bchanakira2

The next Springbok 9 – the frontrunners


Written by Benedict Chanakira (bchanakira2)

Posted in :Original Content, Springboks on 26 Jan 2016 at 10:57
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Fourie du Preez ended his playing career in Japan this past weekend. The end of an era, for some it came too late while some hoped he would play on. One of the greatest number 9’s to play the game. In my opinion South Africa’s greatest. Looking back to the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France, the group stage match up against England and you will realise just why du Preez was great. A master class showing. Anything Fourie did came off. I really wish he’d played the lotto on that day, I am certain he would have won the thing. South Africa will venture into 2016 as they look to continue the rebuild and the number nine jumper will be up for grabs. We take a look at the possible options to wear the Springbok green and gold:

Ruan Pienaar (Ulster)
One of the most underated players to wear the green and gold. Pienaar has faced criticism for his lack of form translation from Ulster to South Africa. In the 2015 Rugby World Cup there was really no big difference between the incumbent du Preez and Pienaar. Talk of that Wales winning try should be dialled down a bit with fans realising it was down to the brilliance of Duane Vermeulen. Talk of slow delivery may also stem from how the Bok forwards looked to attack the designated channel. His experience will be vital in blooding the next Springbok number 9 and he should be a vital addition for the next Springbok coach’s squad. The biggest disappointment for the Ulsterman will never having played his real game for the Springboks.

Cobus Reinach (Sharks)
The Sharks man has been rather inconsistent and will be looking to grab the opportunity once again in 2016 when the first Springbok squad is named. Reinach was at hand to split the fans over his World Cup omission. When on song the Sharks man is a terror for defences and his turn of pace is a bonus. When it comes to his tactical kicking, Reinach is still below par. The former Grey College man will need to make sure his partnership with Pat Lambie in this year’s Super Rugby is eye-catching. Both will be looking to impress and restart what we would call Springbok careers that never got going. His pace, ability to exploit space on the blind side will be of huge benefit to South Africa. His inability to be accurate and consistent could prove costly. He will need to find his edge this season. What should have been frustrating was featuring for the Springboks all year and then getting dropped at the altar (before World Cup).

Rudy Paige (Blue Bulls)
Left to hang and dry. Afforded a debut for his country at the World Cup. A mere 3 minute cameo but Paige got less credit than he actually deserved. He was easily one of the form number nine’s in the country. He made the Bulls look better in Super Rugby and was accurate when passing, kicking and offered crisp direction to the provincial side. Even when he had his Springbok cameos he looked impressive. Heyneke Meyer was solely to blame for the uproar that was built around the Paige debut. He showed a lack of trust and belief in the man and could easily have highlighted the player’s non-warranting of a place at the World Cup. 2016 will offer Paige the opportunity to exorcize the demons of the season past and look to be the best nine in the country. Arguably edged by Faf de Klerk last season this will be another opportunity to become a Springbok regular. The challenging aspect will be how the Bulls pack will fare. Will they set the platform for him?

Faf de Klerk (Lions)
The Lions number 9 is exciting and is the closest version of Aaron Smith South Africa has. His tendency to take darting runs, create space, create tries and score them left many a fan in a bout of excitement. Faf unfortunately would not feature anywhere near a World Cup spot as did his Lions team mates. The new era will be a welcome period for him as he looks to become a regular in the Springbok ranks.

Jano Vermaak (Stormers)
The veteran number nine has played in France, Johannesburg, and Pretoria. He now finds himself in Cape Town. He was somewhat discarded by Heyneke Meyer and will also look to grab a second bite of the cherry in international rugby. At this stage he looks like he may become the Stormers incumbent unless there is a drastic decision not to. The veteran remains a stronger candidate than Nic Groom and Louis Schreuder. The Province youngsters must be on their guard as promising Godlen Masimla may leap frog them soon. Another interesting season in Cape awaits. Snubbing the Sharks could well have been a great call.

Tian Meyer (Cheetahs)
The former Griquas star will look to join the ranks of competing for the Springbok jumper as well. He will need to fend off Shaun Venter who I believe he will edge slightly. Meyer offers an impressive defensive game but it his snipping runs that make him an impressive scrumhalf. There is also his attacking game that will be under the microscope. It will be his defensive game and organisation that will be watched with a hawk eye as the Cheetahs look to get a more balanced number nine.

Nothing is more dangerous than a man with a point to prove. 2016 will definitely see a new generation emerge and here are some of the options that will present themselves when the next Springbok number 9 is selected.



146 Comments

  • Reinach did not really have a mentor when he started playing at The Sharks, but now with Claasens to learn from, as well as having Du Preez now as coach, I think we will see him working and improving on his technical abilities far more than in the past.

  • Comment 1, posted at 26.01.16 11:06:37 by KingRiaan Reply
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  • Faf period

  • Comment 2, posted at 26.01.16 11:12:42 by benji Reply
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  • I really think the 9 spot is up for grabs depending who excels this Super rugby season. I dont think there are any front runners. I also think Pienaar may get overlooked based on him being in Europe and he is not the youngest guy around.

  • Comment 3, posted at 26.01.16 11:19:06 by SheldonK Reply

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  • This will be Reinachs most important Super Rugby campaign of his career

  • Comment 4, posted at 26.01.16 11:24:16 by Morné Reply
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  • “The biggest disappointment for the Ulsterman will never having played his real game for the Springboks.”

    Have to agree with you there. The Bok coaches have all recently been guilty of coming up with a gameplan and then trying to force the best players to fit into it instead of seeing what talent was available and then formulating a gameplan around those players’ skillsets. :cry:

  • Comment 5, posted at 26.01.16 11:25:22 by ChrisS Reply
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  • No more Pienaar please. He’s never properly made the mental step up to international rugby. He’s had moments but no consistency. Based on last year it’s Paige and Faf for me with Reinach being the man with a point to prove.

  • Comment 6, posted at 26.01.16 11:32:36 by vanmartin Reply
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  • Great article Benedict, keep them coming please.

  • Comment 7, posted at 26.01.16 11:44:43 by StevieS Reply
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  • @ChrisS (Comment 5) : Too true. You only have to watch Pienaar for Ulster and Pienaar for the Boks to see how drastically differently he played.

    For Ulster he clears the base quickly and efficiently and looks to get his backline running. For the Boks he suddenly becomes slow and ponderous, kicks the ball a lot more and passes to a bunch of forwards nine times out of ten.

  • Comment 8, posted at 26.01.16 11:48:06 by StevieS Reply
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  • My money is on Pienaar and Paige . With FDp to do a Matfield in 2 years time

  • Comment 9, posted at 26.01.16 12:14:06 by Zibbie Reply
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  • For me it must be Claasens. He showed last year he still has everything needed to be the Bok 9. Give the youngsters time to sort themselves out.

  • Comment 10, posted at 26.01.16 12:34:58 by JD Reply
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  • The problem our scrummies had under Meyer was that they had to convert to FdP clones rather than play their natural games. HM wanted a scrummie with a good box kick, which is why Ruan Pienaar stayed in the picture and why Rudy Paige eventually came into the picture. Also the reason no-one else really got a decent chance.

    Hopefully under a new coach and with the move from most teams to play more attacking rugby players like Reinach and Faf will come into their own.

    Faf de Klerk, Cobus Reinach, Ross Cronje and Rudy Paige should be the front runners for a Bok spot

  • Comment 11, posted at 26.01.16 13:08:50 by Baylion Reply

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  • @Zibbie (Comment 9) : :D Meyer isn’t the coach anymore

  • Comment 12, posted at 26.01.16 13:10:12 by Baylion Reply

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  • Faf

  • Comment 13, posted at 26.01.16 13:16:34 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • @Baylion (Comment 12) : van graan still there . as is the selection panel :p

  • Comment 14, posted at 26.01.16 13:16:51 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 14) : He wasn’t a selector, he was forwards coach

  • Comment 15, posted at 26.01.16 13:19:38 by Baylion Reply

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  • @Baylion (Comment 15) : rumors were that van graan basically coached the team while meyer was the motivator .

    I will believe things has changed once i see it has changed

  • Comment 16, posted at 26.01.16 13:21:28 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 16) : van Graan played computer games before HM appointed him :) . he had no coaching experience and is a Money Ball type of guy apparently – computer and video analysis stuff. I think SARU accidentally renewed his contract when they still planned to extend HM’s contract and now they’re stuck with him.

    Hopefully they will use him in their Museum in Cape Town

  • Comment 17, posted at 26.01.16 13:27:15 by Baylion Reply

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  • Based on form prior to the World Cup I would have taken, Faf, Paige and Reinarch to the tournament. Now with FDP gone and with a view to move on I’d still back these 3 to take the Boks forward.

  • Comment 18, posted at 26.01.16 13:43:36 by Hulk Reply

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  • @Hulk (Comment 18) : I agree on those three. Let’s start building and give these guys enough game time so that by the next WC we have experienced campaigners. Faf was unlucky (in my mind) in 2015 not to get a call up. Paige might as well have stayed home with the little game time afforded to him and I really hope Cobus will under Du Preez develop into a more consistent player. Will be great to see them fight it out for that spot in the Bok team.

    Great Article by the way.

  • Comment 19, posted at 26.01.16 14:12:33 by Farlington Reply

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  • @Baylion (Comment 17) : maybe they can relocate him to Kings?!?!

  • Comment 20, posted at 26.01.16 14:49:30 by JD Reply
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  • @Farlington (Comment 19) : hope you’re right and that between Claasens and Rob Cobus can mature into a classy 9!

  • Comment 21, posted at 26.01.16 14:50:57 by JD Reply
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  • Faf de Klerk. Beauty to watch.

  • Comment 22, posted at 26.01.16 14:54:38 by GreatSharksays Reply

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  • @Farlington (Comment 19) : Absolutely Agree. I felt for Paige as he deserved his call up on merit alone and the way he was handled it looked like he was not chosen but forced to be there.

  • Comment 23, posted at 26.01.16 15:20:18 by Hulk Reply

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  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 22) : Will be interesting to see the battle for number 1 spot at the Lions between Faf and Ross Cronje. What ever happened to Michael Bondesio?

  • Comment 24, posted at 26.01.16 15:34:00 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @Hulk (Comment 23) : yes just another example of SARU at work and doing there utmost best to screwup something that should be not that hard!!!!!

  • Comment 25, posted at 26.01.16 15:34:16 by JD Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 24) : retired at the end of 2014

  • Comment 26, posted at 26.01.16 15:37:45 by Zibbie Reply
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  • Excellent article!

    I’m hopeful that Reinach is going to develop into something special under Robert du Preez’s tutelage.If not, well, then maybe its time for him to move to 7′s or convert to wing or take up athletics instead.

  • Comment 27, posted at 26.01.16 15:42:46 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 26) : Ah ok that does kinda ring a few bells. Pity, boy could play

  • Comment 28, posted at 26.01.16 15:46:58 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 28) : yea . was forced by injury . was only 29 at the time .

  • Comment 29, posted at 26.01.16 15:48:06 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 24) : Bondesio retired due to injuries and coached at Linden High in Joburg as well as being assistent coach at Pirates club. I think he has left Pirates in the meantime

  • Comment 30, posted at 26.01.16 15:51:43 by Baylion Reply

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  • The two best South African scrum halves are the same two that have been the best for the last five years,Neil de Kok and Michael Claassens,unfortunately like Rory Kockert neither had an ex Bok father.

  • Comment 31, posted at 26.01.16 15:53:13 by The hound Reply
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  • So pisses me off when I read here week after week how Reinarch has the potential to develop into a good scrum half,he has 10 tests already.
    Ten tests and he still is not ready,according to his adoring fan club.
    The Bok jersey should never ever be worn by someone who is not ready. It so devalues it.

  • Comment 32, posted at 26.01.16 15:58:11 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 31) : or plays for the bulls

  • Comment 33, posted at 26.01.16 15:58:12 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 32) : mmmm . Pollard is being played ready as well . dont like it one bit

  • Comment 34, posted at 26.01.16 15:59:28 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Baylion (Comment 30) : Shot for the info…nice to see he gave back a bit

  • Comment 35, posted at 26.01.16 16:06:30 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @Zibbie (Comment 34) : Some guys are the finished article at 19,Jona Lomu was theWorld cup star at 19,J.P and Frans Steyn played their best rugby at 21.
    They deserved to be picked,but to harp on and on about how this year we are going to give Reinarch every opportunity to find himself.My take is find yourself first and then we will give you a game,don’t use our precious games to find yours.
    So I hope we start every game with Claasens,and give Reinarch the last ten minutes not the other way around.

  • Comment 36, posted at 26.01.16 16:10:11 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 36) : Agreed. Look how many test opportunities Pienaar was given and I’d argue he still hasn’t ‘found himself’ at Bok level. Let’s not have another repeat of that. ‘Finding yourself’ is for trust-fund kiddies, new age hippies and the author of Eat, Pray, Love. The rest of us just have to get on with it.

  • Comment 37, posted at 26.01.16 16:41:21 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 36) : problem is who do you pick? Can’t play without a 9 because non are good enough to play for the Bokke?!?!?!

  • Comment 38, posted at 26.01.16 17:03:11 by JD Reply
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  • @Culling Song (Comment 27) : I’m hoping Conrad Hoffman is finally recognized for the tactical genius he is and gets his bok call up

  • Comment 39, posted at 26.01.16 17:35:30 by the ko Reply

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  • @the ko (Comment 39) : Go and sit in the corner and bleed so long, I’ll be right over to f*** you up as soon as I’ve done cooking this Mexican salmon :mrgreen:

  • Comment 40, posted at 26.01.16 17:57:22 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 38) : I mentioned three names that are better than any who have played 9 in the last 5 years.
    Neil de Kok,Michael Claassens and Rory Kockert,

  • Comment 41, posted at 26.01.16 18:33:44 by The hound Reply
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  • Faf and Paige…..and the other Lion [ ex Shark ] played brilliantly too in 2015

  • Comment 42, posted at 26.01.16 19:27:45 by grant10 Reply

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  • Nice article! It’s an open race…I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes…

  • Comment 43, posted at 26.01.16 20:09:30 by pastorshark Reply
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  • Piet van Syl made quite an impact at the Cheetahs, but injuries, and a more the the Bulls have stalled his progress. Who knows, he might still throw his name in the hat too.

  • Comment 44, posted at 26.01.16 21:01:32 by KingCheetah Reply

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  • @The hound (Comment 41) : Rory does not count as he’s French and everyone will tell you the other two is to old!!!! But yes I agree with you 100% all three of them is better than current youngsters!!!

  • Comment 45, posted at 26.01.16 23:33:25 by JD Reply
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  • @KingCheetah (Comment 44) : must say I personally think Piet’s move to the Bulls was the worst possible move he could have made!!!!

  • Comment 46, posted at 26.01.16 23:38:50 by JD Reply
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  • @Baylion (Comment 17) :

    Did you read that book? .
    Their mathematical approach was credited with turning a low budget team of nobodies into contenders year, after year, after year.
    To be dismissive of mathematics is a little ignorant.

  • Comment 47, posted at 27.01.16 02:20:22 by fyndraai Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 37) :

    Did you read that?

    I was under the impression it was a chick book. ;-)

  • Comment 48, posted at 27.01.16 02:22:10 by fyndraai Reply
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  • BC.

    I hope you only left Hougie out because he is playing 7s. He look pretty good during CC last year.

  • Comment 49, posted at 27.01.16 02:24:35 by fyndraai Reply
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  • @fyndraai (Comment 47) : Loved the movie :) But the maths guy didn’t coach the team

  • Comment 50, posted at 27.01.16 04:39:19 by Baylion Reply

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  • I’ve always rated claasens but I would like to see him in S18 before I throw his name in. He looked good last year though.

  • Comment 51, posted at 27.01.16 06:43:54 by Hulk Reply

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  • @JD (Comment 45) : : How old is too old for a scrum half,a year ago Claassens was first choice for Toulon,highest paying job in rugby,de Kok is still first choice for Saracens.I would rather have an older ,mature scrum half controlling the game than a green idiot using every single opportunity to go for his own personal glory.

  • Comment 52, posted at 27.01.16 07:08:10 by The hound Reply
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  • The problem is HM was so fixated on FdP and converting scrummies to kicking #9s that no scrummie was given a decent chance at cementing his spot in the Bok team playing his natural game, not even Hougaard. But it will be a step backwards to go with another geriatric, especially one who has limited international experience. Time to give the youngsters a chance.

  • Comment 53, posted at 27.01.16 07:51:06 by Baylion Reply

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  • I find it interesting that we want older wiser heads to play but then also say that the team is full of geriatrics and we should play the younger exciting players. And yet we complain with a coach’s selection…

  • Comment 54, posted at 27.01.16 08:28:23 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @fyndraai (Comment 48) : I saw Julia Roberts spending a lot of time futzing about in the movie trailer. I don’t usually judge a book by its cover but I felt completely comfortable judging this one by its movie trailer.

  • Comment 55, posted at 27.01.16 08:32:55 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 55) : I think you have the wrong movie/book :grin:

    Edit: Seems we are talking about different books. My bad :oops:

  • Comment 56, posted at 27.01.16 08:51:01 by Baylion Reply

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  • Faf

  • Comment 57, posted at 27.01.16 09:06:23 by stevovo Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 52) : Maybe not such a good point as the very same Toulon signed Matt Stevens?!?!?!?! :shock: :twisted: but I agree with you 100% about Claassens and de Kock!

  • Comment 58, posted at 27.01.16 09:09:19 by JD Reply
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  • @Culling Song (Comment 40) : :mrgreen: never saw that coming…

  • Comment 59, posted at 27.01.16 09:14:21 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @Baylion (Comment 53) : @SheldonK (Comment 54) : must say during last years Currie cup the “geriatric” Claassens was waaaayyyyy better than the youthfull Reinach!!!!!!!!! In certain positions players can be older and still perform at international level and also remember some players are still in pretty good shape at 35!!!!!!

  • Comment 60, posted at 27.01.16 09:16:03 by JD Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 55) : any movie with Julia Roberts is worth watching!!!!!!!!!! over and over and over and over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 61, posted at 27.01.16 09:20:13 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 58) : Yes but they made sure he was in proper condition to play and he looked very good, unlike the asthmatic sperm whale Gold inflicted us to on the field.
    My main point was that de Kok and Claassens and Kockert have been available playing in the top bracket for years while we had a progression of disasters starting with January,Conradie,Pienaar,Houghaard,Reinarch,even McCloud.

  • Comment 62, posted at 27.01.16 09:22:35 by The hound Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 38) : you pick a bulls player . tell everybody what a great player he is . and when he stuff up and people criticize hime you tell them they are unpatriotic and you should get behind the boks no matter who gets picked

  • Comment 63, posted at 27.01.16 09:23:03 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 60) : I dont care what the guys age is whether is 21 or 41. But a lot of criticism is levelled at coaches and the players themselves because they are old and ‘over the hill’ and the young guys should be blooded and played. The point i was making is that if we cant make up our minds on whether we want the exciting youth or experienced old guy then perhaps we should cut the coach some slack when he makes his choice for either one

  • Comment 64, posted at 27.01.16 09:24:36 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @Zibbie (Comment 63) : I sense a sore point in there somewhere… :mrgreen:

  • Comment 65, posted at 27.01.16 09:29:08 by pastorshark Reply
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  • Was very surprised that Reinarch never joined the 7′s squad,I think that is his natural game,and he would make a better player than Houghaard.

  • Comment 66, posted at 27.01.16 09:29:17 by The hound Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 63) : hahaha ja boet that was the way to go!!!!!! Let’s hope the new coach has new ideas!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment 67, posted at 27.01.16 09:34:49 by JD Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 66) : Hougaard is good at 7s in the centre. Reinach probably would have been a better 7s scrummy than Kolbe etc

  • Comment 68, posted at 27.01.16 09:37:17 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @The hound (Comment 62) : hahaha very funny!!!!!!!!!! I think the less said about last year the better!!!!!!!!! just remember all three those players you named played overseas and only overseas based players that was allowed to be selected was ex-Bulls players that played overseas, so none of them qualified!!!!!!!!! :twisted:

  • Comment 69, posted at 27.01.16 09:40:59 by JD Reply
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  • I see Sonny Bill is playing 7′s now.
    Watch him get an Olympic Gold Medal ,to go with his 2 League World Cups,2 Union World Cups and 2 Super Rugby Cups.
    Got to have the best winning record of anyone who ever played any version of the game

  • Comment 70, posted at 27.01.16 09:43:32 by The hound Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 69) : When did Schalk Brits and Flo Louw play for the Bulls???

  • Comment 71, posted at 27.01.16 09:44:41 by The hound Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 64) : it’s not as hard as you think, just pick the best players 18-45. Youngsters can be blooded by giving them game time off the bench but if none of the youngsters deliver on their promise you can’t carry on “blooding” them!!!!!!!!!! My problem with HM was he picked injured players that was out of form like Alberts just to get “experience” in his squad!!!!!! You also don’t “blood” 9 new players at a time. Youth and experience is what’s needed and blooding new players is an on going process and not just done every 4 years after the World cup!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment 72, posted at 27.01.16 09:52:46 by JD Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 71) : you’re to serious today Bulls comment was said tongue-in-cheek!!!!!!! I agree with you 100% !!!!!!!!

  • Comment 73, posted at 27.01.16 09:55:35 by JD Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 70) : then moving to Europe in 2017 to get Heineken cup medal?

  • Comment 74, posted at 27.01.16 09:57:14 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 74) : if SBW want a real challenge , he should try and win SR with the Kings

  • Comment 75, posted at 27.01.16 10:04:35 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 75) : that’s not a challenge that’s impossible!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment 76, posted at 27.01.16 10:09:14 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 72) : Oh its definitely not as easy as you make it out. In every position people will argue from both sides for an experienced guy on one hand and a youngster on the other. Not to mention which experienced guy and which youngster. And how long do you give a youngster a chance to deliver…1 game 2, 3? Same with an older player, how many off par games before he is then considered a geriatric..1,2,3? Trying to pick a Sharks side nevermind a Bok side would result in 30 different opinions…definitely not as easy as you think.

  • Comment 77, posted at 27.01.16 10:11:00 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @The hound (Comment 71) : Or Ruan Pienaar for that matter…

  • Comment 78, posted at 27.01.16 10:21:46 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 77) : You are complicating a simple process,if you have a good journey man and a green rookie vying for the same position ,you start with the journeyman and gradually ease the rookie in
    .Nowdays with substitutions this is easy.
    But to start with the green rookie and pull him when he inevitably fucks ups,is not the way to go.
    In my opinion,Reinarch is not ready to start for the Sharks yet, never mind having ten Bok caps.

  • Comment 79, posted at 27.01.16 10:27:52 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 79) : It will be interesting to see how the Sharks handle that this season. I wonder Robert du Preez’s input is in this regard?

  • Comment 80, posted at 27.01.16 10:30:38 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 80) : What ever he decides I will support it,one of best 3 scrum halves to ever put on Bok jersey.
    Nobody knows more about that position than him.
    Other 2 were Joost and Fourie.

  • Comment 81, posted at 27.01.16 10:40:24 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 79) : Its easy to make it sound black and white when it really isnt. So take your Sharks example…you say Classens to start and Reinach bench…Reinach has a good few appearances off the bench so then he should start, right? He is then no longer a green faced rookie so then a youngster should bench, right? What about Claasens then? Does he lose out to the fresh faced youngster even if he is better…but dont we want to blood youngsters off the bench? As i said its not as easy as one would think.

  • Comment 82, posted at 27.01.16 10:45:11 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 82) : For me personally age/ experience shouldnt play a factor. The best guy in that position at the time must play, 2nd best must bench (assuming we referring to a specialist position). This thing of blooding players is crap…if you want to play be better than the number 1 or 2 at training etc. Simple as that.

  • Comment 83, posted at 27.01.16 10:48:41 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @The hound (Comment 81) : Think you can throw in Craig Davidson into the mix. He was brilliant,should have had a lot more caps,but they played Joost for far too long and then he got that horrific injury. Know Terblanche still rates him as the best 9 he has palyed with at the Sharks.

  • Comment 84, posted at 27.01.16 10:50:56 by HeinF Reply

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  • @HeinF (Comment 84) : Craig was a good scrum half so was Putt,but Joost was in another class,and so was Fourie.
    Robert was too far ahead of his time,20 years later and he would have been a legend

  • Comment 85, posted at 27.01.16 11:00:16 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 85) : Was a different game when Rob played…less structure and more play what was in front of you. But agree he was a very good player.

  • Comment 86, posted at 27.01.16 13:10:19 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 86) : Between Robert and Burger Geldenhuis,Naas was able to wear the same shorts for a month.
    Nobody got near him and hell they tried.

  • Comment 87, posted at 27.01.16 13:23:23 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 87) : I know they can now but i wish they were able to measure the amount of time Naas actually remained in contact with the ball during his career…could be very interesting. I suppose in those days the props didnt see the ball at all, well apart from when it was rolled past them in the scrum

  • Comment 88, posted at 27.01.16 13:26:23 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @The hound (Comment 88) : what is the name of the big scrummie naas played with at the start of his career?

  • Comment 89, posted at 27.01.16 13:59:04 by 50shadesofshark Reply

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  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 89) : Robert du Preez

  • Comment 90, posted at 27.01.16 14:10:37 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 91) : the late 70s,early 80s.tommy du plessis.

  • Comment 91, posted at 27.01.16 14:14:39 by 50shadesofshark Reply

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  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 91) : Correct,Robert came to Natal,and Tommie took over,but Robert was a lot bigger than Tommie

  • Comment 92, posted at 27.01.16 14:17:54 by The hound Reply
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  • @thehound: from the bit I can remember of rugby in the naas-era,one question: how good was johan heunis?can remember him playing at 10 with naas in rovigo .running ,passing,and nailing touchline conversions with ease.then go back to fullback when naas returned from italy.and be the best 15 in the country.

  • Comment 93, posted at 27.01.16 14:27:20 by 50shadesofshark Reply

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  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 93) : You never know how good those guys really were,Frik du Preez only had 38 caps in a 10 year Bok career.Reinarch already has 10.
    The argument would be they weren’t professionals,but I wonder if Frik with all Albert’s training,would have been as good as Willem.

  • Comment 94, posted at 27.01.16 14:35:18 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 95) : maybe today frik du preez would have played in the backline?

  • Comment 95, posted at 27.01.16 14:44:55 by 50shadesofshark Reply

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  • @The hound (Comment 95) : @50shadesofshark (Comment 96) : he could placekick and dropkick.was known for his jumping abilities.quick.swerve and side-step.maybe fullback?

  • Comment 96, posted at 27.01.16 14:47:00 by 50shadesofshark Reply

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  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 96) : The other guy exactly like that was Zinzan Brooke.

  • Comment 97, posted at 27.01.16 14:48:30 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 98) : the dropkicks,yes,but the speed and stepping skills?although when thinking of kankowski at no8 at his best,there is merit to the idea of frik du preez at no8.he did play some tests at flank for the boks.

  • Comment 98, posted at 27.01.16 14:59:26 by 50shadesofshark Reply

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  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 98) : Frik would never have been big (tall) enough play lock today.

  • Comment 99, posted at 27.01.16 15:10:41 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 99) : Yes true if comparing to modern day lock heights. But if the players of yester year merely trained and played in todays pro environment then Frik probably would still have been a lock as the players were all not as tall the…if that makes sense? So they would prob all be more muscular i think..but not taller

  • Comment 100, posted at 27.01.16 15:14:44 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @The hound (Comment 100) : yes,think frik du preez is 1.88m.

  • Comment 101, posted at 27.01.16 15:24:55 by 50shadesofshark Reply

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  • @The hound (Comment 100) : @50shadesofshark (Comment 102) : todd blackadder was all black and captain (for the 2000 season) at 1.90m ±100kg.

  • Comment 102, posted at 27.01.16 15:29:32 by 50shadesofshark Reply

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  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 103) : imo frik du preez’s skillset would have made him more dangerous at outside back (preferably 15) or at no8.

  • Comment 103, posted at 27.01.16 15:33:15 by 50shadesofshark Reply

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  • @The hound (Comment 87) : This is true…

  • Comment 104, posted at 27.01.16 18:35:34 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 93) : I saw a lot of Johan Heunis and admired him hugely! Magic player. Of course, comparisons across such different eras is nigh on impossible…

  • Comment 105, posted at 27.01.16 18:38:40 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 103) : Would he have had enough pace for those positions?

  • Comment 106, posted at 27.01.16 18:40:46 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 107) : I don’t know what frik du preez’s time for the 100m was.he seemed quite quick,though.quick enough! :D

  • Comment 107, posted at 27.01.16 20:52:16 by 50shadesofshark Reply

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  • @pastorshark (Comment 106) : imo he was a better 10 than naas!(would like to watch those games again). did not complain about playing out-of-position if it was what the team required.

  • Comment 108, posted at 27.01.16 21:06:47 by 50shadesofshark Reply

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  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 107) : Definitely quick for a lock! I just honestly can’t judge whether he would have been quick enough for 13+…his pace did make for some glorious tight 5 tries though!!

  • Comment 109, posted at 27.01.16 21:16:03 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 108) : My abiding memories were of him at 15, so I can’t really compare him to Naas…I was just playing some of the top moments I remember in my mind’s eye…and they were all of him at 15. I remember he was good at 10 too…but as good as Naas? I don’t know…

  • Comment 110, posted at 27.01.16 21:18:48 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 110) : re: speed: think he would have benefitted from modern training principles.

  • Comment 111, posted at 27.01.16 21:23:23 by 50shadesofshark Reply

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  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 111) : Yeah, I reckon he would have…

  • Comment 112, posted at 27.01.16 21:25:09 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 111) : Heunis was a very good player,but he was not in the exceptional class of 15′s like H.O.deVilliers,Christian Cullen,Joe Rolf,Serge Blanco,Gavin Hastings,and the very best I ever saw Andre Joubert.

  • Comment 113, posted at 27.01.16 21:27:42 by The hound Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 111): perhaps a flyhalf should be judged on his forwards?can remember schalk naude impressing me at 10 when tvl was so dominant in ’87.until naas stole the show in the final.but like he said:the forwards gave him the ball,and he kicked the drop goals.but they still had to be kicked over.

  • Comment 114, posted at 27.01.16 21:32:38 by 50shadesofshark Reply

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  • @The hound (Comment 113) : Yeah look, those men you mention were the cream of the crop! Though Joe Roff might have been better at wing than at fullback…

  • Comment 115, posted at 27.01.16 21:32:55 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 114) : Yup…

  • Comment 116, posted at 27.01.16 21:33:50 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 114) : latham was a very talented 15,too.

  • Comment 117, posted at 27.01.16 21:35:31 by 50shadesofshark Reply

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  • @The hound (Comment 114) : don’t think I ever saw h.o de villiers play (not on any tv footage,that is).did he not suffer a career-ending injury in his prime?

  • Comment 118, posted at 27.01.16 21:38:21 by 50shadesofshark Reply

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  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 118) : Yes, he missed the Lions tour in ’68 due to injury and then had his career cut short in ’70…didn’t play again. So he only played 14 tests for the Boks…

  • Comment 119, posted at 27.01.16 21:42:19 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 119) : At least…he didn’t play for the Boks again. He still played a few seasons for Province as far as I know, but never really reached the early heights again…

  • Comment 120, posted at 27.01.16 21:44:11 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 121) : knee injury?

  • Comment 121, posted at 27.01.16 21:48:21 by 50shadesofshark Reply

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  • @pastorshark (Comment 121) : talking about how modern day training principles and diets would have effected players of yesteryear: wonder how medical advances would have impacted their careers?

  • Comment 122, posted at 27.01.16 21:51:59 by 50shadesofshark Reply

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  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 121) : Yup…I think he tore a whole heap of ligaments in his right knee. If I remember correctly it was even during a practice session!

  • Comment 123, posted at 27.01.16 21:55:34 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 122) : Yeah…

  • Comment 124, posted at 27.01.16 21:56:10 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 94) : This can’t be a serious question.

    Frik du Preez was an all round player who was great in the lineouts in the days when you weren’t lifted, who could kick, drop and run the 100 yards (in the days before meters) in 10.6. Willem Alberts is and has always been a one-dimensional ball basher, a player with no real skills except running over people.

    That said, in today’s rugby Frik would probably have struggled to make a Bok side, especially a HM Boks side, because he was too small for a lock or a flank

  • Comment 125, posted at 27.01.16 22:16:09 by Baylion Reply

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  • @Baylion (Comment 125) : Yeah, that last paragraph is kind of what the discussion was all about. A bit of a pointless discussion as we can never truly compare…but a fun hypothetical discussion nonetheless… :grin:

  • Comment 126, posted at 27.01.16 23:26:00 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @Baylion (Comment 50) :

    Maybe the movie was not so clear, but the coach did not coach the team either. He was a figurehead, all calls were by Billy Beane and were based on the analyses he received from the maths guy.

    Movies are great for entertainment, but to so good for information.

  • Comment 127, posted at 28.01.16 03:35:09 by fyndraai Reply
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  • @Baylion (Comment 126) : thanks for the info re: 100 yards time (90m).

  • Comment 128, posted at 28.01.16 07:48:21 by 50shadesofshark Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 77) : the coach does not listen to public and should not listen to public but instead should pick the strongest possible team without worrying about the age of the players. He must make up his mind and just follow thru on his decisions. Public will always call for their “hometown favourites” to be picked so you can never please everyone, anyway blooding young players is not done to please people it’s done to ensure that you don’t get to a stage where more than halve your National or Provincial team retires at the end of a season.

  • Comment 129, posted at 28.01.16 08:06:01 by JD Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 79) : that’s 100% true on both points!!!!!!!!

  • Comment 130, posted at 28.01.16 08:07:18 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 129) : Yes of course a coach doesnt pick based on public opinion but the point i was trying to make is that a coach is very often heavily criticised for not picking the right team as the public can easily see who should be picked. Even in your comment you say the coach must pick the best players…but then also go on to say you need to blood the youngsters. So unless the youngster is the best player thats a contradiction in my opinion. So yes there needs to be a balancing act which is why i say its not all that simple to select a team.

  • Comment 131, posted at 28.01.16 08:17:44 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 88) : @The hound (Comment 87) : @pastorshark (Comment 105) : Naas was a great player and could change a game in minutes!!!!!!! and trust me I use to HATE him!!!!!!!! Fact still remains he was a very good player and he almost never missed a kick at goal. He will always be remember for his kicking game but he was deceptively fast, I can still remember him taking a gap on the halfway line and scoring a try. Anyway if you had those big Bulls forwards to do your tackling why would you want to tackle any player?!?!

  • Comment 132, posted at 28.01.16 08:23:23 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 132) : Yeh look no doubting Naas was very good at what he did. But then so too was Morne Steyn…yet he is heavily criticised for winning games the same way Naas did. I suppose it depends on the era you play in and how the game is viewed at the time.

  • Comment 133, posted at 28.01.16 08:33:14 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 131) : you need to pick the best team and when a talented youngsters (like Cobus, etc) comes along you blood him by playing him off the bench, you don’t start him against the Crusaders!!! If their is no youngsters around that shows talent in a position you pick the older players!!!! most players will play for four years plus for a team so you have time to sign talented youngsters if no youngsters is around. It’s not as if you will have to blood youngsters in every position each year!!!!!!!! Give them time to mature and be ready!

  • Comment 134, posted at 28.01.16 08:37:17 by JD Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 133) : hell boet Naas was also criticised for the way he played, only thing is he just went on to win the games for his team because winning ugly is always better than losing pretty!!!!!!!!

  • Comment 135, posted at 28.01.16 08:40:13 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 134) : As i said its a tricky balancing act. to repeat the example i gave to the Hound. We say that Claasens is the best so he should start and play the ‘youngster’ Reniach off the bench till he is playing well. Thats fine…but then when he has a few good performances then surely he must start, right? So then who benches…a youngster to be blooded as Reinach surely isnt a green youngster anymore…or do do you play the still very talented Claasens? Another example involves Bismarck…he was the number 1 and started and played everything with Cooper playing off the bench every so often. So we played our best guy and blooded a youngster. The Bismarck got banned and then left and Cooper suddenly dropped form and now we complain that we didnt blood more players at hooker? So back to my point that yes a balancing act is needed…but its not as simple as you think

  • Comment 136, posted at 28.01.16 08:44:41 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @JD (Comment 135) : Same could be said of Morne Steyn then. Although i think a lot of people would have rather lost than had Steyn in the side…

  • Comment 137, posted at 28.01.16 08:46:03 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @JD (Comment 133) : from what I read and heard ,naas was a running flyhalf transformed into a kicking flyhalf at the bulls.

  • Comment 138, posted at 28.01.16 08:48:55 by 50shadesofshark Reply

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  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 138) : If that is correct the comparison to Morne Steyn is scary

  • Comment 139, posted at 28.01.16 08:56:54 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 139) : Naas started playing rugby at the Bulls,played his first game as a 19 year old.His entire game was created at the Bulls.Something most people don’t know is Naas never played S.A schools,he was kept out the team for 2 years by Peter Kirsten the cricketer.
    Only when Kirsten gave up rugby for cricket ,did Naas get his chance for the S.A. under20′s.

  • Comment 140, posted at 28.01.16 09:35:49 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 140) : I wasnt fully aware of the actual facts but yes i did know Pieter Kirsten was a very good player. Was Naas an Affis boy? I know he helped out with coaching at Waterkoof so not sure. If he was indeed a running flyhalf that turned into one of the games best tactical kickers then the comparison with Morne Steyn is scary as Steyn used to also be the running flyhalf the Bulls used to bring on for Derick Hougaard and its only after Steyn vastly improved his kicking that he got the top spot.

  • Comment 141, posted at 28.01.16 09:43:37 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @JD (Comment 132) : Except that wonderful missed kick in the 1990 final when he landed on his behind! Hahahaha… :lol:

  • Comment 142, posted at 28.01.16 21:24:53 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 133) : Good point…

  • Comment 143, posted at 28.01.16 21:25:35 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 143) : I always wonder if the Bulls had let the running flyhalf that Steyn was dictate their style of play how and where their game and Bok rugby would be today. They have been successful with Steyn the kicker but i always just wonder…

  • Comment 144, posted at 29.01.16 10:19:57 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @pastorshark (Comment 142) : only time I liked him while he was playing!!!!!!!! :twisted:

  • Comment 145, posted at 29.01.16 11:24:00 by JD Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 140) : Pieter Kirsten what a great sportsman!!!!!! Extremely talented.

  • Comment 146, posted at 29.01.16 11:32:06 by JD Reply
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