Boks break Welsh hearts – again!

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Springboks on 13 Nov 2010 at 19:14
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Peter de Vililers and his much-maligned Springbok team showed true grit and unshakable resolve on defence in the second half to come from behind and beat a game Welsh team by 29 points to 25 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff earlier today. With their seond win in a row, the Boks remain on course to capture a Grand Slam for the first time in over 50 years.

Not that it was vintage rugby throughout, though – this exciting game, which flowed back and forth for most of the 80 minutes, was typified by some utterly atrocious decision-making among the Bok halfbacks, as well as some truly woeful defence out wide. Bryan Habana, in particular, was the main culprit in the latter instance. Afet a good start that saw Morne Steyn slot an early penalty, the Boks hardly blinked before they were 14-3 down, thanks to two quick Welsh tries, both created off counter-attacks after the Bok halfbacks had kicked away possession. The first score, to debutant right winger George North, looked incredibly suspect, as a Springbok defender was clearly taken out in the move; it was one of about a hundred things that referee Steve Walsh missed in what must surely count among his most shocking refereeing performances in a career hardly punctuated by highlights.

The visitors were clearly rattled by the Welsh and had the home-side not suffered from some poor decision-making on attack themselves, the half-time score could have been much greater than 17-9, Steyn having pulled the Boks back within 8 points thanks to two further penalties, although he did miss a simple one as well.

The first 10 minutes of the second period were much the same, before the introduction of Sharks loose forward Willem Alberts (for the anonymous Deon Stegmann) galvanised the Bok attack. The big man got stuck in straight away and with the forwards laying the platform at last – and the Boks finally opting to keep possession in hand rather than aimlessly hoofing it away – it wasn’t long before the deficit was first narrowed and then finally completely erased. Steyn kicked a penalty, before Alberts and Victor Matfield scored tries in quick succession. Suddenly, the Boks were 26-20 up and cruising to a famous victory.

Alas, one last bit of foolishness undid all the good work. Possession was given away and Bryan Habana came off his wing for the umpteenth time, leaving a huge gap for the Welsh to exploit with a clever cross-field kick that saw North over for his second try in the corner. The tricky touchline conversion was missed, however and a last Morne Steyn penalty pushed the Boks back out to a four-point lead (29-25) with about 15 minutes left to play. The Boks then held on desperately, despite wave after wave of Welsh attack, to record a famous victory, with Gio Aplon twice halting the Welsh momentum with huge rush tackles at crucial times.

For the Boks, there were big performances from Beast Mtawarira, Bismarck du Plessis, Alberts and, to an extent Pierre Spies up front. Aplon was the only starting back to really shine, although Bjorn Basson was strong in the air all afternoon. Replacement half-backs Francois Hougaard and Pat Lambie looked sharp and composed, with the latter huge on defence in those crucial last minutes, and must surely have shown the coaching staff that they deserve an extended run against Scotland next week. Apart from Habana, Chilliboy Rallepele was the real muppet of the show, botching two lineout throws in the last ten minutes that came close to costing the Boks the game.

Once thing is for sure, though – the Boks simply cannot persist with the kick-chase strategy. It is outdated and ineffective and everybody knows it – everybody, that is, except the South african coaching team. Oh – and another thing was also clear. Willem Alberts must start every test!

Boks (29): Tries by Alberts and Matfield. 5 penalties and 2 conversions by Morne Steyn.
Wales (25): Tries by North(2) and James Hook. 2 penalties and 2 conversions by Stephen Jones


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  • Comment 1, posted at 13.11.10 19:20:42 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • Come or Rob – give Spies more than a grudging nod; he was massive today!

    Real questionmarks over Pienaar, Steyn and Habana.

    Loved Aplon’s defence – showed some big brass ones out there today.

  • Comment 2, posted at 13.11.10 19:59:16 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • Please bring back Adi Jacobs in the midfield πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 3, posted at 13.11.10 20:16:46 by Charlie Reply

  • @Big Fish (Comment 2) : Spies was massive? In what facet of play, other than defence…?

  • Comment 4, posted at 13.11.10 20:19:43 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Charlie (Comment 3) : I’ll give Adi this much, Charlie. If he played with both feet tied together, he could not be worse than Frans Steyn was today

  • Comment 5, posted at 13.11.10 20:20:23 by robdylan Reply
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  • Good summary there Rob.
    I agree with Feeesh wrt Spies. He carried the ball well in the 1st half and was huge on defence.
    Thing is, I’d probably still pick Alberts ahead of him.

  • Comment 6, posted at 13.11.10 20:33:29 by wpw Reply
  • Damn but Frans Steyn was hopeless tonight.
    He should only be considered at fullback and klaar!
    He will never be a world class centre.

  • Comment 7, posted at 13.11.10 20:35:15 by wpw Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 4) :
    Great workrate and carried the ball well. Great game – its gonna be hard to find someone to drop for Alberts, since Stegmann is needed for balance.

    @robdylan (Comment 5) :
    @wpw (Comment 7) :
    Fransie is not a 13; good 12 though. I dont think its fair to judge him on today’s performance. Dont know why they dont want to give Adi a go though.

    Lambie was excellent today – both on attack and defence.

  • Comment 8, posted at 13.11.10 20:50:51 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • Just wanted to come on and say Alberts was IMMENSE. Haven’t read the arti/comments, but presume you guys are very happy with him.

  • Comment 9, posted at 13.11.10 21:04:08 by molly Reply
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  • Habana and de Villiers were poor today. Very poor. I think Pienaar was playing to a gameplan that didn’t work and shouldn’t really be judged on this performance.

    Was so chuffed for Alberts, he was enormous when he came on and really made the difference.

    Backline for Scotland:

    9.Francois Hougaard
    10.Pat Lambie
    11.Lwazi Mvovo
    12.Francois Steyn
    13.Adi Jacobs/Juan de Jongh (if he’s fit?)
    14.Bjorn Basson
    15.Zane Kirchner (with Aplon on the bench).

  • Comment 10, posted at 13.11.10 21:12:15 by MerckZ Reply

  • Oh, and Ali Hargreaves should start against Scotland, with Juan Smith as captain πŸ™‚ Alberts in for Spies.

  • Comment 11, posted at 13.11.10 21:15:47 by MerckZ Reply

  • MerckZ
    You obviously watched a different game cos Ruan was waving his arms at the rucks and lost the ball more than once.
    Hougaard is without a doubt a better option.
    As for Frans, there’s no way he is a better option than Jean.
    If I was Div I’d drop him to the bench. He had a very very average game!!

  • Comment 12, posted at 13.11.10 21:16:53 by wpw Reply
  • Naah the JDV and Adi combo worked the best for the Boks, with Frans at 12 Jacobs won’t see to much ball, as ball in hand is his most potent ability πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 13, posted at 13.11.10 21:20:04 by Charlie Reply

  • @MerckZ (Comment 10) : I wouldn’t drop Aplon, or better yet, use him at 11 and bring Frans in at 15, actually JdV could use a break, might be the best time to give him one.

  • Comment 14, posted at 13.11.10 21:26:34 by molly Reply
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  • Frans Steyn’s massive boot is for me his only plus, either then that no creativity, no running lines, passing so-so, will play either @ wing or full-back, he might be good at 12 for Racing, but how good is the quality of the opposition he is facing week in and week out πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 15, posted at 13.11.10 21:27:11 by Charlie Reply

  • @Charlie (Comment 15) : He’s just a little rusty, hasn’t played/practiced with that team for a while. He’ll get there, not that I think Adi is any closer to being match starting fit… We’re really stuffed in the 13 department.

  • Comment 16, posted at 13.11.10 21:30:22 by molly Reply
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  • @ Molly, rusty or not I still think that 11,14 or 15. I rather have a not so match fit Jacobs in the centre, then watch that kind of centre play, was poor…

  • Comment 17, posted at 13.11.10 21:38:58 by Charlie Reply

  • The only reason I suggested Frans and Adi as the midfield combo is because they have experience together, from the 2009 Super 14 with the Sharks. JdV needs a wake-up call, so I think a bench stint would be good for him, and even more so for Habana.

    @wpw (Comment 12) : I didn’t say he had a good game – I just think that this performance shouldn’t count against him.

    @molly (Comment 14) : I wouldn’t regard it as dropping Gio – just merely giving Lwazi a chance, while allowing Zane some game time. Keep Gio fresh and hungry for the England clash.

    Daniel-Smith-Alberts loose trio, with Kankowski on the bench? Am I underestimating Scotland?

  • Comment 18, posted at 13.11.10 21:42:29 by MerckZ Reply

  • @ Merckz, they might have played in the 12 and 13 jumper for the Sharks, but that it where it end, never played as a combo, only as individuals πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 19, posted at 13.11.10 21:46:27 by Charlie Reply

  • those french are mad to pay francois steyn all that money if he is playing like this…

  • Comment 20, posted at 13.11.10 21:51:26 by Megatron Reply

  • @Charlie (Comment 19) : I don’t know about that – I think they were quite good together. Frans was very selfish with the ball, but I use the past tense for a reason. I think it’s the best fit, available combination we have on tour.

    In an ideal world, we’d have Brad Barrit and Waylon Murray there at 12 & 13. Alas, Jake and the Mustachioed One didn’t see fit to give the former a cap in time, or select the latter for this tour. Why Waylon wasn’t added to the squad when Kirchner was called up discombobulates me…

  • Comment 21, posted at 13.11.10 21:58:54 by MerckZ Reply

  • MerckZ
    I just think Jean and Adi have played together as a partnership for many years.
    Did you know they were partners for the WP and SA U19 sides??
    I think they proved in 2008 that they are a good combo.

  • Comment 22, posted at 13.11.10 22:09:56 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 22) : As a first choice combo, sure, I agree with you. But JdV was poor today, and considering the AB’s demolition of Scotland, I think we can afford to put him on the bench. I’m not debating that JdV/Adi is a better combo, there’s no doubt about it, it is. But benching JdV, as a wake-up call or a break, however you want to spin it, is the best bet against Chris Patterson and the Australians he met while backpacking…

  • Comment 23, posted at 13.11.10 22:16:12 by MerckZ Reply

  • @ Merckz, Both JDV and Jacobs, are good off-loaders in or before the tackle situation and putting players into space and even off-loading players running in good supportive lines, so they can easily alternate to 12 or 13 and even be 1st receiver @ 10 if needed to, they are a proven working combo @ test level, as in afrikaans, vinkel en koljander, die een is nes die ander πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 24, posted at 13.11.10 22:24:00 by Charlie Reply

  • MerckZ
    I suppose giving Jean a break is not such a bad idea but my problem is with Frans.
    I would even have Lambie at 12 ahead of him.

  • Comment 25, posted at 13.11.10 22:33:21 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 25) : That’s an option too, but my fear would be the lack of bulk in the midfield and the backline in general. With Lambie at 12 and Jacobs at 13 we have two relatively small guys – even though Lambie tackles like a demon – and I’d feel more comfortable with a bigger bloke there. That said, with Frans at 15 and Aplon at 14 they could alternate.

    @Charlie (Comment 24) : Haha, not denying that mate. Just thinking JdV should sit this one out.

  • Comment 26, posted at 13.11.10 22:47:21 by MerckZ Reply

  • Jacobs small @ 95 kg ?

  • Comment 27, posted at 13.11.10 22:50:40 by Charlie Reply

  • Alberts is way better,Spies can become the bench warmer.
    Habana-Just drop him and see what Mvovo can do.
    Morne-I don’t like his play,just when he goes for the posts

  • Comment 28, posted at 13.11.10 23:03:16 by Honey Badger Reply

    Honey Badger
  • Well Gary Gold has certainly stepped up to the plate in the coaching – and he is the only one! From 9 up no one knows what to do and where to go – nothng wrong with any of the players there! They are all world class – can’t tell me that two teams in the S14 finals producing some of the most exciting rugby seen was a fluke…Plumtree got his coaching right with the Sharks…Mitchell has managed to get miracles with the Lions…Sorry but Dick Muir and PDV stupid off the cuff coaching an playing is making out boys seem comepltely out of their depth and run around like headless chickens… I HATE the All Blacks…but they play clinical rugby and everything is set up off structured play.
    Really don’t think we should be taking it out on the players – this is coaching thru and thru! And don’t me give the crap about “at this level they should bla bla…” Some how you have to get 15 guys on the same page…mind reading is a myth and even if it weren’t – it takes a split second for someone get the ball and pass it on – so how you gonna know whose mind to read so quickly! There are no Edward Cullens on the pitch…so the Dick and PDV need to step up and enable our guys to be the best, as we know they can be.
    I think Walsh is a seriously bad ref, but it is only going to get worse upto and including the world cup..Paddy is doing hs damndest to make sure NZ win this we must just suck up the bad calls and play rugby.

  • Comment 29, posted at 14.11.10 09:42:29 by Just a Fan Reply

    Just a Fan
  • Just a Fan, I couldn’t agree more. The forwards have been dragging this Bok team around the field for the past two matches at least while the backline stumbles and fumbles. I don’t see the point in having two wings who do absolutely nothing by way of contribution. All right, so Basson caught a few balls but on the whole he was more conspicuous by his absence. And as for Habana, well, he is so off form and out of touch he needs a long rest.
    South Africa is blessed with enormous talent of players as seen in the recent Currie Cup but, with the exception of two New Zealanders, we are seriously lacking good, modern-thinking coaches in tune with the players. Who is there to coach the coaches?
    It’s a worrying situation to be in months ahead of defending the World Cup.

  • Comment 30, posted at 14.11.10 10:26:38 by Donald Reply

  • howsit guys im new ,excited becuase i got my avatar working !Hope to post here often! Re;Wales vs Springboks ,agree with all who think jdv and habs need to be rested .Not convinced with aplon either

  • Comment 31, posted at 14.11.10 11:17:28 by baw Reply

  • I can’t wait for the stats to come out, I thought spies had a really bad game. His defense was nowhere as per usual. Juan smith on the other hand was simply sublime. we should start the next match with daniel at 6 smith at 7 and alberts at 8.

  • Comment 32, posted at 14.11.10 11:58:44 by RuckingFun Reply

  • @Just a Fan (Comment 29) : Twi-hard! πŸ™‚

  • Comment 33, posted at 14.11.10 12:03:35 by robdylan Reply
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  • @baw (Comment 31) : welcome… may I just say I LOVE your choice of avatar πŸ™‚

  • Comment 34, posted at 14.11.10 12:04:28 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 33) : πŸ˜€ unashamedly…Also Sons of Anarchy freak!

  • Comment 35, posted at 14.11.10 12:24:10 by Just a Fan Reply

    Just a Fan
  • @robdylan (Comment 34) : ofcourse the guys my hero!

  • Comment 36, posted at 14.11.10 12:28:10 by baw Reply

  • the backline i would love 2 see this weekend
    9. hougaard
    12. jdv
    13. f steyn
    14. basson
    15. aplon

  • Comment 37, posted at 14.11.10 12:46:16 by RuckingFun Reply

  • @RuckingFun (Comment 37) : A bit torn, becuse I still like ruan – but pretty much perfect choices….

  • Comment 38, posted at 14.11.10 12:50:47 by Just a Fan Reply

    Just a Fan
  • @RuckingFun (Comment 37) : @Just a Fan (Comment 38) : You guys wont like this ,but if i had to choose …
    13.JDV/adi jacobs
    15.Ruan Pieanaar

  • Comment 39, posted at 14.11.10 13:06:32 by baw Reply

  • Jeez. I wish we had a few Edward Cullens!! πŸ™„

  • Comment 40, posted at 14.11.10 13:41:17 by wpw Reply
  • @baw (Comment 39) : Wouldnt put Adi in the side…and happy to have ruan anywhere, but i think aplon does a better job at full back

  • Comment 41, posted at 14.11.10 14:35:35 by Just a Fan Reply

    Just a Fan
  • @Just a Fan (Comment 41) : yeah i dont know ,for me aplons positional play is poor ,his kicking is not ideal and i worry when he has to tackle ! yesterday he was great but im not convinced-most fullbacks would have stopped those last two trys against the irish

  • Comment 42, posted at 14.11.10 14:49:33 by baw Reply

  • My backline with no Basson:

    De Villiers

  • Comment 43, posted at 14.11.10 14:51:01 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • @wpw (Comment 40) :

    I didnt know you were a Twilight fan dude?

  • Comment 44, posted at 14.11.10 14:51:40 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • @baw (Comment 42) : yep fair point….When Jaque Fourie evetually returns , i would put Frans at 15…Pienaa at 9, and then Hougaard on the bench

  • Comment 45, posted at 14.11.10 14:56:09 by Just a Fan Reply

    Just a Fan
  • Basson gave Wales their 2nd try. Habana threw away a certain try by going for glory and ignoring the un-marked Aplon on his outside. I thought Ruan had a brilliant game, despite a few mistakes; Hougaard was good off the bench though. All the forward were top-class, and I’m very chuffed with Alberts. Chiliboy shouldn’t be there…

    JdV was anonymous, but I thought Steyn was absolutely brilliant in defence; he had to tackle for JdV,Basson,Habana and Aplon put together!

    Both of North’s tries were very dodgy – I don’t want to advertise, but I covered them in my blog on sport24. And the Welsh have the audacity to say Walsh cost them the game?

  • Comment 46, posted at 14.11.10 14:57:00 by Frisbee Reply

  • @Frisbee (Comment 46) :

    Ruan had a brilliant game? Are you sure you werent watching Irish game highlites?

    And Jean de Villiers was huge on defence and had a good few ball carries!

  • Comment 47, posted at 14.11.10 14:59:51 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • @Just a Fan (Comment 45) : think thats probably more than likely to happen.
    I hope to see this backline soon -it needs to run out a few times together before the wc
    12.De Villiers
    13.J Fourie

  • Comment 48, posted at 14.11.10 15:03:57 by baw Reply

  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 47) : JDV was shocking on D

  • Comment 49, posted at 14.11.10 15:04:54 by baw Reply

  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 47) : Ya, I’m the only one that thinks so! Maybe I should try and watch some highlights, but I really thought he was ok. 😳

    JdV was average in defence I thought, and nowhere like his normal self in attack.

  • Comment 50, posted at 14.11.10 15:04:55 by Frisbee Reply

  • @baw (Comment 49) :

    Shocking? Seriously? I have now watched the game twice and he was solid?

  • Comment 51, posted at 14.11.10 15:06:52 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • @Frisbee (Comment 50) : sorry – have to agree with the others. Ruan was utter shyte yesterday.

  • Comment 52, posted at 14.11.10 15:07:11 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 51) : He was poor ,may have something to do with his confidence?
    But he was so so poor in D .I was shocked ,he is one of the best centers in world rugby -and he is also starting to play like a bulls center -he needs JF back!

  • Comment 53, posted at 14.11.10 15:13:40 by baw Reply

  • cheers all of to touch rugby in the best weather πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 54, posted at 14.11.10 15:21:19 by baw Reply

  • @wpw (Comment 12) : that’s was scummies do. πŸ˜‰

    I felt ref was not watching the rucks as he should, but as far as the refs go you have to work with what you are given.

    Hougaard seemed quicker and snapier but I he did not change the game.
    I’d rather put Hougaard on for Habana (howcome that one was not substituted earlier πŸ™„

  • Comment 55, posted at 14.11.10 15:23:44 by rekinek Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 52) : Fair enough πŸ˜› I’m quite one-eyed when it comes to Ruan. I know he got a few balls knocked out of his hands, but I saw him doing hard work at the rucks, always close to the ball.

  • Comment 56, posted at 14.11.10 15:23:51 by Frisbee Reply

  • BTW – perhaps we should give some credit to Welsh. They managed to hold on to the possession πŸ˜›

  • Comment 57, posted at 14.11.10 15:25:22 by rekinek Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 43) : That’s probably our best bet – but I’d still like to see JdV and his haircut on the wood this weekend.

  • Comment 58, posted at 14.11.10 17:54:03 by MerckZ Reply

  • Morning all.
    Very glad the Boks pulled it through in the end.Well done boys!
    Great character coming back from a deficit, no matter who the opposition.

  • Comment 59, posted at 15.11.10 07:49:53 by SharksRTB Reply

  • BUT…………….
    The guy was utterly crap. On defence and ball in hand. The guy looks really scared on the pitch!

  • Comment 60, posted at 15.11.10 07:51:03 by SharksRTB Reply


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