Bok, Oz plans are poles apart

2011-08-10 23:00

Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

Durban - Retention versus renewal ... the wisdom of one of these over the other will be put to an intriguing little test on Saturday when the Springboks meet the Wallabies in the Castle Tri-Nations here.

Click to BUY John Smit’s Captain in the Cauldron book

The retention factor, of course, lies in the hands of the Boks, who are expected to roll out a team on Thursday laden with World Cup 2007-winning stalwarts, thus also confirming their intentions to go heavily this route at RWC 2011 in a few weeks’ time.

And the renewal, in many respects, will be reflected in the vastly changed Australian line-up from the one which turned out in their own last outing at the World Cup four years ago.

The contrast in selection philosophy since then could hardly be more apparent ... even if the Boks were always likelier to have strong, ongoing faith in many of the heroes of 2007 because they won the tournament while the Wallabies bombed out at the quarter-final stage.

As many as 10 Springbok players who began the final against England could be named by coach Peter de Villiers in Umhlanga on Thursday for the match at Mr Price Kings Park.

And another three - Schalk Burger, Juan Smith and CJ van der Linde - are firmly in plans for the latest World Cup, with the two loose forwards among this trio in advanced stages of recovery from injury problems.

In addition Jean de Villiers, expected to be named at inside centre for Saturday, was in the initial Bok World Cup squad in France but quit the tournament injured at an early stage.

The only confirmed odd ones out these days are retired icons Os du Randt and Percy Montgomery.

But for the Wallabies, there’s been a real cleanout of 2007 troops, with some having hung up their boots and others either on the periphery of the current Wallaby first-choice line-up or having fallen more significantly out of favour during the Robbie Deans tenure as coach.

When they shortly confirm their own team for Saturday, there are likely to be a maximum of three players who “survived” the World Cup 2007 quarter-final exit to England (12-10) in Marseille.

Captain and flank Rocky Elsom, hooker Stephen Moore and utility back Adam Ashley-Cooper could start on Saturday.

For interest’s sake, this was the Australian team edged out of RWC 2007 by eventual finalists England: 15 Chris Latham 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Stirling Mortlock, 12 Matt Giteau 11 Lote Tuqiri 10 Berrick Barnes 9 George Gregan 8 Wycliff Palu 7 George Smith 6 Rocky Elsom 5 Dan Vickerman 4 Nathan Sharpe 3 Guy Shepherdson 2 Stephen Moore 1 Matt Dunning.

On Saturday, we may start to get an idea of whether the Boks’ dogged faith in the tried and trusted is going to be a shrewder course than the Wallaby “regeneration” focus in this particular World Cup year...


  • Steyts - 2011-08-10 23:37

    Mmmm, I think that John Smit's name should have been added to Os du Randt and Percy Montgomery on the retirement list! Maybe, and actually I really do hope so, John Smit will make us all eat our words by leading the team to anotther world cup!! Go BOKKE!! Good luck for Saturday!

      Wagga - 2011-08-11 06:40

      Hey Steyts, On a previous article you ask me to correct you if you wrong regarding Sean Fitzpatrick winning a world cup, I would like to correct you. The only world cup the All Blacks won was in 1987 and the hooker in that team was a certain young Mr. Sean Fitzpatrick. So to answer your question, Yes Sean does have a world cup medal just like John Smit.

      Luke - 2011-08-11 07:38

      Steyts, the best captains are not necessarily the best players on the field. He may be getting on a little, but the fact is there is no better bok captain (at the moment) than John Smit.

      Met Uysh! - 2011-08-11 08:03

      Interesting, we complain about our World Cup survivors but the Aussies have at least 8 from the above squad still in their plans...

      Steyts - 2011-08-11 09:42

      @Wagga, thank you for the interesting piece of info!! You have a brilliant memory to remember that I asked that because I totally forgot about it! Hahaha @Luke, that is why I am saying that I hope he makes me eat my words by proving his wortth!! GO BOKKE!!

  • Obama Bin Laden - 2011-08-11 00:13

    Houwing, where have you been these past few days? I have missed you. You are like that guy at the pub who is always there no matter what time, no matter what day, sporting a tipsy grin and a kind word for everyone. Sure, we like to take the mickey out of you and your penchant for inverted commas, long-winded rambling about who-knows-what and that dogged determination to mention everyone's school in your articles......but the one day that we step into the pub and discover you are not there, we are left feeling abandoned...betrayed even. So I guess what I'm trying to say is: "Thank you for being a pal and a gentleman." NOW GIVE THIS MAN A BELLS!

  • Dan - 2011-08-11 05:27

    What we are all missing maybe is the fact that these stats show that SA Rugby failed to properly develop our talent or give them strategically planned exposure during the past 4 years. I agree that the Top 15 or even 22 is probably still our old boys from 2007, but that isn't good news at all. I think we might even be facing an early exit from the competition this year. Having Samoa and Wales in our Group might just cause one of the biggest upsets in Wolrd Cup history. The way Samoa beat Aus a couple of weeks ago and the fact that Wales can beat the Boks any day (show it during the past couple of years), mean we might not even survive the group stages. I hope this is not the case, but NO planning really took place during the past 4 years.

      Yankee - 2011-08-11 06:23

      I fully agree with you Dan. It was clear on the tour to Australasia that there were no development of talent. A couple of years ago it was said that we have so much talent that a second string team will be able to compete successfully against other nations. The South African supporters will soon start to ask these questions. SA Rugby will have to answer this and that may start happening this weekend, after the Durban test.

  • Adrian - 2011-08-11 06:55

    We can only hope

  • - 2011-08-11 07:47

    Having 10 players from RWC 2007 does have the odd +. We now have oodles of experience and lets face the guys are not that old. My question is (lets hear your views) : Of those 10 players who is playing better rugby four years on? Who is on top of their game? Who is in a better place? That worries me.

  • StBad - 2011-08-11 07:55

    Old versus new aside, the Boks would look a whole lot 'less worse' with a really decent defensive system in place...

  • WIllie Botha - 2011-08-11 07:55

    Go Smitty and the Bokke! You klap those Wallabies! GO BOKKE!!

  • saburger - 2011-08-11 07:57

    My common sense says that only players on merit and in form should be chosen. A good coach will ensure that new combinations will work with a surprise factor and good strategies to practice many alternatives with ball in hand, and rock solid defence. We need an Os Durand to assist in the pack practices to ensure we win and keep the ball!

  • andre - 2011-08-11 08:25

    We want to see offensive tactics,which in my opinion is 60 % of the game(Vs 40 % defense)-the guru's at the training camp must explain the word "offensive"and with that design a plan A,B,C and D with key words recognising the move from one plan to another and back and so on.We are sick to hear of a team only being trained for defense as defense DO NOT PUT POINT ON THE BOARD.Be clever and out think,outwit,outscheme and eventually outclass your opponents.

  • Mao Tse Tung - 2011-08-11 09:18

    Point remains that for the past 4 years, we put on blinkers on any potential talent that came our way and decided to stick to the old boys club and now we really are in danger of being booted out very early in the competition due to poor planning. Most of our players do not even rank 2nd or 3rd in their competetive positions at the moment. Only Schalk, Du Preez and Jacque Fourie deserve their jerseys on merit, the rest, loyalty and poor planning. We must accept the punishment for our crime

  • GC - 2011-08-11 09:29

    interestingly 8 players from the 2003 WC Bok squad made it to the 2007 WC squad. Ashmin Willemse; Jaque Fourie; Juan Smith; Bakkies Botha; Victor Matfield; Schalk Burger; John Smit; Danie Rossouw. Of those 7 made it into the current 2011 WC squad. Thanks Google,.............

  • theunsvw - 2011-08-11 11:24

    Yeah..! They got their poles on their side to defend, and we got our poles on our side to defend...! It is poles appart...! and Ifigured it all out myself...the game made simple...!

  • KAROOLS - 2011-08-11 13:08


  • Who Cares - 2011-08-11 13:24

    The boks are goner get smashed... Cos they picked a bunch of old has beens

      Lance - 2011-08-11 14:56

      "He who flies the old SA flag is no better than he who resides in the Cape yet flies the All black colours"

  • Ozman - 2011-08-11 14:13


  • - 2011-08-11 14:28


  • pages:
  • 1