Johannesbburg - Springbok flyhalf Johan Goosen has been cleared to take over the kicking duties again in this weekend’s Rugby Championship match against the All Blacks at FNB Stadium.
Johan Goosen (Gallo Images)
According to the supersport.com website, Goosen underwent a kicking test on Wednesday afternoon and both he, kicking coach Louis Koen and the team doctor Craig Roberts pronounced themselves satisfied that he has recovered sufficiently from the bruised heel he has been struggling with to take over the kicking duties again.
The 20-year old pivot, who will only make his second start in a Bok jersey when facing the World Champions, took the first two kicks against Australia before handing the kicking duties to halfback partner Ruan Pienaar, who had mixed success, getting three out of seven on the evening.
But with Goosen’s foot an issue when kicking, there was little other choice. On Wednesday however, he kicked for the first time in over two weeks and was happy with the result.
There is no doubt Goosen feels more comfortable when he is able to kick, and the news is a welcome boost to his confidence ahead of a massive match this weekend.
Bok coach Heyneke Meyer has made it abundantly clear he expects his team to take their opportunities this weekend and need to get their kicks over when presented them.
In Dunedin the Boks lost by 10 points and missed 22 possible points by kicks, something they literally were kicking themselves for later.
“If we get into a position to win, then we have to win,” Meyer said. “We played so well in Dunedin but in the end it’s who wins on the scoreboard that matters.
“I can’t speak for them, but maybe the All Blacks underestimated us in Dunedin. They won’t do so again. It will be harder to win this Saturday than it was in Dunedin.
“We have to take our opportunities this week. The All Blacks are a quality side and to beat them you have to be kicking at least 80%.”
If Goosen does have problems during the game, Pienaar will once again take over the kicking, with Jaco Taute lined up as the third option if really necessary.
Of course, if it does go that far, then it would be expected that Elton Jantjies would be on the field by then, with a solid boot who can also take the kicks if necessary.
15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Jean de Villiers (captain), 12 Jaco Taute, 11 Francois Hougaard, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Beast Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Marcell Coetzee, 20 Elton Jantjies, 21 Juan de Jongh, 22 Patrick Lambie