Brooke: Boks need a McCaw

2010-11-25 22:28

Stephen Nell

London - The Springbok rugby team is currently hampered by their lack of an openside flanker of world-class quality like Richie McCaw.

This was what former All Black loose forward Zinzan Brooke said this week when he was asked about the Boks' struggling form.

"There is no-one like Richie McCaw in South Africa's loose trio. Australia has David Pocock and England has Lewis Moody. South Africa doesn’t have a top openside flanker who can make his mark in contact situations on tour," Brooke said to Sport24 at the announcement of Land Rover as sponsor for the World Cup tournaments in 2011 and 2015.

"Pocock offers the Aussies a good counterpart for McCaw. South Africa has the players but they aren't on tour."

Pretender to the crown Heinrich Brüssow is injured, while the Bok selectors decided not to pick Francois Louw.

Schalk Burger is also injured, and has for some time now ceased to play exclusively as a ball fetcher.

The fetcher job has been given to Deon Stegmann, and on Saturday at Twickenham he will get a chance against England to prove that Brooke's statement is debatable.

In the Test against Scotland, Stegmann was reprimanded by Steve Walsh in Cardiff on numerous occasions, a fact that has led Brooke to wonder about the treatment that South Africa received during the match.

Although the Boks were clearly frustrated by Dickinson, they have decided not to take the referee on in public. Brooke, however, didn't hold back.

"It bothers me when I look at the way in which the match was handled. Juan Smith was punished (for being off his feet) when he was clearly in the right position," said Brooke.

"It is Victor Matfield's right to question decisions on the field and there has to be a problem if he does it six or seven times within a few minutes."

"It will be a very physical game (against England) and I won't hazard a prediction. South Africa is clearly with its back against the wall...South Africans don't like losing and the team now has to react in a positive way."

"There are a few players who aren't playing well, but South Africa's defeats in the Tri-Nations series were not bad, at least."

"If you lose, the way in which it happens is important. England recently lost against New Zealand but took a lot from the match because in the last 20 minutes of the game they played better than the All Blacks."

Brooke isn't worried that the All Blacks appear to be peaking a year before the World Cup tournament. "I believe New Zealand are the favourites."


  • Boet - 2010-11-26 00:18

    Agree 100% with absolutely everything the man said! Zinzan, you're still the man!

      dave.reyneke - 2010-11-26 06:28

      Did you see McCaw against Stegmann in the Super 14? Is Zinzan a mate of yours?

      BOKLDN - 2010-11-26 10:48

      Zinzan is dopey as anything. Watch him do punditry and he can't form a sentence. If the boks had McCaw we would always have a player in the bin. Anyway - we have a Willem Alberts!

  • scott - 2010-11-26 00:30

    haha.ofcourse nz are peaking way too early, yet again. good news for us. winning the world cup on nz soil will be the ultimate moment for every bok fan. mcwhore sux, brussouw showed him who is boss in 2009. cant wait for him to return, along with fdp, j fourie, guthro, danie, smit, habana etc. bok fan to the end, no matter what the results or who the coach is. our comments mean nothing, its out of our hands.

  • swart59 - 2010-11-26 01:29

    What a great guy Zinzan is. And I strongly suspect the ABs will lay waste to the that "peak early and choke later" theory next year. I suspect the reason why the ABs have fallen at previous WCs had more to do with all the other teams taking them most serious of all, playing their very best rugby against them. It is also hard to carry the burden of being the favorite. However, I am not a New Zealander and will thus obviously not be able to take any pride in the accomplishments of the ABs. I am supporting the team comprised of my people and representing my people - the Springboks (currently coached into a sate of Vrotea).

  • mike - 2010-11-26 02:07

    One serious problem with what Zinzan said, and thats we have the players for openside but we not picking them. So I can name 4 fetchers playing top class rugby, Stegman (Selected), Brussouw(Injured), Grobler(Injured) and Botes(Can't even make the Sharks team), Flouw, Daniels and Schalk are not fetchers in fact Peter Louw is a fetcher but also not starting for WeePee, there's also Kuhn from the Bulls too so thats 6 but out of those fit players Stegman is well ahead of the rest. So who exactly is he talking about or was he not referring to the fetcher berth there specifically and its just late and I'm confused?

      xperdt - 2010-11-26 15:22

      On top of your game. WE HAVE THE BEST FETCHERS! FULL STOP we dont need player like crooked macaw- we have brussouw!! and when brussouw take a injured break, we have a very capable stegman as backup! Botes, Pieter Louw are very good also so please no more baboon talk from our foe or some britts on this site. And if we need a few game plan masters we have dPreez, JeandDivilliers, Matfield, Juan etc. so thanks zinzan for your useless info. Springbokke still rule

  • Jan - 2010-11-26 04:13

    Whatever Zinny, get over yourself and mind your own business. Stegmann has been stuffing McCaw up for the past 3 years in the Super14

  • ChumScrubber - 2010-11-26 05:46

    Heinrich will completely change the performance of the team. Agree with Brooke - have to question why Louw was not included. McCaw has to be one of the best players in the game, also a highly disciplined guy - never gets seems to see red. Stegman is better than Zinzan makes out, he just is not performing now - hope he hasn't lost his mojo somehow.

      StaalBurgher - 2010-11-26 11:39

      I have no problem with Louw, but I am curious with the sudden support for him. Previously in these sections I just saw a lot of hate for him and little vocal support.

  • Hannes Perth - 2010-11-26 05:51

    For a fetcher to function with the new interpretation of the rules the Boks needs to change their approach. The All Blacks and Wallabies aims to tackle the opposition behind the advantage line, use a single tackler, bring the opposition to the ground as quickly as possible and then allow the fetcher to go for the ball. The Boks however aim to use multiple tacklers, they hold the ball up, drive the opposition backwards, then they think they can use the collapse maul to turnover possession if the ball becomes unplayable or if a tackler can quickly get to his feet and play the ball. It does not work because by helping the “isolated” player to stay on his feet, they allow him to hold on to the ball long enough for his support to arrive. When the maul collapses all the tacklers have to allow the “tackled” player to place the ball. When he placed the ball it becomes a rug and no hands are allowed and there are also too many bodies in the ground to drive over the ball. When the opposition then move the ball into space, there are gaps as the Boks committed too many tacklers to this contact. They are no room for a fetcher in the Boks strategy and the few Bok turn-overs happens when players like Bismarck wrestles the ball from the opposition prior to the collapse of the maul. These are low percentage plays with the current interpretation of the rules. Stegman, Louw and Brussouw are set-up to fail.

      kentuckyfc - 2010-11-26 06:31

      So true. If only the idiot coaching team understood rugby!

      JuaKali - 2010-11-26 14:23

      Hannes, I hope you have a day job - although judging by the length of your story you have plenty of time to type long, somewhat dull comments. Suffice to say PDivvy is not feeling threatened in his role as coach of the Boks by you. Yawn........

      Hannes Perth - 2010-11-27 16:00

      I'llmake is short and simple especially for you JuaKali. The Bok's fetcher is set-up to fail as the other Boks do not tackle the way the teams with good fetchers do.

  • GVA - 2010-11-26 07:19

    Brooke:Boks need a coach!

  • Ragged-Tooth - 2010-11-26 07:43

    Laughable. Just goes to show what Zinzan Brooke knows about South African rugby at present state.

  • Wow! - 2010-11-26 07:49

    Yep Zinzan - you are right. Stegman is fairly good BUT he then lacks the ability to carry ball - we need Brussow back in the fold. He is an excellent contact player and also as strong as hell on his feet.

  • Johnny - 2010-11-26 08:17


  • Hans - 2010-11-26 08:33

    Jake White was not that good in his days , he was a failure aswell BUT he did some thing about it . HE GOT HELP ! The person that helped him was Eddy Jones and that gave him a new outlook . Please HELP that poor , squeecy voice coach SOMEONE or FIRE him just do SOMETHING. When we had a fetcher like Brusow we played well !

  • zaroblan - 2010-11-26 10:20

    Zinzan still the best dropkicking eigthman ever to play the game!

  • courage22 - 2010-11-26 10:24

    The best fetcher to counter Mcaw is Luke Watson. He still has skill and ball sense, which some of the fetchers in S.A don't have.

      Makutu - 2010-11-26 11:03

      I completely agree with you man. You can actually say that again. Or George Smith maybe? He isn't South African but I think he was better than McCaw. Just didn't have the team behind him.

  • Craig - 2010-11-26 10:58

    Wise words from the legend. It does worry me that PDV still chooses Brussow because he does nothing. Besides carrying the ball behind the mall he doesn't carry balls, in 3 games he stole 1 ball (which is what he gets employed to do!) and you don't see him putting in the hits! Way better options out there!

      WernerBeytel - 2010-11-26 16:42

      Craig, what are you on about? Heinrich Brüssow is currently injured and haven't played for the Boks this entire year. I think you confused him with Deon Stegmann, who isn't even close to being in the same league as Brüssow.

  • Makutu - 2010-11-26 11:07

    Forget McCaw we need a Brussouw or a George Smith.

  • Scott - 2010-11-26 11:08

    Ziny has a short memory, Heinrich Brüssow the so called prenteder out played Mcaw 4 times last year once with the cheetahs and 3 times for the boks. He'll be back next year to bitch slap Mcaw once again.

  • Sh@rks Fever - 2010-11-26 12:06

    He says we don't have a flanker like that on this tour. I also say this. However I still think this not al we need in our team to get back to our winning ways. We need a flyhalf that plays like Lambie and kicks like Morne and tackles like Honiball. We need a full back that can read the opponents kicking game like Terblanch but needs to have the abbility to enter the backline on attack like Joubert used to. And he needs to kick like Frans Steyn. I believe most of all we need that self belief the Bulls play with as well as the Sharks. We had a second rated backline in the final against WP but we played with so much more class. I still truely belive 60% of the way you play is you mental attitude towards the game

      umdloti - 2010-11-26 15:40

      So what we need in your opinion is Carter at flyhalf and Muliaina at fullback?

      FYC - 2010-11-26 17:15

      yes, i see the selection according to sharks fever. But there are a couple of other greats that didn;t play for the sharks. So we need a kicker like Naas, centre like Gerber, full back like Percy etc.. Not all great players play for the sharks

  • Sydney - 2010-11-26 12:36

    McCaw has to be one of the best players in the game EVER. IRB Player of the Year: 2 IRB Player of the Year nominee: 5 times

      umdloti - 2010-11-26 15:42

      He should not have won last year, FdP should have got it. We beat them 3 times and they still gave the award to McCaw, its pathetic what we have to put up with. Kak officials, Kak refs and an incredibly Kak coach.

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