Making sensible changes

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :2009 Lions Tour, Original Content, Springboks on 29 Jun 2009 at 16:30
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It looks like we’re going to field a somewhat different team against the Lions in the third test. Assuming my particular version of sanity were to prevail, this is what I’d look to do.

Problem 1: No Bakkies Botha. Simple, bring in Danie Rossouw. Oh wait, no Rossouw either. Well, at least we know that Andries Bekker is unlikely to be fit either, thus sparing us from seeing yet more of the lopsided Bekker-Matfield combo. Bringing in a specialist tight lock to replace Botha is thus a must and it has to come down to straight choice between Steven Sykes and Johann Muller. Sykes is a more natural 4, but Muller would get my vote, based on his experience, leadership and versatility.

Problem 2: No Schalk Burger. Bring in Brüssow. He’s a better player anyway. Next?

Problem 3: No Danie Rossouw. Now this is starting to get a little more serious, since we don’t have anyone to cover lock and tight flank off the bench. Let’s discuss this together with…

Problem 4: No Andries Bekker. Is this really a problem at all? I don’t think so.

Anyway, my simple solution to the above problems is drop Juan Smith to the bench where he can cover both lock and tight flank, while moving Pierre Spies to 7 and elevating Ryan Kankowski to the starting lineup. You then need to bring another loosie onto the bench, so why not give Jean Deysel or maybe even Duane Vermeulen a run, since both are in such good form?

Problem 5: No Jean de Villiers (potentially). Bring in Jacque Fourie and move Adi Jacobs to inside centre. Wynand Olivier onto the bench.

Potential Problem 6: No Fourie du Preez. In this case, there’s no option but to start with Ruan Pienaar at scrumhalf and let Morné Steyn play flyhalf. Not what I’d choose to do, but if needs must. It’s better than getting the pie-eating mechanic back into the side, that’s for sure.

So, assuming problems 1-5 eventuate, while problem 6 does not, here’s my super-charged Bok 22 for the third test:

1 Beast Mtawarira, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 3 John Smit (capt), 4 Johann Muller, 5 Victor Matfield, 6 Hein Brüssow, 7 Pierre Spies, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 9 Fourie du Preez, 10 Ruan Pienaar, 11 Bryan Haban, 12 Adrian Jacobs, 13 Jacque Fourie, 14 JP Pietersen, 15 Frans Steyn
16 Chilliboy Ralepelle, 17 Deon Carstens, 18 Juan Smith, 19 Jean Deysel, 20 Janno Vermaak, 21 Morné Steyn, 22 Wynand Olivier


  • and just as I write this, Johann Muller has indeed been called up 🙂

  • Comment 1, posted at 29.06.09 16:41:44 by robdylan Reply
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  • i dont think Roussouw would have played with that knock he took, glad for Muller.

  • Comment 2, posted at 29.06.09 16:44:48 by JarsonX Reply
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  • Brussow must start or I’m not watching! Please let the advertisers know 😉

  • Comment 3, posted at 29.06.09 16:57:10 by Rahul Reply

  • typical – by writing this article, I’ve forced the news to come out!

    Looks like Fourie du Preez and de Villiers will be fit. Wait and see with Danie Rossouw.

  • Comment 4, posted at 29.06.09 16:57:57 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Rahul (Comment 3) : will do

  • Comment 5, posted at 29.06.09 16:58:28 by robdylan Reply
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  • Only reliable place kicker is on the bench.
    Pienaar did a decent job last year when we had no fly-half but now we have one and it is time to consider him.

    Better tactical kicking.
    Better place kicking.
    Better defence.
    Running game on par with anything RP has produced this season.

    Why not pick the real fly-half and use Pienaar on the bench as cover for any position in the backline?

  • Comment 6, posted at 29.06.09 17:43:01 by fyndraai Reply
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  • @fyndraai (Comment 6) : ha ha! At last you and Wes agree on something.

    So the argument definitely has merit, but I feel that you need to give a flyhalf continuity. Pienaar has turned in one below average performance in 5 tests – is that enough justification to drop him? I don’t think so… because Steyn will have a bad test too. What then> Drop him and bring Pienaar back? Both players will end up with zero confidence.

  • Comment 7, posted at 29.06.09 17:59:28 by robdylan Reply
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  • here’s an unexpected curveball… sounds like Kanko has been carrying a niggle all along…

  • Comment 8, posted at 29.06.09 18:06:37 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 7) :
    Good comment – Morne was brilliant last week, as Ruan was the week before.

    Lets manage them both carefully.

  • Comment 9, posted at 29.06.09 18:09:19 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @robdylan (Comment 7) : Fair point. PdV loyalty to his players is a good thing and the question will probably resolve itself shortly anyway.

    I had to feel for Pienaar on Saturday when the crowd started shouting Morne-Morne. SA fans are never helpful. They like to kick a player when he’s already down.

  • Comment 10, posted at 29.06.09 18:13:29 by fyndraai Reply
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  • I don’t care who is fit or not JFourie should play..

    Whether in FdP/Pienaar/Habana/JdV/Adi/JPP/FSteyns place…


  • Comment 11, posted at 29.06.09 18:20:10 by Hmmm Reply

  • @fyndraai (Comment 10) : you mean there were some SA fans? 🙂

  • Comment 12, posted at 29.06.09 18:43:32 by robdylan Reply
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  • Robdylan
    Not one WP player in your side. Now Im finally convinced you hate anything WP. FJELN! 👿

  • Comment 13, posted at 29.06.09 20:12:26 by wpw Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 8) : Kanko hasn’t played well all season. At best I’d have him on the bench!

  • Comment 14, posted at 29.06.09 20:29:39 by Villie Reply
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  • @Villie (Comment 14) : Kanko was streets better than Spies last year, but still could not get any game time over Spies. Sorry, apparently current form means absolutely nothing to PdV. There is something to be said for consistent selections though. Still, players like Kanko and Odwa need game time, it does them no good as rugby players to be in the Bok squad if they do not play a single game of rugby between the Super 14 and the very end of the Currie Cup. Some more thought needs to be given to the management of the fringe players in the squad. If Spies goes down, we need a 100% ready Kanko to step into his shoes, not a Kanko dangerously low on game time and match fitness.

  • Comment 15, posted at 29.06.09 20:47:58 by Dancing Bear Reply
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    Dancing Bear
  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 15) :

    We can only hope that they are released to their provinces due to lack of game time at the Boks.

    I would love to see Spies’ tackle count for Saturday. He missed three that i counted early on.

  • Comment 16, posted at 29.06.09 20:54:43 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Howzit? :mrgreen:

  • Comment 17, posted at 29.06.09 21:00:57 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 17) :

    Okay thanks, and you?

    Who’s that ou in your pic?

  • Comment 18, posted at 29.06.09 21:04:37 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • As if you dont know… 😉

  • Comment 19, posted at 29.06.09 21:13:47 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 19) :

    Oh is it Michael Jackson? He looked like a wit ou though, that is a darkie in your pic. 😉

  • Comment 20, posted at 29.06.09 21:20:34 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 18) :
    Much pretier than both ouks in yours. 😆

    According to this site Francios Steyn made the only tackle in the game.

    Most carries: Pierre Spies (9)
    Most meters: Pierre Spies (81m)
    No need to make tackles if you run like that.

  • Comment 21, posted at 29.06.09 21:22:28 by fyndraai Reply
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  • Bwahahhaaahaha
    Good one fyndraai. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 22, posted at 29.06.09 21:24:22 by wpw Reply
  • prettier
    Function: adjective
    Inflected Form(s): pret·ti·er; pret·ti·est
    2 a: pleasing by delicacy or grace b: having conventionally accepted elements of beauty c: appearing or sounding pleasant or nice but lacking strength, force, manliness, purpose, or intensity pretty words that make no sense — Elizabeth B. Browning

  • Comment 23, posted at 29.06.09 21:24:50 by fyndraai Reply
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  • @fyndraai (Comment 21) : :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 24, posted at 29.06.09 21:32:21 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 15) : That’s a matter of opinion. I like Kanko but I still believe he needs to improve a number of areas of his game. Granted he did play well last season but on form this season, Spies deserves to be ahead of him. Kanko had a poor Super 14 and that is why he’s not in the starting XV.

    I agree some squad players need game time…but the first two tests against the Lions were crucial tests and PDV could not afford to play out of form players. He already had enough players starting that had missed chunks of the Super 14 and were clearly rusty.

  • Comment 25, posted at 29.06.09 21:45:10 by Villie Reply
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  • Im watching the game again. Flip but these Lions wanna dish it out but when the Boks give it back they whinge. I must say, that hit by Bakkies was fine… Oh, and Jacobs played quite well imho…

  • Comment 26, posted at 29.06.09 22:06:37 by wpw Reply
  • @Villie (Comment 25) : You completely missed my point Villie. Yes, Spies was better than Kanko in this year’s Super 14 and is starting ahead of Kanko. So why did Kanko not start ahead of Spies last year when he was streets better? Like I said, PdV is not interested in current form. Like I said in my earlier post, consistency of selection is PdV’s thing, and there is something to be said about that, but the problem you have is that when a front line player goes down, his back up is horribly undercooked.

    Wynand Olivier has been superb this season, much better than either JdV or F. Steyn, but he can not crack the 22. So how long do you think his form will last with him being a fringe player like Kanko, Odwa, Steenkamp, etc.? So sorry, your argument about current form means absolutely nothing. These players should have been released to their provinces or the Kings for the Lions games.

  • Comment 27, posted at 30.06.09 01:09:33 by Dancing Bear Reply
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    Dancing Bear
  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 27) :


    In the years leading up to the RWC, John Smit was not playing well for quite some time and most rugby scribes called for Gary Botha and Schalk Brits (at one stage) to be selected ahead of the current Bok captain but Jake refused.

    Jake knew that John brings more to the team than just being their hooker. He is calm under pressure, well respected among his team mates and the opposition.

    PDV also has his favourites and it seems Spies is one of them.

    Lastly, Wynand might have played well this year but JDV is the current SA Player of the Year and he had a brilliant season last year.

    If the side had to be selected based on form then we would have to include Derrick Kuhn ahead of Bissie, Sykes ahead of Bakkies, Vermaak ahead of FDP, Kirchner ahead of Steyn. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 28, posted at 30.06.09 07:26:56 by wpw Reply
  • Good on PdV to stand by his players and give them time to settle…
    I certainly don’t want a panic mechanic coaching the Boks…

    However-with series won…the sensible thing to do here is to make a few changes…and I’m not just talking about the forced ones.

    1-6 pick themselves really…and by that – I mean Muller at 4.
    He’s not as scary as Bakkies but he gets a lot of work done. Please don’t start with Elvis Bekker.

    7-9 – Depending on the injuries and whatever…you can wing it here Mr De Villiers.

    10- I say give Morne a run. No-one is being dropped…we’re rotating.

    11- 14 – 15 … same guys…Steyn the newcomer needs to connect with his wide men…and the two wings need to keep scoring…

    12 – 13 …I don’t care who you rest between the two…but please find space for Mossie.

  • Comment 29, posted at 30.06.09 08:28:15 by blackshark Reply

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  • @blackshark (Comment 29) : sensible post!

  • Comment 30, posted at 30.06.09 08:38:00 by robdylan Reply
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  • My backline would be:

    9 du Preez
    10 Morne
    11 Habana
    12 Meisiekind
    13 Mossie
    14 JP
    15 Steyn.

    Neither JdV or Adi has impressed me in the 2 tests and you cannot leave Mossie out the team and I think while the series is won and you have 8,9,10,12 combo from the Bulls that had a great season and know each other very well playing together makes sense to me.

    OK let me have it 🙄

  • Comment 31, posted at 30.06.09 08:38:55 by Pokkel Reply
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  • I don’t think Div will drop either one of Jean or Adi for the next match.

  • Comment 32, posted at 30.06.09 08:44:47 by wpw Reply
  • My Forwards would be

    8.Spies not gonna start playing guys out of position.

  • Comment 33, posted at 30.06.09 08:47:55 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 32) : Thats why it’s MY team

  • Comment 34, posted at 30.06.09 08:48:41 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 34) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 35, posted at 30.06.09 08:52:52 by wpw Reply
  • Replacements


  • Comment 36, posted at 30.06.09 08:52:59 by Pokkel Reply
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  • 1. Beast
    2. Chili
    3. John
    4. Muller
    5. Victor
    6. Brussow
    7. Juan
    8. Spies
    9. FDP
    10. Morne
    11. Habs
    12. Wynand
    13. Adi/Mossie
    14. JPP
    15. Frans

    16. Bismarck
    17. Carstens
    18. Bekker
    19. Kankowski
    20. Vermeulen/Deysel
    21. Pienaar
    22. Adi/Mossie

    Minimum disruption, Juan can move to lock to cover if needed, so to Vermeulen if there is an injury crisis where we lose two front line forwards.

  • Comment 37, posted at 30.06.09 09:46:51 by Morné Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 37) : We think the same 😎 ( for a change ) except hooker and replacements 🙄

  • Comment 38, posted at 30.06.09 10:00:47 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 31) : ek skree nie WP nie…

  • Comment 39, posted at 30.06.09 10:08:13 by robdylan Reply
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  • i’d rather like to see deysel take juan’s position. i saw deysel do more against the lions in one game, than i have seen from juan all season.

  • Comment 40, posted at 30.06.09 11:16:02 by try time (superrugby's kryptonite is SANZAR) Reply

  • @fyndraai (Comment 21) :

    And he had some of those BIL’s rolling backwards on a good few occasions…and he even has a great hand-off..

    He did defend very well in the first test…making 2 telling tackles close to the tryline…

  • Comment 41, posted at 30.06.09 11:40:09 by Hmmm Reply

  • I just don’t believe Kanko has done enough this season to force his way into the team..and that is coming from a Sharks supporter!

    Anyway, I see that Kirchner and Dewald Potgieter are training with the Boks. Might be a sign that Adi will be “rested” this Saturday!

  • Comment 42, posted at 30.06.09 23:00:53 by Villie Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 27) : Don’t agree at all. The international season is only 2 games old so can’t see how you can say that players haven’t been given a chance and that we don’t have any understudies. The Boks could not afford to lose the series against the Lions and quite rightly PDV went with the experienced players. You can’t chop and change your team every week. That is the main reason that Jake White was so successful, his consistency of selection!

    I do agree that the fringe players should have been released to play for the Provinces against the Lions.

  • Comment 43, posted at 30.06.09 23:06:04 by Villie Reply
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