Richard Ferguson

Sloppy second stringers lose in Washington

Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Original Content, Springboks, Super Rugby on 4 Jun 2018 at 08:05
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For those that stayed up to watch this game, you are the real heroes. There were few heroes on the field for the Boks on Saturday evening, crashing to a 20 – 22 defeat to a Wales team that would also feel disappointed.

There are sure to be many excuses, new team, new combinations, little experience, jet lag, travel distance, wet weather – at the end of the day, it was a fully fledged Test match that the Boks went into and lost. A losing margin of 2 points somewhat flatters the Boks to be honest, who could only really get into the match in the second half, playing against 14 men.

I’m sure the weather had much to do with the plan to let Ivan van Zyl show the world he can kick from the base, but it was a plan that didn’t work as the Boks could not gather any of those kicks and allowed the Welsh to simply make all the play. Not that they had a much better time of it, with sloppy errors all around. What disappointed most was the fact that the Boks could see that Plan A wasn’t working, yet still continued in the same vein.

Looking at the match 23, it’s difficult to see any of the players push for game time against England this week. The standout player for me was Andre Esterhuizen. He put in some massive hits while he looked hungry on the front foot, and even hit a few breaks. He didn’t get much ball though, so it’s really difficult to rate the backline. Jantjies was poor in every aspect, he didn’t stand up as the senior player and take charge of the backline.

The scrums were a mess but not due to the Springbok front row. Not sure if the referee can be blamed, or the pitch, but it was a constant resetting of scrum at times. When the scrum did work, the Boks were on the front foot, so that was positive. There was a definite shift in the right direction when the reserves started coming on, Akker van der Merwe his usual busy self and Marvin Orie coming on and stealing two Welsh lineouts in his first few minutes of Bok rugby was impressive. Robert du Preez had a night to forget, with two successive kicks being charged down, the second which cost his team the game. Replacement scrumhalf Papier made his debut on the wing, so little can be said of his contribution.

We now look forward to the real Bok team facing England in South Africa, Rassie Erasmus having little excuse if things don’t go well in this series. Is Rassie busy with an elaborate plan to fox the English into some sort of false confidence, or did he really get it this wrong? We shall find out on Saturday.


  • Sort of “sigh”…
    I started out a hero and then faded…I watched the first and all it did on the inspiration front was inspire me to go to bed!

  • Comment 1, posted at 04.06.18 08:35:16 by pastorshark Reply
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  • The first half was the worst 40 minutes of rugby I have seen in a long time. I did decide to stay for the second which ended up being a little bit better at least.

  • Comment 2, posted at 04.06.18 08:55:53 by Bokhoring Reply
  • I guess Rob now needs to rely on flyhalf injuries to get a further look in.

  • Comment 3, posted at 04.06.18 09:06:59 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 3) : No Doubt he damaged his reputation but in so short an amount of time on the field he was really on a hiding to nothing. Dan Du Preez’s terrible handling persists and I am fairly sure he wont see too many starts at bok level if he doesn’t fix it.

  • Comment 4, posted at 04.06.18 09:20:27 by Byron Wright Reply

  • Im hoping the foreign contingent can bring the local guys up a level. As lets be honest here what we have seen in Super rugby this year there will be moments of good but also a lot of errors and sloppy tackling. This was very evident in the game vs the Welsh. And i see it in the SA u20s as well, we seem to be producing players that can produce moments of magic but players who also make a lot of mistakes executing the basics.

  • Comment 5, posted at 04.06.18 09:28:45 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Byron Wright (Comment 4) : His handling in Super Rugby seemed to have improved quite a bit, but he had a terrible outing for the Boks. Could be a case of nerves.

  • Comment 6, posted at 04.06.18 09:46:16 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @SheldonK (Comment 5) : I agree and I think its because we love X factor backs but sometimes we undervalue a solid consistent player. I am thinking of the likes of Ryan Crotty, brad barrit etc How many local players fall into that category? A few forwards are also in that same bracket though the likes of Mostert have started to be valued as grafters which a side really needs.

  • Comment 7, posted at 04.06.18 09:49:40 by Byron Wright Reply

  • ‘Jantjies was poor in every aspect, he didn’t stand up as the senior player and take charge of the backline.’ – He’s never done that in any Bok game and after 24 caps I’m sure he’s incapable of doing so on international level. He’s 28 years old?

    The box kick game plan really didn’t help us at all either. We had some dangerous runners in there that almost never got the ball.

  • Comment 8, posted at 04.06.18 10:01:25 by Quintin Reply

  • @Byron Wright (Comment 7) : 100%, we seem to be producing guys wih X factor but no consistency. Are we the new French??

  • Comment 9, posted at 04.06.18 10:10:38 by SheldonK Reply

  • Going to pretend this never happened.

  • Comment 10, posted at 04.06.18 10:45:19 by McLovin Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 10) : Unfortunately the record books show another loss against Wales. I hope the suits really enjoy the 9 million they got for this abomination.

  • Comment 11, posted at 04.06.18 10:48:22 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @vanmartin (Comment 3) : It would be hard not to forget the 2 charge downs but by the same token, sending the guy onto the field with 8 minutes remaining was also not very fair on the guy.

    It seems as if nobody even noticed that beaut of a long pass from Du Preez to Notshe that would have put him away if he had not spilled the ball.

  • Comment 12, posted at 04.06.18 11:03:35 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 6) : The stats say 7 in 7 games where as terra has 3 in 7 games so still not where it should be but better than last year

  • Comment 13, posted at 04.06.18 11:43:02 by Byron Wright Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 9) : I think we are and the sharks are already the new french so we suffer or delight at both levels

  • Comment 14, posted at 04.06.18 11:44:23 by Byron Wright Reply

  • I stayed up for that ‘game’.

    I have to agree with Rich, sad to see we don’t adapt when Plan A isn’t working and we don’t vary our tactics.

    Ivan van Zyl building a wall of forwards before kicking reminded me of Hougie and brought back the nightmares.

  • Comment 15, posted at 04.06.18 12:24:09 by StevieS Reply
  • @Byron Wright (Comment 4) : @Bokhoring (Comment 6) : sorry to say but I can see Dan near the Book team again. Seems as if he can’t even catch a cold! Don’t know what’s wrong but I really hope they fix it soon as it cost the Sharks (and now Bokke) momentum!

  • Comment 16, posted at 04.06.18 12:32:41 by JD Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 12) : I agree but unfortunately the media are only focusing on the charge-downs. We’ll have to see how public perception influences Rassie’s decision-making going forward. Let’s say that none of that matters, he’s still facing some stiff competition in that position. Jantjies was the previous incumbent and boasts the experience, Pollard is no doubt the preferred candidate and Bosch is always bubbling under. du Preez has his work cut out for him I reckon. Not a bad thing to have to fight for a position though…

  • Comment 17, posted at 04.06.18 12:41:00 by vanmartin Reply
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  • Thanks for calling me a hero for staying up and watching the whole game! But to be brutally honest if it was not for a couple of runs by André the Giant (and the Book scrums) it would have been torture rather than fun!

  • Comment 18, posted at 04.06.18 12:56:30 by JD Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 17) : unfortunately it’s what happens last that linger longest in the memory! To be honest I don’t think anything that happened on Saturday (good or bad) would have caused his exclusion (or inclusion) in the match 23 as I think Pollard is first choice and Elton second.

  • Comment 19, posted at 04.06.18 13:07:30 by JD Reply
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  • Esterhuizen at least showed he is comfortable at this level. About the only back who managed to unlock the Welsh defense, and there must be quite a few sore Welsh bodies after some of those hits.

  • Comment 20, posted at 04.06.18 13:58:23 by Bokhoring Reply
  • Will the squad now be trimmed or will the 13 or so fringe players all hang around until the end of the England series?

  • Comment 21, posted at 04.06.18 13:59:59 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 21) : According to earlier reports, the squad will be trimmed after the first test against England.

  • Comment 22, posted at 04.06.18 14:15:49 by StevieS Reply
  • @vanmartin (Comment 17) : I think deep down Rassie is spitting mad at those charge downs – he wouldnt have wanted to start his coaching stint this way.

  • Comment 23, posted at 04.06.18 15:31:48 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • From reports in the US, this match was organised by one of the companies that put on the fantastic Ireland Vs NZ game. As a follow on to that, and an attempt to generate more interest in the new professional game out there – it failed horribly. Friends out there told me that Americans considering taking an interest in rugby left shaking their heads.

    I know the coffers are low, and we need new streams of income to compete with the best teams in the world, but goodness me this was a mess.

    Andre was good, Orie looks like he can take the step up, and Papier can take a hit! Tough little bugger.

  • Comment 24, posted at 04.06.18 15:36:06 by Flashman Reply

  • @Flashman (Comment 24) :

    Fortunately, this game wa as completely under the radar in the US.

    @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 12) :

    The 2 kicks do not stand in isolation though. His line kicking in SR has been poor and he seems to be ponderously slow in general play.
    Forget about him being an international 10, I’m not so sure he should be playing 10 at any level.

  • Comment 25, posted at 04.06.18 19:40:23 by fyndraai Reply
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