Kankowski relishes Bok chance

2010-11-16 23:40

Stephen Nell

Edinburgh – Is Ryan Kankowski suited to rugby at the highest level or a show pony that is only effective in Super rugby and the Currie Cup?

That is a question that is yet to be answered in spite of 16 Tests behind Kankowski’s name.

Win: A set of Dunlop tyres

It must be added that Kankowski has not really had an opportunity to settle in the Springbok team, which is why his inclusion in the South African side for Saturday’s Test against Scotland at Murrayfield is as interesting as it is unexpected.

There are few loose forwards that are as explosive as Kankowski, but at international level physical presence and a good work-rate are often of critical interest.

“John Plumtree worked hard with me on tightening up, but I could also play to my strengths. He told me that I should be more physical if I could,” Kankowski said on Tuesday.

“I can’t always leave it to Willem Alberts and had to bring something new to my game. He (Plumtree) was satisfied and hopefully I can build on that now.

“Maybe this is a test for me and hopefully I can pass it with flying colours.”

Kankowski is obviously delighted about the opportunity against the Scots.

“It’s a great opportunity and you can never take playing for the Boks for granted. You have to grab every opportunity and I’m looking forward to it.

“Our training did not differ this week from any other. Maybe I can bring something new, but we’ll have to wait and see what happens. A lot can depend on the weather. I’m just looking forward to the opportunity of playing and doing my best.”

Indications are also that South Africa want to keep the ball in hand more from the outset.

They kicked a lot in the first half against Wales.

“Neville Heilbron (a laws advisor) gave us the statistic that 90% of penalties go against the defensive team. The laws are working in favour of the attacking side,” said Kankowski.

“It helped me at the Sharks that we kept the ball in hand. The guys believed in themselves and wanted to use the ball. Hopefully I can help bring that to the side this weekend.”

It’s also a rare opportunity for Kankowski to be able to show what he can do from the outset.

“You can’t blame the coach for picking players that perform well,” said Kankowski when asked about the issue of playing second fiddle.

“We have brilliant loose forwards. Juan Smith is the hard man and Deon Stegmann does good work as a fetcher. All I can do is to hopefully bring something new and fresh to the game. Hopefully it’s what the coach wants.”


  • scott - 2010-11-17 00:11


      Vaughan - 2010-11-17 05:59

      Go and watch bafana bafana as you know nothing about rugby!

      dushaas - 2010-11-17 06:31

      I agree that class is permanent and form comes and goes. But why would you lash out at alberts? he has got more form now than both of them put together!

      Pieter - 2010-11-17 07:47

      Alberts at the moment is the best ball carrier in the country!!!! dont know what you were watching while the CC was on.......english soccer maybe? SPies and Kanko are great i agree but to write off Alberts is a huge mistake.......

      Stollie - 2010-11-17 10:25

      STOP SHOUTING!!!! it hurts my eyes and brain

      GraemeBB - 2010-11-17 20:12

      Stollie - great comment!!! Whats wrong with your ears dude?!!!? Scott is expressing himself!!! I do like Alberts though!!!

      durbsviking - 2010-11-18 20:16

      After Alberts single-handedly changed the game against Wales you are going to call him Fat Alberts. What planet are you from. If the going is heavy, the packs big, Alberts is my man ahead of ALL the other loosies, including Schalk. Guys - remember that every team is different. On a hard field and an open game, like the BaaBaas, Kanko is going to be excellent. Against England - give me Alberts.

  • mike - 2010-11-17 00:15

    I think the Scots game will be loose and this will play to Kanko's strength. Actually a good match to bring him in and I think it will definately benifit the boks. Also Juan and Steggies should take care of the grunt work so he will get more freedom to roam. Will need Spies back for England though, things will be more physical which doesn't really bring the best out of Kanko.

  • Cobus - 2010-11-17 06:34

    Spies is great but has been marked by other teams. He rarely gets over the advantage lines these days and many times you see him physically being carried back by opposing players. He's got speed but that imo would better suit him to play flank rather than 8. Alberts is in current form the better ball carrier.

  • Pieter - 2010-11-17 07:45

    Kanko mentions an interesting fact...keeping the ball in hand. Its that tactic that won the sharks the CC. Now if our national coaches cant seem to grasp the fact that we need to keep the ball for as long as possible then i dont know......maybe the two kiwi coaches we have in SA are dumb according to our coaches?????? We need to change our strategy of kicking the damn ball away. Boks all the way!!!

      IanJ - 2010-11-18 08:40

      Agreed - the amount of kicking we see doesn't make sense to me. First you lose possession, second you risk counter-attack and third you now have to work hard at getting possession again.

  • Pieter - 2010-11-17 07:47

    Kanko mentions an interesting fact...keeping the ball in hand. Its that tactic that won the sharks the CC. Now if our national coaches cant seem to grasp the fact that we need to keep the ball for as long as possible then i dont know......maybe the two kiwi coaches we have in SA are dumb according to our coaches?????? We need to change our strategy of kicking the damn ball away. Boks all the way!!!

  • Shauno - 2010-11-17 07:53

    Good luck Kanko, hope you have a cracker of a game.

  • demonspit7 - 2010-11-17 09:10

    DUANE VERMEULEN !!!!!!!!!!

      Makutu - 2010-11-17 09:43

      Go smoke roses. YOU ARE MAD!

      Vincent - 2010-11-17 11:13

      @Makutu. Maybe you should. Vermeulen is better than both Kanko and Spies

      Preshan - 2010-11-17 14:17

      U mad,Kanko way better, Semi-Finals Duane Couldnt even Catch Kanko and Strauss(sharks Center) Tackeled Duane so Hard His boots came out, now one has ever did that to kanko

      GraemeBB - 2010-11-17 20:17

      Duane ok, but went missing in the CC final - I think will do the same on international level - ask Ryan.

      Vincent - 2010-11-18 06:13

      @Preshan. He did not disappear in the final at all. Maybe you should watch it again. And yes, Strauss tackled him hard that his boot came off, but he still got up and caught Mvovo while Strauss had to get seem to by the medical team. So he is fast and yster.

      Pieter - 2010-11-18 07:01

      Daune jou yster!

      Preshan - 2010-11-18 07:32

      Vincent if Duane Was Good, strong and fast what happen to him in CC final?

      Vincent - 2010-11-18 09:18

      @Preshan. He was one of the few players on the team that played well

  • galmac618 - 2010-11-17 11:42

    If the Boks are wanting to play a loose, running game they should have picked Lambie at flyhalf. M. Steyn takes the ball way to deep for any meaningful attack on the gain line. Can't really expect a good running game of rugby with a kicking flyhalf at the helm.

      Pieter - 2010-11-17 15:20

      Agreed 100%. Steyn has a good kicking record but has been kicking away ball when we had space and a overlap...think lambie has the knowledge to exploit the space.....steyn + kicking = no ball to wings

  • Dean - 2010-11-17 18:23

    steyn playes a great kicking game he is the best kicker in the world at the monent but the boks cant play a kicking game all the time then u get predicteble lambie is stil to young and doesnt have the exper that morne has if morne whants to he can play a GREAT running game but he is not the coach so he cant just do what he want to when he is playing than it is the coach that planed that thay sould play that sort of game and habana is not play like he did but 1 year ago he was SA's Hero and now he has a prob all players get to that stage in there rugby career ,look at morne 14 months ago he was nothing poeple did not even know him and now he is SA's best fly-half.

      Hendrik - 2010-11-17 21:15

      thats one looooooooooooong sentence

      lebogang.malefane - 2010-11-17 23:36

      Lmao...Hendrik..I'm with you.!Somebody wasn't taking a breather when he made this comment.But good opinion though.

  • Neill - 2010-11-17 21:13

    I say put spies on wing. he is as fast as he is strong. he will certainly give george north a run for his money. then the loose trio can be kanko, alberts and juan. for the wc next year brussouw will be back and juan can move to bench. with a loosies like that, who is going to stop us??

      mike - 2010-11-18 00:28

      You want to bench the best blindside flanker in world rugby, no sorry boet, try that one again! Juan is the best loose forward we have and that includes a fully fit Brussouw. Alberts is doing great things with ball in hand but takes more then that to displace a player like Juan.

  • ROBSWIT - 2010-11-18 09:49

    Well done to Pierre Spies for returning to the brilliant player we all know he can be! He is the best number 8 in the world when he is on!!

  • dixkzn - 2010-11-18 11:25

    Hope you have a great game.. We truely are spoilt for choice in the loose forward department , we have Spies, Kanko, Alberts , Brussow, Juan , Burger , Louw , Vermulen ,Stegman, Keegan , Minnie,Potgieter and Jean Deysel , I mean really any of these players can step up and represent for our country , Now lets stop bitching about provincial differeces and get behind our boys !!!!

      Vincent - 2010-11-18 15:07

      Nuf said. Very good point. lol

  • FYC - 2010-11-25 17:54

    I'm just wondering who fetches all our ball in the rucks? Sometimes I think we play too many running forwards (Kanko, Daniels etc.) Bismark at the mo is the one fetching the ball and maybe should be concentrating on his line outs. Where is Flouw, Dewald Potgieter and co? Kanko and Daniels play the same type of rugby (which they are good at) but northern hemi rain etc. prevents that type of game. I dunno, just disspointing for the boks at the moment.

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