It’s the Boks ... by a whisker

2011-07-22 14:06

Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

Cape Town – Never write off the men in green ... that is the defiant message from Sport24 readers ahead of the Castle Tri-Nations opener between Australia and South Africa in Sydney on Saturday.

Despite Peter de Villiers and company opting for a significantly watered-down side as they preserve core players with the World Cup in mind, a poll on our site asking “How do you see the Tri-Nations Test in Sydney panning out?” produced a narrow show of loyalty toward an upset win for John Smit’s underdogs.

Five options were provided in terms of the possible result, with 29% of respondents, at the time of writing, fancying the Boks to get home by fewer than seven points and 17% optimistically tipping them to win by seven or more.

That amounts to 46% of the poll leaning toward South Africa, with 45% choosing the Wallabies: the split there was 37% backing the Aussies to prevail by seven points or more, and 8% by fewer than seven points.

Another 9% hinted at a possible stalemate by choosing the “too close to call” option.

The last time the Boks fielded a weakened Tri-Nations side in Sydney ahead of a World Cup (the triumphant 2007 one), they put up a brave show before losing 25-17.

There will be a few “survivors” from that meeting on view on Saturday: centre Wynand Olivier and scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar were starters then and do so again, whilst in the Wallaby ranks Adam Ashley-Cooper and Rocky Elsom again run out at the start – Nathan Sharpe begins this Test off the bench.

Meanwhile an earlier Sport24 poll this week, asking the broader question “Who will hold aloft the Tri-Nations trophy?” strongly tipped IRB No 1-ranked New Zealand: they garnered a massive 62% of votes.

But the Boks, likelier to be much closer to full strength for the home leg, came in second with 32% and the Wallabies got a miserly 6% in distant third – maybe influenced by their shock reverse to Samoa last weekend.


  • peter the gr - 2011-07-22 14:09


      BlueRaven - 2011-07-22 14:13

      peter peter! Aren't you just a ray of sunshine

      First48 - 2011-07-22 14:14

      I really hope the Boks make you look like a "box" (translate "box" to Afrikaans for your reading pleasure).

      The Oracle - 2011-07-22 14:18

      The All-Blacks will have their butts handed to them on their own soil, The BOKKE will Retain their Title!!!

      Grunk - 2011-07-22 14:19

      Let's rather say it's a great chance for some to put their hands up for the real thing

      docraven - 2011-07-22 14:21

      Peter, who having a wet dream their boy??

      Jason - 2011-07-22 14:34

      I agree with Olivier in the center position and Stegmann giving away penalty's only one result is possible. But will still support by beloved boks, don't have to like the makeup of the side but you can't keep everyone happy all the time.

      DeonL - 2011-07-22 14:44

      Never say never, but we are the underdogs.

      rockster666 - 2011-07-22 14:47

      @The Oracle the ABs wont have a chance to face the Boks cos Samoan gonna delete them out of the world cup in the first round hahahaha

      On the Verge - 2011-07-22 14:53

      peter the grrrrrrumpy...

      Jack Turner - 2011-07-22 14:59

      Sorry Guys I so hope you can prove Peter wrong....But unfortunately he is spot on......We have no chance.........

      Marx - 2011-07-22 15:00

      Peter, take that Wooden Spoon and Shove it !!

      Adrian Naidoo - 2011-07-22 16:19

      You need a hobbie... Try stamp collecting.

      Pim - 2011-07-22 17:27

      pity you have to use caps-always a sign of insecurity peter

  • Tshepo - 2011-07-22 14:18

    i can see 15 bloody noses tomorrow eina.... hope the bucks have lots of bandages and crutches!!

      docraven - 2011-07-22 14:21

      You thinking again....STOP!!

      DeonL - 2011-07-22 14:43

      This is not soccer, you are on the wrong site, again.

      René Müller - 2011-07-22 14:50

      Tshepo, I'm all for opinions, but who are the 'bucks' you referring you??? Go Bokke!!

      Dirky - 2011-07-22 14:52

      Yes Tshepo, the bucks are playing tomorrow,......... but against Tottenham Hotspur

      Jack Turner - 2011-07-22 15:01

      The "Bucks"...who T F are they

      BLOODY AGENT - 2011-07-22 15:15

      Tsepo we are talking Rugby nor soccer,the bucaneers are not playing against the Ausies

      docraven - 2011-07-22 15:15

      Tshepo, i get it Bucks as in Money.You want ,want ,want but i dont waaaant to pey naaating.

      Bulldozer - 2011-07-22 15:16

      Sipho, 'bok' in Ingels means 'goat'.

      buzz - 2011-07-22 15:18

      You guys feed this troll day in and day out - its a laugh. Its like if you ignore this butthole's hero, minime, then he will just go away. But you don't! Aaaargh! Ah well, happy friday all, and enjoy the game tomorrow!

      docraven - 2011-07-22 15:21

      Tshepo...your pic has just made me believe in Evolution

      bullincapeto - 2011-07-22 15:28

      Tshepo can you in all honesty say that you love your hair?

      Backstabber - 2011-07-22 15:59

      Tshepo = Kok = BCC = Bluejay = Legend = my precioussssssss... Hehehehehehehehehehe...

      chrismtb007 - 2011-07-22 16:07

      so Tsepo, if we go by your stupid logic, we should call Bafana bafana, the boys???!!!

      René Müller - 2011-07-22 20:26

      Tshepo, with your logic of Boks = Afrikaans (dutchman) and 'bucks' = English, would that make mnr Swart now mr Black or Holland now Hole Land? Serrriiiooouuuussly!!

      Creeky - 2011-07-22 21:48

      Lets hope that "WHISKER" is NOT one of Tshepo's PUBIC HAIRS.... or any of those UNDERLINING PdV's Nose either!

  • Rob van den Heuvel - 2011-07-22 14:30

    A win, even if it is only by one point, will be more than good enough for me. Go Bokke!

  • Anneleen - 2011-07-22 14:42

    ...yes please, by a whisker, and without a wooden spoon...GO BOKKE!!!!!

  • BLOODY AGENT - 2011-07-22 14:51

    The Boks WILL win,there is no doubt about it,watch this space

      rockster666 - 2011-07-22 15:00

      Buch of dreamers

      BLOODY AGENT - 2011-07-22 15:14

      rockster i might be a dreamer but you are a wanker

      docraven - 2011-07-22 15:16

      rockster...that would be buNch, unless you are German??

      docraven - 2011-07-22 15:17

      Agent, we agree on one thing today.Our Team unites us all....bit dont get to cosy with that idea big guy.

      docraven - 2011-07-22 15:35

      rocky....The guys delivering the RWC Trophy to NZ have got lost, they have not been their in DECADES!!!!

      rockster666 - 2011-07-22 15:50

      Doc rugby would be so boring if ABs wins everything

      docraven - 2011-07-22 15:59

      YO YO Rocky, when last did the Mighty AB win a RWC??

      rockster666 - 2011-07-22 16:06

      Doc when was the last time the Boks beat scotland. hahahahaha

      DeonL - 2011-07-22 16:09

      Rocky - they last won in 1987, the only time. Only SA and Aus. has won it twice.

      rockster666 - 2011-07-22 16:11

      doc the rwc should be be deleted off the programme cos teams who wins the title doesn't keep up to that status its a disgrace.

      rockster666 - 2011-07-22 16:20

      Deon correct me here would it be their second time this year.

      docraven - 2011-07-22 16:37 dont really know your left nut from your right(thats if you have) We, the mighty Bokke"have one it twice, this year will be the 3rd.1+1=2+1(this year)=3.Get it my boy??

      docraven - 2011-07-22 16:38

      Oh Rocky, we beat Scotland the game before we lost.

      docraven - 2011-07-22 16:42

      The Haka these days looks like a bunch of Pansy's doing the Charleston!!!

      rockster666 - 2011-07-22 16:46

      Doc you dreaming again stop playing with your nutties

      rockster666 - 2011-07-22 16:49

      Doc you didn't lost you got your nut handed to you by THE MIGHTY SCOTTS

      Creeky - 2011-07-22 21:58

      Difference between Bafana Bafana and the Springboks???? Bafana Bafana represent their "COUNTRY" for the MONEY..... and the Springboks PLAY FOR THEIR COUNTRY! How many times have the Springboks PROMISED to NOT PLAY if they don't raise the Appearance Fee? And Bafana Bafana? More times than I can remember!

  • FerretGee - 2011-07-22 14:59

    I read these comments pages and often add my own comments but one thing that always amazes me is how so many South African's fail to support the national rugby team. Quite often it is because their favourite player hasn't been selected, more often than not it's because the have a problem with the coach and/or the captain and then there are a host of other irrational reasons offered by alleged fans. Having read more than one biography of former Springboks and Springbok coaches, the underlying theme is that every player who pulls on a Springbok jersey, knows what an honour it is to play for their country (and yes there are exceptions to this rule) and they will all run through brick walls for their country, coach and captain. Yet, commentators in these forums continue to run down the national team for all the reasons I mentioned earlier. So what if we left 22 regulars behind with varying levels of injury, so what if we may be protecting them for the World Cup, so what if Aussie and NZ bleat that we are "dumbing down" the Tri-Nations. This is OUR national team and our goal is to defend the World Cup. The players on tour now will play out of their boots, some will play better than others and some wont make the RWC in 50 days time BUT, you can bet your last Rand that they will not play badly on purpose. Those players on tour want to win for two reasons 1) for the honour of the green jersy and 2) to be in the mix for selection to the RWC squad. Lets support our men in Green & Gold!

      Koda - 2011-07-22 15:10

      Well said!! GO BOKKE!!!

      docraven - 2011-07-22 15:18

      Ferretgee....Gee wis, you could have summed up your book in 2 sentences

      frans.visserdsb - 2011-07-22 15:26

      I agree. In fact, with the notable exception of WO I quite like the backline and think they may have too much pace for the Aussies - Gio and Lwazi have some serious pace, and Juan is a future great in the making... if only someone can teach Wynand to pass. I like the choice of Ruan with Morne, and Our pack is good. We probably could pick any combination out of 20 loosies that would not disgrace the bok team... Reading the papers, it seems the Aussies have been making all the comments... I would love the boks to take the second string comment and ram it down their throats...

      Ivan Breetzke - 2011-07-22 15:37

      Well said. 1 nation 1 team!

      Maori - 2011-07-22 17:21

      FerretGee, did you get stars for essays?

      Creeky - 2011-07-22 21:55

      Gio Apolon is the only weak link in the current team... lets hope the rest can cover for him! Other than that... the "BOYS" are playing to get INTO THE RWC TEAM!. Going to be either NAIL BITING.... or Most of the Bok supporters are going "GARDENING / SHOPPING".... should the Aussies take an early lead!

  • Moersteen - 2011-07-22 15:16

    This just proves that we always predict with our hearts, not our heads. Take the Springbok side being fielded, the recent S15 results, the quality of our coach, and the fact that we are playing in Oz. Of course I hope they win, and will be cheering them on, but realistically we are the underdogs by some distance.

  • LLEWELLYN WILLIAMS - 2011-07-22 15:21

    I don't believe in an under-strength Springbok side. You either a Springbok on merit or u are not one or so it suppose 2b at least!

  • Jason - 2011-07-22 15:24

    Its Oom Petiers se snorrie...and is oh so positive abt tomros glory

  • bullincapeto - 2011-07-22 15:26

    Kok, khoisan you say? I say one part drunken Dutch sailor, one part Zulu cattle thief, two parts Shona prostitute, one part illiterate French mercinary, with a dash of junkyard dog. Why else would you identify with a group of people half way accross the world who you have never met? Identity (or lack thereof) crisis, or in your previous life you were cruising the south seas hunting whales and eating missionaries?

  • Carl Muller - 2011-07-22 15:56

    I am a South African and this is my Team. KEEP YOUR HANDS AND MOUTHS OFF THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you cannot, just keep in in your circle.... of friends...that is if you have any...

      rockster666 - 2011-07-22 16:23

      No wonder why they soooooo crap

      docraven - 2011-07-22 16:40

      2 RWC Trophys crap as opposed to NZ one back in 1987! The Haka these days looks like they Tap Dancing!!LOL

      rockster666 - 2011-07-22 17:08

      Doc what is it like been beaten by the MIGHTY SCOTTS hahahaha

      rockster666 - 2011-07-22 17:10

      Doc will be 2 this year

      rockster666 - 2011-07-22 17:34

      @ Maori she must be one helluva sight LMAO!!!

  • BardofAvon - 2011-07-22 20:20

    Excuse me for asking... but why are peeps so hungup on predicting a result? And so emphatically? Nobody knows who's going to win. That's why we all watch, right?

  • Kleinboet - 2011-07-22 21:29

    The Bokke will win handsomely. There is no doubt there.

  • HRLady - 2011-07-23 03:04

    Think we are going to loose for the simple reason this is far from our best side. I just hope JuJu opens his mouth in a public forum this weekend so we can spend Monday all commenting on what an idiot he is and not kick PDV in the nuts because of what is going to happen on the rugby field this weekend.

      Maori - 2011-07-23 10:35

      Who said JuJu is an idiot? Is that because he deals with the issues that you and your cronies are uncomfortable about? Get real, this is a rugby blog. You never kicked Jake White in the nuts - why is Div si different? Oh, no I see.

      HRLady - 2011-07-23 10:45

      Maori you are a chop

      Maori - 2011-07-23 11:00

      And you are a closet racist!

      HRLady - 2011-07-23 11:28

      A racist? You poor poor person. You have no idea do you. Iesh i can't believe. But, what ever makes you happy you poor bitter little confused person. Shame run to Mommy now. By the way this is a Rugby Blog

  • Lance - 2011-07-23 09:21

    The backlines are equally talented...Our forwards will dominate though = more backline ball = Win :-)

  • Andre - 2011-07-23 10:52

    Today we will see the best center and front row combination in South Africa. The Springboks will win by ten. And for Tsepo, in Afrikaans you are a "sot" and you will die one. Rugby is for intelligent people.

      Maori - 2011-07-23 11:12

      Andre, you are such a bitter woman. The bokkies will be smashed later today. Intelligent people can at leat spell (not you). Or are intelligent people bokkie supporters with Verkenner membership who cry about the bok emblem. Move on girl and good luck to your team

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