Div: I trust in John Smit

2011-07-13 21:21

Johannesburg - Springbok coach Peter de Villiers is confident that captain John Smit will prove to be a success for the Boks this season.

The coach raised some eyebrows by including hooker Smit in the touring party, but says he is not worried about the 2007 World Cup winner.

"After those two matches overseas (The Boks' away leg in the Tri-Nations), John Smit will be where I want him to be. He hasn't been used properly this year.

"I believe he's gained an extra year for himself after a neck operation last year, a great off-season and great pre-season preparation. He is fresh, raring to go and he just needs game time.

"I trust in John Smit, he's a great world star, a fine player and I'm going to give him the opportunity to show that again. Nobody rated him, then he won the World Cup, and now nobody rates him again," De Villiers said.

Sharks coach John Plumtree preferred the mobile and physical Bismarck du Plessis over Smit as his team made the Super Rugby play-offs but De Villiers stressed the Springboks have different players and would use their hooker in a different role.

"The attributes that Bismarck du Plessis provides for the Sharks are the same ones that Juan Smith provides for the Springboks. The Sharks don't have a Juan Smith at flank, so you can't compare the decisions John Plumtree makes for them. I know John Smit can take his game to another level," De Villiers said.


  • Kleinboet - 2011-07-13 21:41

    And if John Smit does NOT make it overseas, will you drop him, Mr de Villiers? You seem to be an enigma who can see attributes in a player when nobody else can. Do you really believe he won the World Cup for us last time around? Well, I believe we won it it spite of John Smit! John Smit is slow and unfit. He will have a hard time just keeping up with the game, let alone contributing to our success. His captaincy is overrated. I have not seen the Sharks play better on the rare occassions when he did take the field; rather I noticed him loitering somewhere in the back ground where his players would not even be able to hear him utter words of wisdom and encouragement, if any. Oh, well, you believe in him and clearly he believes in himself.; so what does it matter what anybody else says. I hope to God he does not porve to be a stumbling block for our efforts overseas!

      Timothy - 2011-07-14 06:58

      @klienboet. I disagree with you on saying his captaincy is over rated. I do believe he has the ability to motivate the players and take them to that next level. Seeing that Div is taking a very young and inexperienced squad to Aus and Nz, Smith will play a vital role in the mental preparation to get the boys motivated. We will definitely need Smith if we are 10mins into the game and suddenly find ourselves 6 or so points behind. That is where he is worth his weight in gold he keeps the players calm and focused. Sure he is not the best hooker/prop in the world, or even in South Africa, but he does what is expected of him without making much mistakes. Go Bokke!!

      Makutu - 2011-07-14 08:56

      John Smit is rated the worst defensive hooker in the Super 15. I wonder which John Smit this guy is talking about. Almost every game that John Smit has played for the Sharks, he has either weakened it or made it loss, as evidenced by the change when he leaves or comes on. It happened in Twickeneham, it happened against the Waratahs in Durban. He was even benched in the CRUCIAL games in the super 15. Peter de Villiers, what drugs have you been smoking. I know the effects of Tik (I live in Cape Town), and what you are smoking is worse. John Smit WAS a great player, not anymore. He has turned into a liability NOW Drop him please.

      Makutu - 2011-07-14 08:57

      @ Timothy, why hasn't he motivated the Sharks to any victory then?

      Sandman - 2011-07-14 10:04

      @Timothy - worth sacrificing a a fit player to allow for one of the finest captains South Africa has ever seen? Not an easy choice.

      rugby_guru - 2011-07-14 10:38

      Makutu: show me where it states John is rated worst hooker in S15?

      Kleinboet - 2011-07-14 12:06

      Timothy, he did nothing of that sort with the Sharks; that is why he was repeatedly dropped. OK, perhaps I'm prejudiced if I say he was not pivotal in the previous RWC; but since then he has been nowhere and my longterm memory is starting to fade after four years. The few times he did play for the Sharks this year he did not stand out as leader or player. Don't believe he is such a good leader just because Snorre believes in him. Snorre is in a predicament: more than a year ago he openly declared that Smit would be his captain for the RWC2011; and now he cannot go back on that without loosing face. All this is just a way to boost his own believe. Where do you think we are going to get a captain next year? I'll tell you ~ from the ranks of the Bok team; not from somewhere else! What PdV should have done, is he should have developed a captain that is sure of making the team on merit. Perhaps he does not know how to do that.

      Makutu - 2011-07-14 12:38 Follow that link you so called Rugby Gru... Talk to me after reading it. That's if you can read.

      Makutu - 2011-07-14 12:39

      Fully agreed Kleinboet!

      shucky - 2011-07-14 13:23

      Makutu..please inform us where we can look and see where John Smit is rated worst defensive hooker??? I won't comment until I see those stats myself...

      Makutu - 2011-07-14 17:31

      I put a link on my previous post above this one Shucky. Check it out. See for yourself what the rest of the world thinks of your captain.

  • chappy - 2011-07-13 21:57

    I must say, that was also my first thought as well - if he has a bad tour will he drop him? But I don't know who in the Bok squad would be a better captain. The times Matfield has taken over things haven't gone so well and I think he has enought to worry about without the captaincy.... oh well, whatever happens I'm behind our boys 100%!

      jan.jordaan1 - 2011-07-13 22:03

      @Chappy ....i like... :)

      Kleinboet - 2011-07-14 11:52

      Chappy, of course I'm behind our boys as well! However, if John Smit is such an inspiration he should go along as an advisor, not a player. He did not lead the Sharks the few times he donned that cloak during the Super15, so how is he going to lead the Boks?

      Ian - 2011-07-14 12:54

      Nice one chappy... spoken like a true supporter... hey kleinboet, relax bru... Jon Smit's the best captain we've got, he's perfect for a world cup and it's pressures, stand behind him and be positive... negativity won't get us anywhere.....

      Kleinboet - 2011-07-14 13:33

      Ian, when he runs onto that field, I'll be right behind him and the rest of the team. It is because I CARE that I am getting all worked up and try to show how the team can be STRENGTHENED. Everybody tells me he is the best captain, but WHY do you guys say so - I'm too stupid to see it on the field! I still believe that PdV failed in his task to develop a captain who is assured of his place in the team on merit. Dammit, there must be someone somewhere who is perhaps second best in his position and a good captain. Where would you rate John Smit in his position - 6th perhasps?

      Ian - 2011-07-15 08:24

      Kleinboet, it's not that you're to stupid bud... I understand your point 100%, and for a tri nations or any other test match I would agree with you. However a world cup is completely different, this you have to understand... experience is so much more valuable than talent is in a world cup, world cup's carry a mental pressure that will crush the most talented of youngsters... this is why New Zealand choke in world cups. We will need the calmest and most experienced heads out there to bring it home for us.

  • Pears - 2011-07-13 22:02

    Your just about the only one Div. Bismarck is better.

  • Tsheps16V - 2011-07-13 22:05

    oh hec.... semi finals NZ 56- SA 15 i can just see it,,,,,,,

      Gomez - 2011-07-13 22:10

      Even that will still be better than the Bafana banana world cup attempt.

      Totman - 2011-07-13 22:29

      I share your fear for NZ this year, but I hope, as I believe you will as well, that you are wrong. @ Gomez. "It's a different ball game."

      Timothy - 2011-07-14 07:04

      @Tsheps16v I dont even know why I am replying to you because in doing so I am just giving you exactly what you want Attention!!! This article is about the tri-nations and John Smith so your comment, "oh hec.... semi finals NZ 56- SA 15 i can just see it,,,,,,," does not make any sense whatsoever did you even read the article?

      Rikhogrande - 2011-07-14 08:19

      @ tshepo... chief you dont insult my team in my country OK! Blady agent!

  • Maarten - 2011-07-13 23:46

    What ever you do, don't make a negative comment. It WILL BE removed.

  • StufflĂ© - 2011-07-14 02:15

    Yeah mista de V, but u also trust the ANC .

  • Marcell - 2011-07-14 02:32

    Div: Jy is die enigste een.

  • charlesaduplessis - 2011-07-14 07:31

    Peter I am afraid to say that you got it all wrong. Yes give the man his due, he has played a 100 tests and has been "part" of a "TEAM" that won the last world cup. Fact is that he has had his time and should have put his pride in his pocket and followed suit with January. To be selected into the Springbok side you need to be 100% and the very best of all players in that position. Your feable attempt on trying to justify the inclsusion of Smit above Bismack is absurb and nothing less. Just imagine how well "ball fetching" will go with two players ont he field like Juan. Smit is the weak link in your squad and will be the cause of "your" teams downfall. One never sent a second or even third rated team on tour, you send your best and so you will make "us" proud as Springbok supporters. Don't go humiliate us, no one deserves a Springbok cap if he is not the best in that position.

      Makutu - 2011-07-14 09:05

      Sad reality boss! Good point.

      shucky - 2011-07-14 13:28

      How is Bismark better than Smit.. the only thing he does better is give away kickable penalties, and don't forget the yellow cards... Smit is better and thats why he is 1st choice.. simple...

      Makutu - 2011-07-14 17:32

      he is 1st choice where? At the Sharks? He is only 1st choice at the Boks because we have a metally decapitated coach.

  • DeWet - 2011-07-14 07:36

    i trust in john smit to cost us the world cup

  • Jozee - 2011-07-14 07:43

    How many times are they mentioning John in the passed tense... he is passed and we thank him for his outstanding efforts and contributions! It's time to move on... JS will not play a full game anyway and as far as I'm aware Juan is not yet fit either! what is this guy smoking building a wc team on individuals who still needs to pass fitness tests after major injuries and operations. I really hope I'm wrong and Div is right. I will still back the boks 110% all the way!

      Makutu - 2011-07-14 09:06

      Yes, agreed! PAST tense!

  • JJRR - 2011-07-14 07:57


  • Stef - 2011-07-14 08:17

    His time has passed!

  • Dillon Peyper - 2011-07-14 08:36

    When Jake White started his tenure for the Boks as coach no one thought or believed that john smit was the best hooker in the world either, every one was screaming Schalk Britz is first choice without doubt, Gary Botha was also in Sublime form, but smit took his oppertunity. With JW smit took the word cup and silenced SARU and the negative crows that have nothing positive to say below. I am a bulls supporter i will agree that Victor Matfield who has taken Super 14 3times could not do the job as international captain like smit can. All i am saying is give him a chance. no one at this point is able to lead the boks like smit can. the next skipper will get his chance, a chance to be able to win a world cup, a chance to be slandered by you negative supporters a chance to rein supream and a chance to fail at some thing. Rugby is going nowhere folks, i think you should give smit his due and let him, i will laugh at you if he surprises you in his last world cup and brings it back, because that what "supporters"do.... we believe!!

      Makutu - 2011-07-14 09:08

      NOt at this age unfortunately. His legs are now tired. If he was 28, I'd understand giving him a chance. It is a sad sad reality. The man has aged, lets let go before it is too late. Peter de Villiers must be brave like John Plumtree and drop this guy completely!

      Gouetor - 2011-07-14 09:16

      Dillon, he was able to surprise many 4 years ago. Get it, 4 years ago... The game's faster now and Smit slower. I would love to believe as you do, but to believe in the face of such owerwhelming evidence to the contrary, just makes you a fool!

      Dillon Peyper - 2011-07-14 14:56

      Well your mouth is certainly faster @Gouetor 3 likes 6 dislikes for your useless 1cent commet. just goes to show you are 50% more fool than me!

  • Wizz - 2011-07-14 09:15

    I wonder how many people that have joined the Unite 2011 campaign, claim to support the Boks, yet take every opportunity to take a dig at them. John Smit is the best captain SA has ever seen - how about we give him the support and respect he deserves? He may not be the best hooker in the world (and he has never cliamed to be) but he is a player of integrity, able to motivate the team, and maintain composure and solid leadership in tough games. Div may not be the coach of choice of many - but hey - he IS the coach. Personally - I'd hate the job. 47 million selectors and professional arm-chair critics to try to please with every decision. Bottom line - Go BOKKE! Green and Gold Pride should never be underestimated! Bring the Webb Ellis cup back home where it belongs, Boys! And John - My Captain - OUR captain - RESPECT to you, Sir!

      JJRR - 2011-07-14 09:20

      Why not make him the Cricket captain also, he is a good captain but can also not play Cricket!

      Makutu - 2011-07-14 09:23

      We support players, not captains. John Smit doesn't play good rugby and we can see it. Shut your big mouth up.

      InternetMan - 2011-07-14 12:24

      47 million is a rather exaggerated number, don't you think?

      shucky - 2011-07-14 13:34

      Wizz well said, Makutu just coz someone does not support your comments suddenly they must shut up.. Who would you suggest for Captain?? Maybe you are wrong and we are right???

      Makutu - 2011-07-14 17:35

      I would suggest Fourie de Preeze, Victor Matfield or Schalck Burger. Are you suggesting that we haev acaptaincy crisis at the Boks? Smit is definitely not a good player.

  • Quintin Bruwer - 2011-07-14 09:17

    Funny how all of you are rugby experts... So many times have teams and players proofed critics wrong esspecially in world cups! I just have 1 question: Should John Smit go on to play a vital role in winning the world cup as Captain again, are you all going to say I was one of those who shot him down or you going to be a coward and joins those who backed him and say his praises....???? just a thought. For once I agree with Div; He believes in Smit. Yes on current form he is not no1 but I also believe he'll bring it in the world cup. It is all about caracter of which he is a great.

      Gouetor - 2011-07-14 09:54

      I'll be the first to admit that i was wrong. In fact i sincerely hope that i'm wrong because div is obviously too scared to drop smit

      charlesaduplessis - 2011-07-14 10:36

      Quiton.. thing is JS will not win it, it will be the other 14 players that now need to carry him that will win it.. luckily JS willl only be playing half matches, so honestly we can say that the vice captain actually pushed the boks through...

      rugby_guru - 2011-07-14 10:42

      Quintin, you 100% correct, this isn't currie cup or super rugby, its test rugby and John Smit will raise to the part, I do believe this.. If he doesn't great, then i'm wrong, if he does, then i'd love all these haters to come back here and apologise, but I know that wont happen because they will always have an excuse to hate, people love to hate.. That is what I have come to learn, and they will never change that.. Let a man do more than you have ever done in 10 life times and let him wobble here and there, and watch the 'vultures' attack them... Disgusting...

      InternetMan - 2011-07-14 12:29

      Haters gon' hate.

      shucky - 2011-07-14 13:37

      Well done Guru... exactly as it is.. After world cup will we see or hear of idiots like Makutu?? I think not.. John Smit was and still is the best hooker/player south africa has ever produced... Even Sports illustrated survey got that one.. I will take their opinion over the armchair selectors on this site anyday.

      Dillon Peyper - 2011-07-14 15:06

      that a haters job to hate so lets let them hate, we are used to this sort of negativity. after the RWC is played and won, and the haters dont have anyone to hate on feel free to hate on me!! .l..

  • OLIBO - 2011-07-14 09:44

    I'm not a rugby fan but each time I look at John Smit I think he is more of a wrestler than a rugby players.

  • Quintin - 2011-07-14 10:59

    @Charles, I assume you are making your statements based on his Super 15 performance. This after he came back from a neck opperation with very little game time. Fair enough he wasnt consistantly on top form. However I am making my statement based on caracter what I have seen and read about this guy. You dont have to respect him because his fellow players does. Those 14 that you are refering to. We are talking about a person here with great caracter who will go to all lenghts to win that trophy. unless you are a professional fitnes/technical rugby advisor whatever you are in no position to state he doesnt have what it takes. Cleary you have never participated in a team sport let alone Rugby team. Guys in a rugby team will brake their necks for each other and those 14 that you say will have to carry him are going to play their hearts out for each other and him. that is just Rubgy. (That is what made the bulls so dangerous for so long)and I'm a shark supporter

  • Camiel Phillips - 2011-07-14 11:12

    Pdev and John Smit have the same thing in commom,their last hoorah with the Springboks.The coach made it possible for John because he cant think out of the box.

  • Ockert - 2011-07-14 12:33

    Div "all your eggs in one basket" snor man.

  • Mgqwesi - 2011-07-14 13:28

    Breaking news from NZ: Graham Henry has stated that Grant Fox will be included in the NZ squad for this upcoming WC in order to rotate him with Dan Carter during the tournament, seeing that Fox is a previous WC winner, just like a certain JW Smit. Henry says he's decided to follow in the footsteps of his SA counterpart by ensuring that a player who's the world's best in his position, gets to share crucial playing time with a previous winner. He further elaborated that by adopting the "living in the past" strategy, he hopes to eventually bring the holy grail of rugby to his long-suffering people! The move has been welcomed by Fox supporters but not the general NZ public.

      Makutu - 2011-07-14 17:36

      LOL! Freakin good point there. lol! hahahaha...

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