Boks starting XV unchanged for Poms

November 21, 2012
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Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer named an unchanged starting line-up on Wednesday for their final Test of the season, against England at Twickenham on Saturday.

He retained the team that defeated Scotland, 21-10, last weekend with JP Pietersen and Gurthrö Steenkamp, cleared for selection after treatment of niggling injuries.

The only changes are on the bench, where Pat Cilliers comes in for the injured CJ van der Linde and Elton Jantjies replaces Morné Steyn.

Springbok captain Jean de Villiers will become the fifth most-capped Springbok of all time and most-capped member of the 2012 squad when he plays in his 84th Test.

De Villiers will pass Bryan Habana on 83 caps to move into fifth place behind John Smit (111), Victor Matfield (110), Percy Montgomery (102) and Joost van der Westhuizen (89).

“I’m very chuffed for Jean,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.

“He took over the captaincy in a challenging year and has been a rock in our team. The fact that Jean has played in every Test this season, and finished all of them, is testimony to his amazing resilience and work ethic.

“Jean has been the glue that has kept our team together and for that I salute him.”

The total number of Test caps in the starting team for the last Test of the Castle Outgoing Tour in 2012 is 431 – 158 in the forwards and 273 in the backline.

“It’s great to be able to field an unchanged team,” said Meyer.

“We’ve been able to show some consistency in selection on this tour and that is a good thing. The players have worked extremely hard on the training field and it wasn’t easy to select the match 23 for each of the three Tests, but I’m happy that we managed to stick to combinations.”

“The plan was always to give Elton a run on the tour. He’s shown earlier in the season that he can play Test rugby. It’s also good for his development as a player to experience the conditions here and to play in front of a big crowd like Twickenham,” said Meyer.

The Springbok team to face England in London is:

Position Name Province Test Caps
15 Zane Kirchner Vodacom Blue Bulls 23
14 JP Pietersen The Sharks 47
13 Juan de Jongh DHL Western Province 13
12 Jean de Villiers (captain) DHL Western Province 83
11 Francois Hougaard Vodacom Blue Bulls 26
10 Pat Lambie The Sharks 19
9 Ruan Pienaar Ulster, Northern Ireland 62
8 Duane Vermeulen DHL Western Province 6
7 Willem Alberts The Sharks 19
6 Francois Louw Bath, England 16
5 Juandré Kruger Vodacom Blue Bulls 7
4 Eben Etzebeth DHL Western Province 10
3 Jannie du Plessis The Sharks 41
2 Adriaan Strauss (vice-captain) Toyota FS Cheetahs 20
1 Gurthrö Steenkamp Toulouse, France 39
Replacements
16 Schalk Brits Saracens, England 4
17 Heinke van der Merwe Leinster, Ireland 3
18 Pat Cilliers DHL Western Province 5
19 Flip van der Merwe Vodacom Blue Bulls 22
20 Marcell Coetzee The Sharks 11
21 Elton Jantjies MTN Golden Lions 2
22 Jaco Taute MTN Golden Lions 3
23 Lwazi Mvovo The Sharks 7

Stats and facts:

  • South Africa and England have played each other 35 times since 1906, with the Springboks winning 21 Tests, losing 12 and with two draws. The Springboks have scored 733 points and 68 tries and conceded 549 points and 39 tries for an average score of 21-16.
  • South Africa and England last met on 23 June 2012 in Port Elizabeth. That match was drawn 14-14.
  • Jean de Villiers will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok centre, with 68 Tests in this position.
  • Gurthrö Steenkamp has scored the most Test tries as a Springbok prop – six.
  • Ruan Pienaar jointly holds the record for the most career conversions at Twickenham with Percy Montgomery – three.
  • Pat Lambie and Willem Alberts will earn their 20th Springbok caps and Gurthrö Steenkamp will play in his 40th Test for South Africa.
  • JP Pietersen needs two tries against England to equal the Springbok record of six career tries against England, held by Bryan Habana.
  • Ruan Pienaar needs six points to equal the Springbok record of 26 career points at Twickenham, held by Braam van Straaten.
  • Jean de Villiers, Francois Hougaard and Jannie du Plessis will end the season having started in all 12 Tests in 2012.
  • Adriaan Straus and Ruan Pienaar will have played in all 12 Tests with four and five appearances from the bench respectively.
  • Flip van der Merwe and Marcell Coetzee could also complete a full-house of 12 Tests for the season should they be used as substitutes on Saturday.
  • The referee is Nigel Owens of Wales. He’s referee in eight Tests involving South Africa before, of which the Springboks have won five and lost three.
  • Springbok Test match records at Twickenham:

o   Most points – 21 by Jannie de Beer (6p, d) against Australia on 30 October, 1999 (and 20 by André Pretorius (c, 2p, 4d) against England on 25 November, 2006)

o   Most tries – two by Chester Williams against England on 18 November, 1995

o   Most conversions – three by Ruan Pienaar against England on 22 November, 2008

o   Most penalty goals – six by Jannie de Beer against Australia on 30 October, 1999 (and four by Braam van Straaten against England on 2 December, 2000)

o   Most drop goals – four by André Pretorius against England on 25 November, 2006

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22 Comments

  1. avatar Duiwel says:
    November 21st, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    We have almost no chance.
    No gameplan except fok Voort.
    No basic skills such as being able
    To catch without dropping it,
    Passing without losing it,
    Off loading without losing it
    Never mind running at pace,
    Vision ect .
    We have a captain who is a positional
    International joke
    And a coach who is dumb.
    We are playing in their backyard
    The players and surely the coach
    Spends their time polishing buzzwords
    Like “young team,injuries,gaining experience,
    Showing character and the great favourite
    Physical!
    They are better off playing a game of scrabble
    Then again Meyer have only one word.
    Dom.

  2. avatar Boertjie says:
    November 21st, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    I thought this tour was also
    about experimenting?
    Experimenting with what?
    Tackle bag holders?
    And why an oversized touring
    group of 32, if 26 would
    have sufficed?

  3. avatar Methos The French Stormer says:
    November 21st, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Boertjie – To give expierience to the new faces and to do some christmas shopping in Harrods.

    Cheers

  4. avatar Bekke says:
    November 21st, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Why fly JC over if he’s not even on the bench????
    Why play Morne Steyn for a few minutes last week, and then drop him entirely for this game?
    Maybe experimenting was all about panicky planning….

  5. avatar Methos The French Stormer says:
    November 21st, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    Bekke

    Because they must 23 players in the matchday squad. 1 extra prop – what if someone gets hurt in the warm up? Or have heart palpitations?

    Cheers

  6. avatar Duiwel says:
    November 21st, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    interesting old aricler:

    Former Springbok and Italy coach Nick Mallett has slammed a number of high profile Springbok potential captains Jean de Villiers and Pierre Spies amongst others.

    Mallett was expressing his concerns over a number of high profile Springboks ahead of South Africa’s three Test series against England.

    Stormers captain Jean de Villiers has been linked with the Springbok captaincy but Mallett says he is something of a liability in defence.

    “At outside centre Jean is a really poor defender,” Mallett told SuperSport about the Stormers captain,

    “So he is going to have to sharpen up because (Manu) Tuilagi is going to run rings around him. Tuilagi is very physical, big and strong.

    “That’s the problem at outside centre, but then again we never pass the ball in SA rugby so it might not be necessary to select a centre,” Mallett joked.

    “If he can’t chase up and unders and tackle, then what is he doing there…?”

    In defensive terms Mallett also slammed Bulls captain Pierre Spies calling him a “a flat-track bully” who had never impressed him.

    “Loose forwards are a big issue. I don’t rate Spies as a defender, he is poor on defence and his close ball skills at the back of the scrum are also poor,” Mallett said.

    “He is only good against weak teams. A flat-track bully who will run in three tries. ”

    “We are missing out on someone who is good from the base of the scrum.

    “I know Heyneke likes Willem Alberts, but it is also worrying that he is in the top five in Super Rugby in terms of missed tackles. He’s missed 24 tackles in six games, and that’s bloody high. ”

    “Marcel Coetzee is the guy I would pick, he is in the top five in terms of tackle stats and in ball carries.”

    Mallett said that the Springboks and the Sharks need to be careful with brothers Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis.

    “We have to be very careful with the Du Plessis brothers – they are a five penalty package for opposition teams. ”

    “Bismarck does turn over ball, but he gives two to three penalties away at the breakdown. ”

    “Jannie gets pinned at scrum time and there’s always something, a stiff arm or going over the top. ”

    “In terms of discipline they need to be spoken to but the Sharks front row, when they are on song, are formidable.”

    Mallet said that Stormers lock Andries Bekker needed to spend time with retired Springbok line out specialist Victor Matfield if he wants to become as good as Matfield.

    “Bekker is nowhere near as good as Matfield in the lineouts. Bekker needs to listen to Matfield – then he will become better,” Mallett explained.

    “Because he is big, he thinks he can win every ball whereas Matfield thinks about the lineouts. ”

    “Matfield will not throw one ball to himself if there is a danger of losing it or if there is a blocker there. He will call a ball everywhere else except for himself if it means his team winning the game.

    “Bekker, however, will call on himself and if he loses one, he will call another one because he is upset he lost one. Then if it happens again he will blame the hooker for not throwing into the lineout high enough.

    “Teams can only put two blocks and you as the lineout reader need to see where they are and that’s where Matfield was absolutely unbelievable.”

  7. avatar APO says:
    November 21st, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    “At outside centre Jean is a really poor defender” – JdV’s stats rubbishes this;
    “Willem Alberts, but it is also worrying that he is in the top five in Super Rugby in terms of missed tackles” – and now???
    I don’t rate Spies as a defender, he is poor on defence and his close ball skills at the back of the scrum are also poor – He is only good against weak teams” – check his record & stats. He definitely does not go into a loose maul like Flo but then he is typical of the Morne’ du Plessis & Nick Mallet mould of 8th men who faced the same criticism. Check his stats for defence, i disagree with Mallet on this. Pierre is stumped in his growth with the coaching staff at the Bulls. Players like him should wakeup like both Lambie & Hougie did – they both got the message and have now decided to specialise & play at 1 position only. It’s about the money (advertising) and the coach will, in the end chow you if you are willing to be chewed, as a “versatile” player (sucker).

  8. avatar Morné says:
    November 21st, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    Well I hope for Meyer this goes well.

  9. avatar Bekke says:
    November 21st, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    Well APO, clearly you know better than Mallet. I feel for guys like Mallet and Jake – they are prompted for their views and, instead of regurgitating some generic crap like “inexperience team”, “we must build”, “we will learn from this and work harder”, they actually speak their minds. Good leaders / coaches / players will take this and see if they can use it. Jean certainly firmed up his defence. Jannie is rock solid in the scrum at the moment (far better than a year ago!), but will still go with the illegal side-shows. Spies unfortunately, will never improve…liek Morne.

  10. avatar The Year of the Cheetah says:
    November 21st, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    my old man, who is a staunch Heyneke prophet – said after watching Scotland game:

    1) we dont support our runners because our pack gets tired from having to re-align on attack the whole time. Our attack tires our own pack when it should tire out the opposition. This happens because players who should not have to worry about attacking alignment (the forwards) are now expected to be the ‘thinkers’ and this saps their energy. That energy should be stored for support play on attack and gusto in defense.

    2) Our choice to kick out the ball at the end of the Scotland game points to us being ‘slapgat’ and this is his opinion is a very foreign concept in Bok rugby.

    The old man knows a thing or two.

  11. avatar Boertjie says:
    November 21st, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    Reply to The Year of the Cheetah @ 10:08 pm:

    Makes sense.

    Some time ago someone remarked the ABs can
    run from their 22 because the forwards drop
    back behind them in support.

    Maybe because they’re not tired of defending?

  12. avatar Timeo says:
    November 21st, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    Reply to The Year of the Cheetah @ 10:08 pm:

    Playing on after time is up, when you lead a test by 11 points, to show you are not “slapgat”, seems a little shortsighted to me.

    Injuries may happen any time. There is the game next week, more next year and the players’ careers to consider. The potential risks far out weighs the benefits.

  13. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    November 22nd, 2012 at 4:29 am

    Reply to Boertjie @ 1:45 pm:

    What more experimenting do you want?

    The most successful Bok fly-half in the history of the game has been dropped for two 22 year olds… he’s trialed one of the form 20yr olds from S15 at 13 then moved JDJ there keepoing him as 13/15 cover… Cilliers, Coetzee, Etsebeth, Vermeulen are all new caps under HM this year… he’s brought the exciting Schalk Brits back from obscurity as an impact player off the bench… he’s made Strauss the VC and giving him game-time proving to be one of the form 2′s in international rugby this season… likewise he’s brought Louw into the squad…

    Need I go on?

    Reply to Duiwel @ 5:24 pm:

    Yet England could not win a single game on that tour against a brand new Bok side…

  14. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    November 22nd, 2012 at 4:34 am

    Reply to Bekke @ 2:23 pm:

    Is that a serious question? Steenkamp was not 100% to play this week numnuts!

    Reply to Boertjie @ 11:01 pm:

    I don’t disagree on the ‘tired’ part… but watch that AB vs Scotland game again… the forwards (including props) spend every bit as much time in the backline in their 22 man game… they’re just better skilled…

  15. avatar biltongbek says:
    November 22nd, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Do you guys not think it is the combination of the forwards having to tackle, tackle tackle, and bash, bash, bash that causes them to tire.

    It is a hell of a lot of energy expended if you aim to make contact at every opportunity.

    If the forwards drew their man more, and offloaded to a player in sapce and there were more variation of the backline getting the ball every now and them to go wide, the forwards won’t have such a workload.

    Hence we have only seen sporadic high intensity (no one can live with our physicality) in these test matches.

    This method requires us to score points during those moments, as the effectiveness dwindles once the enrgy goes out of the pack.

  16. avatar JT_BOKBEFOK! says:
    November 22nd, 2012 at 8:54 am

    Reply to biltongbek @ 7:57 am:

    running forward is not tiring, turning around running backwards in cover defence – THAT takes it out of a forward.

    Best way to stay fit for 80min – have your backs score tries ;-)

  17. avatar biltongbek says:
    November 22nd, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Reply to JT_BOKBEFOK! @ 8:54 am: I am not talking about the running forward, I am talking about thaking the hits, go to ground, get mauled on the floor, get up and do it again in 10 seconds.

  18. avatar Aldo says:
    November 22nd, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Mauled every ten seconds, shees that brings back memories. Reminds of this one time I took my ex wife to the mall, she asked me if the pants made her look fat. I politely aswered, no dear, you were fat a looong time before you out on those pants. Shees was I mauled, it was like a pittbull on a poodle

  19. avatar biltongbek says:
    November 22nd, 2012 at 9:53 am

    :D Diplomacy mate, that is the key.

    When my wife asks me whether she got fat, I just say I haven’t noticed.

  20. avatar Methos The French Stormer says:
    November 22nd, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Jeez Aldo – that is almost counts as suicide…

    Cheers

  21. avatar JT_BOKBEFOK! says:
    November 22nd, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Reply to Aldo @ 9:49 am:

    hence the “ex” in ex-wife…

  22. avatar Aldo says:
    November 22nd, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Lol not hence the ex, hence the mauling by a pitbull

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