Heyneke clear on Paris team

November 18, 2013
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MeyerSpringbok coach Heyneke Meyer says he has been clear on the team that will take the field in the final Test of the tour against France in Paris next Saturday and nothing that happened at Murrayfield on Sunday has changed his mind.

By: Gavin Rich – SuperSport

According to the supersport.com website, Meyer, chuffed with his team’s comprehensive 28-0 win over Scotland, reminded the media at the post-match press conference that he is a man who does a lot of planning, and that he had been clear when the team departed from South Africa on the selections he would make for each game.

“I do a lot of planning and I am clear in my mind what I want. What is important is that the players also know where they stand, and they are a great bunch of guys who have accepted rotation selections where they are necessary,” said Meyer.

Three players came off with varying injury problems, with Frans Malherbe being the most serious. The prop was helped from the field in the first half and was replaced by Coenie Oosthuizen, who scored the fourth try against a Scotland team that was outplayed initially but stuck gamely to its guns in the second half.

“The news on Frans is not so great as he has a suspected rib cartilage injury and that means the chances aren’t great that he will be able to play in Paris next week,” said Meyer.

However the young Western Province player appears to be the only major injury concern, with loose-forwards Francois Louw and Willem Alberts both likely to start the week under a little doubt but expected to be ready for the weekend. Louw was stretchered from the field later in the game with a neck injury, but Meyer said it was only precautionary.

“Francois was put on a stretcher as a precaution, but I am told he will be fine. Obviously he will still have to be monitored closely. In Willem’s case we are concerned about his shoulder and as you know he was doubtful for this game, and we brought him off early to protect that injury. He should also be fine for Paris.”

Meyer was understandably pleased with his team’s emphatic performance in conditions that he welcomed given that he wants his players tested ahead of the World Cup to be played in the northern autumn of 2015.

“We will take four tries to nil in a test match any day of the week and I thought we produced a good performance in this match,” he said.

“We knew what to expect from Scotland. They are physical and hard, and we knew they would have worked at halting our driving, so I must give credit to Johan van Graan, the forward coach, for the way changed our drive set-ups.

“The lineout was another area we worked hard on, and it paid off with our performance in that phase in the first half. I thought Bakkies Botha was awesome in that sphere of the game. Unfortunately we didn’t get much ball from the lineouts later in the game when it was wet, which was frustrating. But we played well when we needed to. We wanted to put pressure on them early because we expected it to rain in the second half.”

The win takes the Boks to a nine win in 11 start synopsis for the year, and 12 wins in the last 14 matches, and Meyer said he would love to complete the year with just the two losses to the All Blacks as the only blemishes on his team’s record since the start of the last November tour.

“If we win in Paris it will give us an 80 percent plus record for the year, and there has not been many occasions when the Boks have managed that in the post-isolation era, so I will be very happy with that. The good thing is that it is a happy squad, and I think the character and team spirit was shown again in the last few minutes when we did a lot of defending.

“I wanted to work on our defence, and the fact that we kept the Scots to no points is pleasing. We have now scored seven tries on this tour and the opposition hasn’t crossed our line. That is a tribute to both our organisation and our attitude.”

Scotland coach Scot Johnson admitted that his team had been outplayed from the first whistle, when the Boks carried the ball through several phases in a hand to hand build-up that lasted for nearly three minutes.

“It was two different teams to the ones that played against each other in Nelspruit earlier in the year, and the Springboks have obviously grown during the course of the Rugby Championship, whereas we are really only at the start of our season now,” said Johnson.

“They were secure from the first minute onwards. I think we showed that when we were able to keep possession we could hold them, but they are a very skillful try. They showed that skill by scoring off turn-over ball from 60 metres. They are also a fine mauling team, and you don’t have to be a rugby rocket scientist to know that is one of their massive strengths.

“We had some lineout issues in the first half, and that put us under heaps of pressure. I told the guys at halftime that we had dug ourselves into a big hole and we needed to dig ourselves out. The Boks did score quite early in the second half but I thought generally we were a lot better in the second 40 so I suppose you could say we dug quite well. For us it is a learning experience and I thought we learned a lot out there.”

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7 Comments

  1. avatar Americano says:
    November 18th, 2013 at 2:13 am

    Hopefully this clarity consists of Etzbeth being paired with PTSD ( I think that is a more menacing moniker for him ).

    Have not seen the dis-assembly of the Scots yet but what to do with Jacque Fourie?
    Reports are that he has lead in his ass compared to earlier form. Is he still a twinkle in Zee Meyer’s eye?
    Will this make Zee look differently upon the return of big vic into the side & encourage him to blood de Jagr?

    Only Aldo really knows I suppose…..

  2. avatar Craven says:
    November 18th, 2013 at 7:38 am

    Bakkies was good in the line-out, but I was not that impressed with him in general play. He was adequate, but not much more. His much vaunted French league form was not evident in the game. In his last ten minutes you could also see he was well past it and looked tired.

    While he might add value in the Northern Hemisphere, he will be completely lost in the Championship with the pace of some of the games in that tournament. Maybe back-up for Eben yes, but not much more than that.

    Must admit I was surprised with Coenie, scrummed well and his general play was also good.

  3. avatar Craven says:
    November 18th, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Seeing that Heyneke was quite clear that wanted to use this tour to see which of his players to continue with towards 2015, I think we can start speculating on which players will be going forward next year and which players might not.

    15. With Willie really stepping up in his general play with regards to defence and kicking and his play under the high ball, he is definitely a keeper. Also brings some attacking influence not evident in some of the other fullback options. With Frans Steyn obviously also in the mix through his Bok contract, I do feel we are well covered at 15 (Lambie can also cover). There is no need to pay the airfare for flying Zane in from Europe to come play for the Boks anymore. THanks for everything you have done Zane, but you do not add anything we cannot get from the guys mentioned above.

    14. JP looks like he will regain his previous form with a season in Superugby, definitely a keeper.

    13. Jaque still a bit off the pace fro me personally. His defence is very good though, so worth keeping around. Still a class act. JJ proved in the Championship that he can play at this level, so also someone to keep.

    12. JdV playing some of the better rugby of his career, if he can keep fit and in form definitely one to keep, needs some proper management going forward though. Are you listening Allister?? Jan did not play on this tour so far.

    11. King Bryan, I would fly him in even he went and played in some league on Mars. The best wing we have.

    10. Morne, we do not really have anyone better that is threatening him. Pat did well, but not spectacular. Is not offering much more than Morne at the moment, so rather keep the unerring boot and combinations with du Preez and de Villiers going. Hopefully we get see JOhan Goossen injury free next year.

    9. Fourie is the man. Definitely the main guy going forward. Back-up? At the moment it is Ruan. Will have to see about that going forward I think.

    8. Duane by far. It is concerning that we have no 8′s pushing him at the moment, but he has grown immensely over the two seasons with Heyneke’s squad, can’t see anyone in the near future dethroning him.

    7. Willem is just so good in the Northern Hemisphere, no question that he first choice. Second choice is a bit harder than I thought it would be. Siya and Marcel have done well when given a chance and with Siya getting a Bok contract, he is obviously part of the plans, but from what I saw earlier this year, I think the bteer option will actually be Arno Botha. He can also cover for Duane.

    6. No-one on the horizon to provide back-up for Francois Louw. He is just miles ahead of the other SA number 6′s playing in SA. Brussow would obviously be an option, but it seems Heyneke is allergic to the man for some reason.

    5. Flip has done enough to ensure he is part of the plans in (some capacity) going forward I feel. But we are still short on number 5′s. PSDT did not get any meaningful gametime, but he must be in the mix surely?

    4. Eben have made this position his own. Will be interesting to see if Heyneke reckons Bakkies has done enough to remain in the mix.

    3. Frans did a decent enough scrumming job, but obviously needs more game time in this front row to grow. In general play he was very good though. Saw he was one of the top guys on the tackle count against Wales, so all in all not bad. Hopefully we will see Adriaanse have a go against the French. Coenie impressed me against the Scots, so I would keep him in the squad as a sub, maybe more at loosehead though.

    2. Bismarck and Strauss, no question.

    1. Beast to stay, but Guthro seems to have lost something since his move to France. Definitely not the same player he was. I think we need to find another prop to go forward. Hopefully Nyakane have sttled down and sorted his discipline issues, or then maybe Steven Kitshoff. The kid has stood up to all tighthead props in SA at some stage during the year and have done very well.

  4. avatar Boertjie says:
    November 18th, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    @Craven:

    Must agree.
    Bakkies disappointed me and he will not improve
    with age any more.

    Steenkamp impressed with is tackle rate – back to
    what it was two year ago.

    Let’s hope a few more hands go up in the SS comp:
    loosies and a guy like De Jager (Cheetahs).

    As for the Frogs:
    No mate, none of the fringe guys will get to play.
    HM will select his very best team.
    Can use 2014′s June window for experiments.

  5. avatar Boertjie says:
    November 18th, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    ON BAKKIES:

    “Dit was ‘n beplande risiko om hom terug te bring en ek het genoeg gesien om my te oortuig dat hy op hierdie vlak hoort. Ek glo hy kan ‘n rol speel in hierdie oefengroep. Dit gaan om ‘n sterk groep te bou en ek glo werklik dat dit die sterkste groep is waarmee ek nóg gewerk het.”

  6. avatar Duiwel says:
    November 18th, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    Ja.
    Oudste, i noticed him on defence
    Out of position
    To cover several times
    The line out was sound until bismarks blank volley.
    The attitude of tje forwards was largely due to him
    if not almost overdone.
    The respect we received in the loose
    As opposed to niggling
    was due to his doing.
    He has won just about everything around
    and will probably be the last man standing.
    His hands were good
    and his slipped tackles less than average
    As per Bok team
    Notably in our centre pairing.
    I think he has developed to hang onto the ball
    A fraction too long
    But as opposed to JF,JDV he brings more
    Than their combined weight in a game

  7. avatar Duiwel says:
    November 18th, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    In fact JF looked as if playing
    at int. level flipped him a bit.

    There is no point to have an issue
    With SAPlayers in France.
    Out of All the countries i would
    as coach,prefer to call my players to come play for home
    Would be here.
    They swing the ball and develope hands
    As for anyone considering a career move like kockott ,
    By far — yes.
    Varied culture
    by a tolerant people
    into which one can integrate quite easily
    At club level in the southwest of France
    You could almost be in Durban-without all the kak.

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