De Jongh is a Bok 'must'

2010-08-07 19:41

Comment: Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

Cape Town – Never mind just select him, Juan de Jongh may well have earned the right to be pencilled in as first-choice centre for the Springboks’ Vodacom Tri-Nations Test against New Zealand at Soweto in a fortnight.

Certainly he looks the right stuff as a freshening presence for the Boks as they begin the journey to redemption after a shocking away leg of the competition.

With the squad for the home Tests expected to be announced on Sunday, De Jongh could not have chosen a better time to remind the national brains trust of his potential as he starred in Western Province’s 50-3 battering of Griquas in their supposed Absa Currie Cup stronghold of Kimberley on Saturday.

Inside centre, outside centre … it doesn’t really matter. With Wynand Olivier less than inspiring at No 12 of late and De Jongh’s Newlands-based colleague Jaque Fourie ruled out of the No 13 jersey through suspension for the encounter with the All Blacks, the 22-year-old simply must play.

He has already shown his comfort in either berth at first-class level, possessing as he does the defensive relish for the “closer” channel, plus speed and elusiveness for the wider role.

De Jongh was as effervescent and purposeful as ever as the log-leaders, now sporting five wins from five outings, tightened their early grip on the competition in some style.

They are looking like a clinical machine at present, well-drilled and sharply motivated throughout their ranks, and if it was the proverbial game of two halves, to some extent, then De Jongh showed his prowess in both.

First he tackled and scrambled like a demon as the street-smart Province absorbed the initial kitchen-sink bombardment from Griquas – the 12-3 situation in the visitors’ favour at the interval was all down to penalties – but then he was one of the architects of WP’s great verve and penetration in the second half.

Remarkably, considering that the opening try came as late as the 48th minute, with De Jongh rounding off a move from a long pass with the necessary thrust and power, Anton van Zyl’s side then joyously added five more.

The second was a beauty, with Province sparking the raid from deep in their own territory, and De Jongh featuring at least twice as the ball switched from one set of hands to another and an array of angles were run.

Reserve hooker Deon Fourie dotted down the crowd-pleasing move from a brilliant back-flip pass by No 8 Duane Vermeulen, another WP player who is pressing forcefully for Bok honours as a school of thought grows that he has a broader all-round game in the vital position than incumbent Pierre Spies.

It would, of course, be premature and inappropriate to start suggesting the national side be loaded up with Province players simply on the strength of their bright start to the domestic competition.

Indeed, anyone in Pretoria would be fully entitled to point out that they haven’t won any silverware yet and that the Bulls, instead, are the defending Super 14 and Currie Cup champions.

But if some of the Boks’ problems have been down to their fall-away in discipline and execution of once-trusted basics recently, then a number of Test “possibles” from down Cape Town way have been benefiting from the excellent professionalism and savvy injected into the WP side by the likes of Allister Coetzee, Matthew Proudfoot and Robbie Fleck.

Certainly in Kimberley a number of Province players stuck up their hands for Springbok consideration, including Conrad Jantjes at fullback.

This was arguably the game where Jantjes, no stranger to a green-and-gold jersey, confirmed he has mended both physically and psychologically from his horror leg-break in the Super 14 last year.

He was assured on defence and is now restoring dynamism to his game in attacking situations, something that Zane Kirchner struggled to do for South Africa in the Tri-Nations overseas leg.

Gio Aplon was hungry and incisive on the right wing, although he also enters the No 15 picture, you would think, for the Soccer City outing on August 21.

Both Vermeulen and Francois Louw did no harm to their quests for Bok loose forward spots, although there was a case for saying the unsung Pieter Louw was perhaps the best of the three WP men in that department against Griquas.

But De Jongh to be unleashed on the All Blacks? Surely the gutsy little package from Paarl is a certainty now …


  • BALSAK(alias Blue Bul Hater) - 2010-08-07 20:46

    WP jou LEKKA DENG!!!! Wen Provinsie(WP) groete!!!

  • junk - 2010-08-07 20:52

    You lost your mind. An average performance against a team playing well off it's normal pace. Juan deserves a go only because the real boks not playing through suspension and being made to play out of position. Same for Janjes: useless performance other than for one run due to poor tackling. I hope JdJ gets picked and found out now (too light and small and gets walked over) when the Trinations junk through biased refereeing and many bok injuries.

  • Shaun - 2010-08-07 20:57

    WP Jou Lekker Ding!!!

  • Marius - 2010-08-07 21:12

    Written like a true one-eyed WP supporter after having a great game against second rate opposition. I agree, put the whole lot of them in the Bok team now, so that their shortcomings against decent opposition can be exposed now before it is too late and they get chosen for the world cup. I am sticking my neck out now, biut mark my words. The Currie cup this year is still going to be won by either the Bulls or the Sharks, definitely not WP. Once all the Boks are available for the teams again come semis time it wil be a different ball game.I live in PE and Alister Coetzee will never convince me as a coach. Not after he totally wrecked EP Rugby within the two years that he coached EP. From a Currie Cup Team to stone last in thr second division within 2 years. Something that they still haven't recovered from until this year when Alan Solomons took over EP. He just doesn't have it when it comes to crunch time.

  • ian - 2010-08-07 21:28

    I believe that De Jongh is a big talent BUT dont push him before he is ready AND FOR GOD SAKE PdV do not play him out of position. Dont play ANYONE out of position - you are screwing there careers. It is your ilk that have already buggerd up Ruan Pienaar and Frans's spirngbok careers. Now you are looking to wreck Kankowsky and others. I have tired to give you credit BUT it is getting hard to keep backing you.

  • Reality - 2010-08-07 22:05

    Yes, sounds "great" choose all the Province guys, that what you all wanted from the start anyways. Please remember this article a few months down the line and see how far you have come then, short sighted indeed.

  • haha - 2010-08-07 22:29

    You must be on cheap drugs.. I think there is other much better centers, also the All Blacks will run all over the little dude, but If you HAVE too play him, give him a chance in the last 20 min. against the All Blacks in the next test...

  • mike - 2010-08-07 22:38

    This article is garbage, he tackled and scrambled like a demon, hilarious since by half time he had only made 2 tackles, yes 2.. wow truely inspiring when WO has averaged 20 in the tri-nations to date. He couldn't complete half those if he was on steriods. Go right for a school paper down in the Cape, we really don't like to hear this tribe. If you looking for a serious contender for 12 other then WO then go look at Doppies, his got more class then JdJ will ever have. Plus where has JdJ proved anything other then his a seond stringer too WO so far.

  • JJ - 2010-08-07 23:03

    this has to be the true test of whether there are any brains left in that trust...De Jongh has stood out above Olivier all S14 season. Olivier is and always has been totally average and extremely over-rated. Let's do the shake up now and start including talent otherwise the stale rugby of the so-called veterans in the side will surely see us going out of RWC '11 before the semi's.

  • Suurpoep - 2010-08-07 23:26

    De Jongh and Olivier centres ..

  • Alucard - 2010-08-07 23:28

    What complete garbage. de Jongh was shown up in all his tests, offers nothing that Olivier doesn't and Jantjes is one of the most predictable and useless 15's I have ever seen. Field these two if you want to lose. There are only two solutions. Frans at 12, and Joe Pietersen at 15, nothing else will work. But then, South African's are widely known for their ignorance in selecting the wrong players or the right one in the wrong positions, particularly under de Villiers. de Jongh a 12? LOL!

  • Juan & Jean - 2010-08-07 23:42

    Olivier is a good CCup and decent S14 player but will NEVER be a good International player. I thought that it was a no-brainer that Jean de Villiers will be at 12 with de Jongh at 13. Now they must just be bold and put Lambie in Steyn’s place who is ANOTHER BB player who is just not good enough. If Frans Steyn is not coming back then Jantjes should replace “kick and charge” Kirchner. Jantjes was injured and Kirchner was only playing because of that. Vermeulen don’t have to proof anything now since he proofed throughout the S14 that he is much better than the overrated, no-skill show pony, Pierre Spiertjies Spies. When will the selectors in SA learn YOU DO NEED SKILLS to plat this game!

  • Ash - 2010-08-08 00:57

    Griquas are not great opposition,anyone can look good against a much weaker team,however give him a run against the all blacks and lets see what happens but you cant make hin first choice after only a few good performances against much weaker opposition.

  • Jaco - 2010-08-08 01:02

    Couldn't agree more! But be ready for a bombardment from the Bulls fans though . . .

  • Tommygun - 2010-08-08 01:40

    De Jongh a must! Without doubt. Francois Louw too cumbersome and still can't catch a ball. Pieter Louw a better option, quicker and more productive. Jantjes too slow even before he broke his leg and only shone in attack when GWKs were on the carpet. I don't think we need to look any further than Lamby as a future flyhalf This youngster is a thinking flyhalf who has the opposition guessing whenever he has the ball. He still needs to work on his out of hand kicking. JP and Mvovo must be in the squad. I feel we have the talent to turn this around, but my worry is do we have the coaching staff to make it happen.

  • RCH - 2010-08-08 06:36

    I hate all that is WP or Stormer, but I have to agree that De Jongh is definitely the best center at the moment, and I even think it would not be so bad to even include his center partner Bosch with him. WP are doing well, seems their coach is on top of things both offensively and defensively.

  • BALSAK(alias Blue Bul Hater) - 2010-08-08 06:51

    Juan de Jongh jou SPRINGBOK!!!! Die BESTE nommer 12 in SA , na Jean de Villiers!!! Wynand Olivier jou GOEIE CURRIE BEKER en S14 speler!!! Wen Provinsie(WP) groete!!!

  • THEMBILE - 2010-08-08 06:57

    Juan reminds me of Tenius Linee Who played as if his life was threatened always bloodied.

  • jack black - 2010-08-08 07:00

    I think that poor team selection has been a big problem in this year's tri-nations. If you watch the S14 final, the big difference between the Stormers and Bulls was at the breakdown, where Stegman and Potgieter outclassed Burger and Louw. Yet Pdivvy goes with the losing combo. Olivier has never has the dynamism to play for the boks, but rather than play Jean at centre, we put him on the wing (despite the multitude of options available in that position). Kirchner was also never the best fullback in SA! Time for the selectors to get their heads out of their butts!

  • Rudi - 2010-08-08 07:02

    Surely you can't be serious, not as this moment, they only played Grikwas yesterday and that is no measurement at all. This man has great potential, please let him be mange properly so that he can be a one of the best, and not a flash in the pan. South African Rugby needs to build for 2011 WC, Nurture our upcoming talent and don’t overexploit them, and we will have all the talent we need to maintain the WC.

  • Rudi - 2010-08-08 07:04

    Surely you can't be serious, not as this moment, they only played Grikwas yesterday and that is no measurement at all. This man has great potential, please let him be mange properly so that he can be a one of the best, and not a flash in the pan. South African Rugby needs to build for 2011 WC, Nurture our upcoming talent and don’t overexploit them, and we will have all the talent we need to maintain the WC.

  • leon - 2010-08-08 07:30

    At last someone is seeing the light ! I hope PdV reads this. Please note , this is not luck , to beat Griquas 50-3 at home you must have muscle !!

  • Donovan - 2010-08-08 08:18

    Another biased reporter, such a shame....

  • Ampie - 2010-08-08 08:28

    die kern van die span het verlede jaar die drie nasies gewen....maar ons keurders en ondersteuners moet ophou om hulle blind te staar na trofees wat in die verlede gewen is en vorm en ondervinding van die verlede en kyk na die huidige vorm van spelers die spelers wat ek vanjaar sien wat hulle harte uit verdedig en speel is morne steyn en schalk burger, waarom hulle blind staar na die groot bonde ? in die verlede het van ons grootstes soos jan ellis en danie gerber van klein provinsies gekom, hou weer proef wedstryde en kies weer spelers wat huidig op goeie vorm is

  • Jakes - 2010-08-08 08:30

    Coming from you, it is not a surprise. Our problem until now has not been the individual players and their talents, but how we perform as a team. Also, we need a Richie McCaw, TO GET THE BALLS. We don't have any balls, if you understand what I mean. No defence, sloooooowwwww ball, and so on. One player is not going to make a difference.

  • john - 2010-08-08 08:52

    There are a diffrence between a underperforming Griquas team and a on form NZ side.If we have to select all the players who perform against the Griquas we will have a 100 new cap players a year. That is the problem with our SA selection. There is a diffrence between players that show form agains weaker teams and players of class.

  • Soothsayer - 2010-08-08 09:05

    Rob take off you striped sunglasses please.Griquas are not the all blacks or the Auzzies.On the day against an inferior side anybody can perform well.If you had a say the whole of province would be wearing the Green and Gold

  • Alan Ingram - 2010-08-08 09:21

    I'm afraid to say that ANYBODY is better that some of the senior Springbok players at the moment?

  • stompies - 2010-08-08 09:48

    Ja Rob, it all depends on the hat you are wearing, and yours is a province one. Pity about the silwerware, then?

  • Bennie de Beer - 2010-08-08 10:26

    Julle mense probeer spelers Springbokke praat.

  • Brad - 2010-08-08 10:34

    While I respect Griquas (the source of many Sharks and Province players and Bakkies), one should only rate these players when playing against big hard teams such as the Bulls, Free State and the Sharks. Kind of like Kankowski, brilliant player locally, but against the big boys (British Lions, All Blacks), it is perhaps a different story. But yes, bring in these young guys, give Vermiulen a run, let both him and Spies get to the first game of World Cup next year fit and in form. In five years time, no will care who won the 2010 Trinations, people will only care about the 2011 World Cup. Stop trying to just win the next game and rather build for the World Cup.

  • Jack - 2010-08-08 11:04

    We can only hope ed, we can only hope. Meisiekind has played 30 odd tests and has scored one solitary try, which must be the worst record for a SA center, EVER?! Juan de Jongh is much more creative than he is, not to mention the fact that he's faster and more agile as well. He's just as strong on defense, as he has shown during the Super14 & CC, but his true talent lies in his eye for the gap instead of just crash-balling all day long like Meisiekind. With Jaque out though, maybe a combination of Jean de Villiers & Juan de Jongh? Surely, that's the best combo that we can come up with at the moment. Duane also deserves a call up, even if it's just to be a part of the squad.

  • Rica - 2010-08-08 11:08

    Adreed! The Bulls are last years champs and their defending is non existant. Olivier, if he can shake the Bulls' arrogance and plays like he can, will be an asset with Fourie not available. The Bok coach and his selectors have unfortunately put paid to De Villiers's chances, dooming him to play wing which he certainly is not. The pumped up figure of Spies is just that and he stands way behind the likes of Vermeulen, Kankowski and others. There are many excellent younger players who are faster and with more rugby sense than a whole lot of the current Boks. And dont do to Lambie, Aplon and other smaller players like Brett Russel and argue that they are to small for the Bok team. They are the sting we need in the game. The hype in the Bok camp of late smells of conniving to oust Smit for Matfield as captain for next years world cup. What does losing under Smit's captaincy count if there is a bigger goal for the Bulls? But all in all, hopefully provincialism will be discarded and the best men chosen to do us proud.

  • Clyde - 2010-08-08 11:39

    Well said, WP were awesome yesterday - champagne rugby at its best!

  • Rugby Supporter - 2010-08-08 11:48

    Although I am a WP supporter, I must caution against injecting form team players for others. I believe that the present squad has been selected on experience against form and they believe that they are automatic choices due to past performances. Less than a handful have performed so far in the Tri-Nations and DIV needs to remind them of their potential by dropping them so that they get the proverbial kick up the pants to regain their form or be happy to be regarded as second stringers / has beens. We have lost the Tri-Nations trophy and now need to start thinking about retaining the big one. DIV needs to send a message to all players advising them that only the best inform will do. Players in turn must manage themselves in making themselves unavailable if they are injured or need to be rested so that they are in tip top form for the world cup in 2011. From this comment you will notice that I have not mentioned names or teams as my national team is the Springboks which takes presidence over all provincial / super teams.

  • Boks No.1 - 2010-08-08 11:50

    One good outing against the "blind" school is hardly just cause for an article like this. Anyone of the amateur sprinters could have had the same game i.e. forward pack creating so much room that he could have ran sideways and still created play. With the NZ forward pack currently dominating the Boks forward back, a little twig like De Jongh will get broken into a million pieces within 20mins of a test match. Dont knock Wynand Olivier until you truly know what a player of his stature brings to the midfield. I would caution the author of this article at making such rash suggestions on the wims of a domestic competition such as the currie cup ... at least until all the senior players are available in September for the crunch matches when everyone knows the bulls will walk it ...

  • Nokka - 2010-08-08 12:25

    Indeed, De Jongh has been knocking on the door the whole S14 season, and why he wasn't in the team already, is something only P Divvy will know. This situation reminds us of last year, where Snorre's lack of talent identifying skills were exposed in both the Lions as well as the November European tour. Initially, Snorre simply did not want to change his handed down team with the inclusion of Morne Steyn and Heinrich Brussow, even though both players were exceptional and devastating for their teams earlier in the S14. It was only by fluke that Brussow entered the second test, and Steyn as well. But, since they ran on, they were match winners, as predictes by the whole of the SA rugby public. Then came the November tour, and Snorre again surprises with such talent as one Devon Raubenheimer, currently heating up the S14 and Currie Cup playing fields... um, not. If they really were such big talent, these youngsters he took with him in November would've surely been grabbed by the bigger unions and made their mark in either of the bigger leagues? Now it is 2010 and the 3N are halfway for the Boks - and again Snorre is struggling to read players' ability. Either new names in the S14, or players that is out of shape. This lack of identifying class and assessing current form is a worrying thing. My prediction? We will stumble to semi's in WC2011, and then spectacularly be beaten. And then a new coach will be seeked, without the political ramifications which a step like this would have if it was done today.

  • STORMER - 2010-08-08 13:34

    Ummmmmmm, most people have been saying this since the S14. Even the blind Bullyboys must realise De Jongh is the REAL DEAL.

  • @author - 2010-08-08 14:34

    Dear Rob. You are being biased. WP forwards dominated Griquas. Hence the time & space for their backs. I find that most commentators look for the perfect player - which does not exist. Instead; we need to pick players who are balanced but have one or two outstanding features. Olivier & de JOn are such players but with different strengths. Why must people slate Olivier to uplift de Jong - bollocks! Olivier is on of the few SA centers to really contain rampant NZ attacks through phenomenal defence. De Jong is one of the few SA centres that can penetrate a line with sublime footwork. No-one ever talks about Jean de Villiers's poor defence - tackling with arms instead of shoulder . . . . but try to find a center in the world with better spacial awareness. The problem with SA's 3N attempt this year is that Snorre is playing the game without a ruthless open-side fetcher. Vermeulen, Brussouw, Stegman, Jaque Botha, Kobus Grobler would all be more valuable for SA in this form of the game than Schalk B. Why does every S14 team have a fetcher except the Boks - a simple, significant error.

  • vincent - 2010-08-08 14:51

    To Junk Learn how to write english before you comment on this blog you idiot.Stop being so negative about rugby in SA You lose some and win some If a player deserves the green & gold it does not matter what colour they are as long as they play for the pride of the country

  • Province4Life - 2010-08-08 14:59

    SPRINGBOK TEAM for the 21st August game against ABs: 15. Frans Steyn 14. Gio Aplon 13. Juan De Jongh 12. Jean De Villiers 11. Lwazi Mvovo 10. Morne Steyn 9. Rory Kockett\ 8. Duanne Vermuelen 7. Jean Deysel 6. Schalk Burger 5. Victor Matfield (c) 4. Danie Roussouw 3. Jannie Du Plessis 2. Bismarck Du Plessis 1. Beast Mtawarira Amazing!

  • Stormtrooper - 2010-08-08 15:57

    True, the Griquas aren't NZ or AUS, but who remembers De Jongh's try against the Waratahs? His excellent defense and attack throughout the entire S14 against top quality teams? I would say that pretty much cements him the bok line-up. Get your facts straight before you bash, haters.

  • Joe - 2010-08-08 16:35

    Mike against the French WO missed three tackles in the first our minutes. Stop being so one eyed. In 30 tests, yes 30 , wynand has yet to ut in a solid performance and cap that with 1 try. At s14 level he is OK and test level is hy maar vrot.. Even Tim Whitehead will do better!

  • Joe - 2010-08-08 16:37

    Oh and the last time I checked the underperforming Griquas were ahead of the Bulls on the log !

  • Deonic - 2010-08-09 00:31

    Vermeulen's name is being put forward by, mostly my fellow WP supporters. I am not convinced that; 1 - he is, as an individual, better than Spies and Kankowski and 2. There are players like Keegan Daniel and Pieter Louw who seem to have some game-breaking potential. Vermeulen fits very well in the WP discipline, and at some stages in the S14, his combination with Burger and Flo were exceptional. The Bok structure is, however, completely different. Give Vermeulen another year at S14, let's see.... The sooner De Jong is given a few tests, the better. Outside of the WP, there is only a smattering of international class centres at this stage, with Wynand Olivier and Doppies Le Grange probably the best, although Doppies is 3 years past his best. The Bulls seem to be bringing some young talent through in the centre position, but the Cheetahs and Sharks have not had a class centre in years. And then, there is Mvovo. How about we get Pieter Rossouw to work with him for a year at the Bulls? Ok, I know he is still with the Sharks, but the only backline coaches that can develop backline players are at the Bulls and WP (and UCT and US) - and it seem as if Mitchell knows his stuff as well. Even at the Bulls, the work is being done by Pieter Rossouw, with Tukkies slipping up badly at this stage. Come to think of it. Think of Nonu, Conrad Smith and Muliaina.... Olivier and Kirchner are simply not in the same class, it doesn't matter how you look at it. Poor Steyn is surrounded by journeyman class players with Olivier and Kirchner around him....... And then he gets a third class service from January.....

  • leeutjie@joe - 2010-08-09 01:39

    Check again.

  • quina - 2010-08-09 06:03

    Die bulle word al weer afgeskryf,maar hoekom staan daar 3 trofee's langs mekaar in die kas.Die wp speel die beste rugby op die oomblik,en ek dink coetzee is die perfekte opvolger vir snorre,maar ek sal graag wynand en de jong wil saam sien teen die all blacks.Oja nog n ding het kaapstad al die parkie bankies verbeter,dit beseer net die spelers se rue

  • RCH - 2010-08-09 07:41

    Province4life - the only disagreement I have about your team selection is Schalk Burger, I have never been a fan and I never see him contribute. I might like to have Dewald Potgieter there instead.

  • David T - 2010-08-09 07:53

    @Boks No.1 - You my friend, are a fool. You state so called "facts", based on statements that are totally false. E.g. You say one shouldnt pick de Jongh on Currie Cup form. He was initially picked on his outstanding Super 14 form you moron. Then you mention how "a little twig like De Jongh will get broken into a million pieces within 20mins of a test match". Might I remind you of the Stormers backline defensive record of which de Jongh was an integral part... or of his incredible try against the Waratahs at crunch time, stepping off both feet and through three tackles to score under the poles. Olivier can run hard and he can step, he just cant do them both at the same time. Juan de Jongh can. Your obsession with size is typical Blue Bulls selection policy. Take off your blinkers man.

  • Boks No.1 - 2010-08-09 14:45

    @ David T: It seem you sir, stand alone in your so called opinion. The general forum agree that De Jongh does not have the defensive capability to play at test level. De Jongh has no test record, and my point remains: You and the other "lekker dinge" base your high account of this player on one or two outings. I suggest you leave the team selection and coaching to the professionals ... and over your comment about me and the other Blue Bulls, when did you last check the Trophy Cabinet? You "Lekker Dinge" can only dream of our achievements ...