The Boks are undefeated in the Tri-Nations, a noteworthy feat at any time. On successive weekends they have beaten the 2nd and 3rd ranked teams, both of which are miles ahead of the rest of the world. But are they, as some have argued in this forum, a great team?
No they are not.
Today, with a home crowd, a refereeing team seemingly incapable of noticing Bok indiscretions (Note: I did not say the Wallabies were inappropriately penalized), they could only score one somewhat decent try – and that on a Wallaby hash-up.
More significantly, with the Wallabies down one forward and one back, they could only score a measly three points.
More like a credit to the Wallabies and an embarrassment to the Boks.
The Boks have:
• The hardest working, stealthiest, and to date least scrutinized loose forward in the world – Heinrich Brusseau (in short order he will be the best).
• The best lineout jumper in the world – Victor Matfield.
• The most effective captain in the world – John Smit.
• A pool of about 20-25 very solid interchangeable support players who in various combination’s provide an unimaginative but effective support platform for…
• The best kicker in the world (right now) – Morne Steyn.
Overall the Boks easily have the best group of players in the world.
However, behind the attitude, athleticism and sheer brawn, there is something missing. It may not be as egregious as the bluff perpetrated by the Wizard, but there is something missing – particularly for a team showing signs of believing their hyperbolic press.
The Boks won today but their defense, and even more so their attack, were badly exposed. My prediction – they have won their last Tri-Nations game for this year.