Hertford Highlander

Springbok are finding out what real injuries are


Written by Gwyn Pratley (Hertford Highlander)

Posted in :All Blacks, Original Content, RWC 2011, Springboks on 26 Jul 2011 at 08:34
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After just one Test match of the 2011 season the Springbok have an injury crisis. In the wash-up of their humiliating loss to the Wallabies in Sydney on Saturday three players look in doubt to face the All Blacks this weekend. Unfortunately for the tourists two of the injuries are in the second row with Flip van der Merwe and Alistair Hargreaves both picking up knocks. The other is Province flyer Gio Aplon who also sat out training today. Such real injuries are starting to leave coach Pieter de Villiers with egg on his face after leaving 21 so-called injured players at home.

Since Saturday the knifes have been out everywhere for PDV and his under fire captain John Smit, well everywhere except New Zealand for now. Many jurno’s on this side of the Tasman seem to be keeping their powder dry, waiting for what kind of Springbok outfit limp into town – but by all reports we are expecting to see a pathetic Springbok team arrive tomorrow. There will no doubt be lots of rhetoric about how it is the best available team etc. but at the end of the day New Zealand supporters hope this disgrace of a South African side get put to the sword for devaluing the Tri Nations and Test rugby to such a degree. Some are even saying that if New Zealand outwardly say they are resting test regulars then Saturday’s match should be stripped of its Test match status by the IRB because it is clearly not the best two teams available from their respective countries.

The score line on Saturday will be interesting with the All Blacks widely tipped to beat the second stringers from the Republic but the margin will be interesting. The All Blacks are expected to roll out a largely unchanged side with some pundit’s even saying it will be weaker on paper than last weekend against Fiji. Last week the All Blacks ran out winners 60-14. It was a trademark first All Black hit out of the season with plenty of rust to shake off and a game plan that looked more suited to an opposition leagues better than what fronted them on the night. However to be fair Fiji (who incidentally are in South Africa’s Pool at the RWC) dominated passages of the second half with physicality at the breakdown a real feature. It was also not lost on the general watching public that like South Africa, Fiji also had twenty plus players unavailable for one reason or another.

This week it looks likely that four key RWC All Blacks will be rested/rotated/spelled (or if you are in the Springbok management are injured) due to their high minutes played and air miles gained already this year. But to be honest they are arguably the best players in the country by a country mile and like the Bok there is no way that Henry and co. would want to lose these guys for the season due to them being fatigued. Kieran Read, Owen Franks, Brad Thorn and Keven Mealamu have all had stellar season’s to date and would walk into the All Black starting XV on merit, form and just about every other criteria you could come up with – they will all be missing this weekend.

Expect the All Blacks performance to markedly improve upon their outing last weekend in Dunedin. Then again so to should the Springbok, the only difference is that expect the Bok to get pounded in what is again a nothing encounter – or is it! These two sides will square off against each other in the semi–final of the RWC come October. With that in mind Saturday’s exercise for PDV and all South African supporters must surely be all about who from this bunch of Springbok rejects has the spine to not be too traumatised by this touring Tri Nations experience. So, will any of Saturday’s side be included in that RWC match day semi-final 22 – it would be a guess, but I don’t think too many will make the cut, maybe the veteran Danie Rossouw might. Rossouw is likely to chum up with the rest of his geriatric mates come the home leg. We will have a much clearer indicator when the 20 odd injured Bok also all miraculously recover to play the final two Tri Nations fixtures. However, one thing is for sure, how much chance Rossouw and his crew of 2007 have in 2011 will be no clearer after the weekend.



33 Comments

  • Serious sh…. I cannot remember when last the Boks were down to what they are at the moment…does not give one much hope imo..

    Morning guys – could anyone please help me. Who is the best guy currently in SA (even Bok Players) that’s best under a highball – and best under the higball with the least errors?

    Will appreciate!!!

  • Comment 1, posted at 26.07.11 08:49:44 by Ice Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 1) : Odwa Ndungane must play fullback this weekend.

  • Comment 2, posted at 26.07.11 08:51:05 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 2) :

    I dont think that will happen Rob.

    When last has he played fullback??

  • Comment 3, posted at 26.07.11 09:09:20 by wpw Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 3) : When last has Morne played fullback?

  • Comment 4, posted at 26.07.11 09:10:46 by Ossa Reply

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  • @Ossa (Comment 4) :

    Morne is a test regular and he is a very good kicker.

    I’m not saying Odwa shouldnt play there, I’m just saying he will more than likely NOT be selected there.

    I think Morne has played fullback for the Boks before (as a replacement)

  • Comment 5, posted at 26.07.11 09:12:32 by wpw Reply
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  • Wouldn’t call the loss to the Aussies humiliating.

    Anyone would expect a hodge-podge of fringe players to lose against a full test team stocked with the likes of Genia and Cooper, especially if said hodge-podge team is coached and led by a hodge-podge of useless plonkers.

    The scoreline was actually pretty decent considering.

  • Comment 6, posted at 26.07.11 09:28:07 by rhineshark Reply

    rhinesharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • @wpw (Comment 5) : counter that with the fact that Odwa can at least tackle!

  • Comment 7, posted at 26.07.11 09:28:39 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : Rob – that was exactly my argument…but I am in a struggle coz a guy at work reckons Basson is teh best under highball…?

  • Comment 8, posted at 26.07.11 09:31:43 by Ice Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 8) : basson is not bad. I think he’s really talented and quick but Odwa brings a lot of composure. Are you two just arguing about high ball aspect or in general?

  • Comment 9, posted at 26.07.11 09:37:35 by rekinek Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 8) : Basson? I’m afraid that the fact that he’s useless in all other facets of the game makes it hard to justify picking him

  • Comment 10, posted at 26.07.11 09:44:48 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 8) : Basson is very good under the high ball, especially when chasing.

  • Comment 11, posted at 26.07.11 10:03:06 by Salmonoid Reply

    Salmonoid the SubtleTeam captain
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 10) : @Salmonoid (Comment 11) : @rekinek (Comment 9) :

    Highball only, but my argument is that he still knocks a lot, cannot defend and is still not too ready for this type of game – so I said I’ll go with Odwa rather…

    But the argument was that BaSSON is the best under highball – so IS HE?

  • Comment 12, posted at 26.07.11 10:26:05 by Ice Reply
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  • Noo not Basson, he couldn’t catch the ball rolling along with an open try line in front of him. Imagine the AB’s will probably regard him as an invitation to an open try line. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 13, posted at 26.07.11 10:57:35 by Dynamite Reply

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  • @Ice (Comment 8) : Basson is good under the high ball but he is one of the worst defenders in the squad. He seems to be one of Morne-arm-tackle-Steyn’s disciples.

  • Comment 14, posted at 26.07.11 11:34:33 by King Shark Reply
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  • “Such real injuries are starting to leave coach Pieter de Villiers with egg on his face after leaving 21 so-called injured players at home” – this is nonsense, would it have been ideal if it was Victor or Bakkies who are both injured instead of alistair & flip?

    just wait until Kaino picks up a knock or better yet Brad Thorn then Father Ted will be shitting bricks.

  • Comment 15, posted at 26.07.11 11:44:46 by Megatron Reply

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  • @Ice (Comment 12) : Any of the Sharks blokes ever responded to a tweet?

  • Comment 16, posted at 26.07.11 11:57:53 by King Shark Reply
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  • @Megatron (Comment 15) :

    I thought Brad Thorn was ruled out of this weekend’s game.

    Is it injury enforced or was he dropped/rotated?? :roll:

  • Comment 17, posted at 26.07.11 12:02:37 by wpw Reply
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  • @King Shark (Comment 16) : both Skeate and Bresler does, I think only one that Bresler didn’t reply on a tweet from me ;)

  • Comment 18, posted at 26.07.11 12:19:33 by Franshark Reply
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  • @King Shark (Comment 16) : hUH? :?:

  • Comment 19, posted at 26.07.11 12:20:10 by Ice Reply
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  • @Franshark (Comment 18) : WHICH TWEET?

  • Comment 20, posted at 26.07.11 12:21:14 by Ice Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 17) : thorn is being RESTED because he is fatigued from Super Rugby. my point is the Cartel say they’re resting individual players as they see fit. so thorn, read, mealamu & o franks will be given extra time with families because they don’t want them knackered even more which increases the chances of injuries. look at dries bekker, if pdv had any sort of control over the bok contracted players he would’ve intervened before WP played andries bekker to the ground and the boks would have bekker for the world cup.

    for example, the blues were under instruction not to wear out mealamu, so what they decided on was that keven won’t participate in the hard/contact training the team does, he will only do ball runs where everyone is just passing around and working on strategy and just play matches. pat lam didn’t moan and it worked for the blues and kevvy is still “fresh” for world cup.

  • Comment 21, posted at 26.07.11 12:25:25 by Megatron Reply

    MegatronSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Ice (Comment 20) : Any – I know you must be stalking them ;-)

    Seriously though, one always wonders if they even read a good luck message etc.

  • Comment 22, posted at 26.07.11 12:26:22 by King Shark Reply
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    King SharkVodacom Cup player
     
  • @Franshark (Comment 18) : Nice to know. Thx.

  • Comment 23, posted at 26.07.11 12:27:14 by King Shark Reply
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  • Oh HH, I will retain this article for the predictable AB choke later this year. :twisted:

  • Comment 24, posted at 26.07.11 12:40:20 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @King Shark (Comment 22) : I am not big on the bird thingetjie, hey… ;-)

  • Comment 25, posted at 26.07.11 12:49:38 by Ice Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 20) : the last one I senbd after the puma game, think they were not to happe with themself ;)

  • Comment 26, posted at 26.07.11 14:25:01 by Franshark Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 25) : me neither but try to send at least one message a week, either a good game wish or congrats :)

  • Comment 27, posted at 26.07.11 14:27:06 by Franshark Reply
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  • @King Shark (Comment 23) : Keegan has responded to me.

  • Comment 28, posted at 26.07.11 18:41:47 by SharonvanWyk Reply
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  • Just a point I’d like to raise. Given the importance of the RWC, and the fact that the EOYT has been cancelled because of it, would it not be better to NOT have a Tri-Nations in a World Cup year? It seems pretty stupid, all things considered, and because of the humungous strain put on everyone by the extended SupeRugby season. If it weren’t for the Tri-Nations everyone would be at home, resting where possible, training sensibly as a team for the biggest tournament in the rugby world.

  • Comment 29, posted at 26.07.11 18:44:49 by SharonvanWyk Reply
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  • @SharonvanWyk (Comment 29) : isn’t that what the sensible northern hemisphere teams are doing?

    they must be laughing themselves silly.

  • Comment 30, posted at 26.07.11 23:49:53 by Megatron Reply

    MegatronSuper Rugby player
     
  • Best under the high ball in sa at the moment?.. Dunno.but stef was untouchable for two seasons_2008,2009.under pressure,he never once flinched.stand-out player when it came to taking the high ball.

  • Comment 31, posted at 27.07.11 00:19:53 by bergshark Reply

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  • What about fdp?can’t remeber him knocking that many high balls/kicks?..except perhaps one back in 2005..

  • Comment 32, posted at 27.07.11 00:21:49 by bergshark Reply

    bergsharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • Well,he didn’t knock it ,just a case of bad communication between himself and johan roets.

  • Comment 33, posted at 27.07.11 00:40:04 by bergshark Reply

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