Boks braced for final tweaking

2011-09-21 14:46

Auckland - While the Springboks respect their Namibian opponents, they also see Thursday’s Pool D Rugby World Cup match as a last opportunity to fine-tune their game for more brutal battles.

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"From our point of view, we realise that (Namibia views this match as their final) and we respect that in them," Springbok forwards coach Gary Gold said on the eve of the match.

"We know their coaches as well and we know their coaching structures are very good at the moment."

The defending champions made five changes to the side which secured a resounding 49-3 victory over Fiji last week, in an attempt to expose fewer key players to what should be a very physical contest.

Rotation was at the heart of the team’s composition, with flank Heinrich Brussow sitting out to allow Willem Alberts a place in the starting line-up.

Fourie du Preez will also watch the match from the side as Francois Hougaard gets his first start of the tournament.

Hougaard has only been used as a wing in the tournament thus far. He is relishing his chance to be in the run-on team, even though he has realistic expectations for the remainder of the tournament.

"Fourie has been around for a long time and he is one of the guys who knows the game the best," Hougaard said.

"That said, it is still a huge honour and privilege to start for the Springboks and I have been covering both wing and scrumhalf in our training sessions."

The most notable difference for him will be the amount of energy he will have to exert being so close to the action.

"In the fitness department, it is a big shift because I have to be everywhere in defence and attack, especially attack, and at scrumhalf you have to keep more to the structures of play.

"But I think my mindset of going out there and doing my best won’t change."

Hougaard said his decision-making will also be tested and he was privileged to have learned his trade under Du Preez.

Communication between the forwards and backs becomes his responsibility and he said he would have to be more vocal on the pitch.

The Springbok forwards were on top of their game against Fiji and should they lay the same platform, it could become a long day for the Namibians.

It will be an important day for CJ van der Linde who is one of few players capable of packing down both sides of the scrum.

Flank Willem Alberts will cherish his start, even though he knows his promotion to the run-on team serves as a test should Brussow succumb to injury during the knockout-out stages.

Namibia made six changes to their side after last week’s 49-12 defeat to Samoa.

They are yet to register log points in the tournament and will view an honourable defeat to the defending champions as a moral victory.


South Africa:
15 Pat Lambie, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Willem Alberts, 5 Danie Rossouw, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 CJ van der Linde, 2 John Smit (captain), Gurthro Steenkamp.

Substitutes: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 Francois Louw, 19 Heinrich Brüssow, 20 Fourie du Preez, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Juan de Jongh.

15 Chrysander Botha, 14 Danie Dames, 13 Danie van Wyk, 12 Piet van Zyl, 11 Heine Bock, 10 Theuns Kotze, 9 Eugene Jantjies, 8 Jacques Nieuwenhuis, 7 Jacques Burger (c), 6 Tinus du Plessis, 5 Nico Esterhuyse, 4 Heinz Koll, 3 Marius Visser, 2 Bertus O'Callaghan, 1 Johnnie Redelinghuys

Substitutes: 16 Hugo Horn, 17 Jané du Toit, 18 Pieter Jan van Lill, 19 Rohan Kitshoff, 20 Ryan de la Harpe, 21 Darryl de la Harpe, 22 Conrad Marais


  • Woofix - 2011-09-21 15:20

    Bokke sal moet uithaal en wys. Namibië is nie laas week se substandaard laerskool spannekie nie. Ook sal hulle moet onthou dat die celebrations kom na die tyd, nie die aand voor die tyd nie -- geskiedenis het dit reeds bewys.

  • Anneleen - 2011-09-21 15:29

    Tweaking: "a sharp twist or pull"...Bokke, may you pull strongly in the direction of the WWE Trophy. Expecting many more twists and turns from the coach and his squad...please look after yourselves! Bokke forever!!!!!

  • draaft - 2011-09-21 15:40

    Bakkies, not resting? Unbelievable! (in a Hugh Bladen voice) Smit, Habana and Spies, still being picked...we might not hold the lead all game!! I don't foresee a cricket score here...

      peter.saaiman - 2011-09-21 15:54

      @draaft Why dont you change that to DAAFT, your always so negative, go support another team if you can't be supportive of the whole SPRINGBOK SQUAD, even the guys you personally don't think should be there.

  • warerugby - 2011-09-21 16:47

    15 Pat Lambie 14 JP Petersen 13 Jacque Fourie 12 Frans Steyn 11 Francois Hougard 10 Morne Steyn 9 Fourie de Preez 8 Danie Rossouw 7 Schalk Burger 6 Heinrich Brussouw 5 Victor Matfield 4 BAKKIES BOTHA 3 Jannie du plessies 2 John Smit 1 Cutthroat Steenkamp Bank: Spies, Bismark, Beast, Alberts, Aplon, Pienaar, CJ van der linde Wie stem saam??

      KUNZIE - 2011-09-21 17:46

      Nice team but don't need the big artillary for Namibia and rather rest players for the Samao game.Also Habana gets oppurtunity to break the all time try scoring record which he shares with Joost.If he doesn't do it tomorrow he will never hold it on his own.

  • Ruck'n Punt - 2011-09-21 18:11

    Tweaking from what? One game since Fiji? Let's all forget about the other games this year aye........hilarious lol

      Ruck'n Punt - 2011-09-21 20:46

      One game against Fiji? Let's get real shall we, if SA didn't win by 40+ that would be considered shyte in a WC, SA winning by 46 from 60 minutes against an unfit team playing 'running' rugby (clumsy disjointed) looks hilarious. AWESOME, study that game and you'll notice that the Fijian no8 was playing wing. The real rugby analysts in SA must be kaking themselves. GO DIVVY

  • anfield - 2011-09-21 20:19

    more brutal battles? Battles is plural. Lights out at the quarter final stage. They can use the scrum as a laager but they have no chance!

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