Whereto now, Coach?
In retrospect, our first half against the Wallabies was not as good as the score would indicate. We did not play that well – it was rather that the Aussies were woeful. When they picked up their game in the second half, our weaknesses were exposed, and we had no counter when they kept ball in hand.
A classical example was Kurtley Beale, who played his worst game ever, in my opinion. His only positive contribution was being shouldered by the Beast, earning the latter a yellow card at exactly the time we should have capitalised on their poor showing.
I think the Wallabies were under such pressure from the fans and media that they tried to play unorthodox rugby. In particular, their little grubbers gave credence to why Doc Craven called grubbers “k&k skoppies”.
Jean de Villiers blames inexperience, but where were the cool heads of those who do have experience, himself included? Habana was injured, and Mvovo’s lapse was a turning point, but one mistake does not lose a match.
What’s done is done. Everyone proclaims a slaughter against the All Blacks, despite their average showing in Argentina.
Rather than make wholesale changes, I think we need to select a team which can counter what the All Blacks offer. This is easier said than done, given the all-round prowess of the Kiwis.
Firstly, we need to decide on a game plan to outwit them. By now, we should have learnt that you need to adapt to what faces you, rather than sticking to a game plan which the opponents know better than their own families.
Our defence around the fringes were poor against the Aussies, and unless we pick players who can make a difference, the All Blacks will simply repeat the medicine we got on Saturday. With Etzebeth likely to be out, I would move Alberts back to lock, and start with Flo Louw.
Morné Steyn has to go. Lambie looks like the most likely replacement, but I would opt for Goosen at flyhalf and Lambie at fullback, a position which Heyneke thinks is his best position. As an alternative, we can bring on Goosen and Lambie for the full second half, rather than for seven minutes.
Perhaps Heyneke should heed the words of Robert Frost in the poem, The road not travelled:
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Bowlers do the business
– by Bobby Londt
Steyn and Peterson once again terrorised the English batsmen as SA comfortably won the first T-20 match on Saturday. A revitalised Kallis seemed to enjoy his first game since returning. The rock of South African cricket for the past decade once again shouldered the responsibility early on and saw the Proteas home. He was partnered by Duminy, who seems to be coming of age. One down, two to go…
Isn’t it nice to see Johan Botha back in the side – he adds that plucky “never say die” attitude which every team needs! It’s a pity that we will be losing his services to South Australia after the T-20 World Cup.
England is on a slippery slope and it seems to be falling apart. Their best player, and previous T-20 World Cup “Man of the Tournament”, is still not on the scene. It seems that one or two other well-known players (Anderson & Swann) could have had active roles in undermining KP publicly by playing some role in the KP parody Twitter account. No wonder Strauss retired. I would, too, if I realised this was about to come out in the wash.
Hard times ahead for the ECB!
Let’s hope that today’s match will add to their woes.