The Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer made just two changes as he named a familiar side to take on the Argentinians. Having suffered defeat earlier in the year, a battle to finish at least third at the World Cup and on the official rankings Meyer was quick to replace Fourie du Preez with Ruan Pienaar and Rudy Paige was added to the bench. Victor Matfield comes into the stating line up and is handed the arm band. He swaps with Lood de jager. I see the value in the side winning this game to end the side’s year on a high. What is telling is in the bigger scope of thing Meyer has sent messages of a lack of trust, belief and courage to not only make changes but to believe in the abilities of the players.
I am in awe as the World Cup and the potential end of some careers and players like Siya Kolisi , Lwazi Mvovo and are not trusted. In some way Meyer is sending a different message. You are not good enough and you were a selection that was forced upon. It really is sad and while he has already secured a four year deal, well reportedly he has shown stubbornness, blindness and continues to not only make his position fragile among the fans. Meyer states that ringing the changes would be a lack of respect to the jersey. So the other Springboks are not worth the honor of donning the jersey?
Meyer is a loyalist and will be going all out for bronze. It will be a result, if he wins that will make his win percentage even better but in perspective it will be another dry and unsuccessful four years. Something is wwrong in the South African system and maybe it is time to look else where. It has been a poor habit of ours but if the coach only trusts 16-20 players only in a squad of 30 or better yet in five franchises there is a problem.
We wish the Springboks all the best and may they prevail. A second loss to the Pumas would bring mixed emotions, however it is important to note the mental state of the players that have lost a semi final earlier in the week. It would have made sense to start with players who have had little game time but will be motivated to get some minutes but to also prove a point. Meyer knows best, he is a national coach anyway.
Springbok team to play Argentina:
Springboks – 15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Victor Matfield (c), 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Beast Mtawarira.
Subs: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Jannie du Plessis, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein.