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Will History Repeat Itself?

Ek lees vanoggend dat die All Blacks oor Ellispark voel soos die Bokke oor Eden Park. Keven Mealamu word aangehaal as sou hy sê dat dit enige All Black se grootste uitdaging is om daar teen die Bokke te speel.

During the current series we saw a number of contests where history could be rewritten – the Springboks beating the All Blacks in Auckland and the Wallabies in Brisbane. The latter produced a new record, the former a wailing wall of note, following the blunders by officials.

This time, the onus is on the All Blacks to change things. Their recent record at Ellis Park shows that they only win one out of three matches here:

1992 – All Blacks 27 Springboks 24

1995 – Springboks 15 All Blacks 12 (RWC final)

1996 – Springboks 32 All Blacks 22

1997 – All Blacks 35 Springboks 32

2000 – Springboks 46 All Blacks 40

2004 – Springboks 40 All Blacks 26

 

This permutation says it is time for the All Blacks to win again!

Wynne Gray notes in the NZ Herald that the 2004 test was also a watershed, and a number of senior All Blacks, including Justin Marshall, were dumped. None of the players, bar Jean de Villiers, was involved then, so, theoretically, Ellis Park should have no psychological demons for the All Blacks.

Should they lose on Saturday, the flight delay, which gives them one day less to acclimatise, will be blamed on the same Suzy who poisoned their food in 1995.

Tim Noakes is of the opinion that this, plus the fact that they did not use a coastal venue to prepare, will be their death knell. With the right use of substitutes, the impact may be less than in the past, but I still think they are going to run out of oxygen and steam in the last 20 minutes. This is of course why they are so desperate to have McCaw on the field when this happens. Whether he has seen enough rugby since his sabbatical, and now the injury, to last 80 minutes in the Highveld, remains to be seen.

Hier kom die Bokke

Die ding wat my die meeste bekommer wat die Bokke betref, is dat die konsensus blyk te wees dat ons gaan wen – al vraag is of ons aan die ander vereistes kan voldoen om ook die kampioenskap te wen. Dalk moet hulle die manne weghou van alle media blootstelling tot na die toets, want as hulle dink hulle gaan die All Blacks “rol”, soos een opskrif in my dagblad lees, gaan jy “bôkkerol” vermag, behalwe om jou naam krater te maak.

Ons grootste bondgenoot is kontinuïteit, want dit bring vertroue in jouself en in die spelers om jou. Die spankeuse weerspieël die afrigter se geloof in die manne wat die span tot hier gebring het. Juandré Kruger het meer as sy kant gebring in die tyd wat hy op die veld was en Franco is, wat my betref, my eerste keuse Van der Merwe op slot. Jan Serfontein het ook goeie blootselling gehad as plaasvervanger en mens nooit die indruk gegee dat hy vir Oom Jean terugstaan nie.

In Brisbane het ons op al ons silinders gevuur – sou dit Saterdag weer gebeur, is die optimisme geregverdig en behoort ons minstens te wen.

Die man in die middel

So is die laaste woord deesdae nog nie gespreek voor mens iets oor die wedstrydbeamptes gesê het nie. Nigel Owens is ’n baie ervare skeidsregter en behoort die spanning wat met so ‘n toets gepaard gaan, te kan hanteer. Ek hoop hy het kennis geneem van hoe Jaco Peyper nie die All Blacks in Argentinië met ongeoorloofde spel laat wegkom het nie. Mens soek nie bevoordeling nie – net konsekwente toepassing van die reëls, ongeag die kleur trui wat die speler dra.

Owens is the only referee to have handled two Heineken Cup finals in succession, which says something about his status among Northern hemisphere refs. His sidekicks in the shootout will be John Lacey, an Irishman who blew his first test on 24 November 2012, and Leighton Hodges, another Welshman who handled his first official test on 15 June this year.

The TMO is Graham Hughes, from England.

Graham+Hughes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daar is iets in sy voorkoms wat my pla!

 

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