Rassie: Boks got out of jail!

He will no doubt take it, but Bok coach Rassie Erasmus was man enough to attribute his side’s nail-biting 16-16 draw against the All Blacks on Saturday to a heavy stroke of luck.

Replacement scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies scored the match-saving try on full time, which Handré Pollard converted, to tie the game at 16-16 after the All Blacks had managed to break the Springboks’ tight defensive grip in the second half.

“To play the No 1 team in the world and be lucky at the end there, it was almost like last year,” Erasmus said after the second round Rugby Championship match.

“Right at the end we could have lost it and we managed to draw the game, and Handré could have missed that last kick so we could have lost that game.

“To come away with a draw, I guess we’re satisfied with that. The first 35 minutes we played very well while they totally dominated the second half. So fairly lucky, in a big way,” said Erasmus.

The visitors started impressively, especially without ball in hand (the Boks made 155 tackles), and were unlucky to go into the halftime break 7-6 behind after they had dominated territory and possession.

A rare turnover just inside the All Blacks’ half from skipper for the day, Duane Vermeulen, opened up an opportunity for fullback Beauden Barrett to outflank the Springbok defence and turn a pass back infield for centre Jack Goodhue to sprint in from 20 metres.

Barrett, who had earlier missed a penalty from the same position, nailed the conversion to give the All Blacks an unlikely, 7-6 lead.

There were however positives to take from another massively tough tussle with the arch rivals, according to Erasmus.

“We certainly take a lot of positives out of this because they are the world’s No 1 team, they’re the benchmark and we all strive to be where they are.”

The Bok mentor was frustrated that his team did not collect more reward for their early efforts, when they were clearly dominant.

“I was frustrated in a sense that we dominated a lot of things except lineouts. All the other facets we dominated. Especially when they were almost under caution from the referee for repeated infringing and we missed the penalty when we could have gone nine points up, then they scored that turnover try and that swung the momentum,.

“Lucky to escape, but the first 40 minutes we played really good tactical rugby.”

The Boks now travel to Auckland for a week-long training camp before their third and final Rugby Champs match against Argentina in two weeks’ time in Salta.

Apart from scrumhalf Faf de Klerk, who failed his HIA assessment, and was replaced by Jantjies in the second half, the Springboks reported no notable injuries.

Key match stats:

POSSESSION

  • South Africa – 43%
  • New Zealand – 57%

GOAL KICKING

  • South Africa – 80%
  • New Zealand – 67%

CARRIES

  • South Africa – 99
  • New Zealand – 141

METRES MADE

  • South Africa – 245
  • New Zealand – 395

DEFENDERS BEATEN

  • South Africa – 10
  • New Zealand – 22

CLEAN BREAKS

  • South Africa – 3
  • New Zealand – 7

PASSES

  • South Africa – 103
  • New Zealand – 207

OFFLOADS

  • South Africa – 10
  • New Zealand – 13

TACKLES

  • South Africa – 155
  • New Zealand – 91

MISSED TACKLES

  • South Africa – 22
  • New Zealand – 10

HANDLING ERRORS

  • South Africa – 8
  • New Zealand – 16

KICKS

  • South Africa – 30
  • New Zealand – 23

KICK METERS

  • South Africa – 856
  • New Zealand – 541

Scorers:

New Zealand 16 (7) – Try: Jack Goodhue. Conversion: Beauden Barrett. Penalties: Barrrett, Richie Mo’unga (2).

South Africa 16 (6) – Try: Herschel Jantjies. Conversion: Handré Pollard Penalties: Pollard (3)

- Tank Lanning

Let's chat

  • Herman

    Will be taking an early tilt at this one before the snipers arrive with a full volley of potshots, lol. Firstly it would be churlish of me not to recognize the fact that we have become competitive again and some credit must go to Rassie and his squad. One of my problems is we may have run out of ‘get out of jail cards’ in the run up to the WC going by our few last minute ‘victories’ but still we are at least competitive.

    Ten minutes into the game I noted that the AB’s had not arrived for this one. I feel the pressure of the immensity of the game in front of their home crowd had sapped them or their ‘energy’ and they really struggled to gell. The Boks ‘turning up’ for the first half no doubt also made them very uncomfortable.

    The second half however was a dog’s breakfast from the Boks and the AB’s switched on with purpose. That was when the dom krag fail safe DDD kicked in and the Boks held out to snatch a draw. The stats alone show there should only have been one winner but lady luck duly played her cards just right for the visitors. BB, like last year through missed kicks, no doubt helped the Boks burgle a draw. But that’s rugby I suppose.

    An objective look at this game however still raises many questions. The backline as a collective were pretty woeful. Pollard, except for his pressure conversion, was pretty ordinary and the lack of try scoring opportunities for the Boks can be attributed to his inability to create these opportunities. It has been said that although the WC would be a tight affair you cannot expect to lift the trophy if you don’t score tries against the better sides. This could still prove our achilles heel come September.

    We do have the makings of a reasonable pack to be honest and Rassie can build on that but if our backline and conservative game plan is not addressed properly over the next few weeks I still can’t see us beating any of the top four ranked teams in the world.

    I must however doff my cap to the lightie Herschel. Like everyone he did battle when he came on but proved he has the temperament to play with the big boy’s and kudos to him. His support play, composure and skills in getting over the line at the end was first class. As for DDA well the less said the better. How he keeps getting on the field in test matches is a complete mystery. Mapimpi again showed limitations.and Am was pretty pedestrian overall. Willie was below par but Kolbe has I think proved the sceptics ( including me ) wrong. He does have the good old x factor.

    So in closing, overall still a mixed bag from Rassie’s boys, proving they can be competitive, but still with too many questions to be answered with only two games to play before the real thing. I think the Pumas are the ideal prep at this stage and if we can’t put them away then it’s going to be a very tough ask at the WC. On a down note, Rassie still only sports a 50% win ratio after 16 games and kissing too many cousins is not helping his cause. Cheers.

    • Chris Mouton

      I agree with many of your points here. Your comments about Pollard is a bit tough, though. With such a brutal defensive game employed by both teams neither flyhalf could’ve created too many opportunities. I feel Mo’unga fluffed his lines a few times and this just shows why Beaudy is the first choice, despite his inaccurate goal kicking. He brings more to the table than any other flyhalf. I can distinctly remember Pollard creating a half-gap, but with Domjan die Ellende on his outside there was no opportunity to offload as Domjan was looking for people to run into without the ball. Kudos to Pollard for converting that pressure kick, though.

      I fully agree with you regarding Domjan. He only has one thing in mind and that is to run straight into the nearest opposition. The only gap in his life must be the gap between his ears. Such a useless player. No wonder Am couldn’t show off his attacking prowess as Domjan always goes dead with the ball and even concedes a few turnovers. Willie brought nothing creative, but thankfully he had the sense to pass the ball to Kolbe, who created the match-tying try. Faf’s aimless box kicks made me swear like a pirate a few times. Mapimpi didn’t get too many opportunities. We do have some good forwards, except for Malherbe. He’s fat and unfit and brings nothing to the game. Even his scrumming started to suffer. Nayakane is the best in the squad. Pity that Sadie couldn’t get a run.

      I think the All Blacks will see this draw as a loss. They looked extremely out of sorts and had way too many handling errors. The fact that their only try came directly from the magic of Barrett and Mapimpi being out of position would be a worry. The fact that they couldn’t capitalise on the pressure in the last 20min when they lifted the pace and couldn’t score a try like they normally do would be another worry. For the Springboks, the fact that they couldn’t capitalise on the first half pressure to score some tries or their malfunctioning lineouts should be very worrying. Both teams have a lot to work on.

      • Barry

        Chris, I’d take the Pollard comment with a pinch of salt. He made the most attaching meters on the day 75m in all, way ahead of any of his team mates despite having limited opportunity, so Hermie if you’re going to attack players, then at least have the decency to back it up with a bit of fact!

        The Boks predominantly played off 9 on Saturday with only 35% of Faf’s recycling going to 10. It is difficult for the backline to be too creative when the ball game is kept up front! By contrast Mo unga enjoy 63% recycle!

        • Herman

          Barry I always back up my opinions with fact’s and when people can’t counter them they usually deflect to something else of minor import. My comment that Pollard was ‘ordinary’ was also based on his general form over the season, one match does not change that.

          In any case a look at how he used the ball in those 75m might be a point to consider. Sleight of hand at crucial times opens up opportunities and you need vision to control that. Your comment about the ball being kept up front also confirms the ‘dom krag’ style Rassie still employs as his go to strategy. Maybe if we had played ‘AB’ rugby and surprised them we could even have won the game. Instead we ‘parked the bus’ to use a soccer term and the trusty DDD was deployed to keep the score down. Nothing ventured nothing gained.

          And with all these ‘draws’ between us and NZ teams and all that kissing going on, that cousin must be thinking of ‘wedding bells’ by now. Cheers.

    • Mark

      Herman – please don’t use the word “objective” as you do not have an objective cell within your make up.

      • Herman

        I trust that’s your opinion ? If so I fully respect your right to voice them. A bit more detail in your response may however make it possible for me to counteract your claim so until then, Cheers..

    • Barry

      I agree, the backline did not create much on attack, but their rush defense was outstanding and it was defense that “won” the game!

      Getting back to attack, we keep changing our 12’s, most recently introducing Steyn, yet no progress, I wonder if it’s not time we looked at the attack guru – what’s his name again, the chap from the Lions?

      • Herman

        Barry Swys is a pawn on Rassie’s dom krag chessboard. Swys has proved he he has the nous to coach the more complicated expansive rugby effectively and has done it for many years. Why Rassie chose him is a mystery because he had no intentions of playing anything but the no frills game and Pollard does not help due to his lack of creativity. Then he is given Dullende at 12 to further handicap his efforts. Am has got the skills but is not used for that just like at the Sharks. In dom krag rugby the wings are only there to make up the numbers. Result ? What you saw Saturday.

        You can’t turn a dyed in the wool dom krag coach into an expansive style coach just too many skills required. Same applies to the players. But give a competent visionary coach players with even the basic skills then he can do wonders. Another reason I’m still not completely sold on Mr Erasmus. Cheers.

        • Barry

          Always an excuse for the Lions hey Hermie, appreciate its tongue in cheek, but you must surely have winced at the realization that the part of the National set up that’s failing, sits at the door of the Lions man!

          Well he’s not the only Lions chap that failed. There’s much criticism of our midfield, so looking at the Australia game for instance, Esterhuizen received the ball from Jantjies “twice” in 50 minutes of rugby! Yes twice!!!

          Jantjies in that match enjoyed a 45% recycle rate from his scrum half, but in turn distributed the ball to everyone other than his 12!

          Esterhuizen did have a third chance with ball in hand, but it was out on the wing and not from Jantjies – that was in the10th minute. That’s when Esterhuizen created the space out wide, popped the ball in to Nkosi, onwards to Herschel and what do you know “try time”!

          It is not our midfielders that are the problem, they simply need the ball to do their work!

          • Herman

            To answer tour last sentence. Then why didn’t Pollard giver them that last Saturday ? Barry you’re just cherry picking to back up your argument. How often does it happen is the point. Full marks for your dedication to the ‘cherry picking’ analysis though. How long did it take you to find that example, lol.

            Nah. Swys has it in chunks my friend. No other coach in SA these past five years has done what he did on the try scoring front. In fact the other three Franchises as late as this year belatedly all decided to ‘give the ball air’. All failed. Cheers.

  • Frans

    It disappoints me so much that even our own people, coaches, supporters, media, despite when the Springboks are victorious are always either lucky, got the rub of the green, the other side did not play well, the ref missed something run them down. Never satisfied with anything. An example the 16 all draw vs the AB’s. The Stats if one wants to go by that favors the AB’s big-time which means the despite that the Springboks kept them at bay with brilliant defense. “Bok’s brilliant defense” I’d think the reports will read? “but no they were lucky” Then the last conversion by Pollard was a real pressure kick it meant to win or defeat and with half the AB team charging at him he slotted it brilliantly. “Pollard draws test with World Champions at the death with pressure conversion” No again “they were lucky” Remember it was the Boks who came from behind 16-9 with no time left that scored. Normally that’s something the AB’s does “I thought I’d read “Boks play hard till very end to draw test” but no again “they were lucky” So what did the Ab’s do? The played brilliantly all the time but drew? Not a word about their knocks on, bad passes to the invincible man, etc. Oh, that just happens in games” Come on SA give your boys the credit they deserve, Do like NZ rugby does even when they are defeated their pepole talks about them as if they won. Ja ou swaer dis maar swaar ne?

  • Frans

    It disappoints me so much that even our own people, coaches, supporters, media, despite when the Springboks are victorious are always either lucky, got the rub of the green, the other side did not play well, the ref missed something run them down. Never satisfied with anything. An example the 16 all draw vs the AB’s. The Stats if one wants to go by that favors the AB’s big-time which means the despite that the Springboks kept them at bay with brilliant defense. “Bok’s brilliant defense” I’d think the reports will read? “but no they were lucky” Then the last conversion by Pollard was a real pressure kick it meant to win or defeat and with half the AB team charging at him he slotted it brilliantly. “Pollard draws test with World Champions at the death with pressure conversion” No again “they were lucky” Remember it was the Boks who came from behind 16-9 with no time left that scored. Normally that’s something the AB’s does “I thought I’d read “Boks play hard till very end to draw test” but no again “they were lucky” So what did the Ab’s do? The played brilliantly all the time but drew? Not a word about their knocks on, bad passes to the invincible man, etc. Oh, that just happens in games” Come on SA give your boys the credit they deserve, Do like NZ rugby does even when they are defeated their pepole talks about them as if they won. Ja ou swaer dis maar swaar ne?

    • Mark

      100% Frans. It is oh so easy to bash and keep bashing and offer support to NZ – any real SA supporter would support the Boks through thick and thin. Herman clearly has a beef with SA rugby that he struggles to deal with and his demons will haunt him forever. He must be completely pissed off that SA dealt with Auz emphatically, traveled to NZ and pulled off a draw (not easy) and now he says that if we dont whip Pumas away then questions must be asked? WTF? with a travel schedule like SA has to deal with What the Actual F? Herman. Anyway it was a great draw which to me felt like a lot more that kissing my sister but more of a rogering of someone elses wife! To Herman it was probably more of like kissing his brother.

      • Herman

        Classy response old chap, not. If you read my post properly I did indicate that they have become more competitive. Now seeing that our rugby has been so battered over the years it’s no small wonder that fans like you are quite comfortable with narrow losses, draws etc. The fans of minnow teams in world rugby have the same attitude. Except we shouldn’t be a minnow team or have that mindset.

        For all smiley Rassies efforts he’s still sitting with a 50% win ratio. His game plan still sucks and some of the players are not WC winning standard. Unless you’ve been in outer space you may also have realized that the AB’s are not as unbeatable as in previous years. Even their SR sides with one exception were not up to standard. Even they only won 11 of their 16 SR round robin matches including drawing with those plumb useless teams like The Stormers and the Bulls. So pardon me for not accepting the crumbs that fall from the table of success. I have higher expectations.

        Not sure how long you’ve been posting on this site but may I suggest you visit Rugby 365 and other forums where some of my comments would be considered too complimentary of the Boks. You need a wake up call old chap. Cheers.

  • Barry

    Agree with you entirely Frans, it was always going to be a tight affair – the team with the least costly mistakes and best defense would win.

    At the top of NZ’s mistakes list was Barrett who’s kicking remains if-ish!

    Erasmus will need to address the drop in intensity in the second half. He has put his faith in a number of stalwarts but the reality is they are out of puff and not going the distance, whilst their counterparts are! The moments of magic in both tests have come from the newbies not the old guard – surely food for though?

    Frans, my headline would be “Aussie ref steals Bok victory”. Berry totally ignored Vermeulen’s request to review the spilt ball that resulted in NZ slotting three and putting the Boks a try away from victory. When the roles were reversed a few minutes later, he was happy enough to respond to NZ’s request for a review. Berry’s earlier decision cost us the test!

    • Herman

      Barry how can they be out of puff ?? Most of them have hardly played for weeks including the mercenaries and Rassie, by his own admission, said he has never had such a good prep time for the WC. Who’s fooling who here.

      Thanks for the newbies comment. Supports my take on the unnecessary need to bring in all these ‘veterans’ looking for a pension top up. Cheers.

  • Wesley

    I will say it again, you play what you are dealt, and after 80, the result is the only thing that matters. And after a 100 years of only small glimpses of any sort of success in NZ, a draw is a positive outcome. They could say what they will, but after 10years of losses in NZ before last year, and 10years before then, and 4years since we only got close in 94, and holy smokes, 13years before then in 1981…. Guys… What are we so negative about? Even in the golden years just preceding 95 and 2007 we didnt win or even draw a test in NZ. Jake never won in NZ, Kitch never got a shot. And the coach which got lambasted more than any other in the media has the best record against them, and beat them back to back in their own back yard. Since professional era we have only won 4games in NZ. Thats 23 years of playing there at least on average once a year, only coming away with 4 wins? And we talk about things as if we got lucky. C’mon. I get why Rassie says it, he has to keep the guys motivated and pressing toward greater thing. We as the outsiders from the camp dont get that pass.

    • Herman

      There’s also the decline in the AB’s form to take into account. Even last year they were looking vulnerable and this year so far even more so. Even their SR teams overall were well below their usual standard.

      At the same time the rest of the world especially the four top ranked have improved tremendously. Belatedly we have joined the chasing pack and as I said in my post we have become more competitive. To say we are flying is however not the case. BB’s missed conversions last year and this 80th minute burgle at the cake tin and we would have been singing a different tune now.

      I’m not being cynical or negative here and to Rassie’s credit has has admitted we are not ready for the WC which was my point as well. The backline was well below par and the miracle try is only serving to gloss over the inherent weaknesses imo.

      On your last comment though, why should Rassie be motivating his team to greater things with his cautionary words to the press ? The players shouldn’t need that at all, so maybe Rassie realizes the shortcomings of his team and is in fact being truthful. That is a far better way to look at it for the Boks going forward and kudos to him. Cheers.

      • Wesley

        So what if NZ is dipping in form, thats the nature of sport, no team or individual player has been the best throughout their existance. Its the legacy of Bokke vs NZ in the 98years of tests that im considering. And no performance in the history of sport between 2 powerful national teams has ever been a perfect complete performance. There will always be shortcomings, always be the next edge, the next discovery. Always something to work on as an indivdual and a collective. We all know this. Thats what Rassie is saying as the coach, and its not for us as supporters to do this. We are to support and encourage. Thus the word “supporters”. You truly sound like if one does not completely become this transient being of perfection within a certain short time in your career or even in your life as a human, you should be kicked down and berated until it becomes so. Im all for constructive critisism but you are definitely not giving any at this point. Goodluck with that Herman.

        • Herman

          Poppycock oh bleeding heart. Two powerful nations ?? Have you see the NZ record against us since 1992 ?? It’s a shambles from our point of view so only one powerful nation there and that’s a fact.

          I have conceded that the gap between the two has closed over the past four tests but apart from us getting more organized and competitive the decline of NZ rugby these past two years is palpable. B & I Lions drawn series, losses to Ireland, Australia and the Boks as well as most of their SR teams under performing this year is ample proof of that.

          Your old fashioned notion of supporting your team is very cute but in the real world these guys are paid big bucks to perform and the public expects results. Go to Stuff NZ and see how they criticize their teams as well.

          If you consider that I don’t give constructive criticism then you clearly don’t understand where I’m coming from old chap. In fact I’ve repeated the fault lines and why we have them on these forums so much that posters accuse me of repeating myself too much. I’ts way too late to suggest any changes the WC is on our doorstep and we’ve made our bed.

          In closing may I suggest you read my lead post again and properly digest what I have said. Cheers.

  • Al

    Regarding the attack I reckon they must be working on some moves that they are keeping in the locker for the World Cup – AB’s too I guess. So we shouldn’t be too worried yet. Defensive systems are far harder to coach and take longer to implement than attack. So I am still hopeful.

  • Dean

    A draw was a fair result. We dominated them in the 1st half except for one defensive error. The second half was all NZ except for the last 5 min there. Rassie and his coaching team must be given massive props considering how far this team have come. Let’s not forget that 2 years ago, they were on the end of a 57-0 hiding. They showed great character in this game to hang in there when they were not playing their best. If the Boks can manage a win in Salta, which they should, it will be another building block. The progress has been steady but it’s on an upward curve.

  • Nick

    Wesley is absolutely right. To denigrate the positivity of Saturdays draw, particularly set against last season’s results is the view of fantasists.
    The boks have a proud record, but let’s not base our opinions on innacurate myths.

    Well done rassie and the boks. A powerful performance that has put us on the front foot. The jersey is in good hands.

    • Herman

      The Boks have a proud record ?? Ground control to Major Tom – Houston we have a problem. Which inaccurate myths are those by the way ? It would help if you can elaborate a bit old chap, it might make it easier to pick holes in your opinions for a change. Cheers.

  • Redge

    Rassie trying to play mind games. No luck the players worked for it. Last year pure guts from SA. Give credit where credit is due. The AB’s don’t handle pressure well as they not use to it.

    We’ve got a problem at 15 and 12. It’s easy to solve the midfield problem by starting with Steyn and Am. Willie is a “windg&t” and likes attention so much. Not a team player. Even Lleyds will do better at 15. How are the negative experts feel after small boy Kolbe’s performance?

    • Herman

      I praised Kolbe in my original post at the top of this site. Credit given where credit was due. Cheers

  • Frans

    While I’m at it, Let me throw in another issue. WTF happened to the beautiful dropkick? As an example in the Super Rugby how many games has SA teams narrowly lost but if they tried a dropkick, VICTORY but no after 10 faces of relentless attacking the opposition goalline against “No way through here” without any indication they will score, you’d think someone (Captain) will think on his feet put the kicker in the pocket pass and dropkick VICTORY but no we must score tries (while you could not). you most probably tell me its to play attractive rugby? OK, what happened to win?
    I do not care re attractive rugby I will rather win ugly than to loose playing attractive. The choice is yours bro.

    • John Comyn

      The drop kick is becoming extinct. The rush defense or speed off the line leaves little or no time regardless of how deep the flyhalf takes the ball. That said many a world cup has been won with the drop kick.

    • Herman

      Frans, I admit there is a place for the dropkick no problem but don’t agree with your last comment. The teams that play attractive rugby have been ruling rugby since 2009. Teams that win ugly may win the odd battle but never win the war. The record books since our last wonder year in 2009 only proves it. Ten years later we are still battling to string a decent backline together. I rest my case. Cheers.

  • Nick

    Herman. Besides nz , sa has the best test record since the first tests were played. I would call that good and something to be proud of. Look it up.

    • Herman

      Not really. 10 years of stagnation has well and truly put us in the ‘also ran’ class. Ranked fifth in the world ok for you ? Past glory has it’s place but like the Roman Empire it eventually crumbled. True Story. Cheers.

  • Nick

    Inaccurate myths are the ones that suggest we have always been the best and have not experienced down turns during the history of the game. Besides not winning everything, we havnt always been a shining beacon of rugby either.

    • Wesley

      True Nick, thats just sport. Even though we look at NZ as a shining beacon, which is true to an extent, they had to toil 24years away to get a second taste of WC glory. Between big ref blunders (2007), short performances in knock-out stages (2003, 1999, 1991) and glory being snatched away in the dying minutes (1995), even they have had their time in the dirt. If all was perfect, it wouldnt be sport anymore, one would dominate, it would become boring, and lose viewership. Think F1 mid 2000s… Same on the other side of the spectrum. No one enjoys a drubbing year in and year out. We were on our way down that path 2 years ago. We seem to have corrected that path, hence the positive feelings again. People bashing on that feeling seriously cant enjoy anything in life it seems.

      • Herman

        Let’s be brutally honest here. The WC is a marketing exercise played every four years to balance the books. The fact that the AB’s haven’t won it every time is testament to it’s fallibility. All those reasons you gave why they haven’t is exactly my point. The highest ranked team in the world can lose a final by a refs poor decision and some other sometimes less worthy team holds the cup aloft and bills themselves as world champions. What a farce.

        In the meantime real tests become training grounds for this one off spectacular diminishing the value of test rugby. Lousy coaches also use those four years to cover for their inadequacies by preaching about the building process as an acceptable reason to explain their team’s losses.

        It’s a pity World Rugby has ditched the ‘global season’ on a Championship basis idea. That would have made every test played important and more meaningful and probably created more revenue in the process. Instead, like SA, we are sitting with ‘white elephant’ stadiums all over the country costing the tax payers mega bucks which could have been used for far more worthy causes. Cheers.

  • John Comyn

    Great result and and looking good to win the Championship. This despite comments on this board. I started reading a few then asked myself why am I reading this crap! As usual the 12 is bearing the brunt from the experts who are tactically way ahead of Rassie. The bottom line is Rassie has played two different sides and not lost. This is exactly what he would have wanted in terms of finalizing his best side for the WC.

    • barry

      It was indeed a great result John and I think in general most are really pleased with the way things went.

      Strangely, and this must be a record, I also agree that there is a bit of 12 bashing going on without reasonable cause. As I have already posted above, we generally played off 9 on Saturday with Pollard only receiving 35% recycle from 9. It would seem the plan was largely to either keep it up front or kick, which makes it difficult for the backline to do too much. Similarly last week, although Elton got a lot more recycle in that game, he only passed the ball to Esterhuizen twice in fifty minutes of rugby, so it makes it a little difficult to do spectacular things on attack, when you have no ball to work with!

      I am not sure whether this was by design or not, but it would be unfair leaving it entirely at the door of our 12’s.

      Lastly, the result was great, but I am sure Erasmus will not be entirely happy with things and nor should we be as supporters. There are many areas that need attention and it is not unpatriotic to put forwards suggestions on what these might be

      • Herman

        Maybe Esterhuizen was running the wrong lines, lol. Cheers.

  • Nick

    Exactly. John, Wesley. The obvious progress in the performance and overall vibe at the boks is extremely encouraging for the boks and for the game in S.A. criticism is good, nothing against that, but the childlike shuckwitted stuff that gets posted up here is beyond the pale.

    It’s best ignored really. It’s not intelligent or even interesting, It could be worse. We’ve read some nasty stuff on this site in the past which seems to have gone away. (Or was taken away!🤔)

    • Wesley

      Haha old Sweet has been absent for a long time now… Perhaps he choked on his “quota bokke” cake at the Protea Heights Checkers after the game on Saturday… :)

  • Nick

    It will be a huge loss when rassie steps down as coach. Fortunately he will stay on as director of rugby. The positive change/progress he has brought to S.A. rugby on and off the field has been staggering. No other coach since readmission has come close. Regardless of whether we win the WC or not. Although I’m pleased I put my bet down on the boks to win the thing when they were at 10/1 odds.

    • John Comyn

      That’s decent odds Nick! It is very open this time round so maybe cover your bet with one of either Ireland, Wales or England and hope the AB’s don’t win it. You’ll kick yourself if Ireland beat the Boks in the quarters.

  • Nick

    It’ll keep things interesting. My cover is Wales. Test rugby ready imo.

    Outside of course NZ.

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