Nabetragting – Newlands test


It normally takes a few days for anything to sink into my think skins and after a few days and watching the Newlands test three times over I realized that we do not have that much to be happy about apart from that players have given their all but still came up short.

Here is my ” Nabetragting”

Maybe it was the fact that the All Blacks did not put 50 points yet again pass us maybe it was the fact that we actually saw a Springbok side playing out of their skins for once in a Springbok jumper, but after a day or two one have to look at the Newlands test with the same perspective as we would look at a playoff test in the World Cup, we were still not good enough.

Let’s be honest it was a surprise and actually nice to see the passion and pride of those Boks on the field at Newlands. For once we have actually had players who played out of their skins putting everything on the line, but is that not what they suppose to do every time they pull that jersey over their head?

Was the previous three test not important enough to do the same?

Let’s face the facts, the Aussies have put one of the most inexperience and most properly their worst team to paper this Rugby Championship and to play to a draw against this Aussie sides was an embarrassment to say the least.

The Bloemfontein test was as poor as any of the mediocre test they played under Coetzee in 2016 not even going to the All Blacks test in Albany.

After the Rugby Championship we ended up 5th in the world on the rankings with New Zealand, England Australia and Ireland all higher ranked that the Springboks.

This is just not good enough and Coetzee can spin his story that the team has only been together since June but that is the worst BS you will hear all year.

Coetzee had the whole of 2016 which he choose to select players who was not on form. His gameplan came out of the 1900 and his management team had less experience than my bothers 4 year old twins.

This year, although early indications looked like he will pick players on form, went south very quickly.

Take this last test squad,  we had three locks, two loosies and no eighth-man in the starting line-up. We will be let know that it was to counter the lineouts problems from Albany.

Du Preez have impressed as a youngster all year from the bench and as a starting player but he was reduced to the bench as Coetzee decided to play Flo(who have never played their at test level) at the number eight position.

We do not have a world class combination at this stage on the side of the scrum and we will keep on struggling until we pick the right players in their correct positions.

In the front row Dreyer has been a penalty machine during the Championship but Coetzee and Proudfoot insist that he is the answer. Strange how we dominated as soon as he was replaced by Louw on Saturday.

Although I was a fan at Super Rugby, I was very not impress with Cronje at 9 on Saturday. I do not know if he are playing with a niggle but he was slow behind the pack, taking two to three steps every time he passes and he was sending invites out every time he kicked the ball.

His kicking was poor and with no plan or directions, if you cannot use the kick as an attacking option then you should leave it. Between Cronje and Jantjies we have seen enough poor kicking this year to last us a lifetime.

Jantjies has now been given plenty of time to develop and although I believe poor players and performances around him has been an influence, it is time to look at Pollard. Pollard made a huge impact from the time he came on till he left again.

His direct play and strong run with the passing skills he has is just what the Boks need to make the opposition guessing and give us the opportunity to get over the advantage line. With Jantjies we are using the forwards to much which never get over the advantage line and get tackled backwards.

We have seen so many forwards getting the ball as first receiver on Saturday standing still.

In the midfield we still have problems and I will stay with my opinion that Kriel is a Fullback or wing at best but he is not centre. We need to get Serfontein a partner that will complement his play in attack and defence, Kriel is not that player. Would love to see a guy like Am and Vorster get a change to go with at the end of the year.

Out wide I have my doubts if we have the best at the moment. Leyds have not impressed and not ready for test level. I would like Coetzee to bring in Senatla, Gelant, Nkosi and Van Wyk for the end of year tour and get opportunity.

It would be nice to have Whiteley back as captain, nothing against Etzebeth but he needs to be that player like he was on Saturday in team. Looking forward to see a combination of Whiteley, Kolisi and Du Preez being tried out later this year.

Winning test is everything, losing is the thing we do not want and should never want. Winning by one point or fifty does not matter, it is test rugby and at the end it is all that matters. I agree that we should not celebrate another loss against the All Blacks.

We can feel a bit better of the effort by the Springboks but we should have only one objective and that is to win every test, if we do not achieve that we have failed.


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


  1. I personally don’t think that Kolisi is the best opensider in SA.

    Yes he has shown some great touches this year, but that was on blind side, and in tandem with Jaco Kriel who was the opensider.

    Jaco kriel and Kwagga Smith both are miles ahead of Kolisi as opensiders. I won’t even mention Flo, because he is miles behind Kolisi even.

    Kolisi also isn’t the best blindsider either, it’s just wrong playing JLdP off the bench when he is the best 7 by a country mile in SA, and probably one of the best in world rugby at the moment. JLdP is the best 7 we’ve had since Juan Smith in my opinion.

    Personally, to me, Kolisi is the best option we have in SA for bench cover for either 6 or 7, the ideal utility loosie that can easily step up from the bench, but also step up to starting role on tour in case of an injury to any of the specialists.

    I’d also have PSdT on the bench as cover for lock, 7 or 8, and in the same capacity as Kolisi on tour.

    This would be my ideal 23 selected on pure merit:

    1. Kitzhoff
    2. Marx
    3. Coenie
    4. Eben
    5. Mostert
    6. Kriel
    7. JLdP
    8. Whiteley
    9. Ruan Pienaar (the cupboard is bare)
    10. Pollard
    12. Frans Steyn
    13. Harold Vorster
    11. Skosan
    14. Ruan Combrinck
    15. Andries Coetzee

    16. Beast
    17. Bismarck
    18. Wilco Louw
    19. Kolisi
    20. PSdT
    21. Ross Cronje (desperate measures)
    22. Elton
    23. Jesse Kriel (cover centre, 15 and wing)

    I reckon, with this team and some decent coaches, we could go quite some distance.

    Pipe dream however for obvious reasons

  2. @Craven:

    Sorry, I didn’t express myself properly.

    Yes, I know Kriel and Combrinck are out injured, and so is Coenie. I wasn’t talking for EOYT secifically, I was talking about best case scenario with what was available to the coach given that there are no injuries.

    I think Jesse Kriel is actually a really good 15 with a good boot, and could also do well out wide on the wing (defensively far superior to Rhule). As a specialist centre, I’d obviously select Jan Serfontein or even RuanJvR ahead of Kriel, but as a utility cover off the bench, specifically with a more forwards minded bench split, I’d personally go for Kriel (as mad as he has made me at times).

    Just keep DDA as far away as possible from my team.

  3. In the absence of Kriel and Combrick on the EOYT, I’d personally go with Kwagga Smith and either Nkosi from the Sharks or Gelant from the Bulls.

    I’m not sure whether Coenie will be ready, but if not, I’d start Wilco Louw, and have Nyakane on the bench. Nyakane has actually been pretty solid for the Boks this season, apart from Albany.

  4. THANK YOU WelshbokdieBrandwag! Kwagga Smith has THE motor & step to eviserate winded defenders AND link with support to score TRYS in the last 25 min of games.
    He won’t get a shot because size fetishists like Bryce will cast a critical shade but he’s no where near as dogmatic in this view as ZeeBull coaches & admins are in their nostalgic vision of Rugby Union.
    Kwagga Smith may not be the same cup as Malcom Marx – but the drink is the same.

  5. @Americano:

    Yep 1.8m and 80kg… you are correct… the man is a machine but too small even for an open-sider. Having the Super Rugby final proved that (albeit it was not the usual balanced Lions back-row) To me he is a backline player that is excellent at the break-down (a trait every Bok should have), I would take him over any of the current wings… but that is another discussion.

    @Welshbok die Brandwag:

    Nkosi and Gelant will go on the EOYT as long as Rhule does not. I would rather have a green powerhouse like Nkosi than a two season now deficient Rhule. Let`s face it Italy is now ranked 14th in the world… if you can not play an experimental side with a bit of experience against them you may as well give up. Ireland aside it is a pretty ordinary schedule… no England, no Scotland just the 7th, 8th and 14th ranked sides.

    As for having a traditional open-sider… not going to happen with Kolisi in the mix as a hybrid. They will persist with Louw who even though was solid in the NZ test, to me is a tad past prime (albeit it will be in NH conditions) and for the life of me I cannot see why he was packing down at 8 for the umpteenth back-row scrumming combo by Coetzee (I stopped counting after the 5th combo). Roelof Smit and Cloete would be my choice in that order. Both played for the Bok A side in 2016.

    I have given up on lambasting the fools for not starting JLDP (and also PSDT at lock) and also DDP given a bench spot at least… but I would also like to see Hanro Liebenberg back in the mix at some stage once fully fit. To me he is the one Whiteley should be handing over the baton to. The youngest Bulls Super captain ever, was sensational in that role in the U20 RWC and is a brilliant mix of Juan Smith/Joe VN.

    3/4 is non-negotiable anything less and AC must go.

  6. In fact only 4/4 would keep me somewhat placated. Boks have not beaten a top 5 side this year so an Ireland win is a must too.

  7. I want Kwagga Smith SOMEWHERE on the team. I wish BC would chime in on this but he UNLIKE moonlighting Venter is so devoted to his coaching – he can’t be distracted by anything else.
    I don’t have to agree with it or like it BC ( I don’t ) but I do respect it !

  8. Bunny, I disagree with the negative sentiments. The Boks have made a big improvement since losing 57-0 to the AB’s in Albany. Credit needs to be given to all involved in the turnaround. To demand we win every game we play just because we are South Africa is naive and arrogant.

    Look at Planetrugby for an excellent analysis of how South Africa have progressed as a result of improved play by the forwards. Four of the starting 8 forwards made more than 40m in carries. This gave us the go forward missing in previous games. You wouldn’t have heard it in South Africa, but during the post-match analysis here in NZ on Saturday the ex All Black studio guests identified that the big difference between the Albany test and Newlands was that this time the Boks were crossing the gainline before offloading. Probably because of the forward effort

    According to Planetrugby success in the forward running game came because of 3 changes:
    1) they manufactured mismatches
    2) they beat the first defender consistently
    3) they were inventive when it came to recycling

    The turnaround I agree with you, has not extended to the backline where there is plenty of scope for perhaps the bold selections we saw from Alistair amongst the forwards but to deny that we should celebrate what the coaching team and players have been able to do in the 3 weeks since Albany simply because we lost to the number one side in the world is churlish and insulting to the players who played their hearts out at Newlands in one of the greatest tests of the year.

  9. @out wide:

    Howzit OW… nobody is demanding they win every game… but how about a single game against a top 5 ranked side.

    Nobody is negating any of the prowess, gees and improved performance of the pack and one or two in the backline.

    All the negatives have been directed where they should be and the majority of that has to do with the backs and rightly so.

    Both NZ commentators at the end of the game in analysis pretty much said the same and for once I think Rattue nailed his synopsis with his ratings.

    The questions remain… and we have seen this so many times over the seasons… was this just a gees win (oops performance) because their backs have never been this against the wall in the history of the game? Will Coetzee revert back to poor selections once certain players are back from injury. Will he ever fix the back unbalanced back three, the poor half-back combo and the average backline play-book to name but a few deficiencies that have gone unfixed for two seasons now?

  10. @Americano:

    I would rather he be smashing it for the Blitzboks for another record year. When he and a few others like Werner Kok are not there they struggle big time.

  11. @Welshbok die Brandwag:

    ` and have Nyakane on the bench. Nyakane has actually been pretty solid for the Boks this season`…

    What do you base that on? The average of 15mins he was given in the two wins and two draws, or the 26min when he came on for Ruan and gave away the exact same amount of scrum penalties, or the two minutes he played at LH in the last game?

    He is not a top 4 prop at either LH and TH not to mention it is clear even his coaching staff, when leap-frogging him with Dreyer then Louw, think so too.

  12. @bryce_in_oz:

    The cupboard is bare dude, Redlinghuis broke his neck last year, Malherbe is injured (again), but hasn’t ever claimed the jersey properly, and in my references, there hasn’t been any difference between them, apart from Nyakane being a utility prop at least. Malherbe only took the jersey at the worldcup because Jannie DuP wasn’t at his best, and Coenie was injured.

    South Africa are scraping the barrel for decent TH’s and decent 9’s.

    Nyakane is by no means an international TH, but who ells is, apart from Coenie and possibly Wilco Louw based on his showing against the best in the world on debut.

  13. @Welshbok die Brandwag:

    Best they start looking at Currie Cup youngsters, working with Dreyer or taking a look up North and making a plan.

    Both Vincent Koch and Marcell VDM, are both still young at around 26, have around 8 caps each… and are smashing it every weekend at Saracens and Toulon respectively.

    What ever happened to Carlu Sadie… he was a machine against everyone in the U20 including the England behemoths?

  14. @bryce_in_oz:

    I’m with you on both Koch and Marcelle vd Merwe, combined with Coenie, we could have had monsters in our frontrow.

    But then in the same breath, Steven Kitzhoff returned to the Stormers and was rewarded a Bok contract after 1 good game.

    You’re market value goes up significantly when you have proven yourself internationally, just look at Dan Carter, Habana and co. Carter Probably made more in his last 2 seasons at Racing based on his All Black Pedigree than most have made in their entire career in spite of playing abroad.

    These lads aren’t being smart, because they are being lead around by idiot agents.

    Kobus Reinach could quite easily have carved himself a permanent Bok contract out had he not been greedy, and in the long term it would have been really beneficial for all parties involved, him too.

    I’m not against older guys like Schalk, Habana and Juan Smith who were out and out servants to SA Rugby, but these youngsters have been a bit silly in my opinion.

  15. @Welshbok die Brandwag:

    If we are fed up with meddling politics as fans… then I could only imagine how players feel. If Koch had stayed would he have taken Trevor`s position on the bench? I very much doubt it. Why stay and be fucked around when you can spend 5 seasons up North and set yourself up quite nicely for the future. Would you want to endure all this bollocks and on top of that be sitting on a 43% win rate?

    IMO a season or two up North is good for a young prop… they have plenty of time to mature, up their game and then return to stake a claim for a test spot in a RWC year.

    I read an interesting article on both of them last season-ish.