Home Opinion Erasmus first test team do not shout out Rugby Champions

Erasmus first test team do not shout out Rugby Champions


Facts are the Springboks under Rassie Erasmus are 2 from 4 test and the talks of a Springbok rival is a bit premature at this stage.

Saturday the Caste Lager Rugby Championships kick off and the first mission for Erasmus is the Argentinians in Durban.

This Championship will give a better guideline on where Erasmus Springboks really are in their quest to revive Bok rugby ahead of next years World Cup in Japan.

Argentina is no pushover and specially not anymore in the rugby Championship.

They have won in South Africa before, in-fact at the same ground they play this weekend.

With a few players unavailable or injured for Erasmus he has picked a changed team from the one that played against England in June.

With the selection of Etzebeth and Du Toit Erasmus went with a combination that has worked before in the Bok team. It is a bit of a concern that Marvin Orie has been picked ahead of Mostert on the bench as cover.

In the front row Erasmus went with Malherbe who has not been one of the top props for some time now in either Super Rugby or at test level.

A new loose trio will run onto the field in Kolisi, Louw and Whiteley. Marco van Staaden are the only cover on the bench. One can suspect that Du Toit will also cover if need to.

The halfback pair was suspected in De Klerk and Pollard with Erasmus going with the Sharks midfield combination in Esterhuizen and Am.

With Nkosi injured Erasmus choose another Sharks wing in Mapimipi to start with Lions young star Dyantyi.

At the back Le Roux will keep his place after a brilliant June series against England.

For some reason the bench does not shout out something special to me with Bongi Mbonambi, Steven Kitshoff, Thomas du Toit, Marvin Orie, Marco van Staden, Embrose Papier, Lionel Mapoe and Damian Willemse.

Was always under the impression the bench needs to make an inpact.

Against Argentina we can maybe get away with it but a serious rethink needs to happen against the Aussies and New Zealand.

Willemse was picked as cover for 10 and 15 ahead of Jantjies and I suppose if you want to do that, best to do it against Argentina than the All Blacks.

Would have loved to see a Cyle Brink or Du Preez in the mix to cover the loose trio.

One can understand maybe to go with Etzebeth and Du Toit but then who do you leave out a guy like Snyman who was a revelation in the June internationals.

Another guy that can feel hard done by is Ross Cronje who is coming of another great season with the Lions.

The major concerns are the midfield, front row and the cover on the bench.

What do you think of the team

The Springbok team against Argentina in Durban (in order of name and surname, franchise/club, caps and points – tries, conversions, penalties, drop-goals):

15. Willie le Roux (Wasps, England, 44, 55 – 11t)
14. Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks, 1, 5 – 1t)
13. Lukhanyo Am (Cell C Sharks, 3, 0)
12. André Esterhuizen (Cell C Sharks, 2, 0)
11. Aphiwe Dyantyi (Emirates Lions, 3, 5 – 1t)
10. Handré Pollard (Vodacom Bulls, 29,246 – 3t, 42c, 46p, 3d)
9. Faf de Klerk (Sale Sharks, England, 14, 5 – 1t)
8. Warren Whiteley (Emirates Lions, 17, 15 – 3t)
7. Siya Kolisi (captain, DHL Stormers, 31, 20 – 4t)
6. Francois Louw (Bath, England 57, 45 – 9t)
5. Pieter-Steph du Toit (DHL Stormers, 36, 20 – 4t)
4. Eben Etzebeth (DHL Stormers 67, 15 – 3t)
3. Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers, 19, 0)
2. Malcolm Marx (Emirates Lions, 14, 15 – 3t)
1. Tendai Mtawarira (Cell C Sharks, 101, 10 – 2t)
16. Bongi Mbonambi (DHL Stormers, 16, 5 – 1t)
17. Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers, 27, 5 – 1t)
18. Thomas du Toit (Cell C Sharks, 4, 0)
19. Marvin Orie (Emirates Lions, 1, 0)
20. Marco van Staden (Vodacom Bulls, 0, 0)
21. Embrose Papier (Vodacom Bulls, 2, 0)
22. Lionel Mapoe (Emirates Lions, 12, 0)
23. Damian Willemse (DHL Stormers, 0, 0)

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  1. Big call this – lighter loosetri behind a tight 5 with etsebeth and malherbe underdone with gametime and another looser player in PSDT.

    But let’s see. This coach is slim.

  2. It’s actually a good team.

    Kolisi is light but v strong. He can play the blindsider role I think.

    Still, I wouldn’t have left out JLDP, Wilco and Mostert (at least on bench).

    Dunno if possible with the racial quotas on Rassie, but all those Montpellier based Boks would be a MASSIVE boost for RWC – imagine Serfontein, Bismarck, Goosen and Steyn added to this squad. South Africa still got bloody amazing talent.

  3. @Craven:

    Malherbe is according to Rassie his first choice… having come back from injury with less than a handful of SR games.

    Louw made both the SANZAR SR team of the year as did he with the Foxsports Sports Lab team of the year. (As did Kitschoff both with exceptional scrumming stats).

    Stupid decision.


    Rassie said he is resting Mostert after his huge SR season playing every game. RG Snyman should be on the bench at the very least over Orie (who is not even a first choice for his union), starting Etzabeth might backfire on him if he is not ready.

    JLDP who also made the SANZAR SR team of the year, has to be injured still surely. That said you could have Juan Smith, Danie Rossouw or Willem Alberts at the top of their game none of them would replace Kolisi (no matter his form).

    That said one cannot be too unhappy with the pack.


    I’d tell you the same thing.

    As for the rest of the side… Van Zyl should have started over Papier. Faf De Klerk will not be playing in the latter half of TRC. That said I rate Warner from the Bulls higher than both his team-mates, not to mention the two Shark 9’s.

    If Pollard and WLR come off… they are in the shit. Rassie is clearly banking on having a good lead before ‘experimenting’ (at test level nogal) with Willemse at 15. Would have been best to have another 10 on the bench… or at the very least Kriel who covers 13/14/15.

    Don’t know what Mapimpi has done to make the test side over someone like Combrink when he could barely make the Sharks starting side let alone the 23. 13/11/14/(to a lesser degree 15) will get slaughtered against the AB’s.

    I suppose if ever there was a game for ‘experimenting’ (which can only explain some of the selections)… it is against a team ranked number 10 in the world and at home.

    ”Erasmus’ first test team does not shout out champions”…

    Mate nor do they whimper contenders either currently.

  4. Does anyone know if Swys is still involved with the Boks during the Championship?

    I also see reporting that he was added to the Bulls Super rugby coaching wish list along with Ewen McKenzie.

  5. @Craven:

    Agreed… the rest of his game outside of scrumming is not test level either imo.

    Meanwhile Kitschoff and Louw smashed records this SR in a losing side. 36 forced scrum penalties for Louw and Kitchscoffs stats for the rest of the game has no peer with carries(115), had the second most tackle busts (20), and finished with the equal second most ruck and maul turnovers (3) on top of the WP 22 penalties from scrums.


    The full-time Bok position as attack coach was still pending in July.

    I saw the Bulls wish-list… but in light of a whopping 29 player recently showing faith in their re-signings surely he would not leave, particularly for another South African side?

    Not so sure McKenzie would want to come back to rugby after turning down offer after offer after leaving due to ‘Beale-gate’… he might feel like he has some unfinished business with the game… but I doubt he is the sort of guy that could live in RSA.

  6. How good will it be to see some people actually put their money where their mouth is and start coaching and select a team.

  7. @DJ: This is a social media platform to discuss rugby…

    That remark is so stupid it’d be like saying don’t criticie the captain of the Titannic unless you ever skippered a ship

    Don’t criticize Donald Trump unless you ever had to lead America

    Don’t criticize Moslems for throwing stones at their women unless you were ever married to an Arab girl who cheated on you

    Don’t ever criticize apartheid unless you lived under it….

    Don’t ever criticize Hitler and Napoleon for invading Russia unless you’ve invaded Russia

    I feel the point is made….

  8. Yip these coaches are lucky sob’s, total charmed life, get paid big bucks for instructing (mostly badly) 15 dudes to chase a Gdam ball around.

    Daylight robbery – I’d fire every one of the bums without thinking twice at top level if they don’t perform and twice on Sundays.

  9. Or like an American client told me about his days as a guard in the Arizona prison system

    He said

    Ah was talkin’ to a pris’ner

    He was a young white guy. Meth head. Tells me the greatest wisdom he has learned in his young lahf. He says.
    “Matt… if you ever be walkin’ down a street middla the naht anna cop stops you an aisks….
    ‘Boy… why you draggin’ a chain behind you?’
    It ain’t never a good idea to ainser… ‘I cain’t hardly poosh it now cannai.’

    Applies to South Africans as well… in fact all sports fans worldwide… we all think we are knowledgeable about rugby [insert name of other sport here e.g. cricket, soccer, NHL, NFL, horse racing etc etc etc] so we discuss what we would have done if given the chance to coach or teach or given the chance to select even.

    It’s never a good idea to say you can’t comment because…..

  10. Lemme tell you the one thing we can all comment on is rugby. Kenners my gat. It’s a Gdam game – they got zero knowledge of any kind. Get paid big bucks to add fkall value. Iny opinion, the Bok results would’ve been the same the last 5 years, maybe even better, without any coach at all. I’d get rid of the lot personally – same with the administrators, unless they do it for free.

    You can’t assess their skills in any objective way – total bums imo, should be doing it for the love of the game.

  11. If you get something wrong as a doctor your customer pegs, if you get it wrong as a lawyer, your customer goes to chookie – if you get it wrong as a rugby coach, you blame the players or the system or development – and the customer just keeps paying cos he can’t stand the Gdam coaches but he like the game.

  12. Yes , even I understand.

    Got zero sympathy for these Kenner coaches at all. Bum central. You got highly skilled nurses and builders and kie who can barely eek out a living – and then these kenners come along expecting a crust – total joke.

  13. @cab:

    Cabbo… why so upset… it’s not like a Bok side is going to lose at home to the number 10 ranked team in the world?


    Boom… owned…


    About what… you sound like you’re an over-emotional Xanax yatty on the rag with that exclamation mark?

    Where is your erudite analysis and opinion of the team selections above… waiting with baited breath…

  14. Brycie – not upset in the slightest, just sharing my view on the uselessness of rugby coaches and administrators , but everyone knows that already – must be one of the greatest jobs in the world – get paid a fortune for no skills and watching rugby.

    Bum central.

  15. @cab:

    Hehe but in most cases they live and die by their decisions. Definitely some coaches that are worth their salt though, that have more than fluked it…

  16. @DavidS:

    Good news for Rassie…


    You want to see bum central…

    Watch these videos of the recent World Schools Rugby Festive (Heynecke’s brain-child)… and take one look at the hidings the individual South African schools dish out against the Kiwi’s, English, Australians (particularly the Kiwi’s). Total complete performances.

    Then take a look at the struggling current SA Schools side, that was bullied by France and almost lost to Wales. You will be hard pressed to find almost any of the players from the above individual schools (and never any of their wings) in the SA schools collective side. Pure political bullshit.

    This is why there are so many players overseas… this is why the SR sides are battling… this is why Rassie stated he cannot even assemble a ‘real’ B side.


  17. Heineken seems like one of the good guys who just likes coaching. Got no truck with that. My issue is with the okies who think they got such a hard life as rugby coach and are the custodians of all knowledge. Knowledge my gat.

  18. Compare these overpaid prima Donna coaches, who complain about the ignorant public that pay their Gdam salaries even tho they add fkall nothing, to the domestic worker who can’t rub 2 cents together slaving their arses off and who don’t earn in their lives what these ‘coaches’ make in a month.

    It’s bum central brycie – everyone should be so lucky.

  19. @DavidS:
    So it is stupid to expect people who want to discuss the subject at hand to at least think a bit further than just criticising. If I did not know better, I would have thought you to be a teenager of today. Willing to shoot off your mouth without thinking. In your case believing that if you say it with enough distinction and insults, then people will just accept your knowledge as intelligence, artificial or not.

    Seeing that you claim you discuss rugby, have you ever thought of player and team dynamics? No you sit back and criticise player selections for a team that you yourself have stated you will not support. So you don’t get your way and thus you throw a tantrum that a 4 year old girl cannot dream to match. And then not even to mention your hypocrisy.

    12 years ago the Springboks were captained by a player that every supporter knew were not the best in his position. Yet the coach was given the benefit of the doubt leaving a world class player on the bench and sometimes not even in the team. What is different to Kolisi?

    Why would the coach have done that? Because it is based on more than just current form. Statistics are easy to quote. Unfortunately the devil is in the detail. One player can have the top statistics in a certain area, but lets break the stats down and see in which games did the player manage to build the majority of the score. Was it against the piss poor teams or against the teams it actually mattered?

    As Brand posted on this site so many times, the mental side plays a huge part. That is the whole BMT thing. So coming back to Kolisi, that is what showed in the first 2 tests against England. Yes it would have been nice to never be in that situation, but with a young inexperienced backline that could happen. The fact is they came back from it and Kolisi was the captain on the field.
    The coach has accepted the job and he will “live or die” by his decisions. I do not understand why Jantjes is still in the mix. He has shown so many times that he does not have the BMT. If he had, the Lions would not have played in 3 consecutive Super Finals just to walk away with no silverware. But hey maybe Rassie sees something in him.

    Another thing I do not understand in Rassie’s thinking, is why Robert du Preez is not closer looked at. Yes so what he was thrown at the deep end ONCE and struggled a bit. Jantjes has been put in the water with scuba gear and he is still drowning. Whether Willemse will succeed is yet to be seen, but again it is Rassie’s decision.

    Maybe my comment was blunt. Typed on my phone on the run. I agree that this is a platform to discuss rugby. Discussion is one thing. Acting like a twat is not. It is going to kill discussion from people that would love to contribute, but just would not, as they do not have to put up with crap. There are enough other sites around.

    And BTW I think Trump is great, I did live under Apartheid and being off German and French heritage, I don’t have a problem with the good things that Hitler and Napoleon did. I think both would have been good rugby players as they were great at strategy. Not in Melbourne however as they would have been too small.

  20. Fkme what good things did hitler do – this site become the third reich or what?

    Achtung baby.

    Kolisi was magnificent in 2017 and captaining bokke v England.

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