Tank Lanning

It’s been a long time since I swore at the TV while watching a game … But, my oath, the Bok performance on Saturday evening made me angry! And two things one should never do when angry is argue with your wife or write a column on the Boks … You tend to say things you don’t really mean …

But as said I the build up to the game … Why did Heyneke Meyer choose to take on Argentina up front and physically? Without doubt their biggest strength, would it not have made sense to move the ball around and take them on out wide with more guile and skill than brute force?

It only happened twice in the match, and on both occasions, Jean de Villiers made a good few yards, with Argentina looking at sixes and sevens. Sure the skipper coughed the ball up a few times, but that is just further proof of the Boks not practicing this sort of game at training … Does Meyer not have faith in the skill of our backs? Does he not have faith in the fitness of our forwards to play a more expansive game which aims to take the contact point wider? Or does he not have the ability to coach that game?

Instead he picks Jacques Potgieter to bash it up off a pass from the scrummie? Not even a hint of aiming for space instead of the man, or an offload in a tackle on the outside centre to a big loosie or fullback running an imaginative line? It really was very desperate stuff from the Boks.

Andries Bekker’s attempt at tackling would embarrass a school player, and is further proof that he is playing with an injury. Clearly unable to take a player on head on in defence, for fear of putting pressure on his back, he went with the lion pouncing on a zebra technique and that failed badly. Willem Alberts is no 8th man, but a wonderful 7. Why pick a vastly inferior 7 and play a man out of position? Ruan Pienaar has made a difference every time he has come on to replace Francois Hougaard, yet he does not get a start? Pat Lambie has been on the bench for 160 minutes now without seeing any action? Kirchner, while safe, has not exactly set the world alight. Does the coach have something against the player? How else can you possibly explain that?

That said – well done Argentina! They took the Boks on up front and really rattled them. It was gutsy stuff filled with passion and physical industry. They slowed the Boks ball down (and perhaps Steve Walsh let them get away with a few illegal tactics) and dragged them into an ugly arm wrestle, which they won!

Needless to say, I am properly concerned …

Below a look at the weekend’s results:

Rugby Championship:
Argentina 16 – 16 South Africa
New Zealand 22 – 0 Australia

Currie Cup:
Blue Bulls 42 – 31 The Sharks
Lions 26 – 23 WP
Griquas 16 – 29 Cheetahs

Currie Cup 1st division:
Leopards 32 – 38 Griffons
Valke 38 – 36 Border
SWD 7 – 29 Eastern Province
Boland 33 – 36 Pumas

Blue Bulls 41 – 13 Cheetahs
WP 31 – 17 Border
Leopards 35 – 40 Sharks
Griquas 40 – 14 Griffons
SWD 22 – 31 EP
Boland 20 – 24 Pumas

Border 37 – 12 EP
Bulls 39 – 20 Free State
WP 55 – 11 SWD
Leopards 29 – 8 Sharks
Griquas 36 – 19 Griffons
Boland 10 – 19 Pumas

Club Rugby:
Evergreens 43-11 Blanco (to take SWD title)
Rovers 27-21 Crusaders (to take Castle Murray Cup)
Villagers 19-27 False Bay


Well done to PJ who took the yellow cap in the 4N Front Row Grunt Superbru pool. Nettworth tops the leader board, though, and is on track for that 1 for the Road membership …

And in the Currie Cup FRG Superbru pool it’s Jimfromsa who is on track to take the Reebok vouchers, while Braders took the yellow cap this week …

Match reports

Currie Cup:

Griquas (10) 16 Cheetahs (10) 29

The Cheetahs, after being under the cosh for much of the first half, ran in three tries after the break as the hosts slipped to their third consecutive defeat.

Griquas enjoyed almost total domination during the first quarter and were only prevented from scoring by a strong cross-wind, which made goal kicking particularly difficult, some tenacious defending from the Cheetahs and handling errors at crucial moments.

Griquas held a 10-3 lead thanks to tries from Ligtoring Landman and Rocco Jansen, but the Cheetahs were stung into action and, with the half-time hooter having already sounded, the visitors opted to take a tap penalty five metres from the host’s tryline which resulted in flanker Pieter Labuschagne burrowing his way over for a converted try to level the scores.

The home team had enjoyed 71 percent possession in the first half and they opened the scoring in the second when flyhalf Francois Brummer popped over a close-range penalty, but another bullocking run from Labuschagne eventually led to a try for his fellow Cheetahs loose forward Frans Viljoen.

The visitors grabbed another try four minutes later after they took the ball through 10 phases before a sniping break from Sarel Pretorius saw the scrumhalf pop a scoring pass to left wing Raymond Rhule as the Cheetahs took a 22-13 lead after 56 minutes.

Brummer narrowed the gap with a 63rd minute penalty but the Cheetahs scored their bonus-point try soon after when Pretorius slid over from close range.

Griquas – Tries: Rynard Landman, Rocco Jansen. Penalties: Francois Brummer (2).
Cheetahs – Tries: Sarel Pretorius, Raymond Rhule, Pieter Labuschagne, Frans Viljoen. Conversions: Johan Goosen, Nico Scheepers, Sias Ebersohn. Penalty: Goosen.

Golden Lions (11) 26 Western Province (10) 23

Elton Jantjies gave a positive response to the question of whether there is still some fight in the Lions after losing their Super Rugby status, as he spearheaded them to a win over WP in a very entertaining game.

Not for the first time this season, the pinpoint goalkicking of the flyhalf was the difference between the teams, with the visitors for once finishing on the right side of the battle for tries but losing out because of indiscipline that Jantjies feasted on to give his team the winning edge.

Jantjies kicked seven penalties to go with flank Josh Strauss’s first-half try in a match which drew to an exciting conclusion after prop Brok Harris went over late in the game.

It was an exciting end to a game which started off with WP dominating and playing some quite compelling early rugby, underlined by the statistics after 10 minutes which showed that the Lions had been forced to make nearly 30 tackles.

A patient build-up which went through more than 15 phases saw Gerhard van den Heever go over after eight minutes, and when some more impressive rugby led to a penalty in front of the posts that Demetri Catrakilis kicked to make it 10-0, it looked as though WP might be set to break their recent losing trend at the Coke Tin in the domestic competition.

But once the Lions started to get their hands on the ball they started to settle and show some impressive control, and in the last part of the first half their superiority was shown by the 11 unanswered points they scored through two Jantjies penalties and Josh Strauss’s try.

A Jantjies penalty three minutes from the end of the first half gave the hosts an 11-10 lead and they were never headed again in the match.

Lions – Try: Josh Strauss. Penalties: Elton Jantjies (7).
WP – Tries: Gerhard van den Heever, Brok Harris. Conversions: Demetri Catrakilis (2). Penalties: Catrakilis (3).

Blue Bulls (12) 42 Sharks (14) 31

The Bulls bounced back from one of their toughest weeks yet to score a stunning and unexpected victory over the Sharks, who arrived at Loftus Versfeld unbeaten, fresh from victories over the Lions and WP against a side who had struggled to whole week to simply have a practice session.

After their defeat in Bloemfontein, the Bulls returned to find the bulk of their side under the weather, down with flu and only on Thursday managed to run through their moves after a week from hell in the run-up to this fixture.

But with a passionate performance, and riding on the back of a superb all-round performance by flyhalf Louis Fouchè, the home side managed to confound the odds and pull off the victory with a young team full of talent.

Fouchè, the 22 year old understudy to Bok flyhalf Morne Steyn put in such a dominant performance that it made one wonder why the Bulls never employed him more in the Super Rugby tournament.

From his long-range drop goals – one sailed in from more than 50 metres out – to his flawless kicking and effortless distribution game, Fouchè contributed 27 points on a night where his side really needed them.

In the first half, where they were battering away without too much reward, it was Fouchè’s boot that nudged them ahead every time. Even when the Sharks went into the break 14-12 ahead, the Bulls returned with a monster Fouchè drop goal to retake the lead thanks to the Rustenburg born and bred player’s boot.

But the Blue Bulls side powered on in the second half, especially when they were expected to fall off the pace because of the flu, and ripped the heart out of the Sharks defence with three second half tries to secure the victory.

Blue Bulls – Tries: Francois Venter, CJ Stander, Arno Botha. Conversions: Louis Fouchè (3). Penalties: Fouchè (6). Drop goal: Fouchè.
Sharks – Tries: Odwa Ndungane, Marius Joubert, Jean Deysel, Charl McLeod. Conversions: Riaan Viljoen (4). Penalty: Viljoen.

Currie Cup 1st division:

Boland (18) 33 Pumas (13) 36

The Pumas, who trailed 18-10 after 34 minutes, finally made sure of their victory when fullback JC Roos kicked a 77th minute penalty to break the hearts of the home supporters.

Boland scored four tries to three but they ran into the in-form Roos who scored 21 points courtesy of five penalties and three conversions in an entertaining contest which saw the lead change hands five times.

As the see-saw match entered the final quarter a Roos penalty saw the Pumas regain the lead as their pack of forwards started gaining the upper-hand in the tight exchanges.

The Pumas seemed to make sure of the victory with 11 minutes left in the half when scrumhalf Shaun Venter broke on the Kavaliers’ 22-metre line and he stepped past one defender before handing off another on his way to a superb individual try.

But the Kavaliers came back once again with a Jacquin Jansen penalty before a wonderful try from replacement wing Senan van der Merwe, who galloped all off 60 metres down the left-hand touchline, levelled the scores with six minutes left in the match.

Jansen failed with the difficult conversion attempt allowing Roos to have the final say in the nailbiting match.

Boland – Tries: Zandre Jordaan Senan van der Merwe, Eric Zana, Brendon April. Conversions: Jacquin Jansen (2). Penalties: Jansen (3).
Pumas – Tries: Uzair Cassiem, Shaun Venter, MJ Mentz. Conversions: JC Roos (3). Penalties: Roos (5).

SWD (0) 7 EP (12) 29

Flyhalf Wesley Dunlop shone for the visitors as he scored 14 points courtesy of a try, three conversions and a penalty as the Eagles missed the chance the strengthen their hold on third position on the log.

SWD right wing Clint Wagman was yellow-carded in the 10th minute for a spear tackle and the Kings took advantage seven minutes later when left wing Norman Nelson slid over in the corner after taking a pass from scrumhalf Noel Oelschig following a EP scrum five metres from the Eagles’ tryline.

The rest of the half was mainly contested between the two 22-metre areas but five minutes before the break the Kings finally scored again after a scything run from Paul Perez who galloped all of 45 metres before the Samoan was hauled down just short of the tryline.

But Dunlop was on hand to scoop up the ball before going over for a try with the flyhalf converting his own score as the Kings ended the half holding a 12-0 lead.

Dunlop opened the scoring in the second half with a 43rd minute penalty and six minutes later the pivot played a crucial role in his team’s third try when his superb off-load set up outside centre Wayne Stevens.

The Kings wrapped up the bonus-point try in the 57th minute when eighthman Luke Watson pilfered an errant SWD lineout throw from hooker Sidney Tobias 10 metres from the host’s tryline. Watson surged towards the line before being halted but tighthead prop Clint Newland was on hand to gather the ball and drive his way over for a converted try.

The Eagles finally opened their account, in the 63rd minute, when replacement forward Lyndon Hartnick broke free from 30 metres out before swerving past the last defender on his way to a converted try. However, it was little more than a consolation score for the hosts who battled to contain the Kings in the second half.

Eagles – Try: Lyndon Hartnick. Conversion: Elric van Vuuren.
EP – Tries: Wesley Dunlop, Wayne Stevens, Norman Nelson, Clint Newland. Conversions: Dunlop (3). Penalty: Dunlop.

Leopards (17) 32 Griffons (16) 38

The Griffons found themselves trailing by one point with less than five minutes left in the match but they made sure of the win in the 76th minute when flank Martin Sithole rumbled over for his second try of the match.

Flyhalf Hansie Graaff was the Griffons’ other hero as he contributed 23 points courtesy of a try, three conversions and four penalties as the Griffons snapped a four-match losing streak.

Graaff’s prodigious points-scoring proved to be the difference in a tight contest which saw both teams score four tries.

The victory came after a superb fightback from the visitors who had found themselves trailing 29-16 in the 46th minute.

But tries for lock Chris Ehlers and Sithole’s brace as well as two conversions and a penalty from Graaff sealed the come-from-behind win.

Leopards – Tries: Siyanda Ndlovu, Marius Fourie, Hoffman Maritz, BG Uys. Conversions: Andrè Pretorius (3). Penalties: Pretorius (2).
Griffons – Tries: Martin Sithole (2), Hansie Graaff, Chris-Erich Ehlers. Conversions: Graaff (3). Penalties: Graaff (4).

Valke (26) 38 Border (10) 36

The Valke led throughout the match and always seemed in control, Border scoring three tries in the last 15 minutes to narrow the final scoreline from 38-17.

The Bulldogs battled to contain the powerful Valke pack and the home side’s forwards started superbly when they kept a rolling maul going long enough for eighthman Reg Muller to plunge over the tryline in the fifth minute to get the scoring going.

Trailing 33-10, Border veteran Gareth Krause broke through the middle of the ruck from five metres out to rumble over for a converted try, but a sustained period of pressure in the Border half saw centre Hendrik Meyer score a try which gave the Eastern Gautengers a 38-17 lead.

With their whole bench now in action, the Bulldogs staged a gutsy fightback in the last 15 minutes. Replacement lock Nomani Tonga crashed over for a try in the shadow of the posts, converted by replacement flyhalf Reinhardt Gerber.

Flank Brian Shabangu, who played very well to the ball the whole match, was then in support in the 75th minute to score the visitors’ bonus-point try and outside centre Ruan Jacobs closed the gap even further when he beat the defence with some nifty footwork to score the last try of the match.

Replacement wing Louis Kruger succeeded with the conversion so the Bulldogs could at least leave Kempton Park with some pride restored – and with two bonus points.

Valke – Tries: Sandile Ngcobo, Reg Muller (2), JW Bell, Jacques Alberts, Hendrik Meyer. Conversions: Karlo Aspeling (4).
Bulldogs – Tries: Ruan Jacobs, Nomani Tonga, Lesley-Dean Luiter, Gareth Krause, Brian Shabangu Conversions: Jannie Myburgh, Louis Kruger, Reinhardt Gerber (2). Penalty: Myburgh.


  1. Spot on tank. Our game plan looks like it was from 1980. Poor, lacked creativity and ideas. I hope HM realizes what this means to us, as fans, as loyal supporters. I’m angry too.

  2. What more can one say. HM’s post match interview summed it up – lost for words. Only one question left -Is Aswin (as in Sarks) wired to Mallet in the studio? -all he does is repeat what Mallet says.

  3. Uhm… Why single out Potgieter? Coetzee was way poorer doing the same? Likewise for Alberts?

    1. Potgieter brought in to do the bashing, which he failed to achieve. Alberts moved to 8, thus playing out of position, hence his lacking effect. Coetzee’s job more of a linking man. But not much good to say about any of the players, and even less on gameplan

  4. Phew to coin the old Morne du Plessis saying …A draw is like kissing your sister !!
    For me it was much worse than that. Saturday’s Bok game was one of the most frustrating/disappointing games in many years . Even more so than the in famous semi final at the RWC last year.
    We have the players to play fast attacking rugby.
    Why do we have to play Bulls style rugby ???
    Why ??

  5. Forwards coach and tactics are serious problems. I have never seen a bok pack made to look like amateurs in that way. Oz and NZ are going to hand us our asses if things don’t change

  6. And W.P.are on the brink of a DRAW,ball in hand and they kick the ball away instead into Lions hands and give a penalty away.This must be the biggest blunder I have seen by any player this weekend.do W.P.have a captain????congrats for taking this present to you Lions for the win!

    1. They made a few errors that had they not done so, would have seen them take that game going away. But yes, that was a clanger of note …

    1. Hanging in there. Not many people called the draw thankfully, so got away with being THAT wrong!

  7. Hi Tank,
    Last night, 32 minutes into the match, the Springboks are 10 meters from their own goal line, we get the ball from a lineout, Hougaard passes to Morné Steyn and he kicks the ball down field. Predictable scenario and the correct option taken 90% of the time. However, here is the kicker… The Springboks are so predictable, that an Argentinean team (and a weak one at that) lined up 1 (that is ONE!) defender against our entire backline. The rest of them went back in support of their Fullback in case they get the option of a quick throw-in. Our saving grace being that Steyn managed to kick the ball into the crowd. Why didn’t Steyn see the option of running from deep?!
    But let’s play bumper cars and draw a match against an inferior team! Let us not run the ball or pass the ball, because not only will that be too exciting or creative, it will win us the match…
    But I’m glad that the fans enjoyed the 2 variations in the Springbok game plan that came to the fore against the Argies. Those variations being, who will kick the ball away and who will knock the ball on!
    Anyways, on a lighter note, I do not blame Steve Welsh for SA not winning the match, I do however have a question. Why is it that during both matches over the last 2 weekends, every time it is an Argentinean scrum, the scrum was set and played without any issues, however, every time it is a Springbok scrum, it had to be reset 4 or 5 times?
    Surely that should indicate to the ref that the Argies are doing something wrong and that this should have been addressed!
    You are the scrum master, if you have some input on the subject, please share.
    I am also licking my lips at the thought of playing against AUS and NZ without a fetcher…
    I say this in anger, but the only time NZ will not be worried with putting 30 points on the Springboks, will be when they are busy putting 50 point on them. LMAO
    Good times ahead!
    But I will support the BOKS till my last breath, I’m just afraid that if they do not wake up and start playing Rugby, that last breath will come sooner rather than later…
    Thank you.

  8. First, let me congratulate you on one of the best Rugby sites I have come across as yet. ( I have 17 of them listed under my favourites. ) I have only been following you for about the last 3 months, and found your blog by “ accident ”, as it were.

    I am the first person to admit, that my Rugby knowledge is limited, on both players, and the game. At school I played for the 4th, and 5th teams, so as you can see, talent was not mine, but I played because I liked it, and because of this, I am a fanatical supporter. ( Born a Lion, and proudly so. )

    So this brings me to ask you the following. What do you think of the following players.

    Number5. Andries Bekker

    I find he is injury prone, and no Victor Matfield. Of course it is unfair to compare any player to him, but initially, others and myself thought that he would at least dominate his position. Yesterday he did not even tackle?

    Would Ross Skeate be a possibility? Maybe Andries would be best utilised as an impact replacement, depending on our opposition of the day?

    Who would you replace him with, and why?

    Number6. Marcell Coetzee

    I have no doubt this is a talented young man, with a good future ahead of him, but in saying this:

    Heinrich Brussow would surely have been the better option, contrary to HM’s take on a fetcher. ( Just how are we to compete against McCaw and Pocock until the next RWC? ) His only downfall is his proneness for injury.

    Number 7. Jacques Potgieter

    For all his size and potential, to me he is nothing more than “ dom krag ”. No flare, no smarts, just crash yourself stupid, and hope for the best.

    Willem Alberts would me my choice, with Siya Kolisi as a replacement / impact player.

    Who would you replace Potgieter with, and why?

    Number 8

    No name here due to the fact that it is Spies’s position, and won’t change when he gets back under current management.

    Spies is wasted at 8 I believe, does not, or can not tackle, and appears to be soft. He is neither feared or revered by the opposition. He could have been our Zinzan Brooke.

    Keegan Daniel may have heart and passion, but his size is his downfall. Just pure momentum counts against him.

    Ryan Kankowski, again we have passion and heart, but except for the one game against England, I have never seen Kanko perform in a Bok jersey, it appears to be one level to high for him, perfect in Super and Curry cup level, just not the Boks.

    Josh Strauss, would he not be the better option to at least try? He tackles, has size, is relatively fast, plays hard, tackles, disrupts and leads from the front.

    Just a thought, what would happen if we had to use Pierre Spies as a wing? We know he is fast, and for all his size, surely at speed momentum won’t be a problem. It should at leas get him over the gain line?

    Who would you like to see in this position and why?

    Number 9. Francoise Hougaard

    In my humble opinion, is a wing, and an impact wing at that, nothing more. He most certainly is no scrum half. He is to slow and inaccurate for such a position.

    Surely Sarel Pretorius is our best option here?

    Who would you replace Hougaard with, and why?

    Number 10. Morne Steyn

    His history of latew speaks for it self, more than that I do not have to ad. Unlike my friends in Natal, and my fellow Lions, I do not believe that Jantjies, or lambie are the answer to Morne either.

    Lambie is solid, and gives his best in all areas, he tackles, kicks and distributes, but we need a person with “ more ”.

    Sias Ebersohn I believe has that “ extra flair ” and ability to give the Boks that extra flair and dynamism.

    Who would you replace Morne with, and why?

    Number 11. Lwazi Mvovo

    I thought Mvovo did not have to bad a game, and at least ran with the ball. Under the circumstances, with JP injured, who else did we have.

    Had Hougaard started, in this position, or come in after lets say 45 minutes of play, may we would have had a different option or result?

    Who would you replace Mvovo with, and why? ( If at all. )

    Number 13. Jean de Vlilliers

    I have always thought him a one dimensional selfish player, and directly contributed the loss of a test to England on the EOY tour late 2006, when all he had to do was pass the ball to Frans Steyn for a guaranteed 7 pointer, but instead got tackled and cost us the win and the points. Loss number 7 in a row to England.

    Now this same incompetent person, that made his name for intercept try’s only, is our captain? Surely even Bismark would’ve been a better choice, and if Josh Strauss would’ve been selected, maybe he could’ve got a chance to captain.

    I know this is way out there, but my point is this, John Smit walked in as a Captain without Bok experience, and Jean was selected as “ temporary ” captain, until such time as a captain would be selected to take the Boks to the next world cup, so what would there have been to loose?

    But this is purely my opinion.

    Who would you select in Jean’s place, and why?

    Number 15. Zane Kirchner

    Surely we have a better full back than him. I thought he had a fair game last week, but that was that.

    Louis Ludik has had a good run for the Sharks, so has Joe Pietersen for the Stormers. If Lambie is considered for full back, then surely these guys would be a better choice, as it is their position, and not a stand in position as in the case of Lambie?

    Who would you replace Kirchner with, and why?

    Below I have a selection of players that I would have thought to be a better selection, and above I have given my reasons for players I don’t think deserve to be in the squad.

    Again this is all opinion, and blogs like yours are there to debate, and expand ones knowledge, and get positive input from like minded Rugby lovers.

    I have never written so much before. And apologise for doing so, however, I have had a lot on my heart, and had to get it out of my system.

    Lastly, considering all the flak that the Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske had to endure the last couple of years, he at least appears to get his team to play descent Rugby. With this in mind, how do you feel he would do with our current Springboks.

    I must be desperate, I would never have considered this 3 months ago. Would love to hear your theory on this.

    My Bok 15

    1. Beast / Steven Kitshoff
    2. Bismark du Plesis / Adriaan Strauss.
    3. Jannie du Plesis / Werner Kruger
    4. Eben Etzebeth / Anton Bresler
    5. Ross Skeate / Andries Bekker
    6. Heinrich Brussow / Marcell Coetzee
    7. Willem Alberts / Siya Kolisi
    8. Josh Strauss / Ryan Kankowski
    9. Sarel Pretorius / Charl Mcleod
    10. Sias Ebersohn / Patrick Lambie
    11. JP Pietersen / Francoise Hougaard
    12. Frans Steyn / Juan de Jongh
    13. Jaco Taute / Robert Ebersohn
    14. Bryan Habana / Gio Aplon
    15. Louis Ludik / Joe Pietersen

    1. Proper comment this Shaun. Thank you, and thanks for the kind words up front. Bekker definitely playing with an injury and lurks on the wing too much. Replace with Kruger now. Potgieter still struggles at S15 level. Not good enough for Boks. Loosies should be Brussow, Alberts and Vermeulen when back (soon). Piennar better than Hougaard at the moment. Play him. More to Steyn than we seeing. Keep him in the new look side, and give him more freedom. Mvovo not doing much wrong, but would be tempted to play Hougaard on the wing, otherwise top bench man. Lambie at the back, no question. Zane not even in my squad. Aim to play the ball a little wider, and get forwards running off passes from backline players and not taking passes instead of backline players!

    1. Apologies. I upgraded the backend of the site last week, and seems a setting on the comments has been nudged so that all comments need to get moderated …

  9. Like the site. Plenty info from a weekend of Rugga. Would like to see a different type of SA side. Here’s my thoughts. What do you think.

    1 Mtawarira
    2 liebenburg
    3 greyling
    4 Etsbeth
    5 Kruger
    6 Brussouw
    7 Alberts
    8 Daniel
    9 Pienaar
    10 Lambie
    11 Mvovo
    12 Steyn
    13 Ebersohn
    14 Hougard
    15 Aplon

    Props: duplesis, oosthuizen
    Hooker: Burden / strauss
    Locks: vd merwe, sykes
    Loosies: Coetzee, vermuelen.
    Scrummy: mcleod
    Flyhalf: grant
    Utility backs: jj engelbrecht, de jongh, de villiers

    1. Greyling can’t play 3, well not to start. But like the intention of the side in general …

  10. Tank, has the time come for SA rugby to take stock of its supposed abundant rugby “talent”. Is it time to ask the question – do we have an abundance of very good CC rugby players, do we have a lot of good S15 players, but we do not have the supermarket full of players who can step up to the required test level?

    I said in an earlier post that my major concern is HM’s body language (anxiety bordering on the edge of a nervous breakdown) and continual barking into the walkie talkie. Is this starting to permeate through to the squad? Yes, HM is besotted with detail bordering on the extreme (management team of 19), is a control freak and it is his way or no way (hence the coaching squad he chose). I believe it is. Training sessions with information overkill. Anyway, like most things in life, time will tell.

    1. Neil, my sentiments exactly. HM looks like a wreck. His interview on Saturday was as inarticulate as Divvy, but less amusing. Couldn’t say anything sensible, just repeating “it was unacceptable”.

      Didn’t look like a cool head. Looked as wound up and uptight as all hell. That can’t translate well into coaching. Compare and contrast to Gary Kirsten’s attitude (and the cricket team’s performance).

      Time to drop the school boy/army mentality to rugby coaching in South Africa?

  11. Pine, I am sure that Paddy Upton has had a major influence as well just as he would have had in bringing a divided Indian squad together – That is why GK will not go anywhere without him.
    The huge void that HM is battling to fill is that left by Victor Matfield. I’m not talking on the field but off it. Victor Matfield was a very calming influence on HM at the Bulls.

  12. Howzit Tank! Awesome blog man, and I think if it was my way you should be on the board of selectors!

    This must be a little tedious for you by now, but here is my bok squad (with the current crop of players available) would love to hear your thoughts! Before I name it, why is someone like Josh Strauss not considered for Bok duty? I’m an avid province supporter, but this oke is as tough as nails and just a superb player (in my opinion).

    Okay so here is my squad…

    1) Beast
    2) Liebenberg
    3) Cillers
    4) Elstadt
    5) Eztebeth
    6) Daniels
    7) Alberts
    8) Strauss
    9) Pienaar
    10) Goosen
    11) Habana
    12) F. Steyn
    13) De Jongh
    14) Hougaard
    15) Lambie
    16) Struass
    17) Du plessis
    18) Skeate
    19) Vermuleun
    20) Pretorious
    21) M.Steyn
    22) Mvovo

    Let me know your thoughts!!

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