Ringing in the Changes

I experienced a rare “I told you so” moment when I read yesterday that coach Meyer agreed with my views on patience – both from the players and supporters.

But too much of a good thing is not good, goes the saying. (Or wonderful, as Mae West and Nerine, my partner in crime at Moonstone, puts it.)

Here is my wish list for Saturday’s match against Scotland:

Juan de Jongh

1. That we start off at a blistering pace, making the game safe by half time.

2. That this allows Jaco Taute to get a decent chance of proving his worth – in position, at fullback, rather than as a recycled centre.

3. That Juan de Jongh takes his Currie Cup and Super series form to the test, and proves that he belongs there.

4. That Pat Lambie continues to grow in stature and confidence as a flyhalf on the international platform.

We do not need to emulate the All Blacks points difference against Scotland. The game plan should be to make the test safe (which is always the first priority), and then to clinically introduce those replacements who need the game time so that, come RWC 2015, we have an extended number of players boasting 30 to 40 international caps.

Other Tests this Weekend

Poor old Wallabies – now also losing lock Rob Simmons to an 8-week suspension on top of the injuries to key players, having to face England on Saturday. From a selfish perspective, I hope that the English win handsomely. There is nothing nicer than watching their ego deflate faster than a Spur balloon touched by a burning cigarette when the ‘Boks take them on next week.

The All Blacks/Italy game will not feature on my watching schedule this weekend, nor the Wales/Samoa game. But Sunday’s match between France and Argentina will definitely have my full attention. Will Argentina maintain their form displayed when they beat Wales, and can the French repeat their sparkling performance against the Wallabies?

Ou Wyn in Nuwe Vate

Die wysheid om spelers met oorsese kontrakte te gebruik, eerder as om domastrant te wees en hulle te ignoreer, gaan nog baie vir ons beteken op pad na die Wêreldbeker toe. Dit wil voorkom of onverwagse beserings, eerder as fyn beplanning, daartoe gelei het dat spelers soos Gurthro Steenkamp en Heinke van der Merwe nie net die Bokke uit ‘n penarie gehelp het nie, maar dit duidelik gemaak het dat hulle in die groep hoort.

Ek is nie seker wat die argument vir hul uitsluiting was nie, maar die ondervinding in ander omstandighede, wat as rede aangevoer word vir hul insluiting, is vir my baie geldig. Dan is daar ook dubbele standaarde: Ruan Pienaar speel in Ierland, maar word gebruik, terwyl die manne hierbo nie gekies word nie.

As jy jou gene-poel maksimaal wil aanwend, kies die beste spelers, en basta.

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