French mock Bok scrum

2009-11-14 07:00

TOULOUSE - French coach Marc Lievremont delivered a damning verdict of the Bok scrum by suggesting it was weaker than Australia’s following his side’s 20-13 victory in Toulouse.

It was the ultimate put-down as Australia has long been considered to have the weakest scrum amongst the world’s leading rugby nations.

The Springboks slumped to their fourth loss in France in 12 years on the back of a creaky scrum and in the face of some inspired French play.

“South Africa’s pack was heavier than ours but it’s less vicious than Australia for instance,” Lievremont said.

“We have a very good scrum but it has not always been rewarded for its dominance in the way it should. The fact that we won today is mainly due to our scrum. We were able to impose our game on them.”

But Springbok No 8 Ryan Kankowski felt that the scrum went well from his perspective at the base: “We had a very solid scrum and felt comfortable with the ball I was getting off the back,” Kankowski said.

“We had some good training sessions with [former French prop] Pieter de Villiers where he explained that the French would be direct and come for you. That’s exactly what happened but I think we managed it quite well.”

Bok coach Peter de Villiers didn’t have the same unqualified praise for the scrum as Kankowski, but he did question referee Wayne Barnes’s interpretations that saw the South Africa give away two penalties at scrum time.

“If you look at our scrum against Australia in Brisbane [the Boks lost] and our scrum tonight we had the same problems – and the one thing that is common to both matches is the referee,” De Villiers said.

“I feel that we could quickly find a solution if referees could explain to us exactly where we are going wrong. But they can’t give us an explanation and week after week we have no idea what we have to work on.”

But De Villiers didn’t help his own cause by opting to bring specialist tighthead CJ van der Linde on at loosehead instead of Wian du Preez, who is a specialist loosehead.

Van der Linde was penalised twice by Barnes and the coach has to take some responsibility for deploying a player out of position.


  • Etienne - 2009-11-14 07:31

    If he had brought on Wian and Cj in their correct positions, then you woould have seen a different scrumming game. Pity there is not another match as De Villiers cannot redeem himself. As a rugby player myself who can sucesfully swap between loose and tighthead with ease, I have to mention one ting taht no body is prepared to mention, JOhn Smith is still going to cost us a lot of scrums. He is the weakest tighthead in the world at the moment. Some othe rthings I saw last night, Kanko has NO bal skills, Burger was no more good than a cheese burger witha springbok jersey. In teh back we missed teh boot of F Steyn and we missed the organising of JDV. Pieter Div, make it right. here is my team for the remainder of the tour (test matches) Riaan Viljoen, JP Peterson, Jacques Fourie, Wynand Olivier, Bryan Habana, Morne Steyn, Fourie Du Preez, Schalk Burger, Dewald Potgieter, Heinrich Brussouw, Andries Bekker, Victor Matfield, CJ VD Linde, Bismarck du Plessis, Wian Du Preez. Bench Heinke VD Merwe, John Smit, Bakkies Botha, Danie Rossouw, Ruan Pienaar, Juan De Jongh, Jongi Nokkwe. Please note that tis is not my favorite team, but I only picked available players.

  • CJ - 2009-11-14 07:44

    Who you trying to kid, bunch of zubs! You were trashed in the scrums!! Kankowski...please son, that scrum is not good enough for Vodacom league...the Frogs gave us a master-class on our own was boys v men. Dont start with the reffing...Saw this coming when we played Leicester...PDV your bubble (White's bubble!!) has what??

  • SA Granny - 2009-11-14 07:44

    That was the worst display by the Springboks ever. They were shocking. Don't blame the ref (he was also shocking) - we ran around like a bunch of headless chickens. Wrong team on the park.

  • Duncan - 2009-11-14 07:45

    It was a very sad day for rugby and for scrums from a SA perspective. I believe the other problem is John Smit, who is a great captain, but is also a weak link at prop. Smit had a great game in the loose, but was completely negated by the fact that we were decimated in the scrums. It does not matter how good a captain is, if he is responsible for our scrum retreating at 100km per hour. We need the front 3 to all be specialists in their position. The bench also needs specialist replacements, not props who can play either side as they are never as strong or as good as a specialist.

  • greenandgold - 2009-11-14 07:49

    I think the boks should wear there shoes on backwards at scrumtime, it wil make running easier!!

  • Nice one - 2009-11-14 07:51

    i dont know, De Villiers and Wayne Barnes didn't score too many points in my book yesterday. Barnes had flaps infront of his eyes if you ask me, De Villiers wouldn't know how to spot a change if he grew tits on his head. And im sorry to say but the Springboks look tired.\ Hopefully we can win one next week before the end of the season tour gives Australia reason to think they are better then us.

  • Nice one - 2009-11-14 07:51

    i dont know, De Villiers and Wayne Barnes didn't score too many points in my book yesterday. Barnes had flaps infront of his eyes if you ask me, De Villiers wouldn't know how to spot a change if he grew tits on his head. And im sorry to say but the Springboks look tired.\ Hopefully we can win one next week before the end of the season tour gives Australia reason to think they are better then us.

  • Peet Roodt - 2009-11-14 07:54

    It is a pity that coaches select players and when they have to do the job on field, they are often utilised out of position. Like last night one can not see a reason why Wian du Preez was not sent on.

  • Nice one - 2009-11-14 07:54

    i dont know, De Villiers and Wayne Barnes didn't score too many points in my book yesterday. Barnes had flaps infront of his eyes if you ask me, De Villiers wouldn't know how to spot a change if he grew tits on his head. And im sorry to say but the Springboks look tired.\ Hopefully we can win one next week before the end of the season tour gives Australia reason to think they are better then us. O and if i had R 20 for every time Jacobs lost the ball this season i would be getting the beer money back that i wasted on him. . .

  • Michael - 2009-11-14 07:58

    When old Snor loses he blames the ref. he mow wants the ref to explain the rules. He must be able to see what was wrong and if he cant then he must leave the sport to someone that knows the game. We have so much talent in SA but the passion showed by French was not matched by Boks. Where is the pride in the Bok jersey. That is all that was missing. maybe Smit has past his sell by date as captain. He is not in side for prop talent. So where to from here Snor

  • Stuart - 2009-11-14 07:59

    De Villiers mouth is the oppositions best weapon these days. Why can't he just shut up and accept when they've gone wrong? Whining about the ref everytime you lose is pathetic - and unworthy of the Boks. What about the two sin bins? how will he ever win with that kind of indiscipline?

  • Hennie - 2009-11-14 08:00

    Helium, wat nou ?? Die ref kry altyd die skuld as jou span verloor.Ons het K#k gespeel dis al. As ons wen is jy baie windgat,as ons verloor, kry die ref die skuld. Jy moet leer n mens wen nie altyd nie.Die Franse het ons ore aangesit in die skrums, hulle was heeltyd op die aanval, die beter span het gewen

  • namib - 2009-11-14 08:02

    The French were excellent. I felt Barnes only had eyes for the French! Say what you want but the refs bias unsettled the Boks. We missed Spies and Jean. Scrums a disaster. I suppose we cannot always win! I am disappointed.

  • greenandgold - 2009-11-14 08:06

    I think that John Smit is a excelent captain, but needs alot of work!! He doesn't have the power in the scrums and pdv always makes STUPID decisions(CJ), and this is the main reason for this team not working!

  • Scarletct - 2009-11-14 08:10

    @Etienne...fully agree with you.

  • BUFFALO - 2009-11-14 08:13

    Ja well it looks like I will be supporting Bafana Bafana from now on.At least you expect them to loose and when they do loose it is not a blow to the heart.Another point - I think last nights rendition of our Anthem was the absolute worst I have ever heard. Could have had an effect on the Boks,

  • Dean A - 2009-11-14 08:25

    Sooner or later Pdv is gonna have to start choosing his own team. Jake's work has save his ass for long enough, and the cracks are starting to show. Who are you grooming to take over from John as captain? Chilliboy? Ha ha - I'm sorry but they would have carried him off in pieces last night - probably in the 1st 20 mins! What are you gonna do when Vicor and "The enforcer" call it a day? We've lost 2 key players in Jdv and Steyn at full back and just look at the difference already! Coach of the year! What a joke! He's taken a world cup winning team and added no value to it! Pdv - you've had a good run with Jake's legacy, now the time has come where you're having to select your own players and develop your own team! You've taken plenty of credit for the team over the past 2 years "coach of the year". Lets see how you go in the next 2 years. With players like Jongi Nokwe and Earl "magic Rose - I'm sure you've got nothing to worry about! ... And if i'm wrong - I'll be the 1st to stand up and admit it!

  • Ray - 2009-11-14 08:25

    NICE ONE-I fully agree with you on your comments.The guys have had a long hard season starting off against the B&I Lions.I have mentioned before that some of the players are fatigued,especially the tight five and I think that after the team returned from the away Tri-Nation games,they should never have been allowed to play in the Currie Cup semi's and final.

  • Andre - 2009-11-14 08:26

    Hennie, jy het dit reg opgesom, ons het k@k gespeel, bottom line.

  • Amaru - 2009-11-14 08:30

    Why o why do we always jump to pdv when we lose, and when we win its Jake Whites team. Im dissapointed in the loss, but hey, these things happen. Tim Noakes warned that the guys will be tired...but pdv rather listened to the public and sent a almost strongest team overseas! And hey, believe it or not...the ref had a too big of an influence in the result. I think we lost because of the disgraceful anthem singing!

  • Dean A - 2009-11-14 08:31

    How bad was our anthem last night! That was a disgrace!

  • ZION PAY - 2009-11-14 08:31

    I was not so fortunate to see the game but would like to comment on the comments and opinions re our friend the ref Wayne Barns. in the last World Cup Barnes awarded the French a forward passed try, so obvious that the IRB commented on it. Consequently the French beat the NZ team paving the way for a South African walk over, Strangely very few people attacked the referee. Our sportsmanship is seriously wanting. The Bokke lost and are therefore losers.

  • gcr - 2009-11-14 08:33

    Lets face it tere were no glaring errors by Barnes. Smith hung around on the fringes of the scrum and entered from the side so many times it was hard for Barnes not to penalise.The French showed superior hand speed in their passing and always had more players at the breakdown. Also even though Brussouw and Burger played well and probably best of the bunch the French were better. Morne Steyn showed why it has taken so long for him to get into the SA team - he is nervous and uncertain and directionless when going backwards,misses touch too often. The French had the greater desire to win - Smith is too slow and should only play at hooker or get out of the game - he is not a prop.

  • Steve Hofmeyer - 2009-11-14 08:34

    Was that Loen Schuster singing the National Anthem ?

  • Generaal - 2009-11-14 08:35

    Who was that drunk bum trying to sing our national anthem?........kick him in the nuts.

  • Brad - 2009-11-14 08:36

    At all levels, rightly or wrongly refs are bent on penalising the scrum going backwards, if an armchair supporter can see it, why cant PDV? Six points and the resultant irritability regarding Wayne barnes' decisions cost us momentum, desire and ultimatly the game. Scrumming and maulling is the backbone upon which the Boks have built their rugby icon status, if it's not working on the outside, scrum and maull the crap out of them up front, thats the Bok game we want to see again!! If John and the Beast cant deliver, hand the reigns over to Fourie and put the "mielieboere" up front seperated by Bismark for sixty minutes and Strauss to finish.

  • geewiz - 2009-11-14 08:38

    K?k selections lead to k?k matches lead to losses - dont blame the ref "week-after-week we don't know what to work on"? WOW what a revelation from a coach who two weeks ago was so sure-footed and other commentators here who proclaimed them "world beaters; Leceister beat the 2nd stringers wait for the dream-team etc etc" Wake up and smell the coffee! IT'S A WHOLE NEW WORLD UP THERE

  • DG - 2009-11-14 08:38

    When are Div, his coaching staff and the selectors going to learn? Beast is no good against a quality tighthead. John Smit will NEVER be a tighthead and should be left at hooker with du Plessis as his replacement on the bench. Furthermore, Kanko and Kirchner don't seem able to perform at this level and Schalk Buger and Adi Jacobs are has-beensand should be dropped permanently.

  • geewiz - 2009-11-14 08:41

    France is one of our goals - PdV is quoted as saying. Then in terms of assessment you have failed! And will again as there is no integrity in squad and team selection! Leave the refs and your usual finger-pointing exercise when you lose.

  • Yucca - 2009-11-14 08:45

    Well done bulls! This is what a mostly blue bulls team gives you.

  • Johanvdwest - 2009-11-14 08:52

    Geez people, it's not as if we were knocked out in the first round of the world cup. Yes, they had a terrible game. Yes, it is dissapointing. But after the year they had, you can't suddenly go and write them off after one game. And the French can beat anyone on their day, we did allow them too much room, but the guys defended like trojans there at the end. Give the guys a break.

  • DG NORTIER - 2009-11-14 08:52

    @Ettiene, your provincial colours are clearly showing. JdV is gone defected, forget about him... Andries Bekker in place of Bakkies Botha?... who are you trying to fool? Eye-goucher at no 8, I am still bothered... Juan de Jongh on the bench... These guys folded under the pressure of a superb Bulls team in CC, why on earth will they suddenly make any difference?

  • Capetonian - 2009-11-14 08:55

    Last night's performance was one of a tired team...players and management. If this is what where the bok performance level is (and i believe it is after the crueling last 2 seasons), DiV might as well have listened to Prof Noakes and started the build-up to 2011 now. We're still the best team in the world...but the guys are MOEG.

  • Hubert - 2009-11-14 08:56

    I think it is too soon to say anything. I am french and was surprised by the french srum and on the same time disappointed by the boks side. I think they came in just before the game to prepare in altitude and betting on no jet-lag effect as travelling north. That is the first time they come so late for a game, maybe they were not prepared properly ? Also so many games in a season now, that this can happen ponctually. Let s see next games to have a better impression.

  • Molefe - 2009-11-14 08:59

    @Etienne. Comming from a similar background (Loosehead&Tighthead) I would have agree with a lot of what you say. I differ from you in that I would not play or Schalk Burger and I would keep Bakkies in favour of Andries Bekker. Look how much the scrum weakens when you put Bekker on! We have a huge problem with our Springbok Rugby. The guys are not doing the basics right! First priority, the scrum! Second, protecting your own ball on the ground, third, attacking opponent ball on the ground. I dont mean just HB, I mean as a team! Look how effective that was for the opposition last week, and again, Dusetoi (spelling?) and Harrinordique where brilliant last night. In international rugby you cannot have passengers. John Smit, Beast, you have been brilliant! But now it is time to retire. You are costing us games!

  • William Shakespeare - 2009-11-14 09:00

    Why is it so difficult for the Coach to understand that the Captain is a hooker and not a tighthead? When he fixes that, then everything else will come right. If he doesn't fix that, then everything else won't come right. At the moment Bakkies is actually playing tighthead from the second row and Spies also patching up the problems. Remove Bakkies and Spies - or even just one of them - and there will be nothing left. How come the keyboard commentators can see what the professional coaching team cannot? Blows my mind.

  • LS - 2009-11-14 09:05

    Die bokke het nog 'n stel ore gekry aangesit deur die Franse!!! Die skrums was pateties, die agterlyn platvoet en sonder enige verbeelding, Fourie speel duidelik met 'n besering!!

  • Andy - 2009-11-14 09:13

    The French did play better than us, but it really leaves a sour taste in the mouth that the ref, YES the ref - and you buggers can ridicule this as much as you like - cost us 8 points with the French try - the tackler that started the move that resulted in the try was so far off-side it was a disgrace - and the subsequent 3 points that SA would have nailed had he awarded the penalty; as well as another scrum penalty against CJ that should have gone to SA. Again, the better team won - via a gift of 11 points from the ref. Why don't you critics think for a change - the Boks at the end of the year tours are always buggered. Anyone out there want to try a S14, 3-Nations, Currie Cup and an end of year tour?

  • SA Granny - 2009-11-14 09:21

    Anthem sung by a drunk rasta - shocking. I was boiling. The less said about the Springboks, the better. They were appalling.

  • Shawn - 2009-11-14 09:21

    John Smit does not look good at the moment, he has not for sometime. He has been a gr8 asset but perhaps its time to look elseware. We were played with in the scrums, and JP with that line out throw of his deserves a hiding. However I have a problem with consistancy with the reff's and just bare in mind this is the same reff that saw us loose the only game we lost in the tri nations, he is also the reff that saw France beat the All Blacks in New Zealand, and although we did ourselves no favours last night I once again thought he has a poor game. So expect a reward to the reff from the IRB thats normally what they do..

  • William Shakespeare - 2009-11-14 09:29

    @Yucca 11/14/2009 8:45 AM: Er, not quite: If you watched the game or even just read the comments on this thread, you will realize that the problems were in the front row of the scrum, which, if you watched the Currie Cup or Super 14, you would realize is the Sharks front row. More specifically, the Captain (John Smit) is really a hooker (number 2) but for a while now has been playing out of postion, at tighthead prop (number 3). Next time you get an invoice!

  • Dgs - 2009-11-14 09:30

    @Johanvdwest, so you are a typivcal South African, willing to be 2nd best. No wonder we are becoming a country of no hope losers. @Capetonian. Being Moeg is no excuse. Oz and NZ have played just as much rugby as us and look how the sorted out their opposition last week. I also knew that Morne Steyn's constant kicking was going to come back and haunt us some day and it did last night

  • Nice One - 2009-11-14 09:38

    HEY, maybe De Villiers should get that Dude that F`~* up our anthem to join the boks - he looks like he might make a good inside centre You know he's got an eye for these things PDV . . . Ou Snor - when will he wake up ( will he ever ) . Maak die bulle almal Bokke , Ja - that didn't work so well -

  • alan - 2009-11-14 09:44

    Great leadership comes when the chips are down - not when the team is winning everything - great leaders don't blame others - they take it on the chin - learn from the mistakes - rectify and move forward - I thought I was watching the same team that played against Leicester - did we not learn????????????

  • Jawellnofine - 2009-11-14 09:44

    Jon SMit needs rest badly as do Fourie du Preez and Bakkies. They were shattered by halftime. Again the substitutions were botched and inconsistent referring costs us. BUT the French were up for it and in France that are tough. Fair play to them. Even the mighty All Blacks have lost 5 and drawn one of their last 8 games there

  • Kaapenaar - 2009-11-14 09:45

    The goal was to be undefeated on this tour, yet we are looking for our first win after 2 tests.

  • Rastaman - 2009-11-14 09:47

    I knew we were poked from the start! Dronkgat rasta trying his absolute best to completely destroy our anthem! Where did they find that clown! The other clown is Wayne Barnes. I am sure I saw him take a hit of Anthem Boy's reefer just before the whistle. To rehab with both of you idiots! PS: Boks were flat and tired! 3 days not enough!

  • John B - 2009-11-14 09:48

    The ref wasn't great, but not the reason we lost - the French were far quicker onto the loose ball, with more players than the Boks were - the same as the game against the Tigers. Let us not forget that we have had a long & successful season - Super 14 & Tri Nations winners. Every team has to lose sometime, it would be impossible always to win and you learn a lot more from your mistakes than your successes. Nevertheless let us not get used to losing. Etienne's team and comments are pretty close to the facts. Kankowski had a shocker but we can all have off days. The Boks currently lack the ball skills, fitness and the ability to create gaps and play running rugby - the game the French taught them.

  • thierry (from toulouse) - 2009-11-14 09:57

    Glad to see that most of you (southafricans) do not have the same point of view as coach PdV, meaning blaming on the referee and awfull anthem singer. On those 2 points: recall that a french received 10 min out for a bock pushing him on another bock lol, and also some other events that should have lead to some bocks expulsions. and on the "singer" if we can call that a singer.... if someone destroy the "marseillaise" that way, players motivation will be at 200% and more. so subjects closed for mister pdv. However, I read what most of you wrote and I agree on the fact that playing test match now for the southern countries might be difficult: after tri-nations, after long list of games (but it was the same for france in june: just after the end of the1 year long championship and after Eurocup), and coming to winter etc etc that's maybe a good reason... but surely, landing in Toulouse only 48h before the game... that was stupid from bocks management as said a great southafrican player now in Toulouse: Shawn Sowerby but as Lievremont said, we won thanks to our scrum: so thank you PdV for choosing Smit as prop instead of hooker, and some other choices where France scrum focused with success but Pdv will never admit it. Now for France, job was done, and well done, with very young players, now the target is not NZ in 2 weeks but the Six nations in 2010 that we must win and then the world cup with this very good 30 players group. A group is born, of young very good players: the number 1 to 10 players are the best in France he could ever choose, 9 and 10 are perfect. Picamoles, Dusautoir Destroyer and Harinordoqui the Bests in Europe surely. then on the backs, some little fixes need to be done (Heymans out...). And then we're prepared to play Southern Nations (ok, only if we find a good singer for the next time... god! we will play Samoa next week... will there be a Bollywood singer? or Samba? samba should be good, almost written as Samoa...sorry for the bad joke, not funny to do this to an anthem) And I dream for a world cup final France vs South Af, because even with this defeat South Af remains the best team today, Even with not lots of creativity, but it's not Bocks force, and what we like with Bocks is that they know how to play (very well) with the basics of rugby, So see you in NZ, and i'm sure you'll make cry some northern nations during this test series See you guys, And long live Rugby!

  • Kentucky - 2009-11-14 10:00

    We were beaten at the breakdowns! In the scrums also, but viciously at the breakdowns. The French everytime had three four more players at the breakbown than the boks. They also protect their ball better that the boks! The amount of turnovers is a clear indication we need to work on this cru8cial setpiece. Especially agains teams like French and the All Blacks, they`ll destroy you on the counter attact.