Muir: Worst Bok pack ever

2009-11-07 08:22

London - English club champions Leicester Tigers stunned World Cup holders South Africa 22-17 at Welford Road on Friday.

Leicester, playing without six England internationals and nine first-choice players, rallied from an early 8-0 deficit to lead 16-11 by half-time. Scrumhalf Ben Youngs added two more penalties in a 17-point haul to make it 22-11, then limited the Springboks to just two penalties in the last 15 minutes of their European tour opener.

The hosts repulsed a sustained Springboks rally inside their 22 in the last minutes, finally forcing a knock-on by wing Odwa Ndungane to seal one of rugby's great upsets.

"I don't think I've ever seen (a South Africa pack) as bad as that, especially from a coaching perspective. We were given a bit of a lesson at the scrums," assistant coach Dick Muir said.

"Hats off to the Tigers. They were incredibly strong in that department so we've got to go back to the drawing board."

Muir, in charge of the Boks for their two mid-week games, admitted that his team will require a big step up in the weeks to come.

"You can't play this game without any possession," said Muir. "We were poor at the breakdown and poor at set pieces so we couldn't get the game going.

"We just move on. We came over here with an experiment and perhaps it didn't come off as planned.

Muir believes this defeat should spur the Tri-Nations and World Cup champs on to improved showings in the potentially imposing arenas of Toulouse, Udine and Croke Park.

The Test team will obviously look a very different selection, as none of the Test starting XV featured at Welford Road on Friday.

Muir admitted that "nobody likes losing".

"When you take a squad like this and have a short turnaround maybe you're not as well prepared as you might be.

"It will probably cause the guys to be a little bit more determined. When you're on the top of the pile there's a lot of sides who want to knock you off, so that's the territory we've created for ourselves."

Ndungane was one of eight players who were part of the champion Tri-Nations team, but they ran into a defense inspired by a record home crowd, a sellout 24 000 with the opening of a new stand.

Ruan Pienaar's first of four penalties was added to soon after when Earl Rose's kick into the left corner was pounced on by wing Jongi Nokwe for 8-0.

After a Youngs penalty in reply, wing Johne Murphy began a Leicester counter-attack in his half, and midfield prospect Manu Tuilagi fed wing Lucas Amorosino to finish off between the posts. Youngs's conversion put Leicester up 10-8, and in front for good.

With the home pack in charge against a Springboks Test front five, Youngs booted over two more shots at the posts, while Pienaar finished the entertaining half with a penalty.

Two more penalties earned by the Leicester scrum were converted by Youngs for 22-11.

Pienaar didn't have another penalty attempt until there were 15 minutes left, making it, then hitting the post with another shot soon after. The Boks flyhalf kicked another penalty to close the gap to five, but that was all Leicester was prepared to concede as the defense stepped up.

"Our scrum was immense and Geoff Parling was superb in the front row," Leicester coach Richard Cockerill said.

"Rugby can get quite scientific in its analysis these days. Sometimes you just need 15 blokes to come here and roll their sleeves up. The scientists can't quantify that. And that's what we did tonight."

After the Springboks play France next week, they return to England to meet Premiership leader Saracens, then face Italy and Ireland.


  • True Blue - 2009-11-07 08:33

    BOLAND COULD HAVE WON THIS GAME !!! Ruan Pienaar excelled in showing why he will not make the A side again. Cill(y)boy - WTF?? I must say it has been a while where I have seen a game that had 3 captains in 80 minutes. No wonder the Boks junior c side did not know what to do, they did not even know who their captain is. Tigers - WELL PLAYED.

  • Jimb - 2009-11-07 08:33

    It was awful to watch - SA 15 (not the Sprinboks) played like a bunch of amateurs. Pienaar was dreadful, and we might as well have had my sons 5th grade forwards on the pitch - they would have played better. Nobody had a clue what the game plan was - kick and hope. Obviously no tactics were in place. We need a proper coach - not one that relies on the great players we have, who see him through time after time.

  • Burgiesburnin - 2009-11-07 08:38

    Oh No!!! now all you lot are going to be asking for Divs blood and blaming the ref. Its a good job Leicester had 6 players away on National call up. The writting was on the wall when Nancy Botha was looking for excusses at half time. He could see the way that it was going.

  • colin rosenkowitz - 2009-11-07 08:42

    I have said it from the start, and still say it again, there are a lot of players sitting back home that were not selected, because you know why?????

  • scud - 2009-11-07 08:44

    What did he expect? 6 top front rowers,2 top locks and 4 top loosies were left behind. Chilliboy is not fit,Raubenheimer is not up to it,Hargreaves was selected because of his under 20 days,Jannie du Plessis and Steenkamp are past it. To make matters worse,on the odd occasion that we did actually get the ball,we had four centres-Olivier,de Jongh,Johnson and Deysel, How dumb can we be?

  • Lesson 1 - 2009-11-07 08:47

    No need to get upset. This was a valuable lesson. Our B-Boks needs a lot more exposure and experience before 2011 WC. This lose might be a blessing in disguise... to shake off some of that excessive arrogance we have picked up lately. Putting on the Green & Gold doesn't automatically make you a super rugby player... that only comes with hard work and experience. Well played to the Tigers.

  • Jabulani - 2009-11-07 08:47

    The proof is in the pudding ! Tough times ahead for the substitute / BEE team and Peter de Villiers !

  • Ivor - 2009-11-07 08:47

    It is said never blame the ref, bit he was far from consistant with his decisions and let the "tigers' get away with being off side, coming into the scrum illegally. Send over the front row from the Cheetahs.

  • Draadsitter - 2009-11-07 08:50

    Let's not go all "Kiwi" and trash the whole team and management because of one little speed-wobble here. Our guys had a bad day. Get over it people.

  • Vissie - 2009-11-07 08:52

    Its not the team's fault, its the selectors' fault.

  • Player 23 - 2009-11-07 08:53

    That was thwe WORST GAME I have seen in years, it was UGLY scrappy play... and well, lets not even mention Stuart Dickinson, because it seems that referees do what they want these days!!!

  • UW - 2009-11-07 08:55

    .. I think the biggest problem will be that the History Books will state: THE SPRINGBOKS WORLD CHAMPIONS WERE BEATEN BY THE LEICESTER TIGERS CLUB!. ..nothing about it being our B team!...or..uhmmm..F team...

  • KingPaul - 2009-11-07 08:58

    Kwotas! Swak skrumwerkers! 'n Skrumskakel op losskakel! Dis hoekom die "Bokke" verloor het

  • Andre - 2009-11-07 08:58

    It was a damn disgrace.

  • Ivan - 2009-11-07 08:59

    Maybe our forwards must start contesting the loose scrum and get the ball instead of hanging around in the back line and preventing them from doing their job. Or just maybe consider a plan B. One good thing came out of last nights game. They didn’t wear green jerseys

  • mr b - 2009-11-07 09:00

    My analysis... a totally disorganised, uncoached SA 2nd string team was beaten by Englands Guiness Premiership(provincial) 08/09 champs. Fact is that the Tigers are a well drilled team. They played excellent rugby showing total commitment on defence or attack. I really can't say anything positive for the Bok 2nd team, commitment and intensity were totally lacking. Leadership via the captain(s) was non existant! PvD got the mix wrong, needed more senior players to show the younger guys the way, he did take the game seriously. I hope this loss is a good wakeup call to the coaching staff and players alike!

  • Colin - 2009-11-07 09:01

    As expected, leicester won. Helium will regret not selecting the Free State forwards and relying on club level players in international arena! Why is Jerome Paarwater there now!! SA rugby will soon descend to the level of bafana bafana! No plan,no direction and no heart. The fans will determine the fate of this lot. Good night and good luck!

  • Ivan - 2009-11-07 09:01

    Maybe our forwards must start contesting the loose scrum and get the ball instead of hanging around in the back line and preventing them from doing their job. Or just maybe consider a plan B. One good thing came out of last nights game. They didn’t wear green jerseys

  • frikkie - 2009-11-07 09:01

    Just goes to show that AA cannot be forced upon rugby. It takes time. Ruan Pienaar has hag the worst performance of his entire life, including his rendition of the little mermaid in kidergarten. I thisn he should swim back to SA. Nonbody should have paid for his ticket in the first place

  • Ant - 2009-11-07 09:03

    Thsi game was of no significance,the playets are tired...

  • Francois Van - 2009-11-07 09:09

    Hoekom vra ons wat het aangegaan,dit is wat gebeur met regstellende sport,dit is ook die probleem met Bannana Bannana die beste spelers word nie gekies nie en daar moet mos kwotas wees so eet die pap wat julle keurders en die Kompela's in ons sport gebrou het hou so aan en ons maar ook in die volgende wereld beker rugby nie eers die einde van die eerste ronde nie,gaan aan met die toring aan die spanne om die politisi te plesier. "NAG OU GROTE"

  • Ron - 2009-11-07 09:09

    The Tigers showed the SA 15 how to play a ref and also what a well oiled squad can do. I just hope this isn't an indication of the couching / game plan we will see when the senior players depart Bok rugby.

  • BOK - 2009-11-07 09:10

    I could have chosen a much better second team and I am sure most of us would have. But I suppose div has got to be politically correct and satisfy the government by selecting a losing side.

  • trev2 - 2009-11-07 09:11

    If Earl Rose was one of the better Bok players on the night, it shows how awful the rest were! The only forwards worth mentioning that weren't totally pathetic were Johnson, Bekker and to a lesser extent Maku. Pienaar had a nightmare!

  • brad - 2009-11-07 09:12

    How can we expext to win when we put out third choice players from our currie cup sides? PDV has shown oncw again that he is out of depth!! Move over for a real coach!!!!

  • Jonny - 2009-11-07 09:12

    The Cheetahs front row demolished the Sharks (Boks) in the semi-final. Where are WP Nel, Adriaan Strauss & Vian Du Preez.... you guessed it, at home. Div decided on Heike (very good player but not match fit due to injury, Chiliboy (injured) & Guthro (who was demolished last night). What did he expect?

  • BOK - 2009-11-07 09:12

    I could have chosen a much better second team and I am sure most of us would have. But I suppose div has got to be politically correct and satisfy the government by selecting a losing side.

  • Peet - 2009-11-07 09:13

    If PdV expected any other result with his bunch of political inspired selections, he is even more stupid than I thought. Everybody with more than half a brain, knew that this kind of humiliation will happen sooner or later. And this will not be the last time. Fasten your seatbelts!

  • Harald Spiwak - 2009-11-07 09:14

    World Cup holders? Yes, but not the team that played yesterday! Some second-rate & inexperienced individuals playing together - the scrum was pathetic, because the tight 5 did all the work! What was the # 8 thinking? Andries had an excellent game! Tigers played brilliant rugby; very effective at the breakdown in ball retention & turn-overs! A lesson to be learnt from the Lions' tour regarding English rugby. Looking forward to the REAL Springboks playing next week in France! Go Bokke!

  • darwinia - 2009-11-07 09:14

    Muir says this is the worst performance by forwards ever. He is correct. He, and PDV picked these guys. They should apologise to us and to the cheetah front row. Ruan Pienaar is the worst flyhalf in the world. I agree he should swim back to S A.

  • Markb - 2009-11-07 09:15

    I agree 100%.They're not blooding young players, they're embarrassing springbok rugby

  • WP man - 2009-11-07 09:17

    Yes, it is a fact that the Springbok “first team” is still world class, but once they are gone, what is left? This bunch of idiots that we saw last night? If they are the next generation of test players, we are in for many years of disgrace on the rugby field. As for Dick’s remark on the pack: Dick it was not a Springbok team; it was a team selected to satisfy idiots with a political agenda. Furthermore, it was not only a bad-bad pack. It was a bad-bad team. You were prepared to be the coach of this team, you were prepared to be part of a diabolic plan to put colour above ability and you were prepared to be part this grave dishonoring of the sacred Springbok jersey. In the past I regarded you as a man with integrity, but it seems that you swapped your honor for the money earned as an assistant coach of a bunch of affirmative action players that could not even beat a severely weakened club team.

  • Lou - 2009-11-07 09:19

    It was a gamble that did not pay off; and it seldom will. Even those players ran onto the field knowing they were not the first choice. The difference between the top players and the rest is that top players always play their A game. Those non-A list players from last night are not A list exactly because of that. I'm saying they could easily have won had they given their best but you need a certain type of player on the field to get the rest going.

  • WakeUP - 2009-11-07 09:20

    This is what happens when you put SA`s best political side against a passionate one. At the despair of my wife I haven’t missed a second of our national team’s awesome year, but last night was painful from the offset. You can’t force color on an international level and hope your name will demand respect and victory, there were so many sketchy players in the team Ruan Pienaar being no exception. Chili just showed what he is actually capable of (20min). PdV PLEASE DONT BUCKLE UNDER POLITICAL PREASURE, SA IS BEHIND YOU BUT ONLY FOR SO LONG AS YOU CHOOSE PLAYERS THAT DESERVE BEING SPRINGBOKS, MAKU WOULDN’T EVEN MAKE THE PUMA STARTING TEAM?????

  • deon - 2009-11-07 09:21

    I expected this to happen, new team, different game, somewhere you must start building and training new heroes and unfortunatley this is the only way to go, looking forward to the rest of the tour!

  • colin rosenkowitz - 2009-11-07 09:23

    I have said it from the start, and still say it again, there are a lot of players sitting back home that were not selected, because you know why????? I knew that we had a poor side selected, but never realised how poor they were.I really feel sorry for the players who were selected on merit, and they were made to look bad as hard as they tried.Some of the guys were playing like a school side...eina...eina ?????

  • Div - 2009-11-07 09:25

    I see Div let Dick Muir do all the post match talking to the media after HIS quota team got a carrot!! Typical, run and hide when you screw up.....

  • Dirk - 2009-11-07 09:26

    The same awaits the test side. The front rows are from Sharks who were overpowered by Griquas and Cheethas in the last 2 games & Bulls who where out played by WP and Cheethas in the last 2 games. At least 4 of last nights pack has to bench for test againt France I did not see suitable candidates on the field. What can you expect with a forward coach like Jerome Paarwater?

  • Boertjie - 2009-11-07 09:31

    Interesting spectacle last night. Switch allegiance to the guys in gold long time ago, because of political interference in SA rugby. Not that my team is doing any better at the moment … :-(

  • Brad - 2009-11-07 09:32

    Whats all the fuss about, i know we are passionate suporters but take some perspective. Take the incumbent winners of the Air New Zealand Cup, the Blue Bulls or Liecester and put them up against any international "B" team and you will get the same result as last night, a rugby lesson from a team thats at the top of their game after a full lenght top notch domestic season. We would expect no less had England's "B" team played the Bulls last night.

  • Victor Stanfield - 2009-11-07 09:32

    Frikkie, you are right. The AA players were Ruan Pienaar, Danie Rossouw and a few other whites. Stop with your backward thinking. We were beaten by a much better team, accept it!

  • quiet - 2009-11-07 09:33

    Anyone heard anything from Div?.....he normally like to shoot his trap off but I haven't heard anything from him. Does Dick Muir suddenly speak on his behalf?

  • Ash - 2009-11-07 09:33

    SA were simply totally outplayed up front in the loose play and set pieces. The only SA forward to hold his headup after that game and worthy of a place in the A side is Bekker, as for the other B side forwards the selectors need to go back to the drawing board or face similar dismal performances and results. Unfortuneatly the backline were not given an oppertunity to show any type of attack with make shift flyhalf Pienaar simply giving away the tiny scraps of possession they had. Pick of the backline would be de Jongh with solid defence and showing good future potential. The only possible worst performance on the field last evening was the ref, so at least the boks are not alone.

  • Zeus - 2009-11-07 09:34

    There must be a reason they don't get full colours. Merit was not a factor when the team was selected. Well done Tigers, I hope Snorre got he message!

  • 50/50 - 2009-11-07 09:36

    Bok ' B' Team - B/S. Its not a B team - some players deserve to be there and while we are looking at developing some youngsters - you have to have a balance. Then - Chilliboy - who was Cpt - bit unfair coming back from injury, and straight into the squad - just the same as the Lions prop - what utter b/s. Pick players who are fit and have played. Then - due to Chilliboy missing out - how can he be Cpt and refer to the new guys as 'youngsters'? Im not against him being Capt, just not yet. Anyhow, even though a 'B team' - its still a Springbok team - and losing is losing, but to lose in such a manner. Eina. Baie K#K

  • cecnol - 2009-11-07 09:36

    Niemand maar niemand het gisteraand gepitch vir die game nie. Een van die dae is daar nie een Bok ondersteuner oor nie - skaam vir julle. Jislaaik ou Helium jyt amper begin huil gisteraand - ek skaam my vrek vir jou. Vat die punch pappa jyt mos gedink die twee swakste spelers in my oe Ruan en Rosie maak mos n somer in die winter. Vat vir Daniller eerder of Gertjie van Brandvlei eerder hulle sal beter vaar.

  • kelvin munster - 2009-11-07 09:39

    having watched Springbok rugby for many years...disgusting. Dick Muir says it all...but he is one of the coaches!!! Just pick the best team for the job...drop the saartjie baartman fat arse players pick an all white team if you have to . just win

  • Cullart - 2009-11-07 09:40

    The world is woeful. That little hair below Gurthro bottom lip must be sticking out his backside this morning. He was pathetic. Of the loosies Johnson and Potgieter tried but everyone played as individuals. Ruan must now be consigned to the scrap heap. he has had enough opportunities. But of the backline one player stood out and that was Earl 'the Joburg' Rose. But Mr Dickinson was the worst of all. That guy needs to go and workshop the laws of the game.!

  • Ray - 2009-11-07 09:41

    Worst Bok Pack Ever-What an understatement !!!! Chiliboy is totally useless and weak.If the coaches can't see this,then they must be shortsighted or ignorant.Ruaan Pienaar? I must be honest,I think that he has come to end of the International Road.If anyone watched the u/21 final between Sharks and Free State, I hope that you took note of the Free State Fly-Half.He has all the credentials that one would expect from a no 10.Gets his line moving,kicks well,and is a good distributor.I think his name is Sias Ebersohn.Nice neat and nippy player.

  • prop - 2009-11-07 09:41

    We keep getting caught out by selections. I've been saying all along that Div should have played Jacob Zuma as hooker.....and why wasn't Thabo Mbeki included in the starting line up? Come on, explain that Mr. Pvd!!!