Richard Ferguson

The Weekly Whinge


Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Original Content, Springboks on 18 Aug 2014 at 10:35
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Having found myself completely disinterested in any form of rugby for most part of the year so far, my fingers started itching to put pen to paper, in the figurative sense of course, after watching some of the so-called rugby dished up over this past weekend.

I thought it a good idea to do a weekly piece of what I thought of the weekend’s garbage… I mean weekend’s rugby, and so scratching the itch.

To start off, I think Supersport should have a decent claim against the Springboks. SS must have paid a pretty penny to be able to televise the Springbok games live, and what was dished up on Saturday evening can hardly be called rugby. Swimming perhaps, maybe even some sort of kicking waterpolo of sorts, but definitely not rugby.

Before you all jump onto the comments section and blame the whole farcical event on the rain, I do acknowledge the fact the match was doomed even before kick-off, thanks to Loftus turning into an oversized Olympic swimming pool. Playing must have been an absolute nightmare, and although I was in favour of our new flyhalf starting the match, it did seem a good idea to revert to old faithful to win the match for the Boks.

What disappointed most though was the fact that neither flyhalf looked comfortable in the wet, and Morne Steyn even worse than his much younger team mate. Considering that the next World Cup is set to take place on what is well known as a mud island, this is of some concern to me.

Yes, it is likely not going to rain, hail and snow at every rugby match set to be held at the 2015 showpiece, but what if it so happens to influence a big match at the event. Are we simply going to blame the rain and walk away from yet another tournament empty handed? Or should someone somewhere not be thinking about this and plan accordingly?

Maybe someone is thinking in advance, allowing Ruan Pienaar to play while he is used to the conditions. But if that display was him being used to the conditions, I would rather go without, to be honest. He slowed down the Springbok game to his pace, which is the pace at which his one-brow is growing, and went on to try and be the first man to kick the logo off a ball. It was frustrating and predictable, and the sheer number of charge downs bear testament to that.

I sat watching the game at an open air event with roughly 5 000 people, and it was with great sadness that one after the other chose to rather miss the Springbok match than miss an Afrikaans singer set to start after the game. Never in my life would I have thought that to be an option, but I saw it unfolding right in front of me. Another sign that the rugby was poor – when you start noticing other people’s movements.

I was optimistic before the match – Pollard’s inclusion was something that excited me. The thought of the Springboks running in a few well worked tries while the forwards dominated was something to look forward to. But alas, the little positivity that could be taken from the June Internationals was swept under the rug, or hidden behind Ruan’s eyebrows, and it is with difficulty that I see myself getting excited about the return leg this coming weekend.

Instead of looking forward to the game, I am silently hoping the Argentinian team does not click during the match, as I fear the worst for my beloved Green and Gold.



67 Comments

  • kind of sums up my feelings Rich. Something just isn’t right there.

    I can’t think when last I was quite this disillusioned and frankly disinterested about Bok rugby.

  • Comment 1, posted at 18.08.14 10:49:21 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 1) :

    we did have a bit of fun on Twitter tough . best part of the night :)

  • Comment 2, posted at 18.08.14 10:56:03 by Zibbie Reply
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  • I didn’t even bother switching on the TV…

    The fact that I enjoyed Bok rugby under Snorre says a lot.

  • Comment 3, posted at 18.08.14 11:01:24 by Butchie34 Reply
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  • And the try-less 12-all draw in Sydney between the world champions and the newly invigorated Aussies in (far better) wet conditions compared ……?

  • Comment 4, posted at 18.08.14 11:04:08 by Morné Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 2) : ha shame man. Some of those journos are very passionate fans once you scratch through the thin veneer of professionalism.

    The thing that I find most amusing is just how old Jan de Koning sees no problem in “bitching and moaning” his way through every Sharks game on Twitter, but won’t allow others the same privilege when the Boks are playing.

  • Comment 5, posted at 18.08.14 11:04:25 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 5) :

    I have a theory . but this is just my theory so yea .

    Pollard is seen as the savior of springbok rugby . He needs to be good . There is no other option .

    Like buying a Porsche . No matter how crap the drive is , you will tell your friends its great . because you paid a crap load of money for it :P

  • Comment 6, posted at 18.08.14 11:14:18 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 4) :

    Didn’t see the game, so I cannot say anything

  • Comment 7, posted at 18.08.14 11:16:30 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • Probably the 2 things that irritated me most in the game were our shockingly poor execution at the set pieces (something HM said they focusing on, hmm) and also the scrumhalf kicking from the base…for eff sake pass the ball and let the 10 make the decision as he has a better view of the field. A scrumhalfs job should be purely to clear the scrums, rucks etc and make the odd snipe around the fringe.

  • Comment 8, posted at 18.08.14 11:17:54 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @Zibbie (Comment 6) : I think you may be spot on. Everyone loves a fairytale and will often ignore blatantly alarming evidence in order to keep the dream alive.

    Notice that it only took a few decent performance from Pollard for everyone else to notice the things about Goosen that the nay-sayers like me had been talking about for years….

  • Comment 9, posted at 18.08.14 11:18:46 by robdylan Reply
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  • Can’t comment – never got round to watching the game.

    Sad to hear that Pollard didn’t take his chance though.

  • Comment 10, posted at 18.08.14 11:22:31 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 4) : Well when number 1 draws a game away from home against number 3, we can say that the weather had an equalizing effect on the game.

    But when number 2 is at home, and has to hold on for dear life to avoid a draw vs. number 11, you just don’t feel all that confident about our beloved Bok team….no matter the amount of rain flushed down over Loftus.

    This weekend will prove if our fears are unfounded….but our history vs. Arg in Arg is still a bit shaky under Mr. HM.

  • Comment 11, posted at 18.08.14 11:23:59 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • Good to read one of your pieces again Rich. I’m still not convinced that Pienaar’s Ulster form has ever translated to the same kind of performances in a Bok jersey. I often wonder if he’s ever recovered from the fact that he was replaced by Morne Steyn during the B&I Lions tour of 2009.

  • Comment 12, posted at 18.08.14 11:29:37 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 4) :
    Exactly my thoughts.
    Very quick to judge our performance but completely forget the snore fest played earlier in slightly better conditions.

  • Comment 13, posted at 18.08.14 11:59:31 by John Galt Reply

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  • @John Galt (Comment 13) :

    So if the All Blacks play kak rugby, then the Springboks should be allowed to do the same?

    Are you happy with the performance against Argentina this weekend? Being pummelled in the scrums? Having our set pieces destroyed for most of the first half?

  • Comment 14, posted at 18.08.14 12:02:40 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • I agree with Rich. Who cares how badly the All Blacks played? It has no bearing on what we expect form the Boks.

    This is not a race to the bottom

  • Comment 15, posted at 18.08.14 12:11:49 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 15) :

    I can tell you one thing, the All Black supporters aren’t saying ‘It’s okay, the Springboks almost lost in the rain to Argentina’

  • Comment 16, posted at 18.08.14 12:15:09 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 16) : Winner mentality vs. number 2 mentality (pun intended)

  • Comment 17, posted at 18.08.14 12:18:27 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 16) : haha! You nailed it there, bud.

  • Comment 18, posted at 18.08.14 12:18:42 by robdylan Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 11) : @Richard Ferguson (Comment 14) :

    I was at a birthday party and while the TV was on and 99% of people watched the game, I walked out and played with my son enjoying a couple of drinks inbetween.

    Why?

    When I saw the guys being pelted by hail during the national items and Ruan diving with ice flying all over the place for his try I knew we would not see any of those two teams score more than 20 points at best.

    That we would win was never in doubt, the Boks simply has too much class and experience to lose against the Pumas. But if you expected a winning margin of more than 10 or 15 points, and a try-fest you are completely delusional.

    The set pieces, in any weather, was going to be tough. I cannot remember a single scrum in the last 10 years I saw the Argies going backwards – it is the only area in the game just about no team can take them on and beat them – throw in the fact that you scrum against them on a slippy slide of mud and good fucking luck to you brother.

    We had a rookie, in his second test, call the line-outs. I don’t know why we expected him to be Victor Matfield. And again, throw in the bar of soap you had to control 4 meters in the air while you are bliksemed by hail, and good luck to you china.

    The reference to the AB’s and Aus is simple. The Super Rugby final (where many of these players also played in), played in near perfect conditions, is seen as one of the best games of rugby in the last 5 years (even if the final winning margin was almost as close as the test) – in the wet, it was nothing short of a bore ridden snorefest with mistakes from both sides who looked like rookies.

  • Comment 19, posted at 18.08.14 12:21:00 by Morné Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 19) :

    Your points noted Morne, you know I respect your opinion. You are a walking rugby mind!

    I do however question the fact that you say that the result was never in doubt. Yes the Boks have more class, much more, but the fact that the match was very nearly a draw, or was close enough for the the visiting tewam to score a converted try after the hooter to draw the match, points in the direction that they were simply not up for the game.

    I agree regarding your points on the rain and the hail, its silly to expect anything more than was dished up, but hell, you still want a classy team to beat a less classy team, no matter what the weather. That said without any reference to try scoring, but to generally have the better of the opposition who are playing in exactly the same conditions as you.

    But again, that is just my opinion and something that I felt should be said. You don’t have to agree, and I don’t expect many to agree with me. The purpose of the article was first and foremost, to be a tongue-in-cheek whinge, not a fact finding mission to right the wrongs in Springbok rugby.

  • Comment 20, posted at 18.08.14 12:38:29 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 20) : Not taking at least one penalty on offer made it the close game it was at the end. In such conditions it just makes sense to take every three pointer on offer.

  • Comment 21, posted at 18.08.14 12:42:13 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 11) : Ja and the Rapport apologist reckons the rain was as good as an extra player on the field for the Pumas – how do they come up with this form of thinking.

  • Comment 22, posted at 18.08.14 12:43:09 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 19) : We’ll be facing the same scrum, and our lineouts will be called by the same rookie….all of this away from home, in a very hostile Argenitina.

    Time will tell.

  • Comment 23, posted at 18.08.14 12:44:34 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • @Morné (Comment 19) : actually it was Lood’s 4th test :)

  • Comment 24, posted at 18.08.14 12:45:00 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 20) :

    Rich, it was a shit game, hence I walked out after Ruan scored his try because I knew there is no way it will be good to watch like the Aussie/NZ game earlier. Pollard was schooled a bit, Steyn looked like he played a month ago, and Lood will get better.

    Our front row is a massive concern. I don’t know if its fatigue but either the boys are knackered, or our loosies and locks are not doing their job.

    I thought Ruan played really well (I did watch the game on Sunday with a hangover) and Flo + Marcell very good in very shitty conditions.

    Boks came close 3 times to scoring in that game which they fluffed, for that I take conditions into regard. Pumas were good, and up for it, and kudo’s to them.

    @robdylan (Comment 24) :

    Bean counter! :)

  • Comment 25, posted at 18.08.14 13:16:30 by Morné Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 23) :

    We will beat them.

  • Comment 26, posted at 18.08.14 13:19:10 by Morné Reply
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  • for me the clincher was when Morne Steyn hoofed the ball straight back at the Argies with a three man overlap on his outside.

  • Comment 27, posted at 18.08.14 13:21:02 by robdylan Reply
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  • I get that you probably have to kick the ball a fair bit in wet weather. But shit, don’t just kick it unthinkingly without summing up your options first. And when you do kick it, don’t boot it straight back to the opposition. That’s just stupid.

  • Comment 28, posted at 18.08.14 13:30:26 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 27) : @robdylan (Comment 28) : Some of your arguments are a bit harsh in those atrocious conditions. But I certainly agree with you on your last two comments. That is Bok rugby down to a T. And if memory serves THAT IS SHARKS RUGBY too!!!

    And it proves my point why Morne Steyn is not a good flyhalf. The ability to kick or run or tackle or pass does not make you a good flyhalf. The ability too MAKE THE RIGHT DECISIONS makes you a good flyhalf – Wilko, Carter, Honiball…

    And despite many of Pienaar’s lacklustre Bok performances, that was one of his better. Apart from the try where he showed good pace, he brought his kicks in after starting too long and directed play pretty well. Needs to up the tempo in dry conditions though for sure

  • Comment 29, posted at 18.08.14 15:20:10 by pienaar111 Reply

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  • @pienaar111 (Comment 29) : nah, Ruan was a chief culprit in hoofing what little good ball we did get straight down the throats of the opposition.

  • Comment 30, posted at 18.08.14 15:23:37 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 9) : Agree with that statement as well.

    @robdylan (Comment 30) : His kicks (after the 25-30min mark were at least finding their mark and we were able to pressurise them in that regard.

    And look in dry conditions I would certainly not have condoned as much kicking as he did.

    Think it was Venter or Mallett that illustrated our problem with kicking. ie. Gameplan is kick so we kick off first phase when they are set. Instead of drawing in the back three and then pinning them back

  • Comment 31, posted at 18.08.14 15:33:44 by pienaar111 Reply

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  • @pienaar111 (Comment 31) : ja, you are right about that last bit.

    Even the (pretty useless) commentators picked up on the fact that the Argie backs were just hanging back en masse and waiting for the kick that they KNEW was going to come.

  • Comment 32, posted at 18.08.14 15:57:45 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 14) : @robdylan (Comment 15) :
    You’ve misread what I was saying.
    Im saying that the weather we played in had a huge effect on everything. As did the weather in the Aus/NZ game. The ABs played kak for the same reason we did but I think there is a massive over reaction to how badly we played and 95% of that had to do with the weather.
    Sure we left some points on the table by not kicking for poles and trying to go for tries which made the score closer than it should have been but we should be applauding the guys somewhat in trying to be positive. Even in those conditions.
    We saw the ball being knocked out of locks hands at just the slightest touch, props and locks slipping and sliding everywhere etc all this does is break any momentum that we may have built up.
    We’ll be much better next week.
    Will there be a weekly whinge if we beat them by 20 next week?

  • Comment 33, posted at 18.08.14 16:22:32 by John Galt Reply

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  • @Morné (Comment 26) : But will it be worth watching? :|

  • Comment 34, posted at 18.08.14 17:57:00 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • @John Galt (Comment 33) : yes some people will never be satisfied! !!!

  • Comment 35, posted at 18.08.14 18:36:29 by JD Reply
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  • @John Galt (Comment 33) :

    No chance.

    This site goes deathly silent whenever the Boks play well.

  • Comment 36, posted at 18.08.14 19:06:40 by fyndraai Reply
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  • @fyndraai (Comment 36) :
    That’s not true or fair!

    We usually at least mention 1 Shark who would have been 10 times better. For example, Pat Lambie was really good on Friday…

  • Comment 37, posted at 18.08.14 19:28:49 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @fyndraai (Comment 36) : but that happens not to often under HM ;-)

  • Comment 38, posted at 18.08.14 20:01:11 by JD Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 37) : don’t forget Fred and Jordaan oh and don’t get me started on Sithole……… hahaha

  • Comment 39, posted at 18.08.14 20:05:23 by JD Reply
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  • @fyndraai (Comment 36) : You boys have nothing other than Bok rugby to live for…bulls rugby is a very dark and lonely tunnel :twisted:

  • Comment 40, posted at 18.08.14 20:49:44 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • @JD (Comment 38) : @fyndraai (Comment 36) : when last did that happen,anybody care to remember when last?

  • Comment 41, posted at 18.08.14 20:51:23 by benji Reply
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  • @benji (Comment 41) : they had some moments but nothing to celebrate.

  • Comment 42, posted at 18.08.14 20:59:40 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 38) :
    :lol:

  • Comment 43, posted at 18.08.14 21:51:53 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 37) :
    No doubt Lambie would have been better than Pollard on Saturday.

    @JD (Comment 38) :
    Contrary. As recently as June, the Boks have played some great rugby.

    @FireTheLooser (Comment 40) :
    Luckily for me, I have a lot more to live for than rugby, but as far as rugby occupies my time, this time of year it’s TRC/3N. The rest is just white noise.

    @benji (Comment 41) :
    Are you on drugs?

  • Comment 44, posted at 19.08.14 00:06:11 by fyndraai Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 32) : True. But when has a South African player ever gone against the coach’s instructions?? You saw it with the Sharks as well.

  • Comment 45, posted at 19.08.14 01:55:11 by pienaar111 Reply

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  • Just my comments on some of the comments here…was the amount of kicking the players decision or a coaching directive. I dont think Lambie would have been better than Pollard as Pienaar kicked 90% of the possession from the base…no wonder Pollard looked unsure of himself- he never thought he would actually get the ball. Our set pieces were pretty awful and our lineouts especially looked slow and cumbersome- the Argies looked like they read every single one. We also looked lethargic in the scrums. Flo and Coetzee almost looked to outshine each other rather than contribute in tandem.

  • Comment 46, posted at 19.08.14 07:54:08 by SheldonK Reply

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  • I actually enjoyed the June tests – even though the opposition was not really great. At least the Boks did show some attacking intent.

    I personally thought this water polo test was simply ruined by the weather, and definitely not the time to try and run the opposition off their feet. Our main playmaker had an absolute mare. Our front row is clearly tired, and the lineouts were a mess without a real 5 lock.

    @SheldonK (Comment 46) : Two opensiders in tandem will try and play like two opensiders.

  • Comment 47, posted at 19.08.14 08:45:09 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 47) : So whose to blame then…the opensiders , the selection committee or the coaching instructions? Or all of the above

  • Comment 48, posted at 19.08.14 08:50:48 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 48) : In fairness to the selectors, I don’t think that was the plan all along. I don’t think Flouw and Marcell has ever been on the field together?

    Also keep in mind the Argies forwards play very well together as a unit – not very easy to beat them at the breakdown.

  • Comment 49, posted at 19.08.14 09:00:50 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 49) : Yeh look I do think the Alberts thing kinda buggered up plans. and The Arg loosies are very very good. The reason why we rely a lot on our 7 to carry the ball is cos our front row hardly carries the ball at all. I dont know the stats but i think i remember seeing Beast carry twice and maybe Jannie once.

  • Comment 50, posted at 19.08.14 09:33:25 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @fyndraai (Comment 44) : ether with a bit of novacain goes a long way when forced to watch that drivel

  • Comment 51, posted at 19.08.14 17:08:56 by benji Reply
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  • @fyndraai (Comment 44) : sorry must have missed those two minutes.

  • Comment 52, posted at 19.08.14 20:23:18 by JD Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 46) : they will try to out do each other as they’re competing for the same spot.

  • Comment 53, posted at 19.08.14 20:26:03 by JD Reply
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  • Well tonight is the first time I watched the Bok game and there’s a couple of points I’d like to make:
    1. I really like the loose trio of Flo, Marcell and Vermeulen. I think it’s a fast hard working trio and given time to gel they could be devastating.
    2. The final score is not a real reflection of the game. On a dry field the Bokke would have smoked them.
    3. Ja it was not a great performance or score but it was not nearly as bad as what the score suggested.
    Let’s see what happens when they play again this week.

  • Comment 54, posted at 19.08.14 23:46:33 by JD Reply
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  • Perhaps a different tack.

    Number of Springbok tries against Aus, NZ, Eng, Fra, Ire, Wales and B&I Lions:

    HM: 43 tries in 17 matches = 2.529 per match
    JW: 93 tries in 38 matches = 2.447 per match
    PdV: 77 tries in 38 matches = 2.026 per match

  • Comment 55, posted at 19.08.14 23:52:35 by fyndraai Reply
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  • Number of Springbok penalty and dropped goals scored against same opponents in same matches:

    HM: 42, 2.471 per match
    JW: 118, 3.105 per match
    PdV: 124, 3.262 per match

  • Comment 56, posted at 19.08.14 23:54:56 by fyndraai Reply
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  • Win/Loss/Draw/% against the same opponents:

    HM: 11/5/1/67%
    JW: 20/17/1/54%
    PdV: 21/17/0/55%

  • Comment 57, posted at 19.08.14 23:57:05 by fyndraai Reply
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  • :shock: Are you for real – your above stats are so seriously flawed some might take you for some kind of snake oil seller.

  • Comment 58, posted at 20.08.14 08:50:54 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @fyndraai (Comment 57) : There is just one stat that I’m interested in:

    Games vs. NZ/win/loss/draw

    This year HM’s credentials will be proven on three counts:

    vs. Oz
    vs. NZ
    vs. England (not sure if we’re playing them this year, but they are the only other team pushing for top 3)

  • Comment 59, posted at 20.08.14 09:21:22 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • Brendan’s latest column is interesting: http://www.supersport.com/rugby/blogs/brendan-venter/The_architects_of_antirugby

  • Comment 60, posted at 20.08.14 09:46:16 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 40) : :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
    You have my vote for ” Comment of the Month!” :mrgreen:

  • Comment 61, posted at 20.08.14 11:18:06 by Original Pierre Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 58) :

    I’m fake but the the stats are as real as Dolly Parton’s boobs.

    Check for yourself at http://www.scrum .com

  • Comment 62, posted at 21.08.14 03:33:02 by fyndraai Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 59) :

    According to scrum.com, records against NZ, Aus and Eng are like this: (won, lost, drew, % , tries, PK+DGs, tries per match)

    PdV: 11, 14, 0, 44%, 46, 84, 1.84
    JW: 14, 13, 0, 52%, 61, 83, 2.25
    HM: 6, 5, 1, 54%, 29, 32, 2.42

    Oops.

    One has to be careful with stats though. There is a point where the sample size can get so small that you’re simple looking at randomness.

    Never try to extract a trend from randomness — you’ll make a fool of yourself.

  • Comment 63, posted at 21.08.14 03:50:38 by fyndraai Reply
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  • Just NZ and Aus:

    won, lost, %, tries, tries per match
    JW: 9, 11, 45%, 39, 1.9
    PdV: 9, 14, 39%, 39, 1.7
    HM: 3, 5, 37%, 21, 2.6

  • Comment 64, posted at 21.08.14 04:09:49 by fyndraai Reply
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    fyndraaiTeam captain
     
  • Or just the ABs (because I know it will make you guys happy)

    JW: 3, 6, 33%, 2.33tpm
    PdV: 5, 6, 45%, 1.09tpm
    HM: 0, 4, 0%, 2tpm

  • Comment 65, posted at 21.08.14 04:13:57 by fyndraai Reply
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    fyndraaiTeam captain
     
  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 58) :

    Sorry.
    I see you said flawed, not faked.

    Please let me know where the flaws are. Presentation, calculations or data. Always looking to improve.

    To verify the data, you should enter the query on espnscrum stats guru as described in my original post. I used dates as a proxy for the coach.
    JW = 24 Mar 2004 – 1 Nov 2007
    PdV = 24 Mar 2008 – 31 Dec 2011
    HM = 24 Mar 2012 – 19 Aug 2014

  • Comment 66, posted at 21.08.14 04:50:54 by fyndraai Reply
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  • @fyndraai (Comment 65) : To me, up until this year, the benchmark was the AB’s….OZ were rebuilding, Eng were building.

    This year however, all three of them can be used as a solid benchmark to measure HM by.

  • Comment 67, posted at 21.08.14 07:34:44 by FireTheLooser Reply

    Assistant coach
     

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