Aplon plotting a few tricks

2011-07-21 22:01

J.J. Harmse

Sydney - He may have been born in Hawston and grew up in the Cape of Storms, but for once Gio Aplon would prefer for it not to rain.

The slippery fullback, who will run out for the Springboks here at the ANZ Stadium on Saturday, prefers dry fields. He does not believe that rain will create the ideal conditions for the Tri-Nations Test against the Wallabies.

Not only did it lead to the Boks' Thursday session being held indoors at a local school, but it has also led to their captain's run being postponed.

"But everybody plays in the same conditions and if it bothers us the same probably applies to the Wallabies. It will come down to the team with the best attitude towards the conditions and the one that adapts the best," said the 29-year-old fleet-footed outside back.

Aplon's counter-attacking runs are a joy to watch, but one could only speculate about how much of that will be seen on a heavy field.

"It's about balance. You have to adapt in the rain and make sure you use the right skills at the right time. It will also depend on how good the communication is between myself, Bjorn (Basson) and Lwazi (Mvovo)," said Aplon.

He played with both of them in November last year and is reasonably satisfied with the understanding between them.

"First it was me and Bjorn, and things still went well after he had to go home and Lwazi came in, so I trust it will go well again."

Even if Will Genia and Quade Cooper are such excellent kickers?
"They kick a lot more than what people realise and kick very intelligently. They also vary it well and do it in the right areas. So we have to be alert," said Aplon.

He admits that he's very satisfied with his form.

"The past year was good for me and I can thank the Lord that He watched over me; I am now a more mature player. I want to play every week as if I have to prove myself again. That is the way I like it. If that is your approach, you will never stand accused of not doing your bit."

Aplon, of course, is also playing for his people in Hawston, especially those who still refuse to support the Boks.

"I have managed to get a few of them to support the Boks, so hopefully I can go back after this and bring a few more of them around."

However, before that happens there is something he would still like to add to his Test status, Aplon admits almost shyly. He succeeded with a drop goal in Super Rugby this year and it's something he would like to try in the Test arena.

"I'm working on it in my own time and the successful one against the Stormers gave me a lot of confidence to try it again. Hopefully that one wasn't just a case of beginner's luck."

Meanwhile, the Springboks suffered another blow on Thursday with the news that lock Johann Muller had to withdraw from the line-up with a hamstring injury. He will be replaced by Alistair Hargreaves.

There was uncertainty over Muller's injury prior to the Springboks' departure and Hargreaves trained throughout.


Wallabies: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 James O'Connor, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Pat McCabe, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 David Pocock, 6 Rocky Elsom, 5 James Horwill, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Sekope Kepu

Substitutes: 16 Saia Faingaa, 17 Pek Cowan, 18 Nathan Sharpe, 19 Matt Hodgson, 20 Scott Higginbotham, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Anthony Faingaa

Springboks: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Bjorn Basson, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Ashley Johnson, 7 Danie Rossouw, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Johann Muller, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 John Smit, 1 Dean Greyling

Substitutes: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 CJ van der Linde, 18 Alistair Hargreaves, 19 Jean Deysel, 20 Charl McLeod, 21 Adrian Jacobs, 22 Patrick Lambie


  • Ulrich - 2011-07-21 22:14

    Against the Stormers?

  • Juan Viljoen - 2011-07-22 03:39

    have no problem with any of the players, just chilli, will never understand that one.I am a firm believer that the boks will do well in tri nat. dont think they will win it but will shock in some of the games, think we have a better 9/10 combination as both can kick, this is not super rugby this is test season and most games are won with kicks. Geo will be fine at the back did it in super rugby against the same players. the lack of a kicker will cost the Ausies the world cup and tri nations. go bokke

  • Bren Vander - 2011-07-22 06:03

    I really like this guy, tons of guts and talent.

  • slg - 2011-07-22 06:19

    A dynamic player who is a joy to watch but who should and would be no more than an impact player in a non-politicized Springbok team.

      Hannes van der Linde - 2011-07-22 06:55

      What the hell are you on? Can you name anyone better than Aplon at fullback the he "should" be playing second fiddle to?

      LouisFLY - 2011-07-22 08:29

      You're like a donkey..somebody needs to remove your "oogklappe"...Aplon is there because of skill & talent.

      AjAxxxx - 2011-07-22 10:40

      please just watch the highlights of his previous few games for the boks. and shut up.

  • Bulldozer - 2011-07-22 06:52

    New tricks? Planning on catching the ball and not falling over his own feet aren’t new tricks, it's basics.

      Dave Thomas - 2011-07-22 07:12

      Amazing how thick you are Bulldozer. If you cant see the skill and talent of Gio Aplon, then you dont have a clue about rugby. Not only will he do well, but he will silence the idiots like you that believe he still needs to "prove himself". He and Frans Steyn (imho) should toggle the 15 jersey in a horses-for-courses type role. You know, when you are discussing the Boks, and not your provincial side, you should take off that shade of baby blue, it's not a good colour on you. Fool.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-07-22 07:30

      Lloyd - Gio has no need for your "expertise and advice" old chap - He has it covered. I think the Blue Bulls Currie Cup team could do with some 'help' - why not offer your services there?

      Bulldozer - 2011-07-22 07:52

      Mill, Heyneke phones me on a weekly basis to hear my thoughts. Same as Darren before Boots & All. By the way Dave, are you related to Rob Thomas perhaps?

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-07-22 08:04

      I can believe Darren calls you.......when one listens to the drivel spewed weekly on the show.... As for the Bulls, did their fall from grace start at roughly the same time you started sharing your thoughts with Heyneke?

      Bulldozer - 2011-07-22 08:30

      Good chirp Mill.

      AjAxxxx - 2011-07-22 10:41

      Bulldozer, from what I've read, it is crystal clear that you know nothing about the sport. You enjoy it yes, but from a technical point of view you are not the sharpest pencil.

      Bulldozer - 2011-07-22 10:59

      What does stationery have to do with anything?

      AjAxxxx - 2011-07-22 11:40

      Thanks for proving my point, again.

      Bulldozer - 2011-07-22 11:47

      You haven't answered my question.

      AjAxxxx - 2011-07-22 11:52

      "A metaphor is a literary figure of speech that uses an image, story or tangible thing to represent a less tangible thing or some intangible quality or idea. For example: "Her eyes were glistening jewels". Metaphor may also be used for any rhetorical figures of speech that achieve their effects via association, comparison or resemblance." Ons kan Afrikaans ook praat as jy sukkel?

      GraemeBB - 2011-07-22 12:06

      @Ajaxxx - please speak Afrikaans boet, because when you speak english, you speak a load of crap. This is rugby, and all of us are rather simple scrum-type people. Heres a mataspeach thingy - Ajaxxx has verbal Cooper flu. Back to the scum guys.

  • Voorvel - 2011-07-22 07:01

    Moet net nie die Stormers se choking "Tendency" saamvat nie, Appies!

      Bulldozer - 2011-07-22 07:52

      Dis in sy DNA.

  • theunsvw - 2011-07-22 07:06

    Me thinks that Gio has proven himself as more than able.....but in the wet, I would not play him but Lambie, to be able to kick for distanceas well as up and unders in the wet...! Lambie shouold have been in the side, it would have brought more dimension to the Springboks....!

      Blue - 2011-07-22 07:16

      Lambie is on the bench atleast, so if all does not go well for Gio, div can just sub him.

  • apie - 2011-07-22 07:12


      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-07-22 07:27

      You are truly the saddest racist schmuck stalking these forums......although living in the past like you do, does have benefits I suppose. I take it you still get bread for 30 cents a loaf?

      AjAxxxx - 2011-07-22 10:43

      if the ''nag van die lang messe'' comes your kind will be first.

  • Kok - 2011-07-22 07:32

    Blah blah blah. Talk talk talk. I see a 49-0 smash coming.

      theunsvw - 2011-07-22 08:29

      And when you woke up your coffee was cold...we will talk again on this forum next week...go bokke...!

      bullincapeto - 2011-07-22 09:11

      Khoisan you say? I say one part drunk Dutch sailor, one part rotten French mercinary, two tots of Zulu cattle thief, one part Shona prostitute, and a dash of junkyard dog. Why else would you identify with people thousands of miles away who you have never met? No identity of your own, or maybe in your last life you were cruising the south seas in your canoe hunting whales and eating missionaries?

      Rob van den Heuvel - 2011-07-22 10:13

      @Kok - put your money where your mouth is!

      Bricktop - 2011-07-22 10:26

      Kok, jou tanne al uitgeval van al die tik wat jy rook? Bêre jou tikpyp en gom botteltjie asb.

      Lance - 2011-07-23 09:34

      A "South African" All Black supporter who's second fatourite team is the Wallabies....eish ! lets start an "Export- Kok- 4- Eva fund " Go Bokke ! :-)

  • Grunk - 2011-07-22 09:41

    Dare I say it? How much ball are we going to get from set pieces? I can't see us getting much good ball from the lineouts and we have got a very untried scrum. With Pococok (and Rocky if he is sufficiently fit) we may have a few problems in getting the ball in the loose as well.

  • greenpea - 2011-07-22 11:45

    @ bulldozer. incase you havent noticed Hyneke Meyer no longer coaches the bulls.. im sure you were the towel/water boy on the team in school

      Bulldozer - 2011-07-22 11:48

      Who's Hyneke Meyer? Never heard of the oke.

  • greenpea - 2011-07-22 12:15

    you know who I mean. Retard! your posts are witless and brainless, as for your rugby IQ it is non existant! put plainly, 'you suck'

  • greenpea - 2011-07-22 12:16

    no relation, but only a 'wannabe'

  • LouisFLY - 2011-07-22 13:13

    @sport24 off topic BUT why has the bok emblem been moved to the sleeve of the RWC jersey AND why has there been no news on the topic?

  • greenpea - 2011-07-22 13:57

    Brings a whole new meaning to ''wearing your heart on your sleeve'' The first step to phazing out the 'springbok' Disgraceful!

  • Lance - 2011-07-23 09:39

    Aplon could run full pace at a brick stopping and he will find a crack to slip through ! Living proof that size isnt a pre-requisite for world class rugby. Great work Gio !

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