Ruan Pienaar proved once again this weekend what a superb scrumhalf he really is. For the umpteenth time I now find myself pleading to anyone who will listen – let Ruan play scrumhalf and scrumhalf only!
If ever there was such a thing as a “confidence player”, then that’s Ruan Pienaar. We’ve all seen how awful he looks when not on form and those moments and games always tend to coincide with a loss of self-confidence – usually as a result of being played out of position. After a nightmare 2009 season, which saw him summarily dropped from the Boks in favour of Morne Steyn at flyhalf, it has taken Pienaar a good few rounds (as well as yet another abortive stint at pivot) to get back to the player he was in late 2008, when he was head-and-shoulders the standout scrumhalf on the domestic scene.
Now consistency has always been a problem for Pienaar but he really is starting to play well at scrumhalf – more importantly, his goal-kicking is looking superb again – and he really needs the benefit of continuity in that position. Regardless of what happens with Andy Goode and his work permit, the Sharks simply have to stick to their guns and play Pienaar only at 9 for the rest of the campaign. If they do that, he will be the Bok reserve scrumhalf this year, at the very least.
Pick him at 10 again and he’s only going to go backwards and can kiss his Bok dreams goodbye. It’s as simple as that.Tweet