Blemish in Smit’s 'farewell'

2011-08-13 22:39

Comment: Rob Houwing, Sport24

Durban – It was billed in the local papers as a sentimental goodbye to hometown Test rugby for John Smit ... instead the Springbok captain ended up being at the centre of what appeared a costly tactical blunder on Saturday.

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South Africa were edged out 14-9 by Australia in the Castle Tri-Nations fixture at Mr Price Kings Park here, consigning them to last-placed finish regardless of whether they beat New Zealand in Port Elizabeth next week.

The threat remains, too, of the Boks experiencing a first-time, winless campaign in the southern hemisphere event, which would hardly be the ideal way to enter their defence of the World Cup, whatever the deceptive influence of putting out a “reserve” side for the first half of the tournament.

And now the already hot debate around Smit’s playing-level suitability to lead the troops into action at RWC 2011 will only crank up a notch, after he was very questionably switched to tighthead prop some 10 minutes into the second half, when three simultaneous alterations were made.

Although substitute hooker Bismarck du Plessis entered the fray to immediate, dynamic effect as his brother Jannie was withdrawn, the veteran skipper moving to the key “right shoulder” slot had the impact only of moving the Wallaby scrum, which had been largely well dealt with at the set piece until then, into overdrive.

In a game that was always a ding-dong affair in blustery conditions and with driving rain arriving in the last quarter, the Boks went on to concede a crucial – and duly goaled -- penalty at scrum-time because they were basically going backwards at a rate of knots.

Out of fairness to Smit, he has been gradually reconditioning himself in recent weeks and months to fit the demands of hooker, so installing him as the supposed strongman at tighthead even for short stints late on just seems more and more foolhardy.

When he left the park with an arm injury four minutes from the end, Jannie du Plessis returned to combat and the Springbok scrum immediately looked in less difficulty again – although the horse had pretty much bolted by then as the Wallabies held on without major fuss for a doggedly-earned triumph.

Coach Peter de Villiers said afterwards that Du Plessis, the starting No 3, had run out of steam when he was pulled off, as had been expected to occur for a few stalwart Boks returning to competitive duty for the first time in several weeks.

He also made the point that for much of his time back at tighthead, Smit lost the benefit of having known second-row powerhouse Bakkies Botha scrumming behind him (the big Bulls bruiser was substituted for Gerhard Mostert with 17 minutes left on the clock).

Of course there is also a case for saying the Bok strategists themselves should have thought of that potential hazard.

So it was an unfortunate way for Smit to end his major-match tenure in this city, although it must also be noted that he is indeed warming increasingly to international activity again as a No 2.

Like several of his fellow seniors coming out of cobwebs on the day, he produced a suitably muscular showing in the first half, when the Boks held the whip hand: the 33-year-old tackled and cleaned out with venom and there are also grounds for suggesting his lineout throwing remains a tad more reliable to that of the younger Du Plessis brother.

I had always feared that the Boks might be trouble in this match, however, if they hadn’t managed to rack up a decent enough lead by the break (it was only 6-0, and then very quickly 6-3 as play resumed  after halftime).

The ever-wily Wallabies made sure they kept some gradually wilting Springboks on the move as the game wore on, and the truth was that before the final whistle the home side were mostly running up dead ends and not looking likely candidates at all to get the required try that could have swung the outcome.

Still, there was some light at the end of the tunnel, for those Bok supporters prepared to keep the faith as the World Cup looms.

Several of the old guard rumbled back into Test mode fairly convincingly for 40 or 50 minutes, among them being the oft-maligned Pierre Spies, plus Botha, Bryan Habana, Fourie du Preez and Beast Mtawarira, who made some impressive surges and skeleton-rattling “hits”.

And of some slightly younger favourites returning to the cause, Frans Steyn did some useful things in the last line of defence and Heinrich Brussow gave the service desired of him at the breakdown and occasionally in alert cover defence.

There is something to work with once more, as they say: let’s see if it is enough to knock over an All Blacks side missing a few tough cookies of their own for a change.

That would be a tonic the Boks now cry out for ...


  • Francois Coetzer - 2011-08-13 22:52

    Couple of things are very apparent: 1. John Smit should not be in the starting line-up; 2. Bismarck should start and play for at least 60 minutes; 3. Francois Steyn spent his time in France eating and not playing rugby, he is not on form for test level; 4. Bakkies Botha should not play for more than 40 minutes; 5. Wynand Olivier should continue not to be in the team, there is not better than De Villiers / Fourie; 6. The overall team's handling errors will be our downfall; 7. Butch James / Pat Lambie is the choice above Morne Steyn. Proven again today; 8. Unless Frans becomes a magician, Aplon or Zane should be the full-back;

      Andy - 2011-08-13 23:18

      Zane? O nee hel. Keep Sideshow Bob as far away from a Bok jersey as possible!

      Benny66 - 2011-08-13 23:56

      I agree with you whole heartedly - except for the Kirschner bit!! Also a spot MUST be found for Hougard. He impresses me with his speed, energy and tenacity every time he gets onto the park. As things stand now my realistic prediction is a loss to the AB's next week and out of the WC in the quarter finals. PDV will see to that with his questionable replacement decisions.

      Marcell - 2011-08-14 06:47

      Wie is die stadigste: Jean de Villiers Jacobs John Smit Frans Steyn All of the above.

      rob barrie - 2011-08-14 07:18

      Agree with most but de Villiiers was slow in midfield and overall there seems to be a movemnt to get the ball moving in the backline. They are clearly not fit. Drips and draps arrival at the breakpoints. Question is what was done in Rustenburg and that w ehave problems!

      Netherlands - 2011-08-14 08:37

      John Smit was HOPING there would be a OXYGEN CYLINDER on the side of the field... Should NEVER have been moved to tight head... should have brought CJ on... To late, To late....

      roboman1 - 2011-08-14 09:19

      Lambie is not better than Steyn, not even the Sharks pick him as their first choice flyhalf, in fact they play France's 3rd choice flyha;f ahead of Lambie. Geez, sometimes I think certain SA rugby supporters are the densest dumbest around. (And I am not against Lambie, he can be their as a bench utility player, but he is not a better flyhalf than Steyn in the current Bok game plan

      BLOODY AGENT - 2011-08-14 09:30

      a Few comments after the test. 1,Earlier in the week Dif(dof) said 40 and 40 is 60 minutes,now that was evident in the game after 60 min we were still controling the game and then the last 20 min belonged to the Ausies,they practice to play 60 minutes per game 2.Spies played very good and was one of the few outstanding players,SAFFACAT take note 3,Habana played very good and deserved to be on the field 4.Butch James is the answer at 10,Cooper and Genia meant Zip yesterday 5,Bismarck should start and finish a game 6.Get rid of the impact player system,its failing us I believe that this weekend the Boks wil win against The AB,s,a lot of positives came out of the game 7,Smit also did not fair to badly but not the best

      Sarge - 2011-08-14 09:35

      Is it just me or was Danie Rossouw out there purposely throw the game? The guy is clearly not up for it anymore. Worst player of the day!!!

      FJ2 - 2011-08-14 10:00

      @Bloody Agent: Spies wasn't good, he was great - looked like the player he's supposed to be with all his athleticism and ability. Also, the centres and both wings played well. Frans Steyn wasn't as bad as some say: at last, when he makes a mistake he rights it, and when he misses touch he applies pressure when the other team counter-attacks. I thought Bakkies was good, except for going in to high when he carries the ball. Matfield wasn't up to his own standards, I think. Brussouw was better than I thought he'd be after such a long lay-off, John Smit was OKish until he shifted to tighthead, and Jannie was solid enough. Beast, I thought, was superb, as was Bismarck when he came on. FdP is far from his best. Danie Rossouw was bad - not only did he make some bad handling errors, but he missed a lot of tackles. Hougaardt was tenacious, as always, but Aplon was below par. Deyzel didn't make a real impact, but we all know that he is the real deal.

      edalsg - 2011-08-14 11:58

      PLEASE NOT ZANE : Probably the worst Springbok choice in History : Useless would be a compliment for him !

      Sarge - 2011-08-14 12:21

      Lambie for Fullback!!!!

      GTFO - 2011-08-14 18:23

      @bloody habana...agree with you except for the habana part..he is out dated, when he has the ball he does not know what to do with it.

      !!Vrystaat!! - 2011-08-14 22:35

      7. Butch James / Pat Lambie is the choice above Morne Steyn. Proven again today; - Now you are smoking your socks.

      MB1810 - 2011-08-15 08:48

      Agreed on Most parts, Bismarck should be our starting hooker, I don't think John Smit had a bad game (at least until he moved to prop), I just think that Bismarck is better and deserves to start. I think Bakkies Botha had a fantastic 50 minutes of play, he just needs to watch the discipline, for some reason he loves to dive on players after they've gone to ground. Well done Pierre Spies, but take note he still missed 4 tackles in the game. I agree that Frans Steyn seemed slow, fat and unfit and his positional play was really not that great either, however I'll still pick a 1.9 meter 110kg fullback ahead of Aplon, it just feels safer. Kirschner is not an international player period. I agree about Butch James, people are complaining about yellow cards, but he put in a couple of good hits on Genia and Cooper at the start of the game and that though as nails defense pretty much neutralized them. Danie Rossouw is not a loosie, he is just too slow - keep him on the bench as cover for lock and flank, but please don't let him start. Good game Brussouw. And as a final thought: Strange how the ball never goes further then 12 down the backline, I remember De Villiers throwing one pass, but we actually had forwards lined up in the backline on that occasion. He needs to learn that there is a time to straighten the line and a time to spread the ball.

  • Bitterpoep - 2011-08-13 23:15

    The boks were at their best when Habana was not on the park

      FJ2 - 2011-08-14 10:05

      Habana actually played well - looks like he is returning to form. Too many guys on this site looking at players with a lot of bias and preconceived opinions - try to leave the emotions aside and be more objective.

      Travis - 2011-08-15 08:56

      Diagree about Habana. Showed great pace, and didn't panic (too much). Only thing about him that kills me is the way that he breaks the line on defence, and leaves huge gaps on the outside. It seems to me that there are points where his brain simply switches off...and he does really dumb things. Just a thought on JS. He hit his jumpers every time, which Bismark did NOT, and with him at Hooker our scrum was strong. We started going backward when GURTHRO was brought on. Maybe JS is not the one to be pointing fingers at.

      MB1810 - 2011-08-15 09:10

      Agree with Travis, Habana was decent, but I don't think he realizes that he has slowed up over the last 5 years. 5 Years ago he had enough pace to catch the opponents with ball in hand and prevent a backline move, now he always seems to get there a fraction too slow, the opponents pass the pass anyway and we are left a man down on defence out wide. He needs to close down the space, not create more space!!

  • Nathan Korg - 2011-08-13 23:28

    Smit jou tyd is laaaaaankal verby! Smit, Habana, de Villiers, Pietersen....julle almal moet asb net loop!

      nick - 2011-08-14 08:35

      ja dan moet steyn x 2 rossouw matfield ook padgee hul speel soos fairies

      Dilla - 2011-08-14 12:55

      Nathan I think you should be the first to walk, and never connect your fingers with the keyboard of another computer again if you are going to comment on rugby because clearly you have no idea what the game is about

      MB1810 - 2011-08-15 09:22

      Smit was really not bad at hooker on Saturday, his set piece play was better than Bismarck's was, but I can't argue that Bismarck was much better in the loose. I think it is wildly unfair to him that people are shouting for his head after Saturday based on his performance at prop, when he has been told for about a year, that he will be used at hooker. I agree that he is not our first choice or even second choice hooker right now, but I can deal with that as long as he performs solidly at hooker like he did for the first 50 minutes of the game. If you want to point fingers at how our scrum deterioted after Smit moved to prop, point them at our master strategist who made the call to move him there.

  • Jerry - 2011-08-13 23:41

    What a scam!! We all knew ,the only way to get rid of smith,was to fake injury .deV was under pressure,and this was the only way out, to gain another medal!!

  • tau999heavy - 2011-08-13 23:44

    So everyone commenting here is an expert now? Fine, ill throw in my 2 cents: Our entire team should be made of our best 7's players. Sure we'll get obliterated in the scrums, but at least it will be good running rugby for a change.

      GraemeBB - 2011-08-14 00:29

      I wouldnt even give you a cent. No, everyone isnt an expert, but has an opinion. Hense, a site where one can express one's opinions. Just my opinion. Bye-bye

      tau999heavy - 2011-08-14 12:26

      I didn't ask for a cent did i? I put in my opinion, and i honestly believe there are many on this forum who believe it is a simple thing to be a rugby player or coach. This until they are crushed under the boot of pressure from the general public who all claim to be experts and that you are useless. This being this reason i threw in my very simple sarcastic solution to SA international rugby. (that said to be honest at least 50% of the people here have a better chance the PDV). The exact science that hind-site is i probably should have worded it differently, so my apologies . Also nicely done with the opinion thing... this going to become a re-occurring theme?

      !!Vrystaat!! - 2011-08-14 22:38

      @tau999heavy - I think any coach after 2 years need to start showing improvements and also a direction. Otherwise you can be bad mouthed like hell because you just plainly deserve it.

      tau999heavy - 2011-08-14 23:44

      Im no fan of PDV... i really do wonder what goes through the mans head in terms of strategy, if there ever was one. Just trying to make a point that players and coaches are always hailed when doing well, but the second they have a bad season people lose all memory of the brilliance and potential still to be used within an individual. PDV ill agree has had enough chances though and has blown almost every single one. One can only speculate how he handles being disliked by most of SA rugby's fans. My main point being.. why blame players individually over a period... where management has been up to sh^t?

  • BardofAvon - 2011-08-14 00:25

    None of these comments would be relevant if Morne had started and kicked every shot at goal. And if Beast had passed inside to Habana instead of going to ground.

      What de D... - 2011-08-14 00:49

      if Morne Steyn had started, the Aussies would have scored more tries...Morne can't tackle...

      derkus - 2011-08-14 01:58

      if if if if my aunty had balls she would be ny uncle

      punanny - 2011-08-14 08:08

      @derkus, Or she would be in the Springbok team...

      MB1810 - 2011-08-15 09:29

      Morne can't tackle, for all the talk about Butch "Yello Card" James, I can say this - he neutralised Genia and Cooper within the first 15 minutes with a couple of those big hits. Good choice by Div to stick Morne on the bench, its a shame he can't use his head concerning JS.

  • brinjal - 2011-08-14 00:50

    We are playing a rugby style 5yrs outdated, we need an overhaul starting at the top!

  • Martin - 2011-08-14 00:54

    Losing culture steadily gaining momentum - any hope for redemption has been pissed away by selfish play. When you watch the AB or Wallabies, they always look for support runners to offload. Did you guys notice PDiv always glancing upwards everytime the tv cameras switched onto him - was he asking for help? Complete fu@king farce!!

  • slg - 2011-08-14 01:20

    Of course the coaches should have known taking Bakkies off and moving Smit to Tighthead was the wrong thing to do. A High School coach knows this. It's ridiculous that we supporters have to go through this. SARU are ultimately responsible, Regan Hoskins in particular as he cast the deciding vote to appoint De Villiers and is doing nothing to remove him.

      Ozymandios - 2011-08-14 08:14

      slg even a High School Rugby player knows that. What amazes me is that the brains trust of the coaching staff of the Boks is still experimenting at this stage just days before the RWC. Our group at the RWC is a group of death. Watched Wales vs Eng yesterday and Wales are no walk overs, and with Samoa and Fiji no doubt destroying our team to a bunch of walking wounded after we have played them, we'll be lucky to even get to the 1/4 finals with a team that is 15 strong.

  • Karumba - 2011-08-14 01:36

    Manne van Afrika The problem is not your mature aged players, but the coach and his gang of expert trainers ! Go De Villiers and take Muir and the rest of the mob with you! Goodby to Smith and some of the other mature age players, and focus on 2015 to get some form of glory to Africa! Take a tip from the All Blacks - if you fail to perform you gone Young or aold they play only the best and select only the best to represent NZ My question is did we play the best yes or no and if you answer is yes, then the young raw talent of Astralia has done the job well to take the game face on and delivered the right result ! Nice living in Australia but the bok heart begs the SARU to focus on playing the best irrespective of race, colour or religion ! that is why NZ is doing so well Think we need to focus on building a team rather than playing has been retired playmakers of the past! Lekker slaap in Afrika - and wake up on sunday to know the bokke will not make the last 8 teams, they must see the trip to NZ as Duty Free Shopping! Hamba van Karumba

  • Ozman - 2011-08-14 01:46


      Wallaby - 2011-08-14 04:17

      Agree Ozman! They played against 16 players including a ref who saw only green. And, jeepers, can someone PLEASE instruct Habana to repeat after me: "no hands in the ruck if you're off your feet or not supporting your own body weight." Repeat this 100 times. Maybe it'll sink in. But anyway, a very satisfied Wallaby fan this morning. We beat them and a ref who at times looked like he passed his exams last week.

      Ozman - 2011-08-14 05:19

      SA international rugby of a landslide, one less team to concern our self's with. Aussie-Aussie-Aussie

      UTU - 2011-08-14 05:35

      Well done Ozzy, the refs performance was woeful, hopefully his performance will quieten the South Africans that continually feel hard done by. Great result for OZ but considering it was the Boks first outing this year as an 'A' team unit I reckon they played OK and will only get better come the WC. C'mon the mighty AB's

      !!Vrystaat!! - 2011-08-14 22:43

      @Wallaby - I like how you think to tackle somebody is to lift his legs past his ass and dump him on his back or head first and that is better is that ref thinks it is a damn good idea because he just stand and watch over and over again. Wow... hope at least the RWC knows the RULES !

      MB1810 - 2011-08-15 09:47

      Have to agree that the ref was dreadful, but I've been saying since the Super 15 that a horses ass could officiate a game of rugby better than Mr. Bryce Lawrence, yet he was pointed out by SANZAR as the best referee during the Super 15. I think perhaps Aus was hard done by on a few occasions, but I also recall 2 tip tackles by the Aussies getting the O.K. nod from the ref (Yellow card offence, is it not) Anyway, thought it was a good game considering the conditions and the Aussies showed heart to pull back a game where they were dominated for 50minutes. I think SA is on the up though, and while I don't think they have what it takes to beat the All Blacks at home during the WC, I reckon they'll give a good showing of themselves in NZ.

  • Glenn - 2011-08-14 02:26

    The only thing missing from the Bok lineup were the wheelchairs for our veterans - unfit, and clearly outrun by the youngsters from OZ. Ultimately the blame lies with that half-wit coach of ours and the rest of his supporting clowns.

  • rosemarie - 2011-08-14 02:29

    2010 -2011 record tri nations PLAYED 9- Lost 8 -win 1 and our backline is the worst by far

  • ruaanj - 2011-08-14 03:15

    Die booke speel nie meer goeie rugby nie, ons speel afknouerige rugby meer vuil rugby...

  • ruaanj - 2011-08-14 03:17

    Die bokke speel afknouerige rugby, speel die man nie die bal nie....

      Jaco - 2011-08-14 10:08

      Wat verklaar hoekom dit Aussies is wat so lief is vir hul spear tackles. Gaan strum 'n ander kitaartjie vir 'n verandering, Ruaan.

  • Wallaby - 2011-08-14 04:31

    Great win Wallabies! You gave 'it' to them. Add to that a ref who were seeing only 'green' on the night. Great tackle on BBotha, Rocky! 'Sorted him out' in the first minute. He was as obedient as a schoolboy for the rest of the half before he ran out of 'puff' (which is what you get from all that 'resting' and 'injuries'). And Butch 'Yellow Card' James didn't collect one this time for his scrapbook? A miracle. Wallabies 14 [Boks+Bryce Lawrence] 9 We will be waiting for the AB's at Suncorp. And win the TN's there. Perfect momentum for the RWC.

      Crusader Man - 2011-08-14 05:11

      @Wallaby You sure are a typical arogant oz supporter. You may well win at suncorp.. It is hard for teams to come to Brisbane and win... Really do u believe that is perfect momentum going into RWC... Wouldn't it have been better momentum to win last weeks game in NZ... Then your team would have won the last 2 against NZ... Now its won one out of last ? how mant test 12? Oz has been playing its top team thru out this comp ? NZ/Boks haven't Would be very suprised if NZ plays full strength team next week.. We are prob lucky that some of our 2nd stringers are not to far behind the top 15... Happy to come back next week and congradulate your team if they win. As Matfield said today Boks should win at home ... So should you guys.. So should we ... Would be extremely worried if RWC was being played in SA or OZ .. There isn't much between any of the teams..

      Hayden - 2011-08-14 07:53

      Typical Wallabie, arrogant supporter. After yesterday's performance there certainly isn't much difference between the 3TN teams. No excuse but yersterday was majority of Boks first game in weeks but they showed great courage the first half & the tied legs manifested the second with a shocker of a swop of Smit from hooker to prop( that cost us the game). Watch these Boks the nore games they play together!

      Sportzmad - 2011-08-14 08:18

      AUS will not win the TN's & they will definetly not win the WC. You know it just as well as all the rest, so stop your fake bravado, you are not fooling anybody. You are the "whipping" boys for the AB's. When is the last time you guys won the BC, maybe they should change the BC to AUS against Western Samoa, oh no sorry then you will also not win it. Rather make it AUS against Tonga. Ha Ha Ha

      Cameron - 2011-08-14 08:40

      a ha yeah I'm sure Richie is at home know having nightmares about the Wallabies. The Wallabies were simply less crap than the Bokke but they were crap none the less. 1 cup down... 2 to go! AB's by 3+ next week and 13+ in Brisbane then its the..... RWC final England Vs AB's

      Bulldozer - 2011-08-14 09:41

      Now you lot want to call Wallaby arrogant. Pot calling the kettle black or what am I saying?

      UTU - 2011-08-14 10:23

      @Bulldozer, I guess you're saying that you're an All Black supporter or was the metaphor "pot kettle black" just wishful thinking?

      Bulldozer - 2011-08-14 10:41

      UTU = Idiot.

  • GinSA1 - 2011-08-14 05:03

    Always, when there are problems, start at the top and work your way down. In this case, remove the top, put in somebody who knows what the hell they're doing, and the rest will follow............

  • JoggieM - 2011-08-14 05:55

    I am so sick and tired of all the excuses we make for our 'Boks" not performing. Joel Stranksy, you might have been my hero sometime back, but now you are just a CRY BABY! Your comment before the match was this is the most experienced bok team ever, after the match it was, "some of our players returned". Where are the ones that did not "return"?!!! We are complaining that we are playing too much rugby and then on the other hand it is "been a long layoff". You have tried so hard in the post match interview to get the Ausies to admit to the 2 "Tip" (spear) tackles and the physicallity of the Ausies, but did you notice that Bakkies has shoulders so big (carrying the whole os SA) that he cannot use his arms to make a tackle? Yes the ref made some mistakes, so did both teams! The Ausies have beaten us in the dry and wet weather. Remember Cry Baby, there were 2 teams on the field and it was not only the Boks that played in the rain!

  • terry - 2011-08-14 05:59

    i believe it is a mental and tactical problem ,we need better coaching its(springbok game) to one dimensional (Predictable) oregan hoskins believes its a race problem(toooo many whites- thats why he got rid of jake whites pardon the pun) politics and sport can never sleep in the same bed Div says not to worry we have a 90% chance of wining the world cup in new zealand this year (next medal please)

  • Ann - 2011-08-14 06:09

    Can someone point out to Divvy that there are other first class front rowers in South Africa who do not necessarily come from the Sharks team?

      MB1810 - 2011-08-15 10:17

      There was absolutely nothing wrong with our scrum, as a matter of fact I thought we had the better of the Aussies at scrum time until Smit moved to prop and the blame for that piece of poor strategy can only be lain at the feet of the coach. Who are the other first class front rowers you are referring to anyway?, I think Greyling and Kruger got a bit of a scrumming lesson on the away leg of the Tri Nations and while I rather like the look of Coenie Oosthuizen, I think he still has a lot to learn. Nope, I think our frontrow was the one thing that worked pretty well on Saturday until Div started to shuffle the guys around again. The fact that all of them are from the Sharks should not really be a factor.Country first them provinces.

  • steven van der vyver - 2011-08-14 06:21

    I think the Management needs to be changed and not always blame piled on the players.

  • UTU - 2011-08-14 06:26 I could have been a footy great, oh yeahhhhhhhh

  • Richard - 2011-08-14 06:39

    6 or 9 points not taken which were sitters. Butch missed one too. Thats a possible 12 points that would have sealed the game for the bokke. Poor handleing (due to some match fit rustyness), poor decision making by Smit at crucial times and the poorest of them all, the brains trust(if one can call them that) putting smit at tighthead and taking off brussouw. The Ozzies were very lucky to walk away with the win. If the above mentioned blunders did not occure (excluding the handeling errors) the bokke would have won with ease. But to then include the handeling errors then the bokke would have had 3 tries at least, Danie, J. Fourie and deysel all fumbeling on the try line. I am not at all in doubt about the team. Just the coaches. Oh , and F.Steyn, lay off the escargot dude, its showing, Cut your bloody hair so you can get rid of the srcum cap so you can play some rugby.

  • Roy - 2011-08-14 06:39

    Ha!Ha! Told you.There was no ways we would beat any team never mind the Aussies.We looked a tired bunch on the field and the ball was passed and knocked-on to many times. I say again,we are NOT going to get very far in the RWC.

  • Marcell - 2011-08-14 06:55

    The supporters are all a bunch of wankers. They moan week in and week out but come game day they fork out their hard earned money to go and watch the cr@p. They need to gey it into their thick sculls that they needto stay away. Watch it on TV but ley the stadia be empty. Untill they do that they will always suck on the hind tit. Catch a wake-up.

  • Mandla - 2011-08-14 07:06

    the side that is going to represent us at the RWC should have atleast played the last 2 home trination games to start applying their tactics and gauge their strengths and rectify the weaknesses. Thats my opinion...o start applying their tactics and gauge their strengths and rectify the weaknesses. Thats my opinion...

  • ChumScrubber - 2011-08-14 07:07

    Disagree on Danie ValleeBoi, the oke should rather be used as a lock though. The oke is a powerhouse, if he catches the ball near the line he hardly ever gets stopped.Team has potential but Smit must never ever play prop again - and I still think Chilli is a faster better player.

  • Claude - 2011-08-14 08:00

    Peter de Villiers is a slow learner and along with the selectors must bear the blame for this loss. If the could not foresee the Prop problem then they have no business being in Rugby! I also have to wonder about how the individual players get coached on decision making and basics like how to pass and catch a ball even in the wet.

  • Roy - 2011-08-14 08:09

    "Still there was some light at the end of the tunnel,for those Bok supporters prepared to keep the faith in a losing team as the World Cup looms"

  • John - 2011-08-14 08:18

    I feel sorry for the boks, for what is going to happen to them next week. Good luck

  • John - 2011-08-14 08:22

    Maybe Bismark should cover for Heinrich Brussow if he runs out of steam. He made a real impact in the loose. Playing a hooker at flank works for the Bulls

  • sessisie - 2011-08-14 08:45

    Smit didn't play bad at hooker, but he doesn't feature among the top four in South Africa. His lineout throw-ins are shocking though!

  • harry.booth - 2011-08-14 08:50

    Does know one else notice the biggest weak link the Boks have? Danie Rassow! He is simply AWFUL. Cant catch, cant tackle, runs upright into challenges and then loses the bloody ball! Has fooled everyone by being big and muscle bound. Its Pretty Simple.... Replace Smit with Bismark. Burger with Russow and how about running the ball to world class backs instead of kicking it away. Apply that and we have a chance.

  • roboman1 - 2011-08-14 09:09

    It amazes me that the article does not mention Danie Rossouw, who was not rusty yet he made the most basic attacking errors, ending two try scoring opportunities with knock on. The rest of the team played well, as was to be expected, a little rusty, but they were good, cometh the world cup, this team will be ready, with the exception of Danie Rossouw, whose handling is atrocious for such a highly paid professional. He made the same mistakes on the overseas tour

  • SonderSnor - 2011-08-14 09:14

    Pack up and go now John you are a disgrace!!! Take Bakkies, Matfield and Du Preez with you on long vacation. A bigger concern though is our coaching team’s fear and respect for old players way beyond their sell by date. How can SA Rugby allow them to use a Springbok jersey to give the sick lame and lazy some game time? Only the best fittest, fastest and strongest player should be selected at all times to don that proud jersey. Rugby in SA needs a shakeup from the top – a fish always rots from the head.

      UTU - 2011-08-14 09:35

      You're a disgrace with your comment and you've probably never even held a rugby ball in your life. From a list of 10 who I'd love to share a beer with, J. Smit would be one of them and I'd make you the waiter Sonder.

  • UTU - 2011-08-14 09:25

    To be honest Rob, I'm not interested in your opinion, and I qoute: "I had always feared that the Boks might be trouble in this match, however, if they hadn’t managed to rack up a decent enough lead by the break (it was only 6-0, and then very quickly 6-3 as play resumed after halftime)." I'm more interested in John Smits opinion because he knows and you don't but then again you've never played international rugby have you Rob Howling? As a kiwi I respect J.Smits accomplishments and there's been many, what's your accomplishment Sir Rob Howling? Who lifted the WC for SA, I know for a fact it wasn't you Sir Rob. It's strange that us kiwis respect Smit more than Saffas. Well done J.Smit, if I was half the rugby player you are/were then I'd be stoked.

      SonderSnor - 2011-08-14 19:00

      UtU, I am sure every kiwi would love to see John Smith playing in the world cup.IF HE PLAYS SA WOULD BE ONE LESS TEAM YOU KIWIS HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT. I will gladly serve you and John beers every single day of the world cup and will throw in free daily lessons on what respect for the Springbok jersey means.

  • gatvol4corru - 2011-08-14 09:39

    THE CLOWN & MUIR & GOLD should be sacked! Sad to hear JS is injured,yet he should not have been there in the first place. He is way to slooow and not the best no2. Bismarck proved it immediately ! Game-plan? What game-plan?

  • GSXA - 2011-08-14 09:45

    It is time that the coaching staff take responsibility for their decisions. The Boks started going backwards once the substitutions were made. Smit was doing good work at hooker, Buthc was getting us over the advantage line, Bakkies was playing his heart out and we never lost an own line out throw. Enter Bismark, we lose our first line out due to a bad throw, enter Morne Steyn and we cannot get over the advantage line, Smit gets changed to prop with coaching staff knowing that Bakkies is not there to help and we go backwards. Now everyone is on Smit's case for what is a bad call/decision by the man who calls himself the coach.

  • waine - 2011-08-14 10:18

    The Boks have nothing to be ashamed about, except for missing out on three clear try scoring opportunities. Remove the weak links - Danie Russouw and Geo Aplon. The rest played their hearts out. Geo Aplon provided no effective defence during the away game against Aus missing a one-on-one tackle and again last night he showed that midgets cannot defend. Lamby should have replaced Franscous Steyn, not Aplon. When the three top teams in the world play each other, (Aus, SA & NZ) any result is possible despite the fact that you have a clown as a coach and a team that still needs time to gel. The only difference is that AUS and NZ don't have politics to contend with when having to select players or coaches. Remember, a world cup victory is only dependent on how you play on the day, reputation and small talk means nothing on the day. The Bokke have an equal chance of winning the World Cup as much as Aus or NZ.

      UTU - 2011-08-14 12:00

      Broken record mate, IF IF IF Dan Carter slotted conversions against the Wallabies last week then we'd be seeing a land slide, welcome to NZ, your excuses are most welcome and noted, how on earth did BL not penalize the Boks for continual off-sides/ hands in the rucks/ slowing the ball down/ smothering, laying the ball with no intention of play/ contravening decoy offside runners? But most importantly, very DIRTY PLAY, swinging arms in NZ will get you so far but we'll welcome you with swinging Haka's, a hongi is with a nose but don't confuse that for snivelling little excuses. Waiting and Damn PROUD, are YOU?

  • Eskomwielie - 2011-08-14 10:24

    De Villiers know less off rugby than the normal guy on street , he inherent a good team , we will see next year what he will do , o yes forget then he will retire

  • David - 2011-08-14 11:04

    cant we hire experts to teach the boks how to offload in the tackle,pass before being tackled with players on your outside and holding on to the ball in the tackle!wow,i thought these were basics in rugby,but it seems these basics arn't being taught to SA rugby players?

  • rudolfe - 2011-08-14 11:06

    Danie Rossouw should be sacked... Bring back Schalk and Jaun Foerie. Never-ever play Smith on prop, ever again. He was playing well at hooker though... Bringing bismarc on is not a problem... Just make sure we take Smith off. If the prompt are getting tired. Bring in a propt replacement that can pull his weight. Otherwise wether we play Morne over Butch won't be a problem. We should just ensure we always have a strong defensive line behind Morne. He is a good place kicker and the Springboks needs someone confedent in that position... Just try and get Morne Steyn to kick less as he has grown a little bit of a compultion in that area. Butch played brilliantly. Just a little conserned in his place kicking abilities under pressure. Gio player well at full-back. Frans Stein is my first choice though.

      cruise_fly - 2011-08-14 11:55

      Gio is not a Springbok - to small, it showed overseas and again in Durban rather play Lamby at least he can defend.

  • Bill - 2011-08-14 11:54

    Dad's Army is showing it's age. So many other questions. Switching Smit to prop was just silly. Pulling Bakkies off was equally silly. Pulling Brussouw was just stupid, left SA without a fetcher of any sort. How can Gurthro Steenkamp come straight into test rugby after months out of the game? The sooner this RWC comes and goes and we can be rid of the idiots that manage and coach the team, the better off SA rugby will be. I fear we may have to deal with some embarrassment on and off the field before it is over.

  • Wayne - 2011-08-14 12:11

    An open comment directed at Pieter De Villiers... Yes Pieter ...You do deserve a medal for being a Springbok Coach... It's ready and waiting to be presented in PE in the form of a ships anchor wih a VERY short chain... With credit to the team of guys who will always give themselves to the game but if the coach consistently tampers with tried and tested combinations there will be little else but confusion for the opposite team to exploit. Some brilliant moves were intitiated by a number of the experienced players but the lack of team experience due to not having played together for some time prevented these from being properly read and the full advantage not being taken. I asked myself how come there were so few visible australian supporters at the game... I counted less than 20... but the truth is they didn't need to come... De Villiers was the secret weapon to a Wallabies win. I won't even comment about the ref who changes a 5 yard Wallabie scrum to a Springbok 22 dropout ...!!!!

  • Barry - 2011-08-14 12:55

    I think there is no doubt the SA side performed a lot better than the previous 2 outings. The reasons are pretty obvious. Looking forward to the AB game next week. I have my doubts about the Boks winning although it should be close like yesterdays game and worth watching, not like the two previous games overseas

  • Barry - 2011-08-14 13:10

    It is interesting to look back at the pools and final results of the RWC in 2007. Amazing to see two of the semi finalists coming from the same pool and neither AB or Australia even making the semi's. I bet the AB were favorites just like they are this year. I am sure no one could have predicted the outcome.

  • Barry - 2011-08-14 13:13

    It is interesting to look back at the pools and final results of the RWC in 2007. Amazing to see two of the semi finalists coming from the same pool and neither AB or Australia even making the semi's. I bet the AB were favorites just like they are this year. I am sure no one could have predicted the outcome. This year there has to be a lot of pressure on the AB to perform at home. I wonder if they will choke as in 2007 ? Is the Aussies team comparable to their quality sides of the past ?

  • Lisa - 2011-08-14 13:50

    If all the players would concentrate on the job at hand, being the RWC and not about life after the world cup we would have a far more focused team..... I get the feeling the world cup is their last pay day, as half the players are off overseas after the RWC... Disgusting seeing as they have all earned huge money in this country...

  • Domkop - 2011-08-14 14:11

    Raak ontslae van Peter de Villiers.Hy ploeg nog steeds met White se kalwers.Tot so jaar na White het dit nog gewerk.Nou is daai kalwers moeg geploeg.Sy suksesrekord is nou besig om die swakste in die geskiedenis te word.Hy het in vier jaar geen span gebou of enige nuwe idees na die span of op die veld gebring nie.Rugby het gestagneer in 2008 in SA.Die vernedering gaan groot wees in die wêreldbeker vir SA.Ons eerste verloor gaan al teen Wallis wees.Merk maar my woorde.Div se verskonings en kommentaar gaan van ons groter gekke maak.Hy is nie net 'n verleentheid vir homself nie ,maar vir die hele SA.Hy is gewoond om 'n "copycat" te wees.Hy het grootgeword op 'n wynplaas in die Rawsonvilledistrik.Die eienaar van die plaas was mnr. Frans de Villiers.Sy ouers se van was nie een De Villiers nie.Dis "gecopy" nes die "gameplan" en span van Jake White.Ek bejammer eintlik vir Smit,want hy is die slagoffer van 'n planlose nar.Die wêreldbeker kan (on)/gelukkig nie "gecopy" word nie.De Villiers is ongelukkig niks meer as 'n kwota afrigter wat nes die land en sy span ver onderpresteer.

  • Martin - 2011-08-14 14:32