KSA Shark ©

Boks happy with firm Murrayfield surface

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :In the news, Springboks on 15 Nov 2008 at 07:12
Tagged with :

The Springboks were delighted with the state of the field when they got their first taste of the Murrayfield surface on Friday.

Gavin Rich writes for SuperRugby that the Boks play the second match of their tour against Scotland on Saturday, and the players say that the surface they trained on should not present any problems when it comes to underfoot conditions.

“It rained during our training session and rain is predicted for the game but I think it will blow in and then pass through, nothing really hectic,” said skipper John Smit on the eve of the match.

“The good thing is that the ground is very firm, it is not problematic at all from that viewpoint. The grass is thick, the surface is in great condition. It is like that every time I come to Murrayfield, I really don’t know what it is that they do to manage to get it into that condition.”

Smit was reminded that assistant coach and his former head coach at the Sharks Dick Muir had said at a press conference on Thursday that the Boks would be looking to move the ball around more, but he gave a strong indication that this would not mean the team would be returning to the loose style that proved disastrous in the Tri-Nations.

“I was interviewed on radio yesterday and asked that question and I responded that Dickie would probably look to run it if we were playing in Iceland,” laughed Smit.

“No, but seriously, I don’t think we should misunderstand what Dick is saying. He is not preaching all-out running rugby where every ball is run from everywhere, just that when we are in position to attack we must use that opportunity. If space is created, we must capitalise. He is not saying that the ball must be flung wide at every opportunity.”

That is good news for Bok fans, for such a policy has proved folly for the Boks this season. The Boks will be looking against the Scots to continue what they started in the last Tri-Nations test in Johannesburg by implementing a direct style where field position will be important.

But the Boks were maybe too conservative in Cardiff last week, and whereas it was good to see them return to the strategy the players are comfortable with and the one that has tended to be the successful one in world rugby over the past while, they also do need to be play more ball in hand than they did at Millennium Stadium.

In this regard Ruan Pienaar has an important role to play with his decision making. He showed last week that he can play to instructions and his heavy reliance on the boot was only him following the recipe he thought had been asked for. On Saturday, however, when it is on to do so, he can bring some of those attacking variations that saw him selected as a pivot in the first place.

But the absence through injury of Fourie du Preez is going to make it a much bigger challenge than the one he faced last week, even more so if it does rain. Indeed, if the conditions are particularly inclement, you can expect the Boks to do what the Sharks did for a wet weather game against Western Province a few years ago by moving Frans Steyn into flyhalf quite soon in the game, with Pienaar moving to scrumhalf.

“It’s not ideal to lose a player regarded as the best scrumhalf in the world so soon before a match like this one and we were hoping to keep the same 22 for consecutive games so that we could draw strength from consistency,” said Smit.

“We were looking to improve on the week before building up to the England game and some things will have to change about the game we were intending to play now that Fourie is not there. At the same time, Ricky is a great player who is very strong with his sniping breaks around the fringes.”

What replacement scrumhalf Ricky Januarie does not bring, however, is the tactical kicking prowess of Fourie du Preez, and that is why a really sodden field might see Pienaar moving back to scrumhalf if it becomes necessary for him to do so.


  • Boks by 20 to 30 says Gavin Rich and so do I.

    Habana is due a big game and it will be today.

  • Comment 1, posted at 15.11.08 07:47:20 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • Bokke

  • Comment 2, posted at 15.11.08 07:50:47 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
    Worcestershire Sauce
  • rugby365 only have the Boks by 8 and AB’s 20 or more 😯

  • Comment 3, posted at 15.11.08 07:55:49 by bryce_in_oz Reply
  • Bokke by 35!!!

  • Comment 4, posted at 15.11.08 07:56:17 by blckshrk - BUCANEER Reply
    blackshark - I'm back!
  • @bryce_in_oz (Comment 3) : SHo i thinkthe Irsh game should be a shed load closer than that.

    And if we play to about 60 % of our potential we should smack the Scots

  • Comment 5, posted at 15.11.08 08:01:40 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
    Worcestershire Sauce
  • Geez i can’t spell for shit this morning

  • Comment 6, posted at 15.11.08 08:08:27 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
    Worcestershire Sauce
  • @Worcestershire Sauce (Comment 5) :

    For the first 60 minutes at least… would love them to take the AB’s…

  • Comment 7, posted at 15.11.08 08:08:33 by bryce_in_oz Reply
  • @bryce_in_oz (Comment 3) :

    I saw that yesterday. 😆

    I think the guys at 365 (Paul Dobson wrote the preview) left another digit off the prediction somewhere.

  • Comment 8, posted at 15.11.08 08:20:27 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • I actually think the AB’s are going to smack the Irish and that it will be anything but close.

    ABs by 20plus as well IMO.

  • Comment 9, posted at 15.11.08 08:21:19 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • Certainly enough games on again today. (all times RSA)

    England v Australia 16:00

    France v Pacific Islands 16:00

    Italy v Argentina 16:00

    Scotland v South Africa 16:30

    Ireland v New Zealand 19:15

  • Comment 10, posted at 15.11.08 09:00:18 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • Supersport schedule.

    15:45 – 18:00 SS6 Italian International Rugby Italy v Argentina (LIVE)

    16:00 – 18:50 MNET/SS1 Celtic Rugby Union: Scotland v South Africa (LIVE)

    16:15 – 18:30 SS7 England Rugby: England v Australia (LIVE)

    19:00 – 21:15 CSN/SS1 Celtic Rugby Union: Ireland v New Zealand (LIVE)

    21:45 – 23:45 CSN/SS1 French International Rugby France v Pacific Islands

    The England Aus timing doesn’t tie up with the indicated kick-off time for some reason. (Stay awake on this one or you will miss the start) 😉

  • Comment 11, posted at 15.11.08 09:04:33 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • A bit frustrating showing those games at the same time..I think the Aus/Eng game is going to be a cracker.

  • Comment 12, posted at 15.11.08 10:35:46 by CoffeeShopBok;-) Reply
  • @CoffeeShopBok;-) (Comment 12) : Agreed. You would think the IRB and home unions could do a better job with the scheduling

  • Comment 13, posted at 15.11.08 10:38:19 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
    Worcestershire Sauce
  • @Worcestershire Sauce (Comment 13) :

    Bunch of clueless old farts!

  • Comment 14, posted at 15.11.08 10:42:04 by CoffeeShopBok;-) Reply
  • @CoffeeShopBok;-) (Comment 14) : Aren’t all Sports administrators 😐

  • Comment 15, posted at 15.11.08 10:44:29 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
    Worcestershire Sauce
  • @Worcestershire Sauce (Comment 15) :

    You right…something should be done about it..

    Boks to kick some serious butt today!

  • Comment 16, posted at 15.11.08 10:51:19 by CoffeeShopBok;-) Reply
  • @Worcestershire Sauce (Comment 13) :

    Well the NH have only just woken up to the Try BP system THIS season so maybe they will wake up to staggered matches in 2015 sometime.

    You’d think they would learn from watching the S14 wouldn’t ya? 🙄

  • Comment 17, posted at 15.11.08 10:51:55 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • Mornin lads 🙂 Sauce, you notice we’re now on 2.63?

  • Comment 18, posted at 15.11.08 10:52:08 by robdylan Reply
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 17) : They don’t watch the Super 14. They believe they’ll go blind if they do

  • Comment 19, posted at 15.11.08 10:53:21 by robdylan Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 19) :

    to much excitement isn’t good for an old fart’s heart. 😉

  • Comment 20, posted at 15.11.08 10:54:48 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 20) : They’re worried they might be forced to see merit in the full elv’s as well

  • Comment 21, posted at 15.11.08 10:56:44 by robdylan Reply
  • NZ kicking Englands arse in the Rugby League WC semi…2nd time in a week..ha-ha

  • Comment 22, posted at 15.11.08 11:25:58 by CoffeeShopBok;-) Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 18) : Ke?

  • Comment 23, posted at 15.11.08 12:02:56 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
    Worcestershire Sauce
  • @Worcestershire Sauce (Comment 23) : Never mind. Got it now. 😕

  • Comment 24, posted at 15.11.08 12:09:44 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
    Worcestershire Sauce
  • @Worcestershire Sauce (Comment 24) : He he. Cryptic old me

  • Comment 25, posted at 15.11.08 12:11:55 by robdylan Reply

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