Editors Note


Volume 3, Week 24

Editors Note

Brilliant!     How about that? The Springboks answered the Shakespearean call of a couple of weeks ago and managed to overcome the Wallabies to record their first back-to-back victory in the Tri-Nations competition since… the previous century, believe it or not!

Saturday, at a sun-drenched Newlands, turned out to be a very good day for the Springboks, who for the first time this year played to their potential. Many thought (this writer included) that there was a better chance of George Bush winning a Nobel Peace Prize than seeing the Springboks victorious over the world champions considering their indifferent performances in the build up tests and soul wrenching end-of-year tour. Why, one has to ask, do they put themselves through so much criticism before they perform?

John Robbie, the ex-Irish international made a very interesting comment on the television Saturday morning about players representing the country and regarding it as a job. He mentioned it is not a job, but an honour to represent your country and with it the ideals of every supporter who will never have the same opportunity. The XXI that took the field on Saturday took this sage advice to heart and performed like professionals.

The unexpected victory however should not be hailed, as a new beginning or should this team be classified as world-beaters just yet. The Wallabies were poor and yes, you only play as well as your opposition let you but they made highly questionable tactical errors. Firstly – it was clear that spinning the ball wide without forcing a few phases was not going to work with the Springbok’s rush type defence. Once they started hitting it up through the middle via Kefu snr. committing the likes of Van He erden, Smith and Barry and recycled quickly, they outscored the Springboks three to two. They clearly miss George Smith’s ability on the ground. Secondly, Gregan should be shot for not picking up the points on offer later in the game when he must have realized his lineouts were under serious threat. 

The Springboks got a few things right. The tackling was low and hard, this allowed the likes of Joubert, Barry and Krige to compete for the ball on the ground. The past few seasons, high tackling prevailed and the Springboks could clearly not master the league type of defence and so playing away from the scavenging qualities of their captain, Krige. Brent Russell – the young man can jol. Louis Koen produced his best performance in a Springbok jersey and it is this armchair critic’s opinion that he is the man to take us to the World Cup, play him, give him confidence on attack and he will return the investment with gold. The lineout prowess of Matfield and Botha helped to secure much needed turnover possession and a vital steal in the final minutes from Matfield was quite ironic against a team that specialized doing just that in the final minutes of games.

All in all it makes for compelling viewing this weekend when the All Blacks will try and break the unbeaten Springbok record of 2003. The match played at the bastion of Blue Bull rugby, Loftus will be a totally different kettle of fish and for the Springboks to win they will have to produce a similar performance as a minimum but definitely take a step up. The All Blacks over the last few seasons have had the better of the Springboks, how much of it psychologically – it is difficult to tell but they have been consistently better than the Springboks. 

How to win? The All Black forwards will be a lot more astute at working the ball in the pack, hitting it up around the fringes, using the brilliant skills of Richie McCcaw to the breakdown and creating space for Carlos to weave his magic with the wonderful backs at his disposal. The Springboks need to defend the rucks and mauls to the hilt and at the same time be as destructive in defence as last weekend. They cannot afford missed tackles, as they have not yet grown in the effective defensive unit only game time brings. The lineouts need to compete and spoil as the All Blacks looked decidedly vulnerable against the French and with this prized possession, the backs wont have 20 meters to attack in. Carlos will exploit the rush type defence so the Springboks need to come up in a line and if they want to target a player, Mauger could be a bit rusty. Daniel Carter might have been a more difficult customer, and there is no way, Umaga will be intimidated by Barry. Pressure is the name of the game, the ful lback has not been tested with high ball and pressure and Rokocoko made a hash of a high ball against France. Louis on one of his many home turfs need to test all these players, but only if his forwards can secure the ball.

The weekend will be huge, support your team live at the park, I am! 



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Fickle They Are by Desmond Organ
Master Yoda would probably warn the South African supporters and the media alike that one victory over old foes is no guarantee of ultimate success. In fact the little genius might just role off the following; “fickle they are and quick to count the joys of pubescent success.” Wise words indeed, especially if you consider the outcome of tests several years ago. 

I am not remaining cynical as many would claim and anybody fortunate enough to have witnessed my rendering of the national anthem at the break would have had little doubt that I was mightily impressed, the rapturous applause in a far flung corner of the world would have made any South African extremely proud. The applause might have been for the fact that I was finally silent after 40 minutes of cheering the boys on. The fact that they could not hear me was not lost on the several rugby fans from v arious parts of the world who were just as happy to see the Springboks playing to their potential.

The reality is that we have been there before and my mind shifts back to a game against the same said band of brothers from down under. It was in 2001 at Loftus that South Africa produced a very similar performance. A quick read of the match report renders a very similar verdict to that written by many of the scribes on Saturday evening. A dominant forward display coupled with excellent kicking and a few flashes of brilliance from the three quarters. 

In fact the Springboks have lost only once in their last six outings against the defending world champions, something that cannot be said of our record against the All Blacks. The statistics are even more depressing when one looks at England and the reasons therefore is not that easy to understand. Perhaps it is simply the fact that New Zealand has the ability to score from both broken and set play and the English have a set of forwards to match any that we can put on the field of play.

I would go even further and argue that stability at no 10, 12 and 13 has been critical to any South African success in the last several years. The players that spring to mind are Van Straaten, Fleck, Joubert and Barry. Even further back and we will come to remember Honiball and Muir. The injury that was sustained by Marius Joubert is extremely concerning because it appeared as if we were finally establishing some solution. I am sure the communications crew would claim that Barry’s selection was alw ays in the planning but I will wait a week or two before I pass any judgment.

That being said there were several components of the Springboks play that were indeed a pleasure to behold, not the least of which was the ability of the forwards to operate as a unit and secure the possession through several phases of play. Support of the ball carrier and the ability to engage the opposition with the correct body positioning whilst securing the ball were executed with great efficiency. I have a sneaking suspicion that this is the Gert Smal technique coming to the fore, something t hat easily outweighs the upright and isolated approach that I believe symbolized the Straueli approach.

I was also pleased with the manner in which the three quarters executed their attacking options, Louis Koen might not be the best playmaker in the business but he kicks his goals and has the ability to tactically kick the opposition to death if they do not close him down. The results from broken play had the Brent Russell stamp all over them, but this again might not work against more settled combinations. Whilst many people will be clamoring for him to start every game, I might just settle for a h orses for courses approach unless one wishes to revisit the French game of late last year. The reality is that there might be three or four players that can execute the game plan that the coaches have in mind for particular opposition.
The key to success is consistency and thus it might just be a good idea to retain Koen and rotate his position depending on the lines of attack or defence that are being executed. Andre Pretorius, Russell, Greef and Koen should always be part of the mix even if they do not start every game. The English have been successful playing around Will Greenwood in the outside center position and this has been with several combinations, the basic game plan is the same. Louis Koen is no Wilkinson but his tact ical and placekicking game are about the same. 

The Springboks like any aspirant World Cup team have to have a squad system in place and I hope that this is the case for the remainder of the Tri-Nations. You cannot expect every player to remain uninjured, sticking to a system that allows a stable pattern to emerge is just as important as having match winners. Thinus Delport is also being hailed as a planned move and judging by the fact that it was he that Straueli lured back, there might just be some sense in the move, then again Anton Pitout pl ayed a similar role for the Bulls under Joubert. 

Calls for the return of Robbie Fleck might be politically correct in the land of mountain mania but I do not think that he is the player he was and Andre Snyman has been far more consistent at Super 12 level, if he can carry that through to test level he is a far better option defensively. Skinstad is always going to be part of the mix, but for my money it is easier to play around the less explosive Juan Smith than the defensive lapses that appear to have become a part of Skinstad’s game of late. K efu would have had a far easier ride than he did against Smith and Wannenberg.

The Springboks have several areas that require added attention, not the least of which is the inability to clear out from the back of the ruck. There were at least four occasions in which the Wallabies exploited Joost’s absence or slow response. As defensively sound around the fringes as he is, these mistakes will cost a lot more in the presence of McCaw and Beck.

The continued technical infringements at scrum time must be addressed, as strong as Sephaka finished the game he has to work on his technique. Any loose head that fails to bind with his left arm is asking for trouble. Several people I watched the game with questioned his physical strength, something that Mathew Proudfoot highlighted when asked how he compared to the Bulls loose head. 

The backs need to start scoring from structured moves, tries from broken play should be the icing on the cake not the staple diet and the ease with which Australia achieved this should be recorded by the coaching staff and acted upon, there will be times when forward dominance is not as easily obtained and the Springboks need to maximise on the opportunities that they were presented with by the forwards.

On a completely positive note the lineout was a great success and the lock combinations appear to be settled, adding Cronje to the mix highlights the strength in this department. The tight five appear to have cemented their positions in the team, but then again there is plenty of depth in this area. Messing with the loose forwards is a risky option and playing Van Niekerk and Skinstad in tandem might just be a bit too spectacular for my liking. I would personally take note of the comments of one Ru ben Kruger who earlier this year promoted a Juan Smith and Van Heerden combination. Rugby is not only about flair it is also about hard old-fashioned forwards winning the ball.

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Boks (26) vs. Wallabies (22) by Vinesh Naicker
The Wallabies took the first scoring opportunity of the game when, ignoring his backline, Koen kicked it straight to Roff whose return kick put the Wallabies deep in Bok territory. The Wallabies gained control of the ball for Burke to kick a drop goal from the 22.

Jaco Van der Westhuizen went off injured after his first great mid-air take of the ball. I think most people agree that this was one of the best things that happened for the Boks as he was replaced by Russell. Russell's presence in the backline gave the Boks the spark that they have been missing. I’ve thought all through this season that the thing the Boks have been looking for is a little bit of spark to round out their game. You just need one player to do this in the forwards and maybe two in the backline, rest of the players in the team should be the hard working grafters that South African rugby has built it’s reputation on. By contrast the All Blacks have a huge numbers of players who are playmak ers or can provide that spark what they have been working on for the last couple of years is finding players who can do the hard yards to provide the platform to launch that expansive game.

The next major scoring play of the game came when Joubert put a great tackle on Burke within the Wallaby 22 and getting to his feet turned the ball over for the Boks. The ball went through 12 phases including a penalty before Russell received it on the right wing and going around Roff scored near the posts. Score 7-3.

During that period I felt sure the Boks were going to make an error as they were moving it around very quickly, but the handling remained good. Koen seemed to have learned from that first botched kick and he began to mix his game up passing the ball when possible instead of always kicking for territory.

The Wallabies had a few problems with their line outs mainly the jumpers failing to clear well. In addition to this the Wallaby backline struggled to gain momentum as Barry and Joubert consistently shut down Steve Kefu with their spot tackles. De Wet Barry, despite spending 10 minutes in the sin bin and not being quite as effective in the second half, went on to win the man of the match award because of his tackling efforts in the first half.

The presence of Russell seemed to add urgency to the Bok backline with the players in general seeming to pick up their pace by 10% due to his presence. Terblanche by contrast seemed to be playing at 80%, although his game on defence was good as he did clean up very well from a kick ahead by Burke. His game picked up in the second half as well.

The Wallabies eventually replied from a 5 metre line out. They spread the ball wide and, running onto an inside pass from Rogers, Sailor went through the tackle of Koen to score the Wallabies first try. Score 7-10. The next scoring opportunity was a failed drop goal attempt by Koen. It seemed like a lapse of faith in his backline as he was not in a good position for the shot.

A fumble from Burke in defence led to Sailor giving away a penalty for holding on to the ball and Koen kicked the points from just outside the 22. Score 10-10. Another promising attack from Australia was snuffed out by Barry's great spot tackle on Toutai Kefu. His method of grabbing the player just above the knees and driving him over proving more effective than the hug and smother method he tended to use in the second half.

The Wallabies were penalised for pulling down the lineout and Koen banged it over for the Boks to once more take the lead by 13-10. Burke fumbled the ball again and all in all did not have a good game. Based on his current form Latham should be at fullback against NZ.

The Wallabies recovered and Sailor made a good run down the right wing. His kick to the centre just before being tackled seemed a great option until Russell collected it just outside the Bok 22. Russell set off on a 20 metre run before passing to Barry on the right wing. Barry to Joost to Russell to Terblanche for Matfield to score in the right corner. This try has the potential to be the best of the Tri-Nations this season. Koens conversion was in off the post and the first half ended with th e Boks leading 20-10.

As I noted earlier in the second half Barry abandoned his earlier tackling technique and twice put the big hug on Sailor with limited effect. The Wallabies were thus able to gain momentum and with Krige in the blood bin the Australians kicked a penalty to touch. From the lineout 15 metres out, Toutai Kefu drove to within 5 metres. With Barry going to the bin for preventing the ball coming back, the Wallabies spurned the shot at goal in favour of a scrum. A second penalty, for Joost grabbing the ball before it was out of the scrum, resulted in Waugh scoring with a quick tap and run. Score 20-17.

With Krige back on the field Waugh was penalised for hands in the ruck and Koen kicked the penalty from 40 metres out. A sensible decision by Krige, in a tight test match with a man down, take the points on offer and stretch the lead. Score 23-17

In what seemed the first bad call of the game Sharpe was penalised for being offside from a tackle (I didn't think there was an offside from the tackle) it might have been more appropriate to penalise Kempson for tackling Steve Kefu without the ball.

The penalty was in a similar position to the previous one and Koen once more put it through the uprights. Score 26-17. Koen really showed his worth in this game, pretty much kicking over everything on offer and intelligently mixing his kicking and passing options.

Australia once again spurned a penalty attempt from 45 metres out, instead kicking for the lineout on the Boks 5 metre line. The Bok defence was up to it though and after they won a turnover from the ensuing rucks Koen cleared to the 10 metre line.

Barry came back on the field with the net loss in his absence only being one point. However, the Boks relaxed a bit, from the ensuing lineout and ruck Burke beat two tacklers to release Roff in the corner. Score 26-22. A try went begging in the corner when Barry was bundled out over the corner flag. If he had dived for the line instead of fending and looking to pass the Boks would have been 5 points richer.

The Boks managed to hold out until the end with the game ending on a South African penalty. A bit surprising that Koen kicked the ball out instead of going for goal. Kicking the penalty successfully wouldn't have denied the Wallables their bonus point for finishing within 7, but might be important if it comes down to points differential at the end of the tournament.

All in all a pretty good performance from the Boks, there is still a way to go as they can still improve their game. Their main aim from now on is probably going to be consistency. Putting together those back to back performances which are needed to win the World Cup. With the Springboks firing now it looks like being a pretty tight tournament this year.

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We were a family. We knew exactly what to expect ... our angles of running and how to keep defensive lines. Japie Mulder on the 1995 winning team

We've got so many laws there at the moment that we really do need to look at the whole thing, not make any knee-jerk decisions, but make some decisions that are going to bring the game into the modern era.      Rod Macqueen

I've got huge respect for players like my captain [Corné Krige] and Joost [van der Westhuizen], along with the rest of the team. I hope you have the same respect for them.       RS after being questioned about Bok Pride

Our performance just wasn't good enough.     Eddie Jones

Barry's tackling forced at least five turnovers, and left his opposite number, Steve Kefu, in a shell-shocked state. However, probably not half as shell-shocked as Straeuli, who had stumbled on a winning formula more by accident than design.     Nick Cain from The Times

I don't put any unnecessary pressure on myself, I just play like I always play no matter what the situation is. Brent Russell

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Letters to the Editor
Hallo Lucas

Brilliant SA vs Australia

De Wet Barry played a brilliant game, put in big hits, got on his feet immediately and contested for the ball. It is only a pity that he didn't get the try near the end of the game. If he dived earlier, he would have been in! He looks to the the answer to SA's centre problems. Brent Russell was brilliant as well. Stefan Terblanche and Bobo cost us a try each by  not passing the ball. Dale Santon looked to be a liability in the Springbok team. During the few minutes he was on he gave away quite a few penalties.

I am a bit baffled by the failure of 2 touch judges and a ref to notice a player in front of the ball at kick-off time. Matt Rodgers on Saturday was on 2 occasions about 2 metres in front of the ball at kick-offs. Nobody but the spectators noticed it. In the game between England and the All Blacks, Doug Howlett was awarded a try after being the front of Spencer when he kicked the ball. I subsequently took special notice of the whereabouts of Doug Howlett whenever Spencer kicked during that game and subsequent games of the All Blacks. I noticed that Doug Howlett is in front of the kicker most of the time and never gets penalized for it!


Dear Lucas,

Beter peformance Boks much beter?

With this type of rugby they played against the Wallabies, the Springboks can only improve and become a serious force comes RWC. Their defence, tackling, pressure applied was out of this world. The try that Matfield scored was just awesome because of the support, inter play, ball going form hand to hand. What more do you want? This is how you play. 

I hear John Eales hashis mouth full again this morning saying the AB's will win Saturday? Wonder why? Wasn't he the one that also had his mouth full when the Springbok management implimented the no mobile phones, no woman , no booze issues saying dicatorship in rugby was long gone? Instead he concentrates on the Wallabies who is busy with their downward trend? Also the rugby experts and writers in New Zealand that said the Wallabies will win by 10+ points? Ja jong, is maar swaar ne?

Come on Boks nail the AB's as well. They are not much better than the Wallabies? I must mention the ref again? I'll rate him 9 out of 10 for his performance. He came close to ten but nobody is perfect. Thats why he gets 9? Excellent! Scott Dick(head)kinson, allow this guy to help you?

Mooi so Bokke. Doen dit Weer.

Bok bedo**erd in New Zealand.

Hi Brilliant, sorry, Lucas, 


Dit is Maandagoggend na die toets en ek moet die manne (Bokke) om verskoning vra dat ek in 'n oomblik van swakheid, so min geloof en vertroue in hulle gehad het. Brilliant! Ek wonder net so bietjie, so effens, of hulle die voorafgaande toetse dalk teruggehou en weggesteek het, het julle Rudolph? Ewenwel, die bokke het my bek stil gespeel, miskien dan nie heeltemal nie, maar darem. 

'n Hengse klomp van hulle het saam met Brent Russell gewys hulle wil nie net speel nie, hulle KAN. Vir De Wet Barry moet ek mooi om verskoning vra vir die dinge wat ek voor die tyd van hom gedink het, maar gelukkig nie ge-uiter het nie. Jammer en ekskuus ou maat. Die mannier waarop verdedig is, was so na my hart. Tackle die rook uit hulle uit en kyk dan of hulle mans genoeg is om terug te kom vir meer. Hulle was nie en dit is presies wat ek bedoel met my leuse van, "ATTACK THROUGH DEFENCE". Goeie verdediging maak die pad oop vir aanval. Een offensiewe duikslag maak baie plannetjies en balbesit ongedaan. 

Man, dit werk, die teenstanders is naderhand so vreesbevange, hulle vang die koddigste dinge aan en jyself kan lekker deurhol, hulle is selfs te bang om jou te tackle, vra maar vir Matt Rogers en Steven Kefu. Toe Barry die bal vat en hol, toe los hulle hom sommer. Daar het later los balle rondgelê wat sommer wild weggegooi is na ondersteuning wat ontbreek het. Lekker manne, baie lekker en well done. " A lesser mortal, well tackled, stays tackled the whole game and will perish, the brave might come back for more".

Brent, wel wat kan ek meer sê, Brilliant! Van die dag wat ek hom die eerste keer sien speel het in die WP-skolespan, toe sê ek vir myself, myself hier is 'n "Voetballer par excellance" soos Dok Craven en Oubaas Mark na sou verwys het, 'n mannetjie wat KAN rugby speel. Ek hoef verder niks te sê nie, want die gek wat nie sulke talent kan raaksien en aanwend nie, is meer as 'n gek en 'n dwaas. Jou beste agterspeler moet toegelaat word om die volle 80 minute 'n IMPAK op die veld te lewer, en basta met die bankie sittery.

Nou vir die ander groot woord, "Repeatability". Kan ons dit herhaal en volhou en ook verbeter, met ander woorde, "Continuous Improvement". Hoekom nie. Ons moet net nie arrogant raak nie, bly nederig, gefokus "and keep it simple" en tackle, tackle, tackle, dan sal die geleenthede om aan te val in oorvloed kom.

O-ja, amper vergeet ek die ref en sy twee adjudante, of moet ek sê, trawante. Wel, na 5 minute was ek nie meer bang vir enige Oz-poginkie nie, maar na 40 minute het ek bang begin raak, baie bang en bevrees vir daai man met die fluitjie en kie. Hulle het verkies om nie die vuishou te sien nie, nie die afklap van die bal tussen Russell en Terblanche nie, nie die dralers gesien toe ons 'n vinnige losbal gewen het nie en natuurlik, die skrums. Almal ken vir Young, genoeg gesê. Meneer die Ref het sy subtiele bes probeer. Al wat hy nie kon doen nie was om vir die Aussies aan te raai om pale toe te skop nie. Dankie tog. Hy kon hulle net so vêr help, die res moes hulle self besluit, toe besluit hulle verkeerd. Dalk het dit iets te doen gehad met al die "knocks" wat hulle gevat het, te lam en bang in die bene en suf om pale toe te skop en natuurlik te arrogant ook. Dankie tog.

Koos Carelse

Hi Ed, (3/7/2003)

I am a staunch Bok supporter, but I am becoming extremely weary of the lack of intelligence in SA rugby. We must have the dumbest coaches and players in the world. I wrote to you some months ago suggesting that all coaches and everyone playing Super 12 need to pass an intelligence test and I repeat my recommendation. 

All our coaches are not consistent in the selection of players and seem to pick players on reputation - Skinstad/Teichman, Montgomery/Joubert, Slap Chips, Andre Snyman, etc. and now a captain, Krige, for the WC whilst still injured (shades of the last WC!!). This causes great confusion amongst all the players. The game plans also change from season to season. Last season he picked young, exciting backs like Brent Russell and Andre Pretorius to name a few. We won one tri-nations game but played exciti ng, “watchable” rugby albeit with a leaky defense, a problem which could be fixed. Then the record beating tour with disastrous results, which were simply due to a third string forwards (due to injuries) couldn’t cut the mustard in the wet northern hemisphere conditions and where you cannot run the ball with gay abandon. What does the coach do – panics, drops all the forwards who were injured and discards the runners. Then he says, but wait, the Bulls (having played out of their skins, against other “thick ” SA teams) won the Currie Cup. Instant change to 10 man rugby with a fly half who couldn’t run himself out of a paper bag. I ask the question “What about huge, strong forwards, which SA has, and fast exciting runners, which SA has”? Are we not capable of playing tight, but 15 man rugby? I am sure the average spectator would rather see 3 or more tries scored and a kicker with 75% success rate than 1 or 2 tries and 100% kick rate. SA has one of the world’s best kickers ever seen and yet we don’t use him to teach attacking fly halves, but average kickers (eg. Pretorius and James) how to kick – super, super dumb I say.

Our coaches talk endlessly about discipline, but do #$%K all when players continually conspire to make the game difficult to win through the giving away of either points or territory. The Aussies dropped Elton Flatly for not pitching to a practice even when their other flyhalves are injured – that’s balls. I can’t remember when we last played a test and had all the players on the field for 80 minutes! In the days of Doc Craven we wrote the rules now we don’t and our players just don’t seem to underst and them. Cobus Visagie and AJ Venter are surely leaders in this regard and now I see van Heerden who captained the Baby Boks also seems to have a problem.

In my humble opinion, we will never win again regularly until our coaches select consistently, give the players a consistent game plan to play to and players consistently apply and play to the rules.

Thanks for RF it’s always a great read.


Yes Lucas (3/7/2003)

Hoor, Hoor vir Koos Carelse (week 23). Waar is die dae toe die BOKKE enige span moeg ge "tackle" het. Deesdae se bokkies is blykbaar n spul sissies wat bang is hulle kry seer, of moontlik dink elkeen op die veld dat verdediging iemand anders se "job" is.

Verder, ek het al voorheen hieroor gekla. Weet enige bok speler nog waar die voordeellyn op enige gegewe tydstip op die veld is?
Weet enige een in die agterlyn nog hoe vlak of diep die lyn veronderstel is om te le met aanval of verdediging?
Liewe hemel! hoeveel keer, teen beide die Argentyne en die Skotte, het die senters die bal stilstaande gekry? Menige keer.

Kyk, Rudolf probeer maar hy gaan dit sowaar as vet nie alleen regkry sonder die ondersteuning van sy spelers nie. 
Ek gaan nie probeer span kies vir die afrigter nie maar hy sal sy opsies baie goed moet oorweeg as ons nie n helse vernedering wil op die lyf loop nie.

In elk geval STERKTE aan Rudolf en die span wat hy ook al mag kies. Op die einde van die dag is ons agter julle al "bitch" ons ook hoeveel.

Dankie vir n baie insiggewende en interesante rubriek Lucas. Doe zo voort!



Dear Ed (3/7/2003)

Soon after this forum started I wrote bemoaning the fact that our forwards especially those who arrive at the breakdown more slowly than the loose forwards do not drive the opponents off the ball either to retain or gain possession. England has got this absolutely right and look at the result.

Until the SA forwards aggressively drive the opponents off the ball we will not win against the big teams.

To make matters worse our forwards have been taught or have learnt a new method of stopping the opposition. That is you try to waltz with your opponent instead of tackling the guy. No longer do we aggressively take people out tackling hard and low but we push our chests against the opponents chests and put our arms in waltz mode.

We urgently need to get Michael du Plessis and Joggie Jansen to show these pansies how to tackle.

What with these fundamental flaws and the fact that we can not hold on to the ball I am certain we are going to be wiped out in the tri nations. As for the world cup unless a renaissance occurs (and we need an African renaissance )we may not even make the quarter finals.

Drop Kick

Dag Lucas. (11/7/2003)

Dis vrydagmiddag voor die die toets en ek voel beswaard oor ons kanse teen die Oz. Kyk, ek ondersteun die Bokke deur dik en dun, maar daar is net te veel vrae, te veel ooglopende teenstrydighede en boonop te veel manne in die span wat nie beter kan nie en sommige wat glad nie kan nie.

Ek het hoegenaamd geen vertroue in hulle nie, ek raak kriewelrig, senuagtig en ek is bang, baie bang vir wat moontlik kan en gaan gebeur. Ek is nie lus om te kyk nie en ek dink hier kom GROOT K#K, ek is sommer lus en kruip weg onder 'n stoel soos die hond wat aangevang het. In kort, ek is bekommerd. Miskien slaap ek nie vannag nie, en nog minder Saterdagnag. Dit kan 'n helse lang dag en nag raak.

Ons verwys altyd na 'n span met karakter en fight in hom, as manne saam met wie jy oorlog toe sal gaan. Die klomp boesem so min vertroue in dat ek nie inkopies saam met hulle sal doen nie, ook nie "cowboys en kroeks" mee sal saamspeel nie, wat nog van rugby.

Die enigste ware "footballer' (Brent Russell) in die span sit op die reserwebank, en ou Bobbie is seker dankie bly die griep red hom van 'n fiasko en dreigende vernedering.

Ek bid en hoop ek is verkeerd en dat die manne net baie oortuigend weggesteek het, en opsetlik sleg gespeel het. Ek is bereid om die spot en slae van almal te vat as hulle net wen, al is dit met 'n desimale punt.

Ek glo nie, nee ek glo, ek moet onthou om te glo om nie alles te glo wat ons sinne ons wysmaak nie, sorry, maar hierdie lyk alte veel na 'n desperate span, gekies deur desperate keurders en afrigter.

Koos Carelse

Dear Ed (11/7/2003)

Lucas let's give RS a break, as far as I am concerned his team selections makes sense. Since last year's Tri-Nations he has made up his mind as to who his best players are in most positions, it is not his fault some of them are unavailable at the moment. I believe all he has been doing since last year's Tri-Nations is to look for our second best 15. Although I believe test matches should not be used as trail matches, I can understand why RS is doing it. Firstly because of injuries to his first choice team and secondly because he knows the players play to much rugby.

By collecting all the clues that RS has dropped in the press since the start of the year, I am sure this is the team he would like to push in the field.

1. Lawrence Shepaka
2. John Smit
3. Richard Bands
4. Jannes Labuchagne
5. Victor Matfield
6. Corne Krige
7. Joe v Niekerk
8. Bob
9. ? 
10. Andre Pretorius
11. Breyton Paulse
13. Marius Joubert
14. Stefan Terblanche
15: Werner Greef
with Robbie Kempson,Brent Russell and Selborne Boome as definites for the bench.

If you look at it from this perspective then the 33 member Tri-Nations squad makes sense.
- Dale Sandton is there because John Smith is not yet match fit
- De Wet Barry and Wayne Julies are there because they have both partnered Marius Joubert at provincial level before
- Halstead and Andre Snyman are RS's second choice centre pair
- Louis Koen and Derick Hougardt are there because Andre Pretorius is not yet match fit
- Geo Cronje, Bakkies Botha and Quinton Davids are there because Jannes Labuchagne is still injured
- Wikus v Heerden, Jaun Smith and Pedrie Wannenburg are there because Bob and Joe are not yet match fit
- Enrico Januarie is there because RS is still not convinced who his best 2 scrumhalves are.

Unfortunately he his also digging his own grave by changing the team for every test (and he is doing it because he does not know who his second best 15 is) Rugby is a team sport and a team should be allowed to gel. If players know they only have one test to impress RS then they will of course forget about the team and only play for themselves. RS is not a bad coach but his Bok teams don't look like a well oiled machine simply because of all the personnel changes.

Thanks for listening
Thinus Meyer 

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