Quizzing Meyer on selections

2013-09-25 14:25
Heyneke Meyer (Gallo Images)
Hi Heyneke

My questions may make it seem like I am a Cheetahs fan, when truly I am an avid Sharks supporter. Rather they are aimed at selection in certain positions.

1. As rugby evolves and the skillset of players in every position has increased, why is someone who has the skillset of Robert Ebersohn constantly overlooked? In your opinion, is he not big enough to contend with Test level rugby?
It seems to me that not only does he display a superior skillset to a centre like JJ Engelbrecht  but has proved he can handle the pressure on the big occasions for the Cheetahs and on an international level in 7s. While no one can argue that JJ has scored a lot of tries in his short test career so far but that has been more a case of finishing off a move, which is more akin to a wing (arguably his most suitable position I believe), rather than by creating it through individual brilliance. The mould for an outside centre has been set in the likes of Brian O'Driscoll and Conrad Smith - an intelligent tactician who creates space for his wings. I don't think JJ necessarily fits this mould yet; whereas Robert Ebersohn already has similar qualities and a rugby brain, which, I believe, is not something that can be easily taught. The better the opposition we play the less JJ imposes himself and is seen during a game. I would argue that Robert Ebersohn offers more at outside centre than JJ and just needs game time at the highest level to prove it.

2. With the increased pace of the modern game, the need for a supremely fit, fast accelerating scrumhalf with a quick pass and pinpoint kicking game has increased exponentially (I know I don't need to tell you this but it bears repeating). Do you think that Ruan Pienaar still possesses all the required skills for an international scrumhalf? With the welcome return of Fourie du Preez, would it not be wiser to have the younger more energetic scrumhalves around to learn from him, instead of someone like Ruan who is advanced in his career and is probably set in his ways?
Without delving too deep into the detail of attributes each has, scrumhalves are seen more as game-changers now than ever before. I believe that Sarel Pretorius is by far the stand-out scrumhalf in the country and would benefit hugely from time with someone like Fourie. Granted his kicking game may not be his strongest attribute but that is something that can easily be learned and should not drown out the massive impact his running and opportunistic play has on a game. Again, all he needs is game time and guidance from Fourie to become world class. If you look at the other scrumhalves in the mix and even in the Springbok camp, none of them have nearly the same impact that Sarel Pretorius does.

Best of luck to you and the boys on Saturday!

Yours sincerely

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