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Perth – the final showdown

A result for the 3rd and final test seems very likely at Perth; this is if you take into the account that the recent Shield matches (Australia domestic 4-day competition) all ended well within 4 days.

The pitch has been really quick in recent years and the keepers are standing further back than usual.

Austalia is likely to go with an all-new bowling attack, after the monster last innings by South Africa in Adelaide.

To achieve a test win, Clarke literally ran his bowlers into the ground in the last test.  The cost? Both Siddle and Hilfenaus will miss the 3rd and final test. Their condition is described as being “Spent. Exhausted. Drained. Cooked”.

For South Africa it seems likely that Peterson will make his return to the test side after Tahir’s fruitless efforts in the previous 2 matches.  Doubt still remains regarding Kallis – we do know that he won’t be able to bowl, but his worth as top order batsman is unquestionable. If he is not declared fit, the possibility of Ryan McLaren making his return seems most likely.  

Ricky Ponting

Ricky Ponting

This test will also be the last for Ponting – after 20 years as professional cricketer, 17 of which was as an international star, he decided to call time on his illustrious career.  His debut was in 1995 on the WACA in Perth,  and it seems fitting that it will be ending at the very same venue where it all started. The man we loved to hate has done his country proud and chose a dignified exit on his own terms.

 
My feeling is that the momentum has shifted to the Proteas as the Aussies will have little consistency in their selection for the final test. A new bowling attack, Shane Watson’s return, and Ricky Ponting’s farewell, might prove to be one emotional bridge too far for the Australians in terms of nerves and sentiment.

The moment for Smith and his side have arrived. They rolled with the punches up to now, but have created their own opportunity by absorbing all the pressure. They cannot wait to return the favour.

2012 Review by Readers
– by Paul Kruger

Paul , thanks  for  the  very  informative  newsletters  during  the  year  and  your  help  with  the  exam  results. As  for  the  Bokke  3  out  of  3  is  an  achievement, last  done  in  2008, but  it  was  against  the worst  Irish, England  and  Scottish teams  I  have  ever  seen (Scotland  losing  the next  week  to  mighty  Tonga). Our  performances in  the  second  half  against  Scotland  and  England  were  unbelievably poor. I  understand  now  why  we  kick the  ball  away; our  efforts  with  ball  in  hand  are  so  poor that  having  the ball  is  more of a  liability  than  an  asset.

As  for  the  Proteas  an  incredible performance especially by  Faf  who is  made  for  test cricket  but  should  seriously  consider packing  up  2020. On the bowling front, before  Philander  came  along,  we  battled  to  take 20  wickets  against  top  sides. When he  doesn’t play ( v Sri  Lanka  in  Durban, and  now in  Adelaide)  or  on the rare occasion  he goes wicket less,( Brisbane) we  perform badly. He has been the huge reason on the bowling front why we are no 1. He has outperformed a very disappointing Steyn and  inconsistent Morkel  by  streets. Kindest Regards, Peter Dembitzer.

Hi Paul 

I do enjoy your emails, especially when the sport gets tough!

 End of year tours have never excited me. We arrive in the Northern Hemisphere with ‘eina’s’ that we are not sure will be okay when the first whistle blows.

We ended against England with:

Second choice no’s 1 and 2, brand new 4 and 5, second choice 6 and 8. Questionable no 9, untried no 10, new 12 and 11.

In hind sight, I think they did fairly well. Some came through with flying colours, particularly our loosies, 6,7,8.

We had to rely on 3 overseas front rows for the 3 matches…not a good reflection on what’s left at home. We must develop and produce strong competitive front rows. That’s been our game for years…soften them up first, then let them have it!!

Our backs never set the games alight….maybe lying too shallow. When we have the ball, the field always appears too narrow for our wings !!  

Let’s see what 2013 brings with all able and fit and competing for positions. We could field two great sides ala All Blacks. Kind Regards, Stan Ward.

Hi Paul,

Firstly – many thanks for constructive ongoing assessments.  Seldom do I disagree with your appraisal or summation of the game.

A myriad of rules that will be open to interpretation plus a hint of the North vs South implication but one is reminded that if one avoids the “crime”, one avoids doing the time”!!

I still have a huge hassle with a couple of matters: Firstly, why kick a “hard earned” ball away AIMLESSLY (or down a throat) and then create pressure when known good competition then run it back at you.  This increases the risk of committing the crime alluded to above plus it is generally accepted that penalties favour or are awarded to the attacking side.

Secondly; so much debate around centres and wings re the pro’s and cons etc and then we never spread the ball wide??  Peterson & Co (Habana) would die of old age (or flu) if they waited for the ball.  Thank goodness they come in and look for work.  How often don’t the defending opposition, line up flat (offside line) and thus restrict momentum (of these backs)?  What happened to the grubber or the chip JUST over the top to either turn them around or next time, make them think twice re a line of defence.  This smashing the ball up on the fringes is risky and so predictable.

I have yet to put my finger on it but when the All Blacks play one knows they will win as there is always something “else” in their armoury.  When the Boks play (a) we need a bit of luck and/or (b) I am never sure we can win i.e. uncertainty.

I would love to see our guys develop a “touch rugby” approach i.e. look and lay the ball off BEFORE going to ground (like the Province/Sharks final).  This “skop and charge” mentality is out of date in the modern FAST game.

Finally – if our Brains Trust could get over their “big man” (little man?) syndrome.  One does not have to be +110kg and 6 foot to make an impact!!

Keep up the great efforts.  A peaceful and Blessed Xmas to you all. Dave W Marshbank.

Lekker herkou hieraan, ou Grote. 
  
 

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