6 reasons Boks will do it!


SA Rugby Magazine
SA Rugby Magazine

Earlier in the week Rob gave us 6 reason why the Springboks will not be able to put four tries against the World Champions on Saturday. He now decided to through in six reason why the Boks should be able to get the four tries they need to win the Castle Rugby Championship.

Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

So here’s why Jean de Villiers’s team can genuinely catapult themselves to Springbok folklore this weekend …

1. Because they can

It has got to be a handy bit of motivational information that the Boks earned the necessary five log points to nil the last time they met New Zealand at Ellis Park some nine years ago. With due respect, that particular SA side which prevailed 40-26 (from 10-0 down, too) wasn’t loaded to the gills with Test legends, either … it was simply a day to cherish forever for the likes of Gerrie Britz, Eddie Andrews, Jaco van der Westhuyzen and others who were arguably never going to be 50- or 100-cap icons. This re-emerging Bok side is well-stocked in most positions, skilled and level-headed enough to be able to pull off the tough requirement, while also unlikely to be consumed with a fatal arrogance against the current world champions. The fast, firm Highveld surface also suits their very specific purpose in this fixture. High-scoring Tests are common at Ellis Park.

2. Because they believe they can

Desire is something that Heyneke Meyer clearly inspires in his charges better than, say, post-isolation predecessors like Harry crumple-that-script-and-try-again Viljoen or Rudolf let’s-keep-ringing-the-changes Straeuli. Pride in the blazer, tie and jersey is a non-negotiable for the coach, who is never afraid to talk of “putting our bodies on the line” and “making the country proud”. The consistent faith he is showing in players seems to be paying dividends: the ambitious Boks are a team on the up and the class of 2013 don’t seem over-awed by any opponents. Yes, even after the much-debated 29-15 reverse at Eden Park, I believe that applies to the All Blacks as well.

3. Ellis Park will be so pro-Boks that the haka will barely be audible

Whatever the outcome – and remember that with SA forced to gamble to a good degree, the risk of a party-spoil by the New Zealanders does exist – the All Blacks already know they are going to be hit hard. Any faint-hearted folk in their ranks will be quickly flushed out. And that’s not just by an urgent Bok outfit: the visitors’ mental resolve will be tested to the limit by the traditionally noisy, hostile, cutting-edge crowd at the venue that reeks of Klippies plus Jo’burg’s ever-present whiff of gasoline and gun-smoke. Anyone expecting a reverent silence during the haka? Not me. There’s also a rumour doing the rounds that a coach-load of All Black-partial fans from the Western Cape have developed untimely engine trouble outside De Doorns …

4. Nigel Owens is not Romain Poite

South Africa have no special reason to fear the Welshman’s influence with the whistle. Although he comes from the near-unpronounceable Welsh village of Mynyddcerrig, he speaks relatively plain English, which is a good start. The Boks have won six of their nine Tests he’s taken charge of, including two of three against the All Blacks, and there have been no infuriating SA grievances a la Bryce Lawrence, Paul Honiss or the aforementioned Monsieur Poite. Here’s praying that doesn’t change on Saturday.

5. Bismarck will batter ‘em … legally

They’ve been polishing the brass on the Battleship Bismarck, in preparedness for the muscular hooker’s crack at what the Boks would doubtless prefer to call “redemption” rather than “vengeance” for his unjust red-carding which torpedoed the collective SA hull against these opponents in Auckland recently. You can be sure Du Plessis will be hugely pumped, and hopefully Owens and his co-officials will have taken note that for all his legendary aggression, he is seldom guilty of rank foul play. Expect the Sharks man to hugely aid Francois Louw and company in the battle for vital steals, and be an influential ball-carrier too.

6. Rambo does not play for New Zealand

Sylvester Stallone was born in New York City and is thus eligible for the United States team. Besides, not even Rambo could grapple an Etzebeth to the ground …

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Better known as Bunny, Took over after Pissant went over to the "Dark Side"


  1. Agreed Bunny. They will win. I’m not sure as to the degree they have to win to capture the now blemished TRC trophy due to Poite’s treason.
    What about Chuck Norris vs Etzbeth?

  2. They should forget about the 4 tries.

    If they win, whatever the margin, they will be the true RC champions. If they lose the ABs will be the true champions.

  3. @Timeo:

    How so… if they win by less than 4 tries they will not be leader on the board and will be equal with in terms of wins/losses…

    Like the Bledisloe you have to beat your opponents not draw with them…

  4. Bunny, Rob’s article on why the Boks will win with a bonus point is interesting reading with lots of stuff about things around the team like their psyche and referee’s decisions and little on how the team is going to do it. I wont be using his reasoning in my prediction on S’bru.

    He uses the 2004 result at Ellis Park as one of his reasons for why the Boks will take out the RC but 2004 was interesting as all 3 sides playing in the tri-nations that year ended with 2 wins and 2 losses and it was the bonus points of 3-2-1 that decided the TN order of SA-AU-NZ. This year there is a far wider margin between the sides going into the last round.

    Not sure if Rob can simply draw an anology between 2004 and 2013 simply because they are playing at the same ground, given that the AB’s record for 2003/2004 was played 23, won 19, lost 4. In 2012/2013 the AB’s have played 22, won 20, D 1, lost 1. A much better win/loss ratio.

    Also, in the TN comp of 2004 SA were on an impressive 3.25 tries per match whereas NZ averaged only 1 try per match. This year both teams have scored 19 tries at an impressive rate of 3.8 tries per match.

    It is going to be a cracker of a match but Rob you are not comparing apples with apples going into the match I think.

    Also, how do the Bok teams differ between now and 2004 – is the present team that much better, Rob?

  5. Disappointing too that Rob misunderstands the cultural meaning of the haka. His encouragement to the crowd to misbehave and drown it out is stupid. Any of the AB’s with maori blood in them and those of pakeha origins will tell you that all this does is to fire them up to another level as it shows ignorance and disrespect.

  6. Outwide-
    Haka ain’t a national anthem. What is proper handling – church pew quiet, I’ve not seen the refs during perhaps they get in the fetal position.
    I’m not suggesting this – it’s just a movie afterall- but I wonder what Indiana Jones would do if he ever faced the haka?


  7. Heard Richie has never played at Ellispark.

    Why on earth do we play so few games there if we have our best record there?

  8. The Argies did it right: They were dead quiet
    during the haka.
    I respect tradition and it pisses me off when
    others don’t, or at least don’t keep their traps

    I just think the haka should preceed the anthems
    for obvious reasons.

  9. If they want it all quiet… then they need not do the new ‘Kapo O Panga’ (which I love) and revert back to old…

    It’s a blatant threat/challenge and blodd-thirsty at that… I don’t care how they try and romanticise it… crowds sing if they want… it’s about the only thing opposition are permitted to do when the Haka is on without the Kiwi’s crying to the IRB!

  10. After the World Cup final where the French were taken to task for advancing, the ABs can shove their Haka.

    Why should they have protection when they issue their challenge? The crowd should go bos.

    Just one thing: Please oh please can we sing something else than ole-ole????

    We are not Spanish!

  11. @Americano: LOL that’s hilarious but an Indiana Jones response to the haka from Jean d V on Saturday might result in another boer war. Of relevance to South Africa is the story that New Zealand soldiers fighting in the Boer war were heard to shout out the words at the beginning of the Ka Mate haka. The haka has been a feature at the beginning of rugby games played by the All Blacks since 1905 and as such is part of rugby culture and should be respected as such.

    The crowd are irrelevant in the haka, they should remain as quiet as the Munster crowd are during kicks being taken at goal by the opposition. The haka is all about the the two teams of warriors lined up against one another and the right thing is for the team facing the haka to remain respectful of the challenge being issued and standing 10m away to take up the challenge.

    When the Kapo o Pango haka was famously first performed in 2005 in Dunedin before the AB’s v Boks game, John Smit, forever the diplomat said afterwards that to stand in front of the AB’s and watch it being performed for them was “a privilege”. I expect Jean d V who is as astute will no doubt also treat the haka with the respect it deserves.

  12. @out wide:

    just because something has been done since 1905 in rugby is no reason for it to be respected…

    There are a few things that are just as old but changed for the better because it was NOT respected! :whistling:

  13. @JT_BOKBEFOK!: Ok you have a point but if you ever come to New Zealand, you need to have a Maori explain the whole thing to you then you might begin to understand. Unlike a lot of other countries I have been to, NZ to their credit give great respect to a lot of traditions that were here before the palefaces arrived.

  14. The haka is more like a national duty than a God given right if you are wearing the silver fern on your chest.

    Enjoy the game on Saturday – hope someone is going to give live commentary during the game on this site.

  15. @out wide:

    “and standing 10m away to take up the challenge”

    So the ABs can do their song and dance routine while the rest of the rugby playing world should stand quietly looking at them (preferably further than 10 metres away)?

    Pull the other one.

  16. @out wide:

    I will be on duty bud, and I get you RE the haka. The haka is one of rugby unions most special things, and even our attempted drowning out of it at times make it special.

    The ole ole is a bit pathetic but we dont have stadium singing culture among the whiteys. Be better if we just shout random abuse and make noise that way.

  17. @bryce_in_oz:

    Take away the result in Auckland because it was not a true reflection of the teams on the day and the winner of the championship will be the winner at Ellis Park.

    This should be clear to any intelligent observer, regardless of what the official record might state.

  18. @Timeo:

    Grasping at straws mate… far too subjective… if you want to go down that route then merely substract the points scored when Bismark was off for that first card and any other variant you want.

    But yes no doubt a win by the Boks and it’s a ‘moral’ victory for the Boks in 2013… and I’ll take that…

    And add another two wins from three on the EOYT Meyer surpasses Mallet in win % second only to Christie (who had only a small sample to judge on)…

  19. At least they have one bit of silverware back in the cupboard… and arguably could not have come back at a better time… namely the Mandela Cup…

  20. @bryce_in_oz:

    If you agree to subtract the points during Bismarck’s 1st half yellow, then you should also subtract the points scored after he would have been back in the field in the 2nd half.

    Twelfth points in total for a the final result of 17-15 and a current point table of ABs:22, Boks:19. Tomorrow’s winner would be the champion and you haven’t even accounted for the extra player & players advantages the Boks would have enjoyed in the last 9 minutes.