Time for De Jongh?

Tank Lanning

This time next year, you, me, and four of your closest mates will be back from a magnificent trip to Argentina to support the Boks – thanks to Energade … That is if you correctly predicted the exact Bok side Heyneke Meyer will pick later this afternoon! Ice cold beer, massive steaks, good looking babes, and Bok rugby … Better than a kick in the arse by Kobus Wiese I would say … Details below …

As is my want, I will have my usual stab at the side I think he will pick, together with the side I would pick to take on the Aussies in Pretoria on Saturday …

First up, 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 22 I think Heyneke Meyer will pick to play New Zealand 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 Morne Steyn, 21 Juan de Jongh, 22 Patrick Lambie

And this is the side I would select:
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


The Boks flourished last week with a flyhalf more inclined to take the ball up or give his outside backs a chance. But it was against an Aussie side that looked more like the sad sacks in a war medical tent, and using majestic ball delivered by a pack that decimated the canary yellows.

This week against the best side in the world, they will need to be more circumspect, and for once, I completely agree with Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer, who has rejected suggestions the Boks will 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 …

So I do not see Meyer making any changes to the side that took to the field against the Aussies, as he is a man for loyalty and continuity. But if being true to one’s “Horses for courses” mantra, I might be inclined to make two tweaks to the side.

I would play Juan de Jongh outside the skipper as they formed the defensively deadly centre pairing for the Stormers this year, and I would play 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.

And yes, I would keep Zane Kirchner at fullback. Sure 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.

One could then unleash the likes Hougaard, Lambie and Jaco Taute for the last 20 or 25 minutes …

How To WIN the trip to watch the Boks play in Argentina next year …

Head to the Energade Bok Barometerhttp://www.supersport.com/rugby/bokbarometer
Select your Springbok XV by clicking on the jersey in each position, and picking a player from those provided in the drop down … Hit the Save button once your team is finalised, and you are in the draw!

You can update your team as often as you like for the duration of the 2012 Springbok season. The entries for each game will be locked before the announcement of the Springbok team each week. You are then able to select your team for the next match.

All those that select the exact Springbok team – including jersey numbers – that takes to the field for just one of the Bok games this year will go into a draw, with weekly winners announced every Monday after a Bok match.

Each match winner will receive R5 000 and a personalised Springbok jersey signed by their favourite Springbok. The grand prize will see the winner jet off to watch the Boks play their Rugby Championship match in Argentina in 2013, courtesy of Energade.

And for those of you not on Twitter, eyeball this great pic of Johan Gossen with Jean de Villiers when he was still in primary school … 

Our skipper has aged quite well I reckon ….

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