Secondary

A bitter Pill

The only consolation for me after two defeats, since Tuesday, is that the junior Boks at least put up a semblance of a fight, and hung in there right up to the end. Oh, and the fact that they lost against Wales, and not the arch enemy.

Die Proteas se afskeidsgeskenk aan Gary Kirsten was byna soos om vir jou beste vriend ‘n pap snoek te gee. Ek het regtig geen begeerte om soos ‘n gekweste bo’jaan hier te sit en derms uitryg nie. Ons voel almal ewe teleurgesteld, so kom ons kyk vorentoe.

Bokke sê Samoa die Stryd aan

It is pleasing to see that Heyneke opted for three heavies as loose forwards. There is very little other option against the tough Islanders. I would have opted for Alberts at number eight, and Kolisi or Van der Walt on the other flank. The coach reckons that number eight will be too demanding for Alberts, who returns after injury. I have no doubt that he will be replaced any way, so why persist with Spies whose only noticeable contribution is in the line-outs?

Ruan Pienaar needs to speed up his service to the backline. With the heavier pack, he should be getting better possession, which will allow our dangerous backs with more time to weave their magic.

An old ailment, which we seem unable to remedy, remains our direct contact approach to backline play. Dis amper soos die outjie wat in standard ses die grootste was, en na skool steeds probeer om deur die opponent te hardloop, plaas van om hom. Waar ons sleg afsteek teen die ander sterk lande, is die vermoë om die bal in die laagvat uit te gee.

Sonny Bill may have been the best exponent of this skill, but many others have acquired this ability to keep the ball alive. On one or two occasions where we managed it in the previous two weeks, we looked dangerous. For the rest, we simply passed the ball waiting for the biggest opponent to crash into, or squeezing the wing against the sideline with no room to manoeuvre.

Dis nou behalwe as ons skop. Mag dit oordeelkundig wees, en mag wie ookal kaptein is, elke geleentheid pale toe benut tot die wedstryd in die sakkie is.

The Rugby Championship is just around the corner. With this in mind, I really hope that our boys get their act together on Saturday and deliver the kind of performance that their collective talent promises.

Not one of us want to have to endure the old adage “bad things come in threes” on Saturday.

And finally, a word from Dan Gable:

Gold medals aren’t really made of gold. They’re made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy, called guts.

 

No prizes for guessing who this is addressed to.

 

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