Stefan Terblanche (Gallo Images)
What a quick turnaround between Springbok games
and you have to feel for the professional players these days.
Don’t get me
wrong as they do get paid and trust me, very handsomely as well but 2 international
games in 5 days - eina!
I am still struggling to recover and very tired from
just watching the game from the stands and these BIG boys are almost ready to
run into each other at breakneck speeds again!
As spectators we often complain
about too much rugby and rugby fatigue and yes I am one of those, but I guess
for a Rugby World Cup we can look past that and make an exception for once.
I had to giggle to myself while driving to the
airport yet again this morning. Heyneke Meyer gave his reasons for picking such
a strong team for the USA Eagles showdown and said that he can’t take any team
lightly at this year’s tournament anymore.
You are absolutely right Mr Meyer
and we have all seen this movie earlier in this year’s campaign. Lesson learnt!
I was rather surprised at Meyer’s team selection
but upon thinking it through, I sort of get what he is playing at. He
selected a very similar team to the one that beat Scotland on Saturday with the
pair of JP Pieterson and Jannie du Plessis dropping out of the match-day 23
because of injuries and slight niggles. The rest of the team is the same
and will have to put their bodies and minds through a lot in the next 36 hours.
The Boks are only playing a so called Tier 2 nation, but the preparation physically
and mentally remains the same.
Initially, I thought that all the players yet to
make an appearance at this year’s tournament would get a run and possibly their
last one as well against The Eagles.
Next week the knockout stages start and
then you need your strongest possible team for hopefully 3 weekends in a row.
With this selection Meyer underlined the importance of this game or maybe more
so the importance of the loss to Japan in Week 1.
One could feel for some of the players yet to
play and by this stage and they must be getting tired of holding tackle bags during
training sessions, but I disagree and don’t necessarily think so.
If it was any
other tour, yes, but for a Rugby World Cup, I have no doubt that all the players
buy into the bigger picture and scheme of things and will do anything just to
be part of a World Cup-winning team, even if it means holding bags for 7
So why do I agree with Heyneke and his team
selection and how will we do against America?
When we beat the USA, the players
will have 10 days to recover and to get their bodies back in shape before the quarter-finals next weekend.
This is another opportunity for the team to find
one another and for some of the injured players coming back from injury to get
that much needed game time and sharpness under their belts.
We are fortunate
that the likes of Fourie du Preez and Duane Vermeulen found good form early but
know that even so, their bodies will be pushed to their limits in the next few
Another game tomorrow will be the perfect remedy followed by a couple of
days rest and then a big preparation week before the quarters to get them in
the best possible Test rugby shape.
I expect yet another solid Bok performance, but
maybe not a massive runaway victory.
The game against the Scots and a quick
turnaround will show itself during this game and players will get more tired
If Meyer plans it well he could use the bench to great effect and
impact in the last 20 minutes and I am sure the starting team will be well aware
Let’s hope that they can lay the platform in the firsthour
of this crucial game.
Join me this Friday (October 9, 2015) live on
Twitter to discuss the Rugby World Cup 2015 between 14:00 and 16:00 @Stefant15 and @JohnBoydSA
Boks to win by about 23 points!
Let you passion drive this team.