Springboks

Pollard closing in on Naas' Springbok mark

2018-11-09 11:00
Naas Botha (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard is fast closing in on the 300-Test point mark - and Naas Botha's total points mark for South Africa.

Currently the 24-year-old Pollard has 299 points for his country, comprising of 3 tries, 55 conversions, 55 penalties and 3 drop goals.

Pollard will play his 37th Test for the Springboks against France at the Stade de France stadium in Paris on Saturday.

Kick-off is at 22:05 SA time.

While requiring a single point to bring him the 300-mark to become only the fifth South African to do so, Pollard requires 14 points to surpass Botha's total of 312.

Botha, now 60, played in only 28 Tests, scoring 2 tries, 50 conversions, 50 penalties and 18 drop goals, before retiring after the 1992 Test defeat against England at Twickenham at 34 years of age.

Percy Montgomery tops the points scoring charts for the Springboks with 893 in his 102 Tests, followed by Morne Steyn with 736 in the 66 Tests the former Bulls pivot played for South Africa.

Bryan Habana finds himself in third spot in the standings with 335 points - courtesy of the 67 tries he scored in the Green & Gold jersey.

Former All Blacks great Dan Carter leads the way with 1 598 in the all-time Test points-scoring standings.

Players to watch:

For France: One player who will need little motivation for the home side is Louis Picamoles. The behemoth number eight is a superb ball carrier and will be determined to get his side over the advantage line with some barnstorming runs. However, the 32-year-old's game is not just about brute force as he also has some subtleties in his armoury and his ability to offload in the tackle makes him particularly dangerous.

For South Africa: After delivering one of his worst performances in a green and gold jersey, in last weekend's loss to England, Springbok hooker Malcolm Marx can consider himself fortunate to be in the starting line-up for this encounter. At his best, Marx is one of the world's best players and his nomination for the World Rugby Player of the Year award is testament to that. His ball carrying and prowess at the breakdown is excellent but in that Test against England his lineout throw-ins were poor and one of the main reasons for the Boks' defeat. He will be determined to improve in that department against France.

Head-to-head: The battle between the two flyhalves is always important and both France's Camille Lopez and Handre Pollard of the Springboks will be determined to prove their worth to their respective sides, albeit for different reasons. Lopez is a man on a mission. He makes his return to the Test arena after an 18-month break due to a serious ankle injury and will be keen to repay the faith shown in him by his coach. Meanwhile, Pollard will be keen to deliver an improved performance after offering little on attack against England and missed a vital penalty late on in that clash. Both pivots will be expected to dictate the pace of the game and lead the way in the playmaking department.

Previous results:

2018: South Africa won 18-17 in Paris
2017: South Africa won 35-12 in Johannesburg
2017: South Africa won 37-15 in Durban
2017: South Africa won 37-14 in Pretoria
2013: South Africa won 19-10 in Paris
2010: South Africa won 42-17 in Cape Town
2009: France won 20-13 in Toulouse
2006: France won 36-26 in Cape Town

Teams:

France

15 Maxime Medard, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 11 Damian Penaud, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Baptiste Serin, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Arthur Iturria, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 3 Cedate Gomes Sa, 2 Guilhem Guirado (captain), 1 Jefferson Poirot 

Substitutes: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Dany Priso, 18 Rabah Slimani, 19 Paul Gabrillagues, 20 Mathieu Babillot, 21 Antoine Dupont, 22 Anthony Belleau, 23 Gael Fickou

South Africa

15 Willie le Roux, 14 S’bu Nkosi, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Duane Vermeulen, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Francois Louw, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Cheslin Kolbe

Read more on:    springboks  |  handre pollard  |  naas botha  |  rugby
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