Jones backs Boks to capture Tri-Nations

Written by Wesley Weber (wpw)

Posted in :Springboks, Tri Nations on 30 Jun 2008 at 16:48

Former Australian coach Eddie van der Jones has claimed the All Blacks “are ripe for the picking” and put his money on the Springboks to win the Tri-Nations series this year.

Jones, who currently coaches Saracens, also predicted a win against the Wallabies in Australia and praised captain John Smit and the depth that the Boks have in certain positions.

He told the Afrikaans Sunday newspaper Sondag that if the Springboks played their cards right, they would add a Tri-Nations crown to the World Cup victory in France last year.

“Peter de Villiers has a great pool of talent out of which he can choose a team to face New Zealand,” Jones wrote in an exclusive column in the paper but warned that the right selection choices needed to be made.

“The Springboks have so much more depth in positions than any other team in the competition.”

Jones believes the All Blacks are vulnerable.

“With several players injured and a number of them who have sought further employment in England after the World Cup, the All Blacks are definitely vulnerable,” he wrote.

“But it still is the biggest test in World rugby to try and beat the All Blacks at home. This year however, the Springboks will have a perfect opportunity to do so, especially now that their captain Richie McCaw is out of the Test series through injury. They are ripe to be picked.

“Smit and his team should dominate particularly in the line-outs and De Villiers had another master stroke by bringing back Victor Matfield to anchor the setpiece. By doing so he has ensured the Boks can dominate any line-out in world rugby.”

Jones also praised De Villiers’ choice earlier in the year to re-appoint World Cup winning captain John Smit as his captain.

“It was a master stroke,” Jones wrote, “Smit is a brilliant captain and has the ability to motivate his players to play as a unit.

“There are few better than him in world rugby and just his presence on the field will make a difference.”

Jones, however, warned that the Boks needed to ensure their defence – particularly in the midfield – needed to be airtight.

“Adrian Jacobs will be tested in the midfield, especially as he has not played a lot against the tough midfielders that New Zealand will put onto the field. He played very well in the Super 14 but to face New Zealand in New Zealand is another proposition altogether.

“Jean de Villiers is in a class of his own but it will be a determining factor how Jacobs defends on his outside.”

Jones also predicted a South African win over Australia.

“South Africa should dominate the line-outs against Australia especially as Australia are still getting used to their own new coach Robbie Deans.

“My money is on the Boks to win, but then they need to use their line-out strength and the younger players need to take the step up to Test rugby.” – Sapa


This article was originally published on page 32 of The Star on June 30, 2008


  • I’m not entirely covinced. Heard this about the All Blacks before. Would love if we beat them over there in middle earth though.

  • Comment 1, posted at 30.06.08 17:05:36 by ra-cheltjie de' be-er Reply
  • And everybody seems to be ignoring the men from Oz. It’s not like we beat them away every year either.

  • Comment 2, posted at 30.06.08 17:07:09 by ra-cheltjie de' be-er Reply
  • I for one can’t wait for us to beat the Aussies having watched them on Saturday against the French.

    The first 30 or so minutes the Wallabies were diabolical. We stand a great chance this year.

    If we play to our potential we can beat the AB’s at least once in their own backyard and the Aussies as well.

    2 out of 3 away from home will be a huge success.

  • Comment 3, posted at 30.06.08 17:07:38 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 3) :wake up! You’re drooling! 😉

  • Comment 4, posted at 30.06.08 17:44:02 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Nothing wrong with being an optimist. 🙄

  • Comment 5, posted at 30.06.08 17:51:11 by wpw Reply
  • I donno…we have weaknesses too…and teh AB and Aus can def pry on those…
    We are weak in the scrum…def out wide…and we not able to finish off to score…
    Yes this can be worked on…but exactly my point…at current stage this needs to be corrected else I fav the AB…

  • Comment 6, posted at 30.06.08 18:29:47 by Hmmm Reply

  • @wpw (Comment 3) :

    Our backline def stood it’s ground but in mo ways solid…the Ausies just know how to pry on such…and if we don’t step up it is a 50/50 Advantage Aus…

  • Comment 7, posted at 30.06.08 18:31:23 by Hmmm Reply

  • So I hope PdV worked on this the last 2 weeks…then we have a good chance of a win or two over there…but we still have a lot to do…

  • Comment 8, posted at 30.06.08 18:33:04 by Hmmm Reply

  • Hmmy, the AB scrum is also not great at the moment.
    Remember they’ve lost 4 of their top 4 locks and both first choice props in Hayman and Sommerville.

    Then think that their first choice opensider is also out of action and suddenly you have a pack that only contains 2 or 3 players from last year’s 3N competition.

    If we cant do it this year we’ll never bloody do it.

  • Comment 9, posted at 30.06.08 19:53:26 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • I watced the first 20 minutes of the Aus French game – When I heard the final score I was amazed – The French played with so much passion in that time that I watched – more than I’ve seen in any SA game this year. I hope we were coasting in the first few. Otherwise – I see big kak on the horizon.


  • Comment 10, posted at 30.06.08 23:25:10 by Methos Reply

  • So Jones selects Adi Jacobs as the outside centre for the Boks on Saturday… 😛

  • Comment 11, posted at 01.07.08 07:39:22 by Charlie Reply

  • @Charlie (Comment 11) : who would you choose? 😉

  • Comment 12, posted at 01.07.08 08:08:18 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 12) : Rob currently Adi had been the incumbent for the Boks @ 13 so he would be my preference…Fransie Steyn needs to settle down in one position, so too actually move him around won’t be good, IMO Steyn would become a world class 15… 😉

  • Comment 13, posted at 01.07.08 08:55:23 by Charlie Reply

  • @Charlie (Comment 13) : I agree with you

  • Comment 14, posted at 01.07.08 08:56:38 by robdylan Reply
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