All Blacks v Springboks 2: The Empire Strikes Back
All Blacks

All Blacks v Springboks 2: The Empire Strikes Back

All Blacks v Springboks 2: The Empire Strikes Back

CJ, BJ, JdV, FvdM or PdV?

Ground Control to Major Bakkies: Take your protein pills and put your helmet on.

Ground Control to Major Bakkies: Your circuit’s dead, there’s something wrong. Can you hear me Major Bakkies? Can you hear me Major Bakkies?

Apparently not. It’s obvious his team mates were mightily pissed off with him after last week’s debacle. Bliksem, a yellow card which turned the game and nine weeks chewing biltong on the sideline.

There’s some speculation that Butthead might be gone forever but I think that’s wishful thinking. Anyhow, Danie Roussow is a pretty handy replacement and at least poses less risk of 14 man rugby. I’d imagine he won’t be wanting to be sent off in his 50th test match.

He’s a very physical player and just the sort of guy to provide a bit of muscle to counter the Thorns and Kaino’s in the ABs, although he’s picked up a slight calf strain and may be in some doubt.

Andries Bekker could come into the test 15 if he’s ruled out although Bull’s lock Flip van der Merwe has been called over from South Africa as insurance. Bekker and Matfield are predominantly lineout exponents and it may be that a ‘tight forward’ like van der Merwe is preferred.

Snor has made two enforced changes to his side that were embarrassed by the All Blacks last weekend with CJ van der Linde coming directly in for Doc du Plessis (calf injury), in addition to Roussow. Ryan Kankowski moves onto the bench.

Jean de Villiers is again selected on the wing instead of at inside centre where he has previously forged a world class partnership with Jacques Fourie. It appears the player himself is disappointed with this situation.

Last week he was exposed defensively a number of times but didn’t get too many attacking opportunities to shine. He’s being played out of position so you’d expect a bit of collateral damage.

For the All Blacks, Smokin Joe is out with a dodgy hammy which brings Rene Ranger into the XV for his first start. He’s a big, strong, abrasive unit who will test JdV to the max.

Jimmy Cowan has been dropped to the reserves after a mixed performance last week (he’s recovered from his abdominal strain).

Richard Kahui has dropped off the bench due to an injured shoulder and has been replaced by Israel Dagg.

Kahui injured again

What can the South Africans do this week that they failed to do last Saturday? They’re going to have to bring far more intensity into their game for a start. They were lethargic and mentally just weren’t in the zone.

A need to compete more aggressively at the breakdown is a given. Whether that means committing more troops to the ruck or not remains to be seen but that lack of intensity filtered through to all aspects of their game.

I’m wondering what happened to their mauling game the other day, especially at lineout time? That’s an area that would usually gain them acres of yardage. Maybe they were a little stunned that the All Black lineout nullified their usual area of dominance and threw them off balance?

The Bokke scrum was also a tad wobbly and under severe pressure early on. CJ van der Linde’s experience and bulk should be a positive in rectifying that.

I can’t see the Boks changing their tactics too much so I’ll continue to expect that aerial game but they’ve actually got some decent talent in their backline if they’d only use them.

The All Blacks have found a winning formula and when you’re on to a good thing why would you change course? This will test their consistency and establish whether the AB mental strength of yore is entrenched.

Lance says: ‘It’ll be a different ball game this week and I think the Bokke are in with a chance. That said, I think the end result (but not necessarily the score) will probably be similar. All Blacks by 5′

South Africa: Zane Kirchner, Jean de Villiers, Jaque Fourie, Wynand Oliver, Bryan Habana, Morne Steyn, Ricky Januarie, Pierre Spies, Francois Louw, Schalk Burger, Victor Matfield, Danie Rossouw, C.J. van der Linde, John Smit (captain), Gurthro Steenkamp Reserves: Chiliboy Ralepelle, B.J. Botha, Andries Bekker, Ryan Kankowski, Ruan Pienaar, Butch James, Gio Aplon.

All Blacks: Mils Muliaina, Cory Jane, Conrad Smith, Ma’a Nonu, Rene Ranger, Dan Carter, Piri Weepu, Kieran Read, Richie McCaw (capt.), Jerome Kaino, Tom Donnelly, Brad Thorn, Owen Franks, Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock Reserves: Corey Flynn, Ben Franks, Samuel Whitelock, Liam Messam, Jimmy Cowan, Aaron Cruden, Israel Dagg.

  • Joel

    Sigh, more of the same shit from people who cannot execute the Bok gameplan. Looks like another AB victory, this one will be tight though.

  • Zeno

    The Boks’ first and biggest challenge is to score a try. If they fail again to do that then they might be in more trouble than anyone has realised.

  • Mighty Horua

    The Boks are playing stupid! They try to emulate the vile that the Bulls is playing! Hope they lose by 40!

  • Mighty Horua

    vile and tripe

  • en_force_er

    Would someone tell JdV going in to tackle must be your 1st, 2nd and 3rd defensive option.

    You come in looking for intercepts in the centers, you create a hole that the opposition could spot and exploit. But, you go for an intercept on a wing and well, there aren’t many times an unmarked winger won’t score or at least make serious metres.

    JdV being labelled the king of intercepts was the best possible thing to happen to every rugby nation around the world, except South Africa. Now he is in the position that he will often be SA’s last line of defense.

  • JJJ

    I dunno if CJ is the answer to the saffa scrum problems. The bloke’s barely played for the last 24 months thanks to his dodgy big toe.

  • Who Needs Melon

    Melon says: ‘Hey it’s fun to refer to yourself in the third person! ABs by 15′. :)

    • Lance Free

      Apparently its the first sign of hubris WNM – looks like we’re both in trouble then….

  • Davey

    Look for a monumental shift up in intensity from the Boks, the first 20 minutes will be brutal and fast.

    That said unless they change thier game plan (and the general consensus seems to be that they won’t), they will still lose to the more skilful AB’s.

    NZ by 8.

  • chriscullen

    looking forward to seeing Rene Ranger, im sure he will be targeted but he does have that x factor which can make him hit or miss.
    A tighter contest than last week but late tries to The all Blacks will see them win by 20.

    • Robson

      Yes it’s always that last twenty up tempo by the ABs which spells danger for the opposition. It almost took the Boks out at Hamilton last year, but they managed to survive it and take the match away. Teams don’t always do that against the ABs.

      But I think the Boks will be a different side this Saturday. They will be feeling bruised and ugly minded about getting a big hiding last week without scoring a try and Bakkies left them in quite a bit of bother by being yellowed and then suspended. They won’t be happy campers. The ABs will also have the pressure of trying to emulate a near flawless performance from last week. And they know that it is expected, nay demanded, of them by their very zealous supporters.

      Who’s the pressure really on then? Well both sides really, but it’s also as much on the ABs as the Boks, but for different reasons. I’m also not sure about Piri at halfback. He’s starting to look a bit like he can’t get out of his own way sometimes.

      The ABs will be after perfection Mark II, but can they do it? I personally believe that the Boks came on to Eden park last weekend just a trifle too complacent. They won’t be like that on Saturday.

      It’s a game I think which could go either way so I’m not going to pick it, but don’t discount an upset win by the Boks.

      • Garry

        It should be a great opening quarter.

        I’ll be disappointed if I don’t see some hand-bagging!

  • piggies 7

    where is the beast? i thought he was cleared to play after all his citizen troubles cleared up

    • Garry

      ..and where that short arse no. 7, who’s name escapes me? He’s world class and a good dog to pit against Richie McCheat.

      • Joel D

        Heinrich Brussow. Injured.

  • Suzy Poison

    A week is a long time in test rugby. The Bok team selected is most experienced Bok team ever selected. 700 caps on the dot.
    Bakkies had rubbed himself out, and it’s improved the team. Both Bekker and Rossouw are better players.
    Add to that, the Boks will be hurting. I am predicting the All Blacks are in for a big surprise on Saturday. Boks to cause a massive upset, Boks by 10.

  • Stormer

    Write them boks off at your own peril, like the AB,s were. AB,s by 5

  • bones

    Boks will try to dismantle the AB game which flogged them last week. Good chance that Burger attempts a late high stiff arm hit on one of McCaw, Thorn or Carter, as the opportunity provides early on, earning himself a yellow and a lengthy subsequent ban to accompany Bakkies on his charity works.

  • Patrick

    From last week it doesn’t seem possible that the bokke could beat NZ but for the reasons that a few commenters have given I think they will. I think they will play a really tight forwards game and will kick a lot, for sure, but like everyone is saying they will do it with hunger and that will make a big difference.

    I do think they should bring JdV to centre though.

  • Scorz

    Nice jinx on Danie, Lance!

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@@LanceFree

Roscoe Tims (aka @LanceFree): A nasty, opinionated little man whose views are indeed narrow with a capital 'N'. Favourite Sport: mungo bashing. Does he ever have anything positive to say?

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