Rob Houwing

BaaBaas: Boshoff bounces back

2014-11-03 07:37
port24 chief writer Rob Houwing (File)
Cape Town - Lions flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff led the restricted South African charge with a classy late cameo for the Barbarians as they were held off 40-36 by Australia in a Twickenham thriller on Saturday.

In doing so he ticked boxes for temperament and “bouncebackability” after the acute disappointment he would have felt only a week earlier as his unusually wayward place-kicking in the early summer south-easter contributed to his province being pipped 19-16 by hosts WP in the Currie Cup final at Newlands.

Here the 25-year-old from Nelspruit, who has mostly been inspirational in both Super Rugby and the domestic competition when available this year, restored normal personal service as he made the very most of his mere 12 minutes off the bench near the end of the time-honoured festival game.

Boshoff, already a one-cap Springbok, got onto the park after coach John Kirwan - who had picked a very New Zealand-centric starting XV - hauled off No 10 Colin Slade in the final quarter.

The All Black had certainly put up a decent showing himself with his cheeky dinks and other tricks, but the one thing Boshoff did when belatedly introduced to the channel was bring a sense of urgency and directness that rubbed off well on his outside backs.

It had seemed the BaaBaas had finally run out of puff when Boshoff took up his role as the Wallabies, operating under Michael Cheika’s coaching tutelage for the first time, were a handsome 40-22 up.

Instead the BaaBaas got an admirable and concerted second wind, thanks in no small measure to Boshoff, paired up with a compatriot scrumhalf and fellow-sub in Sarel Pretorius, taking firm ownership of the berth.

First he threw out a crisp, authoritative left-to-right pass to help create crucial space for a popular try beneath the posts to that quirky cult figure Nick Cummins, the predatory “Honey Badger” on the left wing who has a large army of fuzzy wig-wearing fans wherever he travels in the world.

But the cosmopolitan side weren’t done yet, as shortly afterwards Cummins himself orchestrated a sizzling breakout from about 55-60 metres, feeding an infield pass to Boshoff who streaked away with no lack of gas for a touchdown of his own.

Suddenly there were only four points in it and the BaaBaas kept hammering away right into the 84th minute to try to orchestrate a fairytale comeback triumph.

In those dying stages, both Boshoff and Pretorius - the blond Cheetahs favourite’s style of play is tailor-made for a fast and loose environment - were very constructive, even if their enterprise was not necessarily appreciated to the fullest extent by the English television commentary team of Stuart Barnes and company.

Perhaps it was excusable because Boshoff, especially, is a reasonably new star on the first-class rugby block in 2014 and not yet a household face in the northern hemisphere; that could lie a bit further up the road.

Given game time from the third quarter onward, open-side flanker Heinrich Brussow also grew nicely into the contest; he was penalised once at the breakdown by Jaco Peyper but made some energetic tackles and got involved in some linking play during the BaaBaas’ enormous rally.

South Africans, and especially those partial to the Sharks, watching the game would also have got some pleasure out of the industry of another second-half impact substitute, the barrelling still-teenage loosehead prop Thomas du Toit, who won two fine turnovers.

The BaaBaas might have been better served by starting with Du Toit rather than his recent franchise colleague Matt Stevens, who has struggled for best form in the Currie Cup.

But maybe the Durban-born England veteran’s right to the No 1 jersey at the outset was at least partly influenced by his long-time familiarity to the Twickenham faithful - he is certainly more of a “name” internationally at this point.

Ironically the only South African to start the value-for-money occasion, Bok centre Juan de Jongh - who no longer seems in favour at all with Heyneke Meyer - struggled to really impose himself.

He did have one golden chance to streak away for a possible intercept try from a ropey Quade Cooper pass, but agonisingly could not hold on.

Still, it was arguably asking a bit much to expect him to take the game by storm, given the immense mental and physical effort he had put in as captain of the eventual Currie Cup champions right up to a few days ago.

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing

Read more on:    rugby

Why take Strauss on tour?

2016-10-27 08:11

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Did Stormers and Springboks lock Pieter-Steph du Toit deserve to be named SA Rugby Player of the Year?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.