Stefan Terblanche (Gallo Images)
from writing the easiest of columns on Friday with the opening of RWC 2015 a
few hours away and the Boks certain to win their opening fixture in Brighton
against the Japanese to writing this one.
It just goes to show that you are
only as good as your last game and what a BIG difference a weekend or one game
can make to your outlook on life and general well-being.
I know it is only a
game but when the Springboks lose we can easily go into a mild state of
depression especially when they do so against a team full of players most of us
have never heard of and who’s surnames we can hardly pronounce.
Well played Japan and you fully deserved your victory as you dominated the
Springboks in all facets of play.
significant result for two very different reasons and for two very different teams.
For Japan it was a significant win. It was their first ever win
against the Springboks and only their second ever win in a Rugby World
I think we all saw from the visuals coming live from Brighton not only
what it meant to this team, management and players alike but also what it meant
to their supporters in the stands with tears of joy flowing freely.
be a significant boost to rugby in their country and will give it a much needed
lift in the build up to Japan hosting the next Rugby World Cup in 2019.
South Africa and for the Springboks it was a significant loss. For the Boks to
lose this game in this fashion they did it only means disaster not only for Test matches in years to come but in particular for this tournament. The
Springboks and the All Blacks have been the two most feared rugby teams in the
world for many years.
The All Blacks for the haka, their skill of forwards and
backs and for the speed they play the game at while the Boks are feared for
their big physical hard running players. Trust me I have played rugby overseas
in teams full of players from all over and they respect and at times fear
taking the field against either the All Blacks or Springboks.
Saturday the Boks not only lost the game but also lost that small psychological
edge we might have had when taking the field and wearing the famous Green and
Remember that the difference between winning and losing at international
level is a fraction of a percentage. You need all the help you can get and if
the jersey that you are wearing gives you that, you will gladly accept.
time up on the clock on Saturday, the score at 22-19 to the Boks and with 14
men on the field the Japanese had a penalty right in front of the uprights and
could have easily have drawn the game to cause a major upset against the Boks.
They turned down the penalty, took the scrum and got their reward with a try in
the 83rd minute of play. This should never ever happen when any team
play the Boks, not even the mighty All Blacks.
Boks lost that edge on Saturday and teams will duly take notice and accept it
with open hands. The 2-4% edge we had before taken the field is now gone and it
will take a mammoth effort for this team to lift the William Web Cup
on October 31.
No team has ever lost a pool game and then
gone on to win the Cup. If we do so this team would have made history twice in
one tournament. Stranger things have happened on the rugby field.
your passion drive this team.
Stefan Terblanche is providing player insight and match breakdown for Dunlop, proud sponsors of the Springbok Heritage section on Sport24.
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