The Springbok side to take on the All Blacks at the FNB Stadium on Saturday:
15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Jaco Taute 12 Jean de Villiers (c), 11 Francois Hougaard, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Beast Mtawarira.
Bench: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Marcell Coetzee, 20 Elton Jantjies, 21 Juan de Jongh, 22 Patrick Lambie
Hope you got your team in on time … Courtesy of Energade, Tank is hosting the winners of the Energade Bok Barometer competition on a trip to see the Boks play in Argentina next year. The winners being the guys or girls who correctly predict the Bok side that Heyneke Meyer picks each week this year …
The current 30 man Springbok squad:
Forwards (17): Willem Alberts, Andries Bekker, Arno Botha, Craig Burden, Pat Cilliers, Marcell Coetzee, Jannie du Plessis, Eben Etzebeth, Juandré Kruger, Tiaan Liebenberg, Francois Louw, Tendai Mtawarira, Coenie Oosthuizen, Adriaan Strauss, CJ van der Linde, Flip van der Merwe, Duane Vermeulen
Backs (13): Jean de Villiers (captain), Juan de Jongh, Johan Goosen, Bryan Habana, Francois Hougaard, Elton Jantjies, Zane Kirchner, Patrick Lambie, Lional Mapoe, Lwazi Mvovo, Ruan Pienaar, Morné Steyn, Jaco Taute.
The side Tank would have selected:
15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean de Villiers (c), 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Beast Mtawarira.
Bench: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 CJ van der Linde, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Marcell Coetzee, 20 Francois Hougaard, 21 Jaco Taute, 22 Patrick Lambie
Comment from Tank Lanning:
One simply cannot fault Heyneke Meyer’s thinking given this announcement … The Boks flourished last week with a flyhalf more inclined to take the ball up or give his outside backs a chance. The forwards dominated and delivered very good ball for the backs to work their magic. They deserve the vote in confidence from the coach.
They will need to be more circumspect this week, though, so I agree with Meyer’s rejection of suggestions that the Boks try and run the All Blacks off their feet on Saturday. The Pumas were beaten 54-15 by the All Blacks because they tried to take on the All Blacks at their own game, and every time they made a mistake, the Pumas were punished.
And that is the key against the All Blacks – you just cannot make mistakes. Make them out wide, without the safety net of a pack of forwards, and it’s even worse …
Given that, I might be inclined to make two tweaks to the side, using Juan de Jongh outside the skipper as they formed the defensively deadly centre pairing for the Stormers this year, and perhaps playing Lwazi Mvovo on the wing. The latter for two reasons – Francois Hougaard is yet to fire in the run on side, so a stint away from the starting team might be good for him, and against the All Blacks, you want a bench that can make a difference.
I have been calling for Pat Lambie to start for weeks, but against the All Blacks, the first 50 minutes is about keeping them out, rattling them up front, hard, in your face tackling, and turning them with astute kicking out of hand, so perhaps having Kirchner in the mix this week is the right call.
One would have been fun to unleash the likes Hougaard, Lambie and Jaco Taute for the last 20 or 25 minutes … But as said up front, no real complaints from this beer guzzler …