Butch can only get better

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :In the news, Springboks, Tri Nations on 18 Jul 2008 at 09:29
Tagged with :

Springbok flyhalf Butch James is looking for a drastic improvement in his own form when South Africa play Australia in a Tri-Nations rugby Test here on Saturday.

Stephen Nell reports for

After a below-par first Test, James produced a markedly better performance when the Springboks beat New Zealand 30-28 in Dunedin last week. But he is still not happy.

“I don’t think I played well,” he said here on Tuesday. “I was not good in most areas. I missed a few tackles and I took wrong options.”

James and Wallaby flyhalf Matt Giteau will take completely different styles into their clash on Saturday. The Springbok is a physical player who defends aggressively. Giteau, on the other hand, is an outstanding attacker.

“Giteau and Dan Carter are similar players,” James said. “They’re tough guys; a threat on attack, and good kickers. There’s nothing better than to test yourself against the two best flyhalves in the world.

“You can’t concentrate on Giteau because he’ll only put someone else into space. He is consistent but every now and then he is brilliant. I hope he has an ordinary day.”

James added, “We never talk about being physical. It is natural in the way South Africans play. I never go out to be physical. One just hopes it’s there, because it’s something you need in rugby.”

James feels the Wallabies may even be more dangerous opponents than the All Blacks were.

“I thought they were better than the All Blacks last year and I expect the same this weekend. I think the Wallabies will be really good.

“With their new coach (Robbie Deans), their counter-attacks and defence have gone to a new level.

“Deans’s teams are always a threat. Even when you take the lead, they are able to score from anywhere and take the initiative away from you.”

The Springbok will make a big mistake of they think the match against Australia is as good as won after the victory over New Zealand.

“It simply won’t happen,” James says. “It’s always dangerous to beat the All Blacks and play again the next weekend. If we think we merely have to turn up to win it’s going to be a long day.”


  • Butchie will have his “A” game for this one,
    “Wallabies fly-half Matt Giteau says fear is not an option as he prepares to take on world champions South Africa at Subiaco tomorrow night.
    The Springboks made special efforts to shut down All Blacks pivot Dan Carter in the opening two Tri-Nations games in New Zealand and much has been made of the traditionally aggressive approach from South African sides.
    Giteau’s opposite number Butch James has also singled out the Western Force playmaker as the danger man in the Wallabies line-up during the build-up to the much-anticipated clash.

  • Comment 1, posted at 18.07.08 09:44:39 by Ragged Reply
  • Good on Butch to be his Number 1 critic.

    ELVs can be tricky but he knows he can do so much better. Let’s just keep that graph going up boy…improvement all the way till the TRI-NATIONS Cup is sitting next to the Webb Ellis.

  • Comment 2, posted at 18.07.08 09:52:15 by blackshark Reply
    blackshark - I'm back!
  • Indeed, a much better performance would be a step in the right direction, but one also has to consider that this is Butches third game under the new laws. Ditto for Monty and Matfield if i am not mistaken

  • Comment 3, posted at 18.07.08 10:03:57 by Sauce Reply
    Worcestershire Sauce
  • It is good to see Butch is still very honest about himself…
    His miss tackle lead to the AB’s only try and he kicked poorly in the first quarter…but at least was able during the game to adjust…so he deserves credit there…

    I do think this is going to be the game for Butch…he is going to step up another notch…

  • Comment 4, posted at 18.07.08 11:22:52 by Hmmm Reply


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