Tough Choice

Langenhoven het beweer dat dit makliker is om te leef na die inkomste waartoe jy gestyg het, as die een waartoe jy gedaal het.

Dis omtrent hoe ek voel oor hierdie berig – dit sou soveel makliker gewees het om oor ‘n oorwinning oor die All Blacks te skryf, as oor die nederlaag.

Die wedstryd was inderdaad ‘n skouspel, en ‘n puik advertensie vir die spel rugby. Die uitslag, al maak dit hoe seer, is ‘n ware weerspieëling van die vermoëns van die twee spanne.

If you want to win a Grand Prix, your car needs to fire on all pistons. The Black car was perfectly tuned, while the green one spluttered in certain critical areas of the contest.

A major problem lay with our defence, which is such a key component of Heineke’s game plan. I am sure that the Boks focused on specific areas in their preparation for the match, but it seems that this one was neglected. Meyer is quoted in one article as saying that the Kiwis did not capitalise on our mistakes. I am sure he was misquoted – if missing tackles is not a mistake, then what is it?

The second problem concerned losing possession from the All Blacks kick-offs. The whole purpose of having to kick off after your opponents scored is to ensure that the momentum stays with the team who was in possession before the score. If you lose that possession, you also hand them a territorial advantage, which is fatal against McCaw and company. Was receiving the ball from the kick-off part of the preparation? It certainly seems not.

A third factor concerns an old malady – aimless and/or poor kicking. You can gamble on a mistake in wet and windy conditions, but not on a perfect pitch like Ellis Park, and especially not against the men in black.

Nigel Owens (pictured above) blew the game fairly. He played a major part in making this such a grand spectacle, and should deservedly be moved up the referee rankings.

The All Blacks showed why they are the number one team in the world. Having travelled halfway around the world, with a day less to acclimatise, and facing the hugely intimidating stadium full of vociferous fans, they went about their business in a calm and collected way. They stuck to what they do best and proved, yet again, to be better than the Boks on the day.

I may be over-simplifying matters, but the single biggest difference between the two sides is mental maturity. While we played with the exuberance of youth, they displayed calmness under pressure. The scary thing is that they have quite a number of players in their side with ten or less tests to their credit. If we believe that we will be a better side in a year’s time, then so do they

Bokkie Gerber raised an interesting question in an article in Rapport. We are two years away from the next rugby world cup. If you look at how old the Bok backline will be, it seems that we can be in the same position as England in 2003 when they won the trophy.

Will Jean de Villiers be his captain? If not, Adriaan Strauss is the most likely candidate. Will this mean that Bismarck will again be the number 2 hooker, like when John Smit captained the side?

As Bokkie says – a tough choice for Heyneke.

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