Breakthrough season for who?

Written by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (JJR)

Posted in :Original Content, Reader Submissions, Springboks on 17 Jan 2013 at 15:20
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

With 2013 now getting into the swing of things, it would be worth to have a look at which players could and should come into the Bok selection frame this year.

Anton Bresler ;

He was absolutely superb last season. His immense tackle stats and ruck time action was most impressive for a young lock. His recieving of the kickoffs was also really good, his timing of the jump was great. His hands are also really solid, it seems the ball sticks which is what you want from your number 5.

There is no doubt a fit Bekker is the first choice number 5 at the Boks; but with him often breaking down I feel Bresler could be a great rotational option for Bekker. As we know Etzebeth is more of a ball carrying lock than a lock that is going to hit every single breakdown, and I feel a Etzebeth/Bresler combo could work well in the future. Some will say what about Kruger? Etzebeth and Kruger together…Kruger is not that effective at clearing out at breakdown time and Bresler makes more tackles, is more effective at the breakdown and is just as capable in the air as Kruger.

Bresler to replace Kruger in Bok squad.

Paul Willemse ;

Here is a guy that could actually come on for Etzebeth if required without me saying, “we’re losing a lot”. Willemse at 2 metres tall and 120kg (Lost 10kg of unwanted weight during this pre-season) is more than capable of taking of an Etzebeth role if required for the Boks. Willemse is also known for his big hits; is a machine at clearing out at the breakdown and can carry the ball up just as well as a top class blindside flanker can.

Willemse to replace Flip in the Bok squad.

Marcel Van der Merwe;

It is no secret that the Boks struggled most of last year to find a prop that can play both sides of the scrum and more specifically scrum as well as Jannie. Marcel will most certainly be a big player for the a Bulls scrum that was very poor last year. Van der Merwe is around 22 years old now; he’s a very strong ball carrier that often gets over the line for his team. He’s around 125kg and scrums really well at tighthead; one only needs to look at how low he gets his hips and flat he gets his back when it’s scrum time to realise he has some good technique. He also showcased some of his offloading skills in last years Currie Cup.

Van Der Merwe for Bok 17 jersey.

Cobus Reinach;

Don’t need to say much here, we all know what he is capable of. His combination with Lambie will also be something that Meyer should take into consideration.

I will be surprised if he does not become at least the Bok’s 3rd scrummie this year.

Paul Jordaan;

The best 13 in South Africa in terms of attack. He makes fast guys look slow and steps with ease. An area of his game which some were worried about a year ago is no longer a worry; but one of his strong points…his defence was great in Super Rugby. He often uses a wrap up tackle which kills the momentum for the attacking team. And even with an upright tackle to wrap up the defender he very often forced his opposite number backwards; Ii was very happy to see him use his strength in that way. Many of us know what he can do in the gym, so it is great to see him use it to the fullest on the rugby field.

The Sharks combo of Lambie, Steyn and Jordaan will be something that will work in Jordaan’s favour. I believe Steyn and Jordaan will be by a long shot the best centre combo in South Africa this year.

If Burger or Bissie becomes Bok captain this year it will be even better.

Lastly Raymond Rhule;

He has not really made a full breakthrough into the Bok selection frame, yet. Habana’s move to France will  work for Rhule. When I think of the stocks for Bok wing, Rhule is definitely for me the 3rd choice wing or should be, as Hougaard is a lot better at 9 than at wing.

I believe these players will be the main guys putting pressure on Meyer to select them this year. I truly hope all of them get their recognition and i believe all of them will add greatly to the Boks’ gameplan and could also become star players for the Boks come the next world cup.


  • Cracking read, JJ…. very nicely put-together and thought-out post. Well done

  • Comment 1, posted at 17.01.13 15:20:47 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • You forgot to mention that this will also be a breakthrough season for the Kings 😈

  • Comment 2, posted at 17.01.13 15:24:17 by Culling Song Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    Culling Song
  • @robdylan (Comment 1) : Dankie Rob…just looking forward to seeing these guys in action this year!

  • Comment 3, posted at 17.01.13 15:31:24 by JJR Reply
  • I think Louis Ludik is going to have a MA-chine year! And we have to make sure he gets into the bok fold- lots of talent…

    Rate we going to have to make big noise about Captain Keegs too..he’s wasted playing Currie Cup when he should be playing for the Boks 🙂

  • Comment 4, posted at 17.01.13 15:48:51 by jessi Reply

  • I’m a big fan of Bresler but ultimately his main job is to win line-outs. Towards the end of 2012 S15 the Sharks lineout,directed by Kanko, was great but once Kanko and Bissie were out of the picture it became a shambles.

    Where do you think the problem lies? Is it the throwers, jumpers or wrong calls?

    Bresler needs to take control of the lineouts before he can be seriously considered as a Bok.

  • Comment 5, posted at 17.01.13 15:51:07 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • One question I have to ask.what is it going to take to win super rugby this year? What don’t we have at the moment and what are we doing wrong that other teams have done right that could make us contenders this year?

  • Comment 6, posted at 17.01.13 16:18:18 by shaniboi Reply

  • @shaniboi (Comment 6) : it’s going to take the boys firing on all cylinders, all the time. No “soft moments”, no “bad games”…. that’s what costs us, every single year.

  • Comment 7, posted at 17.01.13 16:50:28 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • I think the Sharks just need to work on their mental strenght. We have the personel, the coaching staff and the talent to be as dominant and dangerous as the ‘Saders team of old. They just have to start believing in themselfs.

  • Comment 8, posted at 17.01.13 16:54:12 by KingRiaan Reply

  • Or they need to be told that they will get fired and replaced by ex-Kings players if they loose a single game. The balls-to-the-wall mentality seems to work best for our boys

  • Comment 9, posted at 17.01.13 16:55:22 by KingRiaan Reply

  • Excellent job JJR! I must admit that I haven’t seen enough of Paul Willemse to make a judgement. I guess I’ll have to watch him closely this season.

  • Comment 10, posted at 17.01.13 17:00:39 by war1 Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 7) : I don’t think that is physically possible though. We need to stay in touch and peak at the right time. The season is far too long to be firing on all cylinders all the time. To win this competition you need to be chugging along, picking up decent results throughout most of the season and then make sure you hit your straps come knock out time.

  • Comment 11, posted at 17.01.13 17:03:36 by war1 Reply
  • @war1 (Comment 10) : I’ve been very impressed by what I have seen of him – admittedly, that was at under 20 level where his clear size advantage probably made it very easy for him.

  • Comment 12, posted at 17.01.13 18:56:23 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @war1 (Comment 11) : maybe. But we tried that, didn’t we? And we couldn’t catch up enough to make up for the kak rugby we’d played in the first half of the season.

  • Comment 13, posted at 17.01.13 19:08:42 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @war1 (Comment 10) : Tks, just speaking my mind 😉

    Paul Willemse at the Bulls this year and even Victor Matfield has tipped Willemse for a Bok call up this year if things go well. He is definitely a guy to look out for. He’s strong at clearing out at the breakdown, a very good ball carrier and makes many big hits on defence aswell…just hope he can get enough chances to shine; but with Kruger leaving i reckon Willemse will get a good amount of time to show his worth off the bench.

  • Comment 14, posted at 17.01.13 20:29:40 by JJR Reply
  • @Culling Song (Comment 2) : I read the 1st part of that comment and thought you were going to end it with a different name. 😛 😉

  • Comment 15, posted at 17.01.13 21:33:28 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 15) : One impressive thing about your boy, he’s lured you out of your self-imposed exile from Sharksworld…

  • Comment 16, posted at 17.01.13 21:46:30 by Culling Song Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    Culling Song
  • I guys I’m new to this! That was a great article I agree 100% I think we blessed with talent in sa and its how hyneke uses it in my view lock and prop is where attention should be paid hopefully taute and ludik unseat zane from 15. I’d like to just add on the list pat cilliers at stomers ruan botha to become a great back up for bekker possibly even for boks paul willemsa brilliant and much more disiplaned then flip marcell vandermerwe. And coenie should back up our 1 and 3 boks only go overseas when needed this will be a cracker of a super 15 go SHARKS!!!!!!!

  • Comment 17, posted at 17.01.13 22:56:55 by balllllars Reply

  • Awesome article. My question though is the red head prop for the stormers what are thoughts in the rugby brains trust about him?

  • Comment 18, posted at 18.01.13 07:33:51 by Dunx Reply

  • “The Sharks combo of Lambie, Steyn and Jordaan will be something that will work in Jordaan’s favour. I believe Steyn and Jordaan will be by a long shot the best centre combo in South Africa this year.”

    I agree, but also disagree, Tim Whitehead had a huge influence on our backs since he joined the Sharks, he gives the backs space , something which no other 12 do so easily. Personally I don’t want to make the choice of who has to play each weekend. We have some really exciting prospects at centre.

  • Comment 19, posted at 18.01.13 08:26:22 by Uli Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    Uli Boelie
  • The red head is kitsoff! Young and solid but not in the mould hyneke is looking for !!! Beast coenie then guthro that’s how he will pick unfortunatly and I agree our stock at center is great. Bosman is also in there during the currie cup he was a real asset at 10 and 12 I feel though that when steyn is fit he will rotate jordaan and whitehead

  • Comment 20, posted at 18.01.13 08:41:46 by balllllars Reply

  • @balllllars (Comment 20) : Yea, I still fell Bosman should have played through to the Final, in fact I think its best to leave the Springbok players out of the semi and finals, so that they players who worked so hard for us to be there get rewarded, essentially they deserve to be there.

  • Comment 21, posted at 18.01.13 08:56:49 by Uli Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    Uli Boelie
  • Can’t fault anything you wrote there Mr. Nice article.

  • Comment 22, posted at 18.01.13 12:54:24 by King Shark Reply
    King Shark

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