Boks the biggest threat: Fitzy

2011-06-21 11:04

Singapore - New Zealand's All Blacks are in great shape to win the Rugby World Cup on home soil this year - and shouldn't crumble under pressure this time round, former skipper Sean Fitzpatrick said.

With a history of failing to live up to expectation since winning the inaugural World Cup in 1987, New Zealand have a great opportunity to set the record straight in September and October.

Fitzpatrick, a member of that triumphant 1987 team, is backing them to succeed.

"I think they're as good as they have been in (coach) Graham Henry's tenure, they've got a good blend of youth, they've got unbelievable experience, so all in all, they're in a good space," Fitzpatrick said in Singapore, where he had been conducting a rugby clinic for children.

"The position we're in now, I think the All Blacks can win the World Cup."

Key will be handling the pressure from an expectant nation, and using it to roll over opponents.

"Playing for the All Blacks my biggest fear was that I was going to fail, that I was going to let down the nation, so harnessing that fear of failure is key and I think that this team is mature enough to be able to handle that pressure," Fitzpatrick said.

"But it's great. All New Zealanders expect the All Blacks to win. In terms of pressure it's never been any greater or any less really. So playing in NZ is wonderful.

"I played there in '87 when we had the World Cup and the momentum, the wave of support we got from the four million shareholders was phenomenal.

"I can remember we played Italy at Eden Park and then once that game was out of the way and NZ sort of realised the World Cup was under way, the momentum, that surge of support was phenomenal, this time will be no different."

The hosts' will come under pressure from their southern hemisphere rivals Australia and from the northern hemisphere's England, Ireland and bogey-team France, Fitzpatrick said.

But the biggest threat will come from South Africa.

"Probably the number one for us are the South Africans, I think they've got a huge amount of depth and experience and they've won two World Cups. And we play them, with everything going to plan, semi-final time in Auckland.

"They're just starting to perform well, the Super 15 has shown that a number of their key springboks are now starting to find some form."


  • handogg - 2011-06-21 11:22

    Lig loop Fitzy! Die bokke gaan julle gaffel.

      jontheb - 2011-06-21 11:52

      I just hope we play our WC team in the tri-nations, so P-Divvy can see them fail and make the necessary adjustments before the tourny starts.

      LexLuther - 2011-06-21 15:09

      And the biggest threat to the Springboks is P de Villiers.

      Makutu - 2011-06-21 17:05

      If John Smit plays then we will not be any threat!

  • sparkies - 2011-06-21 11:23

    Of course we can win the RWC.In all honestly i have seen amazing talent from all SA Franchises this year in the S15.Its going to boil down to selection.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-06-21 11:33

      100% I reckon we could put out 2 Bok teams, and both would be title contenders. Just have a feeling the "2nd team" might be a little hungrier and better balanced than the "A" team Divvy will most likely field. Selections, and making a few brave calls on said selection is where it gets tricky for the Bok 'brains trust'.

      chappy - 2011-06-21 15:39

      But herein lies the problem. When they select players like January instead of Sarel Pretorius you have to question the selection. We may be doing well at S15 level, but the performing guys aren't being rewarded for good form. Most of the WC 2007 players in the 2011 squad are not deserving of a place on current form, so it's hard to say we will do well because of our S15 success.... it's a tough one, I will support them 100% no matter what, but I do feel we're missing an opportunity.

  • Hayden - 2011-06-21 11:30

    The lasty time i heard a NZlander say those words last year before the Tr-Nations, the Boks were hammered by NZ & Australia down under. Well as a Bokke supporter i still think his right this time round. Just hope the Boks learn from there mistakes

      Cyber-Eish - 2011-06-21 11:49

      I remember some Aussie saying something to that tune about our cricket team as well and we all know how that went

  • RJ - 2011-06-21 11:36

    Dont be modest they poze th smallest threat because their gameplan is the most predictable in the world...

      Gouetor - 2011-06-21 12:57

      All teams play according to a game plan, the All Blacks might have a more expansive one, but it's still a predictable game plan.

      chappy - 2011-06-21 15:41

      "Predictable" would be that the AB's are likely going to choke again...

  • Jerry - 2011-06-21 11:36

    I will quote my friend saying a RWC is not a RWC if the Boks did not played NZ. So I hope NZ get to the point to play us and don't drop the ball in the play-offs. The flip-side might be more of a possibility. That the Boks (with the HUGE amount of talent) don't get far enough to play NZ.

  • Justin Schon - 2011-06-21 11:43

    No Fitz! I think NZ is the biggest threat. Playing under 24 years of expectation and not delivering a trophy? I think NZ will suffer the same fate as the Proteas Choke at the Quarters against a energetic argentina or flair of France..

      Marcell - 2011-06-21 12:20

      Moeilik om te glo dat hulle net so swak is soos die Stompies.

  • Koos - 2011-06-21 11:45

    Rest the boks in the tri nations or we'll be lucky to reach the semi's

      FearoPhobia - 2011-06-21 12:04

      Didn't NZ try that last time? - 2011-06-21 12:14

      This would be my squad of 26 to tackle the Tri-Nations....... 15. Gio Aplon / Patrick Lambie. 14. J.P. Pieterson. 13. Marius Joubert. 12. Doppies Le Grange / Juan De Jongh. 11. Bryan Habana / Francois Hougaard. 10. Butch James / Morne Steyn. 9. Ruan Pienaar / Sarel Pretorious. 8. Pierre Spies / Danie Rossouw. 7. Willem Alberts / Ashley Johnson. 6. Heinrich Brussow. 5. Andries Bekker. 4. Flip Van Der Merwe / Rynhadt Elstadt. 3. Jannie Du Plessis / B.J. Botha. 2. John Smit (c) / Adriaan Strauss. 1. Gurthro Steenkamp / Coenie Oosthuizen. Players rested, rehab, injured, fitness programs = Tendai Mtawarira, C.J. Van Der Linde, Bismark Du Plessis, Bakkies Botha, Victor Matfield, Schalk Burger, Juan Smith, Jean De Villiers, Jacque Fourie, Francois Steyn.

      DeonL - 2011-06-21 12:29

      The boks and NZ rested some players last WC, it worked for the boks.

      Hannes van der Linde - 2011-06-21 12:40

      And if we rest Div's "first choice" players in the 3N and we end up winning it? What then? Then Div's tor will be completely lost!!! lol

      Highlander - 2011-06-21 13:02

      @ general20, take a chill pill. The squad he has selected is to give certain players a break to recover from injury or from being over played. Secondly, everyone is entitled to an opinion without being labelled racist or narrow minded. I won't comment on your spelling or grammer!

      Brendon - 2011-06-21 13:35

      @FearoPhobia - NO - we did it and won the world cup the last time.

  • WIllie Botha - 2011-06-21 11:46

    Go Bokke!! Right behind you guys... Go Smitty and the boys!!

  • Kok - 2011-06-21 11:59

    Boks are no threat. Aussies are the threat.

      Frans Smith - 2011-06-21 12:11

      i think you may just be on the money!

      Marcell - 2011-06-21 12:21

      Ek wil saamstem. Die wat hulle afskryf gaan op hul neuse kyk.

      Staalbal - 2011-06-21 12:30

      Kok is van NZ, hy verstaan nie afrikaans nie. Mens kan nooit die wallabies afskryf nie, maar om te se die bokke is nie 'n bedreiging nie wys maar net hoe min die aap van rugby af weet.

      Kok - 2011-06-21 13:43

      Can I plz say something without being attacked???!!!

      Karoobloed - 2011-06-22 07:57

      Kok, you have made a conscious decision not to support your own, and that is an unusual thing to do in the post 1994 context. Free yourself from the desire to annoy RSA rugby supporters and take the logical next step - move on to the blogs of the team you support - may I suggest the NZ Herald.

      Kok - 2011-06-22 08:58

      Who de hell said that this blog is only for people who support SA teams??!! And b.t.w. before 1994, i didn't even know about rugby. I supported the All Blacks since 2003.

      Karoobloed - 2011-06-22 09:30

      RSA citizen; RSA rugby team; RSA website; RSA rugby team supporter; 'NZ rugby team supporter - pick the odd one out, You are free to choose - are you primarily a NZ Rugby team supporter (as you claim), or primarily an RSA rugby supporter annoyer (as we suspect, because the supporters of the NZ teams would appropriately express themselves on the NZ supporter websites). Do not be grandiose - it is not your job to punish the Afrikaners forever - leave it to the experts - your friends in the ANCYL. Once the infrastructure in RSA is gone, you hopefully will have ample opportunity for reflection on what went wrong.

      Kok - 2011-06-22 10:04

      Dear Mr Karoobloed. I didn't even know that you have internet in the karoo. And your English is pretty much above average for a karoo person. Well done. The reason why I support the All Blacks has got nothing to do with you. And the reason I blog on this site, is becoz it's my favourite news resource. And i like the bloggers on here, Ace aka Lloyd, Saffa Cat, Sparkies, etc. I have no political intentions or agenda. In my eyes all humans are equal. You see, the problem with people like you, is you are walking around with this myth that all coloureds who support the ABs are Afrikaner haters. Well, let me tell you a story - not all of us are like that. I grew up with afrikaners when my grandmother and mother worked in the missies se kombuis. I went to school with them, i ate with them, i played with them, i work with them and guess what, most of my best friends are white. Moral of the story: Don't generalise. Would you like it if i tell you that all white people are racists, land chiefs, oppressors, etc.???? Bru, no matter what you say or how you feel, I will always be part of this forum, annoying you and creating some atmosphere. I tried in on NZ blogs, but those people don't have any sense of humor. I hope we can work together in future.

      Karoobloed - 2011-06-22 17:40

      Well, we can't stop anyone from getting off on creating negative energy can we? We all create our own Karma.

  • Frans Smith - 2011-06-21 12:09

    Neil Back (ex England world cup winner) said; "“For me, the most important thing for success is creating an environment where people enjoy themselves." and “The advice I give is that it’s all about attitude and preparation. Really it’s what you’re willing to give or what you want to achieve. If you’ve got an ambition, you’ve got to be prepared to give it your best shot." Besides this you have to have that HUNGER for success. QUESTION; will players who ahve allready won the world cup want it as badly as for instance players currently in the NZ or AUS side? Just wondering?

      Marcell - 2011-06-21 12:22

      I don't think so.

  • Gomez - 2011-06-21 12:13

    The Bokke will do it!!!!Be very afraid All Blacks!

  • kiwi - 2011-06-21 12:13

    time to choke

      TheWasp - 2011-06-21 12:21

      Very rich coming from a Kiwi......I hope we see a Bok / Kiwi final cause thats what the world wants to see mate.

      Staalbal - 2011-06-21 12:31

      Hahaha kiwikiwikiwi chokechokechoke

  • kiwi - 2011-06-21 12:14

    oh sorry yall dead allready

      LouisFLY - 2011-06-21 13:28 must suck knowing you're one of the best, but when it comes to crunch games you always choke..uhmm..spit spat..yall choke already.

      TerraFic - 2011-06-21 13:55

      The Kiwi's learnt that from our dear old Proreas...

  • BLOODY AGENT - 2011-06-21 12:19

    No Fritzie the Boks chance of retaining the WWE trophy has gone out of the back door when Dof Divvie decided that Janjies(Elton ) is better than Grant and Ricky FaTboy is better than Sarel,They will not have been first choice but far better than this two clowns

  • matthew - 2011-06-21 12:33

    January, Elton , John Smit, Bakkies, Spies, Ruan, Butch,Wynand Olivier and Adrian Jacobs are all the reason to see the downfall of the Bokke!!! And all Fitzy is doing is blowing hot wind up the skirts of the Bokke!!! ;)

  • Andre - 2011-06-21 12:37

    I am 100% behind our Springboks.. all the stats and history just make it a big exciting build up to the game... it all comes down to the day.. Looking forward too it..

  • clivegoss - 2011-06-21 12:55

    Sean glad to hear from you.Are you going to be a real ref at this world cup? Mr Ref ?

  • StBad - 2011-06-21 16:15

    I think if NZ lose this world cup they might just give up rugby all together... it would be crushing! Maybe lawn bowls then as the national sport?

  • Bokstar - 2011-06-21 16:20

    My Money is on the Bokke! I have no doubt that we will defend the World Cup successfully!!

  • GraemeBB - 2011-06-21 17:11

    There will be a couple of contenders for the RWC - Obviously NZ at home are going to be the favourites. They will string together an awsome team. We all know the NZealanders, if they find their stride, I can hardly see any team beating them at haome! Australia may not be doing too well in the S15, besides the Redds - but with a back-line like theirs - Guinea, Cooper, O'Connor, Giteau and Beal, one dare not write them off! England have a good RWC record. They seem to play above their normal ability, and again, the conditions may well suite them. Then there is Bokke - always the team that seems to be able to pull a win against the NZ giants. France, Wales and Ireland could cause upsets, but it is hard to imagine that they could follow through, and take the whole thing. Ireland showed in the 6 Nations final, they are able to play brilliant rugby! So, not long to go then.....

      Karoobloed - 2011-06-22 09:35

      Yip, NZ clear favorites, But of course I hope the Bokke win.

      Mr. Jones - 2011-06-22 10:09

      During the time of the Tournament the conditions will dictate who will win. I certainly hope the Bokke but the AB's, Aussies and England should be right up there. I will support the Boks all the way, even if they select players I don't agree with. Will support them even if they lose. Just to show how big a Bok suporter i am I will even support them if they pick Earl Rose at Flyhalf I just hope we see good rugby during the WC. @Matthew, agree with some of the names but objectively every player needs game time to get to their best. Just look how poor JP Peterson looked when he came back from injury and he is playing good rugby now. Same with Fourie du Preez, Gary Botha, etc. I am worried about our Tightheads and back-up flyhalf. Every other position i believe we have enough depth.

  • jk - 2011-06-22 11:07

    kok, thought you had 2 braincells, but im sure now you only using one mate, just another wanna (BEE) supporter... France gonna win it, they love beating the blacks and always makes a semi\final

      Kok - 2011-06-22 12:48

      Keep on dreaming. look like you use no brain cells

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