KSA Shark ©

Bok Backs Set to Sizzle

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :Springboks on 1 Apr 2008 at 12:05

Bryan Habana and Tonderai Chavhanga are the most feared finishers in the S14. Now for the world…

Springbok coach Peter de Villiers’ judgment has proven reassuringly accurate thus far.

Chris Hewitt writes for Sports Illustrated that he opted to retain John Smit as captain, recognised the importance of the continued involvement in the squad of Victor Matfield, and it is reliably learnt is seriously considering roping in Percy Montgomery to tutor the next generation of Bok backline stars coming through.

Even his statement that three South African teams would make the semifinals, mocked by many, isn’t proving the most unconsidered utterance.

Both the Sharks and the Stormers look set for the semis, whilst De Villiers could be forgiven for underestimating the destructive effect Frans Ludeke would bring to the Bulls.

It is therefore not hard to believe the whispers that De Villiers’ first-choice back three is shaping up as Conrad Jantjes at fullback, with Bryan Habana and Tonderai Chavhanga on either wing.

Allied to his attacking approach, the trio would form one of the most dangerous and unpredictable back threes in world rugby. The crucial ingredient is pace, and in Habana and Chavhanga, the Boks will field the quickest men in the game.

Habana’s performance against the Blues was a well-timed reminder of his pedigree. The diving catch, burst down the wing and perfectly timed inside pass that led to Derick Kuun’s try was pure genius. His work rate was noticeably up, and he looked relentlessly threatening.

Habana now needs to maintain the hunger. It is sure to have filtered through to him that De Villiers is not impressed with past achievements. There will be no comfort zones in his side.

Even more impressive has been Chavhanga. He has improved every game, and quiet early showings have snowballed into destructive dominance. He was brilliant against the Force, very effective against the Blues, Chiefs and Reds. His 50m burst against the Crusaders was the Cape side’s highlight in their muted attacking effort that evening.

His great challenge will be to stay fit. His career has been decimated by injury, and hopefully the recurrent hamstring problems have now been addressed through training adjustments.

Jantjes, too, will have to prove his long-term fitness. If he can, though, his keen positional sense, high-ball solidity, counter-attacking flair and booming boot make him the natural choice to succeed Monty.

Seven years after his international debut, he now provides enough solidity and experience whilst remaining an attacking weapon.

World Cup-stand out JP Pietersen provides perfect cover. He plays all three positions, and as Jantjes, Habana and Chavhanga are unlikely to all remain uninjured throughout the year, is likely to earn his fair share of caps.

De Villiers has shown the courage to commit to an attacking game. He has shown the persistence to endure the contract chaos that has subsequently endured.

All that’s left now is for him to back his instincts and pick the players with the ability to make the Boks synonymous with brilliant backs, and not just a brutish pack.

What are the odds that he won’t?

Bring on Wales.


  • Agree with two of them – but am not a big Jantjes fan.

  • Comment 1, posted at 01.04.08 12:07:35 by Nessa Reply
  • De Villiers’ first-choice back three is shaping up as Conrad Jantjes at fullback, with Bryan Habana and Tonderai Chavhanga on either wing.

    Now THAT is NO april Fools Joke.

    THAT is a GOOD back three

  • Comment 2, posted at 01.04.08 12:07:57 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • Nessa

    Jantjes is our best long term bet IMO.

    Percy and Stefan the ONLY other contenders IMo are a bit long in the tooth and to rope them in for a few games will be good but not long term.

  • Comment 3, posted at 01.04.08 12:10:09 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • I know – we are a bit thin in the fullback department in SA.

  • Comment 4, posted at 01.04.08 12:13:53 by Nessa Reply
  • I believe Brent is playing really well over at Saracens. Read an interesting write up about him again yesterday.

  • Comment 5, posted at 01.04.08 12:14:28 by Nessa Reply
  • I never paid attention to Jantjies…but I have to say he’s impressed me in the 3/4 Stormers games I’ve watched this season. He also got good reviews for the games I missed so I’m assuming he does deserve a chance.

  • Comment 6, posted at 01.04.08 12:28:12 by blackshark Reply
    blackshark - I'm back!
  • If I remember correctly he has had a lot of injury problems?

  • Comment 7, posted at 01.04.08 12:31:00 by Nessa Reply
  • Not as much as you would think Nessa, but he wont let the Bokke down if he becomes the 1st choice fullback

  • Comment 8, posted at 01.04.08 12:39:09 by provincejoulekkading Reply
  • Think Steyn will fit in fine in 15.

  • Comment 9, posted at 01.04.08 12:55:22 by PaarlBok Reply

  • wassup peeps?

  • Comment 10, posted at 01.04.08 13:05:35 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Hey Rob

    How was the Virgin flight. 😉 Did you get your free calf massage?

  • Comment 11, posted at 01.04.08 13:11:10 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Hey Rob D!! Back in the land of no Sunshine?? 🙂

  • Comment 12, posted at 01.04.08 13:11:38 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • Hey Rob – sounds like you had fun last night? 😀

  • Comment 13, posted at 01.04.08 13:14:52 by Nessa Reply

  • Off to get some lunch. Back in a jiffy.

  • Comment 14, posted at 01.04.08 13:17:29 by Nessa Reply

  • airlines…. gaaaah!

    They’re accountable to nobody

  • Comment 15, posted at 01.04.08 13:21:44 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • it’s very sunny here, Ice 😉

  • Comment 16, posted at 01.04.08 13:23:53 by robdylan Reply
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  • better put some sumscreen on ROBOTO!!! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 17, posted at 01.04.08 13:31:47 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • now that would be the height of optimism 😉

  • Comment 18, posted at 01.04.08 13:42:28 by robdylan Reply
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  • Ha ha ha…the reverse to that “optimism” joke rob is…

    South African bowlers going out to bowl at Sehwag and deciding against sunscreen…

  • Comment 19, posted at 01.04.08 13:47:30 by blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • Ice

    Don’t be so cheeky, I can actually see a speck of blue sky in Manchester today! 😛

  • Comment 20, posted at 01.04.08 13:50:29 by Villie Reply
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  • Haha Villie…I can see the whole blue dome!! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 21, posted at 01.04.08 13:54:13 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • Morituri te Salutamus

  • Comment 22, posted at 01.04.08 14:50:54 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • Hoesit BF, Kom djy vannie maggiestraat af?

  • Comment 23, posted at 01.04.08 14:55:14 by Kal-El Reply

  • Typical WP slant here. Way too early to start including Jantjies or Tonderai as certainties. Both are injury-prone and known to in off the boil for no good reason. Lets see a full good season first. And JP remains our only big AND quick wing, and has improved his positioning, tackling, catching and handling immeasurably.

  • Comment 24, posted at 01.04.08 14:55:26 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • Hey Clark. No- Im now just a small cog in a big corporate machine. Sneaking in a quick visit amongst my people lest I be forgotten and my voice echo forlornly as unheeded white noise in cyberspace… 😆

  • Comment 25, posted at 01.04.08 14:58:55 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • Biggie Fishy,

    All I can say to that is to copy comment from other threads:


    01.04.08 14:09:41 – KSA Shark ©

    What you talking about???

    01.04.08 14:02:23 – Ice

    Oh thats just sad

    01.04.08 13:20:38 – provincejoulekkading

  • Comment 26, posted at 01.04.08 15:02:12 by Kal-El Reply

  • Poetic justice… 🙄

  • Comment 27, posted at 01.04.08 15:02:19 by Charlie Reply

  • Why is my name dragged in everywhere?? 😯 😯


    Hey Fish! Hope that little phrase is directed at me?? 😉

  • Comment 28, posted at 01.04.08 15:06:18 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • Hi BF – how is the new job going?

  • Comment 29, posted at 01.04.08 15:06:58 by Nessa Reply

  • Man who eats photo of father, soon spitting-image of father.

  • Comment 30, posted at 01.04.08 15:07:26 by Kal-El Reply

  • Kal… :mrgreen:

    Have to go folks…check ya later

  • Comment 31, posted at 01.04.08 15:15:23 by blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • Love your new picture BS!!! 😉

  • Comment 32, posted at 01.04.08 15:17:42 by Nessa Reply

  • Yes to Habana and Chevange….

    Jantjies is not the man….he runs onto the line very well and has a good DISTANCE boot but that is exactly where that ends….

  • Comment 33, posted at 01.04.08 17:13:02 by Hmmm Reply

  • JPP has been poor this season and I cannot believe that he is still in the Sharks line-up!?!?!?

    They should give Adi a fair run…at least 2/3 games….

  • Comment 34, posted at 01.04.08 17:14:24 by Hmmm Reply

  • Steyn has not set the world alite at 10 so he wont be selected there…

    And since JdV is playing well the last few gamkes I also suspect he will retain his pos….

    So either Steyn and JdV will share the centgre combo or JFourie will make a smashing retunr….

    I do believe PdV will make a place for Steyn and Steyn does do everything that Jantjies does and better at 15….

    And the accuracy and extra interest in the boot and fearlessness in the air is also well noted….

  • Comment 35, posted at 01.04.08 17:17:39 by Hmmm Reply

  • I have a suspicion that PdV will select Bobo in his squad….

    I don’t think he will deserve it though but I just have such a feeling…

  • Comment 36, posted at 01.04.08 17:18:24 by Hmmm Reply

  • And Ricky has been playing well and has improved even further on his speed he started working on at the LIONS…
    And the kicking he started at the LIONS (now can do it with both feet – thank you Andre P)…

    So we will have a great starting and back-up scrummy which ever way they go…

  • Comment 37, posted at 01.04.08 17:20:21 by Hmmm Reply

  • My only problem is after JdV and a hopeful JFourie we only have a decent centre back-up in Steyn…

    The rest are all borderline even for S14….

  • Comment 38, posted at 01.04.08 17:21:17 by Hmmm Reply

  • And behind Habana/Chevange we have no one to talk of without feeling a lil embarrassed….

  • Comment 39, posted at 01.04.08 17:22:19 by Hmmm Reply

  • Forwards especially the loosies we have names coming out of our ears….

  • Comment 40, posted at 01.04.08 17:22:53 by Hmmm Reply

  • Even at prop….none of our scrums have stood back for any of the NZ/AUS scrums….(baring the Bulls vs the Reds game)

  • Comment 41, posted at 01.04.08 17:23:54 by Hmmm Reply

  • Bryan Habana and Tonderai Chavhanga are the most feared finishers in the S14. Now for the world…

    whatever you are puffing
    its worth the money.

  • Comment 42, posted at 01.04.08 19:27:16 by Duiwel Reply

  • Bryan is an exceptional player,
    and an inspiration to watch
    but feared?
    get real.

    As for tonderai or that clown jantjies
    surely thou jest?
    TC is a average S14 wing
    at a push
    and jantjies is a clown
    being paid to imitate a rugby player.

    As oopoosed to this slapping on the back
    yankee kak
    why don’t you fired up
    passes made,passes attemted,
    tackles made,
    yards made,balls lost forward ect
    with that of other sides
    in the S14.

  • Comment 43, posted at 01.04.08 19:39:03 by Duiwel Reply

  • “Bryan is an exceptional player,
    and an inspiration to watch
    but feared?
    get real.”

    Hearing Flavell and another Blues player screaming “Watch Habana watch Habana!!!” on separate occasions suggest you’re incorrect!

  • Comment 44, posted at 02.04.08 04:34:59 by bryce_in_oz Reply

  • Hmmm…you enjoy this talking to yourself thing then? 😮

  • Comment 45, posted at 02.04.08 07:44:58 by blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • people say i am being hard on jp, but his laziness looks to have cost him his bok place. and i am pleased, he shouldn’t be rewarded for his poor performances so far. maybe this is the kick up his doet he needs.

  • Comment 46, posted at 02.04.08 08:39:02 by try time Reply

  • TT

    I personally think all the WC Boks are suffering from ‘burnout’

    Name one WC Bok who is actually taking the S14 by storm.

    The only ones i can think of is Schalk, Bismarck and Johan Muller.

    JP wont be dropped from the Boks in the same way Steyn wont be dropped…

  • Comment 47, posted at 02.04.08 08:49:53 by wpw Reply
  • Wes!

  • Comment 48, posted at 02.04.08 08:54:39 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator

  • Comment 49, posted at 02.04.08 08:57:03 by provincejoulekkading Reply
  • it is slowly trying to get back into the swing of things, yes 😉

  • Comment 50, posted at 02.04.08 09:11:13 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • 👿

  • Comment 51, posted at 02.04.08 09:46:20 by wpw Reply

    02.04.08 08:57:03 – provincejoulekkading Edit

    Hasn’t moved off that bench though. 😆

  • Comment 52, posted at 02.04.08 10:01:54 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 53, posted at 02.04.08 10:06:54 by Charlie Reply

  • Howdy people… 😎

  • Comment 54, posted at 02.04.08 10:07:17 by Charlie Reply

  • hoesit charlie.

  • Comment 55, posted at 02.04.08 10:08:45 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • How to make a long lost friend feel Welcome 101.

  • Comment 56, posted at 02.04.08 10:09:08 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Die Tenk! 😯 Why is anybody suprised that our WC Boks- particularly the youngsters, are struggling? Anyone heard of Tim Herbert Noakes III?

  • Comment 57, posted at 02.04.08 10:23:03 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • Rob,

    Dydelik my broe… 😉

  • Comment 58, posted at 02.04.08 10:26:33 by Charlie Reply

  • Hi BF and Charlie! 😉

  • Comment 59, posted at 02.04.08 10:27:23 by Nessa Reply

  • Hallo Nessa… 😀

  • Comment 60, posted at 02.04.08 10:28:25 by Charlie Reply

  • Hope our boy Adi is going to play this weekend – missed him last week.

    Next time I see him I have to rag him about the song he sang on Sharkbite – it was soooo cute!!

  • Comment 61, posted at 02.04.08 10:29:38 by Nessa Reply

  • what song, Ness?

    Anyone know if you can get Sharkbite on Kuduclub?

  • Comment 62, posted at 02.04.08 11:00:25 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Can you believe he sang “Buttercup”?

  • Comment 63, posted at 02.04.08 11:07:17 by Nessa Reply

  • oh no!

  • Comment 64, posted at 02.04.08 11:25:30 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • why did he do that?

  • Comment 65, posted at 02.04.08 11:26:57 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Janine and I were rolling on the floor. Not that he has a bad voice – it just wasn’t the kind of song I pictured him singing (if at all).

  • Comment 66, posted at 02.04.08 11:27:25 by Nessa Reply

  • :mrgreen: 🙄 :mrgreen:

  • Comment 67, posted at 02.04.08 11:44:39 by Charlie Reply

  • Nessa,

    Maybe he just want to work out his options after rugby… 😆

  • Comment 68, posted at 02.04.08 11:45:40 by Charlie Reply

  • Charlie – he can serenade us ladies any time! 😉

  • Comment 69, posted at 02.04.08 11:46:47 by Nessa Reply

  • :mrgreen:

  • Comment 70, posted at 02.04.08 12:07:43 by Charlie Reply


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