Eales lauds Brussow, Bismarck

2011-08-15 12:18

Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

Cape Town – Amidst a fair amount of chest-beating in the Australian press after the Wallabies’ completion of a 2011 “double” over the Springboks, John Eales has provided some measure of consolation to the South African cause.

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But in touting the merits of Bismarck du Plessis, the back-up hooker to veteran captain John Smit, the legendary former Wallaby leader and rangy lock essentially aggravated the dilemma for Bok coach Peter de Villiers surrounding the No 2 jersey.

Writing in The Melbourne Age on Monday, Eales described recently returned open-side flank Heinrich Brussow as “the most important player in their team”.

Free Stater Brussow was a prominent figure in the encouraging Bok head of steam before they ran out of energy in the 14-9 Castle Tri-Nations defeat in Durban on Saturday.

Eales said: “(He may be) the smallest man in their pack ... (but) his play enables them to compete in a fast-paced, modern style of game, even if they don’t willingly play that way themselves.

“The next most important player for them, in their pack at least, is Du Plessis, and he showed as much in his 30-minute cameo.

“But for however long his path is blocked by the inspirational World Cup-winning captain (Smit), he won’t have the required impact from the bench.

“This is among De Villiers’ biggest conundrums.

“Smit, playing as hooker for the first 50 minutes, was as good as he has been in recent times, but when he moved to tighthead prop and Du Plessis took his place, two things became evident.

“One, Du Plessis’ work rate and effect on the match was so much greater, and two, the Bok scrum destructed.”

Eales also noted: “A lot the interest in this match centred on the new-look Springboks, although to call them ‘new-look’ is a bit like referring to reformed Cold Chisel as a boy band.

“But as 11 members of their starting XV are survivors from their 2007 World Cup victory – some of them quite old in rugby years – the critics’ chorus suggests they are putting too much emphasis on past success.

“In some instances it’s hard to argue otherwise.”


  • Kalanamia - 2011-08-15 12:30

    Pomp Pomp Pomp

      Howzitekse - 2011-08-15 14:00

      A few days ago I commented that Brussow was the most valluable player in the Bok Team, and that I had my doubts about FDP. I got a load of thumbs down for that. Let me go a bit further this time. Brussow is by far the most valluable player in the Bok team, and he was the biggest single factor in the Bok wins against the 2009 Lions, and in the 2009 Tri-nations. FDP in 2007 was great, but he is presently unfit, slow, and lacks discipline and focus. He would have turned a less friendly refferee against the Boks with his constant bickering. I hope the coaches still have enough authority to curb his behaviour, but I doubt it.

      Netherlands - 2011-08-15 14:45

      Must agree with you on that one @ Howzitekse... FDP was like a WINDMILL at each and EVERY BREAKDOWN/RICK. Arms EVERYWHERE!!! And the AUSSIES even turned a few, because he was doing the windmill thingy! He was constantly MOANING TO THE REF! Think that scrummie from the Sharks has more "OEMF" than FDP...

      donkerhond - 2011-08-15 15:46

      I think the only reason FDP went on like that was because of the blatant convenient blindness from Bryce Lawrence.

      Happybloke - 2011-08-15 16:40

      @ Nederlands, do you know Rugby lad, Aussies were killing the ball on the ground 7/10 times and Du preez was complaining rightfully because the game could not flow, simple as that, please next time see where teh open flanker kills the ball and who pulled SA rucks down, get the perception of furstration of a worldclass scrumhalves as well, FDP was rusty but still done better that Pienaar did.

      roboman1 - 2011-08-15 17:18

      Brussow is great, but we need to get rid of Rossouw. As for the rest, well take it from whence it cometh, never believe an Aussie. This team are close to been on form for the world cup. The scaled down tri nations was never important this year

      Riaan - 2011-08-15 18:07

      @roboman1 Scaled down Tri nations was never important this year.... you sound just like Divvy who after being butchered by NZ and Aus said the rest of the tri nations isn't important his focus shifts to the world cup.... I would just like to know since when is any springbok game where you're country is represented not important. If an All Black caoch would've said this he wouldn't only have been fired but quietly hung behind the pavilion. Tell the springboks past a test (especially against Aus and NZ) isn't important... they who spent weeks at see just to get the chance to meet them on the field. Away from family for months with little or no compensation. They played as Frik du Preez said "om dors te word". To them it was the greatest honor they could achieve in their life. War between 4 white lines. How the times have changed.

      Mrgreeky - 2011-08-15 19:56

      Agreed Riaan. Jan Ellis The Great flanker said that such was the pride of wearing the bok jersey that he would hit the loose scrum so hard that he was more surprised than anyone else that he came out alive on the other side.

      Riaan - 2011-08-15 21:57

      . .. . . The days where the rugby fields were hard as stone and the players even harder.... Jan Ellis- Een van die groot geeste van Bokrugby!

      Neilson - 2011-08-15 22:11

      @ Riaan: Sorry old chap, the days of playing for the Boks being an honour have long gone, died and is passed its smelling period as well. Today a player plays just good enough to be in the team to get his money. However, one of the reasons the Boks do well in WC is because they finally have something to play for, to win the WC. This is why I believe we still have a really good chance in the WC. Because only the will the players have something to play for. Nobody is going to put their body on the line for another losing Tri-Nations game. But being part of a WC winning team do mean something. At least much more these days than the honour of playing for a corrupt and racist anti-white country.

      Mickey Fin - 2011-08-15 22:31

      @donkerhond- You have no clue about rugby and are also illiterate. The ref kept the Boks in the game moron! And every blog and webb site said so!!!!

  • chappy - 2011-08-15 12:30

    Agree completely. Wonder if SARU will consider foreign coaches after the World Cup? Eales would be a good option actually....

      BlueRaven - 2011-08-15 12:36

      As if... lol, well I guess if they are not South African they will qualify as BEE? If Bafana Bafana can get the most expensive foreign coach why not the Bokke?

      MB1810 - 2011-08-15 12:40

      As far as foreign coaches go I think John Mitchell would be the perfect guy to get SA out of this "10 man" rugby mindset we have.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-08-15 12:40

      I am praying for an overseas coach. There is NO coach in SA capable IMHO of taking our rugby forward (no-not even Heyneke) We need someone with foresight, a focus on BASIC SKILLS and someone with vision who won't tolerate cr@p from players, administrators or provincial unions. Oh yes, and if the new coach could also please bring a rugga League specialist with him - dankie. I want our chaps to have the same skills as the League players have - and we won't find that here in good old SA. If Deans has resigned with the Wobblies.......could we not tempt Ewan? Although he will probably end up with Ireland or Wales (great places to coach....)after the WC...I can't see him happy to just coach the Reds anymore. BUT: damn, wouldn't mind him taking over here....

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-08-15 12:42

      oops meant to read RE-SIGNED with the Wobblies, not resigned.

      JustinD - 2011-08-15 12:43

      We currently have a foreign coach....totally foreign to rugby!!!

      InternetMan - 2011-08-15 12:51

      You guys are forgetting that everybody hates us to ease their own White Guild (tm). By us I mean the springboks. I say let foreigners stay foreigners.

      Marx - 2011-08-15 12:51

      Saffa, I thought we've got an "international coach" He's definitely from another planet 'cause everyone is trying to "translate" what's he's trying to say everytime he opens his mouth!!!

      Uhuru - 2011-08-15 13:07

      Saffa cat you are typical of the mindset in RSA that we always need overseas people cause they are a lot better. I see it everyday at work when overseas companies get contracts in the engineering industry where we could have had good companies here local if we just trusted them to do the job. I have worked in Germany, UK and Dubai and can tell you our RSA engineers are a much better than the UK engineers and on par with german. Pull your head out of your bum and start seeing how good we as south africans are. Similarly we also have excellent rugby coaches, but your wide-eyed wonder of anything foreign is blinding you.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-08-15 13:19

      @Uhuru - incorrect. I am proudly South African, which is why I can readily admit, that coaching in SA (from primary school level ALL the way up) is sub-standard. 90% Of it is mindset, and won't be changing anytime soon - SO, in a case like that, one brings the 'mindset' changer in at Bok coach. Once the new Bok coach places emphasis on SKILL rather than size and power, and selects players accordingly, those coaching at lower levels 'might' start to adapt. The ONLY local person currently capable of coaching SKILLS at this stage:Paul Treu - the 7's coach. Please tell me which 'local' you would appoint as next Bok coach?

      Netherlands - 2011-08-15 14:48

      Look at the current Curry Cup standings... two top teams have NZ Coaches!

      gees-hey - 2011-08-15 16:17

      @Netherlands: thats why the one coach gets French players the loins on the other hand... now thats a coach lets throw a spanner in the works... John Mitchel for coach he deffinatey is a 4year guy

      GR - 2011-08-15 16:31

      @SAFFA-CAT. Nick Mallet.

      Wessel - 2011-08-15 17:13

      My man PDV will stay there to when ever.I see they want the Springboks 60% black.So he will stay as coach.I dont realy cear if it is 90%black but they need to win games.Not just World cup but all there other games.But i take it this will be our last change to win the worldcup.And for FDP he is the best Srummy in our team.The next best one is Vermaak.John Smith also going to cost us.

      StBad - 2011-08-15 17:54

      We all know who the next coach is going to be...

  • Bulldozer - 2011-08-15 12:33

    John Eales is the best lock ever after Quinton Davids.

      Raka13 - 2011-08-15 13:31

      and after Adri Geldenhuys

      Netherlands - 2011-08-15 14:50

      After Caster Semenya!

  • - 2011-08-15 12:38

    Brussouw is by far the best fetcher in S.A, I have no clue how they could select Stegmann in place of this guy. When a legend like John Eales talk you listen.

  • Ozman - 2011-08-15 12:39


      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-08-15 12:44

      Not tonight, I have a headache. Take your mating call elsewhere.

      Bulldozer - 2011-08-15 12:45


  • BlueRaven - 2011-08-15 12:42

    When Bismarck came on the field ONE thing was evident, John Smit is holding back our beloved Bokke. But hey he is going to the world cup because apparently in this very experienced team there is no other that can lead the Bokke to victory. No ONLY John is the chosen one, no matter that he can't even get a starting place in his Super 15 team. Anyway, I am a Bok supporter, so my role is to support the team. GO BOKKE!!!

      Sarge - 2011-08-15 13:32

      Remember when Bismarck literally crashed through Moore. The most epic part of the game!

  • Weisskopf - 2011-08-15 12:44

    When you have tunnel vision..... do you really think PDV is going to change... John Smit please do us all a favour and step down, there has been to many embarrising defeats under you in the last 2 years, not to mention your Passenger status on the field.

      Bulldozer - 2011-08-15 12:48

      Smit only has one thing on his mind and that is match fees. Everything else is secondary. He will milk it until he can't walk anymore, which should be soon if you look at his performances over the last 2 years.

      BlueRaven - 2011-08-15 12:55

      He will not because he does not realize true legends knows when it is time to hang up their boots. I also pray he will step down, but it won't happen, the team will just have to carry the "leader".

      Mojojo - 2011-08-15 13:01

      There once was this great rugby player who had this belief that he had to play the game forever as he was the best captain & only he could motivate HIS team, and as time passed him by his performances became more & more embarrassing for the the team & the fans became more frustrated (pissed off) with an ever increasing losing streak. Yet still he had the mindset of an addicted gambler that the next game will be be the win that he so desperately seeks. Alas it was all in vain as he was eventually told that he was not permitted to use his walking frame on the field of play but when the coach finally had the courage to take it away from him he collapsed in a heap of Smit.

      Grunk - 2011-08-15 13:02

      What do you mean about "til he can't wan't walk anymore"? He's been crawling around for the past 2 years and still taking his fees with nary a blush on his face. He really is a disgrace to all the captains who went before him (generally fired eg Teichmann who also was a coach's tactical box up supreme which cost us an RWC. This one though is going to lead us to total humiliation).

  • Barry - 2011-08-15 12:59

    yes I agree I am a John Smit fan but he should see that he is not at the same level as he was in 2007 step down and give the other guys a chance it will still be hard going as we are not up to scratch but if you watch your game you will see what I mean.

  • Anneleen - 2011-08-15 13:03

    Okay Div, maybe you can please take some pointers from this article...whatever your decision, the Boks are still my team...

      Bulldozer - 2011-08-15 13:05

      Anneleen, he probably can't read.

      BlueRaven - 2011-08-15 13:32

      Anneleen maak vrede vet Johnny boy is die chosen one, hy gaan saam New Zealand toe of ons nou daarvan hou of nie. Sjoe ek het amper gedink die geluk het ons getref toe ek lees hy is moontlik uit die wereld beker span uit, maar alas! Ou Johny boy gaan saam, krippel of nie! Uiters frustreurend.

  • Zullie - 2011-08-15 13:13

    Het Saffa Cat - what about John Mitchell? Should be close to him coaching a national side. If he was given 4 years with the new crop of Bok players, he will be a legend - yes - better than Plum.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-08-15 13:39

      Mitchell is far better Plumtree - fact. I would be more than happy with the Stalinist Mitchell coaching the Boks. At least we can see the vast improvement in the Lions basic skills - something ALL the other CC and national teams could do with as well. Yeah, I like old John.

      Gavin Hundermark - 2011-08-15 13:42

      Zullie - you ever noticed that John Mitchell is a kiwi? Kinda proves Saffa's point

  • wouter.vanheerden2 - 2011-08-15 13:15

    John Smit volgens my het die game vir ons gekos teen die Aussies toe hy oorgeskuif is na stut toe en van daar af het die bokskrum agteruit gegaan. Bryan Habana het weer soos sy ou self gespeel en het weer vir die intercept gegaan en die manne deur gelaat op sy kanaal. Gelukkig was daar anper personeel om sy gemors reg temaak en te verdedig. Asb SARU haal asb vir John Smit en Habana uit die span want hulle is geen aanwins vir die span nie.

      Sarge - 2011-08-15 13:54

      Danie Rossouw cost us the game!!! Cant tackle, cant pass, cant run forward and cant hold on to a damn rugby ball!!! By far the worst performing Bok of the day!

      kurtvs - 2011-08-15 14:30

      Why Oh why? Which game did you watch? Brian had a good game and his general play and work rate was right up there. John Smit had one of his best games in some time and got injured in the last scrum and that is why he came off.

  • SonderSnor - 2011-08-15 13:48

    The ranking of Sa hookers in my book: 1. Bismarck Du Plessis 2. Adriaan Strauss 3. Schalk Britz 4. Tiaan Liebenberg 5. Chilliboy Ralepelle 6. Deon Fourie 7. Craig Burden 8. John Smit Any one of these hookers will appear to be the best in the world if they get on the pitch after John. He is blocking a lot of talent and has nothing to show for it. Predict that he will avoid the AB front row at all cost on Saturday.- Injured or scared to be exposed by AB B team this time?

      SonderSnor - 2011-08-15 15:09

      No I did not, take a good look at the list again.

  • Triplestrong - 2011-08-15 14:17

    I am a John Smit fan, BUT after Saturday, I must admit I hoped his injury would put him out of the WC, letting PDV off the hook of making the decision for him. John needs to retire NOW from Internayional rugby, we need Bismarck at 2!

      BlueRaven - 2011-08-15 14:38

      We all did!

  • aluwanirootz - 2011-08-15 14:33

    Spies also had a good game

  • Mark - 2011-08-15 14:44

    Foreign coaches will not come here...they are not allowed to pick the best players for the teams.

  • Johnny - 2011-08-15 15:00

    the question should be if the coaching staff are up to scratch, all we hear is some positives came out the match, the only positive out of the match is Pieter divilliers cannot coach at that level

  • ikey_tiger - 2011-08-15 15:24

    Summed up perfectly.. Lets hope they prove us wrong

  • GR - 2011-08-15 15:30

    Bok team picked for the Aus test is a very good one. I would just like to see a few tweaks. Burger for Rossouw, Alberts for Spies (although Spies had a much improved performance) and Hougard for Habana. Hougard makes an immediate impact no matter what position he plays.Habana is a serious weak link in our defensive line. Teams have cottoned on to him breaking his defensive line to try and make the intercept which leaves us very vulnerable.

  • Llewellyn - 2011-08-15 21:24

    John Smit is targeted , not because he was the worst player in the tri nations as some blindly believe , but because of the major losses and the fact that he lead the team as the captain.. I watched him against New Zealand considering all the negative nonsense ive heard and no suprise he was one of the few guys on the field putting the all blacks under pressure. If the entire team played as he did, including copying some typical Smit crash tackles, then we could have won. He remains a great player in my mind and is but one member of a team. Its sad that a guy who has worked so hard for SA rugby, suffered humiliation not only because of the chaps running rugby but also because of the rugby crowd who ignore the brilliance he has shown in his career. Focus on the real problems, not on a man who has played his heart out for his country. Get PDV and his team out of rugby,Hoskins must go as well.

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