Div beefs up Bok midfield

2011-09-14 23:08

Wellington - South Africa have made four changes to the run-on team that recorded a 17-16 victory over Wales last week as they prepare to take on Fiji in their second Rugby World Cup match Wellington, New Zealand, on Saturday.

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Injuries were cited as the reason for most of the changes in the team named on Wednesday, and by selecting Frans Steyn to start at centre, the title holders have gone back to what worked so well for them at the previous World Cup.

Bok coach Peter de Villiers said he included the Racing Metro centre to beef up the team's midfield defence, which looked vulnerable at times during their opening match.

"We can't allow for the same thing like on Sunday when that channel [in midfield] was exposed on defence," De Villiers said.

"We need a strong guy there to stop it and not give them any momentum.

"You look at the opposition and see what the strengths and weaknesses of your opponents are, and you look at what they offer to us."

De Villiers said they could take positives from the changes, some of which were made as part of the squad's rotation policy, but most of which were due to injuries to key players.

Bok captain John Smit had an opportunity to work with younger players, De Villiers said, while others would get some much needed game time.

"We have a few injuries and everything works for the good, so I think it is a brilliant opportunity for John to blood in some of the other players," De Villiers said.

"One of the fears that we face is that some of the players did not play in a very long time."

Included in the last line of defence was Patrick Lambie who had only recently recovered from a shoulder injury.

His recovery was, however, not as hasty as that of Bakkies Botha.

According to a medical assessment made on Monday, Botha was not responding well to treatment, but he nonetheless replaced Victor Matfield in the starting line-up.

The Boks lost Matfield to a hamstring injury, and possibly Johann Muller, who was to undergo a late fitness test, which left South Africa in crises as far as second-row forwards were concerned.

The Springbok coach defended his decision to field Botha, who missed their opening game.

"We will never take risks with players, especially when their lives are at stake," De Villiers said.

"Throughout the World Cup there will be niggles in each of the squads."

Apart from Matfield, team management said backs Butch James (hip flexor), Jean de Villiers (rib cartilage) and Bryan Habana (patella tendon) were all unavailable for selection due to injury.

If Muller, who was named on the bench, is unable to play, he will be replaced by Francois Louw.

Odwa Ndungane would step into the left wing berth in place of Habana, Pat Lambie is set to start at fullback, and Francois Steyn moves forward to fill De Villiers' inside centre berth.

James' place on the bench is taken by the versatile Ruan Pienaar.

In addition, De Villiers made two tactical changes.

Gurthro Steenkamp is promoted to start at loosehead prop in place of Tendai Mtawarira, who drops to the bench, while the return to a conventional four/three split between forwards and backs among the replacements opens the way for Juan de Jongh to make a first appearance on a Rugby World Cup teamsheet.


South Africa: 15 Pat Lambie, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 JP Pietersen, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Fourie Du Preez, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Heinrich Brussow, 5 Danie Rossouw 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Jannie Du Plessis, 2 John Smit (captain), 1 Gurthro Steenkamp

Substitutes: 16 Bismarck du Plessis 17 Tendai Mtawarira 18 Johann Muller 19 Willem Alberts 20 Fancois Hougaard 21 Ruan Pienaar 22 Juan de Jongh

Fiji: 15 Kini Murimurivalu, 14 Vereniki Goneva, 13 Gaby Lovobalavu, 12 Seremaia Bai, 11 Naipolioni Nalaga, 10 Waisea Sedre Luveniyali, 9 Nemia Kenatale, 8 Sakiusa Matadigo, 7 Akapusi Qera, 6 Dominiko Maiwiriwiri Waqaniburotu, 5 Wame Lewaravu, 4 Leone Nakarawa, 3 Deacon Manu (captain), 2 Sunia Koto, 1 Campese Ma'afu

Substitutes: 16 Telemaitoga Dautu Tuapati, 17 Waisea Nailago, 18 Netani Edward Talei, 19 Sisa Koyamaibole, 20 Vitori Tomu Buatava, 21 Nicky Little, 22 Gaby Lovobalavu

* Click HERE for the latest RWC odds on BET.CO.ZA


  • DS - 2011-09-14 23:25

    The first change that needs to be made is to start with Bismarck! What a powerful and influential player. Also disappointed not to see Hougaard starting.

      Theo - 2011-09-15 05:09

      Well we need Frans Steyn to cover for Smit he seems to always find himself in the line, and he can't tackle because he is to slow.

      Gareth Stott - 2011-09-15 10:08

      Maybe PdV is actually super smart and is using John Smit for the pool games and saving Bismarck for the knock-out stage! (I doubt it but it could be great!)

  • Phiwe - 2011-09-14 23:36

    Frans Steyn is such a beast now. He's bigger than SWB, De Villiers and Fourie

      Bruce Dundee - 2011-09-15 04:46

      Pity he doesn't have any ball sense, though.

      Chris in Oz - 2011-09-15 05:27

      @Bruce. Do you remember Frans Steyn's three penalties in Hamilton? All from well within his own half. 15 points to sink the All Blacks. I'd like to see someone without ballsense do that.

      Bruce Dundee - 2011-09-15 05:30

      Kick like a mule & play decent rugby - two different things.

      Wayne Poisson - 2011-09-15 05:56

      Bruce you're right. As much as the kid is a huge bugger he doesn't have the natural skills of SBW.

      Punter - 2011-09-15 06:20

      @Bruce & Wayne id10ts SBW is so predictable with his back handed passes he made an initail impact but that was it didn't do anything against Tonga even NZ coach says Nonu is better

      Chris in Oz - 2011-09-15 06:21

      @Bruce Dundee. He singlehandedly won a RUGBY game against the All Blacks on that day. I would class that as playing decent rugby. @Wayne. You are right. We can't compare SBW to Steyn. Steyn can pass. Steyn can tackle. And Steyn does not give risky offloads into the hands of the oposition.

      RandomDude - 2011-09-15 08:48

      I don't know Punter .. SBW didn't do much against the SBs but against Tonga he looked pretty darn good . Give credit where credit is due he's a skillful player. But Steyn is just as skillful, just a different set of skills . If I had to pick I'd go with Steyn though .Having someone in your team that can sink a penalty and a drop goal from well within his own half is priceless in a WC competition. I mean look at this !!!..

      DeonL - 2011-09-15 08:50

      Frans reminded me of Lomu the weekend when he went over Shane Williams to score, Fidji is not known for defending well, we will see more tries from us this weekend.

      Jacques Ackermann - 2011-09-15 10:55

      OLD BRUCE DO YOU TAKE IT UP THE SHYTER SHEILA mate sniffing your mum's backside and while looking at you DVD collection of the riverdance musical your fairy franna has been a revelation at metro with his style of play. hopefully he can shine against fiji. that if old PDV has not told him to play bumper cars with the opposing team's centers. franna will rape SBW

      Lance - 2011-09-15 12:15

      @ Bruce...I have friends in NZ and I once asked " Who are the AB's the most dare I say fearful of in the Bok side ?" he said " The AB's are the wariest of Frans Steyn"... So what if he cant pass like a basketball player from the Dream team...he has Raw physicality and a pinpoint iron boot ! Go Bokke !!

      StangV2_0 - 2011-09-17 06:19

      Oh F Steyn... I have been saying it for ages and ages and ages and.. u get the point.. WE NEED F STEYN.... Take your mind back a few months and you will remember all the stereotype chit chat about how fat and bad a player F Steyn was. All those fools did was complain about how useless he is and we dont have a place for min in our team.. So what you chops say now? F Steyn is possibly our biggest weapon.. possibly... And as for SBW, he's offloads and 2 tries against japan... my fu*&ing jack russel could have done that....!! i wish this Fiji clash was instead NZ and we could toast a beer while Steyn cuts SBW in half with his tackles...!!

  • Thomas - 2011-09-14 23:38

    I was at the game in Wellington and it looked like the old guard just want to play in the final, and it is just an effort to go all out in the pool games!!!!! The only plus I can see in the Wales game is how can we play so badly and still win!!!!!!! Fourie Du Preez is the one that needs to step up the most, he is making some rookie mistakes that you would never associate with him!!

      Lance - 2011-09-15 12:18

      "...only World Champions could play that badly and still win "

  • colin.crowther2 - 2011-09-14 23:47

    Poor selection on the wing ( Ndungane ) - Defence against the Figian's will be an area exposed.On attack , he is not that quick and trying to break the line aint going to happen.Smit is totaly exposed - he is unfit and struggles to make up ground around the fringes - lets hope he just gets in the way that will disrupt Figi's play.I like the Idea of Frans Steyn at Center (made a huge impact for Racing Metro in this position).Good back up on the bench so we should at least win with a bonus point.

  • Karoobloed - 2011-09-14 23:57

    Mmmmm. - well done PdV ! Very inspiring selections at 12 and 15. Ndugane will be solid on defence at 11, but wish he had the speed of Mvovo... Pietersen will show his class given enough time. Fourie is our best backline player. Lambie prefers 15 and Frans prefers 12 - so two of our most talented players applied in their favorite positions. Would have started with Butch against Pacific Island teams to close down the 10 channel, but I guess the Morne-FdP duo needs some additional gel time... And I would have rested Brussow to save him for the bigger games - Flojo would have been a good stand in fetcher. But I am not complaining - I think the Bok coaching team is now finally moving towards selecting our best backline.

      Dan the Man - 2011-09-15 00:08

      gel time?? they have played over 100 first class games together; if they dont understand each other now they never will!

      audi.quattro - 2011-09-15 00:19

      I agree with you, all in all PdV is starting to make some good decisions as to who should start

      scipio - 2011-09-15 07:36

      Lambie prefers 10. Morne and FdP don't need gel time. Clearly your Rugby knowledge isn't up to par, not even comparable to that of PdV's.

  • Rob Jones - 2011-09-15 00:11

    But can they run hard tackle hard ,and do they have the skills?

      Really - 2011-09-15 00:30

      Nope. Fiji is going to teach them skills lesson 101.

      RandomDude - 2011-09-15 02:09

      Yes they can , yes they can and yes they do .

      BlueRaven - 2011-09-15 07:34

      Rob after reading your pathetic comments about SA and the Bokke on the previous article I have to say you seem a bit worried there Rob. Understandable really. Great for you that the AB's are ranked no 1. You know this is not the Tri-Nations where the team with the most points in the end gets the trophy. This is the world cup, it works a bit different, here there is play-off's. You know, quarter finals, semi finals and finals. In the world cup, the toughest tournament in world rugby you need BMT, something your team lacks. But you know this don't you? 24 years just waiting for the chance.. Lol The AB's won't get their hands on Webb Ellis.. The most sought after trophy in world rugby. You know the one we won twice and are currently defending.. The Springboks defending World Champions.. Wow! Really has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? I suppose I would also be a little GREEN if I were you :)

  • Really - 2011-09-15 00:26

    Fiji by 9.

      BlueRaven - 2011-09-15 09:01

      If you say so...

  • slg - 2011-09-15 00:50

    We have the names. It's the coaching and conditioning that are sorely missed.

  • ŸÄ±Kleinboet - 2011-09-15 02:02

    Dit lyk al beter Diffie! Jaag nou net vir Schalk en JF weg dan het ons 'n kans!

      Lance - 2011-09-15 12:28

      Who could he be reffering to with "JF" ? Jacque Fourie is a world-class backline star. "Somebody here" clearly has Provincialism issues at this stage of an awesome international tournament...

  • Ozman - 2011-09-15 02:28


  • david.sportsman - 2011-09-15 02:59

    Anybody that says that our toughest and best loose forward, Schalk, should not play, do not know much about rugby? Sorry - enough said...

      ŸÄ±Kleinboet - 2011-09-15 03:36

      @david.sportsman You wanted to say slowest and thickest. Toughest my ass

      Bruce Dundee - 2011-09-15 04:48

      A Kuala is more intellegent.

      Chris in Oz - 2011-09-15 05:03

      @David. So true. Oposition teams first look if Schalk is included. If not they are much more relaxed.

      Kleinboet - 2011-09-15 05:22

      @bruce dundee Waaayyy more! I think a warthog too

      Wynand - 2011-09-15 10:03

      @Bruce. Talk about dumb, just look at Wooddick, Mealamu and Nonu!!!! Schalk will break your "enforcer" Thorne in two!

  • Ericthe - 2011-09-15 03:24

    These bokke are a bunch of losers, show me another team that is more padded. Are they scared of getting hurt, shame. I thought South African rugby players were men! It's no wonder they have become third rate amateurs!

      Hannes van der Linde - 2011-09-15 08:20

      Gaan soek aandag by jou ma poepol!

      int1m1d4t0r - 2011-09-15 10:10

      Are you serious??? Jealous makes you a p03s

      Muller - 2011-09-15 10:47


  • Bok-USA - 2011-09-15 03:36

    I know I lag 9hrs behind with my comments, but reading Snorre's reasoning makes me laugh. What a plonker! He will eventualycome up with some reaon why Bissmarck, Hougard, Alberts should be starting.

      Lance - 2011-09-15 12:47

      I think that trio will materialse when we are out of the knock-out stages. Save the best for last...

  • Kleinboet - 2011-09-15 03:44

    Dankie tog!!! Pateet Jean de Villers uit die span, nou begin dinge goed lyk. Raak net van Schalk en JF ontslae en ons (die Bulle meestal soos ons almal weet en mee saamstem) wen die WC.

      Jacques - 2011-09-15 09:02

      Kleinboet, jy moet ophou skool bank en van die rekenaar af klim voordat jou ma jou vang.

      Lance - 2011-09-15 12:53

      ...while we are all rooting for the Boks, Kleinboet is fantasising about the make up of his dream Bulls team.....

  • Rezo - 2011-09-15 03:52

    Rugby is a good game. Love this game.

  • Kleinboet - 2011-09-15 03:58

    Ek like dit dat daar 7 Bulls (of is dit 8) in die 22-tal is en slegs 3 van die WP. Sal dit nie wonderlik wees as die Bulle 'n verdere trofee, die Worldcup, in hul enorme impressive trofeekas kan bere nie. But then again, die Bulle het reeds die 2007 WC gewen

      Wormtongue - 2011-09-15 06:41

      Kleinbrein wat maak dit tog saak - SA se grense loop baie wyer as Pretoria. Hoekom is hier so baie kinderlikes op hierdie blog?

      luthando mbalo - 2011-09-15 08:43

      kLEINBOET, TRUE TRUE majority Of the Sprongboks made up of BULLS players. But lets look at Bulls SUPER rugby 2011 and CUrrie Cup 2011 and compare this with SPringboks Performance 2011 and u see why the National Team is performing so dismally. Springboks Front Row should be made up of a combination of SHarks and Cheetahs playerz with Locks Bakkies and Matfield and bring back Andries, loose forwards from F.Louw - S. Burger - H. Brussow - Alberts - Deysel and maybe Spies. and Defence largely WP centre pairings with Aplon at Fullback. Blue BUlls Rugby is dead rugby now, the game has evolved so lets not let our Darling Springboks die Along with the Pretoria Union.

  • Mike77 - 2011-09-15 04:28

    Lambie will have to prove himself...

  • Chris - 2011-09-15 06:04

    Pitty we put all emphasis on Steyn and ignore the reel problems, like of players that had lost form John Smit, Fourie du Preez and Pierre Spies seems the coach is reluctant to do anything about them they not going to get better, their time had past.

      Boks always - 2011-09-15 09:19

      Fourie needs as much game time as possible. Come the playoffs he needs to be back on form. Pierre Spies played one of his best games against All Blacks and now after a subdued performance against Wales where the pack was struggling without Bakkies and Bismarck everybody wants him out. He is till our best solution on No 8 as he is the only specialist classic no 8. The others are no 7 forced into no 8. John Smit should step back, fake an injury or something, Bismarck is a must for the starting line-up

  • Andre - 2011-09-15 06:07

    Time to get over it and support your team irrespective of the racial mix. Go Bokke!

      Really - 2011-09-15 06:45

      Go Fiji go!

  • BobbyM - 2011-09-15 06:21

    Why Ndugane ahead of Hougaard? Hougaard just offers so much more in both defence and attack

      Lance - 2011-09-15 12:39

      But when Hougaard comes on in the final 20 he is dare I say 'untouchable' in terms of speed and side-step when everyone most players are tiring.

  • RugbyBoychie - 2011-09-15 06:38

    I like the look of this side, taking into consideration our injuries. Will be good to give Lambo a go at the back, and Fransie should do some damage in the midfield. Morne could be under pressure in his channel, his defense so far has been very average. No back up with Butch on the bench....should be interesting. Boks by 17

  • betterness - 2011-09-15 06:44

    With the exception of Ruan Pienaar, methinks we should have STARTED with the bench! Too much of players playing out of position for me. Hey Div, this is not a friendly to get experimental bro...

  • Jon JJ - 2011-09-15 07:03

    Peter de Villiers is a serious fool...

  • Rwethereyet - 2011-09-15 07:16

    JP Pietersen should not have been at the world cup. He can't tackle anymore and is useless on attack, Mvovo would have been a better choice, especially with the big hitters we will face in Samoa and Fiji.

  • BadBoy79 - 2011-09-15 07:37

    Bakkies Botha is my hero, but if he is not ready to play he should not be played. I would rather see him in the team playing and beating all the other teams without injury, than to see him play this weekend and then missing out on the rest of the RWC due to aggravated injury!!

  • RORY LITCHFIELD - 2011-09-15 07:48

    how can muller make the bench if he is not fit enough to start? what if i he needs to come on a s a replacement after 5 minutes? I smell a rat

  • Cary - 2011-09-15 08:08

    Go Bokke!!! My blood is Green....

  • Greegs - 2011-09-15 08:16

    I dont like Frans at 12 and would start with De Jong with Frans on bench. Smit for Bizzie and Alberts for Spies.....

      Jacques Ackermann - 2011-09-15 10:48

      mate good lick with choosing de jongh in one of the toughest defence channels in the world. a 80 odd kg natural line runner to defend against 110 -130 kg islanders ??? de jongh is a more natural 13. the only reason why he was shifted to 12 is because of fourie. juan just made a very decent job of it at the stormers. franna is a way better option and he plays all his rugby at 12 for metro. the best decision peter could have made to be honest. de jongh should be at 13. his quick running and side stepping can be used to greater effect there. at 12 ??? i am sorry not at this level.

  • The Goose - 2011-09-15 08:46

    Butch James injured? Since when?

      Boks always - 2011-09-15 08:54

      Most probably he injured himself kicking the no5 from Wales on the torso while on the floor. He shoiuld have received a suspension for this and it could have costed us the game if he was seen by the match officials

  • Daisy - 2011-09-15 09:31

    If they have to play smit for his captaincy then I would play Bismark at 2 & smit at 8 because if u watched the game on Sunday & trust me I watched it twice & believe me when I say that Spies was absolutely useless. Spies is the week link people.

  • HM - 2011-09-15 11:36

    We need good impact players we definitely have one of the best of the bench players in the world cup. John Smit is still a very good captain we need his leadership for Fiji as I don't think Schalk Burger is a good captain. Let me put my money where my mouth is I think John I going to have a good game and how lekker to know if he gets replaced after 50 minutes we have one of the best impact players in the world Bishmarck

  • StangV2_0 - 2011-09-17 06:18

    Oh F Steyn... I have been saying it for ages and ages and ages and.. u get the point.. WE NEED F STEYN.... Take your mind back a few months and you will remember all the stereotype chit chat about how fat and bad a player F Steyn was. All those fools did was complain about how useless he is and we dont have a place for min in our team.. So what you chops say now? F Steyn is possibly our biggest weapon.. possibly... And as for SBW, he's offloads and 2 tries against japan... my fu*&ing jack russel could have done that....!! i wish this Fiji clash was instead NZ and we could toast a beer while Steyn cuts SBW in half with his tackles...!!

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