Editors Note


Volume 4, Week 41

Editors Note

Brilliant!     What a wonderful rugby weekend! After a dismal few weeks, the Southern Hemisphere teams regained the ascendancy in world rugby and status quo was returned. Thank heavens for that. The crowing up there can now be replaced by some bleating and players, supporters and writers down here can take a well-deserved break for a few months. 

Not that there was too much crowing done by the Springbok team in Scotland. Yes. On paper a fine victory will be entered into the record books but what a shambolic display from the hosts. The Scots were pathetic and if there are charitable funds to save the rhino, whales and a host of endangered species there should be no objection to registering one for Scottish rugby. The litany of errors by the current crop embarrassed the memories of a Gordon Brown, Andy Irvine, Gavin Hastings, Gary Armstrong and all the greats who ever stood tall to ‘the Flower of Scotland’. 

The Springboks started the game with a lot more purpose and conviction than any of the other test matches. They scrummed well and performed a few plays that resulted in some good tries. The effort by Jaque Fourie being a particularly good try – a good patient build up with an excellent off load to a player running a brilliant angle. There were a few early Scottish Christmas presents to Bryan Habana, who had another very good outing and Jaco van der Westhuysen kept the scoreboard ticking with excellent option taking. Fourie Du Preez underlined his world-class status with another brilliant all-round display. That was the good.

The bad and the ugly came through yet another terrible display of Springbok ill discipline. This must be by far the biggest worry for Jake White. The weak scrumming can be rectified, k*k-ing out Jaco van der Westhuizen will improve his game (yes Jaco, this is criticism from back home and if that is what it takes before you perform like you did over the weekend, this writer will be sending you personal bollocking notes hence forth), rotating the backs will provide fresh impetus but what to be done with the most penalized team in international rugby? Every match produces yellow cards and penalties galore. 

Supporters and writers can put the blame in front a ‘hidden and sinister’ world referees agenda but the truth is blatantly clear for all to see; the Springboks do not know the laws of the game and if they do, they choose to ignore them like pudding at a weightwatchers meeting. The tight games, as they usually are after the quarterfinals at a World Cup, will be lost through bad discipline and that will be tragic as this is a very good, exciting team capable of great things. Nuff said.

The England Australia encounter was an excellent match of high quality and it was good to see the Aussies outmaneuver the English pack. Matt Giteau is simply one of the best players roaming international fields at the moment and his contribution to the Australian team is immense. One of the other happenings that impressed this armchair critique was how Mike Tindall slotted the kicks that mattered and almost engineered a massive English comeback. The commentators spoke of ‘taking responsibility’ and that is exactly what it was. Test rugby is all about taking responsibility.

The match of the weekend was the All Blacks decimation of the French in Paris. This was the kind of All Black team that strikes fear into the heart of any rival supporter. Gone was the blundering of the Tri Nations and the forward cohesion combined with good old fashion rucking paved the way for a marvelous synchronization of speed and power. Added another brilliant talent in Daniel Carter and this crop of All Blacks might yet rule the world.

The Springboks travel down to Argentina to play a game of rugby that should not be accorded test status. As soon as two countries compete with anything less than their 1st XV it should be an ‘A’ international and NOT a test match. That statement could just damn all Springbok tests hence forth… but it really is a nonsensical affair to play this game without full strength teams. The Barbarians match against the All Blacks is enjoying higher status and that is wrong. Anyway, it could prove very embarrassing if the Springboks should struggle or lose against, heavens forbid – amateur players!

Next week will be the final edition of RF for the year with a little summary of another long year of rugby. Please feel welcome to send your thoughts on the 2004 rugby season.



For all the latest rugby news visit sarugby.com

Rugby is a physical game. We will be just as brutal as England are aiming to be at us. There is a physical part of the game and we are not shying away from that. We will take the physicality of England and hopefully we will be able to use our skills.      Eddie Jones

I thought England played quite well but I don't think South Africa played to the best of their ability. England were very strong in most aspects of their performance but I don't think South Africa were.      Elton Flatley

You get one chance. I've now got it. The coach can pick me, but he can't play for me. I've shown him in training this past month how hungry I am to play test rugby and how much being here means to me.     Solly Tyibilika

It is not a case of showing Scotland a lack of respect. Under the circumstances I am comfortable this is the team to do the job. I have always preached continuity in selection, but I couldn't ignore the fatigue factor.    Jake White

There were a lot of things that played a part. Perhaps we were in a comfort zone and some overconfidence crept in. Perhaps we thought we were better than we are. You always learn to expect the unexpected and we didn't follow that rule.         Springbok sports psychologist Henning Gericke

I felt powerless. I had the feeling that we could play for hours and hours and not finding our way to the line. The All Blacks are well and truly a better side.         Bernard Laporte

We knew them inside out, if somebody had told me that something like that was going to happen, I would have said 'no way, mate'.      Bernard Laporte

Attitude was everything.      Graham Henry

For Giteau to move to No 10 was a big effort. He is a very, very good footballer.       Eddie Jones

It is no surprise Australia did well against England. How come every year they are the only country who can compete on the end-of-year tours? That is because there is no rugby for them when we play our Currie Cup. Jake White

What an experience it will be - not a lot of All Blacks can say they have been on both sides of the Haka.     Justin Marshall

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Hi Lucas,

South Africa and the big bang tour which we asked for...

I don't want to be seen as kicking someone when they are down, but it sure is difficult to tell people that I support the current Springbok side and live with myself!! I know that every time I sit down to watch a game, I have only 1 thought and that is that I hope they do us proud, whatever the outcome of the game...... On this grand slam tour, I fail to see that they have done South Africa or themselves proud for that matter.

The games against Wales and Ireland plus the team selection against England makes it very clear to me that Jake White has been told that he will START and FINISH each game with 2 'transformation' players on this tour!!!! How else do I explain the appearance of Tim Dlulane in Cardiff, or Breyton staying on the park against England?? The team for Scotland may even start with more than 2 on the park if Arthrob Pietersen and cronies has their way. 

How can we explain that a team is accepted by team management, given to the media and then Breyton is back in the side again?? To make up numbers for whose benefit?? Alternatively, be honest for a change and tell all the supporters who stopped the selected side from starting. It was obvious from faces at the start of the England test that there is no joy at being selected to represent your country and on the field there was no cohesion in the team. 

Administrators should stop pretending that they have the interest of rugby at heart, as it is obvious from this tour squad selection and now these booboos that Brian van Rooyen's BIG statement when he took over is rubbish. He stated that teams will be selected on merit and then we get this past weekend to show the lies we are told and fed as if we have no brain cells. I think it is time that the supporters start staying away from matches till the time comes when teams are genuinely selected on merit, play ers get paid ONLY when they win and contracts are at a stage when their salaries are comparable to the earnings of a middle management employee. That should earn them R 30 000 a month, extras when they win and nothing when they lose.

It may give them some incentive to play proper rugby again. How else do we explain the frustration on Os du Randt's face when he told Matfield to push in the scrums and not just hang around..... Watch the replay of the game and you will see. Os doesn't say much, but it sure explains a hell of a lot to me that he would get so agitated with one of our 'stars'....

Here is to an honest team selection for once.....
Dawie in Cape Town

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Hi Lucas

You can’t expect to win a rugby match if you don’t choose you best players. So Jake this is what you call a winning Springbok side.

7:Van Heerden
8:Van Niekerk
9:Du Preez
14:Paulse/De villiers

Edward Gregory

Hi Lucas

Hierdie week wil ek iets anders bespreek.

Ons mor en kla altyd oor die skeidsregter, veral as ons van mening is ons spanne word onnodig gestraf. Besef ons egter dat Fourie du Preez die speler is wat die meeste onkant is by die skrum, en perfekte obstruksie pleeg ?

Die reel is duidelik : Wanneer die span wat die bal by die skrum ingooi se skrumskakel beide voete voor die bal het, dan is hy onkant. Fourie staan feitlik by die "bek" van die skrum op ons bal, en verhinder sy opponent fisies om die bal te volg. Dit het by talle geleenthede vir van Niekerk die geleentheid gegee om die bal te speel. Nie een keer was hy daarvoor gestraf nie.

Laat ek nou nie net vir Fourie uitsonder nie, dit is 'n algemene verskynsel wat ek in al die toetse hierdie maand opgemerk het.

Dit laat jou maar net wonder waarna kyk die skeidsregter, en wat het van sy hulp, die Grensregter, geword ?

Geen skrumskakel mag, terwyl die bal in die skrum is, aan enige speler wat deel is van die skrum raak nie. Tog word hierdie oortredings ook nie gestraf nie.

Indien die nie-ingooispan se skrumskakel een voet voor die bal het, is hy onkant. Word hulle gestraf ? 


Das Villoen

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