Bok buddies together again

2010-07-20 22:31

JJ Harmse

Brisbane – Ruan Pienaar and Morné Steyn will finally play together again as the Springboks’ halfback pairing in what probably feels like an eternity to two very good friends.

The two were last halfback partners in 2005 when they played together for the South Africa under-21 side that won the Junior World Championship in Argentina.

And who was the coach back then? None other than Peter de Villiers.

Just why the coach waited for five years to re-unite the pair is a mystery, but it probably has something to do with their contrasting fortunes as flyhalves.

But every fairytale has a happy ending and for these two friends, who already played together as boys in Bloemfontein, their backyard Tests growing up in Fichardt Park will become a reality in Saturday’s Tri-Nations clash against the Wallabies at the Suncorp Stadium.

Pienaar will be in the No 9 jersey and Steyn at No 10.

Pienaar’s inclusion was inevitable and belated.

The man who was labelled the Tiger Woods of rugby by De Villiers has been playing his best rugby in years because he has been allowed to play in his favoured scrumhalf position.

He was the substitute in this position in a number of Tests this year, but had to kick his heels behind Ricky Januarie.

“I just want to concentrate on doing the basic things right. That includes getting the line away quickly, taking some pressure off Morné when necessary, and now and again look for the gap,” a satisfied Pienaar said before his 43rd Test. Only 16 of those Tests were at scrumhalf.

Pienaar is looking forward to being re-united with Steyn.

“We have not played together for a while, so I’m looking forward to it. It feels good to be able to play with him,” he said.

Pienaar is determined not to put too much pressure on himself.

“I just want to enjoy it. I have nothing to prove, so just want to run out and play. Hopefully all goes well,” he said.

Pienaar realises that his tactical kicking may be vital.

“With Morné and Fourie du Preez, the Boks were very accurate in putting other teams under pressure last year. Hopefully I can help with that. I want to put in additional work this week to make sure that my kicks are accurate,” said Pienaar.

He expects a fast game, but believes it’s important for the Springboks to determine the tempo.

“We will stick to what worked for us in the past, but will try to retain possession for longer. We had New Zealand under heavy pressure at times in the second half by keeping the ball.”

Pienaar is looking forward to the duel between the halfbacks.

“I thought (Will) Genia and (Quade) Cooper were the best halfback pairing in the Super 14 and caused problems for many teams. Morné and I have a tough task ahead, but we’ll have to put pressure on them if we want to stand a chance.”


  • Vic J - 2010-07-21 00:03

    Plum please forgive Kocket, let him play and show that he is our second scrummie to du P

  • Dave CT - 2010-07-21 00:29

    FINALLY! I can't believe it's taken him this long to put them together! what an indictment against PDV that he played them together in 2005 and can't see fit to play them together in his YEARS as coach. It grates me so bad when Januarie takes an age at the base of the ruck and I think what Ruan's saying about the tempo will be key BUT... our record in brisbane is far from exemplary and I think it will take a massive switch in our mindset to do it! BOKKE

  • Mr D - 2010-07-21 01:16

    Piet took the under 21 cup with the boys but hang out with RJ (gangster 28) soort soek soort het ouma gese...Good luck to the boys good riddens to the 28 gangster

  • Tommygun - 2010-07-21 01:22

    Interesting team, but still no fetcher. Some people are calling for Conrad Jaaintjies. Sorry he was never anything better than a good CC. player. I would put Aplon at fulback and bring back JP. on the wing.

  • Bob - 2010-07-21 05:31

    GO BOYS!

  • Mike@CapeT - 2010-07-21 06:42

    Even more of a mystery why Div persisted with Januarie!

  • DIV - 2010-07-21 07:25

    Div must be petrified that he is going to lose his wellpaid job! Eventually realised that Januarie is useless and is only picked because they are the same colour! Money talks, hey??????? Gravy train was nice, hey Div?

  • Steve - 2010-07-21 07:26

    I Thought that "Earl Rose was the Tiger Woods of Rugby" , De Villiers made that statement last year !

  • Bokdude - 2010-07-21 07:29

    At last.

  • Impi - 2010-07-21 07:30

    Both useless.

  • Papa G - 2010-07-21 07:47

    Great to see that theres still somebody who is pasionate abbout playing for the boks. Give it horns tjom

  • piepies - 2010-07-21 07:49

    ja ginwoner nu eers die 2 samspeel,ruan is nie fourie maar hyt lanklaas gewys wat hy kan doen vi SA op scrumie en glo as hy genoeg kans kry daar gan fourie mulik trug ini bokspan stap,Go Ruan en Sharks Bo!

  • PDV -Hater - 2010-07-21 07:58

    ...bad coach, ...bad coach, ...bad coach..!!

  • Russell_N - 2010-07-21 08:31

    A massive talent that is due for a big game in the green and gold! Think the sharks boys could be key in Saturday's clash

  • RBT - 2010-07-21 08:45

    As last! - commonsense prevails.

  • Marcus Daily - 2010-07-21 08:52

    "Just why the coach waited for five years to re-unite the pair is a mystery" JJ are you ok boet? PdV has not been coaching the Boks that long. Another ploy to discredit the darkie coach I guess. Shame.

  • downfall - 2010-07-21 09:08

    .....QUOTA PLAYERS AND QUOTA COACHES = SA RUGBY DOWNFALL... ....has started already...

  • Anti - 2010-07-21 09:43

    I was looking back in the annuls to 2000 - 2003 (The horror years of Springbok rugby) So much has changed since then, especially the consistency in selection and the ability to win matches. Peter De Villiers has a lot to be proud of. I like this combination of these 2 Free State sons, I would love to see more of them together.

  • R4 - 2010-07-21 09:58

    Yes Marcus we out to keep you blacks out of our sport! Get it? Now stay the f%^k out of the rugby blogs you stupid racist pig.

  • Chuck - 2010-07-21 10:19

    AMEN! Someone woke up! Ruan def made a diffirence last week when he came on the field Saturday, but by then it was to late!!! Mayby there is some hope!

  • @Marcus Daily - 2010-07-21 10:24

    P Divvy has known for 5 years that they are a successful combo. The author's point is that if the coach was at his senses, he would have paired them sooner. WHY is there always someone that doesn't understand basic english?

  • Joeman - 2010-07-21 10:25

    I can see many of the readers are still caught up in the past.. How I wish for the National party to rule again ! So we can have a lily white team and appoint our own coach( White). Then we can play amongst ourselves and let politics not be part of sport.

  • Gtr - 2010-07-21 10:32

    @ Marcus Daily: Do we have to spell it out? It's actually mindboggling that PdV continued with a player like Ricky, when he coached RP and MS together in a winning team, and both players are available. Surely Ruan is much better than Ricky. What's more mindboggling, tho, is that you would want to defend PdV. Oh, so sorry... It's not about discrediting the black coach, because he's doing that all by himself, with him making constant elementary selection blunders all of the time. Ricky January was the main problem in the past two tests, not Danie's nor Bakkies's yellow cards, although that amplified the problem. Why did the Stormers rather play Duvenhage? In the S14 matches that Ricky started, the Stormers lost... or am I trying to discredit Ricky, because he is colored? No, because Ricky once were able to do something special, but since then, has been shocking. Some of my WP supporter friends hates January with a passion. Not because he is colored, but because he is k@k.

  • @joeman - 2010-07-21 11:37

    you know that will never heppen now,actualy not ever,what your saying is more like saying you can raise a dead person,so if i was you i will take that stupid idea out of my head.

  • Anti - 2010-07-21 12:06

    Who is Peter Jooste, Ian McIntosh and Peter De Villiers? Selection panel??

  • Garth - 2010-07-21 12:25

    I have a better idea, Pick Stefan Terribleblanche on fullback, H(Y)ougart on wing, then you will have no quota players in the team. Oh and get Joke White back then you will have the best team in the world, but..........who are you gonna blame for the lost on Saturday. Oh my, you need a quota player to blame.

  • MrJones - 2010-07-21 12:31

    How come Spies is not vilified?? Kieran Read bossed him two weekends in a row. The Boks will loose again but it wont be 49-0 as it was while Jake White was in charge

  • Sham - 2010-07-21 16:29

    Some of the guys here must wake up. There's no such thing as quota players anymore as those players of clour in the team are there on merrit. Its only because of dick-heads like Garth & company that makes it difficult for everyone. Why dont you go away like so many f our "white afrikkaners" did many years ago??? The selection is puterate I agree, with quite a few players that shouldnt be there and to name them; Pierre Spies, Morne Steyn, Zane Kirchner, Olivier, Bakkies, Smith and of late, Matfield as well. There are players much better than them who are in top form and could easily swing the Tri-Nations our way.

  • zim - 2010-07-21 18:55

    I'm not sure why Ricky and Chiliboy are now all of a sudden regarded as "quota" players and PdV a token coach. Please guys here is some real information. "South Africa won the under-21 title - in 2002 under Jake White and in 2005 under Peter de Villiers - they beat New Zealand in the semifinal and then went on to beat Australia in the final. That 2002 team included Fourie du Preez, Juan Smith, Schalk Burger, Jean de Villiers, Gurthro Steenkamp, Gary Botha and Ricky Januarie - players who formed an essential spine of the 2007 World-Cup-winning Springboks. In 2005 Chiliboy Ralepelle captained the Baby Boks to the title with a team that included current Boks Morné Steyn, Ruan Pienaar and Bismarck du Plessis. In 2005 South Africa also captured the under-19 title with a team that included Ralepelle and lock Alistair Hargreaves. South Africa's most successful period of international rugby at senior level has been built around players from those two vintages."

  • jeremy - 2010-07-22 00:32

    Ricky Janauarie smile seker lekker breed met al die wedstryd geld wat hy die afgelope paar games gemaak het wat sy tjommie afrigter Pieter de Villiers vir hom georganize het. Die kies van die springbok span laat my aan n korrupte staats department dink. Daar word na mekaar gekyk want alles gaan op die ou einde oor geld.. Chiliboy Ramapela is ook besig om lekker dik te word van al die sous wat hy die afgelope paar jare van die gravy trein skep. Al wat hy hoef te doen is op die reserwe bankie sit en wedstryd kyk want hy is mos net daar vir window dressing. As ons ten minste n Gary Botha of Tiaan Liebenberg in die span gehad het kon ons John Smith vervang het na half tyd as hy te moeg raak. En ons kort ook vir Juan Smith op flank. Hy sal n verskil maak. In die Super 14 was daar n groot leemte in die Cheetah span as hy nie gespeel het nie.

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