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Jonty Shonty

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Joined August 2017

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Hi Harry

Good assessment. As you mentioned, building depth in key positions will be critical over the next year (and beyond). He needs the super rugby franchises to help out though. I see Van Zyl has been selected ahead of Papier in the Curry Cup game this weekend. I really like Cameron White. He has a crisp pass, a good kicking game, and is strong on defense. I don’t know why he’s not higher in the pecking order?

I hear what you’re saying about Beast. I’m not sure he’s the player to make an impact off the bench. I almost prefer Kitsoff to come on in the second half, but he’s so damn good he should be starting! Beast needs to be in the squad for his experience, but it might be time to look for another impact prop for 2023. Ox Nche springs to mind.

Overall I’ve been impressed by our growth under Rassie. Our tactics are smarter and we’ve shown we can adapt. Our attack is sharp (we’re finally scoring well worked tries) and defense improving. When you think of where we were last year, it’s amazing to see how far they’ve come. I’m finally optimistic!

And I like it that we’re currently 5th in the rankings a year out from the World Cup with desire to improve (instead of being 2nd or 3rd thinking we’ve done what we need to do). This team will be tough to handle next year that’s for sure.

Thanks again. Looking forward to seeing how we go on our tour of Europe now.

Springbok report card: How does Rassie rank?

It’s so good to see the Boks playing smart rugby again! And I totally agree about Kolisi.

Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo’unga: How the All Blacks pieced the jigsaw together at Loftus

Malherbe, Marx, Kitsoff, Etzebeth, Lood, PSDT, Kolisi, Vermeulen.

Beast, Bongi, Whiteley, Mostert off the bench. Yes please.

Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo’unga: How the All Blacks pieced the jigsaw together at Loftus

Howzit Harry!

Serfontein and Marcel Coetzee may be the two forgotten overseas players that could add real value to this squad.

Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo’unga: How the All Blacks pieced the jigsaw together at Loftus

Hi Nick

Thanks again for the article.

I think I’m in the Mounga camp too, and would also prefer to see him at 10 and BB at 15. I doubt the ABs would have lost to the Boks in Wellington if Mounga had been kicking for poles!

This might have been the best 60 minutes of rugby the Boks have played over the past few years. What’s your thoughts? From my side it seemed tactical and accurate, and they look like they have some direction with Rassie as the coach.

Personally, I don’t mind they lost. At the start of the Rugby Championship I just wanted to see some growth, and I think they’ve demonstrated that.

I think they lost the game due to inexperience, and I feel that is Rassie’s biggest problem right now – getting playing time into the players under his systems.

I also don’t mind that there’s a number of players unavailable for November. It will force him to play his bench and back up players, and they will learn from the experience. We have a tough tour and will probably lose, but there’s a bigger picture at play.

I’m hoping the Super Rugby franchises get on board and play his players in their preferred positions. For example, if Notshe is being viewed as an 8, the Stormers need to play him there ongoing. The same goes for Papier and Willemse in that the Bulls and Stormers must give them as much game time as possible.

There’s enough evidence on show to think the Boks will be a real handful come the world cup. If you had asked me that a year ago it would have been a very different answer, and that’s testament to how much the side has come on.

Thanks again!

Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo’unga: How the All Blacks pieced the jigsaw together at Loftus

True about no-one making a statement as yet. I’d love a hard running 13 similar to Goodhue, but I’m not sure we have one. Nel maybe? Serfontein still has much to offer. He’s probably the most well rounded 12 we have.

Six key questions: Boks vs Wallabies

Awesome summary Tipsy. Kolisi is a bit of an unsung hero in this team. I’ve read some stats recently that prove his worth:

He made 17 tackles against the ABs and didn’t miss one. Over 70% were dominant.
He also attended 14 rucks – the most by any Bok.
71% of the time when he was the first to arrive at a ruck the Boks got quick ball.

He isn’t a ‘poacher’ or a physical gain line ‘dominator’, but he stops the opposition attack and secures his own team’s ball. He also has some silky skills with ball in hand and leads from the front.

How the most basic of game plans helped the Springboks pull off the unthinkable

Nice summary Jarryd.

I don’t mind de Allende and Am. Both played their part in the victory over the ABs. They finished with near 90% dominant tackles for the tackles they made which was also around the 90% completion mark. Am did miss one read on defence which led to the AB’s first try (Pollard was equally to blame I think), however it was Am’s turnover that resulted in le Roux’s try. They’re still settling as a combo, and I feel for Am in particular. He’s had a very injury plagued start to his test match career. He has some nice touches on attack though, and I think he’ll grow with more time.

In the backs I think Rassie will look for a balance of experience/inexperience. A back 3 that includes Dyanti and Willemse is super raw. I love Willemse but I think he’ll come on in the second half again.

Interesting comments about pressure. I’m not sure who would be feeling more of it to be honest… The Wallabies might be enjoying being out of public scrutiny in Australia, and the Boks are under pressure at home to back up their performance against the ABs.

Another intriguing battle awaits!

Six key questions: Boks vs Wallabies

Thanks for the article Harry. I enjoy reading your stuff! It must have been amazing to fly in and and see them win.

Some slight improvements coming through in this team. We seem to be smarter on attack and defence, although some individuals are still settling into the system and learning (which is probably fair enough given how green they are). Time in the test arena is all they need.

BBBBB in Wellington: Bok Belief Battered But Beautiful

Add to that list – Marcel Coetzee. If he stays fit he’s a beast and an option to take over from Thormeulen. However in Whiteley we may have seen the benefit of a quick and mobile no 8 on the weekend. Maybe you don’t need another ‘bruiser’ if your other 7 forwards are doing that job!

Why the rivalry between the All Blacks and Springboks is alive and well

Thanks Nick. I think this was du Toit’s best game in a Bok jersey. The effort he put in with the rest of the pack was immense.

I was close to giving the game a miss as I feared a hammering, but I’m obviously so glad I stuck with it. I was literally on my knees in front of the telly during that last passage of play and was almost as spent as the players!

Anyway I think there’s slight improvements coming through in this Springbok team. Under Coetzee the players seemed lost at times but now they look like they know what the plan is. Our attack seems to be smarter and we’re scoring well worked tries, but as you say defence out wide is still an issue. Hopefully with time and more experience this will get better.

I’m not sure if you follow Ben Smith (look for @bensmithrugby on Twitter) who does analysis on the ABs following games? He wrote a great article this week showing how the ABs targeted the Boks when they were slow to re-load after a set piece. They particularly targeted wide channels and vulnerable forwards.

Let’s see if the Boks continue to improve and are smarter in defence in Pretoria.

Why the rivalry between the All Blacks and Springboks is alive and well

I agree with this Neutral. Pollard has a very limited skillset for a 10. At least Elton can kick goals and maybe create something.

Mbonambi is no slouch at hooker either. He is accurate at throwing and cleans rucks efficiently. Marx will cut loose in the second half.

Everyone thinks the changes have been made to keep our best side for the ABs, but I actually think they strengthen the side. PSDT has been impressive, and we’ve removed two inexperienced centers and replaced them with the two that maybe should be starting.

My only concern is how well they will gel considering they haven’t player together in awhile. And obviously defense. We’ll see.

Pocock out: Wallabies hit by major injury blow ahead of Springboks Test

Wonderful stuff Harry. I do enjoy reading your articles. Thanks

Existential questions about Australian rugby

Hi Neil – you’re not THE Neil Back are you?

Are the All Blacks still happy when they win?

No need to rub it in Onside. 🙂

Are the All Blacks still happy when they win?

Hi Jacko. The point I’m making is around hoping your side wins, and if you win all the time does it diminish. Sounds like you love seeing them flog everyone though! And fair enough.

Are the All Blacks still happy when they win?

Thanks Bluesfan – here’s hoping the Boks come back!

Are the All Blacks still happy when they win?

Thanks for your thoughts Riccardo. I think NZ are setting the trend. You’re right it won’t last forever, but I don’t think that’s because your quality will diminish. I think it will more be a result of other teams catching up and the playing field leveling out a bit. Like Ireland have done. NZ are setting the tone and it’s up to the rest to step up.

Are the All Blacks still happy when they win?

Haha. Fair enough Piripiri.

Are the All Blacks still happy when they win?

I’ll sell the yoga mat when crack the top 3 on the world rankings Green Lantern. Until then I think I’ll need it!

Are the All Blacks still happy when they win?

Fair enough Paulo. You guys are setting the bar very high, and it’s up to other teams to match that.

Are the All Blacks still happy when they win?

Ha. Thanks woodart. I was waiting for someone to point that out! I must say that the one thing I’m looking for in the Boks during Rassies tenure – the team playing well. I’m not sure if we lose, but I just want to see an improvement and players upping their skill levels.

Are the All Blacks still happy when they win?

Cheers moaman. Let’s hope for a close AB/Springbok game!

Are the All Blacks still happy when they win?

Nice comments Ralph. I do think the systems that are in place will always ensure the sport is a success, but you’re right about the financial war. It’s the one thing that could change it.

Are the All Blacks still happy when they win?

SA Rugby faces a massive uphill battle to remain competitive, Just Nuisance. I will always hope they sort it out though.

Are the All Blacks still happy when they win?