Quote of the week

“To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you're not, pretend you are.” – Muhammad Ali

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Springbok team vs New Zealand: 2011 Tri-Nations

The Springboks’ chopping and changing will continue on Saturday when they face the All Blacks, so much so that it’s impossible to tell which starting XV will take the field when the world champions play their opening World Cup game against Wales on September 11.

While their main rivals New Zealand and Australia are all but settled, ready for a tilt at ultimate glory, this is far from the case with South Africa and worse still it remains unclear who will be the side’s run-out captain for a World Cup that’s less than a month away.

It’s pretty worrying.

The Springboks

For this weekend Springboks coach Peter de Villiers has made five changes to the team. World Cup winning captain John Smit will drop to the bench and will be replaced at hooker by his Sharks teammate Bismarck du Plessis. It means lock Victor Matfield will therefore captain the Springboks against the All Blacks in Port Elizabeth, South Africa’s last match before their World Cup defence begins.

In the other changes, Gurthro Steenkamp, South Africa’s player of the year in 2010, starts at loosehead prop instead of Tendai Beast Mtawarira while there is a first Test start for Sharks loose forward Willem Alberts at number 7 ahead of Danie Rossouw.

In the backs, young promise Pat Lambie replaces the injured Francois Steyn at fullback while Morne Steyn returns in favour of Butch James at flyhalf.

It’s an important match; another poor performance would only serve to compound the scepticism surrounding the team and its coach, scepticism that is seemingly backed up the Springboks’ track record over the past four years.

Despite beating the British & Irish Lions and winning the Tri-Nations in 2009, it has by in large been an unproductive four years for the Boks – unproductive because South Africa has failed to build on their wondeful 2007 World Cup victory. In fact there is an argument that even that glorious 2009 was an anomaly. The Springboks at the time had outstanding players in the form of their lives, and were playing under laws that in some ways hid the deficiencies of their coaching team as no adaption or innovation was needed.

2007 World Cup glory
Fortuitous events and injuries also caused a change in some questionable selections. For example, Adi Jacobs and Ruan Pienaar were preferred ahead of Jaque Fourie and Morne Steyn at centre and flyhalf respectively. Metronomic fetcher Heinrich Brussow was also originally not considered a necessary weapon. All three changes were crucial to South Africa’s victory over the Lions and subsequent success for the rest of 2009.

The Boks also had a young Wallaby side and rebuilding All Black squad playing into their hands, and of course it’s a fact that really great teams can coach themselves. In football, Chelsea certainly did something similar when they reached the Uefa Champions League final in 2008 after the departure of Jose Mourinho.

So now fast forward to 2011 and its becoming clearer with each day that De Villiers doesn’t have the full respect of his team while the outside world has generally lost confidence in his captain. With 26 days to go to the Springbok’s World Cup opener it wouldn’t be wise to drop Smit from the team, a man who has been a true braveheart and ambassador for South Africa during one of it’s most successful periods. The Gary Teichmann episode ahead of the 1999 World Cup, when the then captain was unceremoniously dropped ahead of the tournament, is also a warning reference point from the past.

The real point, however, is that like other things this is a situation that was sadly missed by South Africa’s technical team over the past four years. Although hindsight is a wonderful thing, perhaps 2009 was when Smit should have then been slowly phased out of the team or a new leader given time to stamp their authority. Today as we speak Chilliboy Ralepelle and Du Plessis clearly offer a lot more than Smit. But this can’t be blamed on the Saracens bound stalwart.

All-round Peter de Villiers has failed to build on the 2007 platform that was so well built by Jake White and failed to take advantage of what is no doubt a golden generation of talent in South African rugby. Pat Lambie, Juan de Jongh and Gio Aplon are examples of world-class talent that hasn’t been properly integrated into the Boks setup. Australia young gun James O’Connor meanwhile has turned into a match-winner for the Wallabies.

In all De Villiers has displayed very little foresight, whether tactically or in his selections. It’s always easy to apportion blame but the sad fact is that, as things stand, it’s very difficult to see any light at the end of this particular tunnel for the Boks, especially looking at the tough World Cup group, including Samoa, Wales, Fiji and Namibia, they have been given.
Will the Boks be able
to stop the All-Blacks?
With less than a month to go to the World Cup it’s perhaps too late to fire De Villiers... though that is an option... it would at least relieve the side of the circus surrounding its sometimes comical coach.
The All Blacks meanwhile, comfortable and settled in their methods, have ominously sent a weakened squad to South Africa (much like the Boks did in 2007 ahead their World Cup victory). Flyhalf Dan Carter, captain Richie McCaw, number 8 Kieran Read, lock Brad Thorn, prop Owen Franks, fullback Mils Muliaina and centre Conrad Smith have all been left behind in New Zealand.
They, like the rest of us, will be watching on TV a match that, as early as it is, could signal the end of South Africa’s reign as world champions.
Springbok Team
1. Gurthro Steenkamp
2. Bismarck du Plessis
3. Jannie du Plessis
4. Bakkies Botha
5. Victor Matfield ©
6. Heinrich Brussouw
7. Willem Alberts
8. Pierre Spies
9. Fourie du Preez
10. Morne Steyn
11. Bryan Habana
12. Jean de Villiers
13. Jaque Fourie
14. JP Pietersen
15. Pat Lambie
Replacements
16. Tendai Mtawarira, 17. John Smit, 18. CJ van der Linde, 19. Danie Rossouw, 20. Ashley Johnson, 21. Francois Hougaard, 22. Butch James

Head to Head
• South Africa’s record against New Zealand:
Played 82; Won 33; Lost 46; Drawn 3;
Points for 1 268; Points against 1 554; Tries for 125; Tries against 161; Average score 15-19

• South Africa’s Tri-Nations record against New Zealand:
Played 35; Won 10; Lost 25;
Points for 685; Points against 987; Tries for 62, Tries against 93. Average score 20-28
• South Africa’s home record in the Tri-Nations against New Zealand:
Played 17; Won 7; Lost 10;
Points for 391; Points against 474; Tries for 36; Tries against 45. Average score 23-28

47 comments:

  1. Attractive section of content. I simply stumbled

    upon your web site and in accession capital to assert that I acquire in

    fact enjoyed account your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your augment and even I fulfillment you
    get entry to persistently quickly.
    Also see my web page :: http://www.oahuislandnews.com/index.php/member/76963/

    ReplyDelete
  2. hi!,I like your writing very much! share we communicate more about
    your post on AOL? I need an expert on this
    area to solve my problem. Maybe that's you! Looking forward to see you.
    Look at my web-site :: Unknown

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm really enjoying the theme/design of your blog. Do you ever run into any

    web browser compatibility issues? A small number of my blog visitors have complained about my site not operating correctly

    in Explorer but looks great in Firefox. Do you have any advice to help fix this issue?
    My web page :: Classified Ads Marbella

    ReplyDelete
  4. Good blog! I truly love how it is simple on my eyes and the data are well written.


    I'm wondering how I might be notified when a new post has been made. I have subscribed

    to your feed which must do the trick! Have a great day!
    Feel free to visit my web-site : spainweather.org

    ReplyDelete
  5. I’ve been exploring for a bit for any high quality articles or blog posts in this kind of house .
    Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon this website.

    Studying this info So i’m

    satisfied to express that I've an incredibly

    excellent uncanny feeling I discovered exactly what I needed. I so much

    no doubt will

    make sure to do not overlook this website and provides it a glance regularly.
    My website: arrayal

    ReplyDelete
  6. I’ve learn several good stuff here. Definitely


    value bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder
    how much effort you put to create this kind
    of excellent informative website.
    My webpage - estudiantes.gfc.edu.co

    ReplyDelete
  7. I really like what you guys are usually up too. This sort of
    clever work and exposure! Keep up the excellent works guys I've incorporated you guys to my blogroll.
    Feel free to visit my blog post ; televisionspain.net

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks , I've recently been looking for information approximately this subject for a long time and yours is the best I have found out till now. However, what about the bottom

    line? Are you certain about the source?
    my page: http://www.alboxproperty.com/

    ReplyDelete
  9. Normally I do not learn article on blogs, however I would like to


    say that this write-up very compelled me to take a look at and do it!

    Your

    writing style has been surprised me. Thank you, quite great post.
    Also visit my page ; linked webpage

    ReplyDelete
  10. I think this is one of the so much important

    info for me. And i'm happy studying your article. But wanna observation on some normal issues, The

    web site taste is great, the articles is

    really excellent : D. Excellent process, cheers
    My page ... spain national costume female

    ReplyDelete
  11. Fantastic post however I was

    wondering if you could write a litte more on this subject?
    I'd be very grateful if you

    could elaborate a little bit more. Thanks!
    Here is my website :: http://www.costablancaspain.us/sierra-de-espuna.html

    ReplyDelete
  12. Someone essentially lend a hand to make seriously articles I'd state. That is the very first time I

    frequented your web page and thus far? I surprised with the

    analysis you made to make this actual put up incredible. Excellent process!
    Also see my webpage :: kluges

    ReplyDelete
  13. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point.
    You

    obviously know what youre talking about, why
    waste your intelligence on just posting

    videos to your weblog when you could be giving us something informative
    to read?
    Take a look at my web page helenparkhurst.nl

    ReplyDelete
  14. You can certainly see your enthusiasm in the work you write.

    The world hopes for

    more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe.
    Always follow

    your heart.
    my page :: campers

    ReplyDelete
  15. I’m impressed, I must say. Really rarely do
    I encounter a

    weblog that’s each educative and entertaining,
    and let me tell you, you've gotten hit the nail on the head. Your

    thought is outstanding; the problem is one thing that not

    sufficient people are talking intelligently about. I am very

    comfortable that I stumbled across

    this in my seek for one thing relating to this.
    My web-site :: sasa.freehosting.md

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hey very nice website!! Man .. Excellent .. Amazing .
    . I'll bookmark your

    web site and take the feeds also…I'm happy to find a lot of useful

    information here in the post, we need work out more techniques in this regard,
    thanks for

    sharing. . . . . .
    my web page :: http://extremevision-thai.com/Wiki/index.php?title=User:MarkettaBrown1976

    ReplyDelete
  17. Lovely blog! I am loving it!! Will come back again.
    I am taking your feeds also.
    Here is my web site ... freezes

    ReplyDelete
  18. I would like to express appreciation to the writer for
    bailing me out of this type of

    circumstance. Right after exploring throughout the

    search engines and coming across

    methods which are not helpful, I assumed my entire life
    was

    gone. Living devoid of the

    solutions to the difficulties you have solved by way of your entire
    article content is a serious case, as well as
    ones that would have in a wrong way

    damaged my entire career if I had not noticed your website.
    The

    expertise and kindness in

    dealing with every item was invaluable. I don't know what I

    would have done if I had not discovered such a thing like this. I can also at this point look forward to my future. Thanks so

    much for the skilled and

    results-oriented help. I won't hesitate to recommend
    your blog post to anyone who should have guidance

    on this topic.
    Also see my web site > weather forecast murcia spain july

    ReplyDelete
  19. What’s Taking place i'm new to this, I stumbled upon this I've found It

    absolutely useful and it has aided me out loads. I hope
    to contribute & aid other customers like its helped me.
    Good

    job.
    Feel free to surf my homepage http://www.wikignole.be/

    ReplyDelete
  20. I would like to show my appreciation to

    this writer just for bailing me out of this type of

    dilemma. After searching through the

    search engines and seeing

    views which are not helpful, I figured my entire life was

    gone. Being alive without the

    strategies to the issues you've

    resolved all through your short post is a critical case, and ones which might have in a negative way

    damaged my career if I hadn't come across your site.

    The ability and kindness in handling the whole lot
    was priceless. I am not sure what I

    would have done if I hadn't encountered such a stuff like this. I am able to now look ahead to my future. Thank you so

    much for the reliable and

    results-oriented guide. I won't be reluctant to refer your
    web sites to any person who would need guide

    on this subject matter.
    My page > alantong.pixnet.net

    ReplyDelete
  21. Wonderful post however , I was

    wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this topic?
    I'd be very thankful if you

    could elaborate a little bit more. Thank you!
    Feel free to surf my blog post ; shoehead.blogspot.fr

    ReplyDelete
  22. You made some decent points there. I looked on the internet for the issue and found
    most persons will consent with

    your site.
    Here is my website ... www.bearmarketinvestments.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a

    group of volunteers and starting a new project in a community
    in the same niche. Your blog

    provided us useful information to work on. You have done
    a extraordinary job!
    My web blog - freetzi.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. Heya! I'm at work surfing around your blog from my new iphone 3gs! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your

    posts! Carry on the great work!
    Also see my web page - www.greenbuildexpo.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  25. I believe that is one of the so much important

    info for me. And i am satisfied studying your article.
    But wanna observation on few common issues, The

    site taste is ideal, the articles is

    really excellent : D. Just right activity, cheers
    Feel free to visit my blog room122.Blogspot.com.es

    ReplyDelete
  26. After examine just a few of the blog posts in your

    web site now, and I truly like your approach of blogging.
    I

    bookmarked it to my bookmark web site listing and might
    be checking back soon. Pls check out my website

    online as well and let me know what you think.
    Also visit my webpage : http://vainzine2.blogspot.ru/2011/09/stream-mandy-pres-get-physical-radio.html

    ReplyDelete
  27. Just desire to say your article is as surprising. The

    clarity in your post is just spectacular and i can assume
    you

    are an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission allow me to
    grab your RSS feed to keep

    up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please continue the

    rewarding work.
    my web page - Seocome.com

    ReplyDelete
  28. Great blog here! Also your site loads up fast!
    What web host are you

    using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host?
    I wish my site loaded up as quickly as yours

    lol
    Have a look at my web-site ; wiki.td.co.at

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it.
    Look advanced to far added

    agreeable from you! By the way, how could we
    communicate?
    Here is my web page eshop-wiki.idhost.kz

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hello.This article was extremely motivating, especially

    because I was searching for thoughts on this topic last

    couple of days.
    Feel free to surf my web blog - http://wiki.nasta.tv/index.php?title=What_Apparel_To_put_For_the_Winter_months_Holiday_to_The_country:_Have_a_tendency_Plan_Really_hot_weather_And_also_Sunbathing

    ReplyDelete
  31. Generally I do not read article on blogs, but I would like to

    say that this write-up very forced me to take a
    look at and do it! Your

    writing taste has been amazed me. Thank you, very nice article.
    Also visit my site : vumba2009.blogspot.de

    ReplyDelete
  32. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good.
    I don't know who you are

    but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you are not already ;) Cheers!
    Also see my web page :: www.rockspringsairport.com

    ReplyDelete
  33. I have been examinating out a few of your stories and i can claim
    clever stuff. I will

    definitely bookmark your blog.
    Here is my weblog ... xuhfiu.bbs.mythem.es

    ReplyDelete
  34. Excellent blog here! Also your site loads up fast!
    What host are you

    using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host?
    I wish my web site loaded up as fast as yours

    lol
    Here is my weblog :: bookmarkedition.com

    ReplyDelete
  35. Someone essentially help to make critically
    articles I'd state. This is the very first time I

    frequented your web page and so far? I amazed with the

    research you made to create this particular submit

    amazing. Wonderful task!
    Also visit my blog ; Strony.Nieruchomosci.Idel.pl

    ReplyDelete
  36. Would you be curious about exchanging links?
    Feel free to visit my webpage :: social.bionicgroup-sn.com

    ReplyDelete
  37. Does your website have a contact page? I'm having problems locating it but, I'd
    like to

    send you an email. I've got some creative ideas for your blog you

    might be interested in hearing. Either way, great site and I look forward to seeing it develop over time.
    Have a look at my page : mongolnews.us

    ReplyDelete
  38. I don’t even know the way I finished up right here,


    but I thought this submit was once good. I

    do not understand who you're however

    certainly you're going to a famous blogger should you are not already ;) Cheers!
    my site > socialfy.lbriones.com

    ReplyDelete
  39. With havin so much content and articles do you ever run into any problems of plagorism

    or copyright violation? My blog has a lot of completely unique content

    I've either created myself or outsourced but it seems a lot of it is popping it up

    all over the internet without my agreement. Do you know any solutions to help protect against content from being stolen? I'd really appreciate
    it.
    Here is my weblog ... cartyvpgt.lumx.zbngqjadct.tcsq.qypvthu.loqu.forum.mythem.es

    ReplyDelete
  40. I am continually searching online for tips that can
    facilitate me. Thx!

    Also visit my blog post :: socialnetwork.stock-options-picks.com

    ReplyDelete
  41. Can I simply say what a aid to find somebody who

    really is aware of what theyre talking about on the internet.
    You definitely know learn how to convey a difficulty to

    light and make it important. Extra folks must learn this


    and perceive this side of the story. I cant consider youre no more

    widespread because you definitely have the gift.

    Here is my homepage: Www.Gloriouslinks.com

    ReplyDelete
  42. Unquestionably believe that which you stated. Your favorite justification appeared


    to be on the net the easiest thing to be aware of.
    I say to you, I

    certainly get irked while people think about
    worries that they just don't know

    about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people could take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

    Also visit my blog post eutopia.axenna.no

    ReplyDelete
  43. I am so happy to read this. This is the kind of manual that needs to be given and not the random misinformation that is at the other blogs.
    Appreciate your sharing this greatest doc.

    Feel free to visit my website - http://almesryoon.com/forum/entry.php?36-Rent-Villa-In-Moraira-Spain-For-Your-Holidays-This-Year

    ReplyDelete
  44. wonderful points altogether, you just received a

    logo new reader. What would you suggest in regards to your


    submit that you made a few days ago? Any sure?

    Also visit my site - http://articleinternet.info/Spanish-Weather.htm

    ReplyDelete
  45. I have been exploring for a little for any high quality articles or

    weblog posts in this sort of house . Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon
    this website. Reading this information So i’m

    satisfied to convey that I have an incredibly just right uncanny feeling I discovered just
    what I needed. I so much

    for sure will

    make sure to do not fail to remember this website and give
    it a glance regularly.

    My blog; dentalshout.com

    ReplyDelete
  46. bookmarked!!, I like your blog!

    Feel free to visit my weblog :: pirater un compte facebook

    ReplyDelete
  47. Hi there! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog.
    Is it difficult to set up your own blog? I'm not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I'm thinking about creating my own but I'm not sure where to start. Do you have any points or suggestions? With thanks

    My blog - dragon City Hack

    ReplyDelete