As the international rugby season is about to kick off in South Africa, let’s have a look at the Boks vs the Poms.
With test matches between these two proud rugby playing countries dating back to 1906, where it all started in a 3-all draw, they’ve since played 31 tests with South Africa victorious in 19 and England not far behind on 12. South Africa has also scored 661 points and England 491, not bad if you take in account England is the country that introduced rugby to South Africa.
With test matches not being played as frequently as they are these days, England had to wait till 1969 to beat South Africa, with the Boks beating England in one-off tests in 1913, 1932, 1951 and 1962. South Africa then held the upper hand in the majority of the tests up until 2000, when England dominated until 2006 including that humiliating defeat in 2002 at Twickenham 53-3. Since then its been the Springboks all the way, hammering the Poms in Bloem 58-10 and 55-22 in Pretoria in 2007 and in the same year we also stunned them at the World Cup beating them 36-0 and also beating them 15-6 in the final to lift the Webb Ellis Trophy in France.
Since the World Cup we’ve given them a beating in front of their home crowd 42-6 in 2008 and again in 2010 21-11.
The three home test matches will be played at Mr Price Kings Park, a first for South Africa to play England at this venue, Coca Cola Park (where the Springboks lost in 1972 by 9-18 and won in 1984 by 35-9) and the final test will be at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in PE where the Springboks last played England in 1984 at Boet Erasmus winning that game 33-15.
South Africa’s overall win ratio against England is 60.93%.
In more then one way it’s also a new “season” for Springbok rugby with a new coach in Heyneke Meyer, a couple of new caps as well as a new captain in Jean De Villiers.
I think enough has been said about the team selected for the first test.
South Africa: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jean de Villiers, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 François Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Keegan Daniel, 20 Ruan Pienaar, 21 Patrick Lambie, 22 Wynand Olivier.
England: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Manusamoa Tuilagi, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Ben Foden, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Chris Robshaw (capt), 6 Tom Johnson, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Mouritz Botha, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Lee Mears, 17 Paul Doran-Jones, 18 Tom Palmer, 19 Phil Dowson, 20 Lee Dickson, 21 Toby Flood, 22 Jonathan Joseph.
Date: Saturday, June 9
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)
Assistant refeerees: Alain Rolland (Ireland), Simon McDowell (Scotland)
Television match official: Iain Ramage (Scotland
My thoughts for what it’s worth: Meyer will go with the old “stamp kar” approach and Morne putting up the old Garryowen with Habana chasing (I hope I’m wrong).
These comments from Richardo Loubscher : “Zane and Patrick Lambie are two different kinds of players and the selection might be directed around what the one gives ahead of the other for the specific challenge we face in this game.
“We have to select a 22 first, and then a starting team. Zane is strong under the high ball, he has a very good kicking game. Lambie brings something different. He brings a bit of X-factor. It depends on what we need on the day”,
That tells me they just want someone at the back catching the ball and putting it up in the air as quick as possible (I hope I’m wrong again).
The battle I’m most eager to see is the one in the midfield, in particular Frans Steyn vs Bradley Barritt.Tweet