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Alucard. Well said, and the rugby world is the worse for it.
Posted 08:18 02nd December 2010
I have to say I find endless talk of the World Cup tiresome. 2008 -- time to enforce their World Cup superiority; 2009 -- hard to see them losing in 2011; 2010 -- little time to get it right for 2011.
Journalists have led rugby fans into thinking primarily in terms of the World Cup. Planet Rugby isno better. How refreshing it would be to read about rugby in its own context.
How do I view South Africa this year? Won eight, lost six -- very, very, very bad year. Simple.
If Boks fans have been beguiled into thinking purely of the World Cup -- worse, if the Boks themselves have been beguiled into thinking purely of the World Cup -- then South African and world rugby have become the poorer for it. For the Boks and their fans, every game should matter. Let the Argentinas and Englands of this world think only the World Cup matters. For a team like the Boks and their fans, every game should matter.
Posted 01:36 02nd December 2010
SA are the hardest 3N team to get a handle on - Largely I suspect because their coach doesn't seem to have a clue and hasn't yet heard that the laws have changed.
The improvement seen after all those injured players return is IMO not going to be as great as expected because they will displace talented players, strength in depth cuts both ways. TBH I would hope that the old guard have real difficulty displacing some of those players. Leadership aside would you rather have Du Plessis or Smit at 2? Do you really want Habana back on the wing on present form? The side will be stronger with a bigger pool to choose from only if selection is done on the basis of current form - with the exception of 9 where (assuming a return to recent form) Fourie du Preez is the best in the world a mass return of the old guard will see some better and some worse players on the pitch, but often little difference in talent once the dust settles.
With the laws the way they are SA need to roll the dice on a running 10. Add F Steyn at 15 if you really need to kick and Fourie du Preez at 9 and you have a strong 'plan B'. Throw in the best finishers on current form and SA is a force to be reckoned with.
Do SA have the personnel to win in 2011 - yes. Are they going about it in the right way - I don't think so... Moment SA will regret most a year from now - crushing England because they are now convinced they don't need to change anything.
Posted 13:44 01st December 2010
If they go into the RWC relying on the old guard instead of some of their younger, hungrier players it will be at their own peril.
Posted 12:53 01st December 2010
Talk about putting a positive spin on things. The Springboks have been one-trick ponies for the last two years; this year we were simply exposed. During the 2009 Tri-Nations we were able to delude ourselves into thinking that Peter de Villiers was doing *something* right, but the man is completely out of his depth. I'm sorry for the Springboks (never mind my fellow fans), who could have been part of team of two world-cup-winning teams -- there isn't a chance of that with PdV around. Instead the Springboks will go as far as the inferiority of their early opponents allows them to, and will then get convincingly and embarrassingly dismissed by a real rugby team.
If the Welsh, Irish, and English got their acts together then South Africa would have been on a hiding to nothing, but you only have to watch the half-baked rugby played by those national teams to see how the Springboks can win in spite of practically begging for a hammering.
Posted 12:47 01st December 2010
Fantastic win against France was the highlight of the year.
Posted 10:57 01st December 2010