Secondary

Stand by your men…

I was convinced that Dolly Parton originally sang this song, but Google informs me that it was Tammy Wynette. Who am I to judge such a lovely pair?

Tony in Durban het my Maandag gekasty omdat ek kla oor die spelers wat uitgelaat is uit die groep, en toe kla hy ewe hard. Maar hy het ook gesê ons moet nou agter die manne staan, en daarmee stem ek volmondig saam. Wat Dolly betref, sal dit ook makliker wees om agter haar te staan, maar kom ons fokus eerder op die rugby.

Media reports from the camp confirm the intensity of the preparation, and the focus of the SA players. There can be no doubt that an extra week would have helped the players to hone their understanding and coordination, but that is not the reality that Heyneke has to deal with.

I am concerned about the back triangle. Habana and Pietersen last played together in the world cup, and Kirchner and the wings each come from a different provincial team. The situation is slightly better at loose forward, and in the front row it is a tried and tested combination.

I am particularly impressed with what I saw Pieter de Villiers do with Beast, Bismarck and Jannie. No, André, don’t swallow your gums, not that PdV; the one who played for France. I suspect that he brings a more scientific approach than Os, and by the sounds of things, the front row will need it.

It was also reassuring to read that the reserves are not seen as spare parts by Heyneke. He chose them as impact players. I suppose six out of seven is not too bad? Jammer Tony, just had to get that last dig in!

The revamped English side, complete with a clean living coach, is very much an unknown quantity, But I am prepared to wager a bottle or two that we are going to know some of these names much better in just over three weeks time.

Video analysis formed an important part of the Boks’ preparation this week, and I have no doubt that Rassie has come up with quite a few rabbits to pull out of the hat.

While the English have to rely mostly on Super 15 footage, Rassie has the advantage of watching the English performance in the six nations. The English coach, no doubt, will be far more exposed that our new man at the helm, despite his short time at Leicester.

Steve Walsh

Steve Walsh

If pushed for a prediction, I would opt for the Boks to pull it off in dour fashion, with Morné Steyn scoring like a metronome under the baton of choir master Steve Walsh.

I am a hopeless sentimentalist when it comes to rugby and national anthems, but there is one guy who beats me –  Robert Norster a former Welsh international: “Don’t ask me about emotions in the Welsh dressing room. I’m someone who cries when he watches Little House on the Prairie.”

 

 

Bokkie Bokkie, staan styf  

The single biggest reason for the Junior Boks losing on Monday was their weak protection of the scrumhalf. The number 8, particularly in the first half, spent more time behind his own fullback than at the base of the scrum. This allowed the Irish, who constantly bordered on off-side, to pressure our number 9, and thereby neutralise the entire backline.

Choosing a virtually new team for the match against Italy may pay off, provided Dawie Theron learnt from the opening match.

Beseringstyd

It is well known that the Stormers very rarely gets penalised by Steve Walsh. Perhaps this is why Heyneke chose all three in the starting line-up, including making one the captain?

As jy dan moet skink, maak dit maar ’n dubbel, ou Grote.

Een vir jou, en een vir Dolly.

PK the DJ

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