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Kriel exclusion unexplainable

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By: Benedict Chanakira

 

 

The Springbok squad for the first five games of the year was announced. The journey to a spot on the plane come 11 September has begun for the select few.

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A couple players have been cut from the five Super Rugby squads to the current 49 players. Not all fans will ever agree or be happy with a springbok squad so it’s nothing new for all of us to make rumblings and noises.

There are five games only for the squad to prepare before they venture off to England to try win a third World Cup. The selection of the entire Stormers front row is cause for celebration considering their mastery and dominance in all acts of the tight. Their scrum was unmatched and any of the props will do the job with aplomb.

Shocks where on the cards and Meyer managed to ignore the form of Jaco Kriel, Ruan Combrinck and Francois Hougaard who played well in the Super Rugby compared to some players that got the nod.

Like every coach Meyer will be judged solely by his picks and it’s to be seen how he fares come the end of the Rugby World Cup. It is quite a surprise to see the multi-dimensional, explosive and quick Jaco Kriel missing.

He is possibly the biggest shock considering he was up there as one of the best loose forwards not just in South Africa but also in the entire competition. While many may argue if he was better than the current incumbents, he was well ahead of them: Willem Alberts, Teboho Mahoje, Marcel Coetzee, and Heinrich Brussow.
Who would I sacrifice? Mahoje, Brussow, Coetzee or Kolisi could find themselves omitted just so the Kriel-factor is involved.

Why? Kriel topped the turnover count in the country and third in the competition, a competent tackler and when in possession of the ball in hand has managed to make some serious yardage. It is a pity such a player is surplus to requirements in the South African squad. We take reputation over form, this is something that can kill a side. It has seen some notable omission in the form of Pierre Spies who has been dumped by the Blue Bulls and South Africa.

His omission is understandable and he will be the first to admit he was well below the acceptable level. The career of the man never managed to last long with so much potential falling flat.

Hougaard was the top scoring South African back, showing his finishing prowess and his evasive work. He was stuck on the wing after it was discovered that he was never much of a half-back.

This also saw another in form winger Combrinck miss the cut for the squad. One has to wonder what the thinking was in this selection. An article in the SA Rugby magazine in April 2010 written by Ryan Vrede who was of the thought that the colour of then Blue Bulls winger Gerhard van den Heever could hinder getting higher honours.

Maybe time will tell if such a thought has been in the selectors’ minds. One would have to think even if Kriel and Ruan are not good enough to go to England a spot in the squad as a reward would have sufficed to the men at least.

The notable recall of veterans; Zane Kirchner and Morne Steyn are very much the assurance players that will give a solid display but not provide any dazzling work.
With Morne, I am particularly happy with his selection. After a bizarre start to his Stade François career which included public criticism from the cub officials he managed to step up and lead the side to glory. He is also the most consistent kicker of the ball in the squad considering the other 10’s are a bit inconsistent.

Credit to the rewarding of Faf de Klerk and Elton Jantjes who managed to step up and show their class in a tough competition.

Now that we have rumbled about the squad, whichever XV will be selected for the 11th of July clash will also cause a stir.

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16 COMMENTS

  1. Alberts
    Burger
    Coetzee
    Louw
    Kolisi
    Mohoje
    Whiteley
    Brussow
    Vermeulen

    You can only fit so many loosies into a squad of 31. Kriel would never replace:

    6. Louw/Coetzee
    7. Alberts/Burger
    8. Duane

    Who is likely to go to the RWC.

    If they take 6, which I doubt they would, Whiteley is the guy that will go.

    And even then, Brussow, Oupa, Kolisi are capped Boks.

    Kriel is unlucky not to be included in a squad (49) which effectively means nothing.

  2. @Morné: Valid facts Morne. in would like to ask you a question in the background. I will get Bunny to drop me your email if you dont mind.

  3. The thing though is Morne that out of the players you mentioned

    Kolisi, Coetzee and Alberts have been off form

    Mohoje and Brussouw are injured

    This leaves Burger, Louw, Whiteley, Vermeulem and suddenly we’re looking very thin

    As a mattter of interest Jacques Potgieter is similarly unlucky to my mind.

    Given Kriel’s season excluding him is the same as Piet Helium excluding Morne Steyn from the Lions starting XV in 2009 or White sticking with Jean De Villiers to the exclusion of Bryan Habana in 2005 or the initial 2012 exclusion of Willie Le Roux over Zane Kirchner. You cannot exclude a player who has burst onto the scene as the in form stand out player of the season because “someone else already has a cap” or because he is “unlucky” or “we have many loose forwards”

    Well we may have many good loose forwards but this season he is the best by a country mile. And THAT is why his exclusion is inexplicable.

  4. Oh hell yeah.
    Jacques Potgetier no sooner hobbled off from losing the S15 semi & ending his carrer in Australia to find out that he has no WC to look forward to EVEN AFTER committing to the C-Cells for next year.
    Swigs from a bitter chalice indeed.

    There is no way to tell. I’ll never know the answer but – I reckon that HM still has enough blou residue within him sloshing about that says that if JP signed with ZeeBulls he’d a been on that list.

    How’s that for conspiratorial intrigue BC?
    Surely……. there has to be a more juicy backstory to the absence of Kriel than the one Morne so antiseptically dispatched.

  5. @Morné: Morne that is just bullshit, so if you become a Springbok, and you play shit thereafter you will still get the place above a player who is the best in the position in the country?

    All the excuses everyone is giving me about why Meyer has excluded Kriel is a load of nonsense, non make sense and you can throw as many so called Springboks names in-front of me it will not matter, he was suppose to be in this group, because he was teh best we had this year throughout not just in one or two matches, what did Coetzee and Alberts do this year? Nothing and to say he is young and still have time which allot of people told me over the weekend is as much bullshit as any.

  6. I just feel certain aspects will kill SA Rugby and it will never leave up to its full potential. Kriel would easily start in any other country if it was a matter of form. The only country that would think twice may be Australia which saw him go head to head with Pocock. However for an all round flanker… Kriel was head, shoulders and even torso above all others. Unfortunate but i believe he could be fortunate in an extremist situation!!

  7. @Jacques:

    Okay, so you mean to tell me that Hansen will select Sapoaga or Barrett ahead of Carter who has not been great this year?

    Or select Sam Cane, Vito or Savea ahead of McCaw who was almost non-existent this season?

    Please ninja….

  8. @Morné: Not the same Morne and you know it…our guys was useless and that is given them credit.

    I like Coetzee more than I like any other player and he has been great the last two years but he has been ordinary to poor this year and surely we can not put all of the poor form towards there team they played for?

    Alberts have not played allot, and I am getting quit nervous that we are putting trust in what certain players did a year ago….

    I know we all get upset and on our horses in a WC year, so this is me waiting to see how it unfolds and what Meyer put in as final group for WC, I can give two ticks about the Championships, and he will in any case try his combinations out….

  9. @Jacques:

    Jacques, to be perfectly honest with you, Kriel has been good. But so has Coetsee everythime he’s played for the Boks, the beginning of superrugby he showed how good he is, even in a losing side. I wouldn’t be to harsh on him, he was still class.

    As for the rest, Louw has been brilliant in the NH, where the world cup would be played and also we cant say leave out Alberts and play Kriel, 2 different type of flanks. Bliksem, we have 3 class acts in the 6 position in the Bok squad, there just isnt anymore space. That is the plain and simple fact to Kriel’s ommision from the squad.

  10. @Jacques:

    Of course it is the same.

    You want to count how many games McCaw played this year? Or even in the last 2 years and also take his form into account in those Super Rugby games and tell me that “On Form” he is better than Cane, Vito and even young Savea who is not even in their RWC extended squad?

    Form, in itself, is relative.

    Because your ‘form’ as a player is largely a direct result of the overall team performance, it (your form) can suffer or look bad if your team is having a bad season.

    So important for me when judging form is the context in which you do it.

    Has anyone bothered to look how Kriel compared when up against the best in Super Rugby, the likes of Pocock, Savea, Todd, McCaw, Hooper, Burger, etc? How did he or the Lions do when up against those teams who were there or there about in the top 6 to 8?

  11. @Aldo:

    Really as simple as that.

    Kriel is unlucky, it is a position which is well covered and in which we have proven world class Springboks currently.

    You want to drop the proven pedigree at international test level of Coetzee or Flo because Kriel had an outstanding Super Rugby season? In a World Cup year?

    You’d be out of your fucking mind.

    By all means be pissed he is not in an extended squad from which he will get cut in a month’s time. But then, what is the point in being pissed about the oke not in a squad which actually means nothing?

    Meyer, like Divvy before him, and Jake before him, has had his preferred 31-man squad in his head a year ago already.

    Tell me another thing?

    When last was a player capped at a rugby world cup or even in a RWC year?

    The closest to my mind is Bismarck du Plessis who played off the bench in the 2007 final where he was capped earlier that year in the Tri-Nations against Australia.

  12. Would CJ Stander make this HM team?
    Who would he bump?

    Does HoneyBadgerBrussouw wonder “What did I ever do to HM to make him fool with me so?”

    I have the answer:
    You never lost to the All Blacks & never played for ZeeBulls Heinreich, and frankly….its annoying.

  13. Even thou NZ players were RESTED, they still performed once back in there teams they still the best in there posision with maybe an exception of Carter and who said Carter will get the num ber 1 position?

    As I said I am one of the biggest Coetzee fans but this year he was not there… You got a point Aldo and Morne with Coetzee that even if he had a crap SR he has not disappointed us in a Springbok Jumper and yes you can justify it that way it does not make it right.

    I just do not like the message that is send out to players that even if you had a season like Kriel and Combrink had that you do not get in. Then we want to complain when they move t Europe like Stander and others.

    These fringe players that were involve in Springboks groups have done absolutely nothing to say that they will get better.

    We all knew Meyer will go with his old men and old team, I am just pissed off that even a great performance throughout does not change the mind of Meyer.

    Kriel is what I will call, future Bok, if he can keep this up and how better to have had him with the Boks……

  14. @Jacques:

    How much money you want to put on Carter?

    McCaw was kak this year.

    Read, like Alberts, played half a season.

    They will wear the 7, 8 and 10 jerseys – fact.

    If Kriel is a future Bok, why the hell worry about a squad which is selected for a specific campaign, the RWC?

    The Sharks have the most players in this squad, they were shockingly shit this season. Do you think Kitshoff will be selected ahead of Beast since he had the better season? Or Koch ahead of Jannie?

    Marco Wentzel has statistically been the best 5 lock in Super Rugby, why is he not there?

  15. @Morné: Hehe…..I do not gamble, easy out for me in that one….Is this squad not for the Rugby Championships?

    So only these group can make the WC?

    Then I have read it wrong…..I would have still have Kriel there but maybe I live in a dream world….where I believed the National coach saying if you play well in SR you will be able to make the team….

    Still feel this is wrong but then Meyer will have to stand with what he pick and atleast we do not have shit in those positions and we can go and play our normal game…

  16. @Jacques:

    It is for the Rugby Championship basically as-well, but extended squads have to be submitted to IRB in June for the RWC. Which is why you see all countries doing it.

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