No guts, no glory

2010-12-01 11:15

Comment by Tank Lanning – Sport24 editor

London – “Better late than never” was my immediate thought upon hearing that centre Andries Strauss will join the Springboks in London on Wednesday.

He has been called up as a replacement for the injured Zane Kirchner, who suffered concussion and a mild elbow sprain in the 21-11 victory over England, for the tour finale against the Barbarians at Twickenham on Saturday.

Right from the get go I thought the initial Bok squad selected was light on specialist centres, and with Kirchner having had to play centre and the likes of Elton Jantjies, Alistair Hargreaves and Coenie Ossthuizen having carried the bags for the entire tour, so it seems I might have been on the right track.

But it’s probably a little too late now. I can’t see Peter de Villiers throwing Strauss, someone who has not been part of any Bok squad or training session ever, into the international mix right away.

Also, with the coach feeling obligated to give each of the initial squad a start, it seems Jantjies get the nod at flyhalf, with Pat Lambie and Adi Jacobs forming the centre combination.

Which would be a little sad actually … I can see the reasoning, but if the Boks are going to keep the ball in hand a little more – and let’s hope that to be the case against the Baa Baas - the half back combination you want is Francois Hougaard and Lambie.

And quite clearly Baa Baa coach Nick Mallett has heard the same thing. Speaking to Sport24 colleague Stephen Nell yesterday, Mallett praised both Lambie and Jantjies but also had this to say: 

“Obviously there is a question about size and how he will defend that channel”

And then watching him put the star studded Barbarians through their paces at a local school gym – due the freezing cold and snow – it was very clear that all strike moves are planned to have the likes of Joe Rococoko and Ma'a Nonu running onto the Bok flyhalf and inside centre channels.

But Mallett also speaks sense when saying that “It’s actually your system that determines how good your defence is”, going on to stress that if Jantjies understands the system and his role in it, there is no reason that he can’t do well. Gio Aplon is a case in point. By no stretch of the imagination a giant, but phenomenal in knowing his role in the defensive system, and hugely technical and gutsy.

And guts a plenty it’s going to take to stop this Barbarian side …

Matt Giteau, a surprise choice as captain it has to be said, leads a team packed full of international superstars including the likes of James O'Connor, Drew Mitchell and Adam Ashley-Cooper to go with the already mentioned All Black cyborgs.

Salvatore Perugini of Italy and Martyn Williams of Wales represent the Six Nations and two uncapped players, New Zealand No. 8 Colin Bourke from the Chiefs, and Western Province captain and second row Anton van Zyl will also be in the run on XV.

The addition of Van Zyl to the Barbarian mix makes this fixture all the more exciting. Obviously he would prefer to be playing for the side in green and gold, but it was fantastic to see his enthusiasm for what should be great entertainment. He teams up with former WP team mate and lock partner, Chris Jack – a man who made such a difference during his stay in the Western Cape, and he is itching to see what he can do against the Bok lineout.


Barbarians: James O'Connor (Aus), Joe Rococoko (NZ), Drew Mitchell (Aus), Adam Ashley-Cooper (Aus), Ma'a Nonu (NZ), Matt Giteau (Aus, capt), Will Genia (Aus), Salvatore Perugini (It), Stephen Moore (Aus), Neemia Tialata (NZ), Anton van Zyl (Stormers), Chris Jack (NZ), Rodney So'oialo (NZ), Martyn Williams (Wales), Colin Bourke (Chiefs).

Replacements: Keven Mealamu (NZ), John Yapp (Wales), Quintin Geldenhuys (It), Daniel Braid (NZ), Andy Ellis (NZ), Stephen Donald (NZ), Seru Rabeni (Fij).

Coach: Nick Mallett
Assistant coach: Alan Solomons

Probable Springbok side: Gio Aplon, Odwa Ndungane, Adi Jacobs, Patrick Lambie, Lwazi Mvovo, Elton Jantjies, Francois Hougaard, Willem Alberts, Juan Smith (captain), Keegan Daniel, Bakkies Botha, Alistair Hargreaves, CJ van der Linde, Adriaan Strauss, Coenie Oosthuizen

Bench: Bandise Maku, Tendai Mtawarira, Jannie du Plessis, Flip van der Merwe, Ryan Kankowski, Charl McLeod, Andries Strauss

Date: Saturday, December 4
Venue: Twickenham
Kick-off: 16:30


  • Johnny - 2010-12-01 11:20 coach, glory....

      RuskyBear - 2010-12-01 12:13

      nice one

      Sheriff - 2010-12-01 13:38

      haha! agree!

  • - 2010-12-01 12:04

    What a joke.!!!! Who are they kidding.? Lambie is a fullback.!!!!!!!! He play's in that position for the Junior Boks and Adi Jacobs-who????????????????????. Are you telling me that you could not find a suitable replacement in the whole of South Africa. The World Cup 2011 is looking terrble for us South African's.

      Ian - 2010-12-01 12:33

      Apart from obviously stuck ! and ? keys,you seem to be a bit off the pace. Lambie is a fly half who has played centre. Adi Jacobs was excellent when he came on against England (read the English papers). The World Cup is going to be fine, relax.

      scipio - 2010-12-01 16:19

      Chill bro. Adi aint that bad, I've seen worse centres in Georgia. Does put things into perspective doesn't it?

  • Liam - 2010-12-01 12:11

    personally I thought Jantjies defence was fantastic during the currie cup, hardly missed a tackle and stood up well to guys considerably bigger than himself...

      Kagiso - 2010-12-01 12:25

      Its the mind games Liam, same thing was said about Aplon and he has proven them wrong. They just want to add more pressure to the backline.

      player23pro - 2010-12-01 12:36

      LIAM :"considerably bigger than himself..." But now they are considerably bigger than the considerably bigger oaks. Ag lets wait and see. Its sad to see what is happening. It seems everybody just gets chucked into a position (by the coaches) and they hope for the best????!!!!!

      Andre - 2010-12-01 12:59

      I agree 100%.

      scipio - 2010-12-01 16:21

      I just hope Jantjies does well, otherwise I'll be labelled a racist once I criticize the Bloke after a bad game.

      StaalBurgher - 2010-12-01 20:30

      Oh, he might do just fine. I don't think we need to be overly worried.

  • SwartLuiperd - 2010-12-01 12:32

    This is not a Barbarian team. Apart from Salvatore Perugini (It), Martyn Williams (Wales), John Yapp (Wales), Quintin Geldenhuys (It) and Seru Rabeni (Fij) (5 players), this is a southern hemisphere team. I thought the Barbarians was suppose to be a WORLD TEAM. What a joke.

      Ricky - 2010-12-01 12:51

      What do you expect from a sport that is played by a minority of nations? You are going to have these perplexing scenario's, its called small number statistics.

      Mafaka - 2010-12-01 14:30

      There are 95 countries listed on the IRB's world rankings. According to Wikipedia there are 193 sovereign states in the world. That means that 49% of the world plays rugby...

      Andrew - 2010-12-02 12:17

      Fiji is also Southern Hemisphere. That reduces the North's representation to 4 players.

      JT - 2010-12-03 11:44

      If you were to create a World XV/All-Star team, the entire team would be made up of Southern Hemisphere players - as a coach of the BaaBaas, you'd pick the best of who's available.

  • Ricky - 2010-12-01 12:33

    Everyone has got their favourites. Elton vs Lambie at flyhalf. Elton needs more exposure. Play him from start and see how he goes. Can always switch back to Lambie at flyhalf if need be. Matt Gitteau is not the biggest around either. In future Elton and Pat will be way better than ol Morne. We need a THINKING pivot, not one that keeps on kicking away posessesion all the time, and not realising it aint working. Pity J Fourie and Juan de Jongh are not fit. We really lacked creativity in the backline. I think its part of the reason Jean looked so bad during this tour. His centre partners were very k@k. At least Adi brought some creativity when he came on. We need a straight runner, and creative runner in the centre. Combined with good defense from both. The two steyn's can only kick, their play is too one dimensional when it comes to top flight rugby. These two Steyns will only succeed in a very structured type of play, and boy if they have an off day, they gonna look very k@k. And then of course we miss Fourie du Preez. I hope he comes back very well from his long lay off. The new incumbents in this position is lightyears behind FdP at his best, he made MS look way better than he is. I think we got a very good chance at the 2011 WC. We still ranked 2nd in the world behind the "chokers". Need a bit of luck too. In 1995 we had a lucky break against the french in the semi final. And in 2007 Aus and the Kiwis were off the boil in crucial matches, and we never faced them.

      Durasmart - 2010-12-01 16:50

      Everybody are raving about Lambie and Jantjies who played brilliantly in the Currie Cup, but that is just the problem. Anyone can look great when they play against crap. Only once they have had a full Super15 season at flyhalf, playing against some of the world's best, can a reliable judgment about their capabilities be made. One great game only makes you a star in the eyes of those who has no clue of the game. You need to consistently perform against top class opposition before you can be called a star. I just have a feeling that both of them will be exposed on Saturday

  • Moersteen - 2010-12-01 12:37

    Baie geluk Andries, jy is 'n yster!!

  • Julz - 2010-12-01 12:38

    JAntjies is very good, although I do believe Lambie is better.Would have been perfect to start Lambie. I hope for his sake his tremendous talent doesnt become his downfall, playing him in too many positions!

      Ricky - 2010-12-01 13:47

      You believe Lambie is better? And the proof of this? We'll see how good thay are. Proof is in the playpudding . But ya, both of them is way better than Morne. But I'll give credit, were credit is due, Morne did win the Lions tour last year for us.

  • Ricky - 2010-12-01 12:45

    Finally I think its time for the Springboks to become the Proteas after the 2011 WC. It was kept as a symbol, under the influence of Mandela, to keep the peace and unite. But very little has changed wrt people's attitudes.

      Hendrik - 2010-12-01 13:10

      Ricky, what attitudes? and changing to the protea is going to change what about people's attitudes? its only going to anger people, thats all. please, hold the comments relevant to the article

      Chadwick - 2010-12-01 13:11

      The Proteas are a cricket team...we cant have a rugby team with the same name. Springboks are South Africas rugby team. Anyone who says it represents Apartheid is an ignorant fool. It's a sports team for crying out loud. Mandela didn't complain when he wore the Springbok jersey in 1995. Stop trying to destroy all SA's history. Keep your nonsense politics away from our sports.

      Damrain - 2010-12-01 13:12

      @Ricky agreed I say we braai the springbok and get the public behind the Protea.We also need to make the players more accountable, they need to via for a place in the team.

      BOKLDN - 2010-12-01 13:28

      Ricky, Damrain - you two don't make sense. You have points but you can't make sense of them. The reality of the situation is that the team that makes SA proudest is the Springboks. That is what they are called. They were a team way before Apartheid and will remain a team way after it. They are named after an indiginous animal and have had Hollywood blockbusters made about that. They have politics and the most diverse cultures in all the sporting world playing for them. De Villiers, Matfield, Smit, Mvovo, Habana. These are diverse names and when these guys stick together, they are the best and represent what the country should be tryng to achieve. Now bugger off.

      Ricky - 2010-12-01 14:07

      @BOKLDN - Make South Africans the proudest? Really? Its a media hyped thing. And anyways, what makes you proud, don't make someone else proud. Look, I don't say don't strive for the best, no matter what sport. What poeple should get behind is the SA flag and a proud over arching SA Rugby tradition, not some outdated symbol which represents oppression and exclusion. The springbok represented a minority. Rugby was also going on elsewhere in the country. Today we get shuffed down our throats the "great" springboks of the past, when countless other folk's proud rugby history gets neglected. Sorry mate, I cannot support a symbol that has always represented gross inequality. It is a symbol that foccuses attention only on the rugby history of a minority. I do have best wishes for SA rugby, I seriously. But to be honest, looking at this realisticly, keeping the springbok emblem is "like a dog returning to its vomit"

      ray.romans - 2010-12-01 15:30

      Ricky, just check the date that the Springbok was first used on a SA rugby jersey, then go and look at your statement saying that the Springbok is a symbol of oppression and exclusion.

      scipio - 2010-12-01 16:28

      Ricky this idea that the springbok symbol representing oppression and what not else, is all in your head mate. Seems you're striving for attention. The Springbok symbol represents the South African sports team, nothing more. Binding ideas and hate to a symbol is quite foolish if that particular symbol never represented anything as you stated. You only want it to be that way XD And by that argument, Let's hang you for trying to divide proud South Africans.

  • BOKLDN - 2010-12-01 12:54

    The right selections are always too late from PDV. My hope is that by the RWC - he gets it right. Flo - not a bok. Stegman - not a bok. Alberts = BOK and may get a start in the last game of the year. Kirschener - not a centre and hardly a bok. Strauss - immense in the CC but still has to show that he can make it and is getting the slightest of chances but against Ireland, at least we know he would have tackled - would have been a superb opportunity to give him a debut. If you are looking for a 9/10 combo - that is Lambie and McLeod. (I think the incumbents are stronger atm but for this game) Hargreaves has big boots to fill - good luck to him. Front row looks scratchy but can play well. Hope Adi plays well. Put in a few great tackles on Saturday and runs with the ball in 2 hands. He can find Aplon and Mvovo and Odwa played well this year but is short on pace. I think this will be a bok win. Giteau, Joe, Rodders = liabilities.

  • Theuns - 2010-12-01 13:19

    Theyre feeding these laaities for the dogs........but maybe a wake up call is ok, this is not currie cup rugby, but it is the right guys for exposure at this level if youre gonna ignore the score board...!

      Durasmart - 2010-12-01 16:59

      I agree Theuns. This not the Currie Cup with 22 Springboks out of the opposition teams. It only meant that they were the better ones of all those not good enough to even get close to the Springbok team in the first place. Just hope that they don't get hurt on Saturday playing with the big boys.

  • Dan the Man - 2010-12-01 14:08

    Jantjies weighs 13 kgs more than Aplon, the same in fact as Lambie and Mvovo, and more than Hougaard and Morne Steyn, or giteau, genia and oconnor, so why do they think his size will be a problem?? He is hardly a light weight at 91 kg's

      StaalBurgher - 2010-12-01 20:35

      His size is not a problem.

      Theuns - 2010-12-02 13:22

      You got agood point, just remember there is a big difference between size and hardness which you only get at a later stage when you grow older. most of these youngsters will get harder with time, thats why a good player peaks from 29 to 32.

  • Max - 2010-12-01 14:51

    And why are people so obsessed with size..look at Pierre Spies (a human cyborg) but he cant even tackle a fly so Jantjies will be fine its the heart and passion for the jersey that counts not how big you are.

      StaalBurgher - 2010-12-01 20:36

      That has changed if you open your eyes. His last few performances has been pretty good both on attack and defence. Like in 2009.

      Andre - 2010-12-01 22:33

      " 'n Goeie grote is altyd beter as 'n goeie kleintjie. " Remember Lumo, Ray Mordt, Niel Burger,look at the Gear brothers? I agree Aplon will never let you down but I will select a Lumo or Mordt over him every time.

      Theuns - 2010-12-02 13:29

      Its surely courses for Horses, each man is selected firstly to do his job related to his position, the rest is a bonus, immagine Aplon at prop! A prop appreceates a big strong lock behind him. That's why the boks scrumaging is so good, big strong props with big strong locks and a 8th man that ads an impact to this. 8 forwards that can take on anybody....! Tackle is for backline players and a bonus if forwards can put in good tackles, this is what makes the team excellent!

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