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The Roar

The masked soup-bone

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Joined October 2019

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I respectfully disagree; do it the traditional Lions way or don’t do it at all.
In the age of rampant commercialism; an unfortunate reality; let’s not lose the ethos of rugby.
Then let’s cancel the tour and write it off to covid’s impact allied with idiotic administrators.
For me; the Lions and Barbarians ethos keeps the true spirit of rugby vibrant and alive.
Maybe I’m just a romantic; pedantic old fart and if so it’s fine; it’s old farts like me that color
the subtle hues to the rich fabric of rugby union
Subject closed.

The state of South African rugby pre-Lions 2021 tour

Willemse has become the victim of country vs club with his constant shuffling between 10 and 15 and his undoubted talent has become very erratic; something we can’t afford on the big stage.
A much better bet will be to introduce young Curwin Bosch to polish him despite his Currie Cup fumble; he is the junior talent that originally started the Willemse seesaw journey and has all the talent to become an accomplished international.

The state of South African rugby pre-Lions 2021 tour

A sad reflection of reality; note the nearly lily-white bench..
Nice pick of Ox Noche to replace the Beast but I will either retread Kolbe to 15 or introduce Fassi; le Roux is very good but so are Fassi/Kolbe and retain Frans Steyn; he’s an evergreen and essential insurance policy to back up young blood in the backline.
I do expect the bench to have some existing/new black talent to continue the RWC campaign ethos and Marcel Coetzee might be a casualty; he’s also seem to have become a bit fragile; he’s knee has sidelined him again.
Expect a rejuvenated Sukambuso Notshe and young bloods Wandisile Simelane; Stedman Gans (both centres) and a forward wild card.

The state of South African rugby pre-Lions 2021 tour

Thanks Jonty; nice to hear from a pro.
Os du Rand made a famous statement just before he initially retired when our rugby was also in the doldrums. Asked why he came off at the beginning of his last game pre-retirement he said he’s just become “gatvol”. I suspect Siya’s post-haste departure to the Sharks was for the same sentiment; Western Province rugby is very close to collapse and we all expect most key players; including PSTD to defect to pastures new soon. New young blood talents Jarno Augustus; Cobus Wiese and Jacques du Plessis; all potential future Bok stars have already jumped ship poste haste.
The currently clueless management unequivocally declined the deal snapped up by the Sharks and Siya was already a Roc Nation client so the “transfer fee” demanded was a small price and pocket change to escape the current toxic Province environment.
The Bulls and Sharks are now set to become the SA provincial rugby flag bearers.

The state of South African rugby pre-Lions 2021 tour

Typical copper and as blunt and to-the-man as they come; but first onto the field to personally congratulate the top players of the opposition on the rare occasions his troops fluffed their lines and never offering ANY excuse for a below par performance.
The most eye-opening trait was seeing him; sleeves rolled up; inside the team trailer passing on the team luggage upon a late arrival in SA.
A no-nonsense bloke; straight to the face with the steel in his backbone that made his troops go to war for him; a giant of a man.

Ian Foster is destined to become the All Blacks' Allister Coetzee

Hi Corne; I couldn’t agree with you more; NZ has without a doubt the most skillful backline athletes in world rugby but their forwards cupboard seems to be a bit skint at the moment; particularly with the Retallick steel’s absence. Rassie identified this and developed his spectacular forwards strategy accordingly. What concerns me most is the absence of pride in the jersey and backbone steel once so synonymous with all AB teams which comes from the atmosphere and attitude from the change room and greater squad. I think the Foster/Cane matrix lacks the charisma and personality to unite and inspire under pressure and that has the knock-on of suppressing individual brilliance. Case in point; Ardie Savea who is descending into mediocrity and a shadow of who he was pre WC ’19.

Ian Foster is destined to become the All Blacks' Allister Coetzee

A bit of left field thinking perhaps..?
I would agree with your suggestion but at the same time groom the next generation for impact of the bench; Wandisile Simelane has a skillset sorely lacking in the current set-up; a wicked step; unpredictability; blinding acceleration and “nous”; that uncoachable intuition that separate the greats from the good.
The Bok’s are blessed with midfield talent coming through at the moment; there is also Rickus Pretorius; a budding mini Danie Gerber; Dan du Plessis of the du Plessis rugby royalty family and Stedman Gans; the twinkle-toed sevens star become a Jake White prodigy at the reborn Bulls franchise; an embarrassment of riches.

Should the Springboks shuffle their midfield?

The AB’s have oodles of talent available that is simply being wasted with bad combinations and ineffective coaching.

Ian Foster is destined to become the All Blacks' Allister Coetzee

A team”s mindset on the field is a direct reflection of the mindset in the change room and I believe that sadly the AB’s have now entered a down cycle with a lame duck skipper and coach in charge at the helm.

Ian Foster is destined to become the All Blacks' Allister Coetzee

Rassie inherited a fractured; demoralised team in shambles rated no 7 in world rugby; Ian inherited a team that dominated world rugby for a decade with a 92% win record pre WC ’19.
Foster is completely out of his depth; just like Coetzee was when he; just like Foster ook over the reins at a team that finished 3rd in their last world cup.
Hopefully for NZ rugby the comparisons end there…

Ian Foster is destined to become the All Blacks' Allister Coetzee

Hi Wayne; there are some teams that are very much made up of momentum players of which Nicolas Sanchez is a very apt example. From the moment he score his solo first try; the AB’s had to shut down the Argies space and time and halt their momentum; they failed dismally and for the remainder of the match played catch-up; and badly so to a team they allowed to grow in unchecked confidence. No AB team coached by Hanson or Henry or captained by McCaw or Read have ever failed in this fundamental principle which lays the blame squarely on the Foster/Cane matrix and the; until now; accepted backbone steel and pride which has become intrinsic to all All Black teams of recent vintage.

Ian Foster is destined to become the All Blacks' Allister Coetzee

Very sad news just hit the presses; 😱 🤢 😡 Springboks withdraw from the Rugby Championship…

A scintillating Bledisloe icebreaker and what becomes of the injured Boks?

I couldn’t agree more about Polly; in the Bok set-up he’s a perfect fit and a once in a generation player.

A scintillating Bledisloe icebreaker and what becomes of the injured Boks?

Serfontein learned his rugby up north while de Allende came through the Western Province ranks so I suspect it’s simply a matter of exposure to the current brainstrust; Serfontein has never been involved in any Springbok camps or activities since the 2018 reboot; initially he was injured but has been in sparkling form since.

A scintillating Bledisloe icebreaker and what becomes of the injured Boks?

An interesting snippet revealed during an interview on the “Use it or lose it” channel hosted by Jean de Villiers and Schalk Burger on Youtube; apparently he’s quite famous for dabbling in the kitchen..! We can all most definitely see that at the beginning of every new season..

A scintillating Bledisloe icebreaker and what becomes of the injured Boks?

Thanks for the compliment Jonty; much appreciated. The press back home scorns my more philosophical bent towards all things rugby but I’ve hopefully found a more appreciative audience for the musings I have on this game we all love. That said; credit must go to The Roars editors.
Under Alistair Coetzee the Boks scrumhalf cupboard seemed bare; even Faf being summarily discarded but with the proper; knowledgeable coaching now in place; it’s very difficult to decide who to leave out and who to pick! Reinach and de Klerk are indubitably our current top technicians and I believe Cobus is overdue an extended run to entertain the crowds and polish him up some more while it will also keep Faf on his toes; we’re going to need him breathing fire to stop Gatland’s B&I Lions assault next year!
That said; the young and rather lightweight Nohambe has really impressed me; he’s bursting at the seams with that mystical quality we call “nous”; something that cannot be coached and he might just be the next big star for the Boks at nine.
What I find very encouraging is that; for the first time in my memory; under Rassies/Sticks tutelage; the Springboks are starting to implement “the long game” with our young talent and I look forward to seeing our young talent properly nurtured light up stadiums across the world; particularly with our outside backs set to completely redefine the old; established Springbok paradigm.

A scintillating Bledisloe icebreaker and what becomes of the injured Boks?

Thanks Harry; always nice to to hear from my favorite guru.
Fassi is definitely a keeper; he’s an intuitive player that reads the game well and pop up in the right places at the right time with dazzling acceleration that’s difficult to defend against while Speckman has similar intuition and is nearly as good a “stepper” as Kolbe; skills he honed on the sevens circuit. Serfontein joined the pantheon of luminaries like Richie McCaw and Schalk Burger as junior world players of the year next to Polly in our 2011 Junior WC triumph and retreaded as an outside centre by Henecke Meyer; has never let a Bok team down; winning “top defender” accolades in most tests he played in. Personally; I rate him higher than de Allende in the “nous” department as well.
Bongi is very underdone at the moment; just like P-S du Toit; both recovering from serious injuries but unlike PSdT is a momentum player that needs to build up a head of steam over multiple matches while Marx; two years ago rated as the best hooker in world rugby; is a very influential player; he was instrumental in both WC final tries; giving the final pass before the Mapimpi/Am magic show and he put in the monster tackle for the loose ball that unleashed Kolbe’s stepping magic that oh; so humiliated my pet hate; Owen Farrell. JD is an old Rassie favorite and the long term injuries to RG Snyman and Lood de Jager is now opening the door for this “new Bakkies Botha” belated entry to the top table. Bosh’s turnstile defence is a concern but his extraordinary talent makes a serious coaching investment a worthwhile exercise; the first being bulking up his slender build; he has the frame for it and his weakness is impact at the point of contact when attempting a tackle.

A scintillating Bledisloe icebreaker and what becomes of the injured Boks?

Hi Pundit;
Surely you wrote this just to create a clickbait article on this forum.?
Alistair Coetzee though the same as you and picked him; trying to correct his slide into the rugby wildernis and oblivion just to accelerate his demise with disastrous results.
The first match he kicked the Aussies into touch with a three point win but the next week the Kiwi’s destroyed the Bok’s and he was dropped like a hot potato. He was the man during the Bok’s magical 2009 season kicking the 58m penalty that clinched the series (being a 70th minute sub for Pat Lambie) and he perfected the “kick-and-chase” game plan of the time in tandem with Fourie du Preez that held the kiwi’s at bay for 3 consecutive tests but that also triggered a NZ backline renaissance that lasted more than golden a decade.
He always shines in exhibition matches; which this season has been so far. His tenure at Stade Francais started their slide out of the top tier and he couldn’t even get onto the bench his last 6 months there.
Yesterday’s heroes are just that; yesterday’s heroes and they only belong in the campfire stories of yesterday’s heroes.
I’m sorry but I disagree; this is a VERY bad idea and I hope nobody in SA rugby takes you seriously.

At 36, Morne Steyn could be the Boks' answer at ten

Nice article Jonty;
Our local Afrikaans lingo has a saying: “Vroeg ryp–Vroeg vrot”.
South African rugby in general has a tendency to force prodigious talents to mature too early with the weight of expectation; particularly at fly half with recent examples being Gaffie du Toit and Johan Goosen and earlier examples Peter Kirsten and Lee Barnard who both left and retreated themselves as international cricketers.
Damien is a prodigious talent but currently resemble a startled deer caught in the headlights of a coming trainwreck; all due to conflicting information overload and public expectation with Rassie identifying him as a fullback and the Fleck/Dobson duo at the Stormers insisting he’s a 10.
The same happened with flanker Arno Botha who was the stand-out of his generation ploughed under initially who moved north; away from the spotlights to resurrect his career and is finally coming into his own back home.
I believe Damien’s malady is temperament; as with any top tier athlete; true greatness comes down to 10% talent and 90% the six inches between their ears. Damien should move north asap; like Botha did; away from the SA pressure cooker to be polished by another coaching setup which hopefully will optimise his undoubted talent.
Sadly; I think he is going to sink just like Johan Goosen did due to a flawed temperament.

The curious case of Damian Willemse

😊 😂 😂

Green versus gold: Mining talent in South Africa

Hi Harry;
Nice synopsis; our legendary; bubbling-under talent pool is bursting at the seams as Rassie’s magic has trickled down to grassroots level; there is an unusual but very welcome feeling of pride and enthusiasm in our whole rugby community that is oh-so ready to take it to the next level.
At forward our resource cupboard is flowing over but what excites me in particular is the impact that Kolbe/Mapimpi has had on the new; young crop of emerging stars.
On show opposing each other next to two current boks; Frans Steyn and Lukhanya Am will also be the skills of two young but potential future Titans in the form of Rikus Pretorius at 12 and Wandisile Simelane at 13; both potential future Boks.
Out wide the talent roll also continues with young Arendse stepping up from seven’s and scorching a trail onto the headlines as our next; “Prince-of-wings” waiting to step up.
The lockdown has thrown up its fair share of disruption with long term consequences but as the three SANZAR nations has found; also has a silver lining of nurturing new talent; something desperately needed here despite last years magic orchestrated by the Rassie/Kolisi/Nienaber masterclass.
Lastly; spot-on with Arno Botha; a truly special but forgotten talent that got trampled over by our rush to find the next best thing till he resurrected himself on the softer fields away from the spotlight of our local game. He was the stand-out talent of his generation with an almost unnatural intuition for the game when at his peak; is a hybrid of Francois Louw and Bobby Skinstad that could be a devastating weapon in tandem with Peter-Steph du Toit against an unsuspecting ’21 B&I Lions.

Green versus gold: Mining talent in South Africa

Hi Corne; What’s wrong with doing both..?
SA effectively has six teams that wants to compete internationally which is why I suggest a 3:3 split; the current three top SA/NZ in the new PSH league and the second three in the Pro 14/15..?
Hence my suggestion of an annual play-off between the bottom 2 x SA/NZ teams against the two winners of an eight team playoff series of the remaining SH teams.
It will change; stimulate and keep all the competitions fresh by aspiring teams challenging the top SH league.
Competing in the northern and southern hemisphere will cross pollinate SA rugby with new trends and playing styles that can only be good for our rugby.

Sorry Australia, the other two nations will supercharge southern hemisphere rugby

This format will also make scheduling much easier with Covid still around; it could effectively be in scheduled in three sets; matches away SA; home matches SA+NZ and then matches away NZ with the first and last blocks rotated annually.
A fair contest home and away against al competing teams to determine the seasons Champions….what’s not to like..?

Sorry Australia, the other two nations will supercharge southern hemisphere rugby

My point exactly Olly;
The original Super rugby league was followed by all rugby fans worldwide because it represented the top provincial; southern hemisphere sides but SANZAR lost the plot in pursuing more commercial value; it expanded to 12 teams with a bit of dilution but fell apart once the conference systems was introduced with 14/15/18 teams to the point that normal; avid interest became just of academic proportions.
Strength vs Strength from two diverse cultures evolves the game and will produce innovating; scintillating rugby for the true rugby connoisseurs.
Six or eight teams playing home and away will ensure 10/14 quality; well matched games per club with a very exiting final; what a feast of top-end rugby that would be..!
From my lips to the SANZAR Mandarins…..
Now move up and pass the biltong and pop-corn please..

Sorry Australia, the other two nations will supercharge southern hemisphere rugby

The bedrock of the Bok’s ’19 WC victory was based on finely tuned dominant pack (with a 2nd set introduced off the splinters with the same quality) and rock solid defence; the known; traditional strengths of SA rugby.
What surprised many and set them apart was a new arrow added to the Bok’s arsenal.
Kudo’s to Mzwandile Stick; the skills coach with his sevens background that showcased his added impact on the “old school; traditional” Bok strengths with the addition of the sublime situational awareness and attacking skills of Am and Mapimpi to score the Boks first ever WC final try on their 3rd attempt. The late addition of the extremely gifted Kolbe; who had to leave our shores to gain recognition; hit the final nail into the coffin of England’s shattered WC dreams.
Bad news for the opposition is the conveyor belt of previously underutilized talent is bursting at the seams with players like Notshe; Fassi; Simelane; Tambwe etc. beating down the door to join in the newfound spirit of inclusive freedom of expression; players that 3 decades ago couldn’t represent their country.
Eddie Jones rightly says that SA is the sleeping giant of world rugby.
All this made possible by a visionary coach that embraced the possible to achieve the almost impossible.
Consolidate the Bok’s traditional strengths and embrace the potential that new; inclusive fresh thinking brings.
A renaissance in SA rugby…?
You bet.

The Springboks attack surgically dissected

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