Skinstad: Bok loosies no worry

2011-08-18 09:02

Cape Town - Former Springbok loose forward Bob Skinstad is impressed with the amount of depth the Boks possess amongst their loose forwards.

With Juan Smith pulling out of the Rugby World Cup due to an Achilles injury, and Schalk Burger in a race against time to be fully fit, the Bok management could be forgiven for setting into a slight panic mode.

But according to Skinstad there's no need for panic.

"We are blessed with a number of first-rate loose forwards in this country," Skinstad told Die Burger newspaper.

"Several players had good Super Rugby campaigns and others are coming back after rehabilitation.

It's only a matter of choosing the right combinations. It depends on the type of game you will play in a specific game," said Skinstad.

Skinstad is highly impressed with the return of fetcher-flank Heinrich Brüssow and is also impressed with the current form of Willem Alberts, Ryan Kankowski and Ashley Johnson.

"Brüssow and Alberts could form a good combination on Saturday. (against the All Blacks in Port Elizabeth)

"The one is a fetcher (Brüssow), and the other (Alberts) is a ball-carrier.

"But Willem (Alberts) also steals numerous balls on the ground," said Skinstad.

Ashley Johnson is a reserve for the Test at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium on Saturday and Skinstad believes he provides coach Peter de Villiers with a lot of options.

He feels that Johnson has proved that he can play open-and blinside flank as well as eightman.


South Africa:
15 Pat Lambie, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Victor Matfield (captain), 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Gurthro Steenkamp

Substitutes: 16 John Smit, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 CJ van der Linde, 19 Danie Rossouw, 20 Ashley Johnson, 21 Francois Hougaard, 22 Butch James

New Zealand:
15 Israel Dagg, 14 Isaia Toeava, 13 Richard Kahui, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Liam Messam, 7 Adam Thomson, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Ali Williams, 4 Samuel Whitelock, 3 John Afoa, 2 Keven Mealamu (captain), 1 Tony Woodcock

Substitutes: 16 Andrew Hore, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Jarrad Hoeata, 19 Victor Vito, 20 Andy Ellis, 21 Piri Weepu, 22 Cory Jane


  • jk - 2011-08-18 09:04

    agree with bobster, the only worry is the last time alberts played was in 2008...

      docraven - 2011-08-18 09:30

      We have great Loosies.Just got to make sure we select them correctly to have the right combinations.Sad news about Juan!!

      donkerhond - 2011-08-18 09:33

      Alberts played in the Sharks quarter finals game this year. Unless you made a joke that I'm not getting

      JohnnyBB - 2011-08-18 09:36

      ...thank goodness overrated slow-joe, tortoise Duanne Vermeulen is injured....!!!

      Bellakanoose - 2011-08-18 13:25

      ALBERTS! 2008? What! Negative dude, he played end of tour last year, 2010... scored 3 tries in 3 games! JK... more research my bud :)

      Raka13 - 2011-08-18 13:27

      jk, jy dink seker aan Albert van den Berg

      DeonL - 2011-08-18 15:27

      Yes, wrong Alberts. He was a great sub in 2010.

      Howzitekse - 2011-08-18 17:03

      jk, Juan Smith, Brussow and Schalk Burger are our world class loosies. The others still quite a way off.

  • Bulldozer - 2011-08-18 09:13

    Give Luke a ring.

      docraven - 2011-08-18 09:27

      Do you want to put your Mini in his Ring?

      Kaapie - 2011-08-18 09:44

      Great stealer of the ball whether you okes like it or not, and whether you want to acknowledge that or not..Just like mbhiyizo of the Kings showed what good fetcher he is when he played againt the B & I lions.. yet no credit for that. One name that Skinstad doenst mention is Josh Strauss and imo better that Spies even though Spies had a good game against the Wobblies, rather to my surprise..

      almosthuman - 2011-08-18 10:01

      please dont mention Watson or Earl Rose,maak my naar !

      Bulldozer - 2011-08-18 10:13

      Doc, sukkel nog so n bietjie met jou selfbeeld sien ek. Die Rondebosch standerd sessies het jou lekker geboelie, nê?

      docraven - 2011-08-18 10:36

      Dozer, nope panty pusher, did not go to Rondebosch, close but no cigar!!!LOL

      Bulldozer - 2011-08-18 10:52

      O.k sorry, die Bishops standerd sessies, toe jy in matriek was.

      MB1810 - 2011-08-18 12:33

      I agree that Josh Straus might be an exiting prospect for the future, he was one of the players that really stood out for the Lions in the S15 and he's only been getting better and better with the Currie Cup. Whether he'll ever amount to anything other than a great Provincial player, we'll just have to see.

      Bellakanoose - 2011-08-18 13:38

      Bulldozer, you propose to Twatson rather? No self respecting woman would ever... do the guy a favour, tell him how much you love him! But don't forget to ask Cheeky for his hand in marriage first... otherwise you might find yourself in a political war where you're being asked to bench 150kgs as proof of your manhood!

      Bulldozer - 2011-08-18 13:47

      Awesome chirp, Bella, awesome. You are the bestest.

      Bulldozer - 2011-08-18 15:25

      Ou Bella het soos n speld verdwyn.

  • Magmansa - 2011-08-18 09:16

    Those Supersport ear pieces look so budget! Agree tho, we got good loosies. Our worries are wings, props and FULLBACKS :-/, although our wing issue has more to do with the ball not getting to them.

  • Marx - 2011-08-18 09:20

    With Brüssow and Bissie on the same park we actually do have two fetchers, Bissie sometimes steal more ball than Brüssow. Go Bokke!!

  • Makutu - 2011-08-18 09:22

    Please take Marcel Coetzee with. He is BRILLIANT!

      MB1810 - 2011-08-18 12:37

      Agree that Coetzee is a great prospect, but we haven't even seen him in an actual contest against Super 15 opponents. He needs to keep working hard, get some experience under the belt and maybe in a year or 2 he'll be ready for a green jersey.

      Makutu - 2011-08-18 16:37

      Listen to yourself MB1810! That's the exact problem in South Africa. We doubt our young. Look at Jame O'Connor. The man proved all those that said he was too young wrong. I say take MArcel Coetzee NOW. He has what it takes. Let him prove us wrong. Look at Coenie Ooosthuizen! Another incredible player thats apparently too young. No man! The Reds team that won the Super 15 has more than 6 players who age 19 - 21! And they won the Super 15. Make one think, doesn't it?

  • mike mason - 2011-08-18 09:22

    At the Moment Best loose forward on form is Joshua Struass.Since we handing out Bok Caps like sweets i think the Bok coaching staff should have given Strauss a Chance.

      tshepo.theman - 2011-08-18 09:30

      PDV is intimidated by strauses beard so that wont happen

      Kirk Mc Mahon - 2011-08-18 10:18

      I think Josh Struass will captain the Boks one day to World Cup glory as he is a superb player and leader. However I dont think his time is now and he is doing a great job for his Union which needs him more than ever now.

  • Anneleen - 2011-08-18 09:24

    Thanks Bob, for your support...thumbs up for Bob and the Bokke!!!!!

  • SAFFA-CAT - 2011-08-18 09:32

    Let me start the day by saying: Juan Smith is a legend. The man who over a decade has probably epitomized more than any other (including John Smit) all that is good re: Bok rugby. Recover well loyal servant of the jersey - all of the very best to you!

      gooinat - 2011-08-18 09:38

      Morning Saffa,indeed sad news about Juan Smith and yes we wish him all the best in he's recovery.Who do you think will wear the seven jersey at the WC????,maybe Schalk even though he is out of position!!!!!!

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-08-18 09:51

      @Gooinat - Morning! Brussow, Burger and Spies as starters? Although P Divvy said a while back that if he starts with Brussow at 6, Schalk will start at 8 - but that has to change with Juan's withdrawal surely? Unless he plays Burger, Brussow, Alberts with Spies off the bench. Either Alberts or Schalk at 8? OR: Brussow, Burger, Spies with Alberts off the bench? Just please dear rugby gods stars not Danie at loosie-unless its a crisis and then only at 8 and if it is raining! Problem with losing Juan is: he is an extra lineout jumper. My dream Bok loose trio: Duane(fit), Schalk and Brussow.

      gooinat - 2011-08-18 10:18

      Time will tell who we end up with but ja Duanne,Schalk and Brussouw would be awesome.

      JohnnyBB - 2011-08-18 10:43

      ...Duane Vermeulen = overrated paloooooka..... .....just like Alister (zero cups) Coetzee....

      FJ2 - 2011-08-18 11:55

      @SAFFA-CAT: Enjoy your posts. Ja, Juan will be missed, especially the defence on the blindside, but we will cope.

  • Dragonpig - 2011-08-18 09:49

    WIth Bismarck, Brussouw, Alberts, Beas, Spies and Danie Russouw (as a lock instead of bakkies) in one team I think the ball carrying ability and fetching ability would be amazing

  • Bill - 2011-08-18 10:09

    I still cannot see why Guthro must start ahead of the Beast

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-08-18 10:17

      He needs game time urgently before the WC starts. Beast can't possibly start in every game in NZ - we need a match fit Steenkamp.

      GR - 2011-08-18 10:22

      Think it is purely down to giving him game time.

      Makutu - 2011-08-18 11:13

      Me too...

      Totman - 2011-08-18 11:33

      I agree with SAFFA-CAT. That make sense. Although I must add, maybe they keep Beast as a wing replacement.LOL!

  • Kirk Mc Mahon - 2011-08-18 10:14

    No matter how great your loosies are, if they don't break the law at every breakdown without being penalised like a certain other team we playing on Saturday, they may as well be chilling in the stands.

  • rosemarie - 2011-08-18 10:21

    Bob Skinstad - JA ou maat- Albert Einstein who you love to quote over and over again and again. Here is a new one for you-"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem"

  • faan.roetz - 2011-08-18 10:26

    Skinstad fails to point out that ignoring the good play of Josh Strauss and Derek Minnie at the Lions, Dewald Potgieter at the BULLS and Keegan Daniels at the SHARKS in early season has landed the Springbok selectors in troubled waters. Johnson is good as link with backs and offers some good defence thinking and executing. He is not specialised enough, making him no international test player. They are stuck with him now and if any of our top 3 players get injured Johnson will stand out worse than a sore thumb. Skinstad should not cover for the selectors.

      Gorden Dreghorn - 2011-08-18 13:48

      Faan, you got it spot on! wish more people on this site had your rugby knowledge. Boks are in serious trouble, yet no-one is willing to point out that fact, and especially the ss comms. It clearly shows there lack of rugby knowlegde, as does what skinstad says here,...what an idiot

  • GR - 2011-08-18 10:27

    Would like to see Brussow, Alberts and Johnson combo. I also think Hougard would be a good option at wing instead of Habana who is a liability on defense with his persistent attempts to intercept passes.

  • rosemarie - 2011-08-18 10:32

    @ SAFFA-CAT & Gooinat What about 1 half 7-Bismark 6 - Brussow, 8-Jos Strauss Alberts as impact player last 20 Spies at inside centre Adriaan Strauss or Chiliboy @hooker + Connie Oosthuizen @ prop. That lot will compete and drive every ball and would be difficult to contain Like to hear your thoughts

      Whoosa - 2011-08-18 10:44

      what about Aplon at hooker and pdivvy at 10?

      gooinat - 2011-08-18 11:18

      Bismark is good but at flank,sorry I don't think so but he is also a great fetcher(he does not have the flair that a Schalk Brits has if he has to play flank) Josh Strauss will be at the next WC for sure,he is going to be a great player and leader and sets a great example by getting stuck in.This WC Divvy will stick with Spies even though my heart goes out to Duanne Vermeulen whom I think is better. Spies at centre has been brought up before,my problem is that if you are going to use him only to caryy up the ball then we have a problem as he often loses the ball in contact(when he does make contact as he tends to avoid that) I feel sorry for a player like Adrian Straaus as I think he is a good hooker but he will not make the squad as will a lot of good players due to Divvy making promises when to players when he became coach. Just my thoughts!!!!!!!!Good luck Bokke!!!!!!!!!

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-08-18 11:20

      @Rosemarie - I have said a few times that I would like to see Bismarck play as a flank in a one off test - just to satisfy my curiosity (purely because I can't handle watching the man having to sit on the bench waiting to get onto the park as a hooker.. The ideal is for Bissie to start at 2, but if it meant having him on the park 80 mins - I would have liked to see him have a go at flank - too late for that now. Spies does not have the hands or the defensive skill to play at 12 - his channel would be annihilated. I like Adriaan Strauss and Chili at this stage should only be used as an impact player - very explosive. Josh Strauss will have his time - it is not now though. I always believe a player has to perform at the highest level for TWO seasons, before they should be considered for the Boks. Too many players have "breakthrough" seasons first up, then fail to maintain in their 2nd season....If Strauss does well next year, and keeps current form - then give him a shot.

      gooinat - 2011-08-18 11:29

      @Saffa,would you really give Bissy a go at Flank???????I know he needs game time but flank:):):)

      Drewka - 2011-08-18 11:37

      Rosemarie gaan support Netbal of iets meer in jou lyn asb. Jy verstaan nie die beginsels van Rugby nie.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-08-18 12:24

      @Gooinat - to satisfy my own curiosity only. (as mentioned) I thought they might have tried it at some stage in the preparation - just as a 'tester'. But it's too late now. Bissie IMHO, is already an extra loose forward.....even with the 2 on his back. Better carrier than most, great pilferer of the ball on the ground etc etc.

      BM123 - 2011-08-18 13:06

      Drewka - that's why she's asking a question - to understand more. Have more patience and less arrogance.

      twincamsam - 2011-08-18 13:49

      Shame Drewka.... what's the matter babe? PMS?

      jk - 2011-08-18 13:57


  • dale.cronshey - 2011-08-18 10:55

    Bob . . . the worst rugby commentator ever and certainately not an expert on rugby by the way climb out of PV's a*se

      maans.brink - 2011-08-18 11:23

      At least he commentates on the game and not on history and "herkoms" like blades and Kapie , both past use by date

      BM123 - 2011-08-18 13:10

      An ex Springbok captain - not an expert on rugby?? What are you then - 10 years old?

  • UkNowHowWeDo - 2011-08-18 11:15

    So upset about Juan Smith! Wow i hope Schalk is ready! - Best combo would have been, 8 Schalk/Alberts, 7, Smith, 6 Brussow...

  • Denise - 2011-08-18 11:26

    Cannot believe he didnt mention DUANE?

      gooinat - 2011-08-18 11:50

      Me to!!!!!!!!!!!!

      gooinat - 2011-08-18 11:51

      Ace,you see Denise is back????

      MB1810 - 2011-08-18 12:47

      Why not? Duane is injured, has not played for ages, has absolutely no test experience so they cant just draft him into a WC squad like Burger and expect him to be any good.

  • david.haselhof - 2011-08-18 11:44

    I know that Juan Smith is a great ball carrier, but I do think that as a player (not a presence in the Bok team), he is too one dimensional to be seen as great. I lose count of the amount of times I've seen him waste an overlap in ope play because he refuses to pass the ball.

      Bulldozer - 2011-08-18 11:46

      Didn't know you were into rugby.

      david.haselhof - 2011-08-18 11:54

      Chuck was my coach ;-)

  • Jack - 2011-08-18 12:47

    Come on! We have tried many combinations in the tri-nations so far, and each one was outplayed. What's this about depth in loosies, when we cannot even find a front-line combination that can beat the Aussies or AB's at the breakdown. I would like to state the incontrovertable fact: we HAVE NO LOOSIES of tri-nations standard! The cupboard is bare! You can mention any name from S15, or Currie Cup, somewhere along the line, the Wallabies and the AB's have chowed them.

      kurtvs - 2011-08-18 13:10

      You cannot rate the loosies that played in Australasia as they were playing behind a pack that were strugling. They should also be afforded opportunity to play behind the first choice pack and this will be a true reflection of their capabilities. You will see on Saturday the impact that Ashley Johnson will have coming from the bench behind this pack. Did you watch the match the Free State against the Sharks where Ashley outplayed the highly rated Alberts by a country mile and he resorted to some rather distasteful tactics\cheap shots?

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-08-18 13:42

      @Kurtvs - I like Ashley - but ONLY on the flank. Not at 8.

  • Andre Ellis - 2011-08-18 14:26

    No worry about the loosies as individuals - I worry about the combinations. I don't trust the Management team to pick the right one. The problem we have for RWC - is that we do not have a calibre tight-heads - WHERE IS BJ ??

  • ziggy147 - 2011-08-18 14:50

    Taking note of what Skinstad says is like putting your house on the promise of a politician. This is the guy who hid an injury to play in the 1999 RWC at the expense of Teichman and before you all say that it was Mallet who picked him, he should have, in the interests of the team, fronted up and pulled out much like I suspect Juan Smith is doing now and for which I for one give him huge credit.

  • namibia24 - 2011-08-18 14:55

    This is easily the best team that have been chosen recently. Virtually all these players are specialists in their positions except for Pat Lambie but he makes up for it in talent. I would have liked to see Gio also in the mix somewhere. These players all have proven that they have the X-factor!!! right from Gutro down to Pat. I look forward to this team's performance on Saturda. Go Bokke!!!!!!

  • rosemarie - 2011-08-18 15:11

    @ SAFFA-CAT & Gooinat I take your points and see the argument. Mine is just a just hypothetical. But hypothetical debates are food for thought. The reason for Bismarck at flank is not that he is not the best hooker but because he is such a good player generally and he is unbelievably powerfull. I believe we need “fetchers” all over the place and not be limited to Brussow. The wallabies and NZ are certainly going that way. I think we are covered at hooker with players like Strauss and Chiliboy. They are both excellent hookers and make a contribution in general play. If someone like Kuhn can alternate so much more for Bismarck. Spies at centre is a long shot but again he is a remarkable physical specimen and we must find a way to utilise that. Yes he does spill the ball and his passing is suspect. And yes inside centre is a specialist position but still if it works it will be devastating. It is worth a shot. I am convinced he will breach the first line of defence easily and I don’t really agree that he is suspect on defence. Springbok play is currently dull and predictable- try something new!!!!!!!!!!!

      Whoosa - 2011-08-18 15:50

      @ Rose, bismarck is to slow to play loosforward. He will let us down on cross defence etc. He should be upfront in the thick of things, grinding and hurting the oposition. His probaply the best hooker in the world, so why even think of playing him out of position? And your suggestion on Spies, for the last 2 seasons he coudlnt even hold his own at 8, so why in gods name try him at centre???? He was brilliant though last week so just leave him at 8 for now and let him regain his form. If for any reason you would like to make such a bizare move, i would play Schalck Britz at 12. Hes got the best step of all the SA players and his very explosive. Jean realy has to come good this weekend, hes been poor for 2 seasons now.

  • Mark - 2011-08-18 16:00

    no 16 is a liability

  • Northern Stormer - 2011-08-18 17:19

    Spies played one good game the whole season - last saturday and everyone is in 7th heaven !! He was dismal the rest of this year - Nothing wrong with Schalk,Duan and Alberts/Deysel with Spies and Johnston on bench !! No provincial comment at all. The feeling that Duane will not be up to it because of no test experience is bull. He played all thes guys in S15 and had brilliant games most of the time. he just need support and he will be fine !!!

  • Mickey Fin - 2011-08-19 03:17

    Yes Bobby. If you judge the players on your standard, then the Boks have nothing to worry about. Only Brussow is at the required level of international rugby. You have a Hooker that unforunately is on the bench to much that is a better "lossie" than the guys actually playing. Wake up Skinstad you were and still are a loser.

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