Of Fare Structures and Resting players

Rugga World reader, Murph, was in a meeting, sans Gambrinus, when it struck him that the ‘Boks have got their resting phase “backside” about face and, actually, the Kiwis have got it spot on.

I was sitting in a meeting the other day discussing fare structures for a multi-segment route a airline client of mine wanted to fly, there was much debate on how to protect the 2nd leg (B-to-C) from being abused by the low fare added on to the 1st (A-to- B) for “Through Pax”, those traveling A-to-C), writes Murph.

The add-on was being offered to grow traffic and utilize International Traffic rights for the B-C feeding from A, at the same time maximizing the capacity on the original, already operating route. The client wanted to incentivise the AC by offering a low fare thru, essentially giving away the add-on B-C for those flying AC, but this left B-C cheap and open to abuse for those departing at B which in turn meant the AC capacity was blocked.

Any Fooking way… while i worked out how to fix this which was obvious to me, it occurred to me that We got it arse about face with regards to the resting of players for 2nd leg of 3N and the All Blacks have it spot on.

And it goes a little something like this…

While our players need rest the timing of that rest in incorrect in relation to the imminent WC 2007, quite simply they should have been rested for the 1st leg of the Super 14.

There was lots of talk of how the SA players are full of confidence after a DBL SA S14 final and an inevitable SA (1st in …years) win, and how this positive will carry us well in the WC. There was talk of how the Bulls and Sharks Boks had a strong bond from the experience in the Bok camp post S14 final.

How Confident are NZ after an Away win !

We could have competed easily resting our top players at the same time as NZ, considering how the Auz sides struggled, if not there is no truth in the rumor that our touring side is as strong as the last week squad. Who i will now refer to as “squad” players for the sake of the perceptions surrounding them.

There was Talk of how the Squad System and the Depth in S14 and Bok Squad created competition for places and this ultimately raised the game of individuals which was collectively good for the strength of SA rugby.James Small wrote an article in ZOO on this, which i agreed with, but i have weighed it up against how much more NZ rugby benefited from having what would have been bench warmers or close to playing week in week out and performing. How much did any squad member get tested in the S14 Smit and G Botha situation ???

There was talk of the NZ coming back match unfit, and rusty. How many Games of good hard Super 14 do you need to shake off RUST, most were starters within a week of being back. At the Impact of S14 rugby you could bury a landrover off the coast of Isipingo, dig it up 6 months later and it would be rust free after 2 games… And All !!

How much real starting game time did any second choice SA players get to make their mark and shake off rust. How many of our guys sat on / came off the bench throughout the S14 because they were not starters due to niggling injuries, that most are still battling with cause the “bench starts” kept the Injury alive while killing game fitness. Os springs to mind.

Now we go on tour with a our “squad” players as as good as any “1st choice” out there, and there is talk of, “lots to play for” and “WC places to secure”. This will create competition for places too !!!

How many 2nd and more so 3rd choice NZ players kept the 1st and 2nd honest for the duration of the S14 and gave Henry both as many uncomfortable questions about his incumbents as the did relief in the face of unforeseen injury woes to either 1st or 2nd.

Players like Stephen Brett , Isa Nacewa (Fijian but keeping the Level in NZ up no Xeno-phobia there), Mose Tuiali’i , Corey Flynn , Nick Evans, Casey Lualala , Tom Willis, Ross Filipo , Kieran Read, Jerome Kaino. SPRING to mind

There is some real competition for places on the battlefield putting in a performance that draws the kind of comments made by Carter about Brett ! With Luke Mc also watching close. There are guys like Brett who had a real crack at proving their WC worth if needed.

The players selected for the conditioning program were:

Forwards: Jerry Collins (Wellington), Jason Eaton (Taranaki), Carl Hayman (Otago), Andrew Hore (Taranaki), Chris Jack (Tasman), Richie McCaw (Canterbury), Chris Masoe (Wellington), Keven Mealamu (Auckland), Anton Oliver (Otago), Greg Somerville (Canterbury), Rodney So’oialo (Wellington), Reuben Thorne (Canterbury), Ali Williams (Auckland), Tony Woodcock (North Harbour).

Backs: Dan Carter (Canterbury), Byron Kelleher (Waikato), Leon MacDonald (Canterbury), Aaron Mauger (Canterbury), Malili Muliaina (Waikato), Josevata Rokocoko (Auckland), Sitiveni Sivivatu (Waikato), Piri Weepu (Wellington).

The players Highlighted in Bold had the most significant influence on the outcome of the match including Luke McAlister, those coming off the bench had a marked impact as did those in high output, energy sapping positions such as Ritchie and Collins who were not sub-ed and came through looking like they had an extra gear to go. Rusty Match Unfit se Moer !!!!

Consider these players in terms of the stand outs i mentioned from the S14 and their positions in relation to those that stood tall at Kings Park.

With Both 1st Choice Locks out Nogal !

Ahh !! there’s depth, with real “squad” as good as the guy coming off subs !

The emerging Boks should have been used with full sight of the BOK 1st XV’s WC needs, not the away leg.

With that in mind are we risking Gaffie-ing Grant here and we know what that can do to a player.

What we are doing now amounts to panic manage-ing, what Henry had the foresight to announce last year, into next couple of weeks. That coupled hoping for the best with regard to injury. Guys like Os should have been recovered fully then playing through away leg of 3N to get match fit.

We should be Going for Gold, The Triple Crown , S14, 3N, and WC in one year What An Opportunity !

We would have been competitive in S14 without certain senior players , NZ were right up to end. Rather risk that and Have the Double Test series 3N and WC (Double Header), that the what NZ are staring down now.

Thats real confidence ! Not, managing losing one to get another, thats a trade off.

Consider this and ask should we be resting players or do we have to.

A team needs to Bond and Gel before a WC, Tours are where players Bond, not home games, especially if the WC is away as well. Our strongest contenders for WC should be there cementing what Jake had worked so hard for in his selection consistancy.

I’m Not Saying we wont win the WC but did we need to dust all else for it or could we have Gone for the Ultimate !

Its like that and Thats the ways it is

Happy Friday


ps We may well win an away 3N game but i dont think that out weighs the combined sum of what the NZ squad are reaping with a settled WC Squad Gel-ing in the Hardest Test Series in the World, the 3N.

[As this was Murph’s fifth draft, the final final final one, it felt cruel to edit it in any way and thus is presented in it’s unexpurgated form. Anyway, it would be sheer folly to mess with Murph’s unique wordplay.]

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301 Comments on Of Fare Structures and Resting players

  1. “the king is dead, long live the king”

    That Mr Murphy was the best piece i’ve read in years … it ought aught to stimulate some top debate …. ;)

  2. This stratary has nothing to do with resting players, but is rather the strategy of a team that expects to loose both games and therefore simply refuse to play.
  3. The World Cup is starting to take on the predictability of a Michael Schumacher F1 race. Sure the All Blacks could stumble and there is always a chance that they have a really bad experience in one of the playoff games, but these options are in the realm of possible not probable. Only France and South Africa came into this year with the genuine prospect of being able to win a game off the All Blacks. South Africa seem to have folded. Sure I know its not over till the fat lady sings, but in watching Jake White whining away to the NZ press as to why he was sending a second string team to play a Tri Nations game, I am sure I could discern the sound of C Minor in the background.

    Besides that fact that I seem to be the only one that feels the Tri Nations fiasco is an embarassment to us as a rugby nation, there seems to be a solidarity that “resting” our players is the good that is going come of this. This is not only incorrect coaching strategy, it is also closing the door on the opportunity to fix the only thing that can possibly be done to beat the All Blacks.

    The All Blacks beat the Springboks in Durban, not because we were fatigued, but because we were completely outplayed technically. The solution is to fix the technical problem. No amount of rest or conditioning is going to do this. Focus – its a difficult concept to follow. If Jake White and the rest of the Springbok advisory panel don’t get it, you can easily miss it if you don’t concerntrate.

    I am going to use the analogy of boxing to explain it. The Springboks have a great Hook but no Jab. The All Blacks have the best Jab in the business. The difference in Rugby is that you have to knock out the whole 15 as this is not possible, the game always results in a points decision. Now there are two games going on. There is there is the scoreboard which we all watch and there is the score of the gain line, which very few people watch, but which ultimately determines the outcome of the game.

    Usually the winner of the gain line wins the match. The losing teams may be ahead on the score board and something exceptional happens to reverse this. Its a very uncomfortable feeling when it happens. Examples of this this year were the Sharks outplaying the Bulls and still losing, or the Wallabies outplaying the Springboks and losing. Generally the gain line winner is the game winner. Even in cases like England South Africa 2 and All Blacks South Africa in Durban, while the side losing the gain line was ahead on points at half time, the winner comes through in the second half.

    So what do you mean by “winning the gain line”? Good question. I see rugby games as a series of bumps. Two people bump into each other and one goes backwards. These bumps vary in quality and character, but every losing bump takes more out of the loser than the winner. This is very similar to boxing, its better to give a punch than receive one. A professional boxer explained boxing to me as two guys moving around the ring until one if them is too tired to keep his hands up and the other comes in to finish him. I mean thats about it in rugby right?

    This is the reason that so many games are decided at the 60 minute mark. This is about how long it takes for two evenly matched sides to decide who is the winner. Games would be a lot easier to predict if not for the substitution rules that gives the loser a second chance. But unless his impact players have a marked effect, the games goes the way of the gain line winner.

    Now the simplest stat to see, is the turnovers stats. Turnovers show that you are winning the gainline, but they are not all. There is also a more subtle more incidious side to it.

    This is how I watch it. I keep a running counter. Everytime two players meet, if the offense move forward through the encounter I add one point, if the ball carrier is stopped or pushed backwards I take 1 point off. Break the game into micro periods, but you seldom need more than a few minutes to determine who is winning the gain line. After a while it becomes second nature and you can watch a game with this as a background process.

    This winning the gain line is dominated by forward play. Often it takes multi player impact to determine the outcome. If your lose forwards are not getting to the ball, or worse if their tight forwards get there first and start roughing up your loose forwards and backs, the result becomes inevitable.

    This does not mean that fixed pieces are not important, its just that there are not as many of them as there are loose encounters. It is the shear volume of the slaps in the face that mount up to the “60 minute lapse of concentration”

    So why cant we beat the All Blacks? Because the Springboks have a hook and no jab. We play great plays – interceptions and power push over plays. Facing up to the fact that we have no jab and deciding what to do about it is going to stab right at the heart of what we have come to regard as precious. If you have no jab, the primary problem is going to be found in you loose forwards and your props.

    So unlike boxing in rugby a hook does not hurt as much as a jab. When Butch james runs in an intercept try, it may make the fans scream, but to those of us watching the “gainline game” this is nothing. When the All Blacks grind out 50 phases like they did in the latter part of the first half, it matters not that the score does not change, what matters is that they have taken away our legs and we are starting to notice how heavy our hands are to half them up.

    The harsh reality is that Burger and Roussouw simply do not win the gain line. But Os Scrums like hell and Schalk is the best loose forward in the world? I said it goes to the heart of what we regard as precious. The simple reality is that in Durban, NZ won the turnover and pushed us in the scrums. I don’t deny that Burger and Os get out there and take a lot of punishment (hits in the face). But remember, that is not what wins games. What wins games is letting the other guy get hit in the face. Gary Botha, BJ did little better. Locks we excuse if they win the lineout, but Bakkies and Matfiled got completly over shadowed by Rawlinson in the loose. The NZ players and press will keep talking up Os, Burger and Roussouw, because with them there, doing what they did in Durban, All Black victory is certain.

    So what can we do about it? Resting players is not going to do it. When they get back they are still not going to have the techniques to be able to win the gain line. Take a look at the game tape. Hayman, All the AB loosies, even Rawlinson. That are ‘moving” differently to the Boks. They are coming into the contact, back arched, head up and they are looking to play the man. Go back to the boxers – The All blacks literally have their hands up going into contact, the Boks have their hands in their knees!

    Our players, epitomized by Burger are coming in out of balance, backs bent and looking to play the ball. This body position does not help to land the blow. Its is these ‘blows” that they strike – 1000 times a game – that count. Readers of ironrugby.com will know that I have for years advocated this style of gainline play – now the New Zealanders are actually doing it.

    We should not be resting 10 weeks before meltdown, we should be focusing on fixing this gainline imbalance. Every bit of practice in facing this from the All Blacks is a opportunity to learn what it means. The solution is to understand this blocking process and implement it in the tackles, rucks and mauls- Sorry I dreaming again – OK maybe for 2011.

  4. The thing is, Jake wasn’t allowed to rest players in the S14, if I remember correctly.

    I stand to be corrected, but didnt he want to do that, but the Unions refused?

    If so, you can hardly blame him for taking the next best option – some sort of rest before the WC.

  5. I stand to be corrected, but didnt he want to do that, but the Unions refused?

    Comment by Big Fish — June 29, 2007 @ 9:06 am

    He asked last year, but was refused.

    This year he left it to the S14 coaches and didn’t ask.

  6. Murph,

    I think you are spot on with this. 2nd prize would have been to rest them agaisnt the Poms when it didn’t happen in the S14.

  7. I agree with the article as a whole.

    There’s just one thing I’d take issue with

    A team needs to Bond and Gel before a WC, Tours are where players Bond, not home games, especially if the WC is away as well.

    In my mind, senior players in the first team, like Victor Matfield, Schalk Burger, Butch James, Fourie Du Preez, Guthro Steenkamp, John Smit, Bakkies Botha, Juan Smith, Jean De Villiers, Jacque Fourie, Bryan Habana and Percy Montgomery

    Have already been on tours, and in most cases have been plaing together for three seasons. They’ve been to France, Australasia and the UK together.

    If they haven’t bonded and gelled as a team yet, they never will.

    So in that respect I disagree

    Having said that, I believe quite strongly that if Fourie Du Preez had recovered he should have gone. If Bryan Habana was okay, he should have gone

    Just to get Bok playing time and maybe be a settling influence on the youngsters.

    I would also have let the up and comers, like JP Pietersen, Frans Steyn and Ruan Pienaar go and I would have given the ful game time.

    They need it.

    Neither has actually taken a lot of part in 3N tours.

    Pienaar was part of the away leg last year and EOYT

    Steyn just the EOYT

    He could have done with some time on the toughest tour the Boks undertake yearly.

    Second, I take issue with the idea that the All Blacks have come away chock full of confidence in their away win.

    Sure it will have given them sort of boost.

    But remember the players you refer to Murph and not being subbed.

    Schalk wasn’t subbed either and he looked as up for a fight as ever throughout the 80 minute encounter. Never showed an inkling of tiredness. E.g. when Soi’alo goes on his 60 metre solo run, who takes him down… and HARD?

    Bob’s substitution was a mistake the coaching staff must answer for. Rossouw would have been better subbed by a similar player in Wannenburg. Taking Bob off cost experience and flair.

    With even that said

    Think of it

    We started the game missing

    Guthro Steenkamp
    John Smit
    Juan Smith
    Pierre Spies
    Bryan Habana

    During the game we lost through injury

    Butch James

    And through subs

    Bakkies Botha
    Bob Skinstadt
    BJ Botha
    Ashwin Willemse

    In other words

    By the end of the match

    There were 9 ‘second’ string players on the field

    And in the cases of certain of them,

    3rd string players who had replaced second stringers! (Pedrie replacing Bob and CJ replacing Os)


    by the end of the match we had the following replacement players onfield, i.e. NON first team sarters

    1. CJ VD Linde
    2. Gary Botha
    3. Muller
    4. Rossouw
    5. Pedrie Wannenburg

    (i.e. 5/8 forwards were off the bench players)

    The backs were a bit better off


    Frans Steyn
    Ruan Pienaar
    Wynand Olivier
    JP Pietersen

    (i.e. 4/7 backliners were second string players)


    In effect, in any proper RWC game, you don’t end the game with 9/15 Second XV players on the field.

    Seven would be the most.

    Against that background the All Blacks would be pretty worried

    I know if I were Henry I’d be thinking


    With five players missing through injury and another one injured and third team replacements coming on

    They beat us for three quarters of the match!

    Then they eventually had NINE second and third stringers on the field and it actually took a mistake BY US for us to win the game with 2 mins on the clock!

    How the hell are we going to stop them in RWC with a full strength team?

  8. Yeah BF,

    It is the only comment or thing I differ on with Murph and his cool article.

    Henry was allowed to rest his players, Jake not (during the S14).

    And Philip hit the nail on the head again – I saw it as a problemm before Durban and with Jake’s philosophy he mentioned in an article about a month ago and where he puts a lot of stock in and even admitting that the AB’s are the best at the rucks and ball retention, he just thinks the Boks should concentrate even more on ‘platforms’ like the line-out and I do not agree with that at all.

    Look at CC games even, our guys are incapable of crossing the gain line and winning the gain-line battles.

    I, like Philip also always tell players that 80 minutes of rugby is made of 200 mini battles within that time.

    Those mini battles usually equates to 30 odd line-outs, 20 odd scrums and 150 contact situations or rucks or tackled situations.

    The real simple formula is that the more battles you win the better chance you have to win the game, and you can win 15 out of 20 scrums, or 25 out of 30 line outs, but if you are going to lose 100 out of 150 rucks you will still lose more battles (out of the 200) than your opponents and effectively almost always lose the game.

    It is also where we go wrong on the subs scenario in SA which I have a problem with.

    Like Philip said, look at rugby in micro periods not in makro periods and I agree 100% with him that is how people in SA do it, just listen to coaches at half time.

    Just listen to ex-players now commentating – thay almost always talk in ‘quarters’ and being in the ascendency through the first and last quarters of a half, I have even heard Jake speak of this.

    If you look at rugby in a makro state of fashion you miss those micro battles Philip mentions wins you the match and you always make the wrong ‘technical’ decisions as a coach (like the subs in Durbs) because you are not judging the game on those micro periods but rather the makro/quarter periods and the amount of times you had possession or field position on average in those periods.

    It is almost like thinking you are winning the battles to eventually win the war, but you are looking at the wrong battles and thus you are sending the wrong troops out at to the wrong battle lines with the wrong tactics of battle.

    Great post Philip.

    Always nice to read.

  9. Davids,

    You seems to keep forgetting that they also hit injuries and make substitutions.

    Difference is that their replacements/substitutions are not 2nd rate players. THEY ARE 1st CHOICE PLAYERS with experience built up through the rotation policy used by Henry over the past two years.

  10. I agree to an extent

    There are two things I do not agree with

    1. The team gels and bonds on away tours

    Okay the principle is good and I agree with it.

    However, if one thinks that A team players like Os Du Randt, BJ Botha, John Smit, Bakkies Botha, Schalk Burger, Victor Matfield, Danie Rossouw, Fourie Du Preez, Rickie Januarie, Jean De Villiers, Jacque Foourie, Bryan Habana and Percy Montgomery have been on tour together and playing together in a team for at least three and in some cases four years, then I see no value added by an additional tour.

    These players, the senior players, the core of the RWC team, should be bonded and gelled already.

    2.The second part I take issue with is how much confidence the All Blacks could take out of their win.

    Sure it would be a good booster.

    Sure they could take some confidence out of it.

    But it’s misleading to suggest they can take the amount of confidence out of it as you claim Murph.

    First they played a team missing more than a third of it’s normal starters in

    Guthro Steenkamp
    John Smit
    Juan Smith
    Pierre Spies
    Fourie Du Preez
    Bryan Habana

    During the game the team lost

    Flyhalf Butch James

    to injury

    They also lost first team starters to subbing

    Bakkies Botha
    Ashwin Willemse


    Os Du Randt
    Bob Skinstadt

    By the end of the game and this at the end when they actually did take control of the game we had first team players on the pitch


    Schalk Burger
    Victor Matfield
    BJ Botha

    The rest

    CJ Vd Linde (3rd choice)
    Gary Botha (2nd choice)
    Johan Muller (3rd choice behind Rossouw)
    Pedrie Wannenburg (3rd choice)
    Danie Rossouw (2nd choice)

    In the backline normal first team starters

    Jean De Villiers
    Jacque Fourie
    Percy Montgomery

    Of the rest

    Ruan Pienaar (3rd choice SCRUMHALF)
    Frans Steyn (3rd choice FLYHALF)
    JP Pietersen (3rd choice wing / FB)
    Wynand Olivier (3rd choice centre / wing)

    So by the end of the game

    We had NINE second and THIRD string players on the field

    Effectively 60% of the team was NOT first choice players.

    And to think we started with FIVE non first choice players in any case, i.e. 30% of the team.

    Now to thnk this team had the beating of the All Blacks TOP XXII for 60 minutes, and started to come apart when playing with a 60% second / third choice team only after 60 minutes and only after the All Blacks could bring on great replacements (remembering that for the most part our GREAT replacements were either already on the field in the starting lineup, or came on in positions they weren’t actually meant to be in because of injury).

    Then one must be a very worried All Black coach. A very very worried one.

    Effectively we can say

    For 75% of the match we beat you with a team at 30% under full strength

    YOU only managed to beat us in the last quarter, and that courtesy of an error from us on YOUR original bungled kick, so total blind luck.

    If I were Graham Henry I would be a VERY VERY worried coach.

  11. YOU only managed to beat us in the last quarter, and that courtesy of an error from us on YOUR original bungled kick, so total blind luck.

    If I were Graham Henry I would be a VERY VERY worried coach.

    Comment by DavidS — June 29, 2007 @ 10:16 am

    By the same token we managed to beat Australia based on a mistake by Larkham not kicking the ball out and offering Steyn the cahnce of the equalising drop goal.

    So should Jake also now be a very, very worried coach?

  12. Donner

    I completely disagree

    Sure their locks were pretty strong in the tight phases, but think that we eventually forced them into a tactic of using quick lineout throws.

    Also, even the adition of the likes of eaton and Jack and Williams will NOT make a difference in their lineout competition. It’s the GREAT weakness of New Zealand rugby dspite what some of their fans say.

    Other than that this was a completely fully first team for the All Blacks

    Now consider for a minute if you will if on 60 minutes they brought on Luke McAllister and MacDonald

    Game breakers yes?

    Now imagine at the same break we’d been able to bring on Pienaar and Steyn

    Game breakers?

    You’re damned for sure they are and they’re as good as Luke and MacDonald and Mealamu

    In the forwards?

    As our loose forwards and tights tire

    On come



    Rossouw and Skinstadt

    And if jake REALLY wanted to stop Mealamu?

    On comes gary Botha who plays a similar style of game


    That we would have closed them out with no problems whatsoever.

  13. Comment by Donner — June 29, 2007 @ 10:19 am |Edit This


    And if you recall I wrote a piece about it afterwards that was generally not well received

  14. Comment by DavidS — June 29, 2007 @ 10:26 am

    I say again, when have you ever seen Meealamu play well against Smit?

    We have the tools to stop the AB.

    People need to realise that our situation is rather different to the AB’s – what works for them might well not work for us, and furthermore, we sometimes don’t have the luxury of the options that they do.

  15. Steyn is definately a game breaker at this stage. It is just a gamble for which team he is going to break it. Not his fault though as he doesn’t have enough experience yet. Especially when compared to Luke and MacDonald.

    That is where the difference is. They have experienced replacements in all the positions. We don’t and why?

    Because Jake focussed on his 1st 15 not his 1st 22 and you should know that. That was your stance for a very long time.

  16. Comment by Donner — June 29, 2007 @ 9:22 am |Edit This

    There was a lot of discussion forums between the national coaches and the regional coaches however this year.

    Most Bok players got at least one and in some cases more games off during the Super 14.

    As I understood from Heyneke Meyer and Dick Muir and Loffy Eloff

    there was a weekly conference between national coach and S14 coaches to see how they could manage the players properly to ensure they last the WHOLE season.

    Donner if I can just add one thing concerning the Australia game and in defence of jake White

    That was a team of ours that had inside a few minutes THREE usual suspect first team starters off the field in Smit, Du Preez / Januarie and Habana

    Those three are HIGHLY senior and influential players at national level.

    The Australian team was a FULL strength one at all times in that game.

    Second in contrast to the game against the All Blacks

    We dominated possession for the entire game taking a 60% possession count.

    Basically we were always going to win it but made it difficult for ourselves.

    By contrast against New Zealand the complexion of the game changed when they brought their first team replacement players on, while we couldn’t match that quality either on the field in the starting XV and especially among our resrves.

  17. and furthermore, we sometimes don’t have the luxury of the options that they do.

    Comment by Big Fish — June 29, 2007 @ 10:29 am

    Now why would that be the case?

  18. Davids – If I was Graham Henry I would be very worried if the WC was held in SA. The problem to me is that its in France – the question is how will we rate at a neutral venue away from home?
  19. Davids,

    How many people always say that homeground advantage is worth 10 to 15 points.

    I don’t like that as I don;t think one can quantify it, but for sure there is an advantage.

    Now lets get back to Jake’s philosophy of defense wins you the WC. If we attacked and had 60% of the possession and probably territory aswell, in terms of Jake’s philosophy, who is the team better equiped for the WC?

  20. Aus almost won the game because of their defense.

    NZ won because we couldn’t tackle for shit in the last 20.

    Defense does win you WC’s.

    Along with drop kicks…

  21. Comment by Donner — June 29, 2007 @ 10:33 am

    A whole host of factors, including SA Rugby, Unions, coach, fans and injuries.

    Comment by henkt — June 29, 2007 @ 10:36 am
    AB’s will also be playing away from home, with a massive weight of expectation, knowing that they struggle to beat us away from home.

    We cant be complacent, but neither can they.

  22. PA,

    So which teams are better equiped than others?

    Australia almost win based on defense and the ABs win because of our lack of defense.

  23. AB’s will also be playing away from home, with a massive weight of expectation, knowing that they struggle to beat us away from home.

    We cant be complacent, but neither can they.

    Comment by Big Fish — June 29, 2007 @ 10:42 am

    Well they sure as hell as got a much better away record in that part of the world than we do.

  24. Comment by Donner — June 29, 2007 @ 10:30 am |Edit This

    I totally disagree

    Jake DOES have experienced game breakers and replacements

    He has

    Bob Skinstadt
    Danie Rossouw
    Johan Muller
    Pedrie Wannenburg
    Used to have AJ Venter
    CJ VD Linde
    Albert VD Bergh
    Gary Botha (okay maybe pushing it but he is an experienced player)
    De Wt Barry
    Wynand Olivier

    If fit

    Januarie / Du Preez
    Andre Pretorius
    Deon Carstens

    If we had players of that calibre ON THE BENCH it would have been way cool.

    On Ruan and Steyn


    Steyn is 20 years old

    He played for SA U21 and the Sharks last year for the first time in a way that got him noticed. He’s a precocious talent who despite his apparent mental walkabouts, is a fantastic game breaker and of course given his youth he would lack experience. I mean could hardly walk into the Bok team in 2004 as a 16 year old could he?

    He’;s a youngster hetting a DESERVED shot.

    On Pienaar

    Same thing

    In 2005 when he started at the Sharks they didn’t know what to do with him.

    Usually he played 10 in a weakened side.

    Then in 2005 he came to the fore and he DID get game time for the Boks.

    remember our outcry when he got game time as a fullback against New Zealand last year?

    This year he was fantastic in S14 and got deserved game time for the Boks as a utility.

    The kid got experience when he showed form.

    So isn’t our main gripe about Jake White that consistency favours form?

    In this case it doesn’t. He has rewarded two GREAT form players.

    We can’t blame their lack of experience on them not being tested out before they were ready?

  25. Donner,

    I hear what you are saying about the focus of a first 15 not 22. But I don’t fully agree for 2 reasons.
    1. Now I can’t back this up with facts and figures, but it is my definite impression that we hardly fielded the same team twice a large number of times, and not always due to injuries. Has anybody got the total list of players that JW has used and how many times they were used?

    2. Jake firstly had to identify his first 15 players, which was never going to be an easy thing considering what he had to start with, lack of co-operation and political meddling. At the same time he was trying to build a core of experienced players (which now in hindsight most people are applauding) and also instilling a sense of security for players and giving them a decent chance (e.g. Jaco vdW) which people again applaud him for now.

    Actually, come to think of it I have another point, the “luxury of options” point is mentioned. Where do we not have a luxury of options (if all are fit to play). At no. 10 which everybody will agree is a problem in general for a 1st option, nevermind backup.

  26. Comment by henkt — June 29, 2007 @ 10:36 am |Edit This

    It’s a problem for them and us

    It’s a neutral one

    Meaningless to either team unless we play a side that regulalrly does play there like one of the home unions.

  27. Comment by Donner — June 29, 2007 @ 10:44 am

    Yes they do, therefore they are favourites – I’m not disputing that. The point is though, they have to play us away from their home, and thats not a comfortable thought for them, especially in the light of recent history.

  28. I am not so sure about that one. The Kiwis have now two years in a row smashed the French at home at the time of year when the SH teams should be pretty tired, whereas we have been battling in the NH end of year tours. Mentally I don’t think that is going to be a problem for them, whereas we do have an issue playing away from home.

    However I do think the weight of expectations will work against them more than against us.

  29. We attacked for 60 minutes and had a nine point advantage considering we were 30% short of our forst team.

    We’re the better team

    They bring replacements on that we cannot match DUE TO INJURIES IN OUR FIRST TEAM SQUAD

    They win by six courtesy of a botched fielding of a botched kick


    We’re the better team

  30. Just to add to that


    I believe that intially we were winning the gainline war by miles

    In the first twenty minutes at least five. The were less as the game wore on. But we were gaining yardage with almost every carry.

    They were CERTAINLY not and ESPECIALLY not in the first 60 mnutes.

    I question your stat about phased rolling in the second portion of the first half. On 60 minutes the Boks enjoyed a 60% possession advantage.

    Three proper turnovers and two knockons because of ruck pressure

    They never even came close

    There is nothing wring with our rucking technique

    It was aimed at taking McCaw’s influence out the game.

    We committed numbers to rucks and hit the ruck hard with Bakkies Botha and Danie Rossouw and BJ Botha in particular.

    This caused them no end of troubles ruck time.

    I reiterate

    We lost for ONE reason

    Our A side was not on the field

  31. Comment by henkt — June 29, 2007 @ 10:58 am

    True, and yet we can also tell you that we lost through dumb luck cos the ref missed an infringement.

    I think David’s point is that we lost through something not engineered by the AB’s – they could have as easily lost the game.

  32. Comment by henkt — June 29, 2007 @ 10:58 am |Edit This

    But my argument is simple



    Not even from the kickoff

    The fact that we did so well with a starting lineup of 30% second stringers and bench starters and ended with a 60% ratio of second / third stringers

    And the All Blacks needed us to make a mistake off their error to win tells you they have a lot to be worried about

  33. Davids – as us Sharks can tell you, you need to be the better team for 80+ minutes to win a game

    Comment by henkt — June 29, 2007 @ 10:58 am


    Ja the Boks would have won many a more games if it was only a 60 minute game.


    I hear you, but where is those players with experience now. Jaco, De Wet, Joubert, etc.

    yes Joubert is not in top form, but it may jsut be a recall that lights the fire under his arse again. From the bench I would rather have a slightly out of form experienced player, than a rookie.

    Those are the players that will close out a game like last Saturday.

  34. interesting article murphy, just one thing there are still 3 months to go (nearly half a rugby season) before the RWC kicks off – plenty of rugby to be played yet.

    but yes, your view that GH has it right might prove to be correct.

  35. Davids,

    As I understand Philip’s post, it is not only applicable when you have the ball in hand, but also when defending. How many times were Schall not gang tackled back?

    That is also a loss in the gainline situation for us, but a win for them.

    If we can’t tackle them back, it also constitutes a loss for us and a win for them.

  36. Donner,

    JW had to perform a juggling act between giving the player a chance and building the core. If a player after a certain amount of chances didn’t perform then he was replaced with somebody else. The problem is that experience is then lost from the core. Hence the juggling.

    The plus side to this though that the Jaco’s, The Law’s, Joubert’s know JW style of play very well and can always be pulled back in to the team with little disruption in the event of disaster.

  37. Donner

    Soi’alo and McCaw and Collins and in fact all their carriers got gang tackled just as many times

    De Villiers and Fourie and James and Burger and Rossouw and BJ Botha were ESPECIALLY good in this facet of the game

  38. DavidS

    I agree with your thinking and conclusions.

    Although the article above is well put and I agree with some of the argument I think that most of these pieces critical of the Boks RWC preperation seem to always have the same flaw(s): – that of seemingly being from an All Black point of view and also taken from the premise that the AB’s are superior in their prep.

    JW has done the best he could have done, with all the abnormal distractions he deals with, and now is also standing his ground with the Oz and Nz childish criticism. At the same time he is showing very few cards that will be played come WC time.

    If we take the WE trophy it will be all Jake and the teams doing. If not it will not be because of lack of effort, expertise or excellent planning.

    I would like to see a French – SA final this year. Even if just to shut these Oz/AB big mouths.

    Here’s hoping!

  39. Comment by Donner — June 29, 2007 @ 11:04 am

    Are you suggesting that Juobert and Jaco-san, Lorrie and Eddie should be retained ahead of present squad members cos of the experience they offer?

  40. Davids – I was very chuffed with the way we played in the first 30 minutes of the game, but I think philip has a point about the technique. I still think we expend more energy at the contact than the Kiwis due to bad technique. While we can get the numbers to the rucks we are very competitive, but they know is that all they need to do is hang in there. At some point in the late second half we are going to run out of steam, and then they just kick into fifth gear.

    Schalk has an incredible work rate but even he started fading at the end. And who do we replace him with for the last 15 / 20 ?

    If you look at McCaw, he started coming more and more into the game at the end

  41. Davids,

    Winning the gain-line war has nothing to do with possession.

    It almost has very little to do with field positioning as well or territory as this is mainly gained through kicking.

    We can have possession for 15 of the first 20 minutes but if we only cross the gain-line 3 times in that time the possession means nothing.

    A very good indication would be to see how much possession we did have in the opening 60 minutes compared to the AB’s.

    Then compare that to how many points we scored because winning gain-line battles means you are going forward (towards the goal-line) all the time.

    Then compare what the AB’s did with their possession and compare the points they scored even fluffing a couple of kicks to posts.

    With much less possession the AB’s accomplished a lot more because they won those battles Philip refers to.

    It was the same against Aus – we had all the possession, made all the play, but we lost the gain-line battle.

  42. Are you suggesting that Juobert and Jaco-san, Lorrie and Eddie should be retained ahead of present squad members cos of the experience they offer?

    Comment by Big Fish — June 29, 2007 @ 11:15 am

    In the positions we need yes.

    If Jaco was on the bench Saturday and could replace Butch, we would have closed out that game. A level head like De Wet would have made a huge difference in those last 20 minutes.

  43. Comment by PissAnt — June 29, 2007 @ 11:24 am

    On the offensive side, our technique of taking contact seems to be a problem, as well as a lack of variation on attack – we hardly run a cut-back line, we seldom try to step out of a tackle etc.

    Nothing new there – but the lack of it is frustrating. I agree with you guys on this issue.

  44. Comment by Donner — June 29, 2007 @ 11:27 am

    Nobody mentioned Barry – I agree on him.

    But the pattern muct apply uniformly, no?

    Jaco closing out that game? How, by a 80m drop-goal?

    i dont think so – nobody has mentioned that AP was injured – but bear that in mind – he would have been on the bench for Jake.

  45. We would also be more effective on the attack if we use runners coming in a speed – not starting off from a standing position
  46. I agree that a few of the players have a bad body position when taking contact on attack, PK being the biggest culprit
  47. Comment by PissAnt — June 29, 2007 @ 11:24 am |Edit This

    I disagree

    We won the gainline battle against Australia

    I understand it’s not just about metrage gained in possession but also metrage gained in defence and our defence against Australia was every bit as good as theirs. I’ve never said it was and I think Donner misunderstood my argument.

    I reiterate a point I made yesterday

    No backline has been bale to structure a try against us yet this year.

    As a matter of course

    In the 60 minutes we had 60% possession we scored 21 points.

    Surely that’s enough?

    The All Blacks scored 12 via kicks – NOT GAINLINE ADVANTAGE

    In the last 20, they scored what? 14?

    I strongly disagree that the All Blacks won those battles you refer to and Phillip uses UNTIL the last 20 minutes when we were playing with a 60% 2nd XV

    Which was basically a 5/8 62% non first choice forwards set.


    You are also missing that the final try came as a result of mistake. There is no amount of gainline battle or victries at the tight facets that will allow for that or be able to account for that in planning.

    In fact I will go so far as to say that try came about BECAUSE of our good competition that FORCED a miscued kick from Mauger.

    AND that try was the difference between the teams at the end of the game.

  48. Bryce, I don’t know – surely experience has shown us that Jaco is more of a liability than anything?

    Anyway, the options playing are only the 3rd or 4th choice anyway;
    Ruan/ JP
    JP/ Ruan

    Therefore there is little to be gained from taking him along. Personally, I would play JP there as he is the most certain of the back 3 options to play in the WC.

    But then again, he will probably play at wing anyway, so lt him get some game time there.

    Ollie, the only guy who really carries well amongst the loosies is Spies – he runs away from the tackler at pace and with big strides – vry hard to grab his legs, and he doesn’t go down easily.

    Juan isn’t the worst except that his predisposition to hand-off means that he isnt carrying the ball well for a pass through the tackle.

    Oh, and Bob is another who is effective in releasing in the tackle.

  49. BF

    Which I suppose is why Murph suggests a loose trio of

    8. Spies
    7. Skinstadt
    6. Burger

    Spies also tries to carry forwards once he is tackled, i.e. pumps his legs and drives on.

  50. Lads

    Thanks for feed back

    Rob d

    I loaded the 2nd sector instead of incentivising it , leaving a premium fare that people who needed it would take cause they had no choice, Advised that the 2 be looked at as separate operations and the 2nd leg only be by load inception in a smaller aircraft. However keeping the distribution of fare across AC below that of the Competition who fly direct AC no B. That Way the Yeild on the 1st sector drops at the expense of managing the risk of running at a loss over both legs individually.



    Playing 2nd String against Eng would have meant a comming of age as the Strength reduction would have meant no walk in the park and the character gain by players by having to focus and possibly dig deep rather than walk over would pay dividends similar to what Brett gained from his 7 odd starts.

    Phil DC

    Excelent, that wa my other point thanks for saving the fingers , no seriously , a girl who doesnt know much about rugby asked me theother day

    “why do we always run into a wall of NZ , yet they always are running free ?”

    I gave her an explaination along those lines without the boxing analogy … basically casue we want to !


    Bonding, there are degrees of entrenchment, like the claim of the Boks (Shrks and Bulls) bonding deepr at camp after final , ride that wave make it harder than an East Rand Strippers Boyfriend

    BF / Pissant

    If not , then end of year tour (when Henry was announcing his restees) and Eng tests were the time

    Besides which the S14 coaches seemed very open to requests from Jake as per his own words.

  51. Dawie, its not a bad idea at all – but Juan does do Trojan work on defence and does often cross the advantage line.

    But horses for courses – maybe playing Bob against NZ is better than playing Juan against the, cos Juan’s style of attack is much less effective against the likes of Collins en kie, while Bob off-loading onto a charging Spies could be devastating.

    Spies is extremely powerful in the legs – one must be to propel 100+kg at sub-11sec for a 100m (same goes for Murray). He definitely doesn’t fall over in the tackle, but tries to keep going – one of the few thing I like about 46 too.

  52. My goeie moer! So julle kom nou eers agter dat Graham Henry die regte ding gedoen het om die 22 spelers te laat rus!

    Dit het my so geirriteer dat almal hom so gekritiseer het daaroor. Het heeltyd by myself gedink: Hy gaan lekker na die WC vir almal lag.

    Dink bietjie hoe die standaard van die Super 14 aan die begin was… Nie goed nie. Hoekom? Omdat die spelers nie dadelik sommer briljant kan speel nie. Dit vat ‘n paar weke vir die standaard om te verbeter. Dis ook hoekom die 22 spelers nie so goed “perform” het toe hulle terug gekom het in die Super 14 nie.

    Maar kyk maar hoe hulle gaan “perform” in September…

    Dis goed dat die Bokke rus, maar dis nou te laat.

  53. You are also missing that the final try came as a result of mistake.

    Comment by DavidS — June 29, 2007 @ 11:43 am

    And mistake come as a result of pressure. That was used so many times to excuse our intercept tries.

  54. I genuinely try a remain free of these discussions, because it sometimes drives me mad trying to describe simple principles eloquently enough for them to be understood.

    People talk about dimension in rugby games, about how the Springboks are a one dimensional side, well I would like to bring another dimension to this argument.

    One of the fundamental rules in rugby is basic physics, when you push on an object it pushes back. For years and years various conquerors throughout the world change face of warfare by implementing “uncontested” strategies, which were strategies that were way beyond the comprehension of the opposing force to understand. The Romans were famous for it, and dominated most of the modern world through one simple change in thinking. They added a z axis to warfare, in other words a height dimension.

    Rugby for many years has only been considered in the x and y, only recently through the advent of Sports Science camera system, employed by Woodward in rugby, but started initially to perfect golf swings. By adding a z axis to rugby the dimension changes completely, so does the way we do battle.

    White’s game plan he’s been brewing for a couple of seasons has been pretty simple, but all the best strategies are. It’s completely focussed at beating New Zealand, the biggest potential threat, which is why we generally perform so much better against them.

    he first thing you do when you compete is you analyse your competition, you identify their strengths, then you identify your own. You head to head this two sets, then you head to head the weaknesses. You look for the area you can exploit, and hopefully retain parity in their area of strength.

    So what is the AB’s strength, there scrum, but more importantly their domination of ground ball, not just winning turnovers, but how quickly they recycle ball. How do the All Blacks get this possession? Through 3 basic systems.

    Tackle domination/Air ripping
    Counter Rucking
    Wide point domination

    The AB’s defensive line is generally based on keeping players free of rucks, they commit very few payers to the ruck, which means they have a winder defensive spread, it also means one Ritchie Mcaw gets to run an open side sweep down the back of his back line. Mcaw’s 2 real strengths that make him the juggernaught he is, is his speed to the breakdown, and his ability to read a game. It generally puts him where the ball is going to be. You have to have a plan to combat Mcaw, if you allow him to play his game, you will be owned. Mcaw is the wide point domination, the vast majority of his turnovers he gets is because he is at the breakdown before the opposition. So entire game plan’s are dedicated to nullifying Mcaw.

    How do you combat ground ball? Now this is a real trick, you do it by keeping you feet as long as possible. The downside to this is the air ripping, the up side is if played properly, you can negate Mcaw too. In the last few seasons the boks have been changing the way they carry the ball into contact, the reason I believe is the Z principle. They are looking to keep their feet as long as possible. The problem with a low body position in one off carries is it’s relatively easy to overbalance a player, and because of the modern smother tackle, they tackler will be on top, a better position to win the ball. By standing more upright you don’t break the advantage line as much, but the chances of retaining possession against the AB ground beast is much higher.

    Counter rucking is a skill the AB’s have perfected, their counter rucking is immense, in rcent games though, the Boks have competed brilliantly against this tool in the arsenal, why? because they are protecting the loose ball better.

    The two danger areas, Mcaw and counter rucking, generally almost always occur at the points furtherest away from the opposition back, when the ball has been run down the back line, it’s a key part of the Henry’s game plan.

    How do you combat that? It’s quite simple and quite ingenious in my opinion, you bring the rucks closer to your pack, you ensure you can retain possession by eliminating the oppositions strengths.

    We bitch about how boks don’t run the ball down the back line, well it’s something we do very seldom against the AB’s, because we play right to their strengths.

    The Springbok game plan is brutal in it’s basic principle, it’s grind work, and it’s as hard to defend as it is to do. The want to keep the ball off the ground, they want to keep the maul drive working. When is body position a basic requirement, in the maul drive.

    Last area, the resting of the boks.

    I seriously believe Jake thinks he has the beating of the AB’s, after the weekends game his game plan worked a treat, the last 15 minutes were poorly executed, but them winning I believe plays into our hands.

    He should in my opinion be giving Steyn, Willemse and a couple of the others game time, but then again, maybe there is a reason for it. Jake’s in a win win situation right now, whether we like it or not, we are not the favorites for the WC and this tri nations has absolutely no relevance to the WC. At the world cup the AB’s will have their locks back, the Aussies will lift their game, and the French buggers will bring their A Game.

    We need to bring mentally fit and rested players to compete and winning the tri nations is not more important than that. In fact I hate when the boks are favourites.

    I ran out of time and steam to explain my view on the rest ;) forgive me for being overworked.

  55. But Donner you’re playing EXACTLY into my argument

    That try came about because of pressure WE applied to THEM

    Mauger miscues the kick that hits JP Pietersen in the face and in utter dumb luck lands in the hands of MacDonald


    That argument is dead

  56. Cab

    You make a good point re 3 Months

    My Belief is that as per my last few lines

    Henry is going for Gold , 3N and WC in 1 year

    He will allow a rest cycle post 3N again and then use the Pool to “shake off the rust”

  57. Henry is going for Gold , 3N and WC in 1 year

    He will allow a rest cycle post 3N again and then use the Pool to “shake off the rust?

    Comment by Murph — June 29, 2007 @ 12:08 pm


  58. 2nd – Jake het geen keuse as om hulle nou te rus nie.

    Ek voel nog steeds ek sou veral die Bulls en Sharks manne gerus het in die 3 opwarm toetse, en veral ouens wat beseer was soos Os, Ashwin, Juan en Jean laat speel het saammet ‘n B-team spelers.

    In die 3N sou ek nog steeds roteer het, maar nie so drasties nie. Meer om vrae te antwoord soos vir backup op 10, 12, 13, 15, ens

    Dat Ashwin nou ook rus maak vir my geen sin nie – die man het speeltyd brood nodig

  59. Comment by henkt — June 29, 2007 @ 12:10 pm

    Ja, hy het nie ‘n keuse nie. Hulle sal beter vertoon in die WC as hulle nou rus, maar as hulle aan die begin van die jaar gerus het sou hulle soveel beter vertoon het!

    Stem saam oor Willemse.

  60. Comment by dummykick — June 29, 2007 @ 12:06 pm

    Interesting as always.

    Comment by Murph — June 29, 2007 @ 12:09 pm
    Even if he did – that doesn’t invalidate David’s point that the miscued kick was a result of pressure – the ball was not aimed at JP, the knock-on was not calculated, and the end result was matter of good fortune, perhaps combined with an individual’s mistake.

  61. 2nd

    Its a great strategy

    as NZ can often expect to win the 3N

    there wont be much talk of “World Champs But that was 3 years ago ”

    They could even have a NZ side win the S14 and say that is the toughest comp in the World

    So we are truly champs


    Murph would like an Amstel to wash it all down when he hopefully eats his words

  62. DK – its not that I differ about the game plan – it makes total sense = keep the ball near the forwards.

    The problem is in the technique of execution especially on attack.

    We have a ruck with pretty much all the players in the ruck standing in a flat line. The ball is passed to Schalk who from a standing start runs straight into three All Blacks (one of which was Jerry) and if I remember correctly promptly turns over the ball.

    What you forget is that its not only Mccaw thats good at turning over ball – the other players are pretty adept at doing it – especially if you make it easy for them

  63. DK – its not that I differ about the game plan – it makes total sense to keep the ball near the forwards especially against the ABs.

    The problem is in the technique of execution – especially on attack.

    We have a ruck with pretty much all the players in the ruck standing in a flat line. The ball is passed to Schalk who from a standing start runs straight into three All Blacks (one of which was Jerry) and if I remember correctly promptly turns over the ball.

    What you forget is that its not only Mccaw thats good at turning over ball – the other players are pretty adept at doing it – especially if you make it so easy for them by employing one of runners from a standing start

  64. Comment by Murph — June 29, 2007 @ 12:09 pm |Edit This

    It was NOT a sitter

    First off it was low and slewed to the side.

    Pietersen was not even looking at the damn thing he was looking at Rokocoko and MacDonald

    You could see his first first reaction was to duck and not catch it.

    It’s coming at a low trajectory, fast and against the not so smooth background of the field, opposing players and the crowd.

    The fact that he even managed to get hands to it was utterly amazing.

    If he’d just left it, it would have flown over the touchline at chest height


    Ek het geen prbleem daarmee nie

    Ek voel selfs dan van die minder ervare manne wat redelik seker is van ‘n plek hoort te speel, soos Frans Steyn bv

  65. Comment by henkt — June 29, 2007 @ 12:18 pm

    Agree that the execution and individual option-taking is not always correct, but thats often due to the player.

    DK, I see your point regarding why they go in that body position, but surely there must be an ability to change that when the situation changes.

    If the player is running into the oppo with support nearby, thats fine, but if he is isolated or sees a half-gap, then he must try to break through or stay on his feet, and that means changing his body position. Maybe that is again an individual error though.

  66. How often did they turn us over Henkt? Not very, normally they turn over other teams far more often then they do us, there are bound to be mistakes. It’s not just about keeping it close to the forwards, it’s about keeping it close to the forwards and off the floor.

    Jakes system is very simple, it’s fencing, draw, draw riposte. Our objective is not gain line rugby, it’s all about combating the AB’s. If they don’t have ball they can’t score, the gain line is not even in the equation. The AB’s started scoring, when we stupidly gave away possession. We will beat them by frustrating them, intercept are indication of that frustration, they are trying to force things, to make things happen.

  67. Davids,

    I invite you to watch both the AB’s and Aus games again and come tell me we won the battle of the breakdown/gain-line.

    The ONLY WAY we were successful against them was close in and picking and driving but that almost never happened often enough.

    The Oz-mob tackled us time and again behind the gain-line and we are fooled to think our possession domination in large parts of that game was an automatic indication of that we would win that game.

    You can go and study this trend even further.

    Go work out the ratio on the amount of ball received (by ball carriers or even backline players) and the amount of times we actually crossed the gain-line.

    Then do the same comparison with New Zealand and Aus in the two recent tests.

    You cannot tell me ‘that one try’ was the difference between the two sides, because you are unsing a singular moment or example to define 80 minutes of rugby.

    Frans Steyn’s drop pass can also be viewed as the single turning point in that game (NZ scored points after that).

    The fact that 4 crucial kicks did not go into the crowd at Kingspark (who is known to be one of the grounds where the crowd is closest to the field) nullifying quick line-outs taken which gave the AB’s momentum.

    The fact that 3 Boks including Burger missed Rodney first up with his break can also be a singular moment or turning point.

    Singular moments happen because of what preceeded them in the game of rugby.

    Mauger fluffed a kick, but why did he have the ball in the first place? Because we again did not kick the ball out or did not prevent a quick line-out.

    South Africa is being fooled to believe we are winning the battles in contact, we are in fact losing them quite badly.

  68. Davids

    Incorrect my friend

    It hit Matfields boot thats why it seemed mis-directed

    An intentional attempt to stop what was going to be a good kick as … JP was up in the position he was closing the space he anticipated the 2 above mentions had with an overlap

    Yes he did well to react and get a touch , but the sting was out of the kick as it hit Matfields Boot

    his hands went up plenty before and he looked set to catch

    next /..

  69. dk – I can recall a few more turnovers in both tests. Another one I distinctly remember is Guthro against Oz – again a one-off runner from a standing start running into 3 Ozzies waiting from him – Sharpe rips the ball from him
  70. In fact we make it very easy to defend against us – look at the Oz game when we has lots of ball. The Ozzies could afford to gang up and tackle us in groups – they know we are not going to offload or pass
  71. The fact that 3 Boks including Burger missed Rodney first up with his break can also be a singular moment or turning point.

    Matter of interest I watched that run this morning and he does nt shake off Burger

    Burger is about the fifth player who tries to tackle him and Burger brings him down.


    I think DK’s rather intelligent and thoughtful analysis negates the argument in any case.

    But I will watch both

    I watched the New Zealand one a secind time on Sunday I there I certainly disagree with you. That was pretty much an equal battle. No team had any specific gainline advanage there. The physicality was too high for either team to gain an davantage.


    Matfield’s boot proves my point made earlier to Donner and Phillip and PA. THEY were the ones under pressure and because of first OUR pressure that causes THEIR error we ALSO make an error and they score.

    That was to underline my point

    TOTAL DUMB LUCK that came about because we were applying too much pressure for them to make a good decision.

    And I reiterate

    THAT try won the game for them


    Beacuse before it the score was 21-19 in our favour

    After it the Score was 26-21 in their favour

    And that was on 78 minutes.

    What I’m saying but probably not as clearly is that

    Even if I accept that you and Phillip are right, which I do not

    Their win came via a dumb luck try caused by our pressure with 2 minutes to go.

    Surely against that background, you cannot claim that certain things they do are better than us against that.

  72. Comment by PissAnt — June 29, 2007 @ 12:27 pm

    I dont know PA.

    Analogies are funny things- they can be used to make opposing points even. I want to use the boxing one again.

    Some, maybe most fighters box on the strategy of tiring out their opponents. But others box with the intention of simply knocking out their opponents – not with fatigue, but with power, speed and precision. Think Naseem Hamed or Tyson.

    Still other boxers work on dominating the ring – they take the centre and then seek to crowd the oppo into the ropes. Others dont do that – they allow, even encourage the oppo to dominate the ring, and then dance around him.

    Others allow for taking punches, for getting punched and hurt more than the oppo, but back themselves to be able to take more punishment, while eventually tiring out the oppo (who tires from throwing punches) and also by getting close enough to hurt him enough to win.

    Similarly, is rugby so simple that the gain-line battle is the single and ultimate decider of winner/ loser?

    Take the contact situation – maybe thy do win that battle and make more yards, but if they are constantly running into contact with us, they aren’t actually running the ball out wide, which is their strength.

    Furthermore, Jake might back the team to soak up all that punishment and lose that gain line battle, but still be able to take the hits for 80 minutes, long after the AB’s have shot their bolt. Didnt work on Saturday, but that wasn’t close to a full strength team.

  73. Comment by DavidS — June 29, 2007 @ 12:38 pm

    And lets not forget that this ominously creative AB side was reduced to Mauger kicking a droppie – which he has not done at this level before, if memory serves.

  74. Like I said Henk, it will happen, but it’s nowhere near as often as the ground possession turnovers people were getting against us 4-5 years ago.

    At the same time, we did exactly the same thing to Collins, when we were first penalised but Carter missed. That was a bad call by the ref, the ball was lost long before the players hit the ground.

    Watch the game this weekend, the Aussies are going to use Smith in a head off against Mcaw, and they will lose. There will be turnovers in the backline on their wings, a. through counter rucks and b. through Mcaw having free reign there.

    Strangely enough the side that is most emulating what we are doing is Ireland, weird how they are having a rugby renaissance. It’s great for us, we are seeing what BOD is doing defensively and emulating it. Ireland did very well against the kiwi’s recently, because this is their achilles heel, however France, who play open flowing rugby get anally raped by the kiwi’s, because they play right into their hands.

  75. BF,
    That’s what conclusion I am starting come to as well. I have thoroughly enjoyed this thread so far. Everybody is making valid points.

    At the end of the day when teams like SA and NZ are facing up to each other it’s not about 1 specific area but a combination of a whole lot of facets that combine in a hugely dynamic way and which are influenced by a myriad of micro elements. e.g. Matfields boot on the ball, a misse touch kick etc.

  76. Yes Davids

    But Peterson should has capitalised on that pressure

    i Also think if our initial kick had gone out we could have regrouped

    cause by that stage our backline was in complete dissarray

    thats why it was forwards marking up

    kick out line out , paya pressure ama michael lynagh ! Paya pressure

    The AB’s woudl return the favour as there were 8 mins to get into our half

    The G5 cnnon would speak !

  77. Murph & DavidS,

    You guys are trying to second guess situations that have so many variable that what you are doing is an exercise in futility.

    If,buts and maybe’s.

  78. No Davids I dont think you are quite getting the gist of what I am trying to say.

    We are losing the battles in contact because;

    – On two occassions Danie Rossouw did not score where he should have because a) we do not have the skills on the ground and at the ruck as the AB’s do and b) we do not support ball carriers as we should and c) we do not run straight lines when taking the ball up – Burger is specifically a huge culprit in this.

    – On two occassions we lost the contact battle again at scrum time once in a favourable position to possibly score points and turned over the ball.

    – On one specific occassion McCaw turned over a ball and actually got a penalty for the AB’s with 3 AB’s competing or defending against 5 Boks at the breakdown while we were hot on attack.

    – On 4 occassions we allowed the AB’s to gain meters because we could not control the contact situation (control being forcing set pieces/line-outs) and allowed the AB’s to gain momentum from quick takes.

    – On 4 occassions we lost the battle in contact in our own 22 meter area which eventually resulted in a yellow card dished out to Pedrie.

    – On 2 seperate occassions we made the wrong tactical decisions because we were looking at the makro analysis of the game (domination in quarters through possession and territory) and not the micro analysis (we are actually losing the contact situation) and brought on subs that compounded the problems we already had (Bob taken off and Percy not taking up the 10 position when Butch went off who is a much better organiser defensively and pressure player than Steyn).

    The AB’s on the other hand made two crucial subs in Mealamu and McAlister who is known to be mecurial in contact and gaining meters and running straight lines, further enhancing the micro battle they are already dominating or at least pipping the Boks after 60 minutes.

    South Africa applies makro logic and analysis to our rugby, where domination is measured in time (every quarter or 20 minutes) and ball retention (with no regard for gain-line breaks) and first phase domination (our fascination with line-outs and scrum domination).

    Hell we even bring our subs on religiously on the mark at 50 or 60 minutes (the last quarter) with no regard as to how the micro battles went during the course of the game.

    The point is really simple, in 80 minutes of rugby you have on average 200 collisions in different forms in a game.

    25% of those are at set phases, 75% in open play and rucks where gain-line advantage is paramount.

    We won against the Oz-mob because their micro battles could not counter for a 50 meter drop, we could have lost even further against the AB’s if Carter slotted his relatively easy kicks which nullifies a try in any event because Carter’s kicks are also a singular mistake as was JP’s dropped ball.

    The point is simple, when it counted the AB’s introduced players to strengthen the area of the game they already dominated in with their subs, South Africa weakened their own team who competed admirably (if nothing else) by introducing their subs in the same battle – the AB’s scored 14 points very quickly, SA lost the plot completely.

    Domination in rugby is all about dominating most of the micro battles (200) per game and if you concentrate too much on the 25% of those battles and ignoring the 75% you will lose games even though you seemed to have physically ‘dominated’.

    The biggest difference is we are lulled into a little dreamworld because of the actual time those 25% of battles take within the 80 minutes of the game (scrums and line-outs) which is counted in minutes to complete one, whereas the most crucial battles are measured in seconds to which tackles and rucks can amount to 5 or 6 easily in one minute.

    But because we ‘dominate’ large parts of the game (time-wise) we think we are dominating the actual game.

  79. I exactly get the gist of what you’re trying to say and I disagree with you STILL

    With all the errors you mention it came down to dumb luck that New Zealand won the match.

    I will first watch the games

    But I find it strange that you simply mention our stats and not those where the All Blacks make similar errors.

    You’ve mentioned maybe 15 situations in contact out of what 200 perhaps more or less?

    How about the All Blacks knocking on at their own breakdowns because of our pressure in the counterruck

    And the turnovers WE won

  80. I also think Dummykick’s point is that we ARE micro managing the contact stuations.

    In any event

    focusing on the battle loses sight of the outome of the war

    The macro strategy is AS important as the micro management of the little battles

    I can use an analogy

    At Stalingrad the Germans focused on winning over the city and managed to capture 75% of it and inflicting massive losses on the Soviets.

    What few people realise is that in the city istelf was not where the germans lost the battle.

    While concentrating on winning the battle for control of the city, the Soviets managed to collect to HUGE pincer armies on either side of the city. When that attacked in NOvember 1942, the Germans had thrown all their resources into winning the icro battle that they could not stop the loss of an entire field army then trapped in the city.

    Same thing here

    You’re consistently mentioning that we lost certain micro battles then cite 15 errors out of a probable 200 contact situations (i.e. 7,5%)

    While I mention that the macro strategy worked

    In effect against a weakened Springbok team, playing at 40% of full strength for a quarter of the game and at 70% of full strength at most of it, it came down to dumb luck in the final minutes that gave New Zealand the win.

  81. hey guys

    Just to say thanks for such a great site where fascinating discussions take place.

    I’ve learned so much about the game just by reading what you guys are saying, watching games with new perspectives, and a whole new rugby world has folded open before me since taking other’s perspectives into consideration.

    It’s truelly great!!

  82. Comment by DavidS — June 29, 2007 @ 1:28 pm

    Not seeing the woods for the trees Dawie?

    Did anyone mention the yellow card?

  83. Man, it’s a feng shui thing between the macro and micro aspects of the game.

    I’m starting to run out of ways to make that clear.

  84. One thing I didn’t point out in my post is we are not trying to run straight at the gain line we are targeting certain individuals to try eliminate them from the follow up move. Burger was turned over when he ran into 3 all blacks, two of which where loosies, if we managed to recycle that ball it means we have 2 props out there facing us instead of 2 loosies.

    It is very much about the micro game, the gain line is the big picture game. The only way to truly break the line in modern rugby is to ensure you are pitting backs against forwards or vice versa.

    This targeted running is very very clever in my opinion, it beings a depth to the boks game plan that we have never used before.

    It’s not what we break, it’s what we eliminate. We can afford to lose burger at the bottom of the ruck, defensively can they afford to have props, locks in the back line?

    I reiterate, ground ball is not as important in this game plan the moment we try and contest ground ball against the AB’s, is when we will get our asses kicked, this has historically been the case. Team with better ground ball skills then us have tried and lost, Oz is a prime example. You don’t beat a team by playing to their strengths.

  85. Perish the thought Dawie! :razz:

    Just volunteering the mindset you are refering to.

    Henkt, I do think so, but perhaps I am wrong – thats not my point.

    I’m just mentioning that for 10 minutes of the game, we played with only 14 men, in addition to the abovementioned handicaps, and yet the Mighty AB’s still couldn’t bury us.

  86. Someone made use of boxing as analogy, well targetted drives are very much that. Jab jab, punch – Draw loosie, draw loosie, break. It’s chess, your moves are opening potential holes elsewhere, and you are trying to plan the whole.
  87. henkt at 11.18, yes i too saw philip’s comments on the NZ technique and body position of the forwards and there is something there, but as you point out, its a general skill that we fall behind on.

    reckon that and support running drills are perhaps two areas we could really learn from.

    2nd 12:04,
    perhaps, but will never have happened in SA rugby with all the provincialism, that JW managed to convince the coaches to give them the odd bit of rest is the best that could’ve been expected.

  88. Dummykick

    If what you’re saying is correct it means that a player like Pierre Spies is far far more important to our cause than we previously thought

  89. There was also a post about how our guys lie in a flat, straight line, I believe it’s because our scummy looks for the target, then passes to the correlating carrier.
  90. Spies is massively important to our game plan, I think, he has the ability to bust the gain line as well as target players, His leg power is hugely explosive and he stays on his feet really, really well. Plus the added advantage of being able to stand shallow and bust because of his insane off the mark speed.
  91. DavidS

    That’s how Spies and Skinstad got those devastating breaks against England in the 2nd test, resulting in 2 of Spies’s tries.

    Spies was also harrasing the Ausies big time with that exact same strategy.

  92. Comment by DavidS — June 29, 2007 @ 1:50 pm

    Surely not just him, but a few explosive players to target tacklers or gaps or overlaps created by the strategy – Habana, JP, Steyn, Pienaar ar all those kind of players.

    JDV and JF too, actually. Interesting take – I will look out for it more from now.

  93. Danniesaur also has huge leg power, Juan Smith too. All of them are stronger upright runners, then someone like say Watson who ducks and drives. Why would Jake intentionally choose this type of runner if it wasn’t for a reason?

    Watson does a very good job of winning gain line metres, the problem is he ends up on his back and we don’t have the class to complete once he’s on the floor. Him being the only true ground player we have, so by his very nature he eliminates himself from this game plan.

  94. Nah Ollie, I used to play at quite a high level, and strategy is generally my passion. If I still lived in South Africa I would definitely try get into coaching, but I am too scared of the wet and cold in the Uk ;)
  95. Ja but Pierre’s ability to need two or three guys to take him down makes it vitally important that he runs onto the right guyes

    So if Spies were running at tem the All Blacks know here’s a guy who deliberately stays on his feet, and takes a lot of bringing down.

    I.e. lots of players committed to defence against him.

    It makes sense though.

    It simply means that as we thought, Jake White is a meticulous analyst

    And he is a guy who believes in structure.

    This makes wads of sense.


    You’re right

    Notice on Saturday how Jean De Villiers in possession actually appears to run straight at defenders.

    And appears to veer towrads the likes of Collins and McCaw

  96. Davids if you want I can highlight 80 minutes of play and over a 100 contact situations but remember scrums and line-outs form part of that.

    I mentioned 15 because they were crucial but all of those situations are relevant to the battle or area of the game I have been on about for months now on why we lose against these guys too often.

    Rugby is all about momentum, go read the ruck article of last week or the week before to get my views on that and weighing it up against line-outs and scrums in which you almost never gain momentum in a match.

    Also, look at the ratio’s – these are the most important indicators of the micro battles I am trying to explain here.

    Of course the AB’s made mistakes, but far fewer than the Boks.

    The ratio of attacking the gain-line, or attempting to and succeeding forms part of the micro strategy I am on about – no it actually forms the basis and is the most important part of my point.

    The makro strategy South Africa employs is to ‘hold on to the ball for as long as we can’ and ‘play in their half’ and ‘play to our strenghts’ (read line-outs).

    These are all mikro strategies.

    Where we fail though is executing on the micro strategies of what to do when we have all that ball and how do we score points when we have territory.

    I hate this stat the Oz-mob brought into the game showing the amount of phases teams go through.

    You can have 20 phases and keep the ball for 15 minutes but if you are not proficient in the areas (mini-battles) which dictates 75% of the game you are on a hiding to nothing!

    Our makro part DID NOT work, otherwise we would have won the game on Saturday and put 30 points past Aus the week before given the domination you so often refer to.

    It has nothing to do with quantity but everything with quality – you can have 20% possession in a game, but if you successfully breach the gain line 90% of the time you will score points.

    On the flipside, you can have 80% possession of the ball and ‘control’ the ball and possession but if you breach the lines 20% of the time you are going to lose.

    Your analogy is also flawed in my opinion. It centers around the fact that the Russians planned what they did strategically and this won the battle, what the Germans did was bliksem into something gat oor kop with total disregard for micro planning and gunning completely on what they thought was the makro plan.

    The Soviets planned and played to the micro plan strategically capturing important points and at the end of the day won the makro battle.

    Same with the Boks, they bliksem gat oor kop into a makro strategy ‘controlling’ everything with a total disregard for the 75% micro battles or strategic battles which in the end wins you the makro battle or war.

    How many times have we heard about our brutal players, our physical domination, our scrum domination, our line-out domination?

    Those are all part of 25% of where is game is won and there is a total disregard for the 75% which is made up of much smaller battles compared to scrums and line-outs and the domination there.

    I highlighted our flaws I picked up at ruck and maul and the tackled situation in the ruck article I did – it is also the reason I said we will lose against the All Blacks in Durban, and it was.

    All that huffing and puffing ‘domination’ in the opening parts of the match amounted to sweet blue shit-all at the end of the day, much like your German war analogy.

    And you have played the game, there is no such thing as luck in rugby and luck does not define the outcome of a match, 80 minutes of rugby does.

    Was Carter’s missed kicks bad luck?

  97. Dummykick was a class winger who used to play alongside James Small.

    He now though looks as if he always was a prop!

    (Os is a midget to this bruiser!) :mrgreen:

  98. DK – my only problem with your reasoning is that I do not really see much success on attach with that approach. And with success I mean being in a better position after the contact situation – scoring, line breaks, at the very least picking up momentum

    Yes, we may be tying up McCaw in a ruck, but the slow ball coming out of our rucks / maul thingies give the other guys the time to readjust their defences.

    Tying up the key players is a good strategy but then you need to capitalize on that

  99. Long Live Rucking !! Bring Back Rucking !

    To the tune Dr Victor , i luv to truck ..

    Dont dare dont dare touch my ball …

    I’ll ruck youooooo

    ohwo I swear if youtouch my ball i ruck you

    I luv to ruck , ruck me too

    I luv to ruck ….

    I’ll ruck you

  100. Henk, they can adjust there defences but modern rugby is not always a numbers game, it’s who’s in front of you. They’re trying to get likes of oliver, woodcock and hayman, in front of the likes of habana, de villiers and fourie. At the same time, this plan eliminates the one thing the AB’s need more then anything to win games, the ball.
  101. Cab

    I still strugle to see this “moerse stut” running sub 11 seconds on 100m, but he really did!

    Dummy must have looked like CJ vdL charging down the touchline in wing position!

  102. This has been a fascinating discussion today. All I have been able to do is read in awe.

    DK may have been a wing who now looks like a prop, but I happen to know that a prop in his same school team who later became a very good marathon runner (with the right build nogal).

  103. Comment by PissAnt — June 29, 2007 @ 2:05 pm

    PA, the Germans didnt lose through lack of preparation – they lost cos they could NEVER win.

    Russia was too big for them, and Winter was upon them. The Germans had a strategy, and it wasn’t as thoughtless as you think – they could only win if they conquered at breakneck speed.

    Similarly, the Boks could possibly have a plan that depends on making the game brutal, attritive and tight.

    Ultimately, the Russians won cos they conceded “micro” battles knowing that the longer they tied the Germans up, the more likely the victory (gone was the Blitzkrieg). Not so far from what DK and Dawie seem to be getting at actually.

  104. Iwas taught that the biggest hole is on a mans hip

    The league players use this to great effect

    If you ever play with one in union , he will want you to run just behind him … he will plan the hole as DK says and then signal you

    like in american football you just ounch thathole no matter what it looks like he might or might not do

    its a trust thing , next thing your in the clear ball in hand

    its a cool feeling

  105. DK – its an interesting reasoning you have. Two questions about it though:
    – How do you account for us ending up on the loosing side of a 60-40 % possession stat in the end? Are you saying that the replacements could not keep up the game plan?
    – Have you actually seen many examples in a game where we engineered to have props in front of the likes of Habana and co?
  106. I think I read somewhere on RW that dummykick played under James Small’s captaincy for that school next to the Parkview golf course (not the girls’ school!).

    If so, that was a very fine team, although the pack was quite light (hence the marathon runner at prop who I knew at varsity).

    Small was at fullback and they had an excellent wing with a Greek or Italian surname, which escapes me.

    Could that be you, Dummykick?

  107. BF,

    I am not historian and no avid reader of past wars so I have no clue what the total story is, I simply took it on face-value and what I read.

  108. hello robd,
    heard u were in spain the other day, getting around hey?? think that will be a lekker country too, nice hot weather.
  109. Cab

    Aus to win by 1 point scored by

    The Great Ovaaaaaaaaa Mortlock

    (try not conversion)


    You mean the Green school whose Moscott we burned

    and hung from their posts … which they are

    still bleak as a seagull in decembe in boksburg

    about ?

  110. Stan

    only watched the 1st one

    were the others any good ?


    There is an answer to your question in my 1st post of the day

  111. yip, also like tom berrenger’s films, this is disturbing Stan.

    lol Muprh OVAAA … great centre.

    they still got all the seagulls at that roadhouse just past Dunswart?

  112. I mentioned 15 because they were crucial but all of those situations are relevant to the battle or area of the game I have been on about for months now on why we lose against these guys too often.

    Surely this cannot be correct

    We scored the same amount of tries as they did

    And on 60 minutes we’d put 21 points past them.

    If what you’re saying is true then we’re ALWAYS losing those contact situation little battles, and that means we should be losing from the word go because we’re not technically proficient enough to be on the same field as the New Zealanders.

    Rugby is all about momentum, go read the ruck article of last week or the week before to get my views on that and weighing it up against line-outs and scrums in which you almost never gain momentum in a match.

    I disagree

    The lineout is your main attacking setpiece option.

    I told you then and I tell you again.

    There may be more rucks and other contacts, but the lienout is the single most best controlled form of setpiece attack a team can use.

    You can have 20 phases and keep the ball for 15 minutes but if you are not proficient in the areas (mini-battles) which dictates 75% of the game you are on a hiding to nothing!

    Again I disagree

    The point of rugby is actually to score more points than the other side.

    You can only d this if you have the ball more than them.

    I’ve played in games where even though you’re tackling the other side back for the whole game you’re without the ball. And being without the ball even if the other side is not going anywhere gnaws and gnaws at your mind and having the ball gives you a better chance of eventually forcing the mistake and getting the points.

    Those first sets of penalties we slotted came after long periods of possession where we forced the errors from New Zealand.

    It’s somewhat like the Boks of the Nic Mallett era in 1999 who routinely played with 35 – 40% possession and eventually cracked under the consistent possession of the All Blacks and New Zealanders on the simple basis that having the ball gives yoy the chance to score points than not having the ball.

    Our makro part DID NOT work, otherwise we would have won the game on Saturday and put 30 points past Aus the week before given the domination you so often refer to.

    Of course it worked

    That is my point

    We play an understrength Springbok team against the best New Zealand can offer and first off

    1. We lead the game by nine points with 20 minutes to go; and

    2. Lose the game with more than half our first choice players off the field

    Surely you have to say

    Second besters well done. Mission accomplished. We’ve proven we can beat them.

    Your analogy is also flawed in my opinion. It centers around the fact that the Russians planned what they did strategically and this won the battle, what the Germans did was bliksem into something gat oor kop with total disregard for micro planning and gunning completely on what they thought was the makro plan.

    The Soviets planned and played to the micro plan strategically capturing important points and at the end of the day won the makro battle.

    No. The Germans concentrated on local tactical success while the Soviets played the big picture game.

    Same with the Boks, they bliksem gat oor kop into a makro strategy ‘controlling’ everything with a total disregard for the 75% micro battles or strategic battles which in the end wins you the makro battle or war.

    I think what Dummykick is saying is that we DID win those little battles. I also say so.


    Because the scoreboard proves it.

    I say honoirs even

    I repeat the winning of the game was down to a try through utter dumb luck.

    Carter’s missed kicks had nothing to do with good or bad luck. It was down to skills and tension etc.

    Missed kicks have nothing to do with luck.

    However the situation that occurred when that kick came to JP and the way the ball bounced was utter dumb blind lady luck.

    Surely even you can see that.

  113. Murph, that’s the one. Small was their fullback in 87, the year he made SA schools.

    He only really shone that year. In a previous year the mighty team in the red jerseys with the gold collars gave them an almighty klap on their home ground.

    The last try of that match was our wing contemptuously dispatching Mr Small with a massive hand off in front of the main grandstand.

  114. Quick line outs boned us Henk, the problem with giving the AB’s ball is how difficult it is to get it back. Once we lost possession of the pip, we were starved of it. The plan we had been employing all night at the line out suddenly wasn’t working, they were getting good front foot ball.

    In the last quarter I definitely think we got it wrong, we lost shape because we were scrambling for possession. We ned some experience behind the scrum, instead we had 2 novices. I am not blaming them for it, it was unfortunate.

  115. Ollie, hehehehe mate, can you imagine how much it would cost me to come to practice

    Comment by dummykick — June 29, 2007 @ 2:14 pm

    Did I mention it was a womens rugby team. hehehehe

  116. not me posti, but I was in that team, however I only changed to wing after school ;) His name was Ricky Papale a good payer, made craven week too.

    However, moving back…

    Just wanted to say Game plans don’t always go our way, shit happens. However, I do think SA have the best game plan for combating the AB’s at the world cup, hopefully we are ready.

  117. Hehehehe, depends on how much of a smooth talker you are I suppose. I’m just their rugby coach not pimp. :lol:
  118. Comment by cab — June 29, 2007 @ 2:38 pm |Edit This

    I see proper discussion and debate stiffing out (And yes Postie that is more example of author’s privilege)

    So let’s break it down

    Alas the roadhouse there is no more cabbie

    But there’s a few here in Kempton where they do hang out at.


    Also reckon Aus by a whisker

    Who’s Vasily Zaitsev?

    I thought it was Konstantin Zhukov who beat the Germans?

  119. Comment by il postino — June 29, 2007 @ 2:22 pm

    Attritional IP – had to rush off into consultation.

    PA, keep your panties on; you ventured a theory that you then linked to the Boks, unfortunately it was based on a misconception.

    I enjoy your takes, but I take exception with th idea that rugby is a simple game that boils down to one issue or one stat. Rugby is not a simple game.

    That works in movies, but different strategies and different teams depend on different areas; naturally therefore the key stat or area can also differ.

  120. Comment by Ollie — June 29, 2007 @ 2:50 pm

    So who’s their pimp then – let him start posting on the site rather.

  121. ARU: SA Rugby must pay
    29/06/2007 14:17 – (SA)

    Sydney – Australia will discuss the possibility of compensation with South African officials over the selection of a second-string side for next week’s Tri-Nations Test in Sydney, reports said on Friday.

    Newly re-installed chief executive John O’Neill reportedly said the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) would quantify the financial damage caused by South Africa’s decision to rest top players ahead of this year’s World Cup.

    “If this was a normal commercial transaction and one party has arguably not met their part of the bargain and it has cost the other party money, you’d be looking at some claim for damages,” O’Neill told Friday’s The Australian newspaper.

    “The response to that is: that’s not the rugby way. And I accept that but I think that the quantification of the financial damage and the damage to the ARU’s reputation has to be spelt out.”

    O’Neill said he did not rule out the possibility of legal action against the South African Rugby Union.

    “What if our broadcasters and sponsors claim on us and they say, ‘you didn’t deliver on what you promised to deliver.’ Well then, you have to have recourse to someone.”

    Rugby officials are reportedly seething over the dismissive way South Africa has responded to complaints their move could cost the ARU at least A$1m in lost ticket sales for the July 7 Test in Sydney.

    O’Neill acknowledged that by playing the “player welfare” card, the South Africans had shrewdly boxed Australia in.

    “It’s such a hard one to punch, player welfare,” O’Neill said. “They’re challenging us to challenge their medical opinion. They’re literally saying to us, ‘how can you tell us what the physical state of our players is?'”

    The report said Australian officials feel betrayed that South Africa would play full-strength Wallabies and All Black teams over the past two weeks in sellout Tests in Cape Town and Durban and then not reciprocate.

    “I would have expected more from South Africa in terms of the value of the relationship,” O’Neill said.

    O’Neill, in his second spell in charge of the ARU, claimed more countries were undermining the status of Tests by fielding sub-standard teams in World Cup years, particularly northern hemisphere sides venturing south.

    “At the moment we’ve got a lot of dysfunctionality that is not in rugby’s interests. If the in-bounds (Test touring teams) aren’t working, maybe you’ve got to consider an expanded Super rugby competition running into June and July,” O’Neill said.

    England, France and Wales have all sent weakened teams to the southern hemisphere in recent weeks.

  122. Too true Dummy

    Wasn’t he fired by Australia because they supported the Japan 2011 bid?

    Exactly what happens if this second string Bok side is highly competitive.

    I’m not saying win

    I’m saying hey compete well.

    Say Australia then win by a margin of less than ten.

    How do they then determine what caused them financial loss?

    By the names not in the team?

    They don’t accept our medical reasoning do they?

    Well then we should go back to 2005 and demand that Eddie Jones fields a full strength Australian side against us in all three test maches

  123. Speaking of whinging, I see Cricket SA has rightly complained about Australia’s monopoly on home tests over December and January.
  124. DavidS,

    I would like to see the shaggers claim money from the draggers for resting their cricket players during a series they played before the CWC.

  125. SA versus INDIA South Africa innings (50 overs maximum)

    MN van Wyk 82
    AB de Villiers 0
    JH Kallis 2
    HH Gibbs 17
    JP Duminy 40
    MV Boucher 55 not out
    AJ Hall 17
    A Nel 1 not out
    Total 226(6 wickets;50 overs) (4.52 runs per over)

  126. A brilliant movie which represents the war correctly in my mind is Falling Down

    It’s german with subtitles and tells the story of a young girl who becomes Hitler’s secretary and stays with him.

    The whole story is about the last few days before Berlin falls.

    Absolutely fantastic

    On a par with the opening scenes of Saving Private Ryan

  127. I watched the so-called classic “Once Upon a Time in America” the other day.

    Dreary and dragging.

    Am I a Phillistine for saying that?

  128. It’s generally agreed that Germany erred in fighting the war on two fronts. It wasn’t just that the Wehrmacht was effectively split into two, it was that the USSR was able to source supplies from the Brits and Yanks to keep them going.

    Similar issue in WW1. Churchill wanted to take out Turkey, thus ensuring a supply line to Russia, who were being hammered by the Germans at that stage. His mistake was the use of appalling tactics at Gallipoli that sent large numbers of Anzacs to their deaths.

    There’s a lesson in all of this for sport and business. An idea may fail spectacularly, but the reasons may not relate to the idea as such, but to its execution and preparation.

  129. Stan

    The Soviets ran such an efficient propaganda and information dissemination campaign tha I sometimes have to question the capabilities of anyone we can’t verify as having actually accomplished the stories the Soviets wanted.

    I mean the opening sequences of that movie when the guy from Pravda say they needed a hero and then starts writing about Vasily tells you that just maybe the Soviets invented Vasily because they needed to invent him.

    It’s like the so-called Lieutenant Kamachenko who fought in the defence of Moscow in a T34 towards the end of 1941.

    Oh he was posthumusly made Hero of the Soviet Union and allegedly destoyed hundreds of German tanks.

    Post cold war research proved the oke was nothing ut the figment of some Pravda propagandist’s imagination because they needed a hero for the defence of Moscow.

  130. The Turk Khoklopsav or something was the bets of the snipers

    filled like 450 odd krauts , could have been a Jap, was from Yukislav or something

  131. Comment by il postino — June 29, 2007 @ 3:31 pm

    how about more sexy female athletes instead?

    Come on dawie – the masses have spoken!

  132. Actually Saving Private Ryan is more
    about cheap schmaltzy Americanism than anything else

    Only decent part of the flick was the opening sequences


    Micky Arths is using ths ODO series to find new young talent

    That’s why JP Duminy, Morne Van Wyk, Vernon Philander etc are being played.

    I have a book called WW2 here at home written by a retired American colonel who was a military analyst.

    The conclusion he reaches is that Germany could never have wn the war.

    There was basically only one throw of the dice for them.

    They should have proceeded with Operation Sea Lion and invaded Britain. Only problem is that according the FDR’s policies at the time, this would have lead to immediate US intervention.

    Their other chance was in June 1941

    Instead of invading Russia, they could have invaded Turkey and crossed the Middle east to reach Iraq and Saudi Arabia and their massive oil reserves.

    This would have destroyed the British in Egypt too in a pincer move and undoubtedly ended the war right there and then, aside of course from the USSR. But the Russians would have faced a double invasion they could not stop.

    Instead Hitler thought he could convince Turkey to join the Axis cause and the opportunity was forever lost.

  133. BF,

    My panties are always on, like I mentioned I took it on face-value and what was written by Dawie. He gave an example and I simply took the written text and saw it completely differently. What preceeded the actual example or happened in the general’s office beforehand I have no clue on, its not venturing into a theory, it is taking an example used and debating it to the point at hand.

    And I disagree, rugby is an extremely simply game made very complicated by not doing basics well.

    But you are right it does not boil down to one issue or stat, and my point from the start is we are failing in an area which makes up 75% of a match.

    That area is also made up of a plethora of specifics which is why it is the one area in the game you will struggle to defend against or compete well in if your basics are not up to scratch.


    And on 60 minutes we’d put 21 points past them.

    Thats exactly my point if you read what I have been trying to say.

    In 60 minutes we put 21 points past them, in 10 they put 14 past us. This illustrates perfectly what I am trying to say wrt losing the small battles.

    In 60 minutes you will get a hell of a lot more rucks and tackled situations than in 10 – this is the ratio I keep on referring to in which we fail.

    In the 75% part of the game we are only probably 20% proficient.

    The point of rugby is actually to score more points than the other side.

    You can only d this if you have the ball more than them.

    This is probably the point we do not see eye to eye and the reason we will never agree.

    Because exactly for that reason is why I believe we cannot beat the All Blacks consistently.

    You can have the ball for 80% of the match, if you do not turn that into points it is useless.

    No team in the world will dominate 100%

    We dominated the Aussies by 60% if I read some of the posts here, yet we came within a minute or two with losing that match – why?

    The point of rugby is to score more points than the other side, but when last did we do this against the Blacks anywhere else but SA?

    Why did it take us nearly a decade to do it against England at Twickers?

    When last did we beat the French at home or the Irish for that matter?

    Which comes to your other point:

    The lineout is your main attacking setpiece option.

    If that is the case, why has the team with the best line-out in the game not dominated the Irish, French, All Blacks and to some extent even the Wallabies in the last 3 years?

    Line-outs are damn easy to analyse and to negate, even the Poms showed that in their hammering we gave them this year.

    Our so-called domination of line-outs has not improved our point scoring ability at all as a team who sits on a 60-odd % win ratio.

    When last did we score points from line-outs?

    And as for your last point about well done and we proved a point.

    We lost the game, end of story, no matter which way you want to spin it.

    So congratulations is not in order, hopefully learning from our mistakes are because we could have won, but did not.

    When the Sharks beat the Crusaders at home this year I mentioned in my article I wrote that enjoy the victory but see it in context to the weaknesses exposed by the Crusaders in that match. Not many likes what I said but to me it was obvious that there were some chinks in the Sharks armour.

    Not soon afterwards, a Brumbie team written off before they even landed in SA taught the Sharks a rugby lesson at home.

    The same with this so-called B-team – it is no excuse to lose saying we fielded a B-team, it is rather a point or wake-up call to identify the glaring weaknesses that still exists in our rugby before we go to Paris.

  134. bryce

    Gibbs as well. Kemp is also in the squad!!!

    I think he was dropped in the previous match so that Philander could play!!!

    Andrew Hall just doesnt do it for me!!!

  135. hehehe

    I take it you dont rate our cappy then dummy?

    Do yourself a favour. Get this months SASI for an article about what the Aussies think of the Proteas.

    Justin Langer apparently likes Smith and they also rate our player of the last decade.

    Guess who they rate the most?

  136. Man, it’s a feng shui thing between the macro and micro aspects of the game.

    I’m starting to run out of ways to make that clear.

    Comment by Ollie — June 29, 2007 @ 1:33 pm

    Oh well, I tried. :roll:

  137. I couldn’t possibly read all the comments here having worked hard all day I now start my weekend.

    But after reading philipdc comments one thing strikes me.

    In S14 ( tho not test rugby ) HM has pretty similar loose forwards who use the same technique as the Boks. Yet they more than held their own against Ritchie and the NZ style of rucking etc etc blah blah.

    To me it is not so much that we should try and copy the AB’s and fix something that aint broke before something melts down whatever. We should use the tactics HM & Jake uses because that matches the strengths of our players and they have the experience and know how to do what they do.

    And add Fourie dup and Habanero we CAN win the WC on neutral ground.

  138. Comment by DavidS — June 29, 2007 @ 3:43 pm

    I feel the need to serve my country by going on maneuvers with her.

  139. Alan Donald!!!

    Some of them also rate Kallis but they say Donald was our best player and was really world class.

    They didnt rate Hansie much.

  140. lmao posty…

    Paul Adams is as much of a LEGEND as Eddie Andrews!!!

    Both Legends in my book!!!

    Best spinner to EVER represent SA!!!



  141. I just think smith is a poepal dewd, don’t care how much they rate him laugh he has one of those smack me faces, with added dimension of a “wiff a plank” nose.
  142. Postie

    A generation of little girls got the name Nikita after that because Americans, Australians, South Africans and Kiwis were too stupid to realise Nikita is a man’s name in Russia

  143. Comment by Big Fish — June 29, 2007 @ 3:54 pm

    Dawie – I am here, but on my way out.

    A sad lack of nudity here – your standards are dropping.

    Post some pics of guns for Stan so he can get all hot and bothered too. :lol:

    Enjoy the weekend guys!

  144. hehehehe Postie,

    I don’t stand still like a stalked, defenseless buck that is totally unaware that it can be taken out by something over 100 m away.

  145. A mother is cleaning out her son’s room one day and discovers to her horror an S&M magazine hidden in his cupboard. She shows it to her husband, and asks him what he thinks they should do.

    “Well a spanking is out of the question, I suppose,” he says.

  146. Postie

    You guys do miss one thing about the Russians though

    They have been successfully invaded ad conquered

    From the east

    In the 13th century the Mongols invaded and captured the whole of Russia

    It was a situation that remained so till the late 18th century

  147. Dawie

    That’s a bit spurious. The Russian kingdom, as it was, was then just Moscow and surrounds.

    But the achievement of the Mongols can’t be underplayed. Massive conquests in a short period of time, with a small army.

  148. DavidS,
    always, but you okes like the tannies too young, i prefer the more mature look.

    4.15 is spot on tho, thx.

  149. Postie

    Kiev too

    Moscow and Kiev and St Petersburg were the mian cities in Russia

    The Prince of Kiev was the mian cockonoodle not the Moscow character for many years

    There was a specific city where the Mongols built a hill out of the skulls of the people they killed there.

    Can’t recall the name.

    But yes

    I reckon the Mongols were prett successful in invading Russia if one considers that before them the Teutons and Swedes tried the same trick and lost.


    thanks for the hits on my thread !

    and the Hot Dollies


    Watch out for the modified Gallile (AK sniper rifle) 7.62mm smack form stalin

  151. Okay Stan, maar daai’s te goed om te waste as St Makatees nie hier is nie

    Ek wil altwee hou vir wanneer hy hier is sodat ons hom kan sien reageer

  152. Tsar Peter the Great founded the city on May 27, 1703 (May 16, Old Style) after reconquering the Ingrian land from Sweden. He named it after his patron saint, the apostle Saint Peter. The original name of SanktPiterburh was actually an imitation of the pronunciation of Dutch Sint Petersburg; Peter had lived and studied in the Netherlands for quite some time. The Swedish fortress of Nyenskans and the city Nyen had formerly occupied the site, in the marshlands where the river Neva drains into the Gulf of Finland.
  153. The Russians called the Mongols the Golden Horde. Their preferred strategy was to attack with over whelming numerical superiority, preferably while their targets were sitting down to dinner.
  154. Good thread okes.

    A bit of over analysis on both sides I would say. We lost and they won away. The momentum is with them and perhaps this is not a bad thing considering the Saffa mentality.

  155. murphster, she’s getting married, but fancies saffas, will put in a word.

    on more important matters, anyone know what time is the kick-off of the oz-nz game tomorrow?

  156. Nee man Yossarian

    The Mongols of the Golden Urdu came a while later

    Horde is a corruption of the Mongol word Urdu which means town or city

    The American military historian William Weir correctly says that the Mongols were the greatest miltary geniuses of their time.

    Their Kahn Temujin and his main general Sabotai are now seen as military strategists and tacticians on a par with Alexander, Napoleon, Guderian and Scipio the Younger.

    They were a cavalry army and often fought against numercially suprior foes in China

    But in the then Europe the place was a fractured set of tiny duchies who would not have been able to resist the Mongol attacks.

    I mean the capture of the entire Russia was no more than an expiditionary force to reconoiter the northern parts of the Middle east after destruction of the Emipre of Kwazrem and the capture of Baghdad.

    No simply attacking with vast numbers and when your foe eats is not something that gets you an empire that stretches from the eastern shores of China to the borders of Poland.

    In any event, the Mongols were never a large number. Their expeditionary Force that invaded Europe consisted of only 60 000 horse, divided into three divisions of 20 000 each.

    Only one was ever decisively engaged by the Teutonic Knights in Poland and lead to the Teutonic Knights as an order of Knights being wiped out in a briliant moving ambush that would have made Alexander proud.

    The only thing that saved the whole of European civilistaion from another 1000 years of barbarism, was the dumb luck element.

    Temujin died and Sabotai and the senior nobles of the expidition had to return for a Kurultai to elect a new Kahn.

  157. BTW

    Golden Horde was the description for one of the Mongol lands that covers what is now Southern Russia, Kazakstan, parts of the Ukraine and the little stans around there.


    Although the Russian prince of Kiev was the main cockonoodle among the Russians and is lauded as a hero for defeating the Swedes, he still had to touch the floor with his forehead when in the presence of the Kahn of the Golden Urdu. The Golden Urdu was just one of the mongol states.

    Eventually it split into three

    The Russians fostered war between them and eventually invaded tem and annexed them one by one.

    The last was only taken in the 1870’s with HUGE loss of life

  158. Davids, that was tongue in cheek I thought obviously.

    I know a little about their history, and that they had great success with using hit and run cavalry tactics – archers who were also brilliant horsemen would soften the enemy with run, engage and then move. Faster than their foes were accustomed to.

    They did acheive the largest empire in history.

  159. yoh temujin, think was ghenghis, grandson kublai, horrendously feared warriors, tough horsemen and ruthless, if you resisted and they sacked you, spared nothing. pastoral nomads, conquered pretty much everything from east asia to turkey, but western europe a bit too far.
  160. Genghis Kahn is a title

    King of Men

    The oke’s real name was Temujin

    The Emir of Baghdad was executed because his city resisted the Mongols

    He was granted a merciful nobleman’s death

    Tied in a sack and trampled by a thousand horses


    They were just cavalry but not just archers

    Their lancers were pretty brilliant too.

    They beat all comers in all theatres of war from the jungles of Asia to the deserts of the Middle east, the steppes and the Forests of Europe.

    The only other commander who never lost a battle was Alexander – despite that stupid part in the mivie that Hollywoodised his life and showed him getting beaten by the charous.

    He actually beat the shit out of them elephants and all.

  161. From Ghengis ( Temuujin ) to Kublai Khan they had to make a transition from nomadic warrior people to rulers and administrators of a great empire. Eventually internal division and the decline of their traditional way of life paved the way for their decline as a conqueror nation and they assimilated and became a spent force.

    They did however vastly increase trade and open up Asia to the West and vice versa smile

  162. Okay

    I have to take care of the modern day Mongols

    The DavidSettes wrecking my house.

    Cheers and nice evening okes,

    Go Aussies

    Shields stop saying inane things

    Cab get laid

    Stan don’t

    yoss happy war story telling

    Postie and the other Irishman – happy drinking

  163. Yoss

    They were just cavalry but not just archers

    Nah, what I remember of their tactics, and it does go back more than 12 years to when I was a history major at varsity ( PMB ), they used hit and run extensively. Their mounted archers would swoop out, fire volleys into the foe and then disappear from their range at express pace. Being able to fire their bows acurately from horseback at pace was considered one of their major skills.

  164. He was granted a merciful nobleman’s death

    Tied in a sack and trampled by a thousand horses


    Went to Warwick Castle a few weeks back. The dungeons are open to the public.

    You walk down steep stairs to get into the ‘prison’. There is no natural light down there.

    Anyway, they’d be crowded into this dark, fetid, damp cell with no creature comforts and vermin aplenty scampering around the place.

    Those were the lucky ones.

    The unlucky ones were bundled into a tiny hole in the ground under the cell, it’s literally about the size of a single cupboard, squared. It’s about 8 foot further underground and a grille would be locked in place above you and you were left to rot away with no food.

    Really disgusting.

    I think I’d even prefer the other option. They have a cage in the shape of a human torso, made of iron bars [no padding etc.]. You’d be locked in this contraption and it would be hoist in the air and you’d be left to rot in there until your bones fell out.

    Nice folk, those medieval chaps.

  165. Oh, another contraption they had was like a human press.

    You’d be forced into a position whereby your knees were drawn up into your chest and your ankles up to your thighs, placed in this thing and they’d tighten the screw to make you nice and compact.

  166. Whew – never thoaugh this would envoke so much comment!

    You have got it. It makes interesting reading going back through Pissants posts. He explains, better than I do, how the cumunlative effect of the hits eventually wins out the games.

    Basically you are on our side, but we need to cover the points of difference.

    I like the reference to the game in the Z dimension, but note that you can’t have it both ways. We are trading lineout dominance for gainline loss. I simply cannot agree with you that tall players are useful in the gainline. Anyone who has played there, knows that every inch over 6ft counts against you. The ultimate gainline winners are American Football Running Backs and very few of them are over 5 Ft 10 in.

    We have brought up many points in this thread. Can I summarise my position:

    Rugby coaching is always a balance between stretched resources. Rugby breaks you down, conditioning builds you up. You need them both. The one thing that conitioning does not do for you, is keep you “fighting fit”.

    What I am saying, is that in the context of where the Springboks are right now, the focus should be on fighting technique, not on conditioning. Fixing the technical shortfall at the gainline (not denying it) is what is going to get us through this.


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