Fittest team will win the RWC

2011-09-19 12:29

Cape Town - In the wake of the Springboks scintillating performance against Fiji, Bok utility back, Francois Steyn has blasted critics for calling the team "too old".

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“How can we be too old? We played a big game tonight and Danie Rossouw as Man of the Match and he is 33. It is not about age, it is about how fit you are. The fittest team will win the World Cup,” he told Monday’s Cape Times.

He proved to be a handful for the islanders and set up numerous opportunities for the backline to flourish and show their critics that they can indeed run the ball and ‘play rugby’.

Steyn, who plays at centre for his club side, Racing Metro, admitted that he almost forgot how intense playing at 12 is at Test level after last playing in that role for the Boks in 2007.

“It was good to be back in my old position, but Jean (de Villiers) will recover and we will have to see what happens. I had forgotten how much more in the action at 12.

"It was a pleasant surprise. I’m not sure if I am a centre or a fullback. I see I am listed everywhere as a utility back, so I guess that is what I am, whatever it means!”

With Steyn moving to fill De Villiers’ place, it meant that Patrick Lambie made his RWC debut for the Boks at fullback and received his fair bit of praise from the man he was replacing.

“I am backing Patrick, not only because I was once where he is now (Steyn was also 20 in his first RWC in 2007), but because I think he is a brilliant player. In the change-room I congratulated him on a very good performance. I though he was excellent in how he kept the ball secure when we went wide.

“And he can tackle! For his small body, he makes some cracking tackles. He flipping kills some of the big okes. No, listen, I love Patrick Lambie.”

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  • Zip23 - 2011-09-19 12:33

    And we love all the boks, and Snorre, just not sure about Dick...

      Bootman - 2011-09-19 14:32

      JK loves Dick

      roboman1 - 2011-09-19 14:38

      and keep Steyn at 12 and Lambie at 15, these are their best positions. But sjoe, Ruan Pienaar has lost it, he was atrocious behind the scrum there.

      Dillon Peyper - 2011-09-19 14:48

      Since steyn left sa and started playing for Racing Metro he did what i expected hi to do and has matured into a great rugby player! never liked him but he grew up! max respect!

      jk - 2011-09-19 15:35

      bootman- french paloni...

      AMS-Dammer - 2011-09-19 15:56

      Bootman... jk LURVES FRENCH DICK...

  • spiderkzn - 2011-09-19 12:38

    Go bok! no matter how old!

      Mike@CapeT - 2011-09-19 13:26

      The Boks played very well on doubt about that! The trick is, to play well in every game and then, yes, I would suggest that they do have every chance of retaining the cup. However, more often than not, aging teams find it difficult to keep up the pace, match after match. This Bok team needs to prove me wrong......hopefully, they will!

  • GHT - 2011-09-19 12:42

    Lambie can stay at fullback with Frans keeping the 12 jersey for the rest of the Tournament. My WP boy JDV unfortunately has to sit out (whether it is on the bench or in the staduim)

      Avi27 - 2011-09-19 12:48

      Fully agree. Our midfield looks world class with Frans and J.F. JdV form of late is not great and no time to play him into form. The class of 2007 with a mixture of rising stars (Brussow, Bismark, Hougard, Alberts and Lambie) is the right way to go,. If we get our selection and balance between youth and experience right I don't see any team that going to stop us. The road ahead going to be tough Aus followed by NZ in the semis but I have faith in the boys.

      GHT - 2011-09-19 13:23

      Everybody just assumes that we will play Australia in the quaters and NZ in the Semi's. Aus in the Semi's are almost carved in stone, but we might very well play France in the semi's if the Kiwi's return to old habits and drop the ball against the woeful French.

      GHT - 2011-09-19 13:28

      **I meant Aus in the quaters...

      jase880 - 2011-09-19 15:07

      How about keeping Steyn at centre and putting JDV at right wing and JP Peterson on the bench to cover for wing and fullback? JDV used to play at right wing, and although JP had a good game I don't think he's a game-maker whereas JDV, when he's on form, is amazing.

      SonderSnor - 2011-09-19 15:29

      Agree. We would never have won the WC in 2007 if De Villiers played. Frans brings a lot more flair and unpredictability to the backline.

      Grant - 2011-09-19 17:10

      @Jase - we've played JDV at wing before, and he was a major let-down in that position. They guy has been so unlucky with World Cup injuries, and has given so much for the Boks that I really feel bad for him... but right now, I'd think Steyn offers more at centre than Jean does...

  • BlueRaven - 2011-09-19 12:43

    Personally I prefer Steyn at number 12 to De Villiers. Jean De Villiers in my opinion is over rated. Lambie was solid at 15.

      Mike@CapeT - 2011-09-19 13:56

      Steyn played very well and was one of the stars of the match however, the question has to be, will he be as effective against one of the top tier teams and, would JdV not also have impressed against the Fijians. It was a game that was also ideally suited to JdV style of play....and there can be no doubting his class! But let us not take anything away from Steyn, he is a bloody good centre and seems to be in top form at the moment....contrary to the form he was displaying a couple of months ago.

      BlueRaven - 2011-09-19 14:09

      Opinions differ, in my opinion Frans Steyn is a MUCH better inside centre than JDV.

      Mike@CapeT - 2011-09-19 14:45

      I respect your opinion....time will tell!

      kosie - 2011-09-19 14:50

      @mike: no JDV would have crashed ball every time he gets the ball

      Mike@CapeT - 2011-09-19 15:34

      @kosie....amazing how he tends to find the gaps when he is playing for the Stormers or WP. Is it not the game plan that is asked of him when he is playing for the Boks? Is it the lack of time that his flyhalf gives him when he is playing for the Boks? As I said earlier, the Fijian game would have probably suited him as well!

      Martin - 2011-09-19 18:37

      Agree, Steyn's defence is solid, creates space and more importantly stays in the defensive line unlike JDV who puts presure on the rest of the boys when he goes looking for the intercept. Lambie was class, tackles like a demon competes in the air and looks dangerous when joining on the offensive.

  • Gomez - 2011-09-19 12:43

    How was that game against Fiji for starting to peak at the right time?

  • Anneleen - 2011-09-19 12:47

    Bokke...forever young!!! Old vs young..., ...look what happened this weekend between Ireland (oldest team) and Australia (youngest team)... ...BOKKE forever!!!

      Drewka - 2011-09-19 13:19

      One can't buy experience hey Anneleen??.... like the Ozzies found out on Saturday. The Boks are on track, and the momentum will carry them into the final.... Go BOKKE!!!

      Anneleen - 2011-09-19 13:32 that is good to read! We're on the right track and Boks are the hunters!!!

      SonderSnor - 2011-09-19 15:25

      Don'n be fooled by that game. Auz threw it as they would rather face SA than NZ in Nz.

      Anneleen - 2011-09-19 15:38 not worry, neither the Boks, nor their supporters are fooled at all...i am just mightily happy for Ireland as they went on to show: "oud, maar nog nie koud"...the Aussies are most certainly hurting a lot at this moment, which makes them extremely dangerous...but i stand by the Boks...until the end...

      Grant - 2011-09-19 17:15

      @Sondor - how do you figure that one? As it stands, Aus will have to play Boks in the quarters, AND then NZ in the Semis before even reaching the final. Had they won, they would only have had to play one of the two teams...and only in the Final.

  • battle4truth - 2011-09-19 12:52

    Who will we play in the quarters if we end 2nd on the pool log? Would a SA vs Aus encounter be avoided? If we do avoid the clash then loosing to Samoa is not a bad idea???

      TheSteve - 2011-09-19 13:06

      Never Lose, play what comes and have faith in our team.

      battle4truth - 2011-09-19 13:15

      someone with brains would like to answer my question? Who will we play in the quarters if we end 2nd on the pool log? real simple right

      El Nicko - 2011-09-19 13:29

      most likely Ireland , but as TheSteve said , we shouldn't throw the Samoa game. We have experience of playing the Aussies. However Nick Mallet and Italy could do us all a favour and beat Ireland - thus once again the Boks will play Ireland in the quarters - but we shall see , im sure there will be a few more surprises in store

      NiklaasSnr - 2011-09-19 13:30

      Ireland, most likely.

      whazai - 2011-09-19 13:31

      If we loose to Samoa, we could end up 3rd in our pool. if Somoa and Wales win their matches with bonus points.

      Colin Klinkert - 2011-09-19 13:32

      We would play Ireland, and then another team in the semi (not NZ) so if we finish 2nd we would skip both Aus and NZ until the final, with an easier road we could lift for the big one! I am NOT saying throw the game, that is the wrong attitude and we should aim to win right through... BUT, if we rest out main players and give the fringe a run against Samoa and we some how lose, we will have a rested main team, and an easier road to the final..

      battle4truth - 2011-09-19 13:32

      #El Nicko, thanks

      QuadroSkept - 2011-09-19 13:41

      Nice B4T, Implying that TheSteve has no brains when you too stupid to work out the log for yourself. It's a 15 second exercise. B4T is an afkorten of battle4truth. I'm just assuming you couldn't work that out either.

      DeonL - 2011-09-19 13:45

      Winning becomes a habit, so is losing ask the battling Bulls. Rather win 7 games in the world cup then you are the true champs.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-09-19 13:50

      That would be cheating mate, and I for one would lose all respect for the Boks should that happen. Yes, it sounds very cherry pie with cream, but it's just plain wrong - end of. You play the best to be the best. AND: anyone thinking that the Northern Hemisphere teams have just come to the WC to make up the numbers is on cheap home brewed crack. Who is to say Ireland couldn't dump our forwards with another GERT SMAL inspired performance like the one against Aus? Do we really believe we just have to pitch up to beat England and France? Sorry mate - we are not giving enough respect to the Northern Hemisphere teams here.... The road ahead is tough, whatever side of the draw we are on - so lets just go out to win - simple.

      Pooh-Bear - 2011-09-19 13:51

      And lose momentum and confidence? Crazy talk! I'd rather play a demoralized Wallaby team than a rising, confident Irish one!

      pants - 2011-09-19 14:06

      I'm somewhat the history of the RWC, every team that has lifted the William Webb-Ellis trophy has never lost any of their pool games! I really hope that we do not throw the Samoa game and continue through to beat Aus in the quarters and then NZ in the semi's. We will be the undisputed champions this time around, not like in 2007, when every Aussie and Kiwi whinged after we won that we had the easy road to the final.

      Jonathan - 2011-09-19 14:31

      OUr log is more cmplex than it may appear... Long story short; losing to Samoa may cost us the World Cup as we may go out of the tournament all together then. Wlaes shold get 10 pts from their last two games putting them on 15; Samoa should get 5 from Fiji... putting them on 11 and we should get 5 from Namibia puttin us on 14. If we lsoe to Samoa without any points from it then they'll have 15 Wales 15 and us 14. That says its too damn risky and shouldn't even think that way. ALso no team has ever won the World Cup after losing a pool match...!

      Jaco - 2011-09-19 15:09

      SAFFA - good comment as always. We have to approach the potential North and South split knock-outs from a different angle. For the last 4 years everybody in the world is saying we got lucky in 2007. And to be fair, beating Fiji, Argentina and England to win the world cup, doesn't read too lekker. This year we have the chance to stop no's 1 and 2 on our way to the final... with old diesel engines who will have warmed up just nicely for the knock-outs.

      Grant - 2011-09-19 17:19

      If we finish second in our pool, we would most likely play Ireland in the quarters, and then England or France in the Semis... would make for a much easier run-up to the final than having to play Aus in the quarters and NZ in the Semis (although if we played the 2 big games in quarters and semis, the final would be easier :P )

      Louis - 2011-09-20 02:41

      Why do you need someone to answer your question? Go check the log and fixtures for yourself. Maybe you're the one with no brains.

  • The Goose - 2011-09-19 12:56

    I love Lambie too!!!!!!

  • Ohmikehunt - 2011-09-19 13:10

    Well if it's about fitness, it's yet another reason why the aging Bokke won't get past the quarters.

      Peaceful - 2011-09-19 13:14

      Don't you have a table tennis competition to comment on? What a breathe of fresh air you are Ohmikehunt !

      BlueRaven - 2011-09-19 13:16

      Ohmikehunt don't you worry about the Bokke, rather worry about your own team making it to the final.

      Dros - 2011-09-19 13:26

      you're a kehunt

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-09-19 13:53

      Mike - I am going to start posting "Thoughts for the day" on here......just to make you smile..because damn, you are one pessimistic poephol.

      Mike@CapeT - 2011-09-19 15:13

      Saffa, if it is me your comment is directed at, no, I am not pessimistic, but I like to keep a check on reality and not get carried away with the hype. The Boks have not done too much to impress me these last couple of years. To predict them as world beaters, now that they have beaten Fiji is not sensible at all. Of course I hope I am wrong but, we need to keep our feet on the ground and not get carried away otherwise we will find ourselves on our backsides. Of course the Fiji win was fantastic and, the more we perform to that standard, the happier I will be.....but the Welsh win was bloody awful and we don't need more performances like that. Let's keep real should we and hope for a consistently good performance.

      Ohmikehunt - 2011-09-19 15:13

      Nope @SAFFA-CAT - just a realist :P

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-09-19 15:17

      No Mike@Ct - NOT YOU! lol. It's for the oh my khunt chap above :) Ohmikehunt....he is a ray of sunshine in terms of the Boks.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-09-19 15:21

      @Ohmikehunt - I respect your opinion mate, would love to prove you wrong though :) @MikeCT - too many Mikes around at the moment :)

      Mike@CapeT - 2011-09-19 15:48

      Saffa...LOL... it was only after reading all the comments directly above that I realised who you were directing your comment at.....yes, too many Mike's LOL.

      Ohmikehunt - 2011-09-19 21:14

      Sure there are too many Mike's @Mike@CapeT, but there is only 1 HUNT :P

  • Pooh-Bear - 2011-09-19 13:27

    Good to see the love going around! Must be an honour even for Lambie to hear that from Frans!! Great for team unity as well

  • jk - 2011-09-19 13:57

    au le conuire, a le mode le francais...8...

      BlueRaven - 2011-09-19 14:03

      vous êtes stupide.

      jk - 2011-09-19 14:11

      het oor jou gepraat raven!!clown...

      BlueRaven - 2011-09-19 14:28

      jk is "conuire" even a French word? lol! No you did not clown :) What you tried to say was "to lead is the French way"??? The correct spelling "au le conduire, a le mode le francais...8.."

      jk - 2011-09-19 14:39

      raven- thank you... the Apple is clueless...

      BlueRaven - 2011-09-19 15:19

      My pleasure jk :) Springboks to be the first team to win the RWC back to back. Go Bokke!

      jk - 2011-09-19 15:34

      RAVEN- your mad comments gets worse...c'mon, are we really gonna win it...? i think we gonna have a new winner...

      BlueRaven - 2011-09-19 16:19

      Yes jk we are... The Bokke will be the first team to successfully defend their title. They are peaking at the right time, Oz and the All Blacks folds under pressure, so I don't mind playing them in the QF and SF or even the finals. The Springboks are a very tough team to play in the final. They are very good at the set pieces, they showed against Fiji that they can score tries, they have very good kickers in the side, their defence is superb, but most of all they have BMT.

  • HJS - 2011-09-19 14:06

    I realy see no reason to complain. If it is possible to replace a BIG player like Victor with someone who sort of plays "out of position" and even before half time has already put in a "man of the match" performance, I think we are very lucky to have such depth. Well done Danie. What I am still very worried about is the way that Fourie fumbles so often, other problem is without Victor, when John goes off the ship has no rudder. What was it with Ruaan when he came on? Seems no one explained to him that his role also included trying to pick up the ball when it comes out the scrum!!!! Not so sure we can afford to bring him on in that position again. Rather Francois to take over there.

      Dros - 2011-09-19 14:20

      both occassions Ruaan was not in control which cost us unneccessary pressure - we cannot afford that kind of pressure in tight games.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-09-19 14:36

      Chaps I don't know why Pienaar is in the squad, never mind taking to the field.

      jk - 2011-09-19 15:15

      same for aplon...

  • Jacques Ackermann - 2011-09-19 14:37

    franna needs to keep his 12 jumper. much respect to JDV for all the years of great service but i cant see him taking the 12 jumper off from franna after saterday's performance. old lambie played out of his skin to so i really do think old PDV and co got the mix right in the backline. the quality of ball that was given to our outside backs was really up there with the best. JP and fourie looked like different players.

  • dommie - 2011-09-19 14:40

    who cares what he thinks

  • Sly Bacon - 2011-09-19 14:58

    All the Boks put up their hands against Fiji except FdP........ever since returning from injury he is not the player he used to my view he has not improved since Wales and must be moved to the bench for Francois Hougaard to start..... FH ignites the side, has a fast service and knows FS well.... I have never been a fan of Ruan Pienaar and now you can see why.........he had no clue what he was doing.......what a chop. I would seriously consider JdV on the wing and leave FS at inside centre.......Thursday is the last chance the coach has to experiment........just a last thought......Lambie must stay fullback........he is solid on defence and attack and as we saw can float in and out of the flyhalf position.....we need Butch back on the bench asap......what do you all think out there ?????

  • Elize - 2011-09-19 15:06

    @ dommie - who cares what you think! do you even know who Frans Steyn aka Loodpoot is?

      jk - 2011-09-19 15:37

      elize- wat weet jy elk geval van wp rugby af???

  • wozlocksley - 2011-09-19 16:33

    the boks will not lose to samoa - end of story. samoa will go down by at least 20 points. boks were underdone prior to international season. bok a - team dominated against aussie for 60 mins before running out of gas due to lack of match practice. we then beat the kiwis in the following game. did i hear all black B team? that was an all black front row guys - franks was there, woodcock was there, mealamu was there. not to mention ali williams and adam thompson who are regular starters now. ab scrum got demolished. have a look at the backs. most of the backs that played for the abs in that game have been their starters throughout the world cup so far. admittedly, they were without key players ie. mc caw, carter, read and thorn, but im not convinced they would have made the difference on the day. wales played above themselves, boks were dire and we still won. my point: boks were underdone and in need of game time. the match against fiji was a turning point for us. we are on the up - no question. come the playoffs, we will be spitting fire. bring on whoever. i have an extremely healthy respect for the all blacks - more so than any other team besides the boks. aus are woeful when playing in nz. the boks will play the abs in the semis. 80 mins of knockout rugby, i back us against any team on the planet. no - one does it better than the boks. it will be an absolute cracker! my money says the winner of that game, wins the cup.

      Mike@CapeT - 2011-09-19 20:32

      I like your confidence....hope it doesn't come to bite us in the backside.

  • BigRed - 2011-09-19 22:38

    Wales are the fittest team at the RWC but most of them are just babies. Average age is at least 5 to 7 years younger than any other team. The average age of the three loose forwards against the Boks was just 21. Therefore, I hope Francois Steyn is right when he says that the fittest team will win the RWC.

  • BigRed - 2011-09-19 22:49

    [quote]wozlocksley wrote: wales played above themselves, boks were dire and we still won.[/quote] Wales are the youngest team in the tournament and the fittest. They had over 60% of the game against the Boks and are going to improve as the tournament progresses. Don't write them off too soon. In their last four games they have won three (England, Argentine and Samoa) and lost one by one point against the Boks.

  • Clark Kent - 2011-09-20 00:59

    Wont be the Boks in that case there are to many overweight and Slow Bokkes in the team

  • Streuth - 2011-09-20 02:33

    As a Wallaby fan I think both sides of the draw are tough. The Boks should keep up the momentum as nothing is more valuable than a winning habit in these tournaments. The tri-nations teams might be relieved at playing eachother rather than the 'unknown' northern teams who can cause upset on their day. That said, we lost Moore and Pocock plus poor game management by Cooper cost us. If we'd had Brussow and Bismark against Ireland we wouldve won! haha

  • wayne.nkuna - 2011-09-20 08:36

    from a very reliable source ...................france will win the world cup by 8 points

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