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@ philipjfry: I don't know Basson's tackle stats - not going to look for it now - but I do know that he's not a solid, aggressive defender like Aplon. He usually stops a guy's momentum somehow (bumping into him / pulling his jersey), but then needs his team mates to come help him. Aplon can put a guy twice his size on the ground... Maybe because of his low centre of gravity, but I think it's all about attitude - Aplon has no fear, while Basson always looks jittery on defense...
But other than defense, Basson just has a very low work rate. When the Bulls are not dominating, you hardly see Basson. If they dominate they create space for him and he gets to score a tries - usually due to his superior speed... but that's about all he brings. And he's very good under the high ball I must add. But that's it...
Aplon is good under the high ball, he's great on defense, he's lightning quick, there are few people with faster acceleration than him, he is probably the best stepper in the Super 15, he's a brilliant goal kicker - he even kicks drop kicks - and he has oodles of x-factor. Hardly ever does he get the ball in a little bit of space without making something happen. He'd be the FIRST person on my team sheet.
Posted 01:42 15th June 2012
Actually isn't the whole England squad a bit too nice? I hope Lancaster isn't breeding that? They've reestablished the pride and honour. Now bring on the passion and ruthlessness. Stop calling it intensity like it comes from the head. It's animal instinct they need. They may have respect but who fears this England? When did we last see huge legal tackles. Manu on Wallace. Other than that it's back to Lawes and before that Lewsey and Wilkinson. GET IN THERE!!! Panzies!
Posted 23:43 14th June 2012
I want to see England come out of the tunnel wild roaring and angry and psyched like to the teeth. They just lost to a so so Bokke team and should be fuming about it he'll bent on revenge. When did we last see that? Who's doing the pre-match? I wonder is Robshaw just a bit too nice?
Posted 23:32 14th June 2012
@ APV1: Aaaaaw... That's why I like you - always so optimistic. :P
Posted 17:34 14th June 2012
@JayStarr: I guess we have different parameters on which we judge players. Has he missed a lot of tackles this season compared to other wings in the SA conference?
Posted 17:29 14th June 2012
@ JayStarr - you're right it probably was our BEST chance, but not our only one..!
Posted 16:35 14th June 2012
@ ManWarrior: Thanks! Yeah - I couldn't have said it better myself about Gio... You're 100% right. As for Spies - I think even Josh Strauss would've contributed FAR more... I can't remember when last I even saw Spies bust a tackle. Gio Aplon busts more tackles!
@ philipjfry: Are you going to stare yourself blind in statistics or pay attention to what is actually going on? I don't Basson created ONE of those tries this year... Have you seen the rest of his statistics? I play fantasy rugby and see them every week. If he doesn't score a try, he practically gets no points, because he does NOTHING. At least Aplon, Habana and Mvovo works when they don't have the ball.
@ APV1: Last week was by far your best chance to win one of the tests... and you wasted your opportunity. Sorry to say, but you can forget about it now - this Bok team will only get more cohesive and more effective... and I can't see England improving at a faster rate - which is what you will have to do if you want to win.
Posted 15:24 14th June 2012
A slightly weaker bench for the Boks and a slightly stronger one for us. But a stronger starting 15 for the Boks and a slightly weaker one for us.
Another intriguing match, folks!
England by 6.
Posted 13:21 14th June 2012
Apolon should be on the bench. He has had a great super rugby season to date. He should be ahead of Oliver who should not even be a Springbok. He looked out of place when he was on for Habanna. Mvovo and Pietersen are unlucky not to be in 22. But this is Bok rugby after all. We do not do stuff the easy way. I am still expecting a win by 15 points on Sat. Go Bokke!!!!!!
Posted 12:03 14th June 2012
@Bjorn Basson's critics: Basson is the second highest try scorer in Super Rugby this year along with Mvovo, so shouldn't they both be starting? Yes, the ABs neglected to pick Andre Taylor who is the top scorer but remember how confused most of the Kiwi posters on here were about his omission. But to be perfectly honest, I don't mind who plays as long as they do what they are supposed to do and for wings that means scoring tries. Nothing worse than a wing who has the potential to score tries and doesn't.
Posted 10:22 14th June 2012
Agree with you. It is Bok Rugby. I do not support any team in particular (Durban used to be the holidays' place, Jo'burg is where my family lived for quite a while, the Eastern Cape is where they live now). My argument is technical. They are not so better than the others to justify so many players in the squad.
But at the moment, it is ok, since I suppose that choosing a Bull platform is the safest way to build a team.
Posted 09:35 14th June 2012
@JayStar - as always, I enjoyed your comments boet!
I agree, Aplon is magic. When he plyaed for WP and they picked him for the Stormers I thought "he won't make it", I was wrong. When he played brilliantly for the Stormer (getting ove the advantage line, great under the high ball, great on defence etc. etc.) and they picked him for the Springboks i thought "he won't make it", I was wrong again. Time and time he has proven himself and although I also am a "SIZE" concerned SAFFA (part of our boer heritage), Aplon has never been bullied, intimidated or overun! On the contrary, he he has put guys 30kg's heavier back in his tackles....
I would also include Ashley Johnson ahead of Spies whom hasn't been on form since he got married (I am not knocking marriage, it's an awesome institution). Maybe he will get some of his grit back whilst watching Ashey show him how to "bliksem" again...
Posted 09:01 14th June 2012
obvious call the fact that kirchner and olivier are in the side over joe pieterson and mvovo or willie leroux or even aplon is crazy. the bok backline looks better now, lots of kicking options thats for sure.
i agree with RugbyLeRoux, basson is lucky to be there ahead of mvovo and willie leroux aswell.
Posted 05:46 14th June 2012
And PS to Coca-Cola: NOBODY - except for Supersport - calls it "Coca-Cola Park". We all call it ELLIS PARK... because that's what it is. Get with the program you money-hungry self-obsessed capitalist b*stards.
Posted 04:03 14th June 2012
Oh CRAP... Alain Rolland is the ref! Uh - this is going to be a crazy penalty-fest... (Note to self: drink a beer BEFORE the game starts).
Posted 04:00 14th June 2012
The bench looks decidedly weak with Bjorn Basson, Wynand Olivier, Werner Kruger and Flip vd Merwe there... Let's hope the game is wrapped up before they get on.
@ philipjfry: Bjorn Basson is not more talented than Gio Aplon or Bryan Habana, sorry. Even Mvovo is better at the moment in my opinion.
@ FISH: I was waiting to see how long before you realised! haha. Yep, he picked Basson ahead of Aplon... Uh.
@ Voice: Basson HAS been given a chance - and he faded into the background (as he always does when his team is under any kind of pressure). Aplon was also given a chance - and he scored two tries against then-6-Nations-champs France. So according to your logic Aplon should be picked ahead of Basson... And I thoroughly agree! :P
There is nothing Basson can do that Aplon can't do - but there are many things that Aplon can do that Basson can't do... such as tackle like a bloody Trojan, or the ability to create something magical even if his team is under pressure.
Aplon is the best guy you can ever want on the field in the last 20 minutes of a game. I can't wait for HM to realise that...
Posted 03:57 14th June 2012
Thank goodness Lambie is finally at 15 ahead of Sideshow Bob!
But now HM picks Bjorn Basson ahead of Gio Aplon!? Gio Aplon is the master of making something out of nothing. As Shane Williams proved time and time again, being small and fast has it's benefits..!
As this clip shows... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOBNzikIFY8
Posted 03:40 14th June 2012
Why couldn't Bakkies get onto the bench - did he finish the season with Toulon fit?
Posted 19:02 13th June 2012
For me, our chance to register a win against the Boks was last week. After a promising first half, we kinda faded a little in the second half. Still, for a young and inexperienced side, I thought we looked okay and it was a small step in the right direction. It will also be vital experience for these chaps. I don't think the changes to the Boks will make much difference and may even strengthen a little. I just hope we can maintain some intensity and also get better for the next test. We will lose as we are not good enough to win these test just yet but as long as we keep getting better, that is a start. Good luck boys on the weekend. You will be blowing out your backsides after 20 mins as this is a tougher test in altitude. I think we will do well to keep this within 10.
Posted 18:59 13th June 2012
@Carpelone - The only way to test someone at this level is to play them, we will never know if Basson is up for it unless he is given a chance, blue bull or not. He is lethal running onto a high ball, has good pace and his defence is ok. He is the top try scorer in S15 (SA teams) - Forget about Bulls, Stormers etc. this is Bok rugby now. I am not a blue bull fan, but lets be honest its their fans that we actually dislike? Overall a strong union and most successful in Super Rugby team out of all our teams and that in itself speaks volumes. Meyer knows how to win with a team and that is that. If Plumbtree was coach we would see more Sharks players, why? he knows them and that is the nature of the beast.
@ Fish - JP is a good player but he has bulked up somewhat, he started at centre at the start of the year but he does have the experience and will come through. None of the backline players looked good 1st half, why? breakdown was not managed properly and England put pressure on our halfback which filtered through to the backline.
We must understand that this Bok side got together on Monday only, so Meyer was always going to go for certain combinations. Lets look at du Preez, Matfield, Botha, Foure` and Smit - close to if not over 400 test caps with those players alone, gone and we still beat England!
Posted 18:34 13th June 2012