So I`ve had some time to think about the situation and this morning at oh three hundred I came up with a cunning plan . . .
Here`s the team I`d select for the weekend, tongue in cheek in some areas but could it possibly work out? It probably won`t be good enough either but I think this combination might have a better shot than anything Plum et al will come up with . Hold tight now . . .
15 Stefan Terblanche : we simply can`t attempt this without his experience
14 JP Pieterson : If rumours are to be believed he is ready to go again. I`d have a talk with him beforehand as well. Borrow a little from a certain Oliver Stone movie together with this crucial message : ” If you want to be in contention for the big pay check otherwise known as world cup 2011, you better show us something special this saturday, otherwise we`ll off-load you and make Bjorn Basson an offer he won`t refuse …”
13 Rudi Keil : Yes I know this is a risk as he might be past his best and I haven`t seen him play in years but we are fresh out of centres and at least he brings some experience . . We need Stefan`s stabilizing influence at the back, not fighting in the trenches so to speak.
12 Riaan Swanepoel : Another forced selection but it`s either him or Strauss . . . need I say more? Remember the bulls are known for their physical attacking style of play. Lambie`s name has been thrown about but I fear he might be too small, too intimidated and frankly I just don`t want to create another Brent Russel or Ruan Pienaar.
11 Lwazi Mvovo : Lots of promise on attack and we need him out wide since we are sorely lacking in the pace department, I just hope he worked on his defense.
10 Monty Dumond : He took care of the bulls for us last year, I believe if we trust him to get on with it he can do it again.
9 Rory Kockett : This one is a toss up. He didn`t have the best afternoon last weekend but don`t forget he played against what is probably the best scrumhalf in SA at the moment, ssh don`t tell Snorman I still have money on NZ for the Tri Nations. . . One thing to remember is that Rory brings a lot of experience with him and should therefor pile the pressure on the young Snyman .
8 Ross Skeate: I know I know, a contentious decision but we are in desperate need of some bulk amongst our forwards. Remember Herbst is young and inexperienced, we`re throwing him to the wolves already and then we add insult to injury by making him scrum in front of a featherweight pack! Skeate will provide an extra line out option as well as some much needed momentum from the base of the scrum. Then in the final 20 minutes when everyone is getting tired we unleash Keegan to wreak havoc . . .
7 Michael Rhodes His place is pretty much secure untill Alberts or Deysel joins us.
5 Allistair Hargreaves
4 Steven Sykes : Another speech :” You think you`ll ever get close to another springbok cap with your current form? Get it together or we go for someone more affordable and hungy . . . like Ligtoring Landman! ”
6 Jacques Botes : I`m pretty sure that card he received last weekend was a once off. He`s still our best fetcher option.
3 Wiehann Herbst
2 Craig Burden
1 Pat Cilliers
Also starring: Kyle Cooper, Van Staden, Keegan, Downey, McLeod, Meyer, Lambie.
I think this combination should have a reasonable chance.
A quick look at the Bulls side :
15 Jaco van der Westhuyzen, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Stephan Dippenaar, 12 Stefan Watermeyer, 11 John Mametsa, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Ruan Snyman, 8 Gerrit-Jan van Velze, 7 Derick Kuhn, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Fudge Mabeta, 4 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Gary Botha (captain), 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Bees Roux, 18 Berend Botha, 19 CJ Stander, 20 Danie Faasen, 21 Francois Brummer, 22 Hayden Groepes.
Referee: Jason Jaftha
Assistant referees: François Veldsman, Reuben Rossouw
TMO: JC Fortuin
On the bright side, we don`t have to contend with Marius Jonker for this one.
The Bulls lost Flip van den Merwe this week to Springbok duty as well so they are down to their third choice lock combination . . .
Their scrumhalf is another possible weak link to exploit if Rory can get it together for this one.
Bottom Line, this won`t be the team that runs on for us and we can debate and speculate all we want, we won`t change managements’ opinion.
In the end we are still facing the Bulls and Sharks Supporters country wide will unite against the common enemy, no doubt about it.