Richard Ferguson

Taking a closer look


Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Original Content, RWC 2011, Springboks on 10 Jun 2011 at 09:14
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After the 37 man squad announcement this week we have a clearer indication of which players are going over to New Zealand representing the Springboks and defending our most prized possession, the Rugby World Cup.

The most notable and publicised omission from this preliminary squad is Bjorn Basson, who has been in some amazing form since the Currie Cup last year, carrying that form across to the Super Rugby and being the joint leading try scoring. A lot has been said about his defence letting him down and there being things he can improve on in his play, or that he has burned his bridges with management. Whatever the case may be, he is a talented player that will only add value in the bigger scheme of things, and he is good at what a winger should be good at, and that’s scoring tries!

The player left out that surprised me somewhat, especially after the hype of him being the Springbok saviour at flyhalf, is Peter Grant. There was never any way that Morne Steyn would have stayed at home, but his understudy position was available and with Grant in some good form before his injury, he would have been a solid back up. This position, by the looks of this latest squad, has gone to Butch James, who is back in the country and has made a noticeable impact at the Lions. Of course our young Lambie is also there as a very capable flyhalf cover.

Two players that go hand-in-hand as Peter de Villiers’ favourites have also surprisingly been left out of this squad, and they are Ricky Januarie and Zane Kirchner. Ricky has forever held the scrumhalf reserve title, but has fallen from grace in recent months with much improved performances by Francois Hougaard and Ruan Pienaar in the UK for Ulster. Zane is in much the same boat, he has been the first choice fullback under de Villiers for some time and now does not even look likely to make the trip to New Zealand.

The others that fell away were pretty much expected to not tour in the first place, and they will either hope to make the trip next time around or somehow hope to be in contention for the away leg of the Tri Nations, when all the top players will be rested.

The next step for de Villiers and the selectors is narrow this squad down even further to the required 30 man squad. If my opinion is worth anything, by my calculations the following will away:

1.Adriaan Strauss – We only need three hookers and Chili has always been a de Villiers favourite

2.Flip van der Merwe – We have three other locks in the squad and Danie Rossouw that can cover almost anywhere.

3.Ashley Johnson – He is in the squad as reward for some truly amazing form lately and I am certain with Spies and Alberts and the like already there, he will be surplus.

4.Duane Vermeulen – As with Johnson above, there are just too many other quality loose forwards in the squad.

5.Coenie Oosthuizen – Heaven only knows why Coenie is in the squad, but he is certain to stay at home and play some Currie Cup rugby.

6.Odwa Ndungane – One of the wingers in the squad will have to stay, and it will come down to a straight pick between Odwa and Mvovo. I wouldn’t be surprised to see either stay, but I would take Mvovo for pace alone.

7.Werner Kruger – This last one is a tough choice. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of props in the squad, but with John Smit able to cover all positions I can only think that Kruger can pack away his passport.



49 Comments

  • The only way Werner Kruger will stay at home is if Mujati or CJ are reintroduced to boks…..no way we can or will go to WC with 1 recognised tighthead. That is simply insane. Smit cover at 3?
    No way .

  • Comment 1, posted at 10.06.11 09:24:09 by grant10 Reply
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  • @grant10 (Comment 1) :

    I agree. One tighthead won’t cut it and I’m no fan of CJ’s so perhaps Werner Kruger isn’t a bad option.

  • Comment 2, posted at 10.06.11 10:05:46 by Pokkel Reply
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  • Rich

    Another one of PdV’s favourites that didn’t make it is Adi of course!

  • Comment 3, posted at 10.06.11 10:06:50 by Pokkel Reply
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  • For the life of me, can’t figure out why BJ Botha has suddenly fallen out of favour…one of our best tight-heads we have produced in years, and proven at test match level unlike Mujati.

  • Comment 4, posted at 10.06.11 10:15:33 by neilster Reply

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  • @neilster (Comment 4) : bj has been found wanting often enough for the coaching staff to know he is not consistent.

  • Comment 5, posted at 10.06.11 10:20:02 by Megatron Reply

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  • I think that we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief. Bar one or two players the squads that have been penciled in represent the majority of the players that we would all have liked to see in the green and gold.

    With the Tri-Nations around the corner, the build up to the RWC is key. Places are still available in the squad and so its up to the players to deliver performances that attract the selectors attention. Basson vs Habana this weekend is one of these opportunities for Bjorn to state his case.

  • Comment 6, posted at 10.06.11 10:42:25 by Mole Reply

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  • @Megatron (Comment 5) : What??? When? BJ is a top tighthead, certainly the best we have in SA and has always produced for the Boks when needed!

  • Comment 7, posted at 10.06.11 11:17:09 by Villie Reply
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  • There is a heck of a lot of rugby still to be played before the WC so the picture could change very quickly with players being injured etc.

    I agree with most of your ommissions Rich…however I do feel that Ashley Johnson may keep his place. He could be the surprise package!

  • Comment 8, posted at 10.06.11 11:21:14 by Villie Reply
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  • @Megatron (Comment 5) : Disagree, I’m not saying he has set the world alight but he has certainly not had a bad test match to my reckoning. He was praised by current Bok management for his last test for them in Europe and then cast aside. And besides, what tight-head is better? Pinning your hopes on JDPlessis who this season has been much better than previously but is still not that great, is foolhardy in my opinion. He also gives away alot of penalties in open play…

  • Comment 9, posted at 10.06.11 11:23:29 by neilster Reply

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  • Its a contest between Alberts and Johnson. If Johnson shines for the Boks come Tri-nations, and Alberts form stays same, Johnson might take it.

  • Comment 10, posted at 10.06.11 12:00:05 by Mocho Reply

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  • think you’re nearly spot on here, Rich, but agree that another tighthead will need to be added…. can’t have only one.

    So one more player will drop out with either Kruger or maybe Mujati getting the ticket.

  • Comment 11, posted at 10.06.11 12:18:53 by robdylan Reply
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  • “Ashley Johnson – He is in the squad as reward for some truly amazing form lately and I am certain with Spies and Alberts and the like already there, he will be surplus.”

    I know it’s unlikely but I wish it was Spies’s name that appeared here. He’s improved somewhat but still way behind both Ashley Johnson and Duane Vermeulen.

  • Comment 12, posted at 10.06.11 13:16:26 by vanmartin Reply
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  • Coenie has gone to learn how to scrum ;-) !

  • Comment 13, posted at 10.06.11 13:29:33 by byron Reply

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  • Oh, and I forgot about Meisiekind. They can leave him out as well. Frans Steyn and Patrick Lambie can cover 12.

  • Comment 14, posted at 10.06.11 13:31:32 by vanmartin Reply
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  • I cant see Werner Kruger staying at home. My guess is that he will go and Mvovo will be dropped. But Hey, anything can happen between now and then.

  • Comment 15, posted at 10.06.11 13:32:20 by Viking Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 14) : I agree. There is more than enough cover at 12. But Vic will whisper in Divvy’s ear and before you know it he is in NZ

  • Comment 16, posted at 10.06.11 13:34:09 by Viking Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 14) : @Viking (Comment 16) : Thing is, guys are going to be halfway across the world, long time away from wives and girlfriends… could this be why PDivvy is taking along Meisiekind? :twisted:

  • Comment 17, posted at 10.06.11 14:03:27 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 11) :

    So who do we leave at home then?

    Do we leave a centre here? Meisiekind or de Jongh?

  • Comment 18, posted at 10.06.11 14:13:26 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • Richard

    “5.Coenie Oosthuizen – Heaven only knows why Coenie is in the squad, but he is certain to stay at home and play some Currie Cup rugby.”

    How many times did you select him in the Windhoek Lager team of the week? I know you don’t do the team every week but how many times have you picked him?

    “6.Odwa Ndungane – One of the wingers in the squad will have to stay, and it will come down to a straight pick between Odwa and Mvovo. I wouldn’t be surprised to see either stay, but I would take Mvovo for pace alone.”

    Don’t think that will happen. Odwa is solid. Good on defence and experienced. Where Mvovo is still a bit of a loose canon who is struggling a bit on defence. Not world cup material yet imo.

    Basson – “Whatever the case may be, he is a talented player that will only add value in the bigger scheme of things, and he is good at what a winger should be good at, and that’s scoring tries!”

    Disagree, a winger is so much more than just scoring tries, defence is vital as they offer cover defence most of the times when the 1st line of defence has been broken.

    Anyway that’s my opinion.

  • Comment 19, posted at 10.06.11 14:17:05 by Ben Reply

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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 18) : Leave Meisiekind for sure.

  • Comment 20, posted at 10.06.11 14:18:23 by Ben Reply

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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 18) : I’d make do with three centres. Obviously Mesiekind isn’t one of them :)

  • Comment 21, posted at 10.06.11 14:18:52 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 18) : I’m going to assume you’re being facetious here; De Jongh may be a one-trick pony, but at least he does that one trick well. Meisiekind can go along as shopping companion for the WAGs…

  • Comment 22, posted at 10.06.11 14:20:06 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 19) :

    Coenie can’t scrum for shit..you saw that against the Sharks.. He gets into that team based on flashy swan dives. He is a fan favourite but no scrumming machine..

    Odwa is a slow winger, Mvovo is the fastest winger in the competition, and on the day can turn any match. Mvovo is a match winner, Odwa is solid at best.

    So you would leave Basson at home?

    Just my humble opinion..

  • Comment 23, posted at 10.06.11 14:23:11 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Culling Song (Comment 22) :

    We know de Jongh is much better than Meisiekind, but we have to consider what de Villiers is going to do..

  • Comment 24, posted at 10.06.11 14:26:01 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 23) : If I had to chose between Odwa and Basson I’d leave Basson at home, but if we can take both of them I would be happy but I wouldn’t take Mvovo with. Work rate and incosistancy is Mvovo’s problem. I agree he can turn a match around but can we really take a chance like that in the WC?

    Btw makes no difference imo as I think Habana and JPP will start in the vital games on wing. Don’t think Mvovo is the fastest wing in the competition. Basson will outrun him I think! ;)

  • Comment 25, posted at 10.06.11 14:31:29 by Ben Reply

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  • @Ben (Comment 25) :

    But when Mvovo scores tries for the Sharks, Im sure you get behind him and then not bitch about his work rate?!

    Habana scored seven tries in the World Cup last year, he could come in handy..

  • Comment 26, posted at 10.06.11 14:37:07 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 26) : Don’t get me wrong when it comes to the Sharks I prefer Mvovo over Odwa. But I think the WC will be to big a stage for him. Experience is vital and that’s the mindset I’m using here.

  • Comment 27, posted at 10.06.11 14:39:39 by Ben Reply

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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 26) : Damn, can’t believe I missed last year’s world cup! ;-) :lol:

  • Comment 28, posted at 10.06.11 14:49:49 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 28) :

    It feels like last year…

  • Comment 29, posted at 10.06.11 14:52:23 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 26) : I think Ben is talking WC scenario….

  • Comment 30, posted at 10.06.11 14:52:34 by Ice Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 28) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 31, posted at 10.06.11 14:53:08 by Ice Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 30) :

    I know Ice, but we wont win a World Cup with just ordinary slow wingers..

  • Comment 32, posted at 10.06.11 14:56:05 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 29) : It was, exactly a year ago, but with a round ball, can’t for the life of me remember seeing Habana play though :lol:

  • Comment 33, posted at 10.06.11 14:57:11 by Greg Reply

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  • @Greg (Comment 33) :

    Don’t you remember Greg? He scored seven tries and hit around 5 sixes..

  • Comment 34, posted at 10.06.11 14:59:12 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 26) : Btw I don’t bitch about Mvovo’s workrate. I merely point out the obvious.

  • Comment 35, posted at 10.06.11 14:59:32 by Ben Reply

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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 34) :

    But he was offside a few times as well..

  • Comment 36, posted at 10.06.11 14:59:48 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 35) :

    We all know his work rate is shit.. but thanx anyway..

  • Comment 37, posted at 10.06.11 15:01:40 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 34) : Ah, now I remember, took a couple of wickets as well, didn’t he?

  • Comment 38, posted at 10.06.11 15:03:48 by Greg Reply

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  • @Greg (Comment 38) :

    And a hole-in-one..

  • Comment 39, posted at 10.06.11 15:06:05 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Greg (Comment 38) : won the final point with an ace too! Incredible stuff!

  • Comment 40, posted at 10.06.11 15:06:42 by Ice Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 39) :
    @Ice (Comment 40) :
    And set a new lap record :lol:

  • Comment 41, posted at 10.06.11 15:08:41 by Greg Reply

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  • @Greg (Comment 41) : Didn’t he roll over the line for a touchdown as well?

  • Comment 42, posted at 10.06.11 15:09:52 by Ben Reply

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  • @Greg (Comment 41) : yeah – by winning the figure skating singles and got a mean shot by that NHL newby! Not to mention the 5 homeruns!

  • Comment 43, posted at 10.06.11 15:12:22 by Ice Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 43) : If I’m not mistaken he rolled a strike as well? :)

  • Comment 44, posted at 10.06.11 15:14:05 by Ben Reply

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  • @Ben (Comment 44) : Spot on!

  • Comment 45, posted at 10.06.11 15:14:42 by Ice Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 45) : Didn’t he knock out SBW in the 2nd round? :mrgreen:

  • Comment 46, posted at 10.06.11 15:46:38 by Ben Reply

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  • @Ben (Comment 46) : I think the 3rd actually after he beat kasparov check mate!

  • Comment 47, posted at 10.06.11 15:54:01 by Ice Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 47) : I remember! :)

  • Comment 48, posted at 10.06.11 15:55:41 by Ben Reply

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  • @Ben (Comment 48) : Awsome wunderkind that Habs of ours!! :mrgreen:

    Cheers piepols!! Have a good weekend!!

    Go Sharks!! :grin:

  • Comment 49, posted at 10.06.11 15:57:08 by Ice Reply
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