Long should Meyer apologise …

So if you can’t win the game, try and at least win the fight … That seemed to be the guiding principal as Dean Greyling put in what was clearly a pre-meditated elbow into Richie McCaw’s face as he lay trapped in a maul. It really was horrible to watch and a despicable piece of thuggery as the replacement prop seemed intent in ridding himself of the pent up energy that comes from being on the sidelines for as long as he has been. That he only got a two week ban is a credit to his defence team – many would not have been too surprised at a sanction three or four times that. Basically he gets just the single Test match ban for what could have put McCaw out for weeks with a broken jaw …

No wonder the rugby world still think the Boks are a bunch of thugs, and no wonder the Boks tend to get the raw end of the deal when disciplinary sanctions are being handed down …

As it turned out, the substitution of Greyling for Beast might be looked back on as the worst substitution in Springbok history! Apart from the yellow card, Greyling also gave away 2 key penalties. This after the Bok pack, and specifically the Bok scrum, had looked more than competitive against the world’s best side with Beast at the helm …

Putting Pat Lambie on for a full 5 minutes also begs some questioning. How do you expect a player to make an impact in 5 minutes?

The other obvious questionable sub was Johan Goosen for Morne Steyn, which should also have happened a whole lot earlier, perhaps even before the game, like many of us had called for …

I see Heyneke Meyer has apologised for keeping Steyn on, and so he should. A player does not pick himself, and Steyn obviously did not go out with the intention of missing those kicks. Styen is copping an enormous amount of heat for his performances over the last few weeks, and especially yesterday, but to my mind, it is his coach who should be taking the heat for keeping a player so obviously out of form, in the side! Especially with a man like Goosen waiting in the wings …

Look, beating the All Blacks in New Zealand is nigh on impossible at the best of times, so I do not think people could have rightly expected a Bok win yesterday. But by gifting a back three of Isreal Dagg, Cory Jane and Juian Savea the ball like Ruan Pienaar, Steyn and Zane Kirchner did yesterday (they may as well have wrapped the bloody thing in wrapping paper and a tied a bow round it), and not taking the points when on offer through more inept kicking, the Boks all but gave up any chance of pulling off a surprise win.

Many people are saying that the Boks gave up that game more than the All Blacks won it, but I always had the feeling that the home side had enough in them to come back from whatever the Boks put on the board. But the pack, pre Greyling, was much better, and with ball in hand, not very often sadly, the Boks looked threatening. But this game will be remembered for the Greyling brainfart and very poor Bok kicking both out of hand and from the tee …

I have said it before, and I will say it again. Modern day rugby is about keeping ball in hand, running at the space between defenders rather than at defenders, and aiming to get players in a better position than you into space. Here’s to the Boks trying it one day …

A look at the weekend’s results and resultant logs …
Rugby Championship results:
Australia 23 – 19 Argentina
New Zealand 21 – 11 South Africa
Rugby Championship log:
New Zealand Pld:4 W:4 Pts:16
Australia Pld:4 W:2 Pts:8
South Africa Pld:4 W:1 Pts:7
Argentina Pld:4 W:0 Pts:3
Curie Cup results:
Sharks 43 – 27 Western Province
Free State 23 – 38 Golden Lions
Griquas 49 – 34 Blue Bulls

Currie Cup log:
Golden Lions Pld:6 W:4 Pts:20
Sharks Pld:6 W:4 Pts:20
Western Province Pld:6 W:3 Pts:15
Griquas Pld:6 W:3 Pts:15
Free State Pld:6 W:2 Pts:11
Blue Bulls Pld:6 W:2 Pts:9
Club Champs results:
Roodepoort 26 – 12 Naka Bulls
College Rovers 61 – 0 Noordelikes
Bloemfontein Police 33 – 43 Old Selbornians
Durbanville-Bellville 53 – 20 Blanco
Pretoria Police 43 – 12 Welkom Rovers 12
Sishen 0 – 28 Brakpan
White River 10 – 72 Despatch
Rustenburg Impala 53 – 21 Villagers Worcester

Club Champs Day 2 fixtures (Mon 17 Sep):

Cup quarter finals:
11:30 Old Selbornians vs
13:00 Despatch vs College Rovers
14:30 Pretoria Police vs Durbell
16:00 Roodepoort vs Rustenburg Impala

Plate quarter-finals:
09:30 Welkom Rovers vs Blanco
10:30 White River vs Noordelikes
12:00 Naka Bulls vs Villagers Worcester
13:30 Bloemfontein Police vs Sishen

Well done to Jambles Charton (Jambles) who took the yellow cap with 2 correct calls (with margin points) in the Front Row Grunt Rugby Championship Superbru pool. Johan Bauermeister (J Bauer) tops the leader board though, and leads the fight for the 6 month 1 for the Road membership …

And in the Currie Cup FRG Superbru pool it’s Jimfromsa who continues to dominate the leaderboard – and the race for the R 2300.00 in Reebok vouchers, while Arthur Shaw (Sarth) took the yellow cap this week with three correct calls with margin points!

Tank Lanning’s 2 out of 2 in the Rugby Championship (no margin point in the Aus game though) sees him in 19th place on the log, but his rather embarrassing 1 from 3 in the Currie Cup sees him move up a few places, but still in good view of the real dregs at the bottom of that leaderboard …

Curie Cup 1st division results:
Boland 38 – 42 SWD
Pumas 41 – 10 Border
Leopards 57 – 22 Valke
Eastern Province 60 – 19 Griffons

Currie Cup 1st division log:
Eastern Province Pld:12 W:11 Pts:55
Pumas Pld:12 W:9 Pts:47
Leopards Pld:12 W:7 Pts:38
Griffons Pld:12 W:7 Pts:38
Eagles Pld:12 W:7 Pts:36
Boland Pld:12 W:2 Pts:22
Valke Pld:12 W:3 Pts:20
Border Pld:12 W:0 Pts:8

Boland 13 – 39 SWD
Griquas 36 – 38 Valke
Blue Bulls 29 – 34 Western Province
Leopards 37 – 36 Lions
EP 73 – 3 Griffons

Sharks 73 – 0 SWD
Boland 36 – 44 Border
Griquas 44 – 39 Valke
Leopards 11 – 7 Lions
Bulls 35 – 38 Western Province
EP 33 – 13 Griffons

Aviva Premiership:
Worcester 16 – 16 Gloucester
Wasps 43 – 14 London Irish
Harlequins 37 – 14 Sale
Saracens 9 – 9 Leicester
London Welsh 25 – 24 Exeter

Top 14:
Montpellier 32 – 25 Toulon
Perpignan 34 – 20 Toulouse
Mont de Marsan 6 – 14 Clermont Auvergne
Bayonne 18 – 25 Racing Metro
Castres 28 – 13 Biarritz
Bordeaux 30 – 22 Stade Francais
Agen 32 – 26 Grenoble

Connacht 11 – 24 Scarlets
Benetton Treviso 18 – 19 Leinster
Newport 5 – 16 Cardiff Blues


  1. Hi Tank,
    I will not comment on the game as words cannot describe the immense disappointment.
    However, I believe strongly if Meyer makes the following simple and needed changes with the players he has left after injuries and suspensions, we will in the 2 remaining games score 4 try victories and make a huge statement!
    Goosen to replace Steyn at 10.
    Lambie to replace Kirchner at 15.
    Bekker to replace Kruger at 5.
    Alberts to replace Van der Merwe at 4.
    Coetzee to then play at 7.
    Simple changes that will make a huge difference.
    Australia and New Zealand will be in for a big surprise playing this team in SA.

    1. Bekker and Alberts as the Bok locks? Brave call that … I think Alberts is more effective at 7, especially as part of a game plan that might see him running into more space … And concerned re Bekker’s back, and time spent in the backline …

  2. Hi Tankasaurus,

    The game on the weekend was by a parge portion of my family watched in Australia, with the braai going and a cold one in hand. Had it not been for superb company and the required family pranks it would have been enough to ruin the weekend of any good rugby fan.

    I believe that when Morne Steyn went back to the changeroom after the game he was so angry he went to kick the wall… he missed that as well.

    I cannot understand why it is that with some of the most talented players at his disposal, Mr Meyer cannot get the strategy right?! Maybe the players are all not listening to him or something. He does indeed look to me like a man who is trying to play the strategy of two years ago with a totally different set of players all with very unique and brilliant skill, but not at all able to conform to his thinking.

    I like Pienaar at scrummy, although at times he does seem a little entusiastic with his kicks.

    Goosen is definitely standing on his school desk and putting his hand high in the air, something that Mr Meyer will miss if he is still looking at the ground for the pen he dropped 2 yrs back.

    Dean Greyling was to the Bok Campaign what Jan-Piet Steyn was to the rest of us in junior school, a bully who got caught out. For the record, prior to the McCaw Jaw incedent I thought him to be a decent player.

    I honestly think that Meyer could do with a good hard look at himself, understand that he has some shortcomings and realise there are people in South Africa who have the ability to help him get the most out of his team.

    Our backline have huge potential to excite with atacking play but they have not got defensive genius against the likes of the AB’s, so rather run with the ball than kick it to them (the AB’s) and wait to see the try scoring machine to get going.

    I continue to hope that the Boks win a game or two.

    Thanks for the writing by the way.

    Big Vee

    P.S. Can you maybe get some more coverage on the EP campaign this season. They seem to be performing well accross the board with all their teams. Is Solly getting the job done or what?

  3. Good summary Tank – I questioned how Greyling was in the 22 in the first place – he is no more than a very average CC loosehead. Kruger – not the same as he was 3 months ago. De Villiers/F Steyn – they wont be dropped but they are not doing very much. I have said it before, and each week end become even more convinced that the abundance of talent to play test rugby does not exist in SA at present – once again watching CC this week end – missed tackles, poor forward passes, aimless kicking, I have report cards on players who have attended academy’s in NZ – even props have to know how to pass left& right, side step, tackle properly, no running up right into contact which is a disease in SA rugby at school, club,U19, CC,S15 level.
    A bit of trivia Tank- when Bekker joined Van Der Merwe at lock on Saturday, it brought together two sons of fathers who both played in the Springbok side in ’81 in NZ – Flip snr and Hennie Bekker.

  4. Hey Tank
    Not to mention the uselessness that is Jean DV. Look he WAS a great player, but now he has never looked good in his position. And always trying to get that intercept leaves his defensive position wide open.

  5. I would not. Change too muchJuandre would stay at lock..Alberts as impact player from bench..Vermeulen dropped.he did nothing wrong but he doesn’t look 100%. A overhaul at the back…fact is. We will not win this RC…
    Beast,Adriaan,Jannie,Flip,Juandre,Flo,Marcel,Keegan,Ruan,Goosen,Hougaard,Frans,JDV,Habana and Lambie.
    In a perfect world though I would start Lambie at flyhalf and bring in Ludik

  6. Hi Tank

    As I said in an article I wrote after the game. Meyer is gambling with people’s careers here. He has insisted on naming Morne, putting immense pressure on him – pressure he clearly could not handle.

    instead of creating a confident player by showing confidence in Steyn, I am afraid he has broken him down, ripped him of all confidence. i would not even choose Steyn in my starting line-up at the Bulls in the CC at present.

    So – he has done more harm than good by showing too much confidence in Steyn. Unfortunately by showing so little faith in Lambie, by giving him a full 5 minutes – the result is exactly the same.

    My take is – he should have send Morne to the CC to regain confidence – and he should send Lambie back to the CC to work on his form and get back to business, as he is clearly not inteding to use his talent properly. and as the 5 minutes here and 9 minutes there is not helping the guy at all. If he puts him on now for a decent amount of time – he cannot blame Lambie if he is out of form and have no confidence.

    Heyneke has created monsters (in a bad sense) with his selections and his inconsistent selection policies.

    1. Ironic hey? Too much loyalty actually worse for the player than dropping him! Coaches need to make these tough calls though …

  7. Tank you are a gentleman, but are you perhaps being a bit charitable to Dean Greyling?

    I think we now have empirical proof that a prop can actually lose a test match.

    Putting aside poor Morne Steyn’s continuing nightmare in the No 10 jersey, the endless points left a-begging from wayward kicking, profligate kicking from hand, and a midfield attack of quite stunning ineptitude, this was Dean Greyling’s 25 min cameo:-

    • Came on at 55min, replacing the Beast. Straight away penalised for handling on the ground after making a tackle, and gave the lead to NZ. (Cue tongue-lashing from Hougaard.)
    • As soon as he came on the Bok scrum, dominant up till then, started to crumble.
    • Standing as a defender at a NZ ruck, he rushed forward and missed the crucial 1st tackle on NZ scrummie Aaron Smith gifting him a gap through which he darted on course to the tryline (via another missed tackle by Flip vdM, who in fairness had a good game otherwise).
    • Yellow-carded for punching McCaw in an act of idiotic thuggery reminiscent of Jannes Labuschagne’s late hit on Wilkinson and Corne Krige’s knockout punch on his fly-half Andre Pretorius in the Twickenham fifty-pointer in 2002, and Bakkies Botha’s headbutt on NZ scrum-half Jimmy Cowan in 2010.
    • With three minutes remaining and the All Blacks 18-11 up, the Boks had an attacking opportunity when Kevin Mealamu threw a lineout ball five metres from his own line straight to Greyling. Greyling promptly dropped the ball.
    • Greyling came back on just before the end to give away a penalty – offside & hand in the ruck – losing SA’s bonus point. (Cue tongue-lashing from Habana.)

    Greyling’s most valuable period for SA was undoubtedly the 10 mins he spent in the sin-bin. No humour or irony intended.

    (Ex-Bok prop Cobus Visagie tweets: “Greyling to Robben Eiland, the worst impact sub in the history of Bok rugby?”

    So is he just another overrated pretender, and will he join others in the test wilderness who have similarly failed to shape up at the top level and who have failed to repay HM’s boundless provincial loyalty? Pierre Spies, Jacques Potgieter, & Werner Kruger spring to mind.

    I try to console myself by watching Danie Gerber & Carel du Plessis videos on YouTube. It reminds me what a wonderful game rugby can be, and that the off-loading game currently favoured by some top teams like NZ, HCup champs Leinster, and English champs Quins is nothing new.

    I feel better when remind myself that SA has the players. Our world-class players are not currently fit or available – Bissie, FourieduP, & JacquesF – and some of the young talent on show of late – SAU20s and S15 – has been exciting. The End of Year Tour could actually be quite interesting for a change if HM makes the right calls.

    I remember too that on Saturday our pack did wonderfully well, even with Etzebeth out, and Duane V clearly not fully fit. Scrum doctor PdeV has turned Jannie duP into a prop who can dominate & Flip vdM was a real force. Flo made a huge difference (no disrepect to Marcell Coetzee who I think is a real find), and Alberts has woken up again.

    So there is much hope for the future, if HM can free his mind of its shackles.

    A small point but I wonder if someone might remind HM that there is a camera on him in the box. He is a decent & passionate man under enormous pressure, but you can’t have a coach at any level carrying on like an embarrassing dad at an U10 match, reacting emotionally to every ebb & flow. Commentators love him for the drama, of course (and opposition supporters howl with laughter at it), but some ice in the veins must be needed to make sound strategic calls.

    And who is the poor guy on the other end of the walkie-talkie and how much is he paid?

    Ikey Tiger in London

    1. Shot Ikey … Actually Tweeted something very similar to Cobus during the test. Unbelievable the damage that sub did …

      Very concering the strain HM is showing. Reckon he could kap om at any stage … Needs to relax, treat it as a game, and play to entertain. Guys going out to enjoy themselves play much better rugby. Of course tough in SA, but my word, it’s just too tense in that camp!

  8. Cobus Visagie! Rich coming from that fcken penalty machine! He would have been in Antartica – never mind robben island – during his player career.

  9. I agree that goosen should start next game en greyling should never wear the green and gold again Alberts had a fantastic game but pienaar , frans steyn and de villiers in my opinion also has a big qeustion mark over there heads and every one has the issue with lambie that he should start. Am I the only one that saw his last game against the chief? What a terrible display no defence at all not even mentioning his decision making at the current moment is Zane the better full back drop steyn (morne) completely and bring in Elton jantjies who is dominating with the boot in the cc like I said its my opinion

  10. @ Werner – As fa as i remember – Lambie was having niggles with an injury in that Chiefs game – and that is why I posted earlier that I think Lambie should have been send back to CC to play himself back into form. When he is in form – he is defnitely a better player than Zane. Zane does not have the vision Lambie has. He does the same thing over and over, whereas lambie can read a situation and is not so predictable.

    What decision making at the current moment?? besides the fact that he has not played for a while and not being showed any confidence by the coach….how much decisions do you want him to make in 5 minutes and 9 minutes respectively? 🙂

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