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Stern words lift Boks


Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer says a few harsh words were spoken at half-time after they outplayed England in the second half at Kings Park on Saturday.


South Africa handed new coach Meyer a winning start with a 22-17 victory over England in the first Test after turning in a dominant second-half performance with flyhalf Morné Steyn and new captain Jean de Villiers crossing for tries after Steyn and opposite number Owen Farrell had traded penalties to make the score 6-6 after 40 minutes.

The hosts took control after the resumption and while winger Ben Foden scored a consolation try for England in the corner with time up on the clock, the result was never in doubt.

“We knew England were going to be very well prepared and they are a very physical side,” Meyer told a news conference.

“There were a few nerves at the beginning, with a new captain and a few new players, but I was very happy with the performance.”

Meyer had made no secret of his intention to implement a game plan built around powerful ball carriers and his team also made good use of the kick-and-chase tactic.

The first quarter was a physical struggle as both teams tried to impose themselves but England shaded the Springboks at the breakdown by thrusting more forwards into the rucks.

Farrell and Steyn swapped early penalties before England regained the lead in the 27th minute thanks to the flyhalf’s second successful kick at goal.

The advantage was short lived however as Steyn levelled moments later to send the teams into the break all square.

“I said to the forwards at halftime it wasn’t good enough,” said Meyer. “I wanted us to up the tempo and there were a few harsh words.

“A lot of players knew they had to step up in the second half and they did.”

There was a noticeable lift in tempo at the start of the second spell and the home side were rewarded eight minutes in when Steyn went over in the corner after a surging run from prop Jannie du Plessis carried the ball to within five metres of England’s line.

The Springboks threatened to run away with the game when they extended the lead to 10 points after De Villiers charged over following a sweeping backline move greeted with roaring approval from most of the 43 000 Kings Park crowd.

Farrell’s trusty right boot calmed the situation for England and narrowed the gap to four points with less than a quarter of an hour to play.

Two more Steyn penalties put the result beyond doubt before Foden dived over to give Stuart Lancaster’s team a late boost.

“I was really pleased with our first half performance but we need to work on our third-quarter performance because the Boks dominated and scored two tries,” said Lancaster.

“I thought we came back well at the end. There are lots of things to work on but lots of positives as well and we go to the second Test in good heart.”

The victory was South Africa’s eighth in a row against England and gave them a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

The second Test is in Johannesburg next Saturday with the final match in Port Elizabeth on June 23.

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  1. Saw some of the comments on the other thread. My take:

    Kirchner was not flash by any means but again he was hardly dog-shit either. I still prefer Lambie as I reckon he brings an extra dimension, he just reads plays better offensively and attackingly.

    JPP was quiet like but it seems all the play went Habs way.

    Habs, he was magnificent, personally had him as my MOTM but then I am a back.

    JDV could make 13 his own, his strike running ability serves him well there and nothing wrong with his defencse.

    Steyn also quiet like but give him some time to get used to the pace, still classy.

    Morne sucked with the boot, I think we left too many points on the park. Distribution game not bad though.

    Hougaard was by far the shittest performer in the team imo. He is really struggling to get back into scrummy mode even at the Bulls. Meyer will need to make a call on this lad. His ‘impact’ in general play is good but his service was shocking and slow as was his decision making.

    Spies, I don’t think he was as shit as everyone says, for once in a very long time I actually saw him dominate some tackle situations! I am not a fan of moving Alberts to 8, will influence his impact if he is asked to play as a link player.

    Alberts was awesome, player for the big occasions it seems and we needed him to step up.

    Marcel was quiet, but like Eben I reckon they were kak nervous and quickly figured out test match rugby is a different beast.

    Juandre was great in his first test I reckon, liked the way he took control in the tight 5 for a guy that played his first test – very mature performance.

    Eben like Marcel will learn, did little wrong but they will get better I am sure. I would actually consider playing Eben from the bench next weekend so his nerves could settle and let him explode onto the park in the 2nd.

    Jannie even had a decent game, good to see him step up.

    Bissie was industrious, responsibility might have something to do with this but I liked what I saw from him.

    Beast was okay, got around the park well and put in the donkey work.

    Subs: Adriaan is letting Bissie know there is no place to fuck up, he is ready to step up anytime.

    Ruan gave direction to the Boks, in my mind he must start ahead of Hougaard.

    Others really did not do much to write home about.

    If I have to be critical, a 6 out of 10 performance for the Boks. This could easily improve to a 7 next week just based on players having spent more time together and if Heyneke can tweak just a little, an 8 out of 10 easily on the cards.

    Well done Boks, well done Heyneke, the first one is behind you know, was always going to be tough at a venue Boks always struggled. Now look forward and smash these bliksems in JHB next week.

  2. Reply to Morné @ 10:23 am:

    Good read Morne.

    I would actually consider playing Eben from the bench next weekend so his nerves could settle and let him explode onto the park in the 2nd.
    On de udder hand I think Flippie is ideal as an “impact”
    player, better than Eben can be in that role.
    Also, who will have the most “impact”: Bismarck or Adriaan?

    Hougaard disappointed many, but I am on record long
    before the time that he is not performing at 9.
    Definitely Tiger Pienaar to start.

    Lambie to start.

    I’m just worried: If we “struggle” against a moderate
    Pom side – will we be able to stop the much better
    attackers the ABs and OZmob seems to have?

  3. Boertje for the win:
    Hougaard is a great player – but not at #9.

    As far as NZ goes… I think its best to burn that bridge when you get to it

    Just like when sighting the scope on your rifle, Boks are still fiddling with the windage ticks etc. When they get their current player and scheme mix dialed in…
    England will get embarassingly blown out. For a ot of the match they looked like they just wanted to hold on without any figuring to get offensive ( yeah Ashton had a run etc. but in general…)

    NZ is a much more challenging and adaptable target. They could make SA look stilted and 1-2 dimensional. I think for NZ a guy like Adriaan Strauss is essential. Great mobile hefty player with fantastic field vision – as shown with the Cheetahs and a great field general. Dude knows his stuff, very rugby smart and it appears others listen to him.
    If Strauss was coach – Messerschmitt Wille LeRoux would be on wing. He’s a visionary sort of guy like that

  4. Reply to Deon @ 11:24 am:

    Ja, maar ek kan nie help om te dink die ABs
    sal die Poms OPDONNER nie – soos teen die Oirish,
    wat ‘n goeie span in die WB gehad het.

  5. Reply to Americano @ 11:28 am:

    I hope Willie gets his chance – EOYT.
    Ditto Kolisi.
    Expecting the Boks to win the other two
    tests with ease.
    Good team. And to me the standout was the
    way HM applied his bench, and the effect
    they had.

  6. There really is very little one can say about this game apart from “well done with the win Boks”

    It was a ‘gees’ win.

    But I dont expect to see the Boks dominate anything like the AB’s do until we find a different type player.

    Habs seems to get confidence back so I would have him at 13. I am not that happy with Steyn at 12 either. He is just a more talented, bigger and faster version of Jdv and he can also kick. But a creator he surely is not.

    AB’s best ball goes to either Carter or SonnyBill – both these guys can create shit.

    Our best ball goes to Alberts and Spies.

    Until this changes, we will remain ‘competitive’ but we will not dominate anyone.

  7. We can do better than Spies at 8. He hasn’t got the ‘mongrel’ to be a great forward player. Hard contact doesn’t come natural for him … not his instinct. He prefers to hang around the fringes. I am not convinced that he’s our best option at 8. Duane Vermeulen is the sort of player I wish to see there, and I genuinely believe Josh Strauss would have made a good choice too (but I will be accused of being biased as a Lions fan). Brenden Nel stated however tha HM doesn’t rate Josh. I know Rassie does.

  8. Reply to The Year of the Cheetah @ 11:43 am:

    you can’t expect Frans to come in and CREATE shit in test 1 after a year in France and only 1 week to train with the guys in this team.
    If he still does not create shit by test 3 then you may have a point IMO.

    PS: best ball was run at the traffic :bangheadt: why oh why not run at midfield where at least you have a better chance of retaining possession than traffic where we do not have a pocock style player to protect possession against fetchers?

  9. Reply to Morné @ 10:23 am:

    Hougaard could make an impact off the bench IMO – let RP start and control things and as we get the ascendancy you bring on Hougie to tear them apart! Just don’t let him kick, that is why we have Morne in at 10!

  10. Reply to JT_BOKBEFOK! @ 12:20 pm:

    steyn does not create for Metro either. He is not a playmaker. I saw run straight and bliksem into the first defender at least twice in the game – never had the intention to offload.

    between Carter and Sonnybill you can be sure something will happen. With our 12 and 13 you know exactly what they are doing (they step inside and take contact).

    Do not for the life of me understand why the average SA fan is suddenly happy with this type of centre play?

  11. Reply to JT_BOKBEFOK! @ 12:20 pm:

    why not run at midfield where at least you have a better chance of retaining possession

    Because then we’ll be moaning that the ball
    is not going wide.

    Nicest thing in modern rugby is to see a pack
    charging down midfield, then quick ball spread
    wide or to waiting runners.

  12. Reply to The Year of the Cheetah @ 12:27 pm:

    I have seen a few Metro games and he crashes (yes) into midfield to cross that gain line and off-loads to the inside runner. He tried this yesterday in the 2nd hlf but Habana could not gather due to a hand from a pom in the way but you can see what the plan was.

  13. re-watching the game now and keeping a close eye on Spies…

    amazing that Bokke won with only 2 tackling back-rowers :whistling:
    But to be fair – not many to choose from at the moment…

    Jaundre also had an awesome game! :applause:

  14. Sometimes Bismark amazes me – 22nd minute England turn over and kick it downfield 60 odd meters and only Zane there, he picks up and gets caught by 2 poms but Habana clears and the next guy at the breakdown!? BISMARK! Unfookingbeliveable. :applause:

  15. Seeing the game with 2nd sight I think Marcel deserves another go next week! Loads of energy and does well in defense!

    Same with Morne – I criticized him unfairly yesterday, his out of hand kicking is very good and his defense as good as any 10! :applause:

  16. on Zane – he does a lot of chasing in this game and as he does that Morne covers the FB position. I like the thought behind it because he is a unit and not slow either. If Lambie will be as effective in chasing as Zane is probably the Q for HM and why Lambie starts off the bench.

    Just a thought.

  17. Reply to Boertjie @ 2:41 pm:

    i re watched the 1st half – no tackle by Spies so far! 1 assist where Bismark made the stop and Spies helped him hold the ball carrier up but no 1 on 1 tackle.

    what he does well is float around the rucks looking busy I know of a few things that float half as good :soek:

  18. Reply to JT_BOKBEFOK! @ 3:18 pm:

    Good thing to do – watching the tape again.
    Keep on informing us on the things you’re
    picking up.
    Few special players in the Bok side.
    Now we just need a linebreaker of note.
    I hope they’re working on their offloads
    and support play – which can only get
    better the more they play.

  19. Reply to Boertjie @ 3:28 pm:

    Frans will be the man to do the off-loading in midfield – he is decent at it and it is up to the likes of JdV and Habana to fill the space on his inside and outside shoulder.

    58:31 Frans tries the off-load with Habana flying on his shoulder but ball got interfered with. IMO they did not want to risk it too much in test 1 but if all stay fit they will develop this into the game plan.

  20. Reply to JT_BOKBEFOK! @ 3:33 pm:

    I did not say that.

    Tina the best thing to happen at 12,
    with Jean at 13.
    I’ve never been Tina’s greates fan, but
    he sure looks like one to make things

  21. After watching the game again in slow mo, replays etc. I am happier with this team than i was during and right after the game.

    Only serious ? I would suggest HM thinks about is starting with RP and using Hougie from the bench.
    My team for next week:
    1. Beast
    2. Bissi
    3. JdP
    4. Flip
    5. Kruger
    6. Brussouw
    7. Marcel
    8. Alberts
    9. RP
    10. Morne
    11. Habs
    12. Frans
    13. JdV
    14. JPP
    15. Zane
    Bench: Coennie, Strauss, Eben, Keegan, Spies, Hougie, lambie

    All bench players can make an impact on attack

  22. Reply to JT_BOKBEFOK! @ 4:00 pm:

    More on the Broken Record:

    Someone whose opinion I respect reckons
    part of Hougie’s problems may originate
    at No8.
    The same player that was singeld out as
    one of the 5 worst 8’s at RWC.
    By the Kiwi press.

    In full agreement with the team you select
    at #31.
    Hougie a must for the bench, also because
    he can play wing. Lambie will then also
    cover midfield.
    That leaves us without Meisiekind.

    The guy that does the stats for that website should be fired!
    So it seems.

  23. Reply to Boertjie @ 4:35 pm:

    Hougaard’s blocked box kicks from the last few weeks all came from behind the rucks. Where they had the centipede.

    Ask your friend to explain to us how that would be the fault of the No. 8.

  24. Reply to Boertjie @ 4:35 pm:

    how the hell do you attribute 9 tackles to a player that only made 1?
    It must be tackles made by #6 because I almost gave Spies a tackle that was made by Marcel, their numbers look similar, both had tape around the ears so you can make that mistake during the game but not the way I did it today by rewinding and making sure who made the tackle.

  25. I wish they would enlarge the Bok numbers –
    maybe it will also help Timeo and his stats
    sauce, not only myself.

  26. Reply to Boertjie @ 5:29 pm:

    In the modern game there are more line-outs than scrums and about 10 tackle/rucks for every scrum. Hougaard has problems all round. It it was scrum time only it would not look so bad.

  27. Reply to Timeo @ 6:51 pm:

    Agreed. All-round problem and no secret.
    I’m sure HM should start Tiger at 9.

    As for LO: Average of 10 on own throws
    I would say.
    Point I tried to make is that one of them
    may as well go to Brussouw, with a decent
    lift as a surprise call, not as one of the
    3-4 main options a team should have.
    He has shown he does have the skill.

    Then again I’m also sure HM – the perfectionist –
    will do some hard work on the rucks, both in
    defence and attack.
    Bit disappointed too that we never saw a proper
    maul from the Boks.

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