Predictably young Fransie Steyn picked up the Man of the Match award but there would have been few complaints amongst the largely South African crowd if it had gone to giant Danie Rossouw. My take:
Young Steyn really has astonishing confidence and self-assurance for a 19 year old. Given his age I was glad to see him get the MOM. By no means the perfect performance but he adds so much in terms of guts, spatial awareness and the desire to get involved and mix it up with some very experienced and toughened league midfielders. He’s a wonderful talent who hopefully will get better and better as he matures. The fact that he’s played wing, fullback and flyhalf in four matches and not disgraced himself once flashes up big red lights of natural talent and self-confidence.
Mnr Daniesaurus has certainly come of age! His consistency of performance and huge workrate is an example to all Springboks. He has added an element to 8 that we haven’t possessed in years. I honestly didn’t think he’d pull off the role but he most certainly has and he might be the ‘find’ of the EOYT. I can’t remember when last we had a 8 that could pick and drive metres over the advantage line with flank & flyhalf hanging on him. Great performance. Plus, he was always back helping the fullback when required. Okay, he dropped one and dropped a certain try but in the context of his overall performance, no big deal.
Dare we consider a combination consisting of:
6. Schalk Burger
7. Juan Smith
8. Danie Rossouw
It was such a massive disappointment to see Jaco Pretorius limping off, up until that stage our injections of pace were coming predominantly from Jaco and Wynand. He did enough in his time on the field to warrant a further opportunity in the future.
Wynand Olivier has matured so rapidly on the international stage, on defence and attack, that it’s hard to remember a time when we were exceedingly nervous of playing him. He’s still not a natural distributor of the ball, hopefully they’ll keep working on this aspect of his game but he has pace, penetration and is a brave defender.
Am I the only one wondering what the fuss is all about over Meyer Bosman? Still young, plenty of time to grow into the role but I just don’t see anything to write home about.
Same with JP Pietersen, who, to me, always looks utterly lost on a rugby field. Like someone who only very recently came to the game. I can’t understand why he’s playing in Springbok colours.
Bevin Fortuin. Bevin, Bevin, Bevin. I like the guy, good honest rugby player, getting by on his hard work and committment but he just doesn’t have the injection of pace you require in a 15 at international level. It makes him predictable because you know he’s not going to counter strongly or hit a gap, 9 times out of ten he’ll be forced to grubber or chip. Solid citizen who doesn’t select himself and doesn’t deserve criticism, just wouldn’t select him.
Ricky Januarie is back to his best, dynamite on defence, aggressive, sniping, testing. Too often still takes a little bit too much time to clear a ruck and choose his options but a genuine talent. Ruan Pienaar is another with the gift of ghosting through half gaps, made lawrence Dallaglio look like a right chump on the way to gifting Albert a try. He’s not there yet, not by quite some way, certainly can work on his defence but he has that indefinable quality
Chilliboy didn’t disgrace himself on his first full 40 minutes, very keen, overly keen at times but prepared to get stuck in and get involved. Same with Gary Botha.
I thought Deon Carstens acquited himself very well, especially with a rookie hooker alongside. Couldn’t really see any time when Cobus Visagie really got the wood over him and Carstens was big in open play, Visagie was not nearly as prominent. It was the usual disaster when Lawrence came on later, no binding, hand on the ground and being drukked. Can we stop that experiment too please?
CJ is looking sharper and sharper. Ackers was big in the tight, keeping a sharp eye on that big bugger, Simon Shaw.
Surprisingly pleasant little cameo from Jongi Nokwe who certainly looks to have improved and put in some hefty defensive work in his short time on the pitch.
Gerrie Britz and Wikus van Heerden worked really well in tandem. Wikus certainly grasped his opportunity with both hands.
Albert was Albert, managing to get to places he shouldn’t have been in order to score, disrupting the World lineout and imperious on his own ball. In a loose match, Albert’s your man but, I’m afraid, up against a tight organised pack, he’d probably be anonymous again. Great game from him anyway.
Felt very sorry for Thinus Delport, I’m sure he’d have loved this opportunity to showcase his wares but by the time he came on, the World wings were seeing next to nothing of the ball. Great pity. Cobus showed he’s no slouch but I also never got the feeling we’re missing some great talent. Put it this way, he didn’t do to us what Kevin Pietersen is doing to the Aussies in Australia.