Bok player ratings v England: First test

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Springboks on 11 Jun 2012 at 09:00
Tagged with : , , , ,

The Springboks played well, albeit not consistently so, to pip England in the first test at Kings Park this weekend. Let’s rate the individuals on their performances.

1) Beast Mtawarira. Held his own in the scrums and was very busy at the breakdown. Not one of his most dominant performances, but a pretty good showing nonetheless. 6/10
2) Bismarck du Plessis. Worked hard all over the park and lineouts were pretty good, considering how new the locks both are. Discipline was kept high and made some strong runs. 7/10
3) Jannie du Plessis. A pretty good showing from Jannie, with one nice burst up field the highlight (even if he took the wrong option once he was through!). Scrummed pretty well and made some good tackles. 6/10
4) Eben Etzebeth. Not a bad debut, with lineouts, in particular, working well. Looked for a bit more aggression and fire with ball in hand, but that will come as he settles at this level. 6/10
5) Juandre Kruger. Solid at the set piece, with a few nice touches with ball in hand. A promising debut, with plenty more to come. 6/10
6) Marcell Coetzee. Made plenty of tackles and also carried the ball strongly throughout the match. Played with a confidence that belies his youth and showed that he has a great future ahead of him at Test level. 7/10
7) Willem Alberts. The best forward on the park, bar none. Alberts bashed English players aside with abandon, both with ball in hand and when making smashing tackles that knocked his opponents back and halted their momentum. 8/10
8) Pierre Spies. Did plenty of work with ball in hand an proved a safe lineout option – however, was too often found wanting in terms of actually crossing the advantage line and giving his team genuine go-forward. Work-rate was high, though, often putting in the unseen donkey work. 6/10

9) Francois Hougaard. Stood out on defence, where he was one of the Boks’ best, but was inaccurate and slow when clearing the ball from the base. Decision-making was at times also a little off, with some of his play verging on the selfish. 6/10
10) Morne Steyn. Directed the traffic pretty well from flyhalf and stood firm on defence. Only his goal-kicking let him down which very nearly proved disastrous for his team. 6/10
11) Bryan Habana. South African’s best back, Habana was back to his devastating best with pace and guile complemented by a work rate second-to-none. Turned many a so-so kick into a very good one with his superb chasing work. 8/10
12) Frans Steyn. Looked a little pedestrian and one-dimensional on attack, but made up for that with some superb pressure defence which kept the English midfield honest all day. He’s a big piece of meat, is Fransie and he knows how to halt momentum with big tackles when the moment arrives. 7/10
13) Jean de Villiers. A nice performance from the captain, who kept the troops inspired and focused throughout. Defence was very good, given the 120kg behemoth he had running at him all day and also scored a nice try. 8/10
14) JP Pietersen. JP did what JP does so well, popping up all over the show to put in a neat little touch – or a big tackle – when required. Had little ball go his way, but put in a lovely little draw and pass to send captain de Villiers in for his try. 7/10
15) Zane Kirchner. A nervy performance from the fullback who, while keen to try things on attack, failed to ignite very much and was also guilty of some ill-directed kicking from the back. Replaced at half-time, whether due to injury or form we don’t know. 4/10

16) Adriaan Strauss. In hist first test appearance in some time, the Free State captain was very solid indeed. 6/10
17) Coenie Oosthuizen. A very good showing from the debutant, who scrummed impressively and used his bulk to great effect with ball in hand as the English started to tire. 7/10
18) Flip van der Merwe. Played for the last 22 minutes in place of Etzebeth, but did little to catch the eye in that time. 5/10
19) Keegan Daniel. Appeared for just a few short minutes at the end, not long enough to rate.
20) Ruan Pienaar. Sparked new life into the Bok backs when he got on, with service that was an improvement on Hougaard’s. 7/10
21) Pat Lambie. Added some neat touches and threw himself into the game with real gusto. 7/10
22) Wynand Olivier. Played for fewer than 10 minutes as a blood replacement for Habana. Not long enough to rate.


  • Very good ratings cant argue with anyones rating 😉

  • Comment 1, posted at 11.06.12 09:09:23 by sharks_lover Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • The only reason Frans Steyn looked pedestrian was because Morne Steyn doesn’t have a clue about how to get a backline away. Steyn got ball mostly on the backfoot with English defenders all over him.

  • Comment 2, posted at 11.06.12 09:13:52 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • I think you’re being very generous in your rating for Hougaard. Yes he defended well but he was very poor at his main job as scrumhalf.

  • Comment 3, posted at 11.06.12 09:16:22 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • Nice ratings Rob. I think Hougaard will settle with time and he and Pienaar will provide the perfect foil for each other, keeping opposition players guessing.

    Lambie really made a big impact when he came on. A definite X-Factor player.

  • Comment 4, posted at 11.06.12 09:16:25 by StevieS Reply
  • @Pokkel (Comment 3) : Agreed! And I’m a big Hougaard fan. It looks like he wasn’t playing his natural game, rather playing to orders.

  • Comment 5, posted at 11.06.12 09:17:15 by StevieS Reply
  • Much better ratings than 365 …

    I’d give Spies a 4/10 and promote Frans to an 8.

    Dont believe the stats on Spies thats being bandied about …its lies all lies.

    How much longer is he gonna be selected after average games ..??

    Welcome back Habana what a pleasure to see you in form again.

    Changes for next week would be Lambie at 15 and Tiger at 9.

    Oh and it irritated the life out of me how many times the useless commentators kept calling Marcell.. Spies 🙄 wonder his stats are so inflated …it was in actual fact MC …

  • Comment 6, posted at 11.06.12 09:31:37 by csb Reply

  • Good ratings Rob.

    @csb (Comment 6) : Your last paragraph… :mrgreen:

  • Comment 7, posted at 11.06.12 09:34:44 by Puma Reply

  • Only changes I would make this week is starting with Lambie. He had a huge difference when coming on. Got stuck in everywhere, even playing a bit of sh.. hehe. Ruan definitely made a difference too coming on, but must say Hougards defence is superb. Think it was him and Brad that bashed heads. Hougaard went off for blood but never came back on. Read he too has a swollen eye. Zane I think has a bit of a ankle injury. Read that on SuperSport.

    Think though Meyer will start with the same starting XV as last week unless there are injuries.

  • Comment 8, posted at 11.06.12 09:39:32 by Puma Reply

  • @Puma (Comment 8) : had = made

  • Comment 9, posted at 11.06.12 09:40:07 by Puma Reply

  • Jannie also won us a scrum time penalty. It almost feels like everybody that rates the game has him capped as a maximum 6/10 player despite his performance. He was very involved in defense and rucking, he scrummed well and supported well with the ball carry.

    Compare him to Marcell. I agree that the latter has immense potential and that he had a good debut but was he really better than Jannie? He conceded at least one penalty and took a couple of wrong options that cost us possession.

    Same goes for Zane versus Pat at fullback. Pat might have been keen to join the action but his option taking was no better than an equally keen Zane. Bear in mind that I am not debating who I believe to be the better option, that would imply looking at a range of performances. I am merely saying that I don’t think Pat did enough to warrant being rated as 75% better than Zane on the day.

    I think that writers who deem themselves credible enough to rate players, should first remove their biases before rating the players.

    Sorry Rob, not meant as personal attack. I just saw ratings on multiple sites today, including Planet Rugby, and it seems that there are certain favourites in the media.

  • Comment 10, posted at 11.06.12 09:46:54 by King Shark Reply
    King Shark
  • @csb (Comment 6) : Hahaha 2 x Like 😆

  • Comment 11, posted at 11.06.12 09:59:26 by StevieS Reply
  • @Pokkel (Comment 2) : frans was higging the ball all day long, preferring to crashball instead of putting his outside backs away, even when he di try to pass it was throwaway attempts that either put the likely recipient under pressure or they knocked the ball on.

    no fluidity from frans, no guile all about one-dimensional crashballing!

    the people on this site watch time whitehead week-in week-out and how he angles his runs and puts those outside of him into space and then wax lyrical about frans’ crashballing 🙄

  • Comment 12, posted at 11.06.12 10:07:13 by Megatron Reply

  • @King Shark (Comment 10) : I agree, Zane was not all that bad as suggested.

  • Comment 13, posted at 11.06.12 10:07:46 by Uli Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    Uli Boelie
  • @King Shark (Comment 10) :

    “He conceded at least one penalty and took a couple of wrong options that cost us possession.”

    erm as far as the 1st half is concerned the entire team cost us possesion ..Eng had our # at the breakdown in the 1st half.

    Lambie made an immediated impact when he came on and showed differnt dimensions to Krusty …besides the replacemnets are rated in context to amont of time spent on the field.

    To be fair Kirchner wasn’t bad at all and suprised me.

  • Comment 14, posted at 11.06.12 10:09:34 by csb Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 12) :

    Do you think the Boks stand a chance against the free running All Blacks?? 😕

  • Comment 15, posted at 11.06.12 10:12:15 by wpw Reply
  • @Megatron (Comment 12) :

    Thats because HM wanted FS to crashball …he was playing to the prescribed gameplan and whilst I agree his awarness to the offload needs alot to be desired but everytime he crashed it took 2 sometimes 3 England players to bring him down which in turn opened up space for us at the ruck.

    If he can learn to pick his offloads and not try to much on his own he’ll be a dangerous player.

    Still haven’t forgiven him for not offloading to Jaque Fourie in the 07 WC final .. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 16, posted at 11.06.12 10:14:52 by csb Reply

  • Fair enough Rob; the team was good without being spectacular. Considering the new set-up and short prep time, this was more than sufficient.

    @King Shark (Comment 10) :
    Marcell was given 1 more point than Jannie; is that really controversial, even if you feel that they should get the same score?

    Kichner may have been as keen as Pat, but you are wrong if you think their execution was the same – have another look at the game if you doubt that.

    There will always be difference of opinion, but let’s not make a mountain out of a molehill.

  • Comment 17, posted at 11.06.12 10:15:16 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @wpw (Comment 15) :

    Ireland made them look good ..they where shite.

    Boks will be aware of the dangerous AB backs …we deal fine with them in SR and cant see why they cant be contained at International level …but then again I could be wrong.

  • Comment 18, posted at 11.06.12 10:19:00 by csb Reply

  • @wpw (Comment 15) : yes we do, come Rugby Championship time a lot of the combinations should be sorted and a playing style cemented…a lot that was wrong on saturday was not fundamentally the gameplan but decision-making by individuals and a lack in the skills sets of some eg habana can’t off-load at pace.

  • Comment 19, posted at 11.06.12 10:20:55 by Megatron Reply

  • It must also be said that FS was immense on defence ..his ball and all tackles and strength at the contact area turned a few balls over.

  • Comment 20, posted at 11.06.12 10:25:10 by csb Reply

  • @csb (Comment 16) : with chris robshaw having a party on our ball at ruck time SURELY it wasn’t wise for francois to be crashing it up and risking conceding a turnvoer for holding on. this is what i hate about coaches who impose rigid gameplans on players…frans should be grown up enough to play every situation as he sees it and not ALWAYS think “heyneke said i should try make metres” even when we’ve got a 2-man overlap.

  • Comment 21, posted at 11.06.12 10:25:39 by Megatron Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 21) :

    I agree and I have concern with the one off runners bashing it up cause the moment we start losing that battle we will be found wanting ie: losing the ball or being pushed back ..

    How long is a player like Alberts gonna last if he is our go to man most of the time ..same with FS.

    FS hopefully will learn to play the situation better and work on his offloading skills.

  • Comment 22, posted at 11.06.12 10:31:40 by csb Reply

  • These ratings seem much better than Rapports.

  • Comment 23, posted at 11.06.12 10:33:26 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @csb (Comment 18) : the all blacks weren’t “shite”, cool it with the uninformed rhetoric

  • Comment 24, posted at 11.06.12 10:37:11 by Megatron Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 21) : Fair point, let’s hope it was a combination of rustiness and nerves and not a case of players following the game-plan to a tee when other opportunities present themselves.

  • Comment 25, posted at 11.06.12 10:40:51 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • I’d be tempted to dock Spies and Hougaard a point each. Spies reminds me of Dean Hall; impressive physique and speed coupled with the unfailing ability to go to ground when coming into contact with anything, including a stiff breeze.

    Hougaard did some good things on defence and attack, but that was (for me) overshadowed by his poor execution of the basics of scrumhalf play. The team just looked a lot more composed with Pienaar there, although it is also true that the forwards only started coming to the party in the 2nd half.

    On the positive side, as a long-time Coenie naysayer, I was pleasantly surprised by his play, particularly with regard to scrummaging.

  • Comment 26, posted at 11.06.12 10:44:45 by Culling Song Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    Culling Song
  • @Megatron (Comment 24) : I think he meant Ireland was shite 😀

  • Comment 27, posted at 11.06.12 10:45:18 by Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette Reply

    Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette
  • @Megatron (Comment 24) : All Blacks were pretty impressive. Can’t wait to see them once the team has gelled. I reckon the margins in the next couple of games are only going to get bigger.

  • Comment 28, posted at 11.06.12 10:46:00 by King Shark Reply
    King Shark
  • @Culling Song (Comment 26) : Ditto re Coenie. He was the one bloke I did not like in the setup but he proved himself.

  • Comment 29, posted at 11.06.12 10:47:09 by King Shark Reply
    King Shark
  • @Culling Song (Comment 26) : All in all though, give the new coach and short preparation time, I’m pretty stoked with the result.

  • Comment 30, posted at 11.06.12 10:47:21 by Culling Song Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    Culling Song
  • One thing I’m really happy with is Meyer’s clear dissatisfaction with England’s last try in the post-match interview. That’s how you eventually instil killer instinct in your team. Certain previous coaches would have simply taken the win. I get the feeling that there’s very little room for complacency with HM.

  • Comment 31, posted at 11.06.12 10:48:18 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @King Shark (Comment 29) : Personally, the only player I’d omit from the 22 is Timotei Olivier and replace him with another forward. Or possibly Mvovo.

  • Comment 32, posted at 11.06.12 10:48:38 by Culling Song Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    Culling Song
  • @vanmartin (Comment 31) : That dissatisfaction, and the fact that he has not started preaching a four year plan right off the bat gives me real hope for the future. It’s going to be interesting to watch how the respective careers of Heyneke Meyer and Steve Hansen unfolds, methinks.

  • Comment 33, posted at 11.06.12 10:50:17 by Culling Song Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    Culling Song
  • @Sharksmad – The Blog’s Dudette (Comment 27) : oh! thanks shawty 😳

  • Comment 34, posted at 11.06.12 10:52:04 by Megatron Reply

  • Only 2 or 3 differences in my opinion:

    8. Spies 5/10 (he is there as a ball carrier, and was poor in that regard)
    15. Kirchner 5/10 (make no mistake LAMBIE must be a starter)

    Again my opinion on Morne, SPies and Hougaard were highlighted in their performances.
    Morne has no claim to the term “play maker”.
    Spies’s aggression is disgraceful for his physique – Keegan definately to start.
    Huge fan of Hougaard as a player – committed on D, aggressive,great runner, breaks lines, etc – but not a natural scrumhalf. – wouldnt mind Pienaar to start.

    Overall a committed performance but being dominated at the breakdown by England worries me. The Wallabies and All Blacks are light years ahead of the English on that front.
    1 word = BRUSSOW

  • Comment 35, posted at 11.06.12 10:52:07 by pienaar111 Reply

  • @Sharksmad – The Blog’s Dudette (Comment 27) : Agreed 🙂

  • Comment 36, posted at 11.06.12 10:52:22 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @StevieS (Comment 5) : agree. My only problem is that his natural game doesnt match the scrumhalf position (not against top opposition anyway).
    I would loved him to start on wing, but Habana surprised me…

  • Comment 37, posted at 11.06.12 10:57:10 by pienaar111 Reply

  • @pienaar111 (Comment 35) : I doubt Brussouw would have much of an effect on SA’s breakdown woes in the first half. Nick Mallet made the point that it requires a team effort to boss the ruck – not just an individual – and I agree with him. Once we improved on that in the second-half, England lost most of their momentum. I suspect there’ll be an even greater improvement in this department come the second test.

  • Comment 38, posted at 11.06.12 10:58:47 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Culling Song (Comment 26) : :mrgreen: Agree regarding Spies hehehehehe

  • Comment 39, posted at 11.06.12 11:00:46 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @vanmartin (Comment 38) :
    I agree. The new rules have changed things up.

    Earlier this season I wrote an article saying that the Sharks poor ball retention would improve if we included Deysel as a fetcher, given our generally poor ruck technique. I was wrong.

    The application of the rules now means that the breakdown is declared a ruck much quicker than before, and any hands in the ruck, including hands placed on the ball before a ruck was formed, will be penalised.

    There is not time to wait for a dedicated fetcher to arrive and then compete for the ball – the first man, whoever he may be, must compete.

    And then rucking has come back into the game – that’s now the only way for teams to retain or steal ball once the ruck is formed.

    I think you will see the re-emergence of Jake White’s 3 generic loose-forward selections – all big, quick and tough, with no room for a ferret unless he can also carry and tackle. And that why Marcell is Meyer’s perfect opensider until Schalk returns.

  • Comment 40, posted at 11.06.12 11:11:12 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @vanmartin (Comment 38) : yeah valid point you make. but as with any aspect of the game – team effort, but it helps to have some1 who shines in that department!!

  • Comment 41, posted at 11.06.12 11:11:34 by pienaar111 Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 24) :

    Ireland was shite .. zip it !

    They made them look good ..

  • Comment 42, posted at 11.06.12 11:12:43 by csb Reply

  • @Big Fish (Comment 40) : time will have to change my view on the fetcher. Look at the impact Pocock and McCaw still had on the weekend.

  • Comment 43, posted at 11.06.12 11:15:00 by pienaar111 Reply

  • @pienaar111 (Comment 41) :

    Didnt have much to say really other than the usual soundbites ..

    Its a win.. not comfortable ..if kicks went over it would be different and impressed with England.

  • Comment 44, posted at 11.06.12 11:17:26 by csb Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 34) : Always my pleasure Megs 🙂

  • Comment 45, posted at 11.06.12 11:17:57 by Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette Reply

    Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette
  • @pienaar111 (Comment 41) :

    Naas is the last person who’s opinion I’d care about 😆

  • Comment 46, posted at 11.06.12 11:19:37 by hendrikp Reply

  • @hendrikp (Comment 46) : having an awesome tactical rugby brain not good enough for you??

  • Comment 47, posted at 11.06.12 11:23:00 by pienaar111 Reply

  • @pienaar111 (Comment 43) :
    McCaw does a lot more than fetch. In fact, I don’t think he pilfers the most ball at all. The AB’s have always been an excellent counter-rucking team – the Franks bros, for example, are superb in this area.

    Oz are a team that depends on a fetcher – but Pocock is a pretty good all-round player. Still, let’s see if he is more effective than he has been in SR.

  • Comment 48, posted at 11.06.12 11:23:53 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @hendrikp (Comment 46) :

    He is doing a helluva job at Waterkloof …

    It must be said the only 2 pundits on SS that actually make good points are Mallet and Willemse.

  • Comment 49, posted at 11.06.12 11:25:33 by csb Reply

  • The reason we struggled in the 1st half was due to the fact that our support players weren’t quick enough to the breakdown and we were being out numbered.

  • Comment 50, posted at 11.06.12 11:27:55 by csb Reply

  • @pienaar111 (Comment 47) :

    Half the stuff he says is complete BS. To be fair, I haven’t heard any of his opinions lately though, but for me he’s very near David Campese for saying things that are just stupid.

  • Comment 51, posted at 11.06.12 11:28:18 by hendrikp Reply

  • @Big Fish (Comment 48) :

    Very good point re-counter-rucking.

    Chiefs have been good at it this season.

  • Comment 52, posted at 11.06.12 11:28:52 by csb Reply

  • oh yeah I agree. McCaw is the all-round package as a loosie – equally effective at 6, 7 and 8. I just believe in having a gr8 fetcher in the loose trio.

  • Comment 53, posted at 11.06.12 11:31:14 by pienaar111 Reply

  • @hendrikp (Comment 46) : I prefer Mallet’s opinion.

  • Comment 54, posted at 11.06.12 11:31:34 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @csb (Comment 52) :

    Highlanders easily the best at it in the competition.

  • Comment 55, posted at 11.06.12 11:32:08 by hendrikp Reply

  • @hendrikp (Comment 51) : I havnt heard much of Campese. I know he moans a lot…but always enjoyed Naas. Plus his accent always cheers me up haha

  • Comment 56, posted at 11.06.12 11:33:00 by pienaar111 Reply

  • @Ice (Comment 54) :

    I actually really enjoyed Stuart Barnes thoughts during the Rugby World Cup. Brilliant rugby brain… easily my most liked.

  • Comment 57, posted at 11.06.12 11:33:29 by hendrikp Reply

  • @pienaar111 (Comment 41) : I missed that unfortunately. Only caught Mallet’s comments.

    @Big Fish (Comment 40) : @pienaar111 (Comment 43) : I still think fetchers have a role to play but it should be a horses for courses based selection. HM mentioned that Brussouw will feature for the Boks again and I suspect it’s the approach he’ll employ.

    I really enjoy the way that Dan Retief explains how the breakdown should be approached. He explains it far better than I can ever hope to. The one thing he reiterates time and again is that a fetcher is only as effective as his supporting players allow him to be. I suspect that with a brand new lock-pairing (that often act as pillars for the fetcher) and a potentially rusty Alberts and Jannie du Plessis, HM made the right call.

  • Comment 58, posted at 11.06.12 11:34:19 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @pienaar111 (Comment 56) :

    Here is just one of his rants:

    Former Wallaby winger David Campese believes most current players wouldn’t have cut it in his era as they lack skill and don’t work as a team.

    Campese represented Australia from 1982 and 1996, notching up 64 tries in 101 appearances as he established himself as a Wallaby great.

    The 49-year-old has remained close to the game since his retirement and has never been shy to speak his mind.

    His latest criticisim has been directed at the skill level of the modern player, which he believes is far inferior to that of his generation.

    “In reality, I think more than half of today’s players wouldn’t have cut it in my era,” Campese is quoted as saying by the Western Mail.

    “Sure, the players today are faster and stronger, but they’re no way near as skilful.

    “Think about the great teams I played with. We played like a team. And we played because we enjoyed it.

    “These days, players don’t know how to play as part of a team. All they think about is themselves.

    “So to all you critics who think that the modern players have it over players from my era, let me tell you this: Players from my generation would have run rings around them.”

    The New South Wales native bemoaned the lack of invention and attacking rugby being played, insisting that players are not taking enough responsibility for what they need to get done.

    When we played we played attacking rugby and we believed in the way we played,” he said.

    “The way in which the modern game is played can be seen in the lack of opportunities that Western Force’s wonderful Fijian winger, Napolioni Nalaga, got [against the Cheetahs].

    “I coached him in Fiji last year. What a great player.

    “But watching him now, he is just another winger who never gets the ball to show what he can do. Why?

    “In fact, can someone explain to me why we even have wingers these days?

    “You never see them in the back-line.

    “Really, I can’t think of too many of today’s players who would oust the guys from some of the great teams over the years.

    “All you need to do now is run straight, don’t pass, and tackle well.”

    “We didn’t need to watch a video to know what to do because players made the decisions back then,” he added on the Australian website The Roar.

    “Coaches gave us the plan and we carried it out. If we didn’t, we would get dropped.

    “We wanted to win for each other, so that’s why we trained and left no stone unturned.

    “Back then, half-time breaks were often spent on the field itself, without the coach around.

    “These days, the water runners are all over the park, running out directions for the team to follow.

    “I know of a Super Rugby coach who used to sit on top of the grandstand and display coloured lights for players to know what to do.

    “Professionalism is not about money. It’s about attitude. We would never have won the Rugby World Cup if we hadn’t have played as a team.”

  • Comment 59, posted at 11.06.12 11:35:30 by hendrikp Reply

  • @hendrikp (Comment 55) : @hendrikp (Comment 57) :

    Them too yea.

    I enjoy Barnsey and his sidekick whose name alludes me now.

  • Comment 60, posted at 11.06.12 11:36:15 by csb Reply

  • @pienaar111 (Comment 47) : naas is a shit analyst imo, has no new insight whatsoever…tells us exactly what we saw in the match. plus the fact that english is his 2nd language just fudges everything.

  • Comment 61, posted at 11.06.12 11:44:21 by Megatron Reply

  • @vanmartin (Comment 58) :
    Meyer said that he is sure that Brussouw will adapt to the new rules – which means that he was dropped cos he hasn’t yet.

    I think Brussouw is a good player, but he has lagged in the game a fair bit this year cos he’s been trying very hard to get to the ball early.

    He used to be a good support runner and tackler (like Botes) – I think he will improve if he stops trying to beat the new rules by only playing to the ball, and utilises other aspects of his game too.

  • Comment 62, posted at 11.06.12 11:46:08 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Culling Song (Comment 26) :

    In other words, Maak die Sharks almal Bokke!!

    Daniel for Spies
    Pienaar for Hougaard
    Lambie for Kirchner

    😕 😯

  • Comment 63, posted at 11.06.12 11:46:48 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 63) :

    Now that you mention it…’s not a bad idea!! :mrgreen:

    Oh and Pienaar isn’t a Shark!

  • Comment 64, posted at 11.06.12 11:50:18 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • And congrats Heyneke Meyer with your 100% win ratio!! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 65, posted at 11.06.12 11:52:51 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • @wpw (Comment 63) : nea, thy can throw that WP oukie, Joe(ex natalian) @ 15, Lambi for MS, and the rest as suggested 😉

  • Comment 66, posted at 11.06.12 11:54:40 by Franshark Reply
  • @Pokkel (Comment 64) : Close enough to a Shark 😉

  • Comment 67, posted at 11.06.12 11:55:41 by Franshark Reply
  • @Big Fish (Comment 62) : I haven’t seen much of his play in this year’s SR and didn’t feel comfortable commenting on his performances (or lack there of) but yes, that must have certainly played a part in his omission as well.

  • Comment 68, posted at 11.06.12 11:55:46 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @wpw (Comment 63) :
    Says the guy who was crying all over the social media universe about how unfair it was that the Stormers didn’t make up more of the Bok team… 🙄

  • Comment 69, posted at 11.06.12 11:59:13 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 69) :


    I’m surprised you misunderstand my comment considering the number of degrees you’ve achieved! 😈

  • Comment 70, posted at 11.06.12 12:12:02 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 70) :
    Oh ho! Look at your with your slick sidestep! Coenie, is that you? 😆 😈

  • Comment 71, posted at 11.06.12 12:18:57 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 71) :

    Nah, I’m too darn handsome to be compared to Coenie! 😉

  • Comment 72, posted at 11.06.12 12:26:20 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 63) : Geez dude, I didn’t mention Kirchner in my post, and now you assume I’d chuck him for Lambie! (which would be a good idea by the way).

    I said I didn’t think those guys were up to standard. I did not say drop them. To drop anyone after one game under a new coach, when he’s only had a week to prepare, would be unfair. Allow the coach to tell the guys what he was not happy with, give them a chance to improve, and *then* wield the axe if they continue to underperform (which, in my opinion Spies has been doing for a long time, but that’s another story).

    You’ve been real sensitive since I questioned your love-child’s credentials as a Bok 13, you know that? :mrgreen:

  • Comment 73, posted at 11.06.12 12:28:23 by Culling Song Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    Culling Song
  • @hendrikp (Comment 59) : I dunno, he makes some valid points. You didn’t notice the improvement in our backline attack when he was involved in coaching it, and the chasm in finishing ability and taking the right option, when he was inexplicably kicked out by the Sharks management the following season?
    I think his argument falls over though where he fails to mention just how advanced modern day defenses have become…

  • Comment 74, posted at 11.06.12 12:50:14 by neilster Reply

  • The win on Sat cant be underestimated cos that England team has been playing good rugby and has had much longer to gel and prepare. I was pleased to see guys that have come in for some criticism during Super rugby have good games. The likes of Alberts, DeVilliers,Habana and Jannie. I must make comment about the ref as I dont think he was poor but a few things he let go that did influence the game. The main thing was the English tacklers at ruck time- every ruck Hougaard and Pienaar had to try jump over an english player that was just lying in front of the ball hence we hardly got quick ball and the few times we did we scored or almost scored. Just something to look for next game to see if any difference…

  • Comment 75, posted at 11.06.12 12:51:57 by SheldonK Reply

  • we all have our reservations about certain players, but if dropping Spies is the only change made, I WILL BE HAPPY!!!

  • Comment 76, posted at 11.06.12 12:52:09 by pienaar111 Reply

  • @Big Fish (Comment 48) : For me the value of a “fetcher” is not just what they bring on oppo ball, but also on own ball. I followed Pocock closely in the Wales match, and he very often was the first supporting player at offensive rucks. With that low body position of his over that ball, he gives his team just that split second to prevent the oppo to steal the ball. Botes did something very similar for the Sharks in the games he played at 6 – and you could see the marked difference in turnovers conceded by the Sharks.

  • Comment 77, posted at 11.06.12 12:57:56 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Culling Song (Comment 73) : :mrgreen:

    PS. Don’t TOUCH my love-child…I will be a TAD more sensitive than Wes.. 😈

  • Comment 78, posted at 11.06.12 12:58:58 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 77) : I would be quite keen to see how a trio of Brussouw, Alberts and Coetzee would operate

  • Comment 79, posted at 11.06.12 13:01:00 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @pienaar111 (Comment 76) : I’ve noticed that even some of my Bulls friends (is that an oxymoron? 😉 ) are calling for him to be axed. If anyone can bring the best out of him though, it’s probably Meyer. Question is, how many more chances should he be afforded if we won’t lose anything by fielding either Daniel, Kankowski or even Coetzee at 8.

  • Comment 80, posted at 11.06.12 13:07:35 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 79) : Now that would certainly be interesting!

  • Comment 81, posted at 11.06.12 13:08:58 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @vanmartin (Comment 81) : @vanmartin (Comment 81) : Indeed, but with Alberts remaining at 7…and Coetzee in his preferred position. And in any event, do we really lack for ball carriers in that pack to the extent that our no 6 must be one also. I refute that.

  • Comment 82, posted at 11.06.12 13:21:21 by neilster Reply

  • @Ice (Comment 78) : I don’t criticise SharkBok love children… :mrgreen:

  • Comment 83, posted at 11.06.12 13:50:56 by Culling Song Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    Culling Song
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 77) :
    How often is the opensider the first player at the breakdown anymore? Hence the Sharks conceding so many penalties early in the season – all players need to know how to secure the ball if they arrive first: having only a fetcher who is good in this department won’t help you much.

    In any event, that’s not a fetching technique at all – that’s a cleaning technique.

  • Comment 84, posted at 11.06.12 14:08:13 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • Was it any coincidence then that the reversal of our breakdown problem occurred when Botes was starting?
    Fetchers make the best cleaners as well, since they are the best at anticipating where the next breakdown is going to be. So its cleaning technique but also speed of thought and/or running lines.

  • Comment 85, posted at 11.06.12 14:36:33 by neilster Reply

  • @Big Fish (Comment 84) : I don’t like calling the openside fetcher in any case – that is just one of his jobs. I am also not talking about cleaning – I am talking about parking his body over the tackled player and binding to the oppo – immediately forming a legal ruck – which means hands in no longer allowed.

    I know it is impossible for one guy to be at all breakdowns, but I still think it is good to have an instinctive to the ball player in the team. Often it seems the ball running types can’t decide immediately whether to hang back and receive the ball or join the breakdown

  • Comment 86, posted at 11.06.12 14:46:47 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 86) : amen my friend. exactly the point I have been trying to make!!!
    @neilster (Comment 85) : Thank goodness some1 else noticed it. and it shouldnt be about having 3 ball carriers, or 3 fetchers etc. they should compliment each other.
    McCaw – better fetcher
    Vito – the worker
    Reid – better ball carrier

    BUT that is just their strength. they offer more as well

    Alberts was good on Sat but MARK MY WORDS – he will not come near the class of a Reid, McCaw, Pocock, etc. he is 1 dimentional

  • Comment 87, posted at 11.06.12 15:40:08 by pienaar111 Reply

  • Aplon and Dean Greyling called up to the Bok squad due to injury concerns to Zane and Coenie!

    I would love to see this backline this weekend.

    9 Pienaar
    10 Lambie
    11 Habs
    12 F Steyn
    13 JdV
    14 JPP
    15 Aplon.

  • Comment 88, posted at 11.06.12 15:48:42 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 86) :
    If you look at the stats, the opensider is almost never the one who attends the most rucks (and usually the ruck attendance is measured on the basis of the first 3 to attend).

    So the likelihood that your fetcher is first to arrive and bridge over the tackled player is pretty small.

    I’m not saying that you don’t need a flank with good breakdown skills, but you can’t afford to carry one whose primary focus is that aspect.

  • Comment 89, posted at 11.06.12 15:55:20 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 89) : Verusco credits Pocock (in first 3) for 25 defensive and 25 attacking rucks – that is 50 rucks in total – plus he made 18 out of 19 tackles

  • Comment 90, posted at 11.06.12 16:45:15 by Bokhoring Reply
  • Jislaaik Wes, but you’ve perfected the art of whinging lately. You used to be fun, light hearted with a good sense of humor 😀 , lately every post of yours has been a good old whinge. 😛 :mrgreen: 😈

  • Comment 91, posted at 11.06.12 16:55:10 by Dancing Bear Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Dancing Bear
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 90) :
    Come on, that’s one game. What’s the SR stats like?

    Not trying to give you work (cos I’m not at my computer now) but I will be surprised if the highest ruck attendance in SR is dominated by opensiders.

  • Comment 92, posted at 11.06.12 18:36:35 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 89) : based on your statistics, is there a position that tends to attend the most rucks, or is it more dependent on the playing style of the team or the individuals? The opensider should almost always be the first to the breakdown after a set scrum (assuming the movement goes to the open side and not the blind side), but as the phases stack up, it becomes more dependent on which player(s) was/were not involved in the previous ruck (breakdown).

  • Comment 93, posted at 11.06.12 19:03:47 by Dancing Bear Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Dancing Bear
  • @Big Fish (Comment 92) : Pocock’s last 6 games:
    vs Lions – 46 attacking rucks, 10 defensive
    vs Rebels – 25 A, 5 D
    vs Sharks – 30 A, 12 D
    vs Cheetahs – 16 A, 16 D
    vs Stormers – 31 A, 13 D
    vs Waratahs – 19 A, 14 D

    Obviously all players need to have decent ruck skills – something I think the Sharks in general lack. But having a Pocock type player around certainly helps to protect your own ball too

  • Comment 94, posted at 12.06.12 08:11:44 by Bokhoring Reply

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