posted in a very long time and the reason therefore is twofold.

1. I have been incredibly busy with work this year; and

2. I recently got married to my one and only :)

Now, not that I have not been reading the other bloggers’ posts, I have witnessed the whole debacle surrounding Wallabokiwi thinking that Brok Harris is Bok material as well as the Copycat saga that happened a couple of weeks ago. Very entertaining and also very juvenile. The entertaining bit obviously being the Copycat scenario and the juvenile part relates to Wallabokiwi sometimes insane utterances, especially surrounding Brok Harris.

Now, let me state categorically, that I don’t have a vendetta against Wallabokiwi, I just thought that seeing Brok Harris in a Bok jersey might just push me over the edge and make me stop watching rugby alll together.

Now, to the point of my blog……

With Matfield, Botha, Du Preez and many of the other senior players all gone, who is going to lead my beloved Bulls in this years Super 15.

On News 24 this morning they mentioned that the race might be between Chilli and Spies…… Are you kidding me?

Pierre Spies has only recently started his return to some sort of form. For the last 2 seasons he has been struggling to churn out the big performances that he did consistently in 2009. Back then he was a player that commanded respect and used his big frame to take the Bulls forward every time he touched the ball. He did some amazing things on the field and almost single-handedly destroyed the Saders in the Semi’s at Loftus in 2009. But this alone is not what makes a captain. Pierre has never struck me as someone who can fire up a bunch of guys when the chips are down. He is too quiet and soft spoken, for me, to command respect from a team like the Bulls, who can be at times, their own worst enemy.

Chilli will probably be my pick. He has come a long way from being the perceived “token” hooker alongside John Smit (After “Splinters” Shimange got the boot). He has silenced a lot of his critics over the last two years (including myself) by always making an impact, whether as part of the starting 15 or as an impact player. Listening to guys speak that went to school with Chilli and many of the 2007 boks that have now retired, it seems that Chilli has both the necesarry leadership skills and ”fire in the belly” traits, that I look for in a captain. The fact that he is quietly confident in terms of handling the media also counts in his favour, and I feel that Spies still requires some work in terms of handling the media.

The dark horse in this race for me, is Dewalt Potgieter. This man has lead the Emerging Boks against the Brithish Lions as well captained the Boks in some midweek games on tour, and he did a great job I think. He reminds me a bit of Francois Pienaar in a way. He is still quite young, as is Pierre and Chilli, but I think the Bulls will do well with a young charasmatic leader, such as Potgieter. He is a very likeable character and his PR skills are nothing short of amazing. He is a hard worker and often bleeds for the cause.

For me, it will be between Chilli and Potgieter, and regardless of who gets the final nod, either one of the two, will have a massive job to get my Bulls without the old dependables, back into a winning habit.

What do you guys think?

Trampled Kiwi ala Revenge

July 16, 2010 in Uncategorized

Hello Blogland!

I am in an absolutely awesome mood this morning as I completed a project for KPMG a day ahead of schedule. This means a free lunch and an early start to the weekend. I am going to get as much sport in this weekend as humanly possible!

Firstly, today I would love to watch a bit of the TdF to see what Armstrong was on about when he tweeted that today is going to be one of the toughest stages ever. He made mention that it was a very up and down stage with narrow roads and it was the only time (in 1995) that he really saw Indurain on the ropes. It should make for some good viewing I reckon!

Then as the blog’s title suggested,  some sort of recipe to exact some revenge onto the Kiwis for the embarrasing of the Boks that was handed down last week!

Ricky:

 

Please, for the sake of my good health, have your one good game in a year tomorrow morning! You are the link between the forwards and the backs. Be the link, not the broken Telkom line!

Loosies:

 

There will be no better opportunity for Flo to prove that he is world class, than this weekend. I fear if he has another invisible man performance like last week, that he might get relegated to the bench. Along with Schalk and Spies, the three of them will have to beat ol Richie to each and every loose ball and knock the stuffing out of him at every opportunity.

The Tight Five:

 

The scrums for me were not such a great disaster last week, but I hope that they can improve that aspect a bit. John, please, show that you are a hooker, not a third prop! Hit some rucks, find your jumpers and LEAD THE PACK! Your leadership which is the only reason Gary Botha or Tiaan Liebenberg are not in the squad, has been missing. Light that fire in the engine room by leading by example! All Victor and Danie has to do is play the way they did in the Super 14 final and they will be fine.

The Backs:

 

It all depends on Ricky whether the backs will be able to get away some attacks. Morne has proven in the Super 14 that he can get his backline away, and even score some tries himself. If numbers 1 – 9 can get the ball going forward, Morne and his outside players should prove that we can also score some tries.

Commitment:

 

Attack like demons, defend like your lives depend on it!

Jean and Zane:

 

Jean, you can’t go for the intercept every time!

Zane, don’t use the high ball every time, the small chip and chase will be a nice change of scenery for you!

Well, there you go, it’s very simple really.

Then my favorite CC fixture of the year, the Bulls vs Sharks as I am a Bull and my girlfriend is a Shark. Imagine the fun I had in 2007 when she phoned me from Kings Park to brag about the Sharks Super 14 victory, and when I phoned back 3 minutes later when Habana scored!

Have a great weekend dudes and dudettes!

Peace!

It’s not a train smash, it’s a total disaster!

July 12, 2010 in Uncategorized

Hello fellow bloggers!

What I witnessed on Saturday was a complete disaster! Not for one moment do I believe that can get beaten by such a margin by the All Blacks. Not with the wealth of talent that we have and for goodness sake, we DOMINATED the Super 14! So this begs the question. With the momentum created by the Super 14 and our warm up tests, how did we manage to implode so emphatically?

Here are some of the answers, I believe:

Travel and the media:

I think we left the travel a bit late. We could have travelled a bit earlier which would have left us with more time to get climatised. Only having one or two proper sessions before a big test is not ideal. And with a lot of time spent feeding the All Black media machine also did not help with our preparations, instead, we only fed the All Blacks more inspiration ahead of the all important opening match!

Selections:

Picking out of form players and players out of position is a recipe for disaster! The following players are grossly out of form and serious decisions will have to be made with regards to their places in the team:

John Smit: Captain courageous looked nothing more than an overweight school boy on Saturday. He was nowhere to be seen in the loose (he was stationed at inside centre mostly!) and his line out throws were abysmal! He also did not look like he provided much inspiration for a team that really needed it!

Bakkies: The less said about Bakkies, the better. I really hope the 9 week suspension gives him some time to re-evaluate his approach to the game!

Flo: His nickname in Afrikaans translated to English, means poor! He was exactly that. He did not contest a single ball on the ground and did not protect the little ball we had. We are missing Heinrich Brussow in this department. Maybe Francois had an off day or was he overwhelmed by the occasion of facing the All Black Captain?

Ricky Januarie: Three badly misplaced tactical kicks, 3 huge counter attacks which eventually ended in three tries for the All Blacks. His passing is slow and often caused our players to attack from a standing start. Hopefully the coach will come to his senses! He was not the understudy at Province for nothing you know. The only reason he was on the bench at the Stormers was because Bolla Conradie is even worse of a scrumhalf than Ricky! The one-try wonder has to go!

Jean de Villiers: Either you play him at inside centre or not at all. His constant search for the intercept left us vulnarable on the wing and the All Blacks capitilised on that.

Zane Kirchner: Who in his right mind will select anybody else if you have Frans Steyn?

The use of the bench:

Pdivvy should have brought on Ruan Pienaar after Januaries first bad tactical kick. Danie Rossouw should have started the game as he is the in form Number 4 lock. Butch James? Really? What impact will he make in a game? Except for a shoulder charge or a high/late tackle. Chilliboy also does not instill a great sense of comfort. He did however win one of his own line-outs, something John Smith could not manage.

Set Pieces:

 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not throwing the fault at the door of the management team alone. The players on the field also needs to take responsibility for this loss. The scrums were not terrible, in some of the scrums we actually looked dominant, but then again, there were a lot of occasions that we were not on the front foot in this department.

The line outs were shocking! From John Smith’s throwing to competing for opposition ball. Pathetic to say the least! The drives were also not working from the line outs and that was an area that we wanted to dominate. Not good enough Boks, not even close!

The Loose:

 

We were static from our phase ball. We did not compete on the ground. We did not protect our possession. Enough said.

Tactics and Motivation:

What? The less said the better!

……………………………………………….

Hopefully the Boks climatise properly this week, stay out of the media, make the right selections and show the world why we are the world champs! Maybe this was a much needed wake-up call to get us out of that comfort zone!

Come on Boks, we know you will make us proud this weekend!

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