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Fouries are jolly good fellows

The condition of the pitch is important in cricket, but it should not affect the quality of a rugby match. Sadly, Wales lost here, too. I felt particularly sorry for Frans Malherbe, and also Coenie Oosthuizen, who must have come close to setting a new record for receiving a yellow card in the least amount of time on the field.

A Paul Simon song came to mind while I was watching the match. Guess the song, let me know, and you may be the lucky winner of a bottle of quality wine.

Share a thought for the referee, too. The game was always going to be physical, and having to contend with a disintegrating underfoot just added to his woes. He was probably within his rights to send off the two props after an early warning, but it appears that it was the condition of the pitch which led to the problems in the scrum, not the players.

Fortunately the mistake made by the officials, who awarded the Springboks last try, did not affect the outcome of the match.

Jacque Fourie was clearly in front of Fourie du Preez (pictured above) when the latter kicked ahead, and was fed the ball by the centre to score under the poles. Golfers may call this the rub of the green, and we have had enough of the downside of this to not feel overly guilty about racking up a nine points victory margin.

The move itself was sheer genius, and I could not help wondering, cynically, how long it will take to coach that kind of initiative out of the two Japanese Fouries.

Francois Louw should have his backside thoroughly kicked. He should never have allowed his temper to get the better of him when held by the Welsh number 2. Apart from this faux pas, I thought he contributed magnificently.

Bryan Habana is just one very classy player. The try that he manufactured for Jean de Villiers is yet another brick in the monument he is building for himself. There are times, though, when I feel that he just tries (no pun intended) too much on his own, and dies with the ball.

Hierdie Springbokspan is ‘n grote, in wording. Om die Sesnasies kampioene te verhoed om ‘n drie te druk, met net veertien spelers op die veld vir 60 minute, wil gedoen wees. Toe Flo Louw af was, het ons ook geen punte afgestaan nie.

Jonathan Davies se besering was dalk ‘n bedekte seën, want hy het ons senters se verdediging, of gebrek daaraan, sleg ontbloot. Ek het Donderdag verwys na die feit dat Jacque Fourie en Jean de Villiers laas in 2011 saam gespeel het. Voordat Davies in die twaalfde minuut beseer is, het hy hierdie leemte duidelik uitgewys.

So van verdediging gepraat – Malherbe was strate beter as Jannie du Plessis op hierdie gebied, en so ook Pat Lambie, na hy by Morné Steyn oorgeneem het. Lambie se posisionele spel op heelagter was ook baie beter as Zane Kirchner s’n, en ek glo hy moet nou die nommer een keuse wees op nommer 15, as Heyneke gaan volhard met Steyn op losskakel.

Wie weet, dalk rus hulle vir Steyn teen die Skotte, en dan kry Lambie die geleentheid om te wys waarom so baie mense reken hy behoort die eerste keuse op losskakel te wees. Of gaan Heyneke dalk kyk hoe Ruan Pienaar daar gaan vaar?

Ten slotte, iets van Supersport af oor die Walliese afrigter se kommentaar waaraan mens kan herkou. Hy voel dat die spanne in die suidelike halfrond, danksy die Rugby Kampioenskap en die Super Reeks, dwarsdeur die jaar op ‘n hoër vlak kompeteer as hul eweknieë in die noorde.

“It’s not the fitness or physicality, it’s that tempo and speed of thought and it sometimes takes a bit of time to get used to it.

“The southern hemisphere sides have been together for a few months and you could feel they were pretty organised.

“That’s the big difference and the advantage that southern hemisphere teams have over us. Coming out of club rugby or regional rugby, talk to our players, and it’s chalk and cheese, the difference.”

“That’s why every autumn we want to play the best teams in the world because that’s what prepares us.

“Ironically, it’s almost like pre-season getting ready for the Six Nations but we don’t want it to be like that because we want to hit the ground running and beat these teams.”

Ons kan natuurlik enige nederlaag blameer op die feit dat ons moeg is na ‘n lang seisoen.

Maar ons het gewen – teen die Europese kampioene.

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