The Big Rugby Championship Question: We might not lose this weekend

Brett McKay Columnist

122 Have your say

Popular article! 4,511 reads

    Australians all, let us rejoice. There is one certainty: we are not going to lose to the All Blacks!

    One of the big pluses in the immediate aftermath of the Bledisloe Tests, and even as we emerged this side of the bye weekend was that suddenly, the Wallabies are a chance of winning a Test this weekend.

    Of course, that same feeling is shared by our South African friends, whose Springboks are playing with a similar lack of lustre. The Boks are similarly pulling apart their team’s performance to try and work out how on earth they’re trying to play.

    And so it seemed only fair that we hand the question reins over to our resident South African this week.

    The Big Question: For each team, which player epitomises the team’s strongest point, and who epitomises the weak point? (from Harry)

    Nobes: “This is a very difficult question for someone that loves rugby because I believe is all about a team effort where everybody brings something to the table.

    “The second part of the question does not seem fair, considering that the coaching staff decides which players are selected and which are not. But I will play along, Harry, hoping not to utterly disappoint anybody.

    “New Zealand is the most difficult to talk about, because they have some many talented players. However, if the selection has to be made based on what is going right now, I will have to place Barret as the man who epitomises the All Blacks strongest points. To answer the question on weakness, I will have to go with Wyatt Crockett whom I like in the loose but he does not convince me as a scrummager.

    “For Australia, I think Israel Folau is a player that everyone would like to have in their team, powerful when running and extremely secure in the high ball.

    “In the other end I am afraid to say that James Slipper has never convinced me. He is a good player at club level but not as someone that I would consider to play as a country representative in the national team.

    “The Springboks have in Eben Etzebeth what South African rugby is for me: a powerful and merciless attacking force, making tackles showing strong personality. You always know when this fellow is on the field. At the other end I have two candidates – please, do not give me a hard time about quota issues.

    “My first choice is Adriaan Strauss: my assumption is that something is not right with him in this season. I remember he used to make a stand every time he entered the game. He is not quite the same this year. The other choice is Oupa Mohoje: his poor tackle technique can leave SA with 14 men at any time, and he may also become something even worse: a health threat for any opponents.

    “Finally, in Argentina, it is my opinion that Augustin Creevy represents Argentina rugby very well. He is passionate player, ready to leave everything on the field. In the other end I will place Gonzalez Amorosino that earned his place after a superb try in RWC 2011 that put the team in the quarter finals, however he has not been able to come up with anything else since then.”

    Harry: “Thus far in The Rugby Championship, the Springboks have been slow and sloppy start/strong and spirited finish, but young and raw Pumas have been brave and enterprising and started strong, then faded both times; holding on one time courtesy of missed ‘Bok kicks and bad box kicks. The Wallabies have been sour, cramped and ragged. The All Blacks have been masterful in their fundamental skills, and happy, actually cheeky, warriors.

    “So for me: NZ’s 2016 TRC campaign is epitomised by the bulked-up and very cocky Dane Coles, who’s missed no lineouts, scrummed with good technique, but also steps defenders with high numbers on their jerseys and smiles after he scores. Argentina’s been epitomised by Creevy, because he’s having a go AND a rip in the first half, and then hanging on in the final quarter, breathing like a racehorse.

    “The ‘Boks have been playing like Faf de Klerk: full of energy and courage, but inexperienced and thus, starting each game with kicking errors, high passes, and dubious tactical decisions. The Wallabies are definitely playing like Stephen Moore: unhappy, feeling a bit like a victim, and not finding partners in space or the jair.

    “Players who have not epitomised their larger squads’ play in the first two rounds:
    – The All Black props. Smile!
    – Etzebeth, who has played all 160 minutes at one (full) speed, almost error-free, and an experienced skillset.
    – Will Genia: fast, happy, decisive, and on target.
    – Santiago González Iglesias, who was the ultimate finisher in Salta: created the vital 22 m drop to retain, broke the line, and slotted a pressure kick for the win.”

    Digger: “A challenging question indeed from our resident Bearded South African axe champion, and part time ‘Wellingtonian’ poet. Let’s start with the A teams.

    “It would be easy to nominate Creevy in this category, probably because he is the right answer but I would like to propose Juan Martin Hernandez, whose turnabout in form from the Jaguares season has played a big part in the respective performances of the Super and National side to date. And here is a controversial suggestion: in my view the Pumas biggest struggle is to complete an 80-minute performance which I would suggest Creevy represents; a huge 40 to 50-minute effort that tends to peter out into holding on in the last few.

    “For Australia, while debate rages around the practicality and effectiveness of his selection, Michael Hooper represents a never say die, 100% committed effort week in, week out which cannot be faulted. The selection of Matt Giteau would, in my opinion portray the worst; a stubbornness, if you will, to continue in the same vein and not looking to adapt or change to the challenges presented.

    “South Africa is relatively simple. Etzebeth would represent to me the best of ‘Bok rugby, powerful, uncompromising and skilful while Elton Jantjies perhaps the worst, capable of brilliance while equally capable of inconsistent application, but too ready to retreat into his shell, highlighting the ever conservative nature that permeates through Springbok rugby at times.

    “For New Zealand, the culture and drive within the group to succeed would be one aspect I would focus on as a strength, and I think ‘ole man’ Jerome Kaino is a fair reflection of this, particularly when his form is compared to other experienced campaigners from other sides within the Championship.

    “The worst, perhaps I can poke a stick at Dane Coles, who can become unfocused at times and allow himself to become immersed in off-the-ball stuff a little too often, but I feel I am reaching a bit here.”

    Brett: I knew it. I knew the Harry Jones question would be the hardest to tackle, and that’s kind of why I saved him for last. That, and I needed more time to study…

    Digger’s beaten me to the punch in nominating Juan Martin Hernandez as Argentina’s strong point, and I think he has always been the Pumas’ barometer. When he’s on, Los Pumas can beat anyone and beat them well. If he’s quiet though, well that’s them done for the night. And equally, Nico Sanchez might be the weakest link, because if he’s having an off night, so much of Argentina’s game is pinned on him.

    For the Wallabies, Stephen Moore might actually be the strongest and weakest link. A lot of people are saying that Moore’s Wallabies form has followed on from Super Rugby, but I disagree with this, because I genuinely believe – and I know the club thinks this, too – that Moore had his best ever season for the Brumbies. His lineout work was good, and he was doing things around the ground that he hasn’t done in a long time. That hasn’t translated to the Wallabies though, and there’s no doubt he’s under pressure to hold his spot as a result.

    I agree with all comments made anointing Etzebeth as South Africa’s lynchpin, and I just hope to hell that the Wallabies have fixed up their lineout issues this week, otherwise Sacha Baron Cohen’s stunt double will have a field day. Their weakness currently is Damien de Allende, and I genuinely hope Allister Coetzee sticks with him this weekend, because I think even Bernard Foley could fool him into a defensive mis-read.

    And for New Zealand to finish with, there’s no doubt for mine that Kieran Read is their strength, and just like that other bloke who captained the All Blacks before him, so much of the ABs’ performance flows from Read’s personal performance. It’s like if he’s confident, then every other player can be confident too.

    Is there an All Black weakness? Well once, I think, I saw Ben Smith jink left when he should’ve jinked right. (Click to Tweet)He still got the offload away, though.


    Week 2: The Crowd, Brett, and Nobes 2; Digger and Harry 1
    Nobes: “It is very hard to tip without knowing the starting teams, we do not know if Hansen or Hourcade will play all their regular starting soldiers or save some for later on. Hourcade is aiming to win two games in TRC and may feel that Australia is more vulnerable, but they are up just one week after this game.

    “However, as Pablo Matera told me in an interview this week: ‘We are very lucky to play the ABs twice a year and if we win we would make history’. He is looking forward to be part of it. Me too. Unfortunately, and less wishful thinking, I may have to go with the ABs.

    “About the other game I flipped a coin and head came up so it will be the Wallabies over the ‘Boks. And my coin is almost never wrong! Only half the time.”

    Brett: I genuinely look forward to both games this weekend, and it will be the first time this season I’ve watched the ‘Boks and Pumas live, so there is that too.

    I’ll be interested to see how long Argentina can run with the All Blacks, though, and whether they have any luck bringing NZ down to the gritty level and speed they like to play at. I guess it’s just a matter of which point the home side will run away with it in the ‘Tron.

    And maybe it’s the home ground thing, or maybe it is the fact that the Wallabies have had a bit of success against the ‘Boks in Brisbane when they’ve been struggling elsewhere. Whatever it is, I hope – nay, demand – it will be enough to record the first win 2016.

    Diggercane: “I expect Argentina to be quite challenging for the All Blacks but I can see a blowout in the second half to the All Blacks.

    “And I am essentially settling on the home side in Brisbane, as I feel they will be more motivated after the hammering they have taken with regards to their recent performances and having no victories on the board. I think they have also had a better preparation in terms of recent opposition.”

    Harry: “NZ will have to work about as hard as they did against Wales. Argentina will test the home team’s set pieces and restarts, but NZ will separate from the Pumas in the last 25 minutes.

    “The ‘Boks will have too good a pack, and won’t keep missing 35% of their penalties and conversions.”

    The summary

    The verdict…
    A record response for The Rugby Championship to date, with more than 500 responses received for this round. Thanks to everyone who had their say, and I have to admit, I’m a little surprised at the final Australia-South Africa result.

    93.9% New Zealand
    57.2% South Africa!

    Brett McKay
    Brett McKay

    Brett McKay is one of The Roar's good news stories and has been a rugby and cricket expert for the site since July 2009. Brett is an international and Super Rugby commentator for ABC Grandstand radio, has commentated on the Australian Under-20s Championships and National Rugby Championship live stream coverage, and has written for magazines and websites in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the UK. He tweets from @BMcSport.

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    The Crowd Says (122)

    • Roar Rookie

      September 8th 2016 @ 5:56am
      Zack said | September 8th 2016 @ 5:56am | ! Report

      I have more faith in your team than some of your fellow Aussie posters:

      Wallabies by 12, and then to go on and win against the Pumas & SA both at home and away for 4 wins, before beating England in the

      • Roar Guru

        September 8th 2016 @ 5:59am
        Armand van Zyl said | September 8th 2016 @ 5:59am | ! Report

        I dunno… The Wallabies by 12 this weekend seems pretty bang on to me, and I support the other guys.

        As for beating the Boks and Argentina home and away, I can see that, too. Don’t see them beating England in the last tour though.

      • Roar Guru

        September 8th 2016 @ 6:44am
        taylorman said | September 8th 2016 @ 6:44am | ! Report

        Wow, and thats all based on? Form?

        • Roar Rookie

          September 8th 2016 @ 7:05am
          Zack said | September 8th 2016 @ 7:05am | ! Report

          Desperation…and pride.

          Wallabies cannot possibly get any further down on themselves.

          • September 8th 2016 @ 9:47am
            Porkie said | September 8th 2016 @ 9:47am | ! Report

            That’s what you guys said after the hammering England gave them, and they haven’t hit rock bottom yet, almost there, next two games will send them there , i feel for the refs though,

            • September 8th 2016 @ 10:22am
              rugby7 said | September 8th 2016 @ 10:22am | ! Report

              Porkie, England did NOT hammer the Wallabies, but were lucky in the second test, which they won by less than a goal. If Christian had delayed his awful concussion just long enough to kick a penalty, then the WBs would have won the game, and therefore the series. It is a fact that Lady Luck can (and does) have an effect in sport.

              • September 8th 2016 @ 11:17am
                Highlander said | September 8th 2016 @ 11:17am | ! Report

                which series did you watch??

              • September 8th 2016 @ 12:10pm
                Jacko said | September 8th 2016 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

                so 3 nil but if they win 1 they win the series?

              • September 8th 2016 @ 3:23pm
                CUW said | September 8th 2016 @ 3:23pm | ! Report

                @ Highlander :

                Am thinking the last lIONS tour – Beale slipped and missed a penalty. later he blamed the wrong type of boots 🙂

                and Deans lost his job !!!

              • September 8th 2016 @ 4:28pm
                Highlander said | September 8th 2016 @ 4:28pm | ! Report

                yeah, that’s what I thought, r7 is only a couple of years out

            • Roar Rookie

              September 8th 2016 @ 2:55pm
              Zack said | September 8th 2016 @ 2:55pm | ! Report

              Mate, the poms scored 9 tries, and the Wallabies scored 9 tries: hardly a “hammering”. But for a couple of questionable decision-making, the Wallabies would have won the series and their supporters would have been unbearable – until Bledisloe1 🙂

              Wales would have beaten England on their form in NZ..

              • September 8th 2016 @ 3:25pm
                CUW said | September 8th 2016 @ 3:25pm | ! Report

                wales got hammered by a second string england before they came to nz , but who’s watching 🙂

              • September 8th 2016 @ 7:14pm
                Jacko said | September 8th 2016 @ 7:14pm | ! Report

                Yes 9 tries all but over the series it was 106 points to England to 75 points to Aus. With 45 points each from tries thats 61-30 from kicks. That decided the series so it came down to field position, discipline and accuracy

        • September 8th 2016 @ 7:08am
          woodart said | September 8th 2016 @ 7:08am | ! Report

          no,wishful thinking.

      • September 8th 2016 @ 10:01am
        Niggle said | September 8th 2016 @ 10:01am | ! Report

        Mmmmm aus over the bocs?No not this year.Australia will be winning 60 minutes in then bocs fitness will overwhelm aus in the last 20.Bocs 17 Australia 14.

    • Roar Guru

      September 8th 2016 @ 5:57am
      Armand van Zyl said | September 8th 2016 @ 5:57am | ! Report

      If Australia try to understand the way the Boks play instead of focusing on how they should play, they will lose. Therein lies the secret to Allister Coetzee’s madness.

      I think I’ve decoded the Springbok gameplan. The gameplan, quite simply, is to confuse the opponent. They want to bamboozle them. Are the Boks going to kick? Are they going to run? Are they going to maul? Are they going to keep it with a pod of forwards? Just what kind of game do they want to play? The Boks have such an intricate gameplan that it’s almost impossible to understand it, hence the opposition will have to over-analyze, and so they will waste their valuable time, coming up with nothing.

      And how pray tell does Allister Coetzee intend to implement this gameplan? How does he confuse the opposition?

      Simple: you confuse yourself first. Coetzee has told his players that they must be confused. In the practice run, when Faf de Klerk kicks the ball, Coetzee will tell him he should’ve passed. When they run the same plan over again, Coetzee will tell him that he must kick. If Faf asks which is it really, Coetzee will just shrug and tell him he’s doing it wrong all over again.

      It’s quite genius. How will Steve Hansen have the Boks all figured out if neither the Bok management or players themselves know what they’re doing? It’s revolutionary coaching, is what it is.

      Anyway, thanks boys. My predictions:

      All Blacks by 20 (Sorry Nobrain, it’s not you, it’s them. The game in Argentina will be close though)

      Wallabies by 10 or 12 – haven’t decided by how much yet.

      • September 8th 2016 @ 8:04am
        Grent Dosa said | September 8th 2016 @ 8:04am | ! Report

        Brilliant! I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with that theory, and the selection changes he’s made this week will probably only further add to the confusion

      • September 8th 2016 @ 8:59am
        Browny said | September 8th 2016 @ 8:59am | ! Report

        Brilliant, Armand. Brilliant.

        *golf clap*

      • Columnist

        September 8th 2016 @ 9:11am
        Brett McKay said | September 8th 2016 @ 9:11am | ! Report

        Armand, after reading this, I’m now not sure if I should re-think my selections for the week, or if by some kind of Coetzee super power I’ve already re-thought my tips and come up with the same combination. Such is his genius, I don’t even know if I know what he wants me to think…

      • September 8th 2016 @ 9:56am
        Porkie said | September 8th 2016 @ 9:56am | ! Report

        The boks will turn the tables on the WBs, they will know the WBs are ripe for another pasting, and give it too them straight away like the wallabys tried on the ABs, difference is the boks do have raw aggression and they know how to Chanel it into the game , WBs will frustrate them selves again and lose it.

      • Roar Guru

        September 8th 2016 @ 10:34am
        Ralph said | September 8th 2016 @ 10:34am | ! Report

        Maybe Coetzee’s secret weapon will be rolled out this weekend – the Kick from inside the maul!

        Predict that Australia!

      • September 8th 2016 @ 1:04pm
        Jaffamike said | September 8th 2016 @ 1:04pm | ! Report

        Made me laugh out loud! Love it!

    • Roar Guru

      September 8th 2016 @ 6:08am
      moaman said | September 8th 2016 @ 6:08am | ! Report

      ABs are at full strength ( though I question Cruden’s selection on the bench).
      ALL BLACKS: Ben Smith, Israel Dagg, Malakai Fekitoa, Ryan Crotty, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith, Kieran Read (c), Sam Cane, Jerome Kaino, Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Owen Franks, Dane Coles, Joe Moody. Reserves: Codie Taylor , Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Luke Romano, Ardie Savea, TJ Perenara, Aaron Cruden, Anton Lienert-Brown

      • Roar Rookie

        September 8th 2016 @ 10:19am
        Zack said | September 8th 2016 @ 10:19am | ! Report

        You “question” Cruden’s selection on the bench? Why? The only thing he’s done wrong is…..Barrett!! He’s played pretty good when he’s come on off the bench – besides, I’d rather have Cruden on the bench than McKenzie. I suspect there will be some changes next week against the Boks but it looks like the Crokitoa 5/8th pairing might be starting for a while yet.

      • September 8th 2016 @ 10:52am
        Akari said | September 8th 2016 @ 10:52am | ! Report

        How can it be a full strength side with Romano in the 23, moaman? Faf de Klerk can easily take him down in a tackle and also take the ball off him at the same time. What am I missing that Hansen sees in Romano? I’d have Bird ahead of him by a mile.

        • Roar Guru

          September 8th 2016 @ 11:08am
          moaman said | September 8th 2016 @ 11:08am | ! Report


          Romano; I am far from an expert on locks but as a casual fan I really like Romano.He is a ‘bustly’ type player with exceptionally good ball skills for a man with his number plus he adds some grunt to the scrum.
          Quite why he is picked above Tuipolutu is probably a better question than why Bird was overlooked.

          Cruden I am a huge Cruden fan and up until Bled 1 was advocating his selection over Barrett’s.
          However,with BB vindicating the selectors’ faith–I don’t see room on the bench for a specialist 10 when perhaps a more versatile player could provide both more cover and more impact.
          How will we know if McKenzie is that man or not if he isn’t given a crack? And where better than at Hamilton v Pumas?

          • September 8th 2016 @ 4:51pm
            Akari said | September 8th 2016 @ 4:51pm | ! Report

            Thanks moaman. I was going to ask about Tuipulotu except that Birdy has been completely overlooked by Hansen and selectors. To me, Romano hasn’t been the same player since his return from injury and I thought that Birdy has probably provided a bit more grunt than Romano this year. I concede that Hansen & co are closer to all the players and the stats required to make the calls as they have thus far.

            Fair call on a swap of Cruden for McKenzie in this test. I guess coaching loyalty may have a bit to play here.

          • September 8th 2016 @ 6:34pm
            StevieB said | September 8th 2016 @ 6:34pm | ! Report

            I’d rather have Lima on the bench, he offers a lot more zip than Cruden, Crudes is a good starter where he can get into rhythm but bring him on with 20 to go and he’s not as good, defenses would have to hold their line more with Lima, Cruden can run but needs more of a gap

      • September 8th 2016 @ 12:13pm
        Jacko said | September 8th 2016 @ 12:13pm | ! Report

        One halfback, one 1st5 and one midfielder is very standard on a reserves bench. Not sure why you question Cruden on the bench

        • Roar Guru

          September 8th 2016 @ 3:45pm
          moaman said | September 8th 2016 @ 3:45pm | ! Report

          I’m unsure how much clearer I need to be to explain (to you) my view on Cruden…the paragraph immediately above your comment should suffice.

          • September 8th 2016 @ 6:29pm
            Jacko said | September 8th 2016 @ 6:29pm | ! Report

            The versatility is already on the field-just not the bench. You can start Cruden (a specialist no 10) and bring in BB ( a specialist no 10 ) if Cruden gets injured, which is what has happened for the past 2-3 years but with BB now starting then any other position in the backs apart from no 9 is still covered by BB, who is able to play other positions, with Cruden going to 10 and BB to fullback and smith to wing etc etc. Can you name the last time an AB bench did not have a specialist no 10?
            Also my post was an answer to your original post yet ended up way down where it did which is beyond my control and therefore none of your comments are immediately above my comment apart from the one telling me……….”I’m unsure how much clearer I need to be to explain (to you) my view on Cruden…the paragraph immediately above your comment should suffice.”

            • Roar Guru

              September 8th 2016 @ 8:35pm
              moaman said | September 8th 2016 @ 8:35pm | ! Report

              Fair enough Jacko.

    • Roar Guru

      September 8th 2016 @ 6:19am
      moaman said | September 8th 2016 @ 6:19am | ! Report

      Really interesting comments from the panel and I really enjoyed Nobes’ well-written and insightful contribution.

      Brett; “first time this season I’ve watched the ‘Boks and Pumas live” <————Does this mean you are going to both games this weekend? Lucky devil!

      For the record I’m picking ‘Boks and ABs and I am usually right half the time.

      • Roar Guru

        September 8th 2016 @ 6:24am
        Armand van Zyl said | September 8th 2016 @ 6:24am | ! Report

        I hope that this is one of those times 🙂

      • September 8th 2016 @ 7:11am
        woodart said | September 8th 2016 @ 7:11am | ! Report

        All Blacks to win and a draw in brisbane.

      • September 8th 2016 @ 7:27am
        Nobrain said | September 8th 2016 @ 7:27am | ! Report

        Thanks moaman, but you should thank my wife about the writing, she is an english translator and charges me by the hour.?

        • Roar Guru

          September 8th 2016 @ 7:55am
          Carlos the Argie said | September 8th 2016 @ 7:55am | ! Report

          You should get rebates for grammar or spelling mistakes.

          • September 8th 2016 @ 7:59am
            Nobrain said | September 8th 2016 @ 7:59am | ! Report

            Sorry Carlos, but we all seek your perfection but we are only humans.?

        • Roar Guru

          September 8th 2016 @ 8:04am
          moaman said | September 8th 2016 @ 8:04am | ! Report

          NoBrain Hola! (I have been learning spanish for a few weeks so I hope to be able to write something to you-en espanol- by the end of the year!!) I suspected you had some help and am very pleased you are keeping it in the family! 🙂

          • September 8th 2016 @ 8:22am
            Nobrain said | September 8th 2016 @ 8:22am | ! Report

            Great , I am sure you will do a fanatstic job .

      • Columnist

        September 8th 2016 @ 9:13am
        Brett McKay said | September 8th 2016 @ 9:13am | ! Report

        Ha, no Moa, I literally mean this will be the first chance to watch the ‘Boks and Pumas at the actual time they’re playing! You know, Live. Not that live, but live…

        • Roar Guru

          September 8th 2016 @ 9:48am
          moaman said | September 8th 2016 @ 9:48am | ! Report

          We live virtually in a virtual world,I think (sometimes)…(well…virtually all the time)….don’t we Brett? Lucky devil.

          • Columnist

            September 8th 2016 @ 9:59am
            Brett McKay said | September 8th 2016 @ 9:59am | ! Report

            I felt very weird on the weekend covering an NRC game from my desk, even though the game was being played 15 minutes away, I know that much…

        • September 8th 2016 @ 3:28pm
          CUW said | September 8th 2016 @ 3:28pm | ! Report

          @ Brett McKay

          u mean live – not ALIVE 🙂

          but does ur coverage also have a 20 second delay , as is the case with some stations?

          • Columnist

            September 8th 2016 @ 3:35pm
            Brett McKay said | September 8th 2016 @ 3:35pm | ! Report

            Nah, Fox Sports seems to be pretty good. I’m sure there’s a second or two in it, but nothing major..

    • September 8th 2016 @ 6:27am
      chracol said | September 8th 2016 @ 6:27am | ! Report

      Battle of the wooden spooners at Suncorp? The Boks don’t travel well. You’d think they’d get that sorted. But for some reason I’m tipping them to win and send the yeller ‘n gulds to 0-6 for the year. I’m thinking/hoping the locals will bring the niggle and run into serious aggression from the visiting terminators. I mean this game will be won in the forwards and the Bokkies will have approximately 14 forwards on the paddock (exclude the 10). And then it just seems that losing has become a habit for the Wallabies. They might get up if everything goes their way but I tend to think that referees, brain explosions, poor defence, injuries, infringements, mis-kicks, and general ineptitude will cruel their chances. Then again that could apply to both sides … Boks by 4.

      • September 8th 2016 @ 6:33am
        WallaBok - sydney said | September 8th 2016 @ 6:33am | ! Report

        agree on battle of wooden spooners. I have a different view on the outcome – this is the weakest springbok team I’ve seen in my 40 years as a spectator of rugby.

        • September 8th 2016 @ 9:58am
          Suzy Poison said | September 8th 2016 @ 9:58am | ! Report

          I disagree. I have seen much weaker Bok teams.
          The 2003 team coached by Rudulph Strauli was way worse. Strauli was a way worse coach and selector than Coetzee.
          Jorrie Muller as outside centre. Derek Hougaard as number 10? It was ten man rugby at it’s prime.
          Those forwards all went on to become legends, but no-one remembers the backs, cos they were useless.

          2003 Bok team :

          15. Jaco Van der Westhuyzen;
          14. Ashwin Willemse,
          13. Jorrie Muller,
          12. De Wet Barry (Fourie 70),
          11. Tinus Delport;
          10. Derek Hougaard (Koen 70),
          9. Joost Van der Westhuizen (De Kock 74);
          8. Juan Smith
          7. Joe Van Niekerk (Rossouw 41),
          6. Corne Krige (capt, Burger 70),
          5. Victor Matfield
          4. Bakkies Botha
          3. Faan Rautenbach (Bands 57),
          2. John Smit (Coetzee 57),
          1. Bezuidenhout,

          • Roar Guru

            September 8th 2016 @ 11:10am
            moaman said | September 8th 2016 @ 11:10am | ! Report

            Thing I disliked most about Hougaard was trying to pronounce his name!

            • September 8th 2016 @ 3:32pm
              CUW said | September 8th 2016 @ 3:32pm | ! Report

              @ moaman :

              u can’t be serious !!! SERIOUSLY !!!!

              ” Joost Van der Westhuizen ” and ” Jaco Van der Westhuyzen ” . 🙂

              • Roar Guru

                September 8th 2016 @ 3:43pm
                moaman said | September 8th 2016 @ 3:43pm | ! Report

                ‘Joost van der Westhuizen’ rolls off my tongue without a hitch.
                Hougaard appears to come from somewhere in Deep Throat territory ( possibly before your time?) and is a league of it’s own by comparison.
                I spent a couple weeks hitch-hiking across Iran in my misspent youth and if you have ever heard Farsi spoken you will know that throaty and gutteral is not confined to people of Dutch extract…..but Hougaard is a tricky one to try and nail.

              • September 8th 2016 @ 8:29pm
                CUW said | September 8th 2016 @ 8:29pm | ! Report

                @ moaman

                am sure i will hear a lot of PARSI – spending the Eid holiday in IRAN 🙂 (friday to friday )

          • September 8th 2016 @ 11:48am
            Suzy Poison said | September 8th 2016 @ 11:48am | ! Report

            Also no disrespect to the great Joost Van de Westhuizen, but he was well past his prime, by the time, the 2003 World Cup came along. I remember one pass he gave to Hougaard. It ballooned in slow motion and Derek Hougaard received Brian Lima “The Chiropractor” and the ball at the same time. Hougaard took about ten minutes to get up after that.

          • September 8th 2016 @ 11:49am
            Phil said | September 8th 2016 @ 11:49am | ! Report

            When you say no-one remembers the backs,the number 9 was a pretty handy player!
            Sorry,Suzy,wrote this before I saw your additional comment.

          • September 8th 2016 @ 12:01pm
            WallaBok - sydney said | September 8th 2016 @ 12:01pm | ! Report


            From what I’ve seen recently this side would beat the current one. The locks then were better than the current one’s and a better line out was the result. faf unproven – Joost a legend even on an off day. Back three probably equal. I’m afraid I stand by my assessment. but agree that the 2003 was not brilliant either. the 10 man gamer then would beat the we need to run no we don’t approach at present. the lions all want to run and the Stormers coach wants a defensive game – team/players are clearly struggling with the plan/selections.

            • September 8th 2016 @ 12:47pm
              Suzy Poison said | September 8th 2016 @ 12:47pm | ! Report

              Wallabok, I see your points.
              In 2003, the Boks had three good second rowers. Matfiled, Bakkies and Danie Rousouw (often forgotten about, but read up on how many trophies he has collected) who ended up legends.

              I actually think the current crop of second rowers, whilst young and still learning are quite handy.
              Eben Etzebeth, Lood De Jager and Pieter Steph Du Toit. The later is lot like Danie Rousouw, cos he can play flank and lock. Maybe not legends yet, but better players in my eyes, than Kane Douglas, Dean Mumm or Rob Simmons.

              Also looking at the selection, Coetzee has selected six forwards on the bench. That means one thing. 10 man rugby buddy. Back (or should I say Bok) to the future. Expect the Boks to kick the leather off the ball.

              • September 8th 2016 @ 1:39pm
                WallaBok - sydney said | September 8th 2016 @ 1:39pm | ! Report

                Sadly my friend I think you may be right – rough tough 10 man, kick for position rugby could be headed to Suncorp. Mind you a mis-kick through the line that turns into a grubber may make things interesting! Let’s hope we’re both wrong and both teams put on an exhibition of the finest aspects of this game.

        • September 8th 2016 @ 10:04am
          Porkie said | September 8th 2016 @ 10:04am | ! Report

          This is the weakest wallaby team I have seen in ,,,,, a while, seriously, this year is done for them , just trying to lose by as little as possible will be all Cheika is concerned about now, WBs will take one win out of this championship, it will be away to Pumas ,

          • September 8th 2016 @ 1:03pm
            Ngati Tumutumu said | September 8th 2016 @ 1:03pm | ! Report

            It is the weakest side I have ever seen Porkie, Chieka is an unlearning man, Combinations win matches and the ones he has settled on are a detriment to his team. Boks by10-15

    • September 8th 2016 @ 6:32am
      WallaBok - sydney said | September 8th 2016 @ 6:32am | ! Report

      I cannot see the Springboks beating Australia. Whilst all things rugby are not peachy in the land girt by sea, the issues are immeasurably more troublesome when looking to the land of the pronking Bok. It’s a case of men vs boys, overly structured v almost no structure, and a wallabies based on merit (albeit struggling in some spheres) v a team under pressure to meet quotas. To my mind the Wallabies should win easily in Brisbane – if they don’t we’ll see the ARU have a very hard look at the team – after all; eight is enough.

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