Boks have work to do

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Springboks on 10 Nov 2008 at 10:43
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

Tactical kicking and first-time tackling. Get those sorted, Boks and you’ll be well on your way.

I, for one, am amazed that all and sundry seem to be highlighting tactical kicking as an area of Ruan Pienaar’s game that they thought went well. Don’t get me wrong here; I thought Ruan had a pretty superb first-outing at flyhalf and he was by no means the worst of the Boks when it came to aimless kicks. That said, there was far too much ball that was booted straight down the throat of the Welsh. It’s a collective failure from a team perspective and one that needs to be addressed. If it wasn’t for Wales’s uncanny ability to press the self-destruct button on attack, our tactic of hoofing the pill straight to them may well have had more dire consequences than was ultimately the case.

Defence was a problem though, wasn’t it? It had nothing to do with alignment, in this case – rather, the application was so often just not good enough. Time and again, we saw the Boks get men to the ball carrier, cutting down the space and applying the pressure. Time and again, though, we saw the Welsh ball-carriers keep going, either through a poorly-timed stop that had no effect, or failure of the Bok tackler to actually bring the man to ground once hands had been laid. This, ultimately, allowed Wales to come within a sniff of wining a game that they really should never have stood a chance in.

I’m pleased to say, though, the Ruan Pienaar was one of the real stars defensively and committed his body and soul to every stop. Any worries about the safety of the flyhalf channel proved unfounded and to my mind, Pienaar’s, defensive performance was probably the most satisfying aspect of an otherwise pretty-darn-good display at flyhalf.

JP Pietersen was another to show REAL balls on defence. Can we honestly afford to go into a crunch test without the lanky Natalian in the picture? He certainly has the ability to stop an opposition foray dead in it’s tracks with a big, ball-and-all tackle, as he did on no fewer than three occasions this weekend.

Our application at the tackle-ball situation is something that needs urgent attention too, particularly if we’re planning on meeting Alain Rolland again at any stage in the future. I thought the Irishman’s blowing of this aspect was pedantic in the extreme, even bordering on the fanatical at times, but that doesn’t change the fact that his interpretations were, mostly, correct in terms of the letter (if not the spirit) of the law. As always, the problem of too few tight forwards committing to the rucks (Victoria!) just makes it so much harder for those who are there to compete legally.

All-in-all, though, not a terrible outing, given what’s been said above. As a mate of mine said after the final whistle, it’s far better to be talking about not playing well in a winning effort, rather than having given our all and still lost. This Bok team can get LOADS better and I have a feeling they’ll peak just in time to give England a whipping.

We can only hope.


  • We didn’t play that well, but Wales only scored 3 points in the first 55/60min. The way the Boks played after JdV’s try you would have thought there was only 2/3 min left to play. But I’ll take a win everyday of the week.

  • Comment 1, posted at 10.11.08 11:04:30 by McLovin Reply
  • I thought du Preez had a good game and protected Ruan. I don’t fault Ruan’s defence , but communication in he backline seemed to be lacking. There where just to many line breaks for my liking

  • Comment 2, posted at 10.11.08 11:05:04 by Pokkel Reply
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  • Hopefully the Boks have shaken off most of the rust now and go up a gear a two in the next two weeks.

  • Comment 3, posted at 10.11.08 11:05:59 by McLovin Reply
  • @Pokkel (Comment 2) : Fourie did have a good game. Shit, but his service is just so much sharper and quicker than Ricky’s…

    @McLovin (Comment 3) : yeah… we must remember they haven’t played together for a few months.

  • Comment 4, posted at 10.11.08 11:08:03 by robdylan Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 4) : True. Also Wales came at us with everything they had, and couldn’t score a single try.

  • Comment 5, posted at 10.11.08 11:16:56 by McLovin Reply
  • I was also impressed with Pienaar’s play. I reckon him and FdP could develop into a deadly combo.

  • Comment 6, posted at 10.11.08 11:19:09 by McLovin Reply
  • Not our best day- but I’m just glad that John went to collect the CUP instead of the champagne.

    A few loose screws that needs to be tightened and a few joints that need some oil. We cleaned the rucks well in the first few minutes…I don’t know what happened in the 2nd half. Wales had too much time on their hands.

    The DROP attempts were not necessary…we had better attacking options with ball-in-hand on both occasions.

    There was no connection between the subs and the guys who started the game.

    Expect us to do much better in the next game.

  • Comment 7, posted at 10.11.08 11:20:13 by chernaya akula - B.O.! Reply
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  • @chernaya akula – B.O.! (Comment 7) : so here’s the rub… would you rest any guys ahead of the Scotland game, or keep going?

  • Comment 8, posted at 10.11.08 11:23:53 by robdylan Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 8) : They need play the same team so the guys can ‘gel’. The new combo’s need time together . If Adi can’t play we need the backline to stay the same towards the England game

  • Comment 9, posted at 10.11.08 11:33:00 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 8) : Play the same team. Although players like Habana & Juan seem in need of a rest.

  • Comment 10, posted at 10.11.08 11:36:41 by McLovin Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 8) :

    Apart from the forced changes I’d only change no.8

  • Comment 11, posted at 10.11.08 11:47:24 by chernaya akula - B.O.! Reply
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  • The loosies were the worst on defence – an area in which they used to excel before. Way too many missed tackles, and others where we just struggled to bring the man down; these allowed the Welsh to gain momentum on attack.

    JPP was sublime on defence, and again showed what an under-rated player he is. Still only 22, but he is a real ace in the hole on attack and defence.

    I really enjoyed the tackle on that arrogant hobbit Shane Williams – one minute dancing away from forwards, the next feeling 100kg of Durban at full pace! 😈

  • Comment 12, posted at 10.11.08 11:48:52 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • I can already visualize Kanko dissecting the Scots.
    Please Mr. de Villiers!

  • Comment 13, posted at 10.11.08 11:49:05 by chernaya akula - B.O.! Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 12) :

    JPP….BF’s love child perhaps?? 😉

    With you on JPP…see my comment after the game on Saturday..

  • Comment 14, posted at 10.11.08 11:56:51 by Ice (Bébé de Glace) Reply
  • @Big Fish (Comment 12) : Only thing ‘wrong’ with that tackle is that Williams got up again. 😉

  • Comment 15, posted at 10.11.08 11:59:09 by McLovin Reply
  • @McLovin (Comment 15) :

    Must say the ‘arrogant hobbit” is rather a little rascal and a very ‘vlugvoetige” one at that….suppose that’s what makes Little Fish’s tackle on him so much more enjoyable! 😈

  • Comment 16, posted at 10.11.08 12:01:34 by Ice (Bébé de Glace) Reply
  • @Ice (Bébé de Glace) (Comment 14) : Ha ha ha …then the Lovechild is making daddy very proud these days! 🙂

  • Comment 17, posted at 10.11.08 12:04:35 by chernaya akula - B.O.! Reply
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  • Only change should be Kanko in place of Spies….

    Keep the rest as is.

  • Comment 18, posted at 10.11.08 12:05:22 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
    Worcestershire Sauce
  • @Ice (Bébé de Glace) (Comment 16) : Little Fish …ha ha ha …funny cos I was about to post that when JP is covering on defence I whistle Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds. 😛

    Don’ worry…

  • Comment 19, posted at 10.11.08 12:06:30 by chernaya akula - B.O.! Reply
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  • @chernaya akula – B.O.! (Comment 17) :

    Maybe i am the mother.. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 20, posted at 10.11.08 12:06:44 by Ice (Bébé de Glace) Reply
  • @chernaya akula – B.O.! (Comment 17) :

    Unlike Brad.. 😈

  • Comment 21, posted at 10.11.08 12:12:40 by Ice (Bébé de Glace) Reply
  • @Ice (Bébé de Glace) (Comment 16) : He does come across as arrogant. Must be part of the short man package. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 22, posted at 10.11.08 12:14:09 by McLovin Reply
  • @McLovin (Comment 22) :

    goes without saying!! 😀

  • Comment 23, posted at 10.11.08 12:20:09 by Ice (Bébé de Glace) Reply
  • Okay – looks like J. Fourie will move to 13 – so who do we bring to sit on the bench?

  • Comment 24, posted at 10.11.08 12:25:35 by chernaya akula - B.O.! Reply
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  • @chernaya akula – B.O.! (Comment 24) : Pick Steyn and leave Fourie on the bench JDV and Steyn can switch up where necessary.

    Kudos to Rob for actually criticising a Sharks player 😆

  • Comment 25, posted at 10.11.08 12:27:02 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
    Worcestershire Sauce
  • @Worcestershire Sauce (Comment 25) : hey now! I’m not that bad

  • Comment 26, posted at 10.11.08 12:29:53 by robdylan Reply
  • 😆

    Open season the Big Fish it seems! 😉

    I have always been a fan of JPP – he just has so much natural ability, though he has had some ups and downs.

  • Comment 27, posted at 10.11.08 12:37:42 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 27) : your only problem is deciding which poster to have above your bed – JP or Waylon 🙂

  • Comment 28, posted at 10.11.08 12:41:50 by robdylan Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 28) :

    😯 😯


  • Comment 29, posted at 10.11.08 13:06:22 by Ice (Bébé de Glace) Reply
  • @Worcestershire Sauce (Comment 25) :
    You mean

    12 JdV
    13 Steyn ???

    That still doesn’t solve the problem of the extra space on the bench Sauce.

  • Comment 30, posted at 10.11.08 13:06:41 by chernaya akula - B.O.! Reply
    blackshark - I'm back!
  • 1. Beast
    2. John Smit (c)
    3. Brian Mujati
    4. Danie Rossouw
    5. Victor Matfield
    6. Heinrich Brussow
    7. Pierre Spies
    8. Ryan Kankowsi
    9. Fourie du Preez
    10. Ruan Pienaar
    11. Bryan Habana
    12. Frans Steyn
    13. Jaque Fourie
    14. JP Pietersen
    15. Conrad Jantjes

    16. Bismarck du Plessis
    17. Guthro Steenkamp
    18. Andries Bekker
    19. Schalk Burger
    20. Juan Smith
    21. Ricky January
    22. Jean de Villiers

    (Bakkies/Adi left out on account of his injury and availability as it stands now)

  • Comment 31, posted at 10.11.08 13:43:05 by MorneN Reply
  • Agree with your take on Ruan, he was average but we have been so kak at 10 even average is spectacular.

    Made a lot of little technical mistakes but nothing that cannot be corrected quickly.

    Range of kicks not a hassle, placement and circumstances when he kicked left a bit to be desired – had two great kicks though out of hand.

    I loved his variety in his play.

    He is a 10 that keeps defenses guessing and not the same old crap we see from the current 10’s like Grant and Steyn.

    His handspeed is great for a 10, good accurate distribution, steps nicely and has great acceleration.

    Make no mistake – in Ruan we got an absolute gem – if he gets the promised game time at the Sharks and goes on next year without any injuries, this kid will be phenominal at 10.

    Communication on defense also a bit worrying – but that too comes with time.

  • Comment 32, posted at 10.11.08 13:48:18 by MorneN Reply
  • @MorneN (Comment 31) :

    Why is Smit going back to hooker?

    You reckon Schalk needs a break – after a good performance?

    I don’t mind Steyn at 12 for JdV. 🙂

  • Comment 33, posted at 10.11.08 14:00:04 by chernaya akula - B.O.! Reply
    blackshark - I'm back!
  • @MorneN (Comment 31) : I like your team , but I would play Schalk at 7 . He still put in an enormous amout of tackles. Spies can’t tackle. No use to have a 7 that can’t tackle . Agree on Bismarck though. He needs to go and get that big head of his sorted out. Difficult to really leave JdV out. Maybe play Fourie and JDV and I would still like to see Steyn at Fullback.

  • Comment 34, posted at 10.11.08 14:03:06 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 34) : Maybe give Habana a rest and play Odwa or Nokwe against the Scotts

  • Comment 35, posted at 10.11.08 14:04:42 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @chernaya akula – B.O.! (Comment 33) :

    Or maybe Bis needs some splinters in his ass to clam that temper… 🙄

  • Comment 36, posted at 10.11.08 14:04:59 by Ice (Bébé de Glace) Reply
  • @Pokkel (Comment 35) :

    Odwa!!!! YES its from a Sharks’ point of view too… 😀

  • Comment 37, posted at 10.11.08 14:06:09 by Ice (Bébé de Glace) Reply
  • My Teams against Scotland

    15 Steyn
    14 JPP
    13 Fourie
    12 JdV
    11 Nokwe
    10 Ruan
    9 du Preez
    8 Kanko
    7 Schalk
    6 Brussouw
    5 Victor
    4 Danie
    3 Mujati( not my first choice )
    2 Smit
    1 Beast

  • Comment 38, posted at 10.11.08 14:07:40 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 35) : I’ve thought about having Odwa and Steyn on the bench somehow. But then there’s the Earl Rose factor.

    @Ice (Bébé de Glace) (Comment 36) : I just think moving Smit back to hooker NOW would be like taking one step forward and then doing the moonwalk.

  • Comment 39, posted at 10.11.08 14:12:05 by chernaya akula - B.O.! Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 38) : my first choice 3 is not on tour, neither is my first choice 4 now that bakkies is injured

  • Comment 40, posted at 10.11.08 14:12:50 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 38) : And the bench ?

  • Comment 41, posted at 10.11.08 14:12:56 by chernaya akula - B.O.! Reply
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  • @chernaya akula – B.O.! (Comment 33) :

    Schalk has a massive work rate, but does a whole lot of nothing most of the time.

    I look for positive impact on the game, and the last time I saw Schalk do that was in our last 3N game.

    Spies at 7 because I believe the position suits him better.

    Rest Schalk, Juan and JDV – they look jaded.

  • Comment 42, posted at 10.11.08 14:13:43 by MorneN Reply
  • @Pokkel (Comment 34) : ok – so Spies can’t tackle, has tits for hands and has absolutely no ability to read a game. What the hell is he doing there again?

  • Comment 43, posted at 10.11.08 14:14:34 by robdylan Reply
  • @chernaya akula – B.O.! (Comment 39) : I agree we should stick with Smit at prop….I just want Bismarck out so he can clear his head. That my namesake can be so ‘voor op die wa’

  • Comment 44, posted at 10.11.08 14:15:06 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 43) : Where do you seen him in my team? ❓ 😡

  • Comment 45, posted at 10.11.08 14:17:01 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @MorneN (Comment 42) : and Habs, please? Surely Nokwe would bring a litte more at this stage…?

  • Comment 46, posted at 10.11.08 14:19:00 by robdylan Reply
  • @chernaya akula – B.O.! (Comment 41) :
    16 Bismarck
    17 Guthro
    18 Juan
    19 Bekker
    20 Januarie
    21 Habana
    22 Rose????

  • Comment 47, posted at 10.11.08 14:19:47 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 45) : sorry – it wasn’t directed at you… just following on from what you said 🙂 It was a general comment

  • Comment 48, posted at 10.11.08 14:21:45 by robdylan Reply
  • @MorneN (Comment 42) : Schalk makes an huge amount of tackles, but he is no fetcher. I think a Schalk , Brussouw and Kanko combo will really compliment each other

  • Comment 49, posted at 10.11.08 14:22:17 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 48) : Ek sien…..ek het nou net gedink jy vat my laag.

  • Comment 50, posted at 10.11.08 14:23:44 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @MorneN (Comment 42) : Interesting that you want to rest Schalk and JdV that hasn’t played rugby since the group stages ( 5 weeks ago ) of the CC . Juan last played in the Semi 4 weeks ago

  • Comment 51, posted at 10.11.08 14:26:14 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 50) :

    Maybe we need Rob on defence then.. 😉

  • Comment 52, posted at 10.11.08 14:26:58 by Ice (Bébé de Glace) Reply
  • @Ice (Bébé de Glace) (Comment 52) : nee wat… I only talk a good game 🙂

  • Comment 53, posted at 10.11.08 14:29:30 by robdylan Reply
  • @MorneN (Comment 42) : I thought Schalk had a positive impact vs Wales- and I’m not just talking about the first try here.

    Spies was ballz- he didn’t do a single thing to convince me that he deserves a starting spot in the next game, in any position whatsoever.

    I know people are saying a lot of negative things about the way Kanko played when he came on…but at that time the Bokke were soaking up some pressure. Keep 6 and 7 unchanged…give the number 8 jersey to Kanko… keep the pets locked away and enjoy the fireworks!!!

  • Comment 54, posted at 10.11.08 14:30:14 by chernaya akula - B.O.! Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 46) :

    I would not have Nokwe close to any test team at the moment.

    Rather Odwa if you want a change.

    @Pokkel (Comment 49) :

    Effective tackles is my problem. Habana is more effective in a tackle than Schalk, Schalla for me recently just bliksems into player body and all – yeah it stops them but a guy like Habs, as kak as he is currently even gets turn overs.

    Schalk has a massive work rate as I said, but does not do much in my view.

    They might not have played in recent weeks, but they have been playing non-stop, JDV specifically, since the World Cup.

  • Comment 55, posted at 10.11.08 14:34:05 by MorneN Reply
  • @chernaya akula – B.O.! (Comment 54) :

    Pierre is not an 8 – he is not playing in the right position.

    Thats my view.

  • Comment 56, posted at 10.11.08 14:36:03 by MorneN Reply
  • @MorneN (Comment 55) : Thats why I think the Kanko,brussouw,schalk combo can work. Schalk bliksems them to the ground and Brussouw takes the ball. 😉

  • Comment 57, posted at 10.11.08 14:37:47 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 57) :

    Fair enough 😉

    Would like to see Spies operate at 7 though still.

    Reckon that is his possie for the future, with Juan Smith moving to lock…

    Watch this space…

  • Comment 58, posted at 10.11.08 14:39:08 by MorneN Reply
  • @MorneN (Comment 56) : Playing him at 7 will not suddenly make him tackle more effectively or help him hold onto a ball.

  • Comment 59, posted at 10.11.08 14:39:27 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @MorneN (Comment 58) :
    Smith has lost some pace – hasn’t he?

  • Comment 60, posted at 10.11.08 14:41:32 by chernaya akula - B.O.! Reply
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  • @MorneN (Comment 58) : I think Spies is like a pinball machine. The attacker bounce of him and gain momentum while confusing his own teams defenders 😆

  • Comment 61, posted at 10.11.08 14:41:58 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 59) :

    Mate the whole Bok team tackled like shite on the weekend, and we are not known as a rugby nation full of Dan Carters or Christian Cullens when it comes to hands and skill…

    The difference betwee 7 and 8 is huge.

    Your role in both attack, support and defense differs greatly.

  • Comment 62, posted at 10.11.08 14:42:16 by MorneN Reply
  • @chernaya akula – B.O.! (Comment 60) :

    He seems a bit more lethargic…

  • Comment 63, posted at 10.11.08 14:43:13 by MorneN Reply
  • @MorneN (Comment 62) : Except JP

  • Comment 64, posted at 10.11.08 14:44:31 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 64) :

    That boy is on fire.

    And I was never a great fan.

    And the whole change came after he scored his first try of the year in the one CC game…

  • Comment 65, posted at 10.11.08 14:46:01 by MorneN Reply
  • @MorneN (Comment 62) : I don’t hate Spies infact I met his dad and we was a wonderfull person. I would like nothing more than to see Spies succeed, but we have such great loosies in this country that I don’t see him deserving his spot in the team on current form. And it’s not just this weekend,but the whole year. Guys like Keegan,Grobler and Botes are sitting at home because of Spies being selected

  • Comment 66, posted at 10.11.08 14:48:41 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @MorneN (Comment 65) : He just needed that sniff and his confidence was back. My MOTH on Saturday for the Boks. How good was that Welsh 8th man and the Fullback. Big strong fast.

  • Comment 67, posted at 10.11.08 14:50:23 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 67) :

    Now what makes you think Spies just does not need that sniff – one massive game and we see the Spies of 2007?

    That guy has massive potential, somehow for some reason his confidence took a knock.

  • Comment 68, posted at 10.11.08 14:54:54 by MorneN Reply
  • @MorneN (Comment 62) : Our hands are improving though… 🙂 for some players at least…

  • Comment 69, posted at 10.11.08 14:54:56 by chernaya akula - B.O.! Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 67) : MOTM not MOTH :mrgreen: 😳

  • Comment 70, posted at 10.11.08 14:55:46 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 67) : MOTH?

  • Comment 71, posted at 10.11.08 14:56:02 by robdylan Reply
  • @MorneN (Comment 68) : Maybe he does….better make that sooner rather than later

  • Comment 72, posted at 10.11.08 14:57:39 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 71) : MVP

  • Comment 73, posted at 10.11.08 14:59:49 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 73) : Man of the Hour 🙂

  • Comment 74, posted at 10.11.08 15:04:28 by robdylan Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 74) : Thanks that would do just fine 😉

  • Comment 75, posted at 10.11.08 15:08:07 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @chernaya akula – B.O.! (Comment 13) : Kanka will opt for an uppie

  • Comment 76, posted at 10.11.08 15:17:21 by fyndraai Reply
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