Scarra joins Bok tour

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Springboks on 10 Nov 2014 at 08:00
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Western Province hooker Scarra Ntubeni has been summoned to join the Springbok tour group in London, following the decision to send Lions counterpart Robbie Coetzee back to South Africa.

Coetzee, according to a SARU press release, has been having trouble with a pinched nerve in his neck and another flare up of this injury has ruled him out of further participation in the tour. Ntubeni, who is already in London having played in yesterday’s festival game against Saracens, will join the squad today as third hooker behind Bismarck du Plessis and Adriaan Strauss.

Meanwhile, the Boks and their coach will be licking their wounds somewhat, after a poor performance in Dublin that saw them succumb to Six Nations champions Ireland to the tune of 29-15. While Heyneke Meyer ponders exactly who to bring in to replace his struggling starters at scrumhalf and fullback, at least at flyhalf he has a good option: reports indicate he may finally give Pat Lambie another run in the number 10 jersey.

Given the horror show produced by Francois Hougaard in Dublin, I wonder if Meyer is now starting to rue the decision to let the Rory Kockott ship sail all the way into the French test side.


  • This was a pretty shocking showing by the boks, and showed Hougaard is really not good when the pressure is on. It also showed that when we play against a smart side that figures out how to nullify our strengths, we don’t really have a plan B in place game plan wise.

  • Comment 1, posted at 10.11.14 08:12:40 by PTAShark Reply
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  • Somebody needs to teach our guys how to run straight.

    What I don’t understand is how I scrum could decimate them, yet our maul was shunted around, and as for the refs interpretations at the maul, don’t even get me started.

    That was Meyer’s choice XV, so nobody use the excuse of experimentation, we were taught a rugby lesson.

    Rob, I hope you’re right and Lambie does get a start. He looked more composed than Pollard.

  • Comment 2, posted at 10.11.14 08:18:36 by StevieS Reply
  • Scarra was pretty impressive for WP against Saracens I must say. However like both DuPlessis and Strauss he is known for giving penalties away. Yes its great our hookers compete at the breakdown but pushing it so far that they often give away penalties is actually not worth the odd turnover.

  • Comment 3, posted at 10.11.14 08:31:22 by SheldonK Reply

  • I really hope Lambie gets a run, but he will look just as bad as Pollard if he has to play next to that excuse of a scrumhalf.

  • Comment 4, posted at 10.11.14 09:00:05 by KingRiaan Reply

  • @KingRiaan (Comment 4) : I actually feel sorry for any flyhalf that needs to operate on such poor ball.

  • Comment 5, posted at 10.11.14 09:07:58 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 5) : Why the hell did Hougaard keep looking around and waving his arms up and down? He is suppose to just pass the damn ball, that and make sure you actually take the ball in your hands.

  • Comment 6, posted at 10.11.14 09:10:46 by KingRiaan Reply

  • I know the team were terribly kak on the day, but am I the only one that felt that frog was looking for a reason to send of a Bok from the first minute? I mean, he started his kak with Marcell already early in the game. Even after the TV ref kept telling him it is only a penalty, he still send Adriaan off.

  • Comment 7, posted at 10.11.14 09:12:50 by KingRiaan Reply

  • If the loss vs. Ireland translated into victory over England and Wales, then I’d take this loss any day of the week.

  • Comment 8, posted at 10.11.14 09:37:41 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @KingRiaan (Comment 7) : Personally thought Marcell was a bit lucky.

  • Comment 9, posted at 10.11.14 09:57:29 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 9) : Too me it looked like his elbow only moved up after his hand made contact with the chest of the player, but then again, maybe I was just looking through green tinted glasses

  • Comment 10, posted at 10.11.14 10:00:21 by KingRiaan Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 9) : Rob if players are going to be sin binned for doing that then there would be at least 5 yellow cards every game. So refs need to make a decision and either send them all off but to pick and choose is just biased im afraid. Having said that i felt Roman Poite was fine in the 2nd half barring that yellow card for Strauss…yes he made slight contact in the air but again if they going to apply that law strictly then they should do that for every decison in which case the Irish guy should have got yellow for playing Willie in the air in the 1st minute…there wasnt much in that but if rules are going to be applied that way

  • Comment 11, posted at 10.11.14 10:28:51 by SheldonK Reply

  • I seem to recall that the Boks were warned by Poite after the Vermuelen high tackle so the yellow was Strauss’ own fault.

  • Comment 12, posted at 10.11.14 12:32:56 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 11) : According to Jonathan Kaplan, you are absolutely right, and I got it wrong. From an article by Kaplan:

    “Ireland also used a line out tactic where they would back off once the ball was collected and then come in round the sideā€¦ appallingly poor refereeing understanding of what is happening. Either penalize Ireland for leaving the line out or penalize SA for early transfer of the ball before contact is made, the other option is not good for the game.

    The yellow card for Strauss was equally poor. The fact that he made contact with the player in the air was no different from Kearney on Le Roux in the first 2 minutes of the game. The inconsistency of sanction had local supporters up in arms. I personally feel that oversanitizing this aspect is a knee jerk reaction to the injuries which may take place and the referee needs to be able to use common sense. A penalty it may have been, but never a yellow card.”

  • Comment 13, posted at 10.11.14 17:02:57 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • I have no issue with the yellow on Strauss.

    Taking a player out in the air is a yellow-card offence and, especially after being warned, will get you a yellow more times than not.

    Lets also not kid ourselves – the refereeing was not why we lost that game.

  • Comment 14, posted at 10.11.14 17:59:35 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 14) : I don’t think anyone is saying that it was, but the reffing was piss poor and definitely not up to professional standard.

  • Comment 15, posted at 10.11.14 20:13:03 by David12246 Reply

  • Rob, do you have any information on where the Boks will be training this week?

  • Comment 16, posted at 10.11.14 20:13:34 by David12246 Reply

  • @David12246 (Comment 15) :

    I didnt feel it was better or worse than we’ve been witnessing all year personally.

    What i do feel is that discussion about the ref is a side-show and masks the obvious shortcomings that we had in that game.

  • Comment 17, posted at 10.11.14 20:20:15 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 17) : Your second point is entirely fair. The important thing is that the players and coaches don’t dwell on it, which they won’t.

  • Comment 18, posted at 10.11.14 20:30:30 by David12246 Reply

  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 17) : A lot has been said about Hougie’s role in this loss and though I’m by no means his biggest fan I think the buck starts and stops with the leaders in the Bok team. Jannie, Bissie, Victor, Scalla and Jean were anonymous for large parts of this game. No leading from the front. Complacency or fatigue could be contributing factors but then one has to back some of the greener members in the touring squad.

  • Comment 19, posted at 10.11.14 20:57:40 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 14) : I totally disgaree im afraid, the amount of contact did not warrant a yellow card. Yes a penalty at most but like I said if they are going to penalise and yellow card that then id say 85% of contested high balls would be yellow cards as Strauss’s contact was minimal. And to say we were on a warning is a joke in itself…after 1 mis-timed high tackle we get a warning? Come on you cant be serious…this is not American football. We didnt lose because of the ref but he certainly didnt aide our cause. Like it or not he is very much a home town ref…so if we were in SA we would love him.

  • Comment 20, posted at 11.11.14 08:36:46 by SheldonK Reply

  • @vanmartin (Comment 19) : I thought Hougaard didnt do well but he also didnt get the best ball from our forwards who were sloppy and often man handled at the breakdown. Vermuelen was a marked man but Etzebeth and others were nowhere to be seen so he was left to do all the carrying with Coetzee helping out a little. Beast and Jannie were poor apart from the scrums and Matfield is very ineffective in carrying the ball. We also had no penetration from our midfield. The backline were also caught out by LeRoux’s sideways running and decision making

  • Comment 21, posted at 11.11.14 08:47:15 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 20) : Stauss’ contact was minimal but he was not contesting a high ball and he made contact with a player that was in the air contesting a high ball.

  • Comment 22, posted at 11.11.14 11:54:39 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 21) : I wonder what is up with Etzebeth, he has been a shadow of his former self the whole year already, he really needs to pull finger.

  • Comment 23, posted at 11.11.14 11:57:24 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 23) : Well i wodner if Etzebeth is really fully fit…or match fit for that fact? @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 22) : Strauss clearly made contact…but so did Kearney on LeRoux in the opening 5min…so whats the difference? other than Strauss’s one being at the end of the game with the Boks chasing the game? If Strauss did the exact same thing in the opening 5min like Kearney i guarantee it would have been a penalty max.

  • Comment 24, posted at 11.11.14 12:37:10 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 24) : I didnt see the Kearney incident but I believe that you are correct in what the ref should have done. I also got the impression that Poite was happier and more eager to nail us but strictly speaking Strauss was at fault and the ref cant be nailed for that call. He can be nailed for not blowing similar offences though. I dont agree with Kaplans feeling that “common sense” should be used in dealing with cardable offences. Common sense based on what?, whether the infringed player was injured or not. Blow the rules / laws consistantly and as they are written or scrap them.

  • Comment 25, posted at 11.11.14 14:12:07 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 25) : Unfortunately the way the rules are worded, if refs apply the letter of the law then we will hear the whistle constantly. So common sense has to be used… for example at ruck and scrum time refs have to use common sense in applying the laws. I just think that in that moment the game was intense and the crowd saw that incident and got heated and ref was influenced. Much the same way the ref was influenced at Ellis Park

  • Comment 26, posted at 11.11.14 14:49:43 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 26) : Unfortunately the way the rules are worded, if refs apply the letter of the law then we will hear the whistle constantly – so true but then the law is an ass. Rename then them, call them guidelines and let each ref blow as he pleases and uses his own common sense as and when he wants in a way he wants.

  • Comment 27, posted at 11.11.14 15:54:25 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 27) : to be honest its the IRB thats causing the issues. Tbhe laws should be simplified instead of adding to them.

  • Comment 28, posted at 11.11.14 16:22:23 by SheldonK Reply


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