Vermeulen answers Bok SOS

Back-row bruiser Duane Vermeulen has been called up to the Springbok squad for Saturday’s clash against France in Paris.

The veteran loose forward has officially taken the place of prop Coenie Oosthuizen who suffered a catastrophic knee injury in the first minute of last week’s 38-3 reverse against Ireland in Dublin.

Oosthuizen underwent a scan before flying home from Dublin, and the results showed that he has suffered medial collateral and anterior cruciate ligament damage which will require surgery and an extended period of time of out of the game.

It was also confirmed that loose forward Pieter-Steph du Toit will miss the French Test due to a concussion. He left the field after a blow to the head in the fourth quarter.

Vermeulen adds experience and, more importantly, grunt to a Bok pack that was manhandled by the Irish.

The team to play against France at the Stade France will be confirmed on Thursday.

- All Out Rugby Staff Writer

Let's chat

  • Bokfan1

    as brilliant as Thor will be, the problem is not our pack (well much less of a problem). Everyone from 9 – 15 is a problem

    • Sharky

      We actually don’t have a problem with 9 to 15. There are more than enough good quality, SA passport holding, players who could fill those positions. The problem is in AC’s top 2 inches and the stupid selection choices he has made.

      • hopeful

        2 inches at a push….

        • Sharky

          I’m talking about upstairs… ;)

    • Grant

      The scary thing is that everyone in the world can see this and is talking about it except for the coach. Instead he has such stubborn faith in certain individuals who are clearly not up to international standards. They might be nice people and fantastic Super Rugby players but my god have we not learnt the lessons from Japan, Italy and several other records? Some of the “incumbents” are just not performing and seem to be getting worse. Let them go back to their provinces and work hard to get back into the team.

      • Johan

        Grant I would agree with you but:

        15 Willie le Roux, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Pat Lambie, 9 Rudy Paige

        First home loss to Ireland:
        15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Pat Lambie, 9 Faf de Klerk,

        15 Kirchner; 14 Habana, 13 Kriel, 12 De Villiers (capt), 11 Mvovo (Pietersen, 68); 10 Lambie (Pollard, 57), 9 Pienaar (Du Preez, 57)

        This Ireland game:
        In this game Jantjies went off in 58th minute (score was 14-3) and remember De Elende trew away a try and Kolisi threw a no look pass. 14 points down the drain.

        Then Polly came on and made no difference -> ( 24 – 0 in the last 22 minutes)

        Clearly the problem is not Jantjies and Cronje.

        Jantjies has also never played to his potential under Coetzee, remember the Stormers year? Coetzee is incapable of playing any other game than kick and chase, and this is not what Jantjies and Cronje is good at.

        The problem isn’t just the players.

        The problem is the coaching

  • Wesley

    Not gonna matter, having Vermeulen. He won’t be able to adapt to Coetzee’s “plan”, no-one has been able to for months now… And 9-15 is not the problem, those players have it, it’s the coaching that’s the problem. Coetzee we know is lacking everything in the international coaching arena, but perhaps even Franco’s backline coaching is lacking as well, everyone was going on how astute coach he is, but even the Cheetahs weren’t a force under his hand. Stick was a major problem last year and massively out his depth, but Franco didn’t bring much in after as well. Also, who is teaching Cronje to step tonnes of meters before a pass? He has never done that, until now this season. Why? The backline is not moving, yet those same players move like hell at their provinces… Why? Back 3 making massive meters in Super Rugby, against top New Zealand teams, but stuck behind the gainline with Toetie… WHY????

    • Johan

      Remember last year, after the Ellis Park game, when Combrinck saved the day?

      Coetzee pointed to newcomers like scrumhalf Francois de Klerk, flyhalf Elton Jantjies and centre Lionel Mapoe as players guilty of “over-exuberance”.

      He also said (or let slip) players should follow his game plan or they won’t get picked again.

      This after they played Lions rugby and won the game.

      Since then they followed his game plan, and the whole of last year we were asking what is that game plan??
      We are still asking.

      Coetzee has destroyed the Springbok, but maybe, with a new coach the Springbok can emulate a phoenix

  • Peter

    1 horse and 16 plodders and still AC thinks like an amateur coach….half the team that left SA should never have left here…..almost half should have been Europe players….and the other half should almost exclusively been from those not taken along…..Robert du Preez Jnr….being a prime example…..but nooooo….we take crap…..and so now the Springbok has become a Takbok

  • humblepie

    You put your finger right on the problem Johan. At this stage I would prefer that AC play with a different 9 and 10. The result will be the same and Toetie will have nowhere to hide. I take my hat off for those players that play modern rugby and have to accept playing instructions from an incapable coach week in and out.

  • white male

    The coaches gameplan is not what wins or loses rugby matches. At the end of the day, success depends on the individual skills of the players on the field and their ability to gel as a team. An excellent team will find a way to win playing to any gameplan, or adapt the gameplan on the field, if needs be. In fact, the ability to respond to what is happening on the field is crucial, and it is in this area – decision-making – that the boks too often fatally fall down. Coaches can help by providing structures that simplify decision-making, paticularly with regards to defense, but ultimately cracking an opposition defense relies on dynamic decision-making by players who have a sense of space and timing and the confidence to execute.

    Some things can’t really be coached – decision-making is one of these things. At an international level, you want ALL of your players to be excellent decision-makers in their particular context and to have some players who are excellent at making decisions that open up scoring opportunities or successfully control the tempo and field position of the game.

    The bok forwards seem to me to have genuinely improved in their decision-making this year in particular. They seem more disciplined than in the past, and much more dynamic in attack. Much of this comes from super rugby. One criticism is that they do not take sufficient advantage of opportunities to counter ruck, and as a consequence allow teams to under-commit at the breakdown. A few aggressive counter rucks during the course of the game, whether or not they are successful in effecting a turnover, significantly affect the mindset of the opposing pack.

    The biggest problem is our backline, and in particular 9 through to 12. To my eye, Cronje looks slow to get to the breakdown and clear, and his passing leaves much to be desired. It is both predictable and technically flawed, often too high or requiring the receiver to slow down. Further, he very seldom offers anything in the way of breaks to keep the opposition loose forwards honest. On all these counts, the much maligned “quota” player Rudy Paige seems to me to offer more.

    Jantjies is a fine player, and has a lot to do with the success of the Lions in Super Rugby. But it appears he is being expected to play in the mould of SA’s great fly-halves of decades past, dominating territory with his boot. None of the Super Rugby teams play a 10 man game anymore, and the international game truly seems to have moved on from this, even in the 6 nations. If we want a fly-half to kick for territory, Jantjies is not our man. Bring on the lumbering Frans Steyn, in that case, and kiss goodbye to the next world cup.

    Given the fact that our back 3 inevitably seem to receive the ball tight to the try-line with a rapidly closing cover defence thanks to our centres robbing them of time and space, rather than creating these things, its hard for them to look good. This definitely is a selection issue. Having strength (de Allende) and athletic ability (Kriel) are not sufficient qualifications for international selection on their own. You need to be an excellent rugby player.

    On quotas – the public discourse on this is disturbing and the administrators and players are not doing enough to counteract this. Given our demographics, the simple fact is that super rugby and currie cup teams, selected on merit, should be dominated by players of colour. The fact that they are not is an indication that selection is still not merit-based.If you don’t see this, its only because you don’t understand the concept of merit. The fact that they are not is an indication that selection is still not merit-based. Our springbok team should be dominated by players of colour. The only white players who deserve selection purely on the basis of merit are Malcolm Marx, Eben Etzbeth, Pieter Steph du Toit, Wilco Louw and Steven Kitsoff.

    My team:

    1. The Beast
    2. Malcom Marx
    3. Wilco Louw
    4. Eben Etzbeth
    5. Pieter Steph du Toit
    6. Siya Kolisi
    7. Jean-Luc Du Preez
    8. Nizaam Carr
    9. Rudy Paige
    10. Elton Janties
    11. Warrick Gelant
    12. Handre Pollard
    13. Rhaymond Rhule
    14. Dylan Leyds
    15. Curwin Bosch

    16. Steven Kitsoff
    17. Franz Malherbe
    18. Jaco Reinach
    19. Patrick Lambie
    20. Sikhumbuzo Notshe
    21. Bongi Mbonambi
    22. Rohan Janse van Rensburg
    23. Lood de Jager

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