ChrisS

Too many players, too few positions


Written by Chris Smith (ChrisS)

Posted in :Original Content, Reader Submissions, Springboks on 28 Feb 2012 at 13:58

There has been much excitement about the dearth of flyhalf talent in the country with the likes of Lambie, van Aswegen, Goosen, Jantjies and Sias Ebersohn all being mentioned as contenders for Morne Steyn’s Bok jersey. Come the first Tests in June there are going to be some very disappointed players as there will likely be only 2 flyhalves included in the Bok squad. Steyn is likely to be selected as he is the incumbent and the likely back-up will be Lambie due to his ability to cover 10, 12 and 15 from the bench.

The question then is, what happens to the other promising young flyhalves who miss out on selection? As evidenced by the disastrous third test against the British & Irish Lions and the away leg of the Tri-Nations last year, there is a gulf between our established test players and “the rest”.

What I’d love to see is a (real) Bok A Team selected to take part in the Churchill Cup where the next tier of players can be exposed to:

1. The Bok gameplan so that should they be called into the senior Bok side they will be used to the way the team plays and can slot in with minimal disruption.

2. Playing alongside provincial rivals. New combinations can be trialled that would never happen at provincial level eg. Sarel Pretorius at 9 and Elton Jantjies at 10 or Peter Grant at 12 and JP Pietersen at 13.

The Nations Cup was a waste of time as it was against sub-standard opposition and the team selected was definitely not the next best 30 in South Africa.
For the continued development of the abundance of talent we currently find ourselves with, we need to give them the chance to shine on the international stage. It can only be good for the players and for Bok rugby!!



45 Comments

  • Got an idea. Now that the Cheetahs have wonder kid Goosen at 10 and Michilak is going back to France at the end of the Super Rugby Season. Why don’t the Sharks chase Sias Ebersohn to be back-up flyhalf to Lambie. Robert Ebersohn can come with him. :mrgreen: Sorry it was a bit off topic.

  • Comment 1, posted at 28.02.12 14:19:02 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 1) : The Sharks apparently tried to but the twins and Brussouw a while back but no luck.

  • Comment 2, posted at 28.02.12 14:20:41 by ChrisS Reply
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  • More on topic with the article. I think it’s a great idea to have a Bok A side.

  • Comment 3, posted at 28.02.12 14:21:46 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 3) : Thanks Ben :grin: The All Blacks, a few years back, had a senior squad of 32 for their June Tests, a Maori side in the Churchill Cup of about 28 and a Junior All Blacks squad of about 30 in the Pacific Nations Cup.

    Before the Tri-Nations even kicked off they’d given international experience of some kind to 90 or so players!! They develop their depth at national level whereas we jump our players straight from Superrugby to international level!!

  • Comment 4, posted at 28.02.12 14:25:18 by ChrisS Reply
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  • Like the Bok A idea! Also like Ben’s twins idea!

  • Comment 5, posted at 28.02.12 14:26:35 by Die Kriek Reply

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  • @Die Kriek (Comment 5) : It has to be a real A Team though, not a leftovers team like we sent to the Nations Cup a few times.

  • Comment 6, posted at 28.02.12 14:28:43 by ChrisS Reply
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  • @ChrisS (Comment 2) : Yup I know. But maybe with Goosen in the picture, Sias will change his mind. Its a longshot though.

  • Comment 7, posted at 28.02.12 14:30:28 by Ben Reply
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  • @ChrisS (Comment 6) : Yes those Emerging Springboks team were a waste. We need to select the real fringe players. Guys like Doppies, Taute, Johnson and Deysel.

  • Comment 8, posted at 28.02.12 14:32:31 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 8) : Exactly! Minnie, Vermeulen, Elstadt, Etzebeth, Kruger and Robert Ebersohn are also names that spring to mind.

    Imagine a loose trio of Vermeulen at 8, Minnie as the fetcher and Deysel as the blindside.

    There are so many options that never get to play together unless there’s a Lions tour or something of that nature.

  • Comment 9, posted at 28.02.12 14:38:31 by ChrisS Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 7) : The problem though is that they’re a package deal.

  • Comment 10, posted at 28.02.12 14:41:18 by ChrisS Reply
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  • @ChrisS (Comment 9) : Yup but I would much rather prefer Johnson at 8 above Vermeulen. But I do get your point fully. :)

  • Comment 11, posted at 28.02.12 14:41:46 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 11) : Exactly! There are tons of options but most Bok coaches are reluctant to drop Spies so we don’t see much of any of the other eighthmen!

  • Comment 12, posted at 28.02.12 14:44:09 by ChrisS Reply
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  • @ChrisS (Comment 12) : U think he has silently threatened them with the Bulls Mafia hit squad?? Gosh knows WHY!? Don’t neccesarily means if you LOOK the part u can play the part!

  • Comment 13, posted at 28.02.12 14:48:14 by Ice Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 13) : I don’t know what the reason is. My opinion is that he does so well in fitness and power tests that the Bok coaches hope that he can play to his potential and give him a chance…and he fails everytime!

    I want to see him revert to wing. He doesn’t have the aggression to play amongst the forwards. I forgot that he was on the field on Friday night!

    I agree with you about looking the part and not BEING the part. If Keegan, Vermeulen or Johnson had his physical attributes they’d be the best in the world by far!!

  • Comment 14, posted at 28.02.12 14:53:35 by ChrisS Reply
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  • @ChrisS (Comment 14) : My Bulls friend went with us to watch the rugby at Loftus. After the game I told him that Spies is sh*t. He denied it and asked me how I can say that if Spies never came on? I asked him what does he mean, Spies never came on? He said Spies wasn’t on the field. I just shook my head and laughed my @ss off! :)

  • Comment 15, posted at 28.02.12 14:57:34 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 15) : I would’ve driven to pta, paid for tickets, suffered through the defeat just to hear that!

  • Comment 16, posted at 28.02.12 14:59:50 by Die Kriek Reply

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  • @Ben (Comment 15) : @Die Kriek (Comment 16) : Oh my word!!!
    Game, set and match for all of us who say that Spies disappears when the going gets tough!!!

  • Comment 17, posted at 28.02.12 15:01:15 by ChrisS Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 15) : Are you being dead serious??? :lol:

  • Comment 18, posted at 28.02.12 15:02:04 by ChrisS Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 15) : :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

    Enough said!No further explanation needed!

  • Comment 19, posted at 28.02.12 15:05:15 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @ChrisS (Comment 18) : I swear on my own life. Ask Ice, not sure if she heard though.

  • Comment 20, posted at 28.02.12 15:07:36 by Ben Reply
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  • We play Argentina now in the championship . So why not use them to develop our dept a bit ?

  • Comment 21, posted at 28.02.12 15:07:54 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 20) : Hahahahaha!!!!! :smile: :razz: :mrgreen: :lol: :grin:

  • Comment 22, posted at 28.02.12 15:08:41 by ChrisS Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 21) : Are you suggesting that each of the 4 Championship sides has an A Team and that they have their own separate competition??

    I like the sound of that!!

  • Comment 23, posted at 28.02.12 15:09:52 by ChrisS Reply
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  • Quick question to Rob. If you’re reading. What happened to Bokworld? Does it still exist or did you decide to close it down? Merely asking out of interest sake.

  • Comment 24, posted at 28.02.12 15:11:03 by Ben Reply
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  • @ChrisS (Comment 23) :

    that could also work ! I was thinking more along the lines of the boks sending a B team to play Argentina . but hey . why not !!

  • Comment 25, posted at 28.02.12 15:15:10 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 25) : The A Teams could play curtain raisers for the senior teams so that the logistics wouldn’t be too hectic and it’d draw bigger crowds to stadiums as they’d get 2 games for the price of one!!

  • Comment 26, posted at 28.02.12 15:17:47 by ChrisS Reply
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  • @ChrisS (Comment 26) : Great idea.

  • Comment 27, posted at 28.02.12 15:18:42 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 20) : I did! I was not wined then! LOL

  • Comment 28, posted at 28.02.12 15:19:26 by Ice Reply
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  • @ChrisS (Comment 26) : BUT, SANZAR are to doff to arrange something like that.

  • Comment 29, posted at 28.02.12 15:20:15 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 28) : There is my proof! :lol:

  • Comment 30, posted at 28.02.12 15:22:18 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 28) : @Ben (Comment 29) : Thanks Ben!! It’d be awesome and would boost Bok and Southern Hemisphere rugby!

    Also having an extended squad on tour would be handy in case of injuries and the young “A” Team guys could learn from the senior Bok side!

  • Comment 31, posted at 28.02.12 15:23:11 by ChrisS Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 30) : @Ice (Comment 28) : :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 32, posted at 28.02.12 15:23:39 by ChrisS Reply
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  • @ChrisS (Comment 26) : The other problem is. That would deplete the Currie Cup almost completely. Having 60 of the best players in SA taken away.

  • Comment 33, posted at 28.02.12 15:23:59 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 33) : It’d be an opportunity for new talent to emerge. I’d rather see Bok rugby strengthened and player depth increased.

    A guy like Craig Burden would be ideal in an SA “A” Team and Adriaan Strauss has the potential to be a world class player but his opportunities are limited to when Bissie and Chilli get injured.

  • Comment 34, posted at 28.02.12 15:27:03 by ChrisS Reply
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  • @ChrisS (Comment 34) : Yup there is negatives and positives. I’d rather arrange a sort of end of year tour for the Bok A team to go and play against those Country’s second stringers.

  • Comment 35, posted at 28.02.12 15:29:50 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 35) : That could work too. I’d like them to get at least 3 games together.

    Heyneke Meyer introduced the idea of a structure for all teams at the Bulls. U18s, U19s, U21s and Vodacom Cup team all played Bulls rugby so that the shift up to a higher team wasn’t such a big change. I want the same idea applied to the Boks and the age group teams.

  • Comment 36, posted at 28.02.12 15:32:56 by ChrisS Reply
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  • @ChrisS (Comment 36) : Agreed. Just as long as it isn’t “kick an up and under rugby”!

  • Comment 37, posted at 28.02.12 15:35:20 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 37) : Please no!!!
    Kick-chase is an option, not the ONLY option!!

  • Comment 38, posted at 28.02.12 15:37:07 by ChrisS Reply
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  • @ChrisS (Comment 36) : problem is some players are better suited to crash and tackle rugby, while others play kick and chase, or running rugby

  • Comment 39, posted at 28.02.12 15:40:17 by Die Kriek Reply

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  • @Die Kriek (Comment 39) : We should be able to adapt. Bjorn Basson is brilliant in the air (as shown on Friday) so use that sometimes but have an Mvovo on the other wing to counter attack and beat defenders. A Sonny-Bill who crashes is useless without a De Jongh kind of Player to run off of his shoulder. It’s about moulding a team from the various types and putting the puzzle together to complete the picture.

    A loose trio should have a basher, a fetcher and a player who links with the backline. 3 of one kind means that you lose out in other areas.

  • Comment 40, posted at 28.02.12 15:44:42 by ChrisS Reply
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  • @ChrisS (Comment 38) : Agreed.

  • Comment 41, posted at 28.02.12 15:59:27 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 1) : No thanks. Not interested in the twins. They are good. Not awesome. Bring Frans Steyn back rather.

  • Comment 42, posted at 29.02.12 12:56:28 by King Shark Reply
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  • @King Shark (Comment 42) : I wish!! JP running off Frans would be awesome. Apparently he’ll sign for the Cheetahs though when he comes back!

  • Comment 43, posted at 29.02.12 13:41:15 by ChrisS Reply
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  • Having a Bok A side is a good idea, but their is no tournament for them to play in.

    South Africa don’t and have never played in the Churchill Cup.
    The Nations cup team was not ALLOWED to be a Bok A team it had to be an emerging Bok team.

    We don’t need more rugby IMO.

  • Comment 44, posted at 29.02.12 13:59:09 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 44) : The idea we discussed was too have A teams for the 4 nations involved in the rugby championship and the A teams of each nation would play curtain raisers for the senior teams.

    I know we’ve never played in the Churchill Cup. My question is why don’t we get involved there? Would increase the experience of our fringe players.

  • Comment 45, posted at 29.02.12 14:18:54 by ChrisS Reply
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