Duane cleans Scottish pipes!


????????Rob Houwing chooses Willie le Roux and Duane Vermeulen jointly as his standout Bok performers in the triumph over Scotland

Cape Town – A ton-of-bricks performance up front by Duane Vermeulen, coupled with some great moments of artistry and anticipation from Willie le Roux in the backline, went a long way to teeing up the Springboks’ 28-0 romp over Scotland at Murrayfield on Sunday.

The South African effort was based much more around raw power and clattering commitment in the collisions than it was silky skills, for the most part, but it was all too much for the Scots who were just too uncreative on attack – not to mention demoralised by awesome Bok defence – to be able to bother the scoreboard themselves.

Here’s how I rated the Boks out of 10:

Willie le Roux 8.5

Arguably his best, most rounded Test match yet; great statement about his ability to excel at fullback in European conditions. Safe under high balls, tactically sound and alert on defence, but his ghosting into the line and then cross-kick for JP Pietersen’s try was the game’s highlight from a skills point of view. Intercept try of his own was a reward for the way he sums up situations for his team’s benefit.

JP Pietersen 7

Much more sprightly than last week, when he still looked rusty against Wales. Fine finishing for his try after Le Roux’s lead-up work, and also produced one memorable, drive-him-back cover tackle on a rare dangerous Scottish foray.

Jaque Fourie 6.5

Still not quite firing in the way pre-2012 Bok fans – not to mention Lions and Stormers faithful – remember. But he’s getting there.

Jean de Villiers 6.5

Made sure no Scottish traffic got through his channel, even if this disgracefully cutting-up pitch was no fitting playground for his attacking skills. Desperately close to bagging one of his legendary intercept tries on one occasion.

Bryan Habana 6

Not the best “first 40” the old pro will ever experience, but then only redoubled his effort to get involved after the break. Turned and tracked back with admirable stealth for diving, fingertip prevention of Scottish try late on.

Pat Lambie 7

We’re still waiting for that really genuine “ooh and ah” performance from Lambie at Test level. In fairness, though, he was efficient and workmanlike here, including making his tackles with gusto and taking good options at No 10, though he did fluff one pretty easy penalty.

Fourie du Preez 7

Still a few slightly irksome rough edges to the veteran’s game, but mostly very decisive and suitably urgent at scrumhalf.

Duane Vermeulen 8.5

Superbly committed: made several decent mini-gains with ball in hand in driving play, managed the back of the scrum smartly, but strongest point was some thunderous tackling that will have left many aching Scottish bodies.

Willem Alberts 7.5

It’s a concern that he walks a near constant, injury tightrope, but as coach Heyneke Meyer reminded, that’s just because of the type of player he is. Like a tank in first half before having to be subbed for Marcell Coetzee.

Francois Louw 7

Got through plenty of work where the proverbial sun don’t shine, even if he will have more profound days as a ball-carrier. Victim of reckless cleanout by serial meanie Jim Hamilton late in match that worryingly required stretcher mode of transport off pitch.

Flip van der Merwe 7.5

Impressive day in the engine-room on the slow, soft Murrayfield surface. Worked his socks off in all departments required of him … and discipline seemed refreshingly better, too.

Bakkies Botha 6

Fairly solid hour of comeback Test activity after a long absence, even if not quite at vintage, robust best. Deserves credit for his muscular contribution to some concerted Bok rolling mauls, though.

Frans Malherbe 6

Was putting himself about purposefully until injury cruelly cut short his second Bok start after 37 minutes. Probably wished there’d been more scrums before his departure, to try to compellingly tick that box.

Adriaan Strauss 6.5

Industrious as ever, until the Boks let Bismarck du Plessis loose off his pitch-side exercise bike just after hour mark. It must be said: lineouts went awry after Strauss exited.

Gurthro Steenkamp 5.5

We still haven’t seen the best of Steenkamp’s qualities both in the scrums and in open play for the Boks since he made France his home base. Just seemed a more forceful Bok during his Bulls years, yes?

Standout substitute:

Coenie Oosthuizen 7.5

Much more game-time than usual, thanks to Malherbe’s exit before half-time … and showed his gratitude for that. Suitably solid on the tighthead side at scrum-time, and used his juggernaut frame to great effect in general play, including registering try from unstoppable maul off lineout.

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


  1. Ja.
    Jp lost two passes earlier
    But made up for it with that tackle .
    The niggle after was silly.

    JF is still very rusty.
    JdV -i have said all I’m going to say
    Lambie -well protected -had a fair go
    but …
    Willies Le roux made me see a running Springbok again.
    I would like to see him have 20 min as fly half.
    Habana is a class act.
    Fourie de Preez is just sheer class

    they had a perfect platform provided by
    A fantastic forward effort led by Bakkies.

    The discipline and blatant slowing down
    was picked up by the French media
    as the fact that the scots dropped plenty.

    The French will front up.
    They will niggle.
    They have got hands.
    They have a back line that can run like willie.
    They will try turn as around
    and open the play.
    Tecnically they are sound
    and they can play the ref.

    I sincerely hope
    The Bokke can stuff them
    And make my Christmas .

  2. Did anybody felt Fourie was a bid slow in this game?

    Look he is a class act but felt the last few games he miss some rucks and sometimes take too long to give us the fast second and third phase ball.

    Still the best by far we have, his kicking was on the spot again tonight

  3. Duiwel:

    Why not see Messerschmitt-Willie @ flyhalf for a spell?
    Maybe don’t show it, just practice a bit in training then pull it out when going up against a challenging team that is all set for the kicking/positional game.
    I like the idea of Willie & The Goose offering this option. I think 15 is a better spot for The Goose given the injuries he has had.

    Hopefully CHEETAHS can pick up the “Shifty Gypsy ” Paul Jordaan – I’d love to see him in the mix with the SunKing.

  4. Hey Duiwel –
    Ya know who is the next non-Bok I’m gonna be pimping to get a shot?
    It’s a forward & his name is……
    Ludwig de Jagr.
    Yep. That’s who. I just have to get going on a nickname is all….

  5. @Jacques(Bunny):

    I agree, du Preez is mixing the sublime with the quite ordinary. I think he is still not fully up to speed, same with Jaque Fourie. It must dull the senses a bit relaxing in the Japanese league.

    But Fourie is miles ahead of any other scrumhalf playing in SA, by a long shot.

  6. The Boks played well, apart from the All Blacks I don’t see anyone beating them. Hats of to Heyneke and his staff, especially Van Graan with the way he changed the mauls to swing away from the contact point. They were impossible to defend and gave the Boks 2 tries.

    Bakkies is past it, his general play is not wat it was in his prime and he was clearly out of it by half time. He also went off his feet at just about every ruck. He is still a legend though.

    Who would want to take the ball up with Alberts and Vermeulen charging in for tackles? Hulle het weer ‘n paar manne terug in hulle ma’s in getackle.

    And of course Willie le Roux, what a joy to watch a young man play the game with such adventure.

  7. Americano
    Ja-Willie can run.
    Willie can step.
    Its great to see.
    His defence in a 80 min game
    with the Bokke on the backfoot
    Is still questionable IMO .
    So is his kicking for touch.
    No disrespect.
    I do believe that once he has taken a big hit…
    But I would still love to see what he is capable of
    At 10.

    The forwards is not going to get better
    I watched the.game twice
    and Bakkies contribution was enormous.
    He was present on defence everywhere .

    Fdp took a little gap and a quick pass was lost…
    try went begging.
    I think that if JP hands were there early
    we could have had a few more early
    leading to who knows.
    He compensated with a fine pickup for his try
    a great try
    over compensated with that niggle.

    I thought that although the scots were up for it
    the Bokke should have been more comfortable
    in their play.

    I noticed that many Bokke was giving ref lip
    for no apparent reason.
    We should not cross the line into
    trying to intimidate refs -that will only lead to tears.
    Leave the talking to the captain.

    As for our blatant slowing down and
    unnecessary niggle off the ball-
    This will cost is the big games
    and the close ones.

    As opposed to wanting to Donner the oppo
    for playing hard-just play harder!
    Leave the attitude in the dressing room
    and play the game.
    Why chose to play with 14 men?

    better sides will take advantage off our
    Inability to stay cool
    and punish us with points for
    The basics,rolling away/holding on.

    Our centre pairing brings in my honest opinion
    only defence organization –
    Which is understandable because they’ve played together
    since the Boer war.
    On attack they are one dimensional,
    predictable and easy to read .
    Their handling skills are below par and
    that contributes to a stagnant lbackline on attack.

    Everyone kicks for up and under
    as opposed to feeding the ball to the wing
    For that selfsame reason.
    If out centre paint fancied acc themselves more
    with effective,skilled attacking play
    our game will improve by ten points a match.

    Fdp is light years ahead of any 9 in SA
    Pienaar is uninspiring-a great talent but
    almost unnoticeable in attack.
    i wish kockotts the best in france.
    I watched him play here and he was great this season
    but I will go with Fdp.

    Lambie must take a leaf out of wilkinson a book
    and work his kicking out.
    at some stage he must start leaving his mark on the game.
    He is gaining caps,
    But like pienaar
    running the risk of playing under his potential.
    Like a gaffie confidence thing.
    Sort it out.

    Bismarck needs to work his LO.
    Its unacceptable.
    His primary role is not loose forward
    Bur hooker.
    Coenie looked ok -the French will test our
    front three and indeed our line out
    If the stifle our possession
    I’m afraid the frustration will get the better of is
    and they will capitalize immediately with points.