Ruan may get the boot

Written by Wesley Weber (wpw)

Posted in :All Blacks, In the news, Springboks, Tri Nations on 28 Jul 2009 at 08:47
Tagged with : , ,

The issue of Ruan Pienaar’s errant goal-kicking is known to have been the major talking point in Monday’s Springbok selection meeting ahead of Saturday’s second Tri-Nations Test against the All Blacks in Durban – and there is a strong possibility that the name of Morne Steyn will be read out at No.10 when the team is announced today.

Mike Greenaway writes for The Star:

It is acknowledged that Pienaar is the better attacking flyhalf of the pair but his disappointing goal-kicking form in the previous two games he started – the second Test against the British and Irish Lions and last week’s Tri-Nations opener against New Zealand in Bloemfontein – almost cost the Boks the matches, and on both occasions substitute Steyn came on and sealed the results.

Steyn has yet to miss a kick at goal in international rugby and there is a growing feeling that the Boks have chanced their arm once too often with their primary goal-kicker stuttering along at 20 percent.

At Monday’s news conference in Umhlanga, coach Peter de Villiers hinted that there might be a change at flyhalf when he said that Pienaar, who has a minor ankle injury, “needs to be managed carefully to get him through the next five games”.

“Ruan is a very competitive player and a true professional,” De Villiers said. “He is also a sweet kicker and we are not sure what is wrong with his goal-kicking. He is such a creative player and somebody that we can build an attack around but maybe we need to look after him over the next month or so.”

So will the Boks start with Morne Steyn?

“Maybe,” De Villiers said.

The understanding from senior Boks is that Pienaar is the better footballer, the better athlete and distributor of the ball but, just as a dominant tight five is non-negotiable in Test rugby, so is picking a kicker that will land the goals.

Apart from the possible change at 10, the Boks are likely to field the same team that beat the Kiwis in Bloemfontein.

Centre Jean de Villiers is fit – he left the field in some discomfort last Saturday but it was later confirmed that his ailment was nothing more than cramp.

There will be possible changes to the bench, with fit-again Adrian Jacobs coming in for Wynand Olivier and recovered Andries Bekker replacing Ryan Kankowski.

Whoever is at flyhalf, De Villiers reckons the time and space will be cut down this week by the hurting All Blacks.

“We are expecting them to come out of the tunnel with all guns blazing,” the coach said.

“They hate losing, and then there is also the fact this was the tour match they would have heavily targeted. Coach Graham Henry hinted as much before they left New Zealand.

“Just like Super 14 teams target matches over here, this second one – after the travel problems of last week – is the one they have targeted.”

The back-to-back games have been likened to a mini-series, and the Boks can clinch that series with a win in Durban.

“We don’t look at it like that,” De Villiers said. “We aim for the honour of winning every Test match we play. It would be good for our people.

“It’s the same as this No.1 ranking in the world. You play this game for a number of reasons – one is to be the leader in your field and to assert yourself over your rivals and thus win respect, but for us winning rugby Tests is also about building our nation. When we win, we make people happy. We like to give back to the public what they give to us.

“Moving past New Zealand to No.1 is wonderful, but it is not the be-all and end-all. It is much harder to stay at No.1 than it is to get there.


  • I hope Ruan retains his place.

    What I wanna know is who will start at 13. 🙄

  • Comment 1, posted at 28.07.09 08:57:04 by wpw Reply
  • i dont think we should change too much – rather work on the weaker areas with the team we had..

  • Comment 2, posted at 28.07.09 09:04:05 by Prof. Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @Prof. Ice (Comment 2) : I agree, Ruan really had that backline moving nicely and that is what he does have over Morne Staeyn, is his ability to read a situation. leave the kicking to francois Steyn he seemed to do [email protected]wpw (Comment 1) : I hope they leave it be, by all means bring Adi onto the bench, he is a good player of that there is no Doubt!!

  • Comment 3, posted at 28.07.09 09:14:34 by Whindy Reply
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  • Bekker on for Kanko on the bench….that leaves Danie as the only looseforward cover….he is just too slow to replace the likes of Brussow

  • Comment 4, posted at 28.07.09 09:25:36 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Whindy (Comment 3) : I agree, you can’t leave ‘the greatest 13 in the world’ out the team even if he’s arrogant 🙄

  • Comment 5, posted at 28.07.09 09:28:40 by Pokkel Reply
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  • Steyn has yet to miss a kick at goal in international rugby.. ❓

    Didn’t he miss a conversion on Sat?

  • Comment 6, posted at 28.07.09 09:35:46 by McLovin Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 6) : I also saw that…I’m sure he did miss one…the coversion of Mossies try

  • Comment 7, posted at 28.07.09 09:37:33 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 4) : fact is, Kanko (seemingly) simply isn’t rated by the Bok management. Why else do they keep him away from the squad unless there is no other option, and then opt not to use him even when he is on the bench?

    They should send him back to the Sharks. We’ll make better use of him.

  • Comment 8, posted at 28.07.09 09:51:14 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 7) : the other bullshit stat is that Pienaar failed with 4 attempts at goal… one was a drop, which doesn’t count!

  • Comment 9, posted at 28.07.09 09:53:24 by robdylan Reply
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  • I feel for Ruan. We all know he can kick. He used to be Dead-eye Dick but his confidence is completely shot. How do you fix that though? 🙁

  • Comment 10, posted at 28.07.09 09:54:45 by klempie Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 9) : Nah he was 1 from 5 at one stage iirc.

  • Comment 11, posted at 28.07.09 09:56:13 by klempie Reply

  • @klempie (Comment 11) : let’s go find the official stats…

  • Comment 12, posted at 28.07.09 10:49:36 by robdylan Reply
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  • @klempie (Comment 11) : you are right… he did miss four penalties AND a drop goal! 😳

  • Comment 13, posted at 28.07.09 10:52:39 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 13) : Good work Inspector Clouseau! 😉

  • Comment 14, posted at 28.07.09 11:37:35 by klempie Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 13) : Not entirely right. He missed three amd he hit the upright with two :mrgreen:

    You should get 4 points at least for hitting the upright….it’s a damn small target :mrgreen:

  • Comment 15, posted at 28.07.09 11:45:45 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 15) : remember how often Lem used to hit the poles? I used to joke with my Dad that he was probably aiming at the poles and was such a good kicker he ended up hitting them!

  • Comment 16, posted at 28.07.09 12:04:13 by robdylan Reply
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  • Absolutely, and when you hit both uprights with consecutive kicks you should get bonus points as well.

  • Comment 17, posted at 28.07.09 12:06:31 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 15) : @Salmonoid (Comment 17) : 😆 😆 😆

  • Comment 18, posted at 28.07.09 12:08:08 by klempie Reply

  • @wpw (Comment 1) : :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 19, posted at 28.07.09 12:19:02 by Charlie Reply

  • @wpw (Comment 1) : Might be JDV 😉

  • Comment 20, posted at 28.07.09 12:19:29 by Charlie Reply

  • yes morne did miss the conversion and he missed a tackle, so for the game morne’s worth points wise to the team was nett zero (penalties 9, missed conv -2, missed tackle -7). ruan was -2 (missed penalties -9, try 5, penalty 3, missed conv -2). considering how ruan doesn’t let the kiwis over the advantage line whereas morne does (by standing back)i would take the 2 points cost of ruan over morne.

  • Comment 21, posted at 28.07.09 12:38:49 by try time (superrugby's kryptonite is SANZAR) Reply

  • @try time (superrugby’s kryptonite is SANZAR) (Comment 21) : sorry ruan’s is -3 not -2. doesn’t change my verdict though.

  • Comment 22, posted at 28.07.09 12:40:36 by try time (superrugby's kryptonite is SANZAR) Reply

  • i find it amazing how everyone forgets how poor morne was in the 3rd b&i test. he gave the lions far too much room to move putting the boks under constant pressure. let frans kick if ruan is looking shaky, his value on the field far outweighs his errant boot.

  • Comment 23, posted at 28.07.09 12:43:03 by try time (superrugby's kryptonite is SANZAR) Reply

  • I just demolished a packet of Lays, a sausage roll, a cheese burger and an Aero in one sitting. 😎

  • Comment 24, posted at 28.07.09 12:54:36 by klempie Reply


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