News24

Tri-Nations selection poser

2011-06-02 16:20

JJ Harmse

So it's 100 days to go and the Springboks are a broken lot?

Or are they?

Depending on who you prefer to believe, our senior Boks are either played into the ground and injured, or are starting to build up nicely towards the Super Rugby playoffs, Tri-Nations and of course, the big one in New Zealand.

I'm not sure who saw the articles on Wednesday, but the Sport24 daily papers, Beeld, Die Burger and Volksblad, carried a very nice back page on the '100 days' theme.

I was tasked to speak to Victor Matfield with regards to his check list for the RWC and found the veteran lock in a pretty optimistic mood.

He felt that most of the boxes have been ticked, but afterwards, off the record, I found him a bit uncertain as to the final 30 players that coach Peter de Villiers will pick. He felt it was a good thing that there was a core group, but also some available spots for those who stood out in the Super Rugby competition.

In the following 100 days there will inevitably be a lot of discussion on the issue of the final 30.

I am rather interested in how De Villiers will go about selecting his final 30.

Is he going to copy Jake White in sending a 'B-side' to contest the Tri-Nations matches in Sydney and Wellington and use his 'A'-graders to score some early mind points over the Aussies and Kiwis in Durban and Port Elizabeth?

I thought John Plumtree gave something away when, shortly after meeting De Villiers, he spoke about 'game time minutes' in Super Rugby and not form to be used as a selection tool for the Tri-Nations.

If I understood him correctly, those 'A'-side Boks who played a lot of Super Rugby - you can name a dozen - will be 'rested' for the away legs, and given time off for a week or two or attend Derick Coetzee's special conditioning class.

White did the same in 2007, leaving 20 Boks behind for the Tri-Nations away leg.

So, when does De Villiers reveal his hand? As you know, there will be only a short time between the completion of the Super Rugby competition and the Boks' departure to Sydney.

Will results on that trip be important or will defending the Webb Ellis Cup be the only issue on the agenda for the national coach?

During the recent launch of Castle as the new sponsor of Tri-Nations, a lot was said about fielding the strongest teams, but which is the right way to go?

De Villiers does not take defeat well in his post-match speeches and knowing the coach the way I do, he would hate to arrive in New Zealand to defend the World Cup with two losses in the away leg of the Tri-Nations.

But then, he might see the bigger picture and bite his lip if he takes a 'B'-side and loses.

But then again, looking at the possibilities of such a team, I was not that sure that even a Bok side without its top 20 will be THAT bad and not competitive.

He could use that trip to get Ruan Pienaar and Frans Steyn in Southern Hemisphere-shape again.

If I were De Villiers, I would send players like Schalk Brits on that trip and even give the likes of Joe van Niekerk and Heinke van der Merwe a run. He has nothing to lose by giving some European based players a chance.

Taking current game time and resting players into account, I would pick the following team to play in the first Tri-Nations Test: 15 Frans Steyn, 14 Lwazi Mvovo, 13 Adrian Jacobs, 12 Juan de Jongh, 11 Lionel Mapoe (if fit), 10 Peter Grant, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Joe van Niekerk, 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Heinrich Brussow, 5 Danie Rossouw, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 BJ Botha/Brian Mujati, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Heinke van der Merwe.
 
None of these players have been overplayed so far and the European-based players would have had a decent break. Most of these players, I believe, would come close to the final 30 anyway and will be very competitive.

I have another suggestion to the national coach as well.

How about picking a backline looking like this: Zane Kirchner, Lwazi Mvovo, Adrian Jacobs, Juan de Jongh, Odwa Ndungane, Elton Jantjies and Ricky Januarie? Can you imagine the brownie points the coach can score in certain sectors of society.

Come to think of it, picking that backline could land him a job somewhere if we fail to defend the Cup!

Read JJ every Sunday in Rapport.

Disclaimer: Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.

Sport24

Comments
  • Pooh-Bear - 2011-06-02 16:40

    Or how about some reverse psychology? Send some of the senior Boks down under to hopefully get convincing wins & build some momentum going into the WC, and then give the "B-team" players a chance in the home games (with some A-teamers on the bench in case things aren't going so well).

      Eugene - 2011-06-02 17:08

      That could backfire badly - what if the snr boks go and lose? I'd rather let them rest...

      Pooh-Bear - 2011-06-02 17:19

      Of course it could, but that's where the reverse psychology comes in - Aus/NZ will think they've won the war, and as Smit (I think) said, it'll be tough to peak in both Tri-Nations and WC!

  • jerome appollis - 2011-06-02 16:41

    JJ jy moet minder kuk skryf groot seblief

  • jerome appollis - 2011-06-02 16:43

    JJ jy lyk soos sak saad

  • Oukoos - 2011-06-02 16:48

    Zane Kirchner, Lwazi Mvovo, Adrian Jacobs, Juan de Jongh, Odwa Ndungane, Elton Jantjies and Ricky Januarie - why not?

      clivegoss - 2011-06-02 17:02

      klink goed tot jy by tottie "Ricky" uitkom

      Francois - 2011-06-02 18:16

      Hy staan bekend as aasVOE"L in sy tuisdorp.

  • Makutu - 2011-06-02 17:03

    1. Beat Mtawarira, 2. Bismarck du Plessis, 3. Jannie du Plessis/Werner Kruger, 4. Rynadt Esdadt, 5. Andries Bekker/Victor Matfield, 6. Heinrich Brussouw, 7. Willem Alberts/Schalck Burger, 8. Duane Vermeulen/Ashley Johnson, 9. Francois Hougaard/Fourie du Preeze, 10. Morné Steyn/Josias Ebersohn, 11. Lwazi Mvovo/Bjorn Basson, 12. Juan de Jong, 13. Jaque Fourie, 14. JP Pietersen, 15. Gio Aplon. Reserves: 16. Chilliboy Ralepelle/Adriaan Strauss, 17. Cornie Oosthuizen, 18. Flip van der Merwe/Danie Russouw, 19. Francois Louw/Juan Smith, 20. Sarel Pretorius, 21. Patrick Lambie/Elton Jantjies, 22. Gehard van der Heerver.

  • Eugene - 2011-06-02 17:04

    How about we don't go all or nothing. I am all for mixing it up and sending strong sides with a few 'fresh' faces rather than this JJ team with no recent experience. Missing a few Cheetahs - if you want to take a fresh team. What about Lambie - no JJ you could do better with what we have.

      Makutu - 2011-06-02 17:23

      What about JP Pietersen also?

  • Makutu - 2011-06-02 17:05

    He has a lot to lose. What did BJ Botha do for the Boks last year? What did Frans Steyn do for the Boks last year? How many overseas based Boks have ever performed alongside local boys? Gosh! Even Jean de Villiers took a bit of time to adjust to the game AGAIN! No to foreign based players.

  • ANCBlackAngel - 2011-06-02 17:55

    the proteas formerly known as the spring bucks will still get a hiding by the might ALL BLACKS in the tri nations home and away and getting moered in the cup by the ALL BLACKS in new zealand......most the players performing well in the super 15 are not even full time proteas and the regular proteas are playing crap like matfield, bakkies, smit.... the only guy doing well is schalk thats it....i would get all the inform super rugby players in the protea squad for the tri nations and use them as a springing board for the world cup.... but the base of our team must come from the inform players.... no favours for old timers

  • Howzitekse - 2011-06-02 19:04

    PDV has said players will be picked on merrit. Hopefully he will not be trying to please any "sector of society". That would be backward and corrupt.

  • Agile - 2011-06-02 20:07

    JJ, Well, Danie mentioned that it will be "harder to make the 2011 squad" than back in 2007. So our "B" team should hold a bit more promise, surely? Take the NH heros along to give them time with the Boks and SH rugby. Then start Deon Stegmann in every game. (Although we need to give Heinrich Brussow some gametime too and ease him back in). Give Stegmann a chance to show what he can do in the Southern hemisphere, against players he knows so well, on fields he knows so well, having more time to gel with the Boks (than his 2 weeks before his debut), and also now that he has fully recovered from his hamstring injury. Stegmann is South Africa's leading openside flank in the Super15 so far. If he takes that form into the Tri Nations, we will have our backup (or replacement) to Heinrich Brussow.

      Storm Voort - 2011-06-14 13:02

      Deon Stegmann the best openside flank in Super15? Based on what? That stats don't support that. Just looking at South African players he doesn't even feature in the top 10 for turnovers created. Heck, even Coenie Oosthuizen is ahead of him? Neither is he in the top 10 avge tackles per game for just SA players nevermind the Ausies or NZ players. So where does he add value since he can't carry the ball and is incapable of offloading. Just look at the end of year tour, absolutely useless.....Give me a Schalk Burger, Francois Louw or Brussouw any day of the week ahead of Stegmann.

  • Agile - 2011-06-02 20:11

    Well, Danie mentioned that it will be "harder to make the 2011 squad" than back in 2007. So our "B" team should hold a bit more promise, surely? Take the NH heroes along to give them time with the Boks and SH rugby. Then start Deon Stegmann in every game. (Although we need to give Heinrich Brussow some gametime too and ease him back in). Give Stegmann a chance to show what he can do in the Southern hemisphere, against players he knows so well, on fields he knows so well, having more time to gel with the Boks (than his 2 weeks before his debut), and also now that he has fully recovered from his hamstring injury. Stegmann is South Africa's leading openside flank in the Super15 so far. If he takes that form into the Tri Nations, we will have our backup (or replacement) to Heinrich Brussow.

  • Agile - 2011-06-02 20:13

    Now why can't I comment on this article?

      Agile - 2011-06-02 21:49

      Oops, sorry people- duplicate post: There was a delay in posting.

  • Teebs - 2011-06-02 23:09

    "How about picking a backline looking like this: Zane Kirchner, Lwazi Mvovo, Adrian Jacobs, Juan de Jongh, Odwa Ndungane, Elton Jantjies and Ricky Januarie? Can you imagine the brownie points the coach can score in certain sectors of society." BROWNIE points! BWAHAHAHAHAAAA

      Gazza69 - 2011-06-21 11:01

      haha...i like that!!

  • HAYDEN - 2011-06-03 19:09

    jj, ja met kleinletters. Hou op kleinlik dink en deur 'n kleurbril.As ek nie so baie van rugby gehou het nie, het ek die webblad vermy. Ek verbaas my dat jou base jou nog nie orr die kole gehaal het nie vir jou eenogigheid nie. Aan die ander kant miskien is jy hul sensasie skrywer. Nogal slim... van jou base bedoel ek.

  • jacques.gerber3 - 2011-06-05 05:25

    Just dress the Stormers team in Green and Gold and be done with it!!!

  • johan.liebenberg2 - 2011-06-05 10:44

    I applaud the inclusion of Schalk Brits! He is an outstanding player.

  • Darkhorse - 2011-06-05 14:58

    I am a springbok supporter through and through and whoever finds themselves in the team would have my complete backing but I do believe we definitely have the athletes and talent in south Africa to play the right game. By the right game I mean not one dimensional easy for the opposition to work out game plan but a game plan where we use all our provinces strengths. Running the ball into spaces, kicking at the right time, mauling and swinging it wide when it's on even if it's in our own 22. Let the opposition be always second guessing what's coming next. The sharks, stormers, bulls, cheetas and even lions have some fantastic players and together playing as a team they would be a difficult team for anybody come the WC.

  • Serias - 2011-06-06 08:58

    Frans Steyn, JP Pitersen, Juan de Jongh, Jacque Fourie, Bjorn Basson, Ruan Pienaar, Fourie du Preez, Ashley Johnson, Heinrich Brussow, Schalk Burger, Flip vd Merwe, Andries Bekker, Beast, Bismarck, Coenie Oosthuizen. Kan oorlog toe gaan met die komp.

  • BLOUBOK - 2011-06-07 00:05

    1. Coenie Oosthuizen, 2. Bismark Du Plessis, 3. Werner Kruger, 4. Victor Matfield, 5 Andries Bekker, 6. Heindrich Brussow, 7. Juan Smith, 8. Danie Rossouw, 9. Fourie Du Preez, 10. Morne Steyn, 11. Bjorn Basson, 12. Jean de Villiers, 13 Jaque Fourie, 14. JP Pietersen, 15. Riaan Viljoen, 16. Andries Strauss, 17. WP Nel, 18. Bakkies Botha, 19. Joshua Strauss, 20. Frans Hougaard, 21. Sias Eberson, 22. Johan Sadie. Absoluut gekies op vorm en kombinasies. Res van toergroep uit Beast Matawarira, Schalk Burger, Sarel Pretorius, Lwazi Mvovo, Jaco Taute, Tiaan Liebenberg, Juan de Jongh, Flip van der Merwe.

  • Spike1977@24.com - 2011-06-13 16:24

    If you sending a B team then I wouldn't risk Brussow and de Jongh. They are 2 definites for the WC and I would hate to see them get injured. I'd rather send Wynand Olivier. He should really not be in anyone's WC plans.

  • Gazza69 - 2011-06-21 10:59

    The World Cup is surely the priority for 2011...Select the players who need game time ie: Peter Grant and John Smit,who are vying for spots in the WC team. Mix in youngsters who will be at the 2015 WC for the experience. In a World Cup year no-one will remember who won the Tri-Nations.......Rest players like Schalk Burger and Jacque Fourie and Jean De Villiers.

  • the_who - 2011-06-21 13:44

    Shame on you J.J! What's wrong with Zane Kirchner, Lwazi Mvovo, Adrian Jacobs, Juan de Jongh, Odwa Ndungane, Elton Jantjies and Ricky Januarie??? After all most talented backline if all is on form!

  • Ninja 749 - 2011-06-27 09:15

    Monkey see monkey do. The conservative strategy misght just pay off again....thanks Jake!

  • Aldrich - 2011-06-27 10:49

    I would play the best players possible..

  • Andrew - 2011-06-27 13:30

    Just why are we having a Tri-Nations after a bruising S15 and directly before the WC, what are we trying to do to our national athletes. I think that other world cup teams like England, France and Argentina will we relishing the opportunity to field rested sides against the big three. Tim Noakes had preached it correctly, more fatigue, more injuries.

  • pages:
  • 1