Johnson 'deserves' RWC spot

2011-06-20 07:25

Jóhann Thormählen

Bloemfontein – Ashley Johnson showed with his performances in the 2011 Super Rugby tournament that he deserves a spot in the Springbok Rugby World Cup squad.

That was the view of Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské on Saturday night after his loose forward star continued to stake his claim with a lively performance in the 34-44 defeat to the Stormers.

Drostké believes that Johnson has managed to get the inconsistency out of his game.

Johnson was recently rewarded for his good form when he was included in a reduced Springbok squad of 37 players in the build-up to the World Cup.

And with his performance against the Stormers, the flank once again demonstrated why he should be in the plans for New Zealand.

Johnson’s physical presence and high work-rate was clearly visible against a Stormers team full of Springboks. Even after being on the receiving end of one of the biggest tackles of the tournament from Francois Louw in the second half, Johnson was soon involved in play again.

“You have to take your hat off to Ashley and the manner in which he has played the entire season. I had a chat with him when he played well at the beginning of the tournament. I told him that a weakness of his in the past was that he would produce one or two brilliant performances, but then not ‘pitch’ for the next game or two.

“My words to him were that he had to rid himself of that inconsistency if he wanted to become a Springbok and remain a good one. Full marks to him. He has played good rugby week after week and puts his body on the line. He really deserves to be in the World Cup squad,” said Drotské.

Apart from Johnson, Cheetahs wing Rayno Benjamin also showed why Drotské brought him to Bloemfontein.

The Sevens Springbok, who has had little game time due to injuries and a suspension for an alleged headbutt against the Melbourne Rebels, scored a hat-trick of tries and did not put a foot wrong.

Cheetahs centre Robert Ebersohn left the field in the 33rd minute because of sore ankle ligaments. Drotské does not think the injury is too serious.

“It does not look too bad. I think it’s just ligaments. Hopefully he will be ready for the first Currie Cup game. The worst-case scenario is probably that he will be out for four to six weeks,” said Drotské.


  • manuel28 - 2011-06-20 07:35

    i 100 % agree! the mans work rate is even more than schalkburg and thats saying something!!!

      Dan - 2011-06-20 08:40

      @ evereadydude. Hy kan enige dag voor Vermeulen gekies word. Vermeulen bied niks in vergelyking met Johnson.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-06-20 08:57

      @Dan - Johnson has shone playing flank, not 8th man. Apart from playing Danie, Schalk or Willem at 8, Duane is the only other contender. I know you don't like him, but if you have watched any rugby this season, even you would have to give the man some credit. Wet, cold, mud fields in NZ need defensive, abrasive and warhorse 8th men........Duane ticks all the boxes. Horses for courses.

      Andrew - 2011-06-20 09:32

      @everreadybattery....I agree that he needs a haircut, as he looks like a clown. BUT this man can play and deserves a place in the squad.

      bill - 2011-06-20 09:57

      Vermeulen is a large ambling ape which has used both his brain cells to walk upright.

      Whatever - 2011-06-20 11:04

      Ag ou Naka moenie tjol praat nie asseblief!As wat moet hy WB toe gaan?Goed genoeg is nie genoeg nie jy moet die beste wees.Daar is hope spelers wat goed genoeg is vir die groep maar net 5 losvoorspelers kan gaan.Schalk en Alberts kies hulself en Snor sal sy gatgabba,Spies useless nooit los nie.Dan is daar Juan Smith en Brussow,Louw en Vermeulen,Deysel,Daniel en Kankowski,Potgieter,Stegman,Danie Rossouw en Strauss.Maw JY reken Johnson is beter as hulle!?Feit is jy sou nooit eers Johnson n kans gegee het as dit nie vir beserings was nie so moenie nou maak asof jy die talentman is nie.Gaan rus en wag vir die CB.Johnson is goed en toon belofte maar as hy die WB groep haal is dit n kleur ding en klaar!

      Raymond - 2011-06-20 20:05

      I could'nt agree more.What a player who gives his all.

  • 106SA - 2011-06-20 07:38

    Ashley is worthy of a place!!!

  • MBSS (Meeste bulls supporters Suck) - 2011-06-20 07:47

    Leave Spes and take Johnson

      MBSS (Meeste bulls supporters Suck) - 2011-06-20 07:48

      Sorry Spies

      Obama Bin Laden - 2011-06-20 09:41

      Spies is a show pony. Tell him the boks are meeting in their speedos at camps bay for a photo shoot before the World Cup. Then the rest of the manne jet off to NZ without him.

  • SAFFA-CAT - 2011-06-20 07:52

    Ashley started performing well when he moved to flank. He has been incredible at 7. Depending on injuries, Ashley might get a well deserved look in. If Duane manages to recover before the WC - he would still be my 1st choice as Bok 8TH MAN. Spies to work on his physique in the gym in Centurion whilst the real men go to battle. Klaar.

      GraemeBB - 2011-06-20 11:40

      @SAFFA - Spies is shaping well lately. This weekend the Sharks struggled to keep him in check, but not a good word for the man. I still think Duanne offers zero on attack, and doesnt add an extra jumper in the line-outs, so he is not the perfect package at no 8. Kanco is the least physical of them all, and makes most of his runs as part of the back-line. Alberts is playing the worst rugby of his life since the first Bulls encounter, and I also have seen very little comment about that. Johnson, as you have correctly pointed out, is playing on the flank, and is simply brilliant in my opinion. I hope PDivy uses the Tri-Nations to finalise the team he will be taking. Time to experiment with the players whom have deserved a Bok call, like Johnson and Duanne (when will he be ready?) This will give him the perfect opportunity to look at certain combinations, and select the final team from there.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-06-20 13:25

      @GraemeBB - I am sorry Graeme......I wish I could find something postive to say about Spies (apart from his personality - cos he seems a pretty cool chap) BUT: his handling is still woeful, and for all the noises about Spies on attack, he has done nothing to convince me he should be starting in NZ. I worry, because his primary role as Bok 8th man is NOT attack. His role has to be that of a conventional 8th man - of which he ticks not ONE of the boxes - my opinion. I know we are never going to agree - but I respect your right to like Spies. I wish Spies would prove me wrong one day, and NOT lose the ball, break through 5 tackles etc.

      GraemeBB - 2011-06-20 14:13

      @SAFFA - unfortunately you refuse to see - if you watched the game just this weekend, you would have seen. You simply dont want to. But, I believe this is the last time I am going to speak to you about Spies. I actually couldnt wait to see what his detractors were going to say today after a stellar performance this weekend - no surprises though.

  • Marcell - 2011-06-20 07:55

    We as rugby supporters deserve unbaised refs! I think he is playing for the wrong team. If he was playing for the Stormers he would have being 'world class'. In the end some of us will be happy about the Bok selection and some will be not so happy! Can we do something about it?

  • WPBEFONK - 2011-06-20 07:56

    I tend to agree with Naka. Spies must stay at home, he can be on STANDBY if anything happens to Duanne(no 1), Kanko(no.2) and Ashley(no.3). Go Sharks and Go Stormers!!!!!!!!! Stormers jou LEKKA DENG!!!!!!

      Marcell - 2011-06-20 08:04

      wpbefonk: jy stel my teleur. Hoekom kies ons nie sommer die Stompies se 2, 3, 4,5 keuse nie.

      Chronoman - 2011-06-20 08:48

      Kanko is just another version of Spies. Not hwat a tough match requires.

  • Claude - 2011-06-20 08:03

    No room for passengers in the RWC squad and Ashley would not be a passenger but some others would be. Put Ashley in and leave out Spies.

      Obama Bin Laden - 2011-06-20 10:11

      Here's the Press release Saru can issue for leaving Spies behind: `The South African Rugby Union regrets to inform all the one-eyed bull supporters out there that Pierre Spies has withdrawn from South Africa's World Cup campaign after pulling a muscle whilst trying on a new speedo at Edgars. Not all is lost for Pierre though. This will give him ample time to develop a new range of moisturizers he plans to launch in the new year. Fans and supporters can learn more by watching Pierre's exclusive interview with Top Billing this Friday.''

  • Neille - 2011-06-20 08:23

    @marcell: as jy lees voor jy skryf sal jy sien dan wpbefonf net een stormer in daai drie name noem. anders as julle bulls fans, het ons persperktief en glo nie dat aldie stormers bokke moet wees nie !

      Marcell - 2011-06-20 08:38

      Al perspektief wat die papsak brigade het is daai een wat uit die papsak kruip as dit leeg is. Is daai 'world class' span nie goed genoeg nie?

  • BLOODY AGENT - 2011-06-20 09:08

    Make him the Mascot

  • Chantelle - 2011-06-20 09:21


  • Rasky - 2011-06-20 10:21


  • proudlyza - 2011-06-20 11:31

    I think he should have been a Springbok long time back, but I guess he's colored.....An therefore has to work double shift to make the cut. This boy has shown he can play and hard at that...Take my hat off to Ashley "the Springbok"

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