Botha backs besieged Smit

2011-09-05 11:01

Wellington - Veteran Springbok lock Bakkies Botha has backed his under-siege captain John Smit, describing him as the best Springboks rugby captain he has played under.

Smit arrived at the Rugby World Cup plagued by media criticism that he is no longer South Africa's best hooker or best captain and that the Boks may be at a disadvantage by playing him.

But Botha, with typical directness, has endorsed Smit as South Africa's best captaincy option, saying "in leadership and as a person he's phenomenal."

Botha said Monday that "what's so phenomenal is he's getting all the criticism as not the best captain, not the best hooker, but it's like water off a duck's back."

* Can the Springboks fend off Wales in their RWC opener? Click HERE for the latest RWC odds on BET.CO.ZA


  • donkerhond - 2011-09-05 11:09

    Props for Smit for taking it all like a man. It also takes a lot of pressure off the rest of the team, something that makes a good captain a great captain

      odysseus - 2011-09-05 14:38

      @donker.... Agreed... props for Smit..... and not the other way round (ie Smit for prop)...his influence is an asset on tour, but they will need to manage team selections very wisely in the crunch games..

  • Met Uysh! - 2011-09-05 11:12

    Go Bokke!! Go Smit!!! Don't care what the media says, they don't want us to win in any event! We're behind you boys all the way! 100% like ANCYL would say!!

      Black Beauty - 2011-09-05 13:17

      Yeah, the world is against you.....BOARING, how about this to whet your excuses: episode 2; Bakkies arm band showed contempt because he didn't eye gouge properly? poor you, you hard done by tutu wearers. pfffffffffffffffffffft

      Met Uysh! - 2011-09-05 13:38

      Geeez, you drunk or what? Bakkies was never banned for eye gouging you idiot!

      AA - 2011-09-05 15:46

      Agreed Met. Time to get behind Smith and the Boks now, Go Bokke.

      AA - 2011-09-05 15:51

      @Black Beauty. At least we do not have a cheating captain - unlike the All Blacks - by the way McCaw admitted to it last week. Lets hope the refs start giving the penalties for his off sides.

      Wormtongue - 2011-09-05 18:39

      BB (bitter bekkie) trying desperately hard to insult the Boks, his underlying hate barely concealed. Sport is evidently not be his driving force. What is with the "we" bitter bekkie"? Are you now suggesting you are Samoan too?

  • jk - 2011-09-05 11:15

    hes got to...france by 8...

      Avi27 - 2011-09-05 11:19

      @jk whats up with france by 8???

      jk - 2011-09-05 11:21

      avi- cant you read...are you new here?? france by 8...

      Etienne Oosthuizen - 2011-09-05 11:43

      france by 8 ... LOL ... you and which army?

      BlueRaven - 2011-09-05 11:49

      jk soek aandag die arme ding kry dit nie by die huis nie en van vriende is daar nie sprake nie. Shame

      jk - 2011-09-05 11:52

      raven- terug in jou hoek asb...

      Justin - 2011-09-05 12:33

      JK, you are really retarded.. How can you support Province so vigorously, and then not support the bokke?? There are quite a few Province players in that team you know... We definitely need less people like you in the country. You've got a real problem with integrity you know..

      jk - 2011-09-05 12:35

      justin- by supporting wp rugby shows that my integrity is up there with the best...and i dont hate the bokke, im just realistic...france by 8...

      Paul - 2011-09-05 14:20

      @jk run coward run ... people please ignore this a--hole maybe he'll just run away right off these pages!

      jk - 2011-09-05 14:59

      paultjie- sit n sokkie in daai mond van jou...of sit jou volle 129kg agter die wp...jou keuse...

      Gustav - 2011-09-05 16:42

      I agree with jk. France will beat NZ by 8...

  • draaft - 2011-09-05 11:17

    Sunday will show what Smit is truly made of. All things considered we should beat Wales by 10 or more, if we don't I won't be having any high hopes for the knock out stages. I'm obviously holding thumbs, hoping it goes well, but I'm mindful that if they don't, the doom prophets may well have been right.

      jk - 2011-09-05 11:27

      gonna be a draw, 8-8...

      Johann - 2011-09-05 11:33

      @draaft Smit has been captain for a long, long time. He has "proven" what he is made of many times before. Best captain at the WC. Go bokke!!!

      Hein - 2011-09-05 12:00

      ...shame dit lyk so al vir my of jk nooit geleer het om verder as 8 te tel nie. Ons sal jou maar verskoon as jy so gebore is maar as dit as gevolg van tik of papsak is moet jy dalk stadig oor die klippe.

      jk - 2011-09-05 12:17

      hein- jy hoef nie jou commin maniere hier uit te haal nie...ok, dis sal die telling in die finaal wees...france by 8...

      TheMagician - 2011-09-05 12:23

      would start bismark though in the semi final against NZ and bring smit on in the last 10 depending on if we have a good lead... if we only leading by 1 then i'd keep bismark on till the end as he is very capable of playing 80 minutes and smit not....

      Chronoman - 2011-09-05 12:50

      We have a captain that is an excellent person and motivational speaker by the looks of it. He is so far over the hill that he needs to be replaced just after half time in order for us to steady the ship. When we win a match that way, can we really say we won because he was such a good captain? Let's not forget the stark contrast between his play and that of Bismarck just the other day. At his best Smit was not even our best hooker but now he is close to an embarrassment.

  • Anneleen - 2011-09-05 11:21

    Nou praat jy, Bakkies!

  • Watch Dog - 2011-09-05 11:41

    Thank you Bakkies for standing up for your captain. For our CAPTAIN. He has taken so much negative critisism from the media. It is actually shocking that our so called rugby writers could go on for so long, just having negative stuff to say about John. I really thought that they would by now come out and back him all the way. They are IDIOTS to critisise our World Cup captain like that. John has handled it like the Professional he is. GO JOHN - MAKE US PROUD.

  • Watch Dog - 2011-09-05 11:45

    Like our minister of Sport has said. Moer Hulle, Bliksem hulle. I think he meant the media.

  • Makutu - 2011-09-05 11:47

    We've seen him play lately. Maybe he's a good captain. But the results show otherwise. If his captaincy doesn't show any results then he isn't a good captain then. From what he has displayed in recent times, he is far from a good player. Good leaders usually lead from the front. Smit is failin to lead from the front.

      Watch Dog - 2011-09-05 11:51

      John plays a totally different game from Biscmark. We need Bissie just as much as we need John. They are both extremely valuable players and we will need them in tandem.

      Met Uysh! - 2011-09-05 12:21

      Who scored the most tries for the Springboks this year?

      jk - 2011-09-05 15:13

      did we score any tries...?

      Chris in Oz - 2011-09-06 06:42

      @Met Uysh. 'n Blinde hoender pik ook so nou en dan 'n mieliepit raak.

      Met Uysh! - 2011-09-06 09:02

      Nou en dan ja, maar as dit twee keer in 'n ry gebeur dan weet jy hy kan sien!

  • Watch Dog - 2011-09-05 11:49

    En Dankie aan Peter De Villiers dat jy ook opgestaan het en agter ons Kaptein staan. Ek respekteer dit. RESPECT!!!

      jk - 2011-09-05 11:59

      dog- snorre word betaal om dit te se, dink jy nou snorman gaan stil bly...?? gee beter comments asb...ok france by 8...

      bakkebul - 2011-09-05 12:13

      @ jk of is dit jdk? - Stem saam Frankryk met 8 ....... teen Kanada

      jk - 2011-09-05 12:33

      france will beat kanada by 80...

      Wormtongue - 2011-09-05 18:22

      k you are just confusing perseverating (a classical psychiatric disorder) with humor. You are not funny and at best annoying at a toddler level. Looks like something 8 your brain.

  • The J - 2011-09-05 11:59

    Decent comments Bakkies. That's the way mate. I'm sure John will raise his game come the first game. And if that is not good enough we have Bismarck to add the extra dimension if required and an ample enough stand-in Captain in Victor. I do believe a lot of people are selling us short in this World Cup and undermining the Boks abilities. No worries. We'll use that to our advantage as I personally believe we are gonna doe bloody well. Good on ye John. Good on ye Boks. I'm sure we'll be rewarded for our faith and pride.

  • Theo - 2011-09-05 12:02

    Smit is so slow I wonder if he will get to the game on time, which would be a blessing in disguise because then Bismark can play the full 80mins.

  • Carl Muller - 2011-09-05 12:09

    I do hope your best captain bring the cup home.... If not, see the criticism then.....

  • Bennet - 2011-09-05 12:15

    south african media always hv negative sign if someone achieving ,smit always dedicates his life to the national team for many years abanambulelo abantu ,same to Aron mokoena get a lot of critism keep it up boys,kakade ehambayo ziyayikhonkotha, kanti emileyo ziyingcamela.

      Met Uysh! - 2011-09-05 12:24

      Someone said last week, We have so few national hero's and then we try and drag down those we do have, like's a real sickness to belittle our heros.

      jk - 2011-09-05 12:36

      thats what we do best uysh...

      Jiggabu - 2011-09-05 15:14

      @jk - ly jy aan klein mannetjie sindroom? Jy's seker nog nie uit die skool uit nie...moet omtrent 12 wees om sulke stront te praat...praat oor rugby of doen jou huiswerk!

      jk - 2011-09-05 15:52

      jiggabu- stick to the topic at hand please...

  • Lonewolfman - 2011-09-05 12:48

    Good on you for telling it as it is, no lets get behind John and his boys so that they can consintrate on what they are there to do and not worry what people have to say. Go Boks Go Lead us Mighty John Lead us.

  • Vredehoek Rentals - 2011-09-05 12:49

    says one has been to another birds of a feather....

      Met Uysh! - 2011-09-05 12:57

      So hows the rentals going? A bit quiet today in Vredehoek, huh?

      Chilli Boy - 2011-09-05 13:01

      What's with the criticism of the players? Bakkies Botha, like John Smit, is a legend, and when he speaks, which is not often, people listen. What you don't know, obviously, is what the other players think of Bakkies. They respect him totally, and fear him for the type of player that he is.You don't see the work that he does in the tight-loose, nor appreciate the power that he brings to the set-pieces. When Bakkies talks about John Smit, the one thing you know is that it is the truth. It's time to throw our full support behind the Bokke and to put the criticisms aside. If you can't do that, stick to your rentals in Vredehoek.

      Vredehoek Rentals - 2011-09-05 14:15

      Thats right - stand with your captain Even if he is hopeless

  • Jiggabu - 2011-09-05 12:50

    You know...this all started with Div...three years ago he grew a brain and thought it would be a great idea to open his mouth and prove his idiocy by announcing that he was going to play John Smit, the best hooker in the world at the time, as tighthead prop. The journey started with his weight and strength training and then his coach at the Sharks jumped on the bandwagon and continued the trend. Bismarck would come on as hooker and Smit as Prop. Then after 60mins when he went off, Smit would have to move to hooker, because he could play there. With his heaver build and subsequently slower reaction time, you the public decided he was washed up. This has continued for three years as the build up to the World Cup has escalated. I have not read one comment on hear by anyone that has highlighted the fact that the very man, Div, that has now stated to the world, no doubt with loaded emotion before the WC, that John Smit is the best hooker in the world is also responsible for his downfall and low public opinion. This was all done through his inexperience and shockingly little knowledge of coaching forwards or recognizing good advise from his assistant coaches. Anyone who has watched John Smit over the last three years, will have noticed a decline in his spirit. He's not the best hooker in the world. He knows it and cannot be happy with all the public outcry, when he knows who had brought him to this juncture. Start placing blame where it is due.

      Met Uysh! - 2011-09-05 13:04

      True, but everyone's been juding Smit on his form as a prop in 2010. As a hooker he has played exceptionally well for the Boks since the game vs the All Blacks in NZ and he is gaining loads of momentum going into the World Cup. He is a great hooker, just do not move him to prop! He might not be the best nr 2 in the world, but for the Springboks, John Smit is the best option at nr 2.

      Kleinboet - 2011-09-05 20:36

      Jiggabu, Div decided to play his friend at prop only because he realised that Smit could not make the team as hooker on merit. However, he has painted himself into a corner when he pronounced Smit to be captain prematurely, and now he has to boost him as "the best no 2 in the world". I think Bakkies (or any other team member for that matter) will not get much game time if he says Smit is off form. Still, he is there and we must back the team. He is but just another player and not the team like some people tend to think. If we win the cup it will be despite his selection, not because of it. Did he not declare not so long ago that he will not stay at home and be blamed for failing to go when we do not win the cup? Quite clearly this guy thinks a hell of a lot of himself; but the game will bring him to earth.

  • Ernst - 2011-09-05 12:56

    jk jy is 'n D88S

  • - 2011-09-05 12:56

    @News24, please clean these forums from trolls. It's unpleasant for the real rugby lovers.

      Chris in Oz - 2011-09-06 06:47

      Would you be the first to go then?

  • Nfusitjie - 2011-09-05 13:07

    go Bakke

  • brendon.langford - 2011-09-05 13:24

    Who needs enemies when you have supporters that write someone off before they even get the chance. I think the guy has earned the right to be given the chance to bring the RWC back home for the second time. I think the boks will beat Wales by 18 points. What's this space!!!

  • Black Beauty - 2011-09-05 13:25

    Samoa will kill spineless Bakkies. KIA ORA TE AOTEAROA. We laugh at you, the 'enforcer' hahahaha, arm band wearer BANG

      Met Uysh! - 2011-09-05 13:40

      Moenie BANG wees nie BB....dit sal vinning verby wees vir jou...

      Chilli Boy - 2011-09-05 13:46


      Felix - 2011-09-05 14:58

      Reminds me of Brian Lima. Ouch!

      odysseus - 2011-09-05 16:20

      @met uysh.... classic chirp

      AA - 2011-09-05 16:53

      So the All Blacks are sending in their side kicks to do a bit of the dirty work for them again, like they tried in 1995. Not men enough to do it themselves. Lets see where that got them, oh a lossing spot in the final. Even the dirty play from the Somoans was not enough of a heimlich for them then and won't be in this World Cup either. I doubt any of the Springboks are intimidated by the Somaons, they are equally as tough.

  • rosemarie - 2011-09-05 13:48

    Everybody trying to justify the selection of John Smit Bakkies backs Matfield This is smoking mirrors Less talk – John Smit cannot play rugby He flops around and is a liability

      Theo - 2011-09-05 13:59

      I agree it is pity that something is not being done about this debacle Smit should be man enough to realise that he is preventing Bismark from reaching his true potential.

  • AA - 2011-09-05 16:46

    It is good to see the senior players getting behind Smit, it shows how respected he is. Very few in the team can command that sort of respect.

  • BB - 2011-09-05 17:03

    En presies onder hoeveel het hy onder gespeel? En hoefeel was kaptein toe hulle die WC gewen het? As jy hom sou vra wie was die beste algehele (Springbok en Bulle) kaptein sal hy defnitief se MAtfield!!!

  • JBRSA - 2011-09-05 18:40

    OK all and sundry...what wins the big tournaments?..leadership, defence, ball control, and that order! J.S. fills that most important element there is no doubt.

  • visarend - 2011-09-05 18:47

    Friends , countrymen , loyal Bok supporters , this is like sending our army off to war . Whatever differences we have had in the past , let's forget about all of that now . Are we sure that the selections were good ? Yes , the best are all over there . Do we have the right game plan ? Yes , it suits our strengths . Win or lose , we should be all behind them , and I know for sure that we are . Really some great rugby to look foward to . Whoever wants the WC , must come and get it from us , and that will cost blood sweat and tears . Cheers to some very exciting rugby ahead .

  • topamax - 2011-09-05 19:34

    Bakkies has always backed his captain ... with a good shove.

  • The Goose - 2011-09-05 20:57

    At least Smit is not a Smith, like Greame

  • landieman - 2011-09-06 02:59

    Go Bakkies Go Smittie Go BOKKE!!!!

  • DAMAINMAN - 2011-09-12 19:00

    if everybody is unhappy with j.smith put him in as tighthead he definitely will contribute a great deal more to the game than the existing no.3 and let bismarck do his graft at no2.

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