Pienaar's golden opportunity

2010-06-06 22:33

JJ Harmse

Pretoria – Ruan Pienaar may get the opportunity to show that he is the man to succeed Fourie du Preez as Springbok scrumhalf when the Boks play against France at Newlands on Saturday.

Du Preez will not play rugby again this year because of surgery to his shoulder, which means that Pienaar is likely to take his place at the base of the scrum.

Ricky Januarie, who played scrumhalf for the Boks against Wales on Saturday, will probably be picked on the substitute’s bench when coach Peter de Villiers names his team for the Newlands Test.

Du Preez’s unexpected injury is a setback for De Villiers’s plans. And, to make matters worse, Francois Hougaard is also injured.

Hougaard can only play again in three weeks’ time and should make the Boks’ Tri-Nations squad, but Pienaar may well have the opportunity to make the No 9 jersey his own with good performances against France and Italy.

Du Preez and Hougaard’s injuries may be good news for Griquas scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius when the team for the Tests against Italy are picked.

Uncertainty about the fitness of Andries Bekker and Jean de Villiers may well mean that Dewald Potgieter and Joe van Niekerk were playing for places in the starting line-up against Wales, while Gio Aplon could play a Test in front of his home crowd.

Bekker’s absence will mean that Danie Rossouw stays at lock, but if the tallest Springbok of all time is fit, Danie Rossouw may play as No 7 flank.

De Villiers’s fitness will determine who plays right wing, with Aplon and Odwa Ndungane set to benefit if the former Munster centre cannot play.

With the overseas Boks now allowed to represent their country, De Villiers has a number of options in that regard.

With the return of CJ van der Linde to play Currie Cup rugby for the Cheetahs and Super 14 rugby for the Stormers, and Gurthrö Steenkamp having revived his international career with a superb Super 14 season, things are looking promising up front.

Meanwhile, the French have already started complaining about fatigue, but they were also “tired” last year when they beat the All Blacks in New Zealand.

Coach Marc Lievremont believes that the Bok scrum is strong, and he is also impressed with their effective lineout and the number of world class players at their disposal.

“The main advantage is that they have rhythm and that most of the team will consist of Bulls and Stormers players,” he said.


  • vivabafanabafana - 2010-06-06 23:32

    lets wish all our teams well. viva South Africa

  • bulawayo-based-bok - 2010-06-06 23:36

    i think the Bok selectors should save Peter Grant's career and give him a shot either of the Saturday or starting the Italy games! Wynand Olivier should start at 12(tough call) Bekker or Juandre Kruger for Matfield(he needs a rest!) Habana for Ndungane and maybe Frans Steyn at 13 with Kirchner at 15 to give Fourie a break? we seriously need to think about Conditioning, now is the time to take risks and Blood some youngsters!

  • Pappa Smurf - 2010-06-07 01:32

    Die Bulle is die beste. He he he.

  • isssiittt - 2010-06-07 04:39

    ja well, in the immediate future perhaps ruan can get a couple of games at 9 for SA but in the super 14 i believe Cockett outplayed him quite regularly. it is a shame Hougaard is injured as from his form and pace out of the blocks he could become a legendary No9 for SA in the future

  • BALSAK(alias Blue Bul Hater) - 2010-06-07 05:51

    My team for the French game 1. Guthro 2. Tiaan Liebenberg 3. John Smith 4. Victor 5. Andries 6. Schalk 7. Dewald 8. Spies 9. Ricky 10 . Morne 11. Habana 12. De Jongh 13. Fourie 14. Ndungane/Gio 15. Frans Steyn RESERVES: 16 . Ruaan 17. Grant 18. Olivier 19. Vermeulen 20. Danie Rossouw 21. Jannie Du Plessis 22. Francois Louw

  • StuartW - 2010-06-07 07:12

    @ bbb.....after saturday I think they should send Zane back home....he was useless when he came on.... @ BALSK...I would start with Pienaar at No. 9 and leave Ricky out and definately not play Smit at No. 3....would put him on the bench...make Victor Captain...

  • bok fan - 2010-06-07 07:32

    The sooner we replace Smit the better ,he is far to slow .

  • supernova - 2010-06-07 07:53


  • Craig - 2010-06-07 07:54

    France will be our toughest opposition this year. We need the best 15 on the field. 15. Pienaar 14. Ndungane 12. Olivier 13. Fourie 11. Habana 9. Januarie 10. Steyn 8. Spies 6. Burger 4. Matfield 5. Roussouw 7. Potgieter 1. Steenkamp 2. Smit 3. Kruger

  • Streaker - 2010-06-07 08:06

    @balsak: Smit at 2 or not in the team. 9 Pienaar 12 Olivier and it would be a great team. bjorn basson also deserves a start, maybe Italy?

  • @Craig - 2010-06-07 08:20

    Dude, you are smoking something, Januarie???? WTF his passing is not that of an international scrum half, he always has to take a step before passing and doesnt get his lines moving. Pienaar at wing???? come on.... what super 14 u been watching

  • Sharky Andrew - 2010-06-07 08:25

    I reckon the combinaton of Ruan Pienaar and Morne Steyn at 9 and 10 for the boks could be really awesome, and they should definately be in the starting squad after next years world cup, when Fourie du Preez leaves for japan. I'd also rather prefer to see Jean Deysel selected before Dewald Potgieter. I reckon they're both really good players, but Deysel brings more of a physical edge which is needed by a number 7 flank. Dewald may have scored a good try, but thats not the main role for his position, and he gave away quite a few basic penalties at scrum time. @Pappa smurf - I reckon you're in for a looong few years. I reckon its back to 2008 for your team, when victor matfield wasn't there to lead the side, and they ended up in 10th place on the log. remember if the bulls end up in 3rd spot in our conference next year, like they did after the pool stages of last years currie cup, they probably won't even make it to the second round. he he he. @Vivbafanabafana - well said. lets hope the boys make us proud this week by beating mexico, france and the west indies in the soccer, rugby and cricket. :-)

  • Ray - 2010-06-07 08:28

    Well done Bokke, you are a class outfit, to win and only have practised a few days before the game? I also think Pienaar should get his fair chance at no 9, it is long overdue. De Jongh is in his own league!! He is going to be un stoppable with Morne on his inside. Aplon also showed that he can manage at Springbok level, better than the "bigger" Zane. Stegman and Duan Vermeulen should be selected for the France game, not Joe and Potgieter.

  • Alexido - 2010-06-07 08:34

    Mathieu Bastareaud has been forced to withdraw due to injury..i am sure that is good news for the team..i am sh*t scared of that beast of a man

  • wolofhond - 2010-06-07 08:53

    Div"s got to get the right team together against Hane ! We need to play together as one and prepare well for the Tri-nations !!

  • SHADOW - 2010-06-07 09:38

    Then it transpired that Ruan did his best to snatch defeat from victory...!

  • Robert - 2010-06-07 09:42

    Jacques Botes should be in the side, he is the best Number 6 in the country.

  • Craig@@Craig - 2010-06-07 09:46

    15 is not wing Buddy. Pienaar has played 15 for the Boks. He is a great playmaker and I'd want him in the team. I am not a Januarie fan but there is nobody who has done enough to take his spot away from him. He had a good game on Saturday and I can't see him neing dropped. And I would love to see Patrick Lambie in the squad when he returns from the Jnr World Champs.

  • Joe - 2010-06-07 09:48

    Sjoe guys, I'm glad some of you are not selectors. i would like some of the proponents of Spies to look at the first 15 min of their Semi's against the Crusaders. He fell off 3 out of the first 4 tackles he made. coughed th ball up on numerous occaissions when tackled. Certainly has pace, but the rest of the skills required for an international 8th man glaringly lacking. The same goes for meisiekind. Ndungane is a journeyman wing, no more, rathey select Aplon or Mvovo of the Sharks.and Vermeulen at no 8. we know what Kanko is capable of. I think our big problem is the front row. We do not have the props to boss other front rows. We could clearly see this @ S14 level. On a no of occaisssions one could see how CJ lost the bind first on the hit, use the hand on ground to support himself. His hips was much higher than his shoulders on the hit. This is not what an international prop is required to do. Who the answer is at prop i dont know. None of them showed anything @ s14 level. F Steyn would be my fullback, and Pretorious the scrumhalf to see if he the answer @ scrummie.

  • Joe - 2010-06-07 09:53

    Forgot to mention one other thing.. Roussouw played well at lock. He stood out and I think the injury Bekker picked up in neither his foot nor his back, but in his pants! While he played great rugby, this is the last type if crisis he needs before the tri Nations.

  • Lardus - 2010-06-07 09:54

    "With the overseas Boks now allowed to represent their country," Really? When did this happen? For the Wales game? Sure, ja, umm, wasn't that just because they were already there? Just to see if they might still have it?

  • BALSAK(alias Blue Bul Hater) - 2010-06-07 10:03

    Ricky January ALL the way!!!!!!!!!----- He is the BEST!!!!

  • katman - 2010-06-07 10:08

    “Du Preez’s unexpected injury is a setback for De Villiers’s plans. And, to make matters worse, Francois Hougaard is also injured.” Did I miss something? Was there an announcement that Francois Hougaard would have been in the Bok squad as a scrumhalf had it not been for his injury? Was it stated by the Bok coaching team or selectors that he was next in line to replace Du Preez (although he’s only been playing wing recently) and that Pienaar, Januarie and Pretorius are below him in the no.9 pecking order? Or is this perhaps just JJ Harmse trying to casually slip it in there that this is what should be done?

  • Mole - 2010-06-07 10:43

    Its should really be pretty straight forward for PdV in choosing this weeks team... 1 BJ 2 Smit 3 CJ 4 Danie 5 Victor 6 Burger 7 Smith 8 Spies 9 Pienaar 10 M Steyn 11 Habana 12 De Jongh (Jean if fit) 13 Fourie 14 Aplon 15 F Steyn When is Deysel going to get a chance? he made the Bulls loosies look ordinary in the S14 encounter. And dominated Spies...

  • Byron - 2010-06-07 10:50

    I hope Ricky January doesn't get picked at all. He is one of the worst scrumhalves in the world and these are my reasons: (1) His pass is terrible. RP missed his drop goal on Saturday because RJ passed a pass that wobbled dipped and swung to the left. Passing is one thing a scrumhalf has to be good at and he is terrible (2) His kicking at the Base is very poor. I don't think his kicks went further that 15 meters on Saturday. They put every foward in an offside position and left wales with 10 players around the ball. Were never going to gain ground that way. (3) He is too slow. On Saturday he was so slow getting to the ball that a flank had to clear the ball out to a runner in order to get go foward ball. His shortcomings unfortunately are masked by the fact that he plays behind a Big pack that up until now has not managed to get go foward ball.

  • Blue machine - 2010-06-07 10:55

    You guys are unbelievable especially Joe you a joke.Leave Pierre Spies alone people.I can not believe it that people are still going on about spies missing tackles ect the fact is he is our best no8 and will be our best number 8 next year.Hell he even is'nt compete yet.Get it through your thick heads peter de villiers likes spies.He coached spies during the under 19's and under 21's watch Spies shine on saturday you people just love critisizing spies and he will again and again prove his doubters wrong.Go spies and die bokke.

  • Don - 2010-06-07 11:04

    @BALSAK, I like your team selection except for John Smit at 3

  • Ash - 2010-06-07 11:59

    January,feb,march should stop trying to act like a traffic cop at the loose and keep his eye on the ball and the opposing team then maybe his game will improve,As far as i am concerned he is past his sell by date.Pienaar is the obvious choice

  • Joe - 2010-06-07 12:21

    @ Blue machine, i think the steroids of Pierre from your beloved Blue Bulls is also affecting you. Look at the game properly and then speak(read type). he cant TACKLE. Even that laaitie from the Stormers put him down in the tackle and he spilled the ball. Kanko and Alberts better

  • Craig@@Craig@Craig - 2010-06-07 12:40

    Come on....Ricky, are you serious....go have a look at the game again. If there is no one that can take it away from him, how come he warmed the bench at the Stormers? Pienaar, is a much better scrum half than Ricky will ever be. I dont know what people are on about with Pierre Spies, he is arguably the best No 8 in the world at the moment. Also Joe van Niekerk... COME ON!!! Kirchner also showed how weak he was under the high ball, as he did in the S14.

  • Ray - 2010-06-07 13:01

    MOLE picked a good team. Will pick Duan Vermeulen in the place of Spies. Spies can warm the bench with Stegman, Liebenberg, Guthro, Grant and Duvenhage

  • Hougaard ???????????? - 2010-06-07 13:07

    Net wanneer ek dink JJ begin kry verstand, verval hy in onnoselheid. Hougaard speel nie eens reserve skrumskakel vir die Bulls nie. Daardie twyfelagtige eer behoort aan 'n useless Adams. Na Fourie staan Pienaar, Kockott, Pretorius en Duvenhage in die ry. Ai, ai ai!

  • Hein - Centurion - 2010-06-07 13:12

    @katman;- Francois Hougaard toured as no9 and played weekday team in the Springbok tour last Nov. in Europe. So nothing wrong with JJ to mention him as a contender for the no9 berth. In the poll for a possible replacement for Fourie, he is in 2nd spot!!!!!!!. So not to far fetched amongst people knowing something about the game.

  • deon316 - 2010-06-07 14:18

    Why do the selectors not choose the next best scrumhalf??? "RORY COCKET"

  • Koos - 2010-06-07 21:47

    To all that say "RORY COCKET" should get a start... He is one of those players with a fair bit of talent, only surpassed by his arrogant "wint***" manner. He will only bring the whole team into disrepute. Not a good guy to put in a team consisting out of good honest Afrikaans Stormers and Bulls. He will be the Puke of the team, and KOCK it up!

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