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The Roar

The masked soup-bone

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Joined October 2019

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My apologies that this article hasn’t aged well; I penned this before Rassie finally also threw his toys out the cot and I dialed back my narrative substantially on the pathetic match officiating. Rugby as a spectator sport and a gladiatorial contest for the purist has now become the biggest loser in this game I love during this much anticipated series.

Has Rassie's 'Kool-Aid' gone stale?

Rugby is a spectator sport and their presence normally act as a counter balance to officials getting manipulated in a pressure cooker situation like this. Their absence has now shown up how biased rugby officials in general can be; particularly against Springboks.

Has Rassie's 'Kool-Aid' gone stale?

Rugby; as a world class spectacle; is the loser here.

Has Rassie's 'Kool-Aid' gone stale?

You’re so right Harry; pity there are no crowds at this series; their reaction has always been the counter balance to this sort of situation getting out of hand. I predicted that the ref will steal the the game for the Lions on my WhatsApp group when Curry illegally assaulted and injured right Ox Nche right in front of Berry and it went unpunished….

Has Rassie's 'Kool-Aid' gone stale?

You’re so right; world rugby always shoot the messenger; especially when he’s from SA. Just like nothing was said or done when France in plain view bought and stole the next world cup tournament from South Africa.

Has Rassie's 'Kool-Aid' gone stale?

Kudo’s to Rassie to finally boil over and raise this “holy-cow” on social media.

Has Rassie's 'Kool-Aid' gone stale?

Quite correct; this article was penned on Tuesday morning and submitted but the editors only posted it post the Erasmus video; just shows how us; the SA rugby public; has become use to getting the short end of the stick from officials because I dialed back my narrative of how world rugby and he Lions can’t beat the undercooked Boks at home on a level playing field and have to steal the series with dubious decisions and officiating. The crowds absence has now enforced the match officials ability to pre-determine the outcome.

Has Rassie's 'Kool-Aid' gone stale?

Hi; I wrote an article before the teams where announced that covers all the points raised about how to tackle the second test most of which are being implemented Nienaber and even precipitated Rassie’s attack on social media about the officiating but it seems the editors decided it wasn’t good enough or politically correct to publish. Proof of the pudding will be the result on Saturday I suppose.

Did South Africa lose despite playing better?

Hi Sinclair; nice summary of the game and some interesting points. Just imagine what the crowd reaction would have been with the Watson tip tackle on le Roux..! The law clearly states if the tackled player is moved “beyond the horizontal” it’s a yellow card and ground contact of the tackled player is head first it is a red card. The law is clear and precise but it just shows the impact social media can have on match officials; doesn’t it. But it’s spilt milk so case closed. On Quagga Smith I’d just like to remark there is activity and then there is productivity; he’s superb in the first which is why he shines on the sevens circuit which is about showing finer touches but on test level where you must put your money where your mouth is his productivity has always been zero in my book; in fact his one redeeming quality use to be defense at which he failed miserably on Saturday.

Did South Africa lose despite playing better?

Being a school boy flyhalf at the time; my best take-out from the rampaging ’74 Lions tour was being witness to the best flyhalf play I’ve ever seen from any SA flyhalf at the time that sadly never donned a Bok jersey; the 19 year old Peter Kirsten that led the SA Barbarians to a draw against Willie John McBride’s “Galactico’s” that so thoroughly destroyed the Springbok’s Myth. Peter chose cricket as his poison and became the batting glue that led the challenge post isolation at our first cricket WC.

Are surprise selections the 'secret winning sauce' in Boks-Lions opener?

Duhan has overcome major obstacles to now stand on the threshold of really announcing himself on the big stage. He is however a bit less street-smart in his first season on the big stage and I’ve detected a bit of a weakness under a good high ball and on defense if stepped to the inside; one of Kolbe’s many strengths but he’s very powerful and deceptively fast which is why I think Gat’s threw the dice with him instead of his try-hungry banker; Josh Adams. Cheslin’s twinkle toes will always be a threat but if Duhan is given the ball in space a few times; the weakest aspect of his game; defense; could be exposed. A truly fascinating contest that I’m really looking forward to.. 😊 😛 👍

Are surprise selections the 'secret winning sauce' in Boks-Lions opener?

If Duane started the first test I would have had little doubt that we could have had a shot at a series whitewash.
Duane and Beast are both once in a generation players that is always very difficult to replace because they tend to dominate their their position to such an extent that the bulk of younger talent is never exposed to develop; Kitshoff being the obvious exception. An interesting aside is that Vermeulen is one of Rassie’s early finds that followed him from Nelspruit to first the Cheetahs and then the Stormers/WP. Ironically; he burst onto the scene in the shadow of another great athlete; Pierre Spies and this with a combination of untimely injuries prevented him from donning the Bok 8 jersey till I think we was about 24/25.. He is however a real ironman and I think he will still be terrorizing the Lions before the series is done and dusted.! 😁 😁 So if we do stumble out the gate; all is not lost.

Are surprise selections the 'secret winning sauce' in Boks-Lions opener?

I must admit that Nyakana’s selection baffles me; Vince Koch to start makes a lot more sense if Malherbe is used to neutralize Sutherland; besides he’s got oodles of experience against all the Lions props in Europe and in my opinion is a better scrum and general forward play technician than Trevor. On that note; Jasper Wiese is a surprise omission to me; I would have selected him as a Vermeulen “like for like” pick ahead of Quagga but I think they expect; as I do; the Lions to try attacking out wide and Quagga is a lot more mobile to cover the wider defensive channels and maybe engineer some counter attack turnover ball. If that is indeed the Lion game plan; I tip my hat to Nienaber and Quagga is in for a busy day with a potentially vital role to play with PSdT for the Boks.

Are surprise selections the 'secret winning sauce' in Boks-Lions opener?

Speeding the game up is; up to now; the only surefire way to get the Boks flustered; que the first two England tests in ’18 and the opening match against the AB’s at WC ’19. Problem is the Boks have learnt this lesson and upped their rush defence efficiency and counter attack play (Kolbe’s try ’19 after a monster Marx tackle) which combined with their energy sapping two-pack forward power play have to date neutralised this threat. I suspect Gatland has a variation of this approach in mind with his selection mix so it’s going to be interesting to see if he can pull a rabbit out the hat.

Is the Boks' bubble about to burst?

The reason why I have such respect for Steve Hanson; not a peep about ref’s or anything else; just the first man seen onto the field congratulating the Lions and a blunt admission that they lost…a giant of a man whose legacy was seen in the recent trans-Tasman wake-up handed to the Wallabies.

Is the Boks' bubble about to burst?

Hi Harry; yes….underdogs and written off indeed; just the way we like it.

Is the Boks' bubble about to burst?

Suzy Poison indeed…

Is the Boks' bubble about to burst?

I suspect Keo’s Hobbit comment was just a flashback; brain-freeze moment of seeing himself in the mirror that morning after a late night out… 😊 😂

Is the Boks' bubble about to burst?

An interesting observation….for somebody that obviously haven’t experienced the psyche of SA’s rugby culture first hand. None of the selected Bok squad will front the Lions before the first test so the whole squad with all coaching personnel will be watching and analysing the Lions moves and strategy in preparation for their first encounter; a super efficient method of preparation and motivation for the coaches. The Boks will be at their most vulnerable the first 20 mins of the first test which is where Gatland will have to; and want to; strike a psychological blow to set up a possible series success. Eddie Jones knew that in ’18 with England when in both the first and second tests his plans gave his troops a 20 point head start only to be hauled back in which is when I first knew Rassie is resurrecting the legendary “never-say-die” Boks ethos of old. That said; the players fronting the tourists before the first test will all be motivated to play out of their skins; it is a once in a lifetime opportunity and the stage to leave a marker for higher honors. It’s going to be a brutal tour for the visitors and I suspect replacement call-ups even before the first test.

Is the Boks' bubble about to burst?

Keo’s comment of some Lions players being Hobbits compared to SA’s “prime beef” forwards is a vintage Keo “egg-on-face” comment that epitomises some Bok supporters biggest achilles; blind; myopic arrogance. Gatland has a stellar track record against the Boks; for sure which is why this is shaping up to be an epic contest between two masterfull; tactical coaches.

Is the Boks' bubble about to burst?

Hi JD; My thinking exactly; his inclusion of Simmonds points that way and also why I think Biggar will start at 10; his tactical; go forward play has gone up a notch during the recent six nations. That is why PStD’s recovery has been so vital to the Boks gameplan; his niggling presence was the main spanner in the works for the Ford/Farrell playing Axis of England.

Is the Boks' bubble about to burst?

There’s a very interesting mix available to spice up the contest and despite the Boks excellent defence in the final; I suspect Gats will try to bring a new dynamic to the Lions attack so don’t think he will even consider Farrell at 12 to start; he might be there as insurance off the bench.
My pick would be Biggar; Henshaw and Daly with Owen there as cover dependant on where he’s needed.

Is the Boks' bubble about to burst?

Hi pm;
If either de Jager or Etzebeth can’t start; “Sous” Mostert will be the go-to man; no doubt and I’d love Farrel to front up to the Boks again; I’m sure the way Kolbe stepped him for the final nail in the England coffin still haunts him so hopefully we can see an even better repeat.
However; I do suspect that Gats will use him off the bench.

Is the Boks' bubble about to burst?

Hi Harry;
Outstanding article Harry.
I’m in awe of a master wordsmith that can truly capture the fragmented soul of this subject; it brought a tear to my eyes.
The sad reality is that once we were a very rich country and today our country’s current biggest; single resource is the extreme resilience and rich diversity of its people which is being squandered and sacrificed on the altar of avarice and self enrichment by the current political elite.
Cry the beloved country..

Winning in Tokyo: Finding the sun

Viewing you from below your Ivory tower we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for giving us the privilege to play some rugby; we really appreciate it.
We will unfortunately have to decline your thoughtful and generous offer though; we will just muudle on by ourselves thank you.

The state of South African rugby pre-Lions 2021 tour

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