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Smash and Grab

This is not only a phrase used to describe a form of petty crime; it was also the name of a great South African racing horse. If one has to find an equivalent name for the Aussie performance on Saturday, I think “Loop en Val” would do nicely.

But, before I get accused of being an arrogant Japie, let me get back to the game itself. Despite all the hype beforehand regarding the 40 year drought, we saw a self-assured team out there who were extremely focused on what they had to do, and did so commendably. It is very seldom that all 15 players in the starting line-up, and their replacements later, have a near perfect game.

While on the subject of replacements – if you think back to the application of the reserves by the previous coach, you may recall that they very often actually disrupted the rhythm of the team. Now they are making a very positive impact.

They say that you only play as well as the opposition allows you to play. On Saturday, we created our own platform, rather than allowing the Wallabies to dictate our game. Quade Cooper was never the same after Etzebeth flung him to the ground, and Folua was never given enough space get his magic in motion.

Heyneke Meyer proved on Saturday that his team selections are not made on provincial favouritism, but practical realities. I, for one, had my doubts about Zane Kirchner, Ruan Pienaar and Juandrê Kruger, but boy, did they prove me wrong!

My notes during the match listed a number of comments about the referee, but as the game progressed, my comments centred more and more on the players, which is how it should be.

Prior to Saturday, the combined scores of matches played at Suncorp was 129 – 28 in favour of the Boks. That scoreline now reads 141 – 66. The fact that the much vaunted Aussie backline was unable to score a try (a first in 12 years) underlines the class of the class of 2013.

Does anyone know what caused the sudden change in “kyk weer” rules? The referee would suddenly be allowed to use the big screen in addition to referring to the TV ref.

As far as the commentary is concerned, I must admit that I did not miss Campo one bit. The “squat”, including Naas, really showed great knowledge of the game, although at times I thought Mallett was trying to out-gun Heyneke Meyer in the “getting excited” stakes.

There are one or two aspects that need improving, especially silly kicks, but by the time this happened, the Aussies were too shell shocked to do anything.

If we can maintain this level of play against the All Blacks this coming weekend, my prediction is that it will be the match of the millennium – thus far.

As Dan Retief tweeted after the match: Doc Craven, Fritz Eloff, Doc Luyt in the President’s Suite in the sky would be loving this – classic Bok “subdue and penetrate”.

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