Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tri- Nations rugby - the Springboks move to New Zealand, and the only threat they pose is in crimes against fashion

Dan Carter - he's not a jockey or a boxer


Saturday , July 30

New Zealand vs South Africa 19:35

Now that the carcass of the Springboks performance against the Wallabies has been laid to rest, it’s time to look forward to their match against the All Blacks. I say look forward with all the keen anticipation of a trip to the dentist. And after their dire showing, what else could we expect other than for a few All Blacks to come out and say they’d have to be careful of the Springboks. Jeremy Kaino was one of them seeing them as a ‘good team’ and as a ‘threat’ and Jimmy Cowan agreed with him. Reading between the lines, there appeared to be a few things that were left unsaid. Like ‘It wasn’t their piss poor tackling that worried us, or their dodgy front row, or their wonky line outs. They seemed to drop the ball a lot so we’re not worried about their handling, and they run out of puff (and ideas) pretty quickly, so it’s not their fitness or strategy that is a problem. Really, we’re just saying what our PR guy told us to say, it’s a job you know, that’s what we get paid for , doing as we’re told.’

I can’t see much threat in this Springbok team myself, there are crimes against fashion going on in the footwear department but apart from that they are a pretty tame set of Springboks, let’s face it, an out and out B team. Their only chance to lose with a bit of dignity is to bring their trademark aggression to the party, which was totally absent last week. They are a massive bunch of feckers in the forwards, and if they do some damage at the breakdown, broken field runners like Aplon and de Jongh could make their mark.

This is the Springbok team:

South Africa: 15 Pat Lambie, 14 Bjorn Basson, 13 Adi Jacobs, 12 Juan de Jongh, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Danie Rossouw, 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Alistair Hargreaves, 4 Gerhard Mostert, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 John Smit (c), 1 Dean Greyling.

Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 CJ van der Linde, 18 Ryan Kankowski, 19 Ashley Johnson, 20 Charl McLeod, 21 Wynand Olivier, 22 Odwa Ndungane.

It's good to see Lambie starting, he can easliy slot in at fly half if needed, and Jacobs and De Jongh is a much better center pairing. Stegman should have been cut, and Roussow should have been playing at lock. A new lock pairing, injury enforced,  is not going to make lineouts or scrums any easier, although I like the look of Mostert.
The All Blacks are resting no 8 Kieran Reid, lock Brad Thorn, prop Owen Franks and hooker Keven Mealamu. This is their team:

New Zealand: 15 Mils Muliaina, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Adam Thomson, 7 Richie McCaw (c), 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Ali Williams, 4 Samuel Whitelock, 3 Ben Franks, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements:16 Corey Flynn, 17 John Afoa, 18 Jarrad Hoeata, 19 Liam Messam, 20 Piri Weepu, 21 Colin Slade, 22 Sonny Bill Williams.

Man for man. this team is just better than the Springboks. The loose trio is more moblie, and that will be critical at breakdowns where the Springboks are going to get massacered. It's going to be a tough day at teh office for teh Springboks on Saturday.

The Springboks in their current guise have at least one competitive fixture under their belts now and could look and play like more of a team this week. But when you’re up against it in the front row, at line outs, and your defence is not organised to the nth degree, the only outcome of this match can be an All Black victory by plenty.

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