Eng praise for Barritt, Botha

2012-02-06 12:55

Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

Cape Town – Two South African-born elements of England’s narrow Six Nations victory over old enemies Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday have earned laurels for their contributions.

Durban-born midfield debutant Brad Barritt, in particular, won English press approval for his defensive stoutness, while fire-in-the-belly lock Mouritz Botha, his Saracens team-mate who was born in Vryheid, also didn’t go unnoticed in the 13-6 win.

Even former England hooker Brian Moore, who is not always well disposed to anything South African, was moved to say in the Daily Telegraph: “You can’t under-estimate what this win will have done for (England’s) inner confidence.

“They were disciplined and did not give away kickable penalties ... they are also to be praised for their tenacity in defence because although the first-up tackles were not always solid they scrambled to make amends with Brad Barritt and Mouritz Botha to the fore.”

Former British and Irish Lions lock Paul Ackford, in the same paper, gave Botha a match rating of eight out of 10: “Mr Industrious, his red scrum cap was all over the place. A few too many errors for this level, but hugely courageous.”

And in rating former Sharks favourite Barritt a 7/10, he said: “Defensively sound which was what he was brought into the side to do. Will settle in over the next few games.”

Meanwhile in The Guardian, another ex-international, Dean Ryan, wrote: “Barritt isn’t the fastest centre in the world but he is strong and very good defensively and he makes up for that lack of speed with his speed of thought.”

Ironically the player-of-the-match award went to a member of the losing side, No 8 David Denton, who is a 21-year-old born in Marondera, Zimbabwe, and educated at Kingswood College in Grahamstown. It was his first start for his adopted country.

*The Springboks play a three-Test home series against England in mid-year, Heyneke Meyer’s debut as new Bok coach.

 Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing


  • Sean - 2012-02-06 13:52

    I rated Barritt as a realy good player before he left !

      Utopian - 2012-02-06 14:10

      Barrit is another Trevor Halstead, great on defense but seriously one dimensional on attack. With the rock solid defensive lines of the top teams you need centres that offer something special. Guys like Jean De Villiers and Ma'a Nonu.

      Kosie - 2012-02-06 16:13

      utopian, nonu yes, de vlliers no

      Willem - 2012-02-06 18:13

      @Kosie "de Villiers" is brilliant cannot eveb compare baritt with him maybe kosie with a d rather

  • Hanno - 2012-02-06 13:57

    England will play all our overseas based players to ensure they may not play for South Africa...we really should try harder to keep our talent here, we are making England look better than they really are.

  • Michael Kleber - 2012-02-06 14:03

    we do need a lock with all the retirements maybe dangle the strong rand in front of Maurice and he will return

      Hanno - 2012-02-06 14:14

      In terms of IRP laws, he may not since he's already played for an International side. Anyways, we got some fresh talent coming through, we'll be ok.

      Willem - 2012-02-06 18:14

      OK strong Rand vs Pounds which he is earning now don't think that will work

  • Mario - 2012-02-06 14:07

    Does England actually have a side in any of their nationals teams that is 100% ENGLISH and not from all over the world that has a citizenship. Come on man....I remember when England Cricket played here last year or so – the commentator asked the other – is this a game between SA and ENG? Commentator: yes confused and asked why – the response was….because I only see South Africans on the pitch hahahahahhaha. I mean they are from Samoa – South Africa, America…damn.

      Mario - 2012-02-06 14:12

      The even have a NZ guy Dylan Hartley in the squad...who is actually English in the England team....pathetic if you ask me.

      Hanno - 2012-02-06 14:15

      When England tours here, where will the players stay? At home...

      Phillip - 2012-02-06 14:23

      By ma en pa op die plaas!!!

  • legndkilla - 2012-02-06 14:48

    touchy subject this one, one should wonder werent they good enough to play here or is english rugby weak?cos the minute these players leav our shores they become super stars in other countries... just goes to show the depth of sa rugby....

      Kosie - 2012-02-06 16:16

      well we'll know in june when they come to tour here whether barrit was a lost for SA or not.

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