Richard Ferguson

Boks win 2nd away test under AC


Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :End of Year Tour, Original Content, Springboks on 20 Nov 2017 at 14:31
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

Yes, you read that right. It was only the second victory away from home under Allister Coetzee, and it was a game which had similar qualities to an Australian Super Rugby derby between the Force and the Rebels.

It was Handre Pollard’s come back match after 2 seasons of doing Vodacom adverts and playing 5 minutes off the bench. And to be honest, one could see he hasn’t played. A lot has been said about missed kicks, those could have cost us the game, but in general, the backline looked more fluid than before. One could argue that the difference was actually Francois Venter and not Pollard, but whichever way, they both should start again against Italy.

Otherwise it was more of the same from the Boks: frustrating, boring, unenthusiastic, plan-less… If I could swear on this platform, now would be a good time to explain the utter crap dished up.

There is so much wrong with the team, the players, the plan, the entire setup, that I don’t even think a complete revolt of coaches and players would make much a difference at this stage. And that is quite a scary thought, considering where we are in terms of the next World Cup. And maybe its a good thing we don’t get to host the 2023 RWC, it would be quite embarassing to be host to such an event and struggle to a quarter final loss.

Onto a medical update – Eben Etzebeth and Malcolm Marx both had to go for scans following knocks picked up, with Eben Etzebeth in ‘with a good chance’ of playing this weekend. Marx is set to have further scans later today to confirm his availability. Good news is that Pieter-Steph du Toit is ready to play again this weekend while Siya Kolisi is back in South Africa for the birth of his child.

We can expect a full strength team to face Italy, because let’s be honest, we are already tempting fate with the A team…



44 Comments

  • I agree that perception will say the pollard was the reason our backline moved more but i have to say if it weren’t venter then we wouldn’t have gotten the ball past 12. It would be nice to run Am and 13 and Gallant at 15 on sat. Give Etzebeth a week to rest as well. Start Kitshoff ahead of beast

  • Comment 1, posted at 20.11.17 15:31:12 by Dunx Reply
    DunxSuper Rugby player
     
  • Halfway through the tour and i think its about time to pick who we think will be the proper tourist on this tour and never touch the playing field. Could be good odds for Louis Schreuder, Ruan Botha, Curwin Bosch or Lukhanyo Am with Chilliboy the outside bet.

  • Comment 2, posted at 20.11.17 15:46:20 by SheldonK Reply
    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • I think that Pollard definitely made a difference to our backline!Venter was certainly the best back and Pollard’s kicking – both tactical and at posts – was very poor…but he was far more direct than Jantjies and got our backline going with more authority. He must play again next week…

  • Comment 3, posted at 20.11.17 16:01:04 by pastorshark Reply
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  • We know toetie will see this as a team turning point and not individual/positional indicators, don’t be surprised if he makes no changes. He is easily fooled/lulled. He must rest Marx or lose him. He must rest Etsebeth or find a better Lock partner for him. If that gut is Ruan he will also have a backup captain/leader in the forward pack. He must keep Pollard to work off his rust before facing wales he must fix the other half of his center combo and bring in Am. He must get stronger wing in place of Skosan one who can s good under high ball. I would suggest Coetzee and he must get a good replacement for Coetzee if he moves him. He needs to end the psdt experiment. Honestly I would rather play Mostert at flank than psdt.

  • Comment 4, posted at 20.11.17 16:24:18 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusionSuper Rugby player
     
  • Venter improved our backline drastically, not doubt about that. I do however think that Pollard’s general play (ball in hand) was much better than Jantjies. I know Pollard made some atrocious passes, tactical kicks weren’t so good and the goal kicking was appalling but he actually did some constructive things on the field and when he ran at the line and managed to find his man when passing we looked head and shoulders better than we’ve looked since we beat Argentina. At least with Pollard one can actually see him trying to make something work opposed to going completely incognito. Kriel’s time is up too, that missed tackle to let France in for there (1st?) try was horrendous and a more competent outside center needs to be instilled, I’m thinking Am. But lets see what happens…

  • Comment 5, posted at 20.11.17 16:40:56 by Hulk Reply

    HulkSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Hulk (Comment 5) : It would be justice to see kriel become de Allende ‘ s assistant ball polisher. Venter and Am deserve the shot as does pollard. Coetzee replace Skosan and gelant at fb.

  • Comment 6, posted at 20.11.17 17:23:16 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusionSuper Rugby player
     
  • So our “defensive” coach is also not available due to conflicts with commitments as consultant to Italy. Doesn’t your regular coaching job trump your consulting commitment? Not that he was doing anything anyways. May be better if he “helped” Italy rather. May be better if we dropped him altogether. ..

  • Comment 7, posted at 20.11.17 17:41:38 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusionSuper Rugby player
     
  • For those who do not know, Lambie, yes Lambie was superb at 10 for Racing and so was JP Petersen for Toulon and has not lost pace,here is highlights.

    https://www.ultimaterugby.com/news/highlights:-rc-toulon-vs-racing-92/600883

    https://twitter.com/mark_keohane/status/932300908091924480

    Mark Keohane on Twitter
    “Wonderful to see @PatLambie product his best #Top14 match 8/8 off the tee & great touches on attack &…
    TWITTER.COM
    LikeShow more reactions · Reply · Remove Preview · 1 ·

  • Comment 8, posted at 20.11.17 18:42:27 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 8) : I’ve been watching all his games Thusfar. I think they are extremely chuffed with their acquisition. He has been very good for them. Our loss sprinboks loss too.

  • Comment 9, posted at 20.11.17 18:57:33 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusionSuper Rugby player
     
  • @coolfusion (Comment 9) : Exactly mate, it’s a joke though as Lambie asked to be released? who knows the real reason behind that??

  • Comment 10, posted at 20.11.17 19:05:04 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 10) : If you are not yet signed to an overseas club and you have the quality and competence. Would you not feel it an insult to be used as a pawn in springboks clueless self destruct path, and have to possibly offer your body and career for that hopeless cause? I would not. He’ll I’d borrow money and buy myself out if I had to.

  • Comment 11, posted at 20.11.17 19:20:04 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusionSuper Rugby player
     
  • @coolfusion (Comment 11) : Oh heck I fully agree, and was merely hinting that there must have been something behind the scene re him asking to be bought out.

  • Comment 12, posted at 20.11.17 19:37:01 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @coolfusion (Comment 11) : In fairness though, Lambie hadn’t played much Super Rugby in the last 5 years, due to numerous injuries. He asked to be released before he had returned to the playing field. I do agree that he has not had a seamless run at test level though. I also think the “targets” imposed, made the path easier for Elton, as any player that could play at that level would have a shot.

  • Comment 13, posted at 21.11.17 07:06:24 by KingCheetah Reply

    KingCheetahTeam captain
     
  • @KingCheetah (Comment 13) : ‘targets’? He was head and shoulders above all the other SA flyhalves this year,bar Cronje maybe, who in any way is in Japan, not his fault that toetie does not have a game plan,I think that is a bit unfair towards Elton,you can’t choose him for his strengths and then make him play for his weaker side of his game,in my opinion

  • Comment 14, posted at 21.11.17 08:46:06 by BarendL Reply
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    BarendLSuper Rugby player
     
  • Just some food for thought…just a brief list of guys currently playing overseas that i believe could still add value to the Boks (even if a couple are injured at the moment). 1. Frans Steyn 2. Pat Lambie 3. Jan Serfontein 4. Gio Aplon 5. Ruan Pienaar 6. JP Pieterson 6. Cobus Reinach 7. Faf De Klerk 8. Marcel Coetzee 9. Bismark DuPlessis 10. Flip Van Der Merwe 11. Jacques Duplessis 12. Vinent Koch.
    I know not everyone will agee with all those names but i fell they could all add value in a way

  • Comment 15, posted at 21.11.17 08:47:41 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @BarendL (Comment 14) : Its a fair argument about playing his natural game. However, his natural game relies on forwards dominating and him getting front foot ball and running at opposition that is retreating. When playing on the backfoot, even in super rugby he goes into his shell and disappears. So yes Jantjies is not a kicking/territiory based flyhalf…but shouldnt an international flyhalf also be capable of operating to some degree of success when his pack is not dominant?

  • Comment 16, posted at 21.11.17 08:51:16 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @SheldonK (Comment 15) : I would add Willie to that. I know he was not the greatest Bok fullback, but he is as solid as Coetzee and at least added some unpredictability to the Bok attack at times.

  • Comment 17, posted at 21.11.17 09:02:16 by Bokhoring Reply

    BokhoringAssistant coach
     
  • The sad thing about this is that we are almost celebrating Pollards performance – we shouldnt be, it was crap, maybe better than Eltons was, but still crap especially for an international. He clearly is still very rusty, as would anyone be that has’nt really played in a few years.

  • Comment 18, posted at 21.11.17 09:02:58 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 15) : I would also add Louis Ludick to that list, if I could I would draft him straight into the Bok squad covering fullback and the wings.

  • Comment 19, posted at 21.11.17 09:10:46 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 16) : I was commenting on “I also think the “targets” imposed, made the path easier for Elton” Totally agree that a good flyhalf should be able to play both ways,but him being selected had nothing to do with targets in my opinion,he had a very good super18 and deserved the call up,same with Ross,everyone knew their limitations even before the very first game,so just odd that that is all everyone is focusing on. Opposite is also true,Pollard cant kick tactical,but because he gives Toetie the thing he actually wants from a flyhalf, he doesn’t even care for 3 from 7! Counter argument….choose a better pack that wont turbo reverse(stop playing players out of position) and give Elton the same freedom that is allowed to Pollard and we might see some improvement there? Even something as silly as a very good scrumhalf can improve the perception of a dominating pack,Schreuder and Paige would give quicker service than Ross

  • Comment 20, posted at 21.11.17 09:21:54 by BarendL Reply
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  • @BarendL (Comment 20) : At international level you are doing well if your pack can consistently break even with the opposition. Realistically there will be games where the other pack is all over yours and then you need a flyhalf that can run the game tactically.

    That said I just wish we had more to offer on attack than one-off running forwards from nine from a standing start.

  • Comment 21, posted at 21.11.17 09:30:08 by Bokhoring Reply

    BokhoringAssistant coach
     
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 21) : Fully agree!

  • Comment 22, posted at 21.11.17 09:39:34 by BarendL Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 17) : @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 19) : Yes agreed both Le Roux and Ludick are names i forgot and agree both would add value- Ludick playing very well especially

  • Comment 23, posted at 21.11.17 09:41:43 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @BarendL (Comment 14) : In all honesty, I believe Elton is ill suited to test rugby. He flourishes in an environment, where he has forward dominance, and breathing space. He inevitable performs poorly when put under pressure. He will rarely have the space afforded to him at SR level at test level. Elton was the best of a mediocre best. Lambie’s injury was untimely.

  • Comment 24, posted at 21.11.17 09:53:23 by KingCheetah Reply

    KingCheetahTeam captain
     
  • @SheldonK (Comment 15) : The list of good players is a long one. Especially amongst loose forwards and locks. That said our areas of weakness are mostly in the backline, which you have [email protected]Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 19) : And Jaco Taute

  • Comment 25, posted at 21.11.17 09:56:03 by KingCheetah Reply

    KingCheetahTeam captain
     
  • @BarendL (Comment 20) : Yeh i know it wasnt fully your point , i just took your comment and kinda ran with it. As said i dont think we have the personnel to fully dominate each week with our pack. I think at best we can get the upper hand some of the time. As you say both Jantjies and Cronje were the best we had in super rugby. But that just highlights how even our best players do not have well rounded abilities.

  • Comment 26, posted at 21.11.17 10:00:14 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • I think its been a weakness for a long time in SA rugby but i truly believe we dont value and select our bench properly and utilise it effectively to win games. Its about 23 not 15.
    I feel a bench like: Beast, Bismark, Koch, Botha, Coetzee,Pienaar, Lambie, Steyn could really influence the second half of games.

  • Comment 27, posted at 21.11.17 10:09:11 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @SheldonK (Comment 27) : Yeah totally agree with that,had a huge discussion this weekend with someone about that exact point, Alistair and even Heyneke did not trust the bench they selected,it is only there to appease the men in suits, there is no other possible explanation why you would only choose to sub 3 players at the most when you have 8 pairs of fresh legs raring to go! He wants to develop his squad but they never get exposure unless someone gets injured..I mean,what the actual ef is the point of putting someone on for 2-5 minutes?Players aren’t stupid,they know exactly what the message is…I don’t trust you enough to give you 20 min!I read on SArugbymag that he actually stated that if Marx couldn’t do anything (against the Irish) then how could the substitute be asked to change the game (or something to that effect,paraphrased), what type of environment are you setting for your close knit “family squad”? :shock:

  • Comment 28, posted at 21.11.17 10:23:34 by BarendL Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 15) : Well you may have to whittle it down to those who are eligible. Isn’t Koch ineligible?

  • Comment 29, posted at 21.11.17 10:25:48 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusionSuper Rugby player
     
  • @SheldonK (Comment 26) : Yeah its kind of sad that they were the best to choose from, look I like Elton,but he has never done well under Alister and Cronje is good without being very good,if that is your 2 best options for a 4nations, then something is definitely wrong, just think that Alister kind of brings it on himself as well, you have a very good young flyhalf that dominated the Sharks in a final and he just ignores him, that’s just silly to be honest….players that could have really added value is not being chosen, but yeah, each coach comes with his favorites!

  • Comment 30, posted at 21.11.17 10:29:06 by BarendL Reply
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  • @coolfusion (Comment 29) : We could also mention Craig Burden Charl Mcleod Schalk Brits, Lewies, Oosthuizen, Phillip vd Walt.

  • Comment 31, posted at 21.11.17 10:38:20 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusionSuper Rugby player
     
  • @KingCheetah (Comment 25) : Weakness in backline yes but we also have no good backups that allow for rotation so there must be forwards as well.

  • Comment 32, posted at 21.11.17 10:40:13 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusionSuper Rugby player
     
  • @coolfusion (Comment 29) : Yeh look didnt take into account if they were elligible. Read an article where AC says its not that easy to get foreign players released from their clubs to play these tests and very often compromises the player’s position at the club. Whilst im not taking that as the gospel truth i do think there is a lot of truth to that and its probably a lot tougher than just deciding to pick the foreign based players.

  • Comment 33, posted at 21.11.17 11:00:45 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @SheldonK (Comment 33) : Maybe even a bit strategic so as not to help us gain strength and continuity. ;)

  • Comment 34, posted at 21.11.17 17:43:21 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusionSuper Rugby player
     
  • @SheldonK (Comment 33) : Also bad time of year to expect french clubs to release star players.

  • Comment 35, posted at 21.11.17 19:00:04 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusionSuper Rugby player
     
  • @coolfusion (Comment 35) : Yeh true…just dont think there ever is a good time.

  • Comment 36, posted at 22.11.17 08:14:42 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @coolfusion (Comment 11) : Seriously guys. The guy had had a bad run with injuries and wanted a new start. He was the first choice Bok flyhalf. He leaving had nothing to do with targets. He was clearly the best flyhalf in the country. Let him get his confidence and belief back. Let’s stop reaching.

  • Comment 37, posted at 22.11.17 11:57:46 by GreatSharksays Reply

    Assistant coach
     
  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 37) : No one is a greater believer in his abilities than me. No 1 fanboy. We’re simply stating that if you have to gamble the better gamble would be to go overseas at this point in time. Don’t be so sensitive dude.

  • Comment 38, posted at 22.11.17 15:59:41 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusionSuper Rugby player
     
  • @coolfusion (Comment 38) : afraid I’ve got to agree with greatsharksays on this one. Think his decision was based on his horrendous injury run and an attempt to get a fresh start. Doubt the 1st choice Bok flyhalf and Sharks captain would ask to be released from 2 contracts for any reason other than stated.

  • Comment 39, posted at 22.11.17 19:46:01 by Hulk Reply

    HulkSuper Rugby player
     
  • @SheldonK (Comment 36) : Sure. But isn’t there some clause in their contracts for serving international duty? Or does it operate only in certain time frames? According to what I read in AC comments guys like steyn may have to forfeit their overseas contract to serve bok duty? Is this not considered and negotiated when giving these guys bok contracts?

  • Comment 40, posted at 23.11.17 09:25:51 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusionSuper Rugby player
     
  • @coolfusion (Comment 40) : From what i understand club are obliged to release players for international duty during the June and November test windows. Thats the official story. From what i understand the French clubs in particular make life quite difficult for players wanting to be released for international duty and their contracts are often threatened etc. Makes it very tough for a player to weigh up a Bok cap over a very good contract and hence i think we wont see many if any players from French clubs selected. SARU are also retarded in playing tests outside the window like the game against Wales.

  • Comment 41, posted at 23.11.17 09:44:29 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @SheldonK (Comment 41) : SARU also retarded not to get some deal struck legally binding clubs to releasing players in set windows. Maybe pleased their case with WRFU? Or theire just not bothered with doing any real work for SA rugby.

  • Comment 42, posted at 23.11.17 11:32:54 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusionSuper Rugby player
     
  • @coolfusion (Comment 42) : Plead

  • Comment 43, posted at 23.11.17 11:33:23 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusionSuper Rugby player
     
  • @coolfusion (Comment 42) : As i understand it the release of players during the test window is in terms of World Rugby regulations. The French clubs however are a law unto themselves and pretty much give the players the ultimatim of choosing contract or country

  • Comment 44, posted at 23.11.17 11:47:09 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     

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