Test Match: France 10, Springboks 19

November 23, 2013
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Stade de France have not been a happy hunting ground for the Springboks for more than 16 years against the French. In fact the last time we won their, against them, was in 1997 at Parc des Prince in 1997.

The French see the Springboks and the All Blacks as a benchmark and it will always lift them when they play at home. One thing we can be sure of is that they will lift their game tonight and their sketchy performance against Tonga last week will have no bearing on this match.

It has been a good year for South Africa with only two loses against the World number one, the All Blacks. The French have played ten test matches and only won two of those matches.

It has not been a great year for France and yet their last Test against New Zealand, when they lost by seven points, was probably their best.
They were clearly up for the game. One thing is for sure, this will be a real test for the Springboks and one that will want dearly to win and end their season on a high.

Recent results:
2010: South Africa won 42-17, Cape Town
2009: France won 20-13, Toulouse
2006: France won 36-26, Cape Town
2005: France won 26-20, Paris
2005: South Africa won 27-13, Port Elizabeth
2005: France and South Africa drew 30-30, Durban
2002: France won 30-10, Marseilles
2001: France won 20-10, Paris
2001: South Africa won 20-15, Durban
2001: France won 32-23, Johannesburg
Teams:
France:
15 Brice Dulin, 14 Sofiane Guitoune, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Yoann Huguet, 10 Rémi Talès, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Wenceslas Lauret, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (captain), 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Pascal Papé, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Yannick Forestier.
Replacements: 16 Dimitri Szarzewski, 17 Thomas Domingo, 18 Rabah Slimani, 19 Sébastien Vahaamahina, 20 Yannick Nyanga, 21 Jean-Marc Doussain, 22 Frédéric Michalak, 23 Mathieu Bastareaud.
South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts , 6 Francois Louw, 5 Flip van der Merwe, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Gurthrö Steenkamp, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Bakkies Botha, 20 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 21 Siya Kolisi, 22 Jano Vermaak, 23 Pat Lambie.
Date: Saturday, 23 November 23
Venue: Stade de France, Paris
Kick-off: 21.00 (20.00 GMT; 22.00 SA time)
Expected weather: Cold. Overcast with a high of 5°C, dropping to 3°C
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), Leighton Hodges (Wales)
TMO: Iain Ramage (Scotland)

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62 Comments

  1. avatar Americano says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 10:24 am

    A case can be made that SA record with “You Know Who” LeRoux
    is still unblemished.
    In Auckland it was ruined by ref & in SA the NZ loss was blurred due to having to chase points vs just win.

  2. avatar DavidS says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    Hoe laat is die game siende dat sekere familie lede dink dis okay okm verlowingspartytjies te organise vir dae wanneer rugby aan is…

  3. avatar Bekke says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    10 uur SA tyd – 8 uur in UK

  4. avatar Methos The French Stormer says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    And i will be there for the game!!!

  5. avatar DavidS says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Geniet Methos. Apparently a Saturday night rugby game in winter is part of a cultural experience in Paris.

  6. avatar Boertjie says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    Reminder:

    The 1997 Boks thrashed them 52-10.
    Slaptjips scored four tries.
    The best Bok team we have fielded in the
    pro era.
    And don’t tell me the Frogs were weak:
    They won the Triple Crown and the Five Nations
    Grand Slam, beating the home unions with big
    scores.

    I’ll love a repeat of the same nature, but
    somehow can’t see it happening.

  7. avatar Duiwel says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    Dis piskoud.
    i cant wait.
    Hope the Bokke are up for it and have a wider plan
    than just boshing it up.

  8. avatar Duiwel says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Between August 1997 and December 1998, under Mallett’s guidance, the Springboks went on a record winning streak of 17 consecutive test wins. As part of the unbeaten run the Springboks won the Tri Nations Series undefeated and beat several teams by record margins, including a 52–10 against France in Paris, a 68–10 win over Scotland in Edinburgh, a 33–0 defeat of Ireland and a 96–13 against Wales. The run ended when the Springbok team was defeated by England at Twickenham at the end of a long tour on 5 December 1998.
    The relationship between Mallet and Gary Teichmann, arguably South Africa’s most successful captain ever, began to sour and Teichman was controversially excluded from the 1999 Rugby World Cup squad. Mallet looked for a new captain, first turning to Corné Krige then Rassie Erasmus, Joost van der Westhuizen and André Vos for a solution. In the end the internal instability in the squad seemed to harm their performance as the squad suffered four consecutive defeats[citation needed] and were finally knocked out of the championship in the semi-final by eventual winners Australia. Despite his team’s poor shape in 1999 they still managed to break more records, beating Italy 101–0 and England in the quarter-final 44–21, with Jannie de Beer kicking a world-record five drop goals in that game.
    In 2000, Mallett accused the South Africa Rugby Football Union (SARFU) of “greed” for selling Tri-Nations championship tickets at inflated prices[citation needed]. He had alienated the SARFU executive, and on 27 September he resigned as national coach at the start of a disciplinary hearing began into allegations that his comments had brought the game into disrepute[citation needed]. Some fans, upset by how he had treated Teichman and his team’s sudden poor performance, were also keen to see him go[citation needed].

  9. avatar Duiwel says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    Between August 1997 and December 1998, under Mallett’s guidance, the Springboks went on a record winning streak of 17 consecutive test wins. As part of the unbeaten run the Springboks won the Tri Nations Series undefeated and beat several teams by record margins, including a 52–10 against France in Paris, a 68–10 win over Scotland in Edinburgh, a 33–0 defeat of Ireland and a 96–13 against Wales. The run ended when the Springbok team was defeated by England at Twickenham at the end of a long tour on 5 December 1998.
    The relationship between Mallet and Gary Teichmann, arguably South Africa’s most successful captain ever, began to sour and Teichman was controversially excluded from the 1999 Rugby World Cup squad. seemed to harm their performance as the squad suffered four consecutive defeats[citation needed] and were finally knocked out of the championship in the semi-final by eventual winners Australia. Despite his team’s poor shape in 1999 they still managed to break more records, beating Italy 101–0 and England in the quarter-final 44–21, with Jannie de Beer kicking a world-record five drop goals in that game.
    In 2000, Mallett accused the South Africa Rugby Football Union (SARFU) of “greed” for selling Tri-Nations championship tickets at inflated prices[citation needed]. He had alienated the SARFU executive, on 27 he resigned as national coach at the start of a disciplinary hearing began into allegations that his comments had brought the game into disrepute[citation needed]. Some fans, upset by how he had treated Teichman and his team’s sudden poor performance, were also keen to see him go[citation needed].

  10. avatar Duiwel says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    In 1993 he was selected for the Springbok tour to Argentina, and in 1994 he was again selected as part of the squad that toured Wales and Scotland. It wasn’t until 2 September 1995 that he played his first full international as a Springbok however. He scored a try in his debut test as the Springboks went on to defeat Wales 40–11 at Ellis Park.
    After playing only 6 test matches for the Springboks Teichmann was appointed as captain of the squad in 1996, and went on to become one of South Africa’s most successful captains ever. He captained the Springboks in 39 tests between 1996 and 1999 with 27 of those (72%) ending in victory. The Springboks, with Teichmann at the helm, were considered by many the greatest South African team in history.
    Between 1997 and 1998 the Springboks went on a record winning streak of 17 consecutive test matches. As part of their unbeaten run they won the 1998 Tri Nations Series undefeated, beating both Australia and New Zealand away from home. They kicked off the feat with a record dismantling of Australia to win 61–22 at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria and ended with a defeat against England at Twickenham at the end of a long tour.
    A list of record victories during that period includes:
    23 July 1997 South Africa 61–22 Australia at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
    22 November 1997 South Africa 52–10 France at Parc des Princes, Paris
    6 December 1997 South Africa 68–10 Scotland at Murrayfield, Edinburgh
    27 July 1998 South Africa 96–13 Wales at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria

  11. avatar Duiwel says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    Oom D,
    dont believe it

  12. avatar Duiwel says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    More than 15 years have passed since the Springboks last beat the French in France, so nobody should underestimate the task Heyneke Meyer’s team face as they look to end a successful year as the undisputed number two side in the world, behind the All Blacks. By KEN BORLAND.

    While South Africa have lost only two of their 11 Tests this year, both defeats coming at the hands of New Zealand, France have endured a miserable 2013 in which they have suffered the reverse record, winning just twice in 10 games.

    But they are a much better side than that, as they showed in pushing the All Blacks hard before going down 19-26 two weeks ago at the Stade de France.

    Nothing gets the French team’s blood going more than the prospect of taking on the All Blacks or Springboks, and Meyer’s side can expect a torrid evening.

    They’re going to have to get stuck in on a freezing Paris night against a French pack that is formidable and boasts some real stars in front-rowers Dimitri Szarzewski and Nicolas Mas, lock Pascal Pape and flanks Thierry Dusautoir and Yannick Nyanga.

    The French will not be holding back as they look to defend their proud home record against the Springboks, and anyone with a knowledge of rugby in France will know that the passions are often inflamed to such an extent that the line between physicality and dirty play is crossed.

    South Africa certainly have the physicality to match the French and they will want to be the more composed, accurate side on Saturday night. And they will back themselves to win the tactical kicking battle with Morne Steyn back at flyhalf, scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar also having a strong boot and Bryan Habana, JP Pietersen and Willie le Roux all well-versed in the importance of the territory game.

    The lineouts and scrums will also be key factors and the Springboks will want to perform like they did in the lineout in the first half against Scotland, and not as they did after the break when Bismarck du Plessis struggled with his throwing.

    The scrum is an area where France are particularly strong and there will be plenty of pressure on Coenie Oosthuizen, starting for the first time at tighthead, a position not everyone is convinced he should be playing.

    South Africa’s loose trio of Louw, Alberts and Vermeulen have been immense this year, operating like a pack of dogs as they harass the opposition defensively and gain plenty of momentum on attack.

    Fourie du Preez’s arrangement to return home from the tour has provided Pienaar with another start and the expected dogfight should suit his style of play. His slow service might not be as much of a handicap, while his boot and defensive prowess are definite positives.

    While his strategy will definitely be to subdue the French up front first, Meyer will still want his side to use good attacking ball in clinical fashion, and his selection of Le Roux at fullback shows that he recognises how tries can make all the difference in a tight game. New Zealand only saw off the French thanks to two moments of magic by wing Charles Piutau that led to tries.

    Captain Jean de Villiers will have to drag his battered body out on to the field for one more huge defensive test as French centres Wesley Fofana and Mathieu Bastereaud are a potent threat.

    Meyer has long been a spokesman for structured, tactical rugby and, against a French team that thrives on emotion and playing off-the-cuff, it could be just the game plan to frustrate and derail the home team. DM

  13. avatar Duiwel says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    Paris (AFP) – France are bracing themselves for a physical battle when they face South Africa in Paris on Saturday.

    The Springboks come into the match at the Stade de France having never beaten their hosts in that stadium but having only been bettered in terms of form in 2013 by world champions New Zealand.

    South Africa have won nine out of 11 tests this calendar year and, including last November’s internationals, have triumphed in 12 out of their last 14.

    But having run the All Blacks close two weeks ago in a 26-19 reverse, France are feeling confident in their capacity to build on last week’s 38-18 success over Tonga.

    “It’s our last match of the year. We’re aware that if we put in a good performance it will have been a successful test series whereas if we lose we will once again be under pressure,” said former captain and lock Pascal Pape.

    “There’s a lot of pressure on us but it’s not necessarily negative.”

    France have nonetheless suffered a miserable year results-wise. The Tonga success in Le Havre was only their second win in 10 matches in 2013 but Pape believes their confidence is coming back.

    “There’s lots of things that are better, that’s for sure,” he added.

    “Against Tonga we won and that was the priority but that’s not a reference for success.

    “On Saturday we have the possibility to finish the November series in the best possible way by beating the second-best team in the world. And we know that whatever happens, they’re heavyweights, very physical, it will be a huge battle.”

    For France, this season has seen them beat only Scotland and Tonga, ranked ninth and 12th in the world, and draw with seventh-placed Ireland.

    They have lost four times to top-ranked New Zealand while also failing against England (third), Wales (sixth) and Italy (11th).

    It is hardly the sequence to instill confidence in a team and yet they have beaten South Africa on the Springboks’ last two visits to Paris.

    Pape admits it’s hard to explain.

    “I don’t know… It’s a little bit a part of the culture,” he said.

    “Every time we play against supposedly stronger countries, we perform better.

    “Subconsciously, these are teams where you know it’s going to be hard. Sometimes playing with fear allows you to surpass yourselves.”

    South Africa’s forward charge is being masterminded by former France international Pieter de Villiers.

    The 41-year-old former prop knows all about French scrummaging having spent 14 years at Stade Francais while representing Les Bleus on 69 occasions.

    And now he is planning the French pack’s downfall as forwards coach for South Africa, the land of his birth.

    “France was a great scrummaging school for me,” said De Villiers.

    “What’s vital is to say that every scrum is important, every scrum is different and every time you have to start from zero again.

    “I saw and experienced a lot of that in France.

    “It’s going to be a rough battle, France have got huge pride in their pack but we’ve also worked hard and made a lot of progress.”

    While the main challenge may be up front, France have made an interesting selection in the backline where Perpignan wing Sofiane Guitoune keeps his place ahead of Maxime Medard, having scored on his debut against Tonga.

    Otherwise coach Philippe Saint-Andre has plumped for the same side that kept the All Blacks honest.

    It means Morgan Parra and Remi Tales will start as the half-back pairing for the third match in a row, only the second time Saint-Andre has kept that crucial pairing for such a long period.

    For their part South Africa have welcomed back Tendai Mtawarira, Bismarck du Plessis, Eben Etzebeth and Morne Steyn to the team that crunched Scotland 28-0 last week.

    South Africa have won 21 of 38 tests against France with Les Bleus claiming 11 victories and six matches ending in draws.
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  14. avatar Duiwel says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    We have never beaten them at this venue.
    Tonight this Springbok side can make History.
    And my Christmas

  15. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    Brilliant start from boks

  16. avatar Tafelberg says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    Fra 0 – SA 7 3min Try Pietersen

  17. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    Boks defence holding on, Coenie struggeling in scrum

  18. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    Boks on top with kicking game

  19. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    Bakkie blow some kisses for the frogs :)

  20. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    Morne kick penalty and extend Bokke lead to 10-0

  21. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    Boks just look the better team all over, Frogs do look dangerouse in lose play but our defence holds firm and we tackle them back

  22. avatar Americano says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    13-0 !

  23. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    Morne extend lead by 13-0

  24. avatar Americano says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    Ugggh.

  25. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    Try france from mess up from boks in ruck

  26. avatar Boertjie says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    Boks had one promising attacking move
    in the half, got the PK.
    Anybody’s game still.

  27. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    Boks all over Frogs but let them back in with bad mistake. Although i think Frog player on the ground touch ball before the scored in the corner

  28. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    Our lineouts is not good, bismarck again not finding his jumpers

  29. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    Jean breaks through and gives to Jacque and score, still do not know why some people say Jean is not the best we have

  30. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    Bullshit Scot TMO screw us

  31. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    Boks are brilliant in the tackles taking the Frogs back in almost every tackle

  32. avatar Americano says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    Great Messerschmitt high ball take

  33. avatar Americano says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    Was that another magical moment by the Messerschmitt in the opponents 22?

  34. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    Morne exstend lead to 16-7

  35. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    Stupid again from Flo

  36. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    Lambie kick over and Bokke lead 19-10

  37. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    November 24th, 2013 at 12:00 am

    Springboks deserve win and only lost two test this year, great year for HM and his charges.

  38. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    November 24th, 2013 at 12:02 am

    Alot to work on for HM we were bad in the lineouts and the scrums tonight but all things we can work on, our defence was brilliant and at one stage the Frogs looked scared to take the ball.

    Enjoyed this one

  39. avatar out wide says:
    November 24th, 2013 at 12:08 am

    Steady on Bunny, a great year is when you go unbeaten. This side has lost 2 games including one at home at altitude. So good yes, but great no,

    Didn’t see the game. How did Coenie do? It sounded from what I read and heard that despite fears he might struggle the scrums were ok? It seemed lineouts rather than scrums were our weak point?

  40. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    November 24th, 2013 at 12:09 am

    One of the best crush tackles from a Bok team i saw in a long time

  41. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    November 24th, 2013 at 12:12 am

    @out wide: we only lost against World number one everyone is far behind them.

    Coenie was ok but he struggled in the scrums like i predicted, he is a great player but i believe he is not the best we have.

    Many disagree with me but that is just because Coenie is great in the lose play but his first job is in the scrums and he battled in my view

  42. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    November 24th, 2013 at 12:15 am

    Winning last 13 games out of 15 any other country will be overjoyed with that

  43. avatar Americano says:
    November 24th, 2013 at 12:15 am

    Excellent year. The only 2 losses were asteriks in my opinion due to ref & the 2nd having to chase the game & put in a festival rugby performance against the ABs – not gonna happen & still secure win.
    So those 2 aside SA is undefeated with You Know Who in the mix.
    2014 looks to continue this momentum.

  44. avatar out wide says:
    November 24th, 2013 at 12:19 am

    Too bad about the Bok scrums but the French pride themselves in their scrum work and it takes a damn good scrum to get the better of them. What is going on in the lineouts then? In the Matfield days that was our strength. It cannot be as simple as Bismarck being unable to throw the ball in properly. Lineouts are a more complex thing than that nowadays.

    Scrums, lineouts? If we cannot master the setpieces we are in trouble or am I reading too much into criticism of the Bok scrums and lineouts?

  45. avatar out wide says:
    November 24th, 2013 at 12:22 am

    @Americano: You and Bunny will have Danie Craven rolling in his grave. You would not have had the great man settling for anything less than 100% and there would have been no excuses and papering over defects from him.

  46. avatar Bekke says:
    November 24th, 2013 at 12:24 am

    Alberts and Vermeulen were good – rest looked tired. Coenie was good in scrums, on crap pitch against cheating frogs. Louw seems to be in the YC habit now. And may we all hope that the Ruan Pienaar experiment is over for now. Enjoy the rest Bokke (apart from half the team immediately going back to their European paymasters, and Jean playing a stupid Barbarian game).

  47. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    November 24th, 2013 at 12:26 am

    Even Nick said people should be proud of what this team have achieve this past year. i wil stick with him

  48. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    November 24th, 2013 at 12:29 am

    @Bekke: good in scrums?

    For me a prop good in scrums move forward and not backwards, only one scrum we were over Frogs, coenie scrummed in all the time and can be lucky not to have more penalties against him.

    I am sorry i played my whole life in the scrums and he is not the answer for us, impact player maybe but he is not Bok quality

  49. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    November 24th, 2013 at 12:30 am

    @out wide: :)

  50. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    November 24th, 2013 at 12:30 am

    Well that me till tomorrow

  51. avatar Boertjie says:
    November 24th, 2013 at 12:38 am

    Coenie was good. Stood up in scrums on a field
    that is fit for u.11′s playing barefoot.

    Lost two BduP lineouts – at that point 5 of his
    last 5 – and two after Adriaan came on.

    Boks won the only TH.

    I can’t see us carrying on with Pienaar.
    Bakkies full of oomph, Etzebeth great before
    his injury.

    WHAT DOES THE LAW SAY?
    In your own in goal the defender just has to
    TOUCH the ball, no downward pressure? Only guy
    with pressure was Louw.

    Ball from Steyn to JdeV went flat IMO.

    Studio reckons YC for Louw was ridiculous.

    I gathered Alberts was the MoM.

  52. avatar Bekke says:
    November 24th, 2013 at 12:38 am

    Bunny, where in world rugby today will you find a tight head or loose head going forward consistently? He was solid, on pitch where it was near impossible. For that alone he should get 8/10

  53. avatar out wide says:
    November 24th, 2013 at 12:40 am

    @Bekke: Just Jean? I thought there were 9 Boks joining 8 AB’s plus a handful of Pumas in the Ba-baas side to play Fiji? People here are looking forward to Fiji’s celebration game. A lot of interest here to see how Schalk goes, he is still rated highly amongst the rugby fraternity.

    Is it a general opinion in SA that this game is “stupid”? That is not the general opinion in NZ where it is still viewed as an honour and a great opportunity to express yourself to play for them. Not to mention payback time – unlike other games, the players get to receive a big proportion of the gate takings which will be plenty in Rands terms.

  54. avatar Bekke says:
    November 24th, 2013 at 12:49 am

    Outwide, in general I support these old “traditional” games. However, in Jean’s case I think it is just stupid. The guy is not young and was played into the ground the last 2 years. If he really needs the money, SARU should give him the cash and let him rest an extra week.

  55. avatar Duiwel says:
    November 24th, 2013 at 12:49 am

    Tonight is for celebration.
    The rest is for tomorrow.

    A big thank you to one and every Bok
    Who came on and played his best
    on a poor ,poor pitch.

    Mooi so Bokke.
    Thank you for every yard.
    May it be remembered equally
    A year for a yard.
    Well done.

  56. avatar out wide says:
    November 24th, 2013 at 12:54 am

    @Duiwel: Well said Duiwel, no mean feat to beat the French in France. What is it since we last did this? 16 years?
    The boys did well tonight despite some imperfections in the setpieces I gather.

  57. avatar out wide says:
    November 24th, 2013 at 1:00 am

    @Bekke: Ok I am with you,but I guess a lot of people think he is playing the best rugby of his career at the moment and want to see him in a free-flowing game. But you are right, the poor bugger deserves a long rest.

  58. avatar Boertjie says:
    November 24th, 2013 at 1:22 am

    @Bekke:

    Agree on Jean.

  59. avatar biltongbek says:
    November 24th, 2013 at 1:29 am

    Well done to Meyer on a very good season.

    Just do me one favour, keep Richie Gray as consultant, he has proven his worth.

    Oh, one more thing, can we now please leave Ruan in Peace?

  60. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    November 24th, 2013 at 1:48 am

    Must say both hookers made a mess of the lineouts, don’t know if it was a communication problem with the locks or just them not being up to their normal high standards.

  61. avatar DavidS says:
    November 25th, 2013 at 4:12 am

    @Jacques(Bunny):

    We should not be. We should be looking at it as a second best year and therefore acceptable but not great. We underlined our spot as #2… which is not really good enough for the Bokke…

  62. avatar Craven says:
    November 25th, 2013 at 7:34 am

    @DavidS:

    David, while I agree with the sentiment, I would like to know when, in the professional era (1996 – 2013) have we had a great season?

    We keep getting told that we should be the best, but based on what evidence do we make these claims? We are told we should not get carried away with a season that produced wins in places we have traditionally not won, and where we only lost against the undisputed number one team in world rugby.

    If we look at the results post 1995 we have a good season in 1998 (11 from 12 wins) which stands out as better than the current one. That is it, in 17 years we have one statistically better season.

    I have also heard folks mention 2009, although in 2009 we lost 4 out of 14 tests. Yes we beat the ABs, but lost against Australia in Brisbane (something the 2013 team got right) and lost against France and Ireland (again the 2013 team beat France for the first time since way back when). If we are happy with beating the ABs consistently but losing to other teams ranked below us, then I have to distance myself from folks reckoning that was a great season.

    So, all in all, we have one “great” year in 17 seasons, and yet we have a go at every Bok coach and are disappointed that we do not take our place as the best in world rugby. ON what do we base these delusions of grandeur?

    I think Heyneke Meyer has done exceptionally well with the current squad compared to all that went before him. Yes Peter de Villiers managed some wins against the ABs, but then proceeded to lose other tests we should be expected to win.

    SO congrats Heyneke, Jean and team. Enjoy the success of this year and continue the upwards trend since last year.

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