Running rugby has made a welcome return!

Written by Chris Smith (ChrisS)

Posted in :Original Content, Reader Submissions, Springboks, The Rugby Championship on 29 Sep 2012 at 20:18
Tagged with : , , , , ,

I write this with tears of joy coursing down my cheeks. Ok, not really but I did break out a little jig after the game and I’m sure that, amongst the multitude of suffering Bok fans, there was a tear or two of happiness shed after witnessing a return to the long forgotten days when men were men and the ball was passed…not kicked 40 rows into the grandstand!

Heyneke Meyer may not realise it yet but the age of Goosen has arrived! Morne Steyn is going to have to add a running game to his arsenal to unseat Goosen or to even make the bench. Elton Jantjies had a brief cameo but handled himself superbly and displayed the same level of calm and poise as the man he replaced. Not since 1998 have I seen a Bok backline run the ball with such confidence and flair. Everything that I had asked for was on show tonight:

1. The use of dummy runners
2. The use of offloads in the tackle (from backs and forwards)
3. A gameplan where the players are free to play what’s in front of them and don’t have to kick everything!
4. The use of an inside ball every now and then to a player running an angle
5. A flyhalf who isn’t afraid to run the ball and who creates space for his outside backs

On an individual basis, Habana may have officially got the Man of the Match award but I feel that Ruan Pienaar was by far the best back on the field for the Boks tonight! He took control of the game and showed what he is capable of when allowed to play his natural game. His service was crisp and quick and he cleared the ball from the rucks very quickly which kept the Boks on the front foot. His goal kicking was a bit wayward but for a first outing in this department for the season it wasn’t abysmal and will improve.

Jean De Villiers is another who had his best game of the season and showed two things. Firstly, he is an INSIDE CENTRE! And secondly, he operates far more efficiently and is more of a threat when playing alongside a flyhalf who passes him the ball and creates space for him before passing!

The forwards must get special mention as a collective for a dominant showing at the rucks and I felt that the Aussies were allowed to get away with murder occasionally by the ref as they left their feet more than once at ruck time but were seldom penalised!!

All in all, it was a very good showing by the Boks and I can’t wait for next week. The bar has been set at a far higher height and let’s hope that the Boks keep raising it!


  • I must say i am impressed with the performance. It was a good game, rusty yes but good none the less. Congrats to the team, kicking was wayward from both kickers but thumbs up to the bokke. Hopefully it means no steyn next week.

  • Comment 1, posted at 29.09.12 21:36:32 by Dunx Reply
  • Yes was really good running game from the Bokke. Goosen must just look for the offload when he makes a break, he’s a bit selfish trying to score himself when he makes a break (think he’s a bit of a glory boy). Hope I am wrong about him as I think he could be a really great flyhalf.

  • Comment 2, posted at 29.09.12 21:44:14 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • What a game,super effort by the Boks,thinking back to each of the players,you kind of realise that everyone put their hands up, major concern will be where to play Frans because de Villiers is an inside centre

  • Comment 3, posted at 29.09.12 21:49:45 by Ludz Reply

  • @Ludz (Comment 3) : Think he must keep backline as is and Frans can wear 21 for the weekend is he is fit. That said maybe he can replace Francois at 11 as he did not havea real impact on the wing.

  • Comment 4, posted at 29.09.12 22:00:44 by JD Reply
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  • Very good game by the Bokke! One observation, more a request really. Release Lambie! Let him play for the Sharks in the last few weeks of CC. He ls rusty!

  • Comment 5, posted at 29.09.12 22:11:51 by Die Kriek Reply

  • If the all blacks lose tonight Boks could still win Championship if they beat them next week. Ja ja ja I know it’s highly unlikely but it would be nice!!!!!!!

  • Comment 6, posted at 29.09.12 22:29:01 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • After todays game… Goosen and Elton must surely be the future of bok-rugby. Taute reminded me a lot of a young Jacque Fourie and Habana was his old self again! Was so happy when Elton got his first cap? Good game and a move in the right direction…

  • Comment 7, posted at 29.09.12 22:42:05 by blesbeer Reply

  • @Die Kriek (Comment 5) : He made one helluva good clearance kick at the beginning of his time on the field.

  • Comment 8, posted at 29.09.12 23:10:14 by The Sharks Sharkie Reply
    The Sharks Sharkie
  • Lambie got the ball twice in his first 5 minutes and both times he cleared the danger by a 40+ meter kick. Rusty? No. I get the feeling he is not appreciated by HM.

    Kirchner scoring a try was the worst thing that could have happened today.

  • Comment 9, posted at 29.09.12 23:19:19 by TRF_Ezequiel Reply

  • @blesbeer (Comment 7) :

    Agree…Taute was strong…he made a great impact in the midfield…the Bokke defense was much much better with him there…he ran very strong…running over players and stepping…even great under the high ball…

    I thought was to quick to bring him in…seems Meyer does have a eye for what works…

    Flouw too…he was good…never been a Flouw fan but he has been good…and was real good today…

  • Comment 10, posted at 30.09.12 00:13:57 by Hmmm Reply

  • I actually thought Jean devilliers was the weak link in the backline. I was most impressed with Duane Vermeulen, reminds me of how deysel used to be when he played to the ball.

  • Comment 11, posted at 30.09.12 03:18:02 by cody007 Reply

  • Lovely rugby! Krusty hurt Lambie will start vs NZ

  • Comment 12, posted at 30.09.12 07:49:15 by KILLER SHARK Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
  • @KILLER SHARK (Comment 12) : or Steyn at FB and Lambi on the bench

  • Comment 13, posted at 30.09.12 08:19:22 by Franshark Reply
  • Great stuff. So good to see space being exploited again. Don’t want to sound negative but…I don’t understand JDV’s condescending claim that there was no game plan changes, and that they just executed better, and that people don’t understand.
    How is running off an advancing rolling maul, instead of hoofing the ball in the air not a change in game plan? Neither is it better execution!
    Its simply a more attack minded flyhalf summing up the situation better and/or Meyer realising the need for a slight change in approach – although I doubt he was responsible!
    Both of which seemed to have gone over JDV’s head. I seriously wonder how astute he actually is at times…there are better ways to respond to criticism than sticking your head in the sand and sounding like an idiot!

  • Comment 14, posted at 30.09.12 08:35:57 by neilster Reply

  • Meyer agreed, with more running expected from the Boks under Goosen than the kicking-orientated Steyn.

    “We’ve changed a few things. Obviously you want the guys to score tries and go out there and express themselves so hopefully things will click,” Meyer said.

    I loathe incongruence.

  • Comment 15, posted at 30.09.12 09:11:02 by neilster Reply

  • Shame poor Goosen literally had tears of joy coursing down his face during the national anthem.

  • Comment 16, posted at 30.09.12 12:55:58 by The Sharks Sharkie Reply
    The Sharks Sharkie
  • @JD (Comment 2) :

    Eish boet. Looking very hard for something bad in what was a pretty impressive debut performance!? His nerves definitely got the better of him at the start, but his goal-kicking record speaks for itself, and when that catches up with his general play we’re going to have one helluva flyhalf.

    Maybe it’s time for some to just admit they were wrong and realize that Goosen is an amazingly talented player.

    @cody007 (Comment 11) :

    No man. JdV carried the ball very well, and is, I’d say, easily the best defensive 12 playing the game at the moment. He does tuck the ball under his arm a bit which annoys me a tad but definitely his best game for a while. Shows what playing outside an attacking 10 can do for you.

    @The Sharks Sharkie (Comment 16) :

    Gotta give it to the guy. The passion is there.

    Anyone was up most mornings at 5am practicing goal-kicking throughout 5 years at high-school would probably be crying as well if his hard work was rewarded.

    We’ve got a winner in Goosen.

  • Comment 17, posted at 30.09.12 13:09:09 by hendrikp Reply

  • @hendrikp (Comment 17) : Now Lambie just needs to be a winner at 15 and I’ll be happy 😎 Goosen, as much as I didn’t like it in the beginning, is better than Lambie at 10 and he has indeed begun to grow on me 🙂

  • Comment 18, posted at 30.09.12 13:37:28 by The Sharks Sharkie Reply
    The Sharks Sharkie
  • Goosen might become a great player but he is still over hyped. He had a decent game yesterday but was not spectacular.

    Maybe its because he is just so much better than Morne.

  • Comment 19, posted at 30.09.12 14:11:50 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 19) : I agree with you. He looked good yesterday by dint of the sheer fact that he’s not Morne Steyn.

    Did make a few nice breaks too, but kicking was average and didn’t do anything particularly special as a distributor either.

    Well worth sticking with, but let’s not hail him as the messiah based on that performance, please, or we’ll be setting ourselves up for disappointment.

  • Comment 20, posted at 30.09.12 14:28:20 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @The Sharks Sharkie (Comment 18) : you have no evidence at all to say that he’s a better 10 than Lambie.

  • Comment 21, posted at 30.09.12 14:29:05 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @The Sharks Sharkie (Comment 18) : tempted to code a “dislike” button in especially for that comment :mrgreen:

  • Comment 22, posted at 30.09.12 14:34:35 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • As good as we were yesterday, im not going to let this win go to my head and make me all euphoric and giddy about SA rugby being at its best. because it aint ! Yes we won well and were much more creative, we scored good tries and were positive. But our scrum wasnt brilliant. and we need to keep both feet on the ground, after all the Aussies were so severly depleted by injury that if we hadnt scored it would of been a crime. the real litmus test is coming.

  • Comment 23, posted at 30.09.12 14:55:51 by The Duke Reply

    The Duke
  • We were much better yesterday, but lets not forget that this is a severely depleted Oz side. How we did not manage to put a 50+ score over them is a bit concerning.

    Goosen was okay, kicking at goal was rubbish but I’ll rather watch him miss the kicks at goal than Morné.

    And I can’t see Lambie getting a shot at fh this year, probably not a bad thing either considering with the lack of game time he’s been exposed to. Let him nail the fh spot in next year’s SR season and take it from there.

    Happy that we finally scored tries and ran the ball.

  • Comment 24, posted at 30.09.12 19:01:17 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • A few years ago we hardly had any options at flyhalf, now we have Goosen, Jantjies and Lambie and all three are VERY good players.

    I won’t mention that other option (player) 😀

  • Comment 25, posted at 30.09.12 19:53:30 by wpw Reply
  • @JD (Comment 4) : Umm….Frans is still way better than De Villiers – if that’s the case rather put De Villiers on the bench 😕

  • Comment 26, posted at 30.09.12 21:00:30 by Just a Fan Reply

    Just a Fan
  • Am i the only person who doesn’t like Jantjies…

  • Comment 27, posted at 30.09.12 21:10:14 by Just a Fan Reply

    Just a Fan
  • Who should we appoint as our captain then? I am sick and tired of having captains that need to be accommodated into the starting 15.

    We need a player who is the best in his position, like Bismarck (who is injured now so not an option). What about Pienaar of Habana? Those two are the only ones who seem to have a certain spot in the starting XV (now that Hougaard is on the wing).

  • Comment 28, posted at 30.09.12 21:11:09 by TRF_Ezequiel Reply

  • @Hendrikp it’s not just about last night, seen him doing it before while playing for cheetahs. Yes Goosen is a good player but not perfect like some people think. I still rate Lambie as a beter flyhalf, not perfect just more BMT than Goosen and Elton.

  • Comment 29, posted at 30.09.12 22:02:18 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • Hope we use the same “unchanged” gameplan against all blacks. Going to be hard game as all blacks looked good.

  • Comment 30, posted at 30.09.12 22:15:30 by JD Reply
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  • Goosen is a very talented player, I don’t think any of us here ever denied that fact, we may have been a little less enthusiastic about him than others and I must say even though he did have a really good first game (but compared to what and against who) I don’t think one international game is enough to label him the definite best in the country as some already have.

    I’m glad he did well and if he can continue like this and work on some aspects in his game he will certainly go a long way in cementing that flyhalf spot that a few talented players are fighting for.

    I enjoyed seeing his passion during the anthem and I didn’t mind that he missed his kicks. Actually the fact that we won comprehensively and still missed way to many kicks, just further proved that you should never pick any player for his kicking before considering the rest of his game.

    Anyone can have an off day with the boot (hopefully SA’s kickers will get their form back, as every point will count against NZ), but at least if you picked a player for more than just his boot, he will have that to fall back on, as Goosen did.

  • Comment 31, posted at 01.10.12 08:27:41 by Letgo Reply
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