That’s right – Dale and Vern are back!

Steyn was the leading wicket-taker in the two-match Test series against New Zealand with 10 scalps at 10.20 and claimed his 26th five-for in Centurion to end questions over whether he could regain the fitness and form of the past.

In fact, Steyn and Philander looked their past best with Vernon doing his bit to prove his comeback after an injury-filled 2015.

The coming series Australia (away), Sri Lanka (home) and England (away) will prove in my opinion how much we really missed Steyn and Vernon last year. They form such a formidable team, creating and applying pressure, creating the perfect environment for young Kagiso Rabada to apply his trade, learning and developing from the best.

This will be a telling season for the future of coach Russell Domingo – the Proteas’ performances were far from desirable under his watch and is he on borrowed time in my opinion. Will the Proteas bounce back after the disappointments of the world cup, the series losses to India (away) and home to England?

The results for:

2015: 8 played – 1 won – 3 drawn –  4 lost

2016: 5 played – 2 won – 1 drawn –  2 lost

(1 West Indies, 2 Bangladesh, 3 India, 4 England, 2 New Zealand)

The season kicked off in style, winning the series 1-0 to New Zealand has set a small platform to kick on. The pressure after dropping to 7th in the test rankings to climb back up to 5 after this win will not let up as, in my opinion, there are no easy opponents in the 2016/2017 season!

I must admit – I would love to see Australian Jason Gillespie as the Proteas coach. Dizzy as he is affectionately known is arguably one of the best up and coming coaches around currently applying his trade at Yorkshire in England.

Gillespie, who was appointed in November 2011, helped guide the club from the second division to back-to-back Championship titles in 2014 and 2015, with the club firmly in the hunt for a third title following last week’s victory over Nottinghamshire at Scarborough.

In the course of 76 Championship fixtures at the helm, he suffered just five defeats.  I would appoint him today if I could.


Whose fault is it anyway?

By Paul Kruger

Blamestorming became a popular pastime after last week’s defeat of the Springboks at the hands of Argentina, or should that read “at the feet?”

Losing by 2 points, after missing 5 kicks at goal sounds like a close call, but we all know it would have been a travesty of justice had we managed, yet again, to sneak in at the end.

Dis nou een oorstoot drie in beseringstyd wat ons wragtag nie verdien het nie.

Die blaam word nou gelê voor die deur van Allister Coetzee en Adriaan Strauss. Natuurlik is hulle gedeeltelik te blameer vir die fiasko, maar daar is baie meer agter die nederlaag, en die swak vertoning sedert Coetzee oorgeneem het, as wat op die oppervlak blyk.

To be very blunt, SA Rugby armed the coach with a gun loaded with blanks.

Any new coach wants to prove his selection right. To be able to do that, he requires the best support staff available in the country. What did he get?

An inexperienced backline coach, two forward specialists (one of his own choice, the other the present incumbent) and no specialist attack, defence, loose play or kicking assistants. It almost seems that the in-fighting at the helm of SA rugby made them forget why they are there in the first place.

In the process we lost some of the best brains to Munster. Rassie Erasmus and Jaques Nienaber, who would have made a considerable difference, are not part of the set-up, and the results are painfully clear.

En dis nog nie klaar nie. Daar gaan nog vir lank ‘n geween en gekners van die tande wees.

Ons vertoning teen Australië, en dié van Argentinië teen die All Blacks, sal vir ons ‘n aanduiding wees presies hoe diep in die moeilikheid ons is.

Ek hou maar asem op, want daar waar ek vermoed ons tans is, ruik dit nie baie lekker nie.

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