Bok 'corpse' has strong pulse

2010-11-27 22:24

Comment: Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

Cape Town – So what will the doomsayers make of this, then?

Let us not be guilty of suggesting all is suddenly hunky-dory again in Springbok rugby: it isn’t. But there are also times when the pessimists must be banished, humiliated, to the back seats for a while and a special weekend – “finish and klaar!” -- be savoured by those who doggedly keep the faith.

Considering the swirling cloud of negativity after the Scotland debacle only seven days earlier, and the general mood of public disenchantment with both the touring Bok team and their head coach of late, beating England by an emphatic 10 points at Twickenham on Saturday was a riposte of some force.

Personally, I am wallowing unashamedly in a wee measure of self-satisfaction after daring to suggest from the British Isles in midweek that Victor Matfield’s team had no reason to feel cowed by the England challenge and that, pound for pound, a win or at least rousing visiting performance was wholly feasible.

Well, this Bok team produced both.  And perhaps now those who scornfully thought I was smoking my 3G card or even the entire laptop may at least put their noses to the hot humble pie even if they are not prepared to brave a bite.

I suggested it was frighteningly close to disloyal to wish the Boks a hiding against such long-time bitter rivals simply because of a clearly well-rooted wish to see Peter de Villiers given the heave-ho.

Surely support for your team should always come first? Surely you appreciate a bit more now that any distaste you may have for the coach and his co-strategists is best channelled toward those who employ them, and not the men who actually go out to defend the country’s honour in the green and gold?

I do not harbour affection for De Villiers: I still believe he is skating on thin ice after a rocky old year, and that there are better brains capable of plotting the Boks’ World Cup defence, even if upheaval at this point would contain some obvious elements of disadvantage.

But in the (unlikely now, perhaps) event that the coach does see the door, he would leave with the minor satisfaction, I think, that he still had “the dressing room”, as they say.

For if there was significant anti-Div rebelliousness in the camp itself, it certainly didn’t surface on Saturday as Matfield and company saved their most full-blooded and polished performance of the Grand Slam tour for last.

Three wins from four on an end-of-year slog with a greatly weakened squad: that’s not nirvana, but it’s also not a ruinous state of affairs and South Africa have had coaches who have kept their tracksuits after worse tour returns.

But let’s abandon the bigger picture now, because sideshows deserve suspension – even if short-lived -- when a terrific win like this is achieved, don’t you think?

Yes, this wasn’t too far off a Bok hall-of-famer, when you consider how they were being written off after the Murrayfield mud-bath and England, simultaneously, were being hyped – outrageously, I’d strongly suspected – on the grounds of the 35-18 whipping of the Wallabies at the very same venue.

Martin Johnson’s charges had won some plaudits a little earlier in the month, too, when they at least gave the All Blacks some “problems” along the way in succumbing 26-16.

Well, here the Boks prevailed by the same margin, yet arguably with greater comfort: remember that England’s lone try was a late, flattering intercept and that both Steyns, Morne and Francois, had thumped the uprights with much earlier penalty attempts within the space of seven minutes.

Both even-handed English television commentators, Miles Harrison and Stuart Barnes (what a relief not to have had that barking anti-Saffer Brian Moore in the booth) were unreserved in their praise for the whip hand South Africa held, virtually across the park.

“South Africa look the more experienced and better team,” Harrison had simply but aptly noted as the teams trudged off at half-time, with England somehow level-pegging then at 6-6.

And afterwards former Test flyhalf Barnes, while also suggesting the Boks suddenly didn’t look so dead in the water as a World Cup 2011 factor after all, observed: “This was their shot at redemption (after Scotland) and boy, have they fired the bullets.”

He gave player-of-the-match to Bismarck du Plessis, the hooker who threw into the lineout beautifully after his bad day at the office in Edinburgh and rampaged about the pitch like a man possessed in the general exchanges.

Mind you, there were many colleagues like him in muscular commitment and positive energy.

One was Pierre Spies, the big No 8 who has rather pole-axed some detractors in recent weeks, this one included.

Yes, he did bungle one routine, no-pressure kick-off collection, but otherwise the Bulls man was dynamite at Twickers.

On one sublime occasion he not only stopped a rumbling English attacker near the Bok line, he drove him several yards backwards – it is moments like that that demoralise opponents and gee-up allies.

Beast Mtawarira, meanwhile, tackled and made metres, tackled and made metres ... you get the picture of the loosehead prop’s levels of industry. Oh, and before we forget, he was also part of a jubilantly successful effort to lower the colours of a supposedly immovable English scrum!

All the while, veteran blindside flank Juan Smith took alertness to new levels, making rangy strides at times to smash unsuspecting English raiders and counter-raiders into touch – the Bok old-firm locks weren’t too shabby in that respect, either.

Where they had come up short against the Scots for precision, the tactical kicking and body language of Ruan Pienaar and Morne Steyn was light years better here, while Jean de Villiers simply oozed zeal and tenacity and a desire to stay on the front foot.

The substitutions, so often an area of wrath by Bok monitors, were like clockwork this time: the right men came off with understandably wearying legs during the second half, and bench performers like Willem Alberts, CJ van der Linde (save for that ill-fated but ultimately not too expensive “prop’s pass”) and Adi Jacobs busied themselves with commendable immediacy.

“We played the way we know we can,” a bursting-with-pride Matfield said pitch-side afterwards, “direct ... and then we took it wide.”

Yeah, the various, still complex elements of controversy and disenchantment in Bok rugby can wait a few days.

Roll out the barrel, I say ...


  • Thomas - 2010-11-27 22:55

    This was a good win but I don't think was as much the coaches input. This was the players saying screw this we are not going to make fools of ourselves again. However I hope they ripped into CJ van der Linde for that brainless move! We may have had the game in the bag, but even if they needed 5points to win he would have made the same mistake. That brainfart cost us beating England by 21 points with a depleted and mostly rudderless team, to the ABs hanging on for a 10 point win with close to their WC team. This proves we have the talent but outside of Os I dont have faith in the coaching staff.

      ebdg3000 - 2010-11-28 07:10

      Thomas, when we lose, then its the Coach, when we win, then its not the Coach - come on, man, what is it want? Do you think it was the team calling for the substitutions and when they were needed? Don't let your blind hate for Div, for whatever reasons, mess around with your thinking ...

      libouah - 2010-11-28 08:26

      Oh you Doubting Thomas. Well said ebdg3000

      Theo - 2010-11-28 09:38

      Previous 3 Games=Kicking Game Fail England Game=good kicking game...How are you oblivious to this? our game plan is clearly tactical kicking and pienaar and steyn had fantastic games. We played the same game plan again, our execution was just better.

      Ash - 2010-11-28 11:52

      @edge3000, spot on, my man!!! Why should it take a week for the players to say "screw this". They could have done it 30 minutes (or 60 minutes, for that matter) into the Scotland game. I mean, Scotland? Even if they played the last 10 minutes of the Scotland game like they played yesterday, the result would have been different. yesterday you could see the commitment and the purpose of the players, which was clearly absent last week. Go and look at last weeks game again and you will see that the players were just not in it at Muddyfield.

      StaalBurgher - 2010-11-28 13:05

      Edge, because that is how a talented team with bad coaching operates. One week on, next week off. Sometimes the talent shines through but often we will fall short because the coaching is not up to snuff. Please take your head out of the sand. This is why we were hoping for a loss because now this win will hide the terminal failures in our coaching setup.

      renofinch - 2010-11-28 16:22

      Agree with you. CJ should be fined. How can you mess up a 4 man overlap like that at this level? That I'm afraid is the difference between us and the AB's.

      renofinch - 2010-11-28 16:23

      Agree with you. CJ should be fined. How can you mess up a 4 man overlap at this level of rugby. That I'm afraid is the difference between us and the AB's.

      bbmjames24 - 2010-11-29 09:26

      @Theo. AAH had a bit much to drink during the game I see, Neither Steyn or Steyn could kick at all. Morne has such a kak kicking record in the northern hemisphere they shouldn't even think of ever taking him again, seeing as that is aal he is in the team for. Francois steyn sucked, Mattfield sucked, (did bakkies play? ) Jean, Juan and Spies where awesome and I think if the buggers were not as stingy with ball in hand and brought Aplon into pla much more we would have had 4 more tries. Mattfield should leave the coaching to PDiv and start playing rugby, he is not the coach and the only place Blue Bull rugby works is on provincial level, that is not even everytime. Back to basic, pass the ball wide and create the gaps. " schools Rugby "

  • derek55 - 2010-11-27 23:04

    At last, some semblance of a "Bok" team, but definitely not the best. At least they showed they can play a bit of rugby and were 500% better than last week. One thing I cannot understand about our rugby teams, and especially our highly paid "professionals". When are they going to learn to pass the ball. Passing the ball while in play seems not to be part of any South African game plan. They either hang on to it and give away penalties, or simply kick it away for the opposition to play with. Watching the All Blacks play Wales tonight I saw some absolutely brilliant tries, all coming about after at least 3 - 5 players handled and passed the ball at the right time, to the right person. This is a skill South African teams have yet to acquire.

      slg - 2010-11-28 05:33

      This is all in the coaching Derek. We had two teams in the Super 14 final, against the very opponents you mention. Our coach has not competed at senior level, and his assistants have not excelled in the Super 14. No wonder we're underachieving.

  • andrew.honiball - 2010-11-27 23:10

    Mvovo's try: Give that man a Bells.

      wdvilliers - 2010-11-28 07:34

      And another...and take one for yourself...

  • igitur - 2010-11-27 23:23

    Let's just hope it doesn't rain much during the RWC 2011!

      EJ - 2010-11-28 10:27

      Have you ever been in NZ during winter? It will definately be wet, very wet and lots of rain.

      Rossman - 2010-11-28 14:19

      Isn't the RWC being played in September? That makes it spring in NZ. Rain in spring is anybody's call.

      gatshi69 - 2010-11-29 07:56

      Lots of rain and wind during Spring time in NZ

      Terrance - 2010-11-29 10:33

      September is still winter inNZ

  • paul latberg - 2010-11-27 23:31

    Get rid of the three stooges. Their mistakes during 2010 were unforgivable. we will not win the world cup with them cin harge - especially in that stupid worldcup jersey.

  • marco - 2010-11-27 23:45

    Stuart Barnes just this week on the Rugby Club Extra said that you should never right off the Springboks.How true that was.He was also the one that time and time again as always refutes counter productive arguments given by some zealots, over the top PDV or Bok bashers and haters that writes into the rugbyclub extra venting their anger by sidestepping and focussing on the positive results achieved by PDV during his time in Springbok Office rather than a percieved downward spiral negativity.He sounds like a really straight thinking,honest guy when he makes his observations which are largely positive about SA rugby in general and he does so even during the Super 14 matches,however he never shy away from being critical and honest and does gives credit where credit is due.Infect on Thursday this week he said South Africa is really the home of rugby which was rather nice of him to say even though we know it's not true but still it was a nice comment to make.Contrary to that there is anti-Saffer Brian Moore who did not once in his post match comments standing there right next to Lawrence Dallaglio made any comment on South Africa's good performances today.All he did was ramble on about England not being mentally,physically strong enough to win the RWC next year.The Bok word wasn't even on his lips whereas Lawrence Dallaglio frequently praised the strenght of the Boks tonight.Moore said niks on the Springboks whatsover not a single comment.How pathetic can he get the antibok idiot.

  • Ryan - 2010-11-27 23:52

    " But there are also times when the pessimists must be banished, humiliated, to the back seats for a while and a special weekend – “finish and klaar!” -- be savoured by those who doggedly keep the faith." So because our Boks win a game, those who can see something that is extremly wrong in South african Rugby, must be humiliated?? They must shut up? So your suggesting if we lost, we can continue to point out the glaring flaws in the Management of our game? We still support out team 100% We always want them to win, but most people can see that, nevermind the win, this coaching and management staff need to go! This win comes down the the pride of the players. Nothing more. Its after a win that the problems in the management really need to be pointed out, because its all too easy to forget the dismal state of our rugby management after pushing aside an old foe. In a tournament, you need to be consistent, have a game plan, and have a sound management team to deal with all the highs and lows in a 2 month World Cup. This management team clearly cannot do most if any of these things. So no, we should not be humiliated after supporting our Boks to beat the rotten Rose. We are proud of our players, and cheer them on, however, the bok management needs to take a hike. Nothing has changed over night.

      Rossman - 2010-11-28 14:26

      With you there, my cousin. As long as we win, no matter how pathetically or lucky, no one will sacrifice the coaching staff. Fact is all is not well in SA rugby and I sense a familiar uneasiness that was there just before RWC 2003 under Straulli.

      GBES - 2010-11-29 11:36

      The Boks and the coaches were spot on this Saturday.Hats off to them,for giving you pessimists the finger.We are still rated in the TOP three remember ? We are still the defending WORLD champs remember ? Honestly,if memory serves me right,this is the life cycle of springbok rugby.The ups & downs and then the Glory.Get used to it,and yes criticise,but give praise to the coach & his team for smothering the English in their breakfast.What a good feeling.

  • brinjal - 2010-11-27 23:54

    Nice read, well done Bokke!

  • U1 - 2010-11-28 00:07

    Call me cynical, but I wonder. looking at the English-Australia game and just now the Australia-France game, how is it that the English couldn't stand up against the Boks? With the Boks possesion in the first half and nothing to show for it? Is there not a case to be looked at for throwing games? The Ausie -French game was a big dissapointment. In the second half the French were not even tackling, nevermind attacking. I do not understand. Maybe I really do not understand rugby. Like woman, but that is another story.....

      Schalk - 2010-11-28 01:00

      i agree, the english threw the game, i hate springbok rugby, how can i support a team that we all know is not the best team available, with players not being picked on merit, i am just as tired of this as most, thats why my family and friends dont bother much with rugby these days, i wil NEVER pay to watch a springbok game. sorry, go snorre, p divvy, i love pieter de villiers,

      ChumScrubber - 2010-11-28 06:30

      Schalk - not picked on merit?? The Bokke don't want folks like you watching them, thank you very much. U1 - I think its just that all the teams are actually so evenly matched. If you don't give 100%, you come off badly second best. The All Blacks are the best at performing consistently, but with a slight choker mindset due to their history in world cups, they fail in world cups. Its a very fine line, to win everything has to be right - especially whats going on in the heads of the players. I don't want to believe games are being thrown - but not impossible.

      Stephen - 2010-11-28 07:53

      dont know of any Pakistani's playing Rugby Bro ??

      U1 - 2010-11-28 11:42

      Stephen, Pakistanis don't need to play to bet, Bro. Yes, I also don't want to think it, but it is not impossible. BTW, I am not serious about it. Just now I am called infront a committee to testify...... :0!!

      Rossman - 2010-11-28 14:35

      I looked at the game last night and acually need 3 players to throw a game. You need the lock, hooker and scrumhalf. Victor, Bismarck and Ruan. Go and see how "delibirately" K@K they played against Scotland and how their game "improved" against England. I personally would have been happier with a win over Scotland and a loss to England. It makes more logical sense.

      DeonL - 2010-11-28 19:29

      Twak / Nonsense, The Boks relentless attacks in the first half was so tiring to the English that they could not keep up in the 2nd half. 2 slips by Victor on the triline and the Prop at the end saved the English from a big hiding. We also missed 9 points in kicks, we could have won by 30 points! Everyone was there on merit, even the 2 wings are better than a fit Habana!

      GBES - 2010-11-29 11:37

      Like Hansie said, "THE DEVIL MADE THEM DO IT".

  • Siener - 2010-11-28 00:46

    When we win, it's the players. When we lose it's Div's fault. Or at least that's how SA's biggoted rugby fans see it.

      sduplessis - 2010-11-28 05:34

      you, are the bloody biggot. Pity you comment on a game you dont know. fool

      ebdg3000 - 2010-11-28 07:14

      Exactly, I agree with you, Siener - just look at dup here, at his language. Needs a bit of anger management - might help his bigoted white ass some ...

      Mountain Man - 2010-11-28 07:36

      I agree Siener. Our fans are the worst on the planet. Hope its not an indication of where we stand in mentality...

      James - 2010-11-28 08:32

      I say great win. Thanks players. Not Div's fault, but SARU's fault there he is there at all -win or lose.

      andrewpottow - 2010-11-28 09:00

      No, look at it this way, when we lose with arguably the best and most talented team in the world, when its apparent that there's no game plan, when their is no innovation and when we are still playing the same rugby as we did when we won the world cup-only worse, how are we supposed to blame the team? But, with such a brilliant team, it is not hard for a decent coach to beat England. When we win because of the team, its a win in one game. When we win because of the coach, its a consistently improving, and eventually dominating performance by a team has been elevated to new heights and not lowered to new lows, not only in terms of results but the rugby they play. Finally, to finish off. I love my team and will always be their greatest supporter along with their biggest critic, not because I'm a pessimist, but because I know the potential they have to be the best, consistently, and I want them to reach their potential more than anyone else!

  • grusque - 2010-11-28 01:00

    Rob, thanks for giving the critics stick. Last week was disastrous, but that was no reason to get all 'end-of-the-world'. Each coach takes a lot of beating, and I dare say PDivvy more than the others. Not even kamp staaldraad got as much criticism, and frankly I am growing a bit tired of the doomsdayers, and that includes myself. Let's get behind the coach for better or for worse, he will now be our WC coach, and the team, coach included needs our support. He took our baby Boks to victory, against a non-choking AB side. Let us see him kick some chocking, pansy AB side. Go PDivvy, you are our man!

      StaalBurgher - 2010-11-28 13:08

      This is the problem. Denial. "Get behind the coach"? Are you insane? After all the idiotic decisions he has made the last year? One win does not suddenly make all of that go away.

  • Todge - 2010-11-28 03:23

    It is encouraging and always nice to win. But the Bok fans want them to win more, like the ABs. There is a reason they have won 3 Grandslams in 5 years. They win consistently. The Boks do not. They could given the talent pool and their S14 performance. People want the Boks to win, but they also appreciate that there does seem to be a reason why they are not and it probably has much to do with the coaching. Facts: The Bok forwards are superb. The Boks have good backs but they are poorly coached. They do better in the S14. The Boks do not vary their play. The Boks kick away far too much possession. The Boks do not offload much in the tackle - the Sharks and Stormers do, so the Boks could too. One reason the Kiwis are so good is that they offload constantly and with purpose, thus outpacing their opponents. SA players can and do do this, just not in the Bok jersey. If the current coaching staff do not address these problems they should be replaced; not just because of the RWC, but because they are not developing or improving Springbok play in general. Isn't that why you have coaches? To get better at something.

      slg - 2010-11-28 05:27

      Here here. Well said. Too many people (including Rob) have forgotten or do not know that SA virtually dominated world rugby for close on 50 years.

      ChumScrubber - 2010-11-28 06:38

      Todge, we're not the All Blacks, and I think trying to constantly compare us with them is the problem. They are the most consistently performing team in the world, year after year. But the Bokke are one team that the AB's will never right off. Maybe if there was no politics in our rugby we would be a more consistent team, there is such a fine line between a bad performance and a good one, outside interference has to have some sort of impact. The least we can do as supporters is give our team 200% support - even if Julius Malema is made head coach.

      grusque - 2010-11-28 07:35

      Well said ChumScrubber! We are not the AB's, we have never had such a consistent team as they have had (not that I can remember), and we DO NOT CHOKE in big tournaments. That is why we are not the AB's, and it is most likely because we play with so much emotion. They are the machine, we are the passion.

      James - 2010-11-28 08:28

      good comment todge. A well coached back line is probably something of a pipe dream at this stage though..SARU wont dare make the necessary changes. They simpoly don't serve the game as a priority.

      andrewpottow - 2010-11-28 09:05

      We don't want to be the All Blacks, we want to and could be better! We smoke NZ in the super 14, consistently! When last did they win? When last did they have two teams in the finals? We are twice the rugby playing nation they are and yet we get to be their whipping boys when things go international? Am I the only one who see's a problem with this?

  • Ian - 2010-11-28 04:53

    @ Schalk What a monstrous suggestion! England were beaten simply because they could not dominate up front as in their previous matches. Name one player who wasn't worthy of being on the field. Even Adi Jacobs played well.

      fanieloots - 2010-11-28 07:33

      Francois Steyn was terrible!! Bad passing and bad judgement. One moment of brilliance cannot make up for 80 minutes of stupidity.

      Rossman - 2010-11-28 14:38

      With you there fanieloots. Frans was really terrible. Adi Jacobs did play surprisingly well.

  • slg - 2010-11-28 05:21

    Rob, with this crop of players you shouldn't have to "doggedly keep the faith". Unless you like, or have gotten used to, scraping the bottom of the barrel. Furthermore, being dissatisfied with underachieving is not being pessimistic. On the contrary, accepting mediocrity is. NZ will not be concerned with the way we are playing. If you don't believe me, just read the comments from the bloggers and overseas press. They're relieved. You're doing yourself and all of us a disservice when you molly-coddle mediocrity and underachievement.

      James - 2010-11-28 08:23

      @slg... nicely put... furthermore a proud and passionate performance of the players who hold the springbok dear unfortunately does not mean the coaching team are suddenly OK. Just imagine the possibilities for this bunch of players with true coaching leadership.

      oj&v - 2010-11-28 10:21

      Yep, unfortunately Div just bought himself another year. People on here keep on saying we are not NZ and in the same breath mention WC Chokers, I would rather watch the Boks play like world champions without the cup for the next 4 years. In the last three years we had one good year and people still hide behind "we won the WC twice" wall when we dont perform as we should.

  • Kudubul - 2010-11-28 05:48

    @Schalk: glad not to be part of youre kudubullsh..! family or friends

  • Claude - 2010-11-28 06:19

    Pride for my country but disappointment that the win probably means that de Villiers keeps his job. The win was the players saying not again - they lost to the weakest team they played because of poor tactics and execution and that was due to coaching. Even in the Game against England there was too much kicking away of the ball and not enough points on the board

      Mr. B - 2010-11-29 12:07

      Claude - read your comment again dude How on this little green planet is execution the fault of the coach ? Execution, the act of DOING something sits squarely on the shoulders of playing PROFESSIONALS. These guys are earning millions a year to play and execute. Our gameplan is antequated, make no mistake, but you cannot blame the coaching staff for execution

      Kevin - 2010-11-29 16:00

      Guy's we've played 10 man rugby for so long that our backs gave the impression of absolute suprise when the ball was swung wide.(geez whats this!!!) hence the missed passes and dropped catches!!! The Sharks/Lions proved that running off the ball can harass any defence setup and produce exciting rugby....yet as bokke we continue with outdated rugby.We've proved we can play this style of game and have the talent to be able to demolish any team--so where does the problem lie!!!? obviously with div and co!!!

  • ChumScrubber - 2010-11-28 06:22

    Well said Rob, I certainly watched the same game as you. It would be nice if the critics could just have the guts to say sorry, we were wrong.

      Ryan - 2010-11-28 08:13

      Where were the critics wrong exactly? That div is a poor coach and shouldnt be there? One win against england, after such an appaling year of rugby, has proven no one wrong.

      StaalBurgher - 2010-11-28 13:11

      Because people are just so eager to ignore the problems instead of tackling the thorny issue that BEE appointments will always result in failure. One win, after everything that has gone before, and you want to stick your head in the sand again? Pathetic. No wonder we won't solve the problem with so many people in denial.

      GVA - 2010-11-29 09:54

      The Boks won using raw power and bashing the crap put of the English! PDV and co can't take no credit for this win. The way I see it the credit goes to Victor and the players! Only thing you can never play this kind of rugby every game it takes to much of a toll on the players.That why you need a coach with a tactical brain and at the moment that is the missing link in Springbok Rugby!!

      Kevin - 2010-11-29 16:11

      Rob you tjop-that includes you ChumScrubber!!!!As with thousands of your so called critics,i for one hoped for a thrashing if it resulted in Pdivvy being axed!!! His incompetance has brought SA Rugby into disrepute on numerous occasions.We the supporters understand the handicaps of politics/qouta's AA appointees interfering with our sporting code,hence,the animosity towards Pdivies circus when we are fully aware that our talent/potential is not being utilised to the fullest.We're a nation of players,with and absolute feel for the game and most definately are aware that mediocre results will not suffice.Get rid of the Joker!!!!!!!!

  • ArtGee - 2010-11-28 07:37

    OK...after reading the comments this morning, I must admit, I too thought Eng would give the Boks a hiding. I was pretty surprised on the Bok performance, and give them 10 outta 10 for EFFORT! After the Scottish game I, and others on this very blogsite, ACCEPTED that it was the ''end of the road'' for the Boks. I will enjoy EATING MY HAT FOR LUNCH TODAY! Well done to the Boks, this was a COMMENDABLE PLAYER EFFORT!!!!

      James - 2010-11-28 08:34

      It was the pride and passion of the players wearing the springbok jersey. Now.... imagine if our backline had some professional coaching!!!!

  • Anton - 2010-11-28 07:40

    Let's give credit when it's due, the Boks outplayed the Poms and the score should have been 50-11. Our forwards dominated and if CJ passed the flippen ball ??? Well played guys, after a long year, you can still produce such physical stuff, then I have great hope for next year.Bring it on Worl Cup.

  • Stephen - 2010-11-28 07:52

    And to Hendre Fourie, you "Hensopper" who's blood was on the field ?? You must feel like a real Chop now, well Done Boks the score flatterd the Poms but "one swallow a summer does not make" as i think Willem wikkelspear once said (but i could be wrong :-). Still lots of work to be done, but a vast improvement ................Thanks guys

  • Malcolm - 2010-11-28 08:01

    This is such a puff piece that focusses on feeling good after the win rather than what has been demonstrated to be wrong with the Boks this whole season. Man for man, this is probably the best rugby team in the world at the moment but why is it that only our forwards can score tries and the backline is utterly ineffective whoever they play against. An answer to that question relates to the style of play and tactics adopted. How many times during the match did England win breakdown ball because there were not enough forwards committed to the breakdown. The reason for that was simple. The forwards were all lingering in the backline waiting for the ball so they could run and batter the first channel for some sort of break through that never came. The English try came from precisely that problem. A blundering front row forward playing out wide who kept the ball to himself instead of getting it to the speedy wings. The theory behind this type of play is good on paper but utterly useless in its execution and having done it all season, the proof is there that we cannot play like that. Anyone who watched the All Blacks and Aussies scoring out wide yesterday at will, saw clean backline movements with very few forwards involved. This can be put down to coaching and it is high time the coaching team - all three of them - were fired and someone with a brain cell was hired to rescue our team from ignominy in Sept 2011. Mazel

  • Carl Muller - 2010-11-28 08:05

    At last they played a strategic game. Kept the ball in hand to attack and kicked strategically. When a front ranker plays in the back line he is prone to make a mistake. Still think Hougaardt would have been better at scrum half. He is much faster than Pienaar. Only Muir would know what Frans Steyn is doing there. Well done.

  • James - 2010-11-28 08:10

    "Surely support for your team should always come first? Surely you appreciate a bit more now that any distaste you may have for the coach and his co-strategists is best channelled toward those who employ them, and not the men who actually go out to defend the country’s honour in the green and gold?" Agreed. The players deserve all the praise...Played with pride and passion in spite of the obvious handicap. But just how are we gonna make any difference to the self-serving SARU, Rob? Any suggestions?

  • Dene - 2010-11-28 08:30

    I agree with keeping faith with the team - but thats rather difficult with a coach who doesn't know what he is doing . Silly me - I thought a coaches responsibility was to bring the best out of the players and utlise avaliable talent to cretae a formidale winning structure (like Henry and the AB's). We have the best talent and depth in the world (and we should be cleaning up evreyone including the AB's) but we have a coach who is clueless and its evident - by the continual basic errors + poor ball handling and a back line that hasn't clicked yet - that he is not bringing the best out in them. Instead we get rediculous comments from PdV like "we didnt show respect for the gainline"- what the heck does that mean. Coaching is not about sound bites, but I am tired of repeating myself. This man PdV - hasnt got a clue. We are wining because of the team not because of the coaches capability (or the lack thereof). So well done to Victor and the boys... as to the rest, .... as they say change is as good as a holiday... and boy do we need change.

      Mr. B - 2010-11-29 12:19

      Dene, if we have the best players in the world, how do you contradict that by talking about continual basic errors + poor ball handling ? That is down to to the players mate, you can't blame a coach if a professional rugby player has handling errors. We would be lucky to get a handful of Boks into any world 15. Man for man, the All Blacks would wipe the floor with our guys. Comparing a Dan Carter to a Morne Steyn for instance is embarrasing for Carter, his left foot has more talent in it than the whole dude. Springbok rugby has always succeeded through physical dominance against opponents, and what was our trump card is no longer as big a plus side for us, as the other nations getting bigger, stronger and more physical. Our biggest weakness is our skill levels are sub par, otherwise, just by doing the basics right, which we did against England we can win. Look at the differences between this game and the game against the Scots, kicks were better placed, first time tackles were made (and damn there were some amazing hits), handling was better, ball retention was better and we owned the English in the tight phases. basically, building a solid platform by good execution of the basic corner stones of rugby.

  • goskapunk - 2010-11-28 09:11


      greg.groenewald - 2010-11-28 21:59

      oh yes...

  • Mat - 2010-11-28 09:13

    And what a breathe of fresh air having an unbiased referee who allowed the game to flow. Best reffing we have seen for a while, he allowed the teams to concentrate on playing.

      ray.romans - 2010-11-29 09:02


  • haha - 2010-11-28 11:11

    This one win doesn't make anything right. They have been bad in previous games, very bad. 5 bad games and one good game is not the way the Bokke should play. I am very happy with the win, but I am still worried, call me a doomsayer, but things are still not right and there is plenty of work and they are still not on par with the All Blacks. I think our backline was slighlty better ,but still can not compare with our forwards, they are the weak link in the team.

  • StaalBurgher - 2010-11-28 13:03

    Wonderful. Now Divvy can continue to undermine the Springboks for 2011 as well. We all said we might win because of the player talent, but it doesn't change the underlying problem. One win does not make up for the idiocy that has preceded it.

  • Rossman - 2010-11-28 14:53

    So, this is it then. I suppose now we must all accept that mediocre is where we want to operate. This victory all of the sudden must put the so called doomsayers to shame. I for one love it when we win, and hate it when we lose. The B&I Lions victory as well as TN 2009 champs sits pretty in the coaches CV, so then its just fair that he also takes the credit for the appaling state OUR Springbok team is in. If something is not done now, we can say goodbye to the RWC trophy nextyear. If SARU will not act against the coaching staff then at least tackle their stubborness and the stubborness of the selectors.

  • Wayne - 2010-11-28 17:19

    How short the memories are of the fickle Rugby public. Everyone joins hands, smiles on faces, basking in the glory of the win over England (and a good win it was). Did everyone forget about the loss to Scotland, the dismal tri-nations campaign, the off-the-field antics of P Div, the questionable selections, the stubbornness to stay with a game plan that is outdated, the inconsistent performance? I could go on and on but I think you get my point. I'm more than happy that watch everyone lull themselves into a false sense of security, only to be shocked back to reality when we lose again to another k@k team. I on the other hand won't be shocked at all, because although I'm happy we won against England, its nothing more than a band-aid which is simply covering the problem that lies at the heart of the Springbok camp. P Div got out of jail free after this performance, but I would love to mash that humble pie in the faces of those that now think P Div has done a great job with the Boks and are somehow ever forgiving over this years performance. For the author of this article to suggest that we should have blind faith and support the Boks no matter what is like saying its best to stick your head in the sand when tough decisions have to be made. Like I said before, a fickle rugby public indeed.

      James - 2010-11-28 21:33

      yup, actually a bit of a tragedy that we are going to have to settle with mediocrity for a while (maybe forever), totally agree wit

      Kevin - 2010-11-29 12:13

      Totally agree with you!!!! Ist time in 12yrs that i did not wear the jersey on Sat.Could not face another debacle like the previous weekend.De Villiers will unfortunately continue to reign unless his health caves in- and us and Springbok rugby will suffer this idiot and his circus.With our talent we should demolish all with impunity but will suffer mediocre results because of this dumbass and his circus act!!!

  • tdkvader - 2010-11-28 20:02

    @thomas hanging on for a 10 point win with 14 men and a ref helping england....and not losing to scotland.dont delude urself too soon otherwise u will be in the same boat as the english fans,shit 1 week world beaters the next!

  • tdkvader - 2010-11-28 20:15

    @thomas hanging on for a 10 point win with 14 men and the ref helping england.....and not losing to scotland,whatever man.

  • Kean - 2010-11-28 21:53

    Excellent article. Really good. No matter what the sideshows are, it is supposed to be about the green & gold. It really is that simple. Are you a Bok supporter? Yes or No. There may be frustrations but the Entire point in supporting a team is that you stick with them through thick & thin. Full stop, no buts. It mat be unrealistic for some people but those Lions supporters who still went to Ellis park through those many grim years appreciate & therefore enjoy the good times more because you have more emotional investment in the team. Besides is this not supposed to be about fun? Gathering with friends and cheering your team? Life is Simple, we are the ones that make it complicated.

      Ryan - 2010-11-28 22:32

      I think a lot of people are missing the point. We all supprt the TEAM, however, we do not support the circus act in the management. Come game day, we get behind the PLAYERS .The Springboks are south africas team, Not the coaching staff.

      Karoobloed - 2010-11-29 02:10

      Well put Ryan. One good win, and many start gushing and glowing again. It often seems like our nation has a serious case of bipolar mood disorder - wild mood swings, not necessarily in keeping with the reality of the situation.

      oDieAntword - 2010-11-29 05:06


  • jonnie.suicide - 2010-11-29 02:08

    Springbok rugby is a joke under P Divvy.

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