Tag Archives: Springboks

Springbok Season is Here, But Don’t Expect Miracles Just Yet

Raait. Maandag het nou amptelik besluit om ‘n doos te wees so voor jy na jou baas se gekerm luister, check bietjie hoe demoerin raak een van ons gunsteling ouballies oor die Springbok oefengroep. Ons laaik dit as ou ballies pissed-off raak en as jy skiem jy kan beter as Dick, wel don’t be a pussy. Drop ons ‘n mail by kapteinkortbroek@gmail.com #fokkenonce

By Dick van Dyk

It’s that time of year again… The time when the people who are supposed to be the leaders of South African rugby stuff it up so badly you begin to wonder if they have a hidden agenda (one so well-hidden they’ve forgotten where they put it)… When so-called pundits from every nook and cranny of the game they play in heaven crawl out to give their 50 cents-worth of analysis and nod sagely to one another in an expertise-induced haze… When Naas reminds everyone yet again that he knows best, isn’t it… Yes, dear friends, it’s Springbok selection time.

And to kick off this most wonderful period of the rugby calendar, we have the first Springbok “training” camp, which got under way yesterday with 36 of the best darned rugby players this fine country has to offer. Or not.

Actually not.

More to the point, nowhere near. Which begs the question – what does an in-form rugby player at the peak of his performance ability have to do to get a nod from Heineken, apart from play one game for the Bulls and get injured?

That the likes of the Cheetahs Willie le Roux (definitely THE player of the Vodacom SupeRugby season thus far), the Sharks Wiehahn Herbst and the Stormers’ Joe Pietersen have been left out of this first “squad” is an indication that dear old “Heineken” and his Bulls Babes, sorry, assistants, are sticking to the tried and trusted method of taking experienced “preferred” players who are either injured or benched so they can play the younger, in-form chaps out of position.

Yes, yes… I know it’s early days and there’s still a long way to go, but seriously – how on earth does any coach worth his salt pick Elton Jantjies for Bok training camps when the oke has struggled to hit a barn door with his kicking so far this season, whilst the aforementioned Pietersen, who has virtually slotted every kick to cover Jantjies’ over-large backside, gets overlooked in favour of Zane “I am Heyneke’s love child” Kirchner.

Heineken-bottleHeineken has his beer goggles on.

We can only hope that when the Kings players are up for selection that flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis gets a nod in favour of Jantjies and that by the time the second camp comes Pietersen and fellow Stormer Gio Aplon have proved their points so well that even the blue-tinted spectacles of the Springbok head coach fail to hide their sparkling talent. But I won’t be holding my breath.

The matches against Italy and Scotland offer the perfect opportunity to get rid of the dross that’s held the Springboks back and put some pizazz back into the side, with players who are playing well playing where they play best. And by this I specifically mean Francois Hougaard who, Heyneke dearest, is a SCRUM HALF.

We may as well add Patrick Lambie to that point, because although he’s the incumbent Bok flyhalf anyone with any sense knows that Morne Steyn will be Meyer’s first-choice No 10, leaving Lambie to warm the bench or fill in at fullback.

Fact is, at the time of writing, Steyn and Lambie are tied on 97 points apiece (according to the Sanzar website). But Lambie’s tackling this season has been far more effective than Steyn’s and most rugby fans with half a brain know that the Sharks 10 has got a better defensive game than the Bulls legend. Trouble is, Heyneke Meyer isn’t most rugby fans. At the end of the day I’m not going to get into a froth about it, because there’s very little point.

SARU put Meyer in charge and he’s there till after the next RWC, by which time Karma, and history will have judged him, not whingeing pundits.

By then Krusty will be playing for the Kings, Morne will have been canonised by the French and Spies will be an ordained minister at a church sponsored by USN and none of this will matter.