Fourie du Preez (AP)
that was way too close for comfort against The Welsh in the first quarter-final this last weekend.
It was the perfect start to what was a
scintillating weekend of rugby and it came down to the last kick of the last
quarter–final to determine who would be the last semi-finalist of this year’s
Rugby World Cup. In terms of entertainment value and quality of play, I can
honestly say that Rugby World Cup 2015 has been the best one ever.
Welsh started like a house on fire and if it wasn’t for poor execution and one or two desperate try saving tackles from the Boks the result
could have been a whole lot worse. It took the Boks till the 74th minute to break down the Welsh defence and only through the individual
brilliance of Duane Vermeulen and a reverse back flip pass to seal the
The Welsh outsmarted and outplayed us tactically for most of the game
and obviously had a clear and very particular game plan. They
executed it very well most of the time and had the lead with six minutes to go.
lot of people are very concerned about the performance of the Boks and some for
very good reason. This Welsh team was massively disrupted with some terrible
injuries but somehow found the guts and determination to match the Boks blow
for blow. Some will say that if you can’t handle this Welsh team you will have
some serious issues going into a semi-final and I will touch on that later in
the week. I think we all know who the Boks will face in the semis.
forget about the Boks' performance from a rugby point of view and firstly let’s
congratulate them for making the last four and extending their stay at this year’s
competition. Not many would have given them any hope of reaching the latter
stages of this year’s tournament after round 1 and many of the current Rugby
World Cup squad did say that it’s been the hardest few weeks of their Bok
careers after that shock defeat to Japan.
for one am delighted that The William Webb Ellis Trophy will stay in the southern hemisphere with the three other semi-finalists - the All Blacks, the
Wallabies and the Pumas - all from down South.
It shows that rugby in the southern hemisphere is still very good and healthy and that we still have the
talent and the teams to be called the best in the world.
I do agree that rugby
in the northern hemisphere has shown tremendous improvement but please bear in
mind that many of the top southern hemisphere players do play their rugby for
clubs north of the equator.
It strengthens their club scene tremendously but
like with the English Premier League it is often not the best for the local players.
think we can all breath again for a while after another nail-biting weekend of
rugby and can leave our Bok supporters jerseys out the cupboard for at least
the next two weeks - win or lose.
Let’s forget about that for
now and let’s weather ourselves for another rugby storm against the All Blacks
at Twickenham this coming Saturday.
In rugby terms it doesn’t come any bigger
than this. I will look at arguably the biggest rugby rivalry in the world later
in the week.
your passion drive this team.