Can Boks keep their intensity?

Written by Wesley Weber (wpw)

Posted in :All Blacks, In the news, Springboks, Tri Nations on 30 Jul 2009 at 07:34
Tagged with : ,

Virtually to a man, the Springboks thoroughly justified their salaries in bashing (overwhelmingly by legal means, of course) the All Blacks into submission in Bloemfontein.

Sport24.co.za’s Chief writer and Editor Rob Houwing reports:

From Nos 1-15, and throwing the odd substitute into the equation as well, the Boks produced one of those extraordinarily “amped” performances, basically knocking back anything that moved in a black jersey with zeal.

Sometimes the high degree of body-on-the-line commitment even came from mildly unexpectedly sources.

Did you notice, for instance, reserve flyhalf Morne Steyn’s rare dumping of Rodney So’oialo? I swear I heard the “ooof” as the visiting No 8 crashed unceremoniously to the hard deck on his back, looking as surprised as the angelic-faced Steyn did.

Then there was Heinrich Brussow delighting in the opportunity to comprehensively bowl over his illustrious opposite number in the scavenging department, Richie McCaw.

The diminutive Free Stater is already earning a reverent press in New Zealand. Daniel Gilhooly of the New Zealand Herald wrote this week: “No longer do the (All Black forwards) plan for eight behemoths. Now it’s seven behemoths and one very annoying open-side.”

There was beyond-the-norm physicality, too, from Jean de Villiers, who combined customary skill and awareness – his pass off the ground to try-scorer Ruan Pienaar was a classy moment – with hungry “directness” in attacking the channels of Stephen Donald and even his chunky No 12 rival Ma’a Nonu.

And if some critics reckon JP Pietersen had a pretty quiet outing, maybe they overlook the importance of his potentially try-saving, decisively smothering tackle on Sitiveni Sivivatu on the stroke of half-time.

The collective mongrel of the Bok forwards, of course, was a joy to behold for at least three-quarters of the encounter.

Lung-busting effort

In contemplating the game afterwards, I imagined a lot of bruised All Black limbs, but certainly also some knackered South African ones, considering the admirable, lung-busting effort that had gone into securing the win.

So McCaw’s troops will be aching … but primarily, I suspect, on the grounds of pride. And a psychologically “hurting” All Blacks team almost certainly translates into one fearsome kettle of fish a week on.

Bok coach Peter de Villiers has correctly conceded that New Zealand will “target” the Durban match, considering that they had had insufficient time to properly acclimatise to the Free State conditions last Saturday.

It is a sobering thought, too, that the All Blacks, admittedly helped by Ruan Pienaar’s early wonkiness in the place-kicking department, threatened at times to steal that game, despite their back-foot status for so long.

They are a smart outfit, as much as anything, and will be working extremely hard this week to iron out their most obvious areas of discomfort – notably the line-outs.

There are, of course, “ways and means” to ease your predicament in this department, and I would not be surprised if Victor Matfield and company find the going a tad less rosy at Absa Stadium.

Of some satisfaction to the visitors, too, is their modern record in Durban’s agreeably seaside clime: the All Blacks are in line for a rare hat-trick of wins there after successive Tri-Nations triumphs in 2002 (30-23) and 2007 (26-21).

Indeed, they boast a further victory there in the post-isolation era, 23-19 in 1996, and just one reverse – South Africa’s spectacular, come-from-behind yet also fortuitous 24-23 win in 1998, when they went on to claim the Tri-Nations for the first time under Nick Mallett’s coaching stewardship.

At least the Boks will field relatively few players on Saturday scarred by the defeat two years ago.

This, for the record, was the Bok starting XV then: Percy Montgomery, Ashwin Willemse, Jaque Fourie, Jean de Villiers, JP Pietersen, Butch James, Ruan Pienaar, Bob Skinstad, Danie Rossouw, Schalk Burger, Victor Matfield, Bakkies Botha, BJ Botha, Gary Botha, Os du Randt.

None of the thoughts above ought to be instantly interpreted as my signal that New Zealand will necessarily roar back with a victory this week.

There is still the not insignificant matter of Smit’s mostly very seasoned combatants “knowing how to win” tight Test matches. Perhaps New Zealand’s anticipated counter-fury will still not be enough against so accomplished and unflustered a Bok outfit?

Maybe South Africa have, indeed, got their number for the time being, and will place beyond all dispute their return to the No 1 ranking in the world?

But let’s just say this Saturday is one tough, tough call …


  • Go Bokke!!

    It will be tough but we can do it!! 😎

  • Comment 1, posted at 30.07.09 07:47:54 by wpw Reply
  • I carent wait. 😎

  • Comment 2, posted at 30.07.09 09:48:50 by McLovin Reply

  • The 2007 test is where Fransie subbed Butch and totallt stuffed the game. 🙄

    Looks like it’s gonna be a wet game 🙄

  • Comment 3, posted at 30.07.09 09:57:33 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • weather forecast looks wet and cold, maybe morne was a good selection after all

  • Comment 4, posted at 30.07.09 14:22:36 by war1 Reply
  • I hope they don’t let up. In fact I hope they go up a gear or two.

    Voldy predicts Boks by 5.

    Rugby365 say Boks by 10+.

    Planetrugby – Boks by 13.

    Makes me very very nervous. 😐

  • Comment 5, posted at 31.07.09 09:24:29 by McLovin Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 5) :

    I are also likes to be nervous now!! 🙄

  • Comment 6, posted at 31.07.09 09:33:33 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 1) : Okay. I’m in.

  • Comment 7, posted at 31.07.09 10:26:02 by Iago Reply

  • @Iago (Comment 7) : hello and welcome to Sharksworld! Tell us a little about yourself 🙂

  • Comment 8, posted at 31.07.09 10:36:48 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 8) : I’m not a Sharks supporter, but I enjoy rugby and great rugby conversation.

  • Comment 9, posted at 31.07.09 12:10:10 by Iago Reply

  • @Iago (Comment 9) : Then you’ve come to the wrong place my bru :mrgreen:

  • Comment 10, posted at 31.07.09 12:13:03 by BoetaC Reply

  • @BoetaC (Comment 10) : I only play

  • Comment 11, posted at 31.07.09 12:13:46 by BoetaC Reply

  • @Iago (Comment 9) : response time is kinda long.

  • Comment 12, posted at 31.07.09 12:14:56 by Iago Reply

  • @Iago (Comment 9) :

    Howzit?? Welcome to MY site.

    If anyone gives you hassles just let me know!! 😉

  • Comment 13, posted at 31.07.09 12:15:49 by wpw Reply
  • The All Blacks, showing signs of paranoia, have beefed up security at their training sessions in Durban, a couple of days ahead of their Tri-Nations crunch Test against South Africa.

    Not only did the All Blacks only reveal their training venue less than an hour before it began, but they also only allowed New Zealand media to attend.

    The team had several security personnel patrolling the perimeter of the school grounds where they trained and one of them screened the area with his binoculars.

    Speculation is rife in the New Zealand media that the Springboks knew the All Black line-out calls prior to the Boks’ 28-19 win in Bloemfontein last week.


    From rugby365.

  • Comment 14, posted at 31.07.09 12:16:12 by McLovin Reply

  • @BoetaC (Comment 10) : What are you saying. Shark supporters love their side but have no knowledgeable rugby conversation?

  • Comment 15, posted at 31.07.09 12:16:17 by Iago Reply

  • I wonder if the spy’s name is Suzie?

  • Comment 16, posted at 31.07.09 12:17:06 by McLovin Reply

  • @wpw (Comment 13) : Thank you. Most sweet of you, but I think you know that I can handle myself.

  • Comment 17, posted at 31.07.09 12:17:41 by Iago Reply

  • @Iago (Comment 12) : what do you mean by response time?

  • Comment 18, posted at 31.07.09 12:18:50 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @Iago (Comment 17) : is Wes trying to spade you already? 🙂

  • Comment 19, posted at 31.07.09 12:19:22 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 19) : 😯 😯

  • Comment 20, posted at 31.07.09 12:20:56 by wpw Reply
  • @Iago (Comment 15) : Hehe i think he has gone into hiding.Who do you support by the by?

  • Comment 21, posted at 31.07.09 12:23:24 by provincejoulekkading Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 20) : Robdylan. How does one refresh. I keep having to go out of the thread to see who has replied.

  • Comment 22, posted at 31.07.09 12:24:36 by Iago Reply

  • @provincejoulekkading (Comment 21) : In the Curry Cup? I’m always a sucker for the under dog, but overall, and I know this is a long shot, I hope the WP can pull off a miracle.

  • Comment 23, posted at 31.07.09 12:26:23 by Iago Reply

  • @Iago (Comment 22) : Unless I’m posting.

  • Comment 24, posted at 31.07.09 12:27:15 by Iago Reply

  • @Iago (Comment 23) : Good man!

  • Comment 25, posted at 31.07.09 12:27:56 by provincejoulekkading Reply
  • @provincejoulekkading (Comment 25) : You mean good woman. 🙂

  • Comment 26, posted at 31.07.09 12:28:57 by Iago Reply

  • @Iago (Comment 24) : Just hit refresh

  • Comment 27, posted at 31.07.09 12:29:21 by provincejoulekkading Reply
  • @Iago (Comment 22) : Nice access to emicon’s guys. User friendly. I like it.

  • Comment 28, posted at 31.07.09 12:29:59 by Iago Reply

  • @provincejoulekkading (Comment 27) : Thanks. Now. As for tomorrow’s trinations fixture, do you anticipate that the boks will make it two in a row?

  • Comment 29, posted at 31.07.09 12:31:18 by Iago Reply

  • @Iago (Comment 29) : see my latest musings… I hope so, but not overflowing with confidence.


  • Comment 30, posted at 31.07.09 12:45:07 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @Iago (Comment 29) : Its raining in Durbs tomorrow, so if the forwards eat their pronutro we should be ok, going to be a ten man game so we will take it, but not by much.

  • Comment 31, posted at 31.07.09 12:46:52 by provincejoulekkading Reply

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