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From Four-wheel drive to Normal?

No, we are not shifting focus to motor rallying this week. Having ground down the England side in four-wheel drive, we now move into normal drive to pick up some speed as we approach the last test before the “Rugby Championship”. More about this later.

Heyneke Meyer stayed true to his undertaking by only replacing injured players in the starting line-up.

The enforced replacement of Pat Lambie hints at a possible change in the approach to the game. Gio Aplon is one of the best attacking fullbacks in world rugby. Meyer intimated that the only reason why he was not included in the initial squad was the conservative approach planned for the first two games. With the series won, they can now move into second gear, which will entail a more attacking kind of game.

Ditto for Jacques Potgieter, who brings an element of speed to add to what Willem Alberts provided. Kankowski’s inclusion also points to a more adventurous approach by the team, and do not be surprised if he replaces Pierre Spies, rather than Potgieter or Coetzee. Spies, however, redeemed himself last week, and maybe having three less experienced loose forwards would be too much of a gamble.

Wynand Olivier’s expected inclusion is for two reasons: his experience, and having played with Morné Steyn for so long. This is one area where I feel that the team is weaker than last week. My choice would have fallen on JJ Engelbrecht, despite his relative inexperience at centre. We have the Rugby Championship around the corner, and blooding Engelbrecht now would possibly be more to his advantage than against the likes of the All Blacks or Wallabies. Without any disrespect to Olivier: if he did not prove his indispensability in his previous 37 tests, how will he do it now?

England will certainly take heart from the second half of the last test, and believe they now know how to take the Boks on up front. They too, had to make changes due to injury, and I suspect that, particularly at scrumhalf, they are going to battle.

Maar soos daai storie van Tolla eindig: “Dis nie net vir vat nie.”

Dié storie van Sanzar om die drie-nasies se naam verander na “The Rugby Championship” herinner my aan die Amerikaners wat ’n World Championship of Baseball reël en dan net hulself nooi. Eintlik bietjie arrogant, na my mening. As mense in golf praat van “The Championship”, verwysend na die Britse Ope, dan is dit ’n welverdiende titel oor baie jare. Jy begin nie ’n nuwe reeks met ’n titel wat jou meerderwaardigheid oor ander lande uitbasuin nie. Hoogmoed kom tot ’n val.

RSA captain Wian Liebenberg and his NZ counterpart Bryn Hall

RSA captain Wian Liebenberg and his NZ counterpart Bryn Hall

Vrydagaand is daar ‘n groot verantwoordelikheid op die Jong Bokkies om hul man te staan teen wat kenners beskou as die swakste jong All Black span sedert die ontstaan van die kompetisie.

Die tuisveldvoordeel kan beide ‘n vloek en ‘n seën wees. Ek moet sê, ek was baie lanklaas so opgewonde oor die toekoms van ons rugby op losskakel, binne- en buitesenter. Nou moet die ander 12 ook net bykom.

Vat die voorspeen, ou Grote. Die agterspeen kom hulle toe.

PK the DJ

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