Operation Cake Tin: clever or crazy?

The AOR team debates the merits of Rassie Erasmus’ plan to send over a group of first-choice players to dig in early for next week’s showdown against the All Blacks in Wellington.

Tank Lanning – CLEVER!
“Can you play Australia here, get on a plane, arrive on Monday or Tuesday and think you have a realistic chance of beating New Zealand in New Zealand?” asks Erasmus.

Well, of course you can. Once in every 44 attempts, that is. Just ask every team tasked with taking on the Crusaders in a Super Rugby playoff match on their own patch!

So in a year in which only 22 die-hard rugby fans will remember who wins the abbreviated Rugby Champs, and in a year that sees the Bok Rugby World Cup path decided by their opening game against the All Blacks in Tokyo, why the hell not try something a bit different?

And as pondered in previous debates on the makeup of Erasmus’ RWC squad, the Bok mentor does have a few big calls to make. Who is his swing prop? Who will start at tighthead? How do they play sans Siya Kolisi, and as such who replaces him? What happens if Pollard or Vermeulen get injured? What is his best centre combination?

So with only four Bok Tests left before that RWC opener against the All Blacks, now is the time to experiment – and give the fringe players a chance to stake their claim. Splitting his squad allows Erasmus to do exactly that.

But it’s disrespectful to play a ‘B’ team, say a few troops. What is a ‘B’ team, though? Given the banter around the squad selected, quite clearly one man’s ‘A’ team is another person’s ‘C’ team. “What is the difference between Eben Etzebeth and Franco Mostert? Or Mostert and Lood de Jager?” asks the Bok coach. Fair enough.

And while denying it vociferously, does it really matter if he fields a so called ‘B’ team against the Aussies at Ellis Park this weekend?

Zelím Nel – CRAZY!
It’s perilous stuff second-guessing Erasmus, a technical guru with a track record of innovation. It’s also difficult to compute the logic in the decision to go full-throttle against the All Blacks next week when there seems to be far more to lose than to gain.

When the Boks won in Wellington last year, a rare ray of hope burst through the dark thunderclouds that have enveloped SA Rugby in recent times. That light vindicated supporters who’d weathered a run of six straight defeats against New Zealand since 2014. The optimism was backed up in the return leg of the Rugby Championship when the Boks came close to doing the double at Loftus Versfeld.

It’s fair to say the All Blacks seem far less invincible in 2019 than they did at the corresponding point of last season. This is a great thing given the proximity of the Rugby World Cup, so why jeopardise the feel-good in pursuit of an unlikely win?

Let’s start with the best-case scenario: the Boks defy a 1-6 record (and an average loss-margin of 17 points) at the Westpac Stadium and beat the All Blacks. Brilliant! But now South Africa arrive in Japan with heightened expectations that they’re going to do great things, relieving some of the pressure on New Zealand to shoulder the full weight of the favourites tag in their RWC opener.

A win in Wellington would also mean that for SA to make a winning start to the World Cup, they’d need to beat the Kiwis for the third time in four matches (something that hasn’t been done in a decade). 

The worst-case scenario is the top Boks give it their best shot at the Cake Tin next week and have a bad day at the office. That would make last year’s victory look like an anomaly and swing the momentum in this rivalry right back in the All Blacks’ favour. And with the Kiwis having beaten the team and the plan that Erasmus is likely to deploy at the RWC, the Boks would have to be made of hyperalloy not to start mulling selections and tactics.

Instead, why not pick the No 1s to smash the depleted Wallabies at Ellis Park on Saturday, and then muddy the value of the Wellington Test by sending across a highly-experimental team with instructions to run everything at the Kiwis, while paying no heed to the scoreboard?

What is Steve Hansen going to take out of a clash against a trigger-happy Bok side with Schalk Brits starting at hooker, Kwagga Smith and Marcell Coetzee packing down at 6 and 8, a halfback combination of Cobus Reinach and Frans Steyn, and Cheslin Kolbe clicking his heels at fullback?

Anything less than a comprehensive victory for the Kiwis would sow seeds of doubt, and the surprise selections would make Hansen wonder what to expect from South Africa in Tokyo.

OK, you’ve read what they think, now let us know which way you’re leaning, or join the #BigDebate on Twitter!

- Big Debate

Let's chat

  • Christiaan Botha

    I’ve an unrelated question because your Contact Us button doesn’t work. What decided who plays where in the Championship? Thanks

  • boyo

    I am 100% with Zelim here. I see the logic of the split squads but I would have sent the dirttrekkers on tour. If we lose both games Rassie will look silly and the odds of a WC win will be badly reduced.

    There are many pros of sending the dirt trekkers to NZ :

    The A team would get less travel fatigue.

    The A team should gain winning momentum against oz

    The A team will remain confident against NZ.

    The A team wont expose too much of their game plan before the WC opener.

    The B team could play well and regardless of the results some combos will get a game together and if one or two guys perform they may get a look into the A side.

    • Ulrich

      That is all assuming the ‘A’ team actually beats the Wallabies if they played them. Everyone from A to B will be a little rusty and regardless of who played at Ellis Park it is very feasible the Wallabies will start strong and go several points ahead early in the game.

      Think England last year.

      If the so-called ‘A’ team lost to the Wallabies and so too the dirt trackers then we have zero momentum and going to Argentina where we have not won much recently with no concrete answers on selection.

      • boyo

        Sure and It could happen(that we lose both) even if the A team played OZ but I think its more likely we lose both with the A team in NZ

  • Albert

    I agree fully with Zelim on this one. Targeting the kiwis now is a bad idea. Focus on beating the Wallabies in SA, and having a great start to the Rugby Champs while also keeping our record at home firmly alive is a must. Experimenting with the fringe an unknown guys in New Zealand, thus lulling them into a false sense of security, just seems the better bet.

    Were it me, I would send Swys de Bruin and the guys who are playing for a place in the WC to NZ today. The first choice team stays here and don’t need to travel that extra bit in this world cup year. That for me is the big pay-off. Pollard and co have travelled a great deal already this year, give them a week off of travel while they train as a unit, and let the other guys go battle it out with the leash removed.

    • Al

      Add to that the AB’s record of taking out their opponents best players (O’Driscoll in the lions series and Brad Thorn tackle on John Smit in 2008), and I worry about Faf,Polly and Marx who they will no doubt target. Another reason maybe to not have sent our strongest side over to Wellington?

  • Barry

    If the planning had been done correctly, Zelim would be spot on, but unfortunately it was not, despite the ongoing assurances of Erasmus’s careful attention to detail!

    We have brought in a number of outside players into the squad and we now have no choice other than to test them! For this reason I am forced to go with Tank.

    The time for this testing to have been done was last years EOYT, but instead he made some dubious selections, preserved with some selections that were very obviously out of depth and now we are confronted with a reality check.

    Let’s hope we beat the Aussies, because if we don’t, it could be a wooden spoon year. This is high risk stuff

    • boyo

      I for one saw the value in Gio Aplon, Schickerling and Ruhan Nel! Particularity a young guys like Aplon (37)

  • Vossie

    Gota go with Tank here, the importance of beating New Zealand again is massive, It will give us a mental edge come WC time.

    Argentina can have a massive game against the All Blacks this Saturday, the Pumas are on a high and with a slightly under strength Kiwi team they could cause an upset. If the Kiwis produce a bad showing then the amount of pressure to perform against us in Wellington will be massive and will count in our favor.

    This is all positive thinking, will have to wait and see what the sides will look like come 3pm

  • Chris Mouton

    Both arguments have merit. In many ways Tank is right in saying which is the A-Team and which is the B-Team? Players like Reinach, Coetzee and Koch can hardly be labeled as B-team material. Perhaps the difference in the A and B teams is Pollard, PS du Toit, Faf and Marx? Nevertheless, we still need very capable replacements for these guys if they become injured or can’t play.

    Zelim makes some great points in sending a highly experimental team to NZ and keeping the solid guys here in SA to play the Wallabies. This way these Bok Barbarians can really go nuts and play their hearts out and it will keep the All Blacks guessing. The problem is if this experimental team gets destroyed by the ABs their confidence might take a huge knock, which is not what you want for your replacements. We also want these players to follow the defensive and attacking structures and having too many experimental players in one team might cause the team to become unstructured against a classy outfit like the ABs.

    In the end I think Rassie is trying to do too much in trying to win games and figuring out his World Cup squad. It’s a dangerous game as everybody will be howling if his winning % isn’t good enough. So, what to do? What would you guys do in his place? I don’t envy his position, but I’ll support them all the way.

    • boyo

      It is tricky because he only had two years instead of the four he needed. Having said that he has also made some shocking selections and continues to tinker with his team where he maybe doesn’t need to. For example Jean Luc Du Preez has been discarded and Elstad brough in why introduce a third choice blindside flank at this stage. Papier is gone and Jantjies is in was papier not a decent thrd choice option who already knew the system. Gio Aplon toured last year for what the guy is now 37? Leyyds should have toured instead last year but now has to come in out the cold.

      No coach is perfect but I am beginning to question if Rassie really has the vision we all hope.

      • Chris Mouton

        Personally I’m quite confused with the way Papier was managed by the Bulls. It had a massive effect on Bok selection. I’m also extremely sad that Dan du Preez didn’t get a chance. He had a massive season. Both him and Jean-Luc are leaving permanently, which is a huge loss for SA rugby. With the right type of coaching those two talented players could’ve become legends. What is encouraging me is that Rassie picked some players on form. Granted, some players are there on reputation as they’re coming back from injury, but we need experience as well.

      • Ulrich

        Because you don’t want a Gelant or Willemse running the show with Nkosi & Dyantji there. That’s why Aplon was brought in. Aplon is probably still only a phone call away in case of disaster and is there as a quota backup for Kolbe I presume.

        • Barry

          Not the case Ulrich, Willemse played at 15 against England in the EOYT with Nkosi & Dyanti on the wings. No Aplon. In fact Aplon didn’t play at all, as I recall, so one wonders why he was there?

        • Ulrich

          To elaborate on the above,

          Take a look at how well Toetie’s back three of Skosan, Leyds and Andries Coetzee went. Was disastrous.

          • Herman

            Tey weren’t the disaster my friend Toetie was, true story. Cheers.

  • John Comyn

    I’m with Tank on this one. Take3 the WC out of it. The objective here is to win the competition. Rassie obviously feels the so called “b” side is good enough to beat the Wallabies at home. He does not believe he can travel and beat the AB’s unless they get to the game where travel fatigue becomes a problem. No side has won the WC trying to arrive at the tournament acting like they are underdogs. They need to get there having won all their games. It’s called building a winning culture!

  • Augusto

    From Argentina.
    I think there are two key factors in the RC 2019, and I think both of them are the reason we are going to watch 2019’s best rugby matches in the Championship : first, SA and NZ have so many quality players who want a spot in their national team squad for the RWC, that are going to show the best of them to achieve that goal. Second, there is going to be some experimentation in the teams combinations, on one hand, and in the strategy to gain space faster than the defences in the game, in the other hand.
    I think is going to be a great RC.

  • Cobus Brits

    Its a juggling act at the moment and Rassie has no choice if he is to have a real chance to the RWC title.

    EOYT had mixed results so new blood is needed and more depth to counter injuries.

    You loose badly to the AB’s with your B-team and confidence across SA goes down and the A-team will feel it. Social media is too powerful.
    Its all about confidence.

    If we only win the AB’s, it is job done for RWC preparations. If we can win again in NZ, AB’s will start doubting themselfves. If we can do them in, come Japan, their self belief would have been dented.
    That is what Rassie is after.

    Losing to Aus will more badly reflect on the incoming players so those players will motivate themselves to earn a place in a team that has already beaten the AB’s.

    It is really in the ‘B’ team players hands and they know it.

  • Herman

    Folks believe me Rassie is winging it as I’ve said before. Let’s first admit that overall the Boks were poor last year. The squeeky win in Wellington thanks to an unusual brain fart by Barrett and we’d be singing another hymn today. In fact after the EOYT with a lucky win against the French which, if otherwise, would have taken Rassie’s win ratio below 50%, there is in fact no momentum from last year to speak of.

    Couple that with a pretty below average SR campaign by all sides with our ‘top’ side finishing 17 points behind the top team in the round robin stage, then we can’t say that SR has given us any momentum either. The inconsistency of teams and some of the players so revered on these forums was diabolical. Pollards QF effort springs to mind.

    Then Rassie believes without any ‘game time’ together he can now mix and match his two Bok teams for the first two matches. So much for the argument you need four years to plan for the WC. Writing this after the ‘B squad’ has been announced it is clear to me he is just hoping for the best.

    He has a player like Elstadt ( a penalty waiting to happen ) leapfrogging his way from club rugby overseas to his first Springbok cap. Herschel for all his little flashes has never experienced the white hot cauldron that is test rugby. The ‘B’ squad has obviously never played together as a cohesive unit and Rassie is clearly hoping the Aussies are as bad as everyone seems to think they are. He could be in for a rude awakening.

    It’s fairly easy to extrapolate who will be the fifteen sent overseas to form an advance party to tackle the most potent team on the planet and on their home ‘cake tin’ bent on avenging last seasons hiccup. Barrett especially will be champing at the bit. Again our boys go there with not a single minute of real game time behind them as a cohesive unit. Winging it ??

    Notable with the ‘B’ team is Rassie complying with his promise to his political masters to up the transformation ratio to 50% by the WC. Well he certainly has done so with this lot. Seven ‘white’ players in the run on team would even please Julius. Wouldn’t be surprised if he mentions it in Parliament or maybe he will say it’s still not good enough it should be 80% in terms of our population demographic. Please don’t shoot me down folks, I didn’t bring ‘colour’ into the equation the politico’s did.

    What is clear to me is that the smiling ‘meticulous planner’ is taking us for a ride. If he was serious about winning SR and the WC then imo he has not prepared the Bok team properly. Don’t even get me started on the game plan. If he thinks a rush defence is going to surprise the AB’s he should forget it. Hansen has already said they have plans for it and I can only believe they have. They do outsmart us 99% of the time.

    Our SR was so poor he should have taken his chosen 31 players out of the campaign and organized some sort of real practice games to sharpen up the squad. With all the SR early exiting anyway he has had time to fit in at least some real game time for the squads. Most of our teams found the attacking game a serious challenge as did the Boks last year. How pray is this mix and match lot going to magically transform into a finely tuned machine with no game time together to speak of ? Great planning Rassie, not !

    Let the roller coaster begin. Ten years without a meaningful trophy is on the line and Rassie’s real moments of truth lie ahead. I’m fully prepared to eat humble pie if I’m proved wrong but methinks I’ll be eating the ‘I told you so’ pie come November. In fact I’ve already eaten 5 of those since 2014. Cheers.

    • Adrian

      So how did things worked out yesterday? More egg on your face? Muppet!

    • Eddie

      Jeez Herman, that essay is longer than the article on which you’re commenting on. Looking for a spot at the writers table are we?

      Now I’m not trying to pick a fight with you on this one, but I do see some hypocrisy in some of your statements (nagging?).
      1. Against the world’s best we went toe to toe over 160 minutes of rugby last season and at the end of it all the scores over the 2 games were 66-66 – had to be a hell of a lot of Barrett brain farts in there I guess (can’t see how he ever became the world’s best 10 with so many brain poepe).
      2. Against the English (the bookies’ 2nd favourite team for this world cup), we won the series and played an experimental side in the 3rd test and then lost by 1 at Twickenham. So that’s another 2-2 result against a quality side.
      3. You mention we were lucky to beat the French, but weren’t we unlucky then to lose to England after the Farrell ‘legal penalty’ debacle?
      4. We did lose twice against a Welsh side who is on a 13 game winning streak (the first of those tests should never have happened). Did we also not suffer from a Robert du Preez brain fart in that one? Or are we just bad and other sides need brain farts to lose against us?
      All in all the Boks played some good rugby last year (although I’m sure you will simply reply with something along the lines of ‘Rassie’s dom-krag gameplan is out of date… yada yada’). The consistency is not quite there yet, but given some more time together, this squad can certainly go on to bigger things. But maybe it takes a more positive mindset to see it, or maybe years of mediocre Bok performances have finally broken your spirit… Maybe you should rather watch the Netball this weekend, sounds like we’re doing pretty well there. Cheers.

    • Chris Mouton

      Oh dear. Another page from Hermie’s Book of Complaints has somehow found it’s way to this forum. Guess nobody else wanted to read it, so now he’s trying to pawn it off here.

      A few questions, O Master of Complaints. Where was the highly revered Elton Jantjies in the QF’s? Pollard was there and steered his team to a great performance against the Hurricanes, even though it sadly led to a loss. Where was the highly revered Jantjies on the list Top Point Scorers? Pollard was at the top. Who’s the attacking coach at the Boks again? Instead of the ceaseless complaining, do you have any solutions to your complaints?

      Of course Rassie is winging it. He has to. He only had two years and inherited a shambles from Toetie. At least he’s trying to make sensible selections and willing to try new ideas. But let’s hear your great ideas? Yeah, I thought so, you’d rather prefer to sit and complain in your wet nappy until somebody comes around to change it. There there, Hermie, everything will be okay. Don’t let Uncle Rassie upset you too much. He’s only trying his best given his circumstances.

      • John Comyn

        Thanks for summary Chris. I just did not have the energy to read Herman spewing diatribe. You forgot to mention Elton’s SR missed tackles stat. Worst in the competition for 2 years on the trot.

        • Dean Bright

          Thanks Chris. His posts are repeated regurgitated pessimism. In a year that we should be excited, you have people like that who bring all the negatives. I think this could be an amazing year for SA rugby. If they manage to overcome all the odds and reach the final of the WC, it would be a massive achievement. I think Rassie is doing a fine job in spreading the net and building a squad, larger than just 15 players who can do the business.

  • Herman

    To all my ‘supporters’ above Eddie, Chris, Dean and John, many thanks for your well founded criticism of my post and I must apologize for trying to point out the inherent weaknesses in the Bok system and my ongoing frustration with nearly ten years of Bok failure. Maybe my excuse is that I come from an age where excellence was part and parcel of team that was picked purely on merit and the players placed country before personal gain. Something every country aspires to in the real world to this very day except us it seems.

    The inability of our rugby to develop into anything close to even being successful over this period points to an inherent stubbornness by our coaching challenged coaches to adapt to the modern game, due mainly to their inability to coach the modern game. The Lions led the way but the stubborn never followed. By example let me refer to the Sharks latest coach now ‘promising’ to play more expansively. Ditto the Bulls. Why now ? Where was the vision since 2009 ?

    Now the bleeding hearts are telling me to shut up. The only way to shut me up is for our SR teams and the Boks to stop embarrassing this country with sub standard results and show the world that we can adapt. The problem is we hang on to close losses or the occasional close win as if we are a second tier rugby nation. The bleeding hearts here have been so battered by so many years of mediocrity and failure with their Franchises and the Boks that anyone who questions and points out why becomes a target for their frustrations. Bothers me nought folks because I do know the truth often hurts and it’s even easier to just shoot the messenger. No sympathy for you from my side, none so blind than those who will not see.

    By the way Eddie I can pick holes in all four of your points regarding the ‘closeness’ of the contests with an equally compelling counter argument but it seems long posts disturb some of you guys. It maybe a concentration thing I don’t know. I will however respond separately to those.

    Let’s just be honest here folks, how many times are we going to go into every SR and Bok campaign withe fire in our hearts and a will to succeed ? How many times must we hear poor coaches promise us ‘this year’ is the one. What must we do when we know the system stinks but bury our heads in the sand praying for miracles ? Your way of coping is to give the benefit of the doubt to the powers that be. My coping mechanism is to call them out and demand accountability. Who’s positive and who’s negative here ? I rest my case. Cheers.

    PS : I did mention I will eat humble pie if Rassie proves me wrong. For him to do that he will have to win the RC and the WC. I’m still betting on my ‘I told you so’ pie.

    • Whynger

      Wow Herman.Now that is what I call a rant! Not completely unwarranted on without real cause.

      Yeah, pains me to say it, but in this specific comment, you mostly make sense. We have been reduced to “having faith” in “saviours” who will make wine from water. I have no faith. And I drink wine only when it is really good.

      The evidence shows you are probably right about the state South African Rugby. How does a country that produces schoolboy teams like Grey College, Paarl Boys High, Affies, Monument, Middelburg Tech, Outeniqua, Paarl Gim, Paul Roos, Glenwood and many many others, manage to become also-ran performers in senior rugby? All within the space of twenty years. Yes, we have been world champions twice, ended third twice and was totally robbed once (when we were at our peak), but in between, we lose to the Japans, Italys and Argentina’s of this world on a fairly consistent basis. Not to mention the Scots. Most of the time, we also play pretty shit rugby.

      I do not agree with the “domkrag” categorisation that you so love though. I do not care if you play “domkrag rugby”. As long as you do it consistently well. And win. Our problem is not the type of rugby we play. It is that we simply just do it badly, no matter what style we choose. And yes, even the Lions. Let us be honest. If it had not been for the conference system, they probably would have made fewer finals. Anyway, that team is no more.

      Our problem probably rests with management and coaching. The only way to change that, if you wish to do so, is to find a different coping mechanism. Become involved in your local club structures and through that, the province. Maybe a supporters club. It may take a while, but if enough lovers of the game do that, we can eat the elephant, one mouthful at a time.

      • Herman

        Thanks for that Whynger it sure is a merry dance that the ‘powers that be’ lead us on each year. We seem to be on the same page generally but must just comment on two of those.

        Firstly ‘dom krag’ is an often misunderstood generic phrase I use to describe most of of our Franchises stunted game plans where defence is the foundation of their tactics to the detriment of the other facets of the game. How many times do we see our teams go on the offensive and build an early lead then creep into their shells to defend that lead. How many times has it happened against the AB’s and they’ve then come back to beat us ? It happened as recently as last year at Newlands if you can recall.

        The Boks regrettably under Rassie follow the same pattern despite having Swys coaching the backline. Building an attacking rugby culture cannot be done over a short space of time and more importantly trying to harness players who don’t play that game with their Franchises and some who even lack the skills to play it.

        Dom krag does not mean attack willy nilly to the exclusion of all the other essential elements of the game but by practicing and playing attacking rugby consistently you get better at it and at game time it becomes instinctive not laboured as we see so often in SR. How can the Sharks thump a depleted Lions team this year with great rugby then crawl back into their shells with some real stinkers ? Poor coaching no doubt a contributing factor.

        Secondly your Lions comment. There is no doubt that the Lions paved the way and were worthy Finalists in 2016 and 2017. The overall Conference logs will attest to that. In 2016 they played all the NZ teams in the pool stage and were only pipped to the top of the overall log because they ‘forfeited’ the Jaguares game. In 2017 as per the rotational system they did not play the NZ teams and finished top of the overall log and thumped the Hurricanes in the semi final and were ‘red carded’ out of the Final when they lost to the Crusaders.

        In 2018 they experienced some crucial player losses and found it a bit more difficult but still managed to win their Conference albeit not so imperiously. On the overall log, even taking into account all the points scored by all the teams, they still ended up a genuine 4th on the log and thus an automatic semi if the system was different. I do however concede the Final to a deserved Crusaders team.

        This year of course had it’s own tale to tell yet they somehow managed to win 7 of their 10 games against overseas opponents including two NZ teams and the Jaguares twice. The best by far of our Franchises. Let’s be honest, my critics on this forum are obviously supporters of the other Franchises who really have no argument when it comes to the Lions excellence or their progressive game plan these past years. They have their own agenda and I understand that to some extent but to expect them to be objective about these matters may be a bridge too far for them and I take what they say with a decent pinch of salt.

        Finally your coping comment. I’m not sure if you are aware that I’ve been writing on various forums since 2014 and believe me I can cope with anything thrown at me. I tell it like it is and accept the good with the bad. I’ve had some real crusty adversaries in my time but have survived the lot of them. Most of the time my tongue is in my cheek to be honest and one gets to know what buttons to press. After all their teams feed me so much ‘fodder’ that it becomes quite laughable at times.

        Sorry if I’ve rambled on a bit here but brevity has never been my strong suit old chap. Been nice chatting to you and Cheers.

  • Nick

    Hermie. How wrong can you get it?

    • Herman

      Hell Nick it took you all of thirty minutes after the match to compile that amazing post of yours, well done. I can even see you salivating in anticipation as the final whistle drew near. But nothing has really changed old chap if you look at the game objectively. Thanks for the opening by the way I normally wait for the ‘Debate’ before mounting my reality check.

      Firstly the Aussies who currently rank below our perilous 5th place are even weaker than we were in SR and easily one of the worst performing teams in test rugby last year. They were never going to provide a real challenge no matter what which I stated in a previous post. Even then they were unlucky with the rub of the green on a few occasions and I agree with Cheika on the the yellow card issue the yellow should at least have been given to Elstadt as well. Elstadt as I indicated in my original post is a penalty waiting to happen. He got away with one but was pinged on other occasions in the match. In a tight test against decent teams it could be fatal.

      As for the Boks well here I have the good, the not so bad and the still ugly. I’m glad Rassie has admitted this one was based more on individual performances than cohesive team work which was of course to be expected and also anticipated by me before the game. Some players did perform pretty well and it would be churlish not to mention Herschel’s fine performance. We will however see how he fares when the other better sides have worked him out but good luck to him.

      I could run through the team for and against but I think it will be futile at this early stage, lets first see what team Rassie comes up with for NZ. The way the Argies played last night makes them even more dangerous than the AB’s imo plus the AB’s will be fully charged up for us next week. I don’t see us beating either if truth be told. Both those teams will pulverize the Aussies as well so totsiens RC.

      So to answer your question, nothing has changed old chap. Only thing that has changed is Rassie’s win ratio now at 8 wins and 7 losses. Let’s hope after the next two games it’s not 8 wins and 9 losses and no RC trophy. Then my ‘I told you so’ pie will be regrettably eaten mainly because I actually take no satisfaction from our Bok suffering. True story. Cheers.

  • Nick

    Volunous rubbish as usual. Get a new hobby.

  • Herman

    Don’t be coy Nick I know you can’t wait for my next post. Cheers.

  • johann pieterse johann pieterse

    We’ll see if Rassie’s plan bears fruit on Saturday in Wellington. It’s irralevent for me,it’s all about who gets it right on the field at the cake tin.Dan na dui is dit aan in Japan….Yokohama niks tyres wat brand nie…LOL..tot later ‘Ou Grote’

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