South African Rugby Roundup Edition Three takes a look at the ongoing Rugby Championship as well as the Currie Cup.
South African Rugby Edition Three
The Rugby Championship
Springboks Splutter in Brisbane
Australia: Tries – Adam Colemen, Bernard Foley. Conversions: Bernard Foley (2). Penalties:Foley (3)
South Africa – Tries: Warren Whiteley, Johan Goosen. Conversions: Elton Jantjies (2).Penalty: Morne Steyn
The Springboks started fast and scored two early tries and South African fans were having early visions of a Wallabies walloping. This was not to be as the Springboks continue with their confused game plan. What exactly Allister Coetzee‘s vision of the South African game plan is remains unclear. The running intent was there, but with very little balance in terms of kicking at the right time or using grubbers and short kicks to turn the defense. A prime example of running the ball at the wrong time was Faf de Klerk‘s bounce pass to Bryan Habana 5 meters out from the Springboks try line.
The intent to run with the ball is an admirable notion, but making ten knock-ons to the Wallabies two probably sums up how under-cooked the Springboks are when it comes to a slick passing game. Kicking the ball to Isreal Folau just served to put the Springbok defense under more pressure as he initiated attacks from deep.
Coetzee made specific mention during the week that the Springbok aura was still intact, but there are few Springbok fans standing in line to agree with him. This group of players is undoubtedly talented. Can we go as far as to say that they work well together as a unit? Popular opinion is that this looks to be a squad at odds with itself.
Former coach Heyneke Meyer took a lot of flak for his continued backing of out of form players. The Coetzee era is still in its infancy, but is not proving to be much different. Although form does fluctuate from game to game, players such as Tendai Mtawarira, Francois Louw, Bryan Habana, Elton Jantjies and captain Adriaan Strauss have not delivered consistent performances to build on.
The selection of Willem Alberts to replace the injured Lood de Jager has drawn some interesting comments. Popular opinion is that the Springboks loose trio lacks true “mongrel” and that Alberts is exactly the type of loose forward that is needed to give them momentum on attack. The Rugby Championship match against the All Blacks on Saturday will be the litmus test of Alberts’ current form.
Both sides have been under pressure in recent weeks. Their closeness after the game as illustrated in the headline picture tells its own story.
After the game, Coetzee has this to say
courtesy of South African Rugby.
Currie Cup Wrap
Griquas 46 Cavaliers 22
Griquas – Tries: AJ Coertzen, Edries Arendse, Elgar Watts (2), Clinton Swart, Wendal Wehr; Conversions: Clinton Swart (5); Penalties: Clinton Swart (2)
Cavaliers – Tries: Clement Lewis, Craig Pheiffer, Adriaan Carelse; Conversions: Theuns Kotze, Adriaan Carelse; Penalties: Theuns Kotze
The Griquas continued their impressive season and are now fourth on the log. Inside Center Clinton Swart put in another impressive performance and has surely caught the eye of Cheetahs Super Rugby coach Franco Smith.
Golden Lions 58 Western Province 32
Golden Lions – Tries: Kwagga Smith (2), Jacques Nel, Robbie Coetzee, Andries Coetzee, JP du Preez, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Anthony Volmink; Conversions: Jaco van der Walt (6); Penalties: Van der Walt (2)
Western Province – Tries: Jacques Vermeulen (2), Leolin Zas, Dewaldt Duvenage; Conversions: Robert du Preez (3); Penalties: Du Preez (2)
The Lions handed Western Province a beating on Friday night, with some impressive running rugby on display. Some of the tries scored will rightfully be in contention for try of the season as they unlocked the Province defense running from deep within their own half.
Province had a hand in their own demise, dropping off seventeen tackles, allowing the Lions to build attacking momentum. The Lions are now fifth on the Currie Cup log and the Western Province sixth.
Sharks 30 Cheetahs 38
Sharks – Tries: Francois Kleinhans, Thomas du Toit; Conversion: Curwin Bosch; Penalties: Bosch (6)
Cheetahs – Tries: Penalty Try, Michael van der Spuy, TiaKeagan Daniel n Meyer, Uzair Cassiem, Shaun Venter; Conversions: Fred Zeilinga (5); Penalty: Zeilinga
The Cheetahs traveled to Durban to hand the Sharks their second successive defeat and to climb to the top of the table. The Sharks are now in second place behind them. It was probably a little bit of an upset result, but the Cheetahs phenomenal line speed on defense often had the Sharks under pressure and rushing their passes.
The Sharks started the game on the back foot, losing captain Keagan Daniel and lock Stephen Lewies the day before the game. To compound matters, stand in captain Phillip van der Walt was injured in the early minutes of the game and had to be replaced.
Pumas 14 Bulls 41
Pumas: Tries: Ruwellyn Isbell. Penalties: Francois Brummer (3)
Bulls: Tries: Ulrich Beyers; Travis Ismaiel; Nic de Jager; Hanro Liebenberg; Jamba Ulengo (2). Conversions: Tian Schoeman (4). Penalties: Tian Schoeman (1)
The Bulls battered the home Pumas to climb to third position on the log. This Pumas team is not as strong as the sides they have put out on the paddock in recent seasons and the Bulls took full toll of that. The pack was dominant and their back line were played with a lot more freedom and delivered six tries. The Bulls have often missed out on playoff spots as they were not able to collect the bonus point, so they will be happy with this performance.