The Springboks have #HomeGroundAdvantage

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Before the Bokke depart there will be a celebration at the Springbok Experience Rugby Museum

A special piece of turf, to give the Springboks real #HomeGroundAdvantage , will be ‘christened’ by a host of South African celebrities from television, music, sport and fashion at the Springbok Experience Rugby Museum in Cape Town on Thursday. Local celebrities will include Jimmy Nevis, Katlego Maboe and Karen Zoid. Miss South Africa Liesl Lauri and Springbok legend Breyton Paulse are also amongst the personalities who will water the turf being cultivated to support the Springboks’ Rugby World Cup bid.

The grass is being grown in soil drawn from all 14 South African rugby provinces. The seeds will be taken to the UK where they will be planted and grown and then placed in special trays in the Springbok dressing room. The idea being that the South African turf will be the last thing the players’ boots touch before they head for the field during the tournament.

I say what nonsense. This does nothing more than take your eye off the ball. This is all for PR, nothing else.

Anyway, back to the Springboks. Thankfully for South Africa’s rugby mad fans our Bokke will be heading overseas to England to try and win the ultimate trophy in Rugby, the coveted William Webb Ellis trophy.
Looking at the Squad selected one cant help but wonder why Heyneke Meyer (HM) wanted to explain the inclusion of Rudy Paige to the public.  Doesn’t HM know that public opinion of ones actions tends to sway more heavily towards logic and not to a game with words?

I cant help but wonder why Rudy Paige didn’t start games ahead of Cobus Reinach. If his intention was to take Rudy Paige to the world cup surely he should have allowed him some match time?

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photo: myplayers.co.za

HM said:”Rudy brings the same game type to the table as Fourie du Preez.”

Common sense tells me that HM should’ve played Rudy then as much as possible to get him back into form and prove to the public that he (HM) sticks to his guns no matter how tough it gets. This would go a long way to establish more credibility with the public, but will also bring a lot of collective calmness to the squad as they know which direction the Bokke will be heading in terms of  game plans.

The coaches need the player buy-in on various levels of a game-plan in order to make it successful..The Bokke played 2 completely different game plans which both have merits and can beat the best opponent on any day. Let’s hope management pick the right plan for the conditions on the day and we have a successful World Cup.

Moving away from the Rudy Paige controversy, I think the rugby public is crying out for one thing only: let the Bokke play for the player next to him.

I long for the days when Francois Pienaar and Nelson Mandela united a nation under the banner of SA Rugby.

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photo: greatestsportingmoments.com

What are our chances of winning the RWC 2015?

In my opinion we should make the semi final without a doubt. And depending on the opponent and maybe with a touch of luck, we can get to the final but in all honesty, I think we’ll lose to whoever makes up the other berth in the final.

What counts in our favor?
Experience! And tons of it. The squad consists of no less than 3 centurions and a further 8 players have more than 50 caps. 5 players have 30 caps or more and this means more than a third of the squad enough experience to remain calm and collected when digging the trenches between the 4 white lines come game time.

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Duane Vermeulen – The Human THOR, where is this big guys ‘”off switch” so to speak? (photo: bathchronicle.co.uk)

 

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photo: sanzarrugby.com

Fourie du Preez:, with him being the most honest player in the squad, if Fourie says hes ready to play then the Boks chances just quadrupled to go the full distance for the William Webb Ellis.
In the line-outs South Africa are truly blessed with  Victor, Eben, Lood, Pieter Steph.  I expect Victor to have a lot of say when decisions are made regarding game plans come line-out time.  An insider once told me that Victor dictated the line-out plays to HM when the coach joined the Bulls franchise. HM would seek approval on forward plays from Matfield and base all his forward plays on the input from the Springbok number 4.
De-Allende / Kriel midfield combo –  this combination set the 2015 tri-nations alight and grabbed the attention and imagination of the rugby public. It must be left to grow and develop to it’s full potential. This pairing has the potential to become the next Frank Bunce/Walter Little (NZ) or Tim Horan/Jason Little( AUS) or our very own Ryk van Schoor/Tjol Lategan(Boks). For the Bokke to succeed  HM must allow these two to play freely, no matter what happens during the World Cup.

What works against us?
The political upheaval surrounding the Springbok emblem and the political interference of person’s with their own political agendas who are trying to ride the Springbok to personal political success never help the team. Just look at the Proteas in the most recent edition of the Cricket World Cup.

Injuries to key players selected to make the trip could return to haunt HM. Rugby at this level is a tough game and anyone less than 100% is likely to collapse halfway through the tournament. Players selected who are known to be injured, cannot be replaced.

Current form of the injured Boks. Some of the selected players desperately need match time to play themselves back into form. There could be trouble on the horizon if HM doesn’t field his strongest side in the opener.

Scotland could be our undoing in the RWC. The Samoans will target our weakest and recently returning Boks. They will attempt to expose the guys who lack experience or are just recovering from injury. Argentina recently beat us convincingly, we will have to fight hard to rebuild the belief that the Springboks are title challengers again.

 

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