To be or not to be? That is the question

Written by Gavin Whindus (Whindy)

Posted in :2009 Lions Tour, Original Content, Springboks on 19 May 2009 at 09:08
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pieter De Villiers has some very interesting problems facing him over the next couple of weeks. The intensity shown in the final game of the season between the Sharks and the Bulls was outstanding and for my mind was the equivalent of a final, but had the added interest of the Bulls having to win to top the table and the Sharks having to win with four tries, so no “cup final” mentality was involved. What an outstanding advert for SA Rugby.

Now with less than two weeks before the first game against the Lions and the first test in under a month, we start the next exciting phase of our season, the Lions Tour, so I thought it would be fun to put ourselves in the place of the selectors and see what we could come up with.

So now we have to ponder about Mr Div’s problem, a side to beat the Lions.

Starting at the back. Percy has retired and Conrad Jantjes is not available due to injury, so that leaves us with Terblanche, Rose, Ludik, Daniller and Kirchner. For my mind Daniller has done enough, to beat Stefan, who in my opinion has reached the end and should think about getting out, while he is at the top of his game. Joe Pietersen has had two great games of late, but I think that is exactly what it is, too late

The wings pick themselves, and I would go with Habana and JP Pietersen. The Twins would not let us down and Jongi Nokwe surely has pace. So plenty of depth here.

Now we enter a prickly area, and at first center, I am going with Div hoping he will be right by then, with Frans Steyn as his understudy and at outside center, it is a straight choice between Adi Jacobs and Jacques Fourie. Should Adi’s shoulder be okay, I would go with him and have Fourie on the bench.

Fly half, Butch is out and Pienaar is down with an injury, so who?? Should Ruan recover I would go with him and have Morne Steyn as my backup if he does not recover, I do not have a kicker and being history mad, I am terrified we will make the same mistake we made in the last series, hence me going with Steyn, in case Pienaar is not available. Peter Grant has been given no chance of showing his prowess at fly half because Rassie has persevered with his dinosaur tactics of De Waal, but he would be my reserve as he can cover center as well. Some people have mentioned Rose, but that is all I will say on that idea!!

Scrumhalf is Fourie. There is nobody else to touch him, IMO, with Kockott, being the reserve, again back up for the kicker. 1997 was a very bitter pill to swallow, especially seeing that we outscored them in terms of tries.

So we have a backline which is a touch vulnerable at fly half, otherwise easily has the beating of the Lions.

The forwards is also going to be an intersting selection for him, there are a number of the stalwarts who have not been performing to their normal standard, but the question is, would you replace them? Eighth man is a straight race between Spies and Kanko, here I am going for Spies, he has performed better than Ryan this season and deserves his spot, the question that is now poised has Kanko done enough to be included on the bench, I am not sure he has had his best season, but his last try on Saturday was good enough to convince me. He has enough class and speed not to let the Boks down.
Like him or hate him, Watson has had an outstanding season and would not let the side down apart from maybe disrupting the team spirit, but I am not convinced he would, these guys are professionals and should just get on with the job at hand. However I am going with Kanko, as he gives me more options esp. in the lineout.

Flanks, Juan Smith has been good enough in a very poor Cheetahs outfit to retain his place but has Schalk? He has had one of his worst seasons ever and statistically he is behind young Brüssow, who has had a massive season since debuting for the Boks last year, however, Schalk is still for my mind worth his place in the side just in terms of his experience and I will be interested to see how Brüssow moves on, he is a good player but we have seen a lot of loosies come onto the scene and then in their second season fade away, but Brüssow is a very good player worthy of his challenge. Jean Deysel was very unlucky to get injured when he did, as I think he would have been challenging for a place.

Locks, if Bakkies can come back to earth and stop with the stupid aggro, Matfield and he are automatic choices with Danie Rossouw as back up.

The Front row, well I am going with the Sharks Front row 3. John Smit, 2. Bismarck du Plessis, 1. Tendai Mtawarira. and I am naming Jannie du Plessis. and Chiliboy Ralepelle as my reserves. Bismark has had a bit of a fall off, in form but I am unable to replace him with anybody who excites me, the only other option would be to put John Smit back to hooker and bring in another Prop, but John has been bulking up the whole season to play at no3, so I am not going to mess with that.

There are no huge surprises here and to be honest I looked for a bolter to put in and could not find one.

Right so here is My Squad.
15 Zane Kirchner; 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Adrian Jacobs, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Ruan Pienaar, 9 Fourie du Preez; 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Juan Smith, 6 Schalk Burger, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3. John Smit, 2. Bismarck du Plessis, 1. Tendai Mtawarira.
16. Jannie du Plessis, 17. Chiliboy Ralepelle, 18. Danie Rossouw, 19 Ryan Kankowski, 20. Rory Kockott, 21 Peter Grant, 22 Frans Steyn.

Right so I have had a bit of fun being Mr Snor now it’s your turn. Let the debate begin


  • oops Kirshner no Daniller sorry about that 😳

  • Comment 1, posted at 19.05.09 09:13:06 by Whindy Reply
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  • “Bismark has had a bit of a fall off, in form”
    If you define form as in being able to catch a ball… 😀

  • Comment 2, posted at 19.05.09 09:15:03 by CapeShark Reply
    The Great Couch Shark
  • I did this some time ago…

    For South Africa we have to firstly respect this Lions outfit and bear in mind they will come with one mission and one mission only, to humiliate the World Champions as representatives from the Northern Hemisphere.

    It is therefore vital that we not simply pick players or a team to play ‘the type of game we want to play’ but that we have to plan for what the Lions will throw at us, and counter that.

    I took into consideration that two tests will be played at altitude which will be in favour of the Boks.

    It is also vital that we pick players that can play ‘test rugby’, and although we have a plethora of talented players in this country who excel at Super rugby level, it is not test rugby, or at least not test rugby as we are used to.

    My South African team and extended squad therefore has a mixture of being physically dominant without losing too much on mobility and sheer natural talent. Therefore experience plays a vital part in my selections as do proven combinations. A goal kicker with an average of at least 75% is also non-negotiable.

    Springbok Match-day 22 (numbers in brackets indicate what positions they cover, GK is goal kicker options).

    1. Beast
    2. John Smit (1 & 3)
    3. Jannie du Plessis
    4. Bakkies Botha
    5. Victor Matfield
    6. Schalk Burger
    7. Juan Smith
    8. Pierre Spies
    9. Fourie du Preez
    10. Morné Steyn (GK)
    11. Bryan Habana
    12. Jean de Villiers
    13. Jaque Fourie
    14. JP Pietersen
    15. Stefan Terblanché

    16. Bismarck du Plessis (2)
    17. Deon Carstens
    18. Danie Rossouw (5, 7, 8)
    19. Johann Muller (4)
    20. Rory Kockett (9) (GK)
    21. Ruan Pienaar (10, 15) (GK)
    22. Adi Jacobs (10, 13, 14)

    Extended Squad (Max 30 players)

    23. Guthro Steenkamp (1)
    24. Andries Bekker (5)
    25. Ryan Kankowski (7, 8)
    26. Heinrich Brussow (6)
    27. Wynand Olivier (12, 13)
    28. Jongi Nokwe (11, 14)
    29. Frans Steyn (12, 15) (GK)
    30. Odwa Ndungane (11, 14, 15)

  • Comment 3, posted at 19.05.09 09:19:02 by Morné Reply
  • @Whindy (Comment 1) : my bad – I should have picked that up in the proofing!

  • Comment 4, posted at 19.05.09 09:27:11 by robdylan Reply
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  • hey stop all this negative stefan sentiment. he showed us on saturday that it was plumtrees stupid gameplan that made him kick the ball away all season. the guy is a maestro. he deserves his spot.

  • Comment 5, posted at 19.05.09 09:31:02 by try time (history forgets losers) Reply

  • @Morné (Comment 3) : ha ha! Morras picked Terblanche as the Bok fullback. Let the ribbing begin 🙂

  • Comment 6, posted at 19.05.09 09:33:08 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 6) :

    I know, I will never live it down…

  • Comment 7, posted at 19.05.09 09:38:40 by Morné Reply
  • I agree with Morne.

    THe only problem I foresee is at flyhalf.

    Do we really want Morne Steyn as flyhalf seeing as he will be making his debut??? 🙄

  • Comment 8, posted at 19.05.09 09:46:17 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 8) :

    Ruan only has 3 under his belt as 10.

    Two he was okay in, one he was a bit shocking.

  • Comment 9, posted at 19.05.09 09:48:05 by Morné Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 6) : @Morné (Comment 7) :

    Terblanche would be a brilliant choice as he has what 40 odd caps for the Boks??

    I think he is a MUST and if PDV does not go wiff him he should consider Frans at 15. 🙄

  • Comment 10, posted at 19.05.09 09:51:12 by wpw Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 9) :

    Ja but how many test caps does he have???

    I would rather go with Ruan than with Morne Steyn.

    Oh and the same can be said of Terblanche… how many tests at fullback???

  • Comment 11, posted at 19.05.09 09:52:34 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 11) :

    Sure, but what is his strike rate as a goal kicker compared to Ruan…?

  • Comment 12, posted at 19.05.09 09:59:35 by Morné Reply
  • The wings pick themselves, and I would go with Habana and JP Pietersen.

    I’m not so sure… Habana looks a little slower. Maybe a fitness issue?
    JP I have never rated as a bok

  • Comment 13, posted at 19.05.09 10:07:15 by Rahul Reply

  • So Rahul who are your wings, then??

  • Comment 14, posted at 19.05.09 10:11:40 by Whindy Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 3) : I like your team, but would prefer another quick loose forward instead of Muller. To my mind having Muller and DR on the bench is not balanced enough. Brussow maybe

  • Comment 15, posted at 19.05.09 10:16:55 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @try time (history forgets losers) (Comment 5) : Stefan never stopped running across the field he never ever gave his wings any space to move, dont get me wrong I rate him as a player but he is past his sell by date.You cannot blame the coach for him running across the field.

  • Comment 16, posted at 19.05.09 10:17:57 by Whindy Reply
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  • @Rahul (Comment 13) : You must be joking…JPP and Fourie du Preez would be the easiest selection in the starting 14

  • Comment 17, posted at 19.05.09 10:18:14 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 15) :

    The tests will be anything but quick I reckon, hence no need for it.

    Guys that can get stuck in trench-warfare stuff is the way I am leaning.

  • Comment 18, posted at 19.05.09 10:19:06 by Morné Reply
  • Morne I have to question your team in terms of demographics its a bit lilly white , you have only two players of colour, three if you count the beast, but he is Zimbabwean and that does not count.

  • Comment 19, posted at 19.05.09 10:21:36 by Whindy Reply
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  • @Whindy (Comment 14) : Thought about it after I posted. I didn’t take defensive qualities into consideration 😳

    Habana definitely but he needs serious gym time imo. seems to have lost speed.

    I would like to see Nokwe in the squad. I think he is pretty solid all round esp defensively (Thats how we pick our Bok wings?)

  • Comment 20, posted at 19.05.09 10:22:22 by Rahul Reply

  • @Whindy (Comment 19) :

    Mujati is injured.
    Ricky is so off-form he cant make the Stormers starting 15.
    Adi is on the bench because he is still an injury concern.
    Jantjes is injured.

    That is 4 guys who on form and fit will be 50/50 calls with guys in the starting 15 I have currently.

    3 are out on injury alone, that would have changed the demographics significantly but you cannot change that as injuries are out of your control

  • Comment 21, posted at 19.05.09 10:25:08 by Morné Reply
  • @Pokkel (Comment 17) : JP (imo) looses too much possesion in the takle, either isolated or standing up too straight when he is tackled. He doesnt force the tackler to ground with him leaving him open to be robbed.

    Fourie is the best scrummie in the world… but I never mention him?

  • Comment 22, posted at 19.05.09 10:25:41 by Rahul Reply

  • @Rahul (Comment 20) :

    Joe Pietersen, the smallest man in the Super 14 handed him off with ease!

  • Comment 23, posted at 19.05.09 10:25:55 by Morné Reply
  • Pokkel’s Palookas Springbok Match 22

    15 Kirchner
    14 JPP
    13 Adi
    12 JdV
    11 Jaque Fourie / or Habana if he regains form
    10 Morne Steyn
    9 FdP
    8 Spies
    7 Juan
    6 Burger/ Brussow
    5 Matfield
    4 Bakkies
    3 John Smith
    2 Bismark
    1 Guthro

    16 Beast
    17 Deon Carstens
    18 Danie
    19 Burger/Brussow
    20 Ruan
    21 Jaque Fourie / Habana depending on who starts
    22 Nokwe

  • Comment 24, posted at 19.05.09 10:27:25 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Rahul (Comment 20) : No doubt about his speed not sure I agree with you about his defence, I think it is the one part of his game that is a bit questionable

  • Comment 25, posted at 19.05.09 10:29:07 by Whindy Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 24) : I think the Beast in the last 30 min after Guthro tired the forwards of the Lions

  • Comment 26, posted at 19.05.09 10:30:51 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Whindy (Comment 19) :

    Let’s not worry about that for now. 😉

  • Comment 27, posted at 19.05.09 10:43:35 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 27) : Bodering on politics :mrgreen:

  • Comment 28, posted at 19.05.09 10:47:23 by Rahul Reply

  • @Morné (Comment 23) : Get BH in the gym and that wont happen

  • Comment 29, posted at 19.05.09 10:48:29 by Rahul Reply

  • Hey KSA, Where’s my new avatar?

  • Comment 30, posted at 19.05.09 10:49:49 by Rahul Reply

  • @Rahul (Comment 28) :

    What is ‘bodering’ :mrgreen:

  • Comment 31, posted at 19.05.09 10:49:49 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 31) : Cost effective bordering… les RRRRR’s :mrgreen:

  • Comment 32, posted at 19.05.09 10:53:26 by Rahul Reply

  • 😯

  • Comment 33, posted at 19.05.09 11:01:32 by robdylan Reply
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  • I hate to say it but I am voting for Morne Steyn over Pienaar, purely on the basis of goal kicking and fearing a repeat of 1997.

    However based on De Villiers comments, I think de Villiers and Muir are firmly Pienaar men and think he can do the kicking job.

  • Comment 34, posted at 19.05.09 11:08:03 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive Pass
  • Guthro Steenkamp. He often scrums with his head out the side of the scrum therefore pushing with one shoulder only, transfering enormous pressure onto his hooker and tighthead.
    Surely his head should be under his opposite No’s chest whith is arm binding straight up opp back. I would go Beast(1) and Deon (1 & 3) on bench.

  • Comment 35, posted at 19.05.09 11:51:51 by Ernie Reply

  • hellllloooooo :mrgreen:

  • Comment 36, posted at 19.05.09 12:21:41 by rekinek Reply
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  • i have heard what happened 12 years ago – but men – can everybody stop being so obsessed with a kicker. This poor man whoever he is is gonna be so stressed whenever he touches the ball. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 37, posted at 19.05.09 12:24:41 by rekinek Reply
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  • @try time (history forgets losers) (Comment 5) : omg!? 😯 😈

  • Comment 38, posted at 19.05.09 12:32:38 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @JarsonX (Comment 38) :

    hahahahaha :mrgreen:

  • Comment 39, posted at 19.05.09 13:00:41 by wpw Reply
  • @JarsonX (Comment 38) : i think you better ignore it – that MUST have been multiple typo :mrgreen:

  • Comment 40, posted at 19.05.09 13:05:52 by rekinek Reply
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