Matfield set to skipper Boks

2011-09-24 08:30

Taupo - Springbok coach Peter de Villiers has confirmed that lock Victor Matfield will captain South Africa for the first time in a Rugby World Cup match when the title holders face Samoa next week.

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De Villiers said on Saturday that Matfield, who missed their last two games against Fiji and Namibia because of a hamstring injury, was fit to play.

Matfield, who has led the Blue Bulls to three Super Rugby titles, was set to take the leadership role from regular skipper John Smit, who would be replaced at hooker by Bismarck du Plessis.

"We need to give him [Du Plessis] that valuable start so that he can, in his mind, also feel comfortable, and John needs to rest," De Villiers said.

"John had a tough time now and he is like [the] Duracell [bunny] at the moment - he just keeps on going.

"Not that he squeals, but I have to manage him too."

The Bok coach hinted that he would ring the changes after the defending champions secured their third straight win in the competition with an 87-0 victory over Namibia on Thursday.

"We will know after today (Saturday) who is going to start because what Samoa brings can cause us to make some changes," he said.

Du Plessis has been a pillar of strength in the national setup, bringing a physical presence to the team, and De Villiers said some of his other heavies would also be let loose against the Samoans.


  • namibia24 - 2011-09-24 08:48

    Very Good decision Div!! very good, train them hard this coming week and lets sort Samoa out then AUS and the AB's ad on to the Finals!!!!!!!!!! The Boks can do it!!!!

      Renny Meere - 2011-09-24 09:37

      I think we should lose this match, our chances of beating the Aussies & the All Blacks are slim. I know this is unsportmanship like but I'll rather let them fight it out & be guaranteed a place in the final.

      Lance - 2011-09-24 11:44

      @ Renny..Before the RWC I might have agreed with you, but fear not..the Boks are improving game after game. FSteyn has turned our backline into an attacking machine. Our confidence, ball skills, defense and physical dominance is something we can all be very proud of. We can beat Aus and NZ, will be close though...and once again, the Boks thrive in the last 10 minutes when the 110% is needed..

      BlueRaven - 2011-09-24 13:14

      Renny very very bad sportmanship indeed! If you want to be the World Champions you have to beat the team in front of you, no matter who they are! Where is your pride? It is the WORLD CUP! GO BOKKE!

      Frans Smith - 2011-09-24 14:25

      I agree 100% with Lance - Francois Steyn's stint in France has developed him into a more complete player, a player that can not just take the ball up but can offload and distribute when neccessary - he was a bit one-dimensional before that (even selfish at times). Suddenly it looks like we can scrore..and we did. Francois can also strike from 55m out and it puts pressure on the opposition. Thye cant afford to give away penalties. Habana's form is still unconvincing as well as John Smit's. I prefer Bismarc and Hougaard scores just about in every game. He knows how to sniff a try. I think the Aussies have problems (injuries and no depth to replace those injured). Their front row is now vulnerable. Cooper is not having a good world cup. I think the team to beat remains the AB'S.

  • Bluffbandit - 2011-09-24 08:49

    Lets see the difference this makes come Samoa time.. its what the majority of the Anti Smit supporters wanted..

  • Ohmikehunt - 2011-09-24 08:57

    In the words of Shania Twain I must say "That don't impress me much!" Hehehe people who know the song won't be able to get it out of their heads now :P But seriously, I don't think that Matfield has what it takes to captain this side and there are other candidates who are far more capable. It's a great pity that Jean de Villiers is injured, as he is a natural leader and is able to get the most out of the TEAM when things are not going well. Failing him, there is also Schalk Burger who brought us over the line against Wales when the chips were really down. Du Preez also seems like a player who could do a good job in pressure situations. Anyhow - "That don't impress me much... So you got the moves but have you got the touch... lalalala"

      roboman1 - 2011-09-24 09:12

      Schalk is a great player, but not a skipper, check the WP Stormers trophy cabinet, rest Smit for one game, then bring him back.

      Louis - 2011-09-24 09:14

      geez its not often that I disagree with everything someone says...I'll only mention one thing though- in the last world cup when JDV got injured I told my friends its a blessing in disguise...its happened again...I honestly like the guy and think he's an above average player but when he's there for the boks nothing ever happens...nough said

      FM150 - 2011-09-24 09:14

      Dont know what games youve been watching but havnt you noticed the forward momentum actualy being made by our backline for the first time in years thanx to a switch in an inside centre. JdV was always in my mind one dimensional in his game, Whats the use of a crashball in the midfield when the next three moves always seems to be either more crashballs or kicking, and not actualy using the space on the outside, supposed to have been created by the crashball in the first place! Frans seems to spot the space, which gives the wings oppertunity, coupled with his offloading abalities and JF on the outside, we actually have an realy potent Team cabable of winning the World Cup in real style for a second term!

      Ohmikehunt - 2011-09-24 09:16

      It's easy to win trophies with the right resources @roboman1, so the argument is totally irrelevant. Players like de Villiers and Burger know how to bring the best out of the team when the chips are down. On the other hand, I have seen Matfield disappear into the woodwork when the same has happened in teams led by him.

      Ohmikehunt - 2011-09-24 09:37

      @FM150 - 2 games against a Fijian side that is a pale shadow of the team that played in the last WC and Namibia and yes Steyn looked good but what has he done recently against TOP teams in that position? Anyhow you are obviously not a Jdv fan so it would be futile for me to explain my take on what he brings to the side. Jdv and Fourie are the same to me as Oosthuizen and Whipp were in their era and in my view are the best combination at centre.

      steve - 2011-09-24 11:39

      I hate you for putting that song in my head!!

      Mark Bowler - 2011-09-24 13:06

      I was a JdV fan too, but he has become totally ineffective. Steyn has brought a new attacking dimension to the backline. Additionally, his defence is far superior to JdV, so poor Jean's misfortune has become our gain. But seriously, Schalk as skipper? Got the moves but hasn't got the touch, to quote Shania. Leave the WP provincialism out of Bok rugby - we want the World Cup for the country.

      BlueRaven - 2011-09-24 13:30

      Mike a Stormers fan perhabs? Tststs Go Victor! Go Bokke!

      Andy49 - 2011-09-24 13:40

      @Ohmikehunt does it still hurt, by the look on your face it certainly does.

      RandomDude - 2011-09-25 09:28

      "Players like de Villiers and Burger know how to bring the best out of the team when the chips are down" .. why do you say that ?.. Burger I can say mmnnm maybe, since he's captain of the Stormers, but JdV ?

  • Theo - 2011-09-24 09:02

    Please Bismarck a lot of fans have been rooting for you to play a full 80mins don't let us down, play your heart out , we know you can do it.

      Lance - 2011-09-24 11:47

      Thats a first, somebody that doubts Bismarck's ability..

  • roboman1 - 2011-09-24 09:14

    Bring back Smit asap, rest him for one game only. Our secret weapon has been our impact strength through Bismarck and Hougaardt, do not mess with a winning recipe

  • Gary - 2011-09-24 09:18

    At last!! No smit!!!! Now South Africa can show the world what we are really made of. Although, I do share the semtiments of millions that Victor is not the man to captain the Bokke. And hooray for finally putting Bismark in the team. He is way better than ego John.

      muti - 2011-09-24 09:52

      Have you actually seen any of the games so far? Smit has improved with every game and is getting back to his best. The team needs him, not only for his leadership qualities but he gives momentum in the pack, especially when we're up against a pack of heavies. He is the best captain this country has ever had and you, knucklehead, talks about his "ego'?? You seem to be drowned in your warped assessment of Smit and the stuck record cannot get out of the groove. Smit will play your mouth shut in the coming games and I trust you will have the grace to admit it when this WC is over. I urge you to rather support ALL our boys - they just want to play and do the best for their country and silly/dumb remarks like yours is unnecessarily negative.

      Theo - 2011-09-24 11:21

      Muti, Smit getting better rubbish he is so slow , he is always out of position, but the proof in the pudding will be when Bismark plays a full 80mins , so let us see what happens.

      RandomDude - 2011-09-25 09:53

      Sorry muti but one of the AB supporters nailed it when he said that the ABs play better with their captain on the field and the boks play better with their captain off the field ... don't hate the messenger. So much for leading when you're the first to be replaced when the team is in trouble. I'd imagine that's when you need leadership the most . The leader needs to be in the game the full 80 ( unless it's an easy victory ) . I never see RmC being replaced by an impact player , he's there leading the team the full 80 . This whole Smit thing smacks of nepotism. Smit is NOT world class anymore. Smit is there and Schalk Brits , one of the best Rugby players in the world , is not even in the team . Plz spare me the support the team line.. I'm a Rugby fan not a cheerleader and this is a rugby discussion not the cheering section for the SBs.

  • ChrisW - 2011-09-24 09:31

    Good practice for the final?

  • Roy - 2011-09-24 10:06

    Another walking crock who is way past his "sell by date" and should not have been sent to the RWC. Watch him how he just stays on the fringes of mauls etc so that he is not hurt.

  • BlueSilver - 2011-09-24 10:25

    Go Victor, GO BOKKE!!!

  • FM150 - 2011-09-24 11:11

    @ohmikehunt, true and i knew you were going to bring that up, but the fact remained, they kept to a structure which wil win big games, They beat Fiji at there own game, and by a mile. Namibia was irrelevant i know but you just can not get away from the fact that the backline could not score one try in the tri nations aswell as the Stormers being in the buttom half of the amount of try's scored during the super15! And let me shater this fairytale perseption you have of JdV, when last did you see him 1)score a try and 2)create one for JF? Anyway, im not saying his a bad player, Frans just proved he deserves a chance agains a big Union at inside! Note, JdV does seem to be one of few understanding the principle of channel defending wich is a big plus, and reflected in the area his defending!

  • FM150 - 2011-09-24 11:21

    @roboman and muti, thank you, you are absolutly right!! Bismarck as a player is better than Smith but he has a weak spot namely scrummage! Espesialy if Guthro sets next to him (do not know the reason why to be honoust) The combination of absorbing the pressure through Smith at the beginning and bringin on the SuperSubs works perfectly, The game is 80minute long, with 22players who must contribute something at the RIGHT TIME!

  • FM150 - 2011-09-24 11:45

    Oh and ohmikehunt, i played next to Frans and against him the past, and have never been beaten in my highschool career playin agains teams like Affies, Paul Roos, Paarl boys high and just about any school worth mentioning so i cannot explain to you the way i see the the true rugby player based on his game and decisions he makes at crucial moments. What im basicly saying is where you see a try scored by Habana crossing the line, i see the the try being scored 3 passes earlier in the movement! So unless it has something to do with defending, i doubt he brings anything special to the team.

  • ChumScrubber - 2011-09-24 12:23

    It might not be a moral thing to do but throwing the game against Samoa would certainly give us an easier path to the final. Currently the Bokke face possibly the toughest road to the final in history. Guess its justice, last time we missed the other big boys on the way through - if we go all the way it will silence that whinge from the AB's and Aussies. They can do it - but eish, a tall order.

  • Johann - 2011-09-24 12:58

    Good stuff, then Bissie can start and finish as well, which will result in the Boks SERIOUSLY "MOERING THEM!!!

  • gatvol4corru - 2011-09-24 13:04

    Yipppppppeeeee! Captain slow is off and the real no2 is on! Thank f*ck!

  • Conrad Pieterse - 2011-09-24 13:28

    Great stuff. We need to see what Bismarck is capable off when he starts. Gaan moer hulle!

  • Joel - 2011-09-24 16:00

    John Smit has played away all criticisms leading up to the World Cup. He is at a level now in terms of scrumming & team leadership that Bismark should be seen first & foremost as a 50 minute plus impact player. Matfield however seems slow & less willing to take the impact at present then Danie who has played so well that Victor has hardly been missed and the addition of Alberts at 4 means that Victor is in fact the 2nd half expendable one and should now only be viewed as an impact player & captain when John is substituted..

      Christo - 2011-09-24 19:26

      john smit is useless.Playing a bit better against south west test for anybody.Check Bismark against Samoa,Will prove we can not start without him going into finals.

      odysseus - 2011-09-25 07:51

      Yes I like what you say about 50 minute plus.... I agree totally.... and if it is only 20 minutes, I would be very worried about our team's chances...

      RandomDude - 2011-09-25 19:53

      "John Smit has played away all criticisms " absolute nonsense . The emperor has no clothes

  • Zullie - 2011-09-25 15:47

    Good idea to rest John for this one. 15 Lambie. 14 Pietersen. 13 Fourie. 12 FSteyn. 11 Hougaard. 10 MSteyn. 9 DuPreez. 8 Spies. 7 Alberts. 6 Brussouw. 5 Matfield. 4 Rossouw. 3 JDuPlessis. 2 BDuPlessis. 1 Mtawarira. Bench - 16 Ralapelle. 17 Steenkamp. 18 Burger. 19 Louw. 20 Muller. 21 De Villiers. 22 Habana.

  • Neil - 2011-09-26 09:18

    We haven't been tested yet by strong opposition. If we play the knockouts without Busmark & Hougaard, we will come home early. John Smit wants to dodge all the tough games like he did in Super 15, he not even in our top 5 hookers in SA. Matfield can captain, just check the Bulls trophy cabinet.

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