Actually stayed away from social media this week and did not see the reaction on the Springboks squad announcement for this weekend clash against Scotland. Think maybe I saved myself from having to hear all the bitch and moans from the normal crowd on Why Jantjies at ten, why give Willie the 15 jumper and not Fassi and the again some more bitching about why Herschel and Jesse are again in the starting XV.
The one thing that has been hard to get through to the doom prophets on twitter has been that Nienaber and his team are building a squad good enough to take eon the world in 2023.
The World Cup is won by the team that have the most experience players and a squad that knows each other.
After winning the Lions Series this year, all focus moved for Nienaber and his coaches to retain the World Cup in 2023. What happens in-between is just the steps to achieve the goal at the end.
Scotland had a good game against the Aussies last weekend but maybe the inexperience of this Aussie side was the difference. They were the whole time busy with off the ball stuff and in the referees ear the whole time and we not just talking about Hooper.
For me the Aussies loss the game more than the Scottish won it and if they did had a good Gard look at themselves this week they would have admitted the same.
Take nothing away from Scotland, they have a good balanced side with some of the world’s best game breakers in that backline and with Pieter de Villiers as their scrum coach they have a pack that can compete with the best as well.
This is not going to be an easy test match for the Springboks and they will have to step up from last weeks game against Wales if they want to upset the host in their own back yard.
The Springboks has one of the best packs in world rugby and we not just talking about the scrums and lineouts bt their overall game as a pack. They organise pretty damn good on defence and have the bulk to take it to any team in the world.
When they get it right there will not be many that would be able to stop this green machine. Siya has been a revelation this season and he is just playing every game better a better and with Vermeulen at the back of the scrum we also now have Kwagga who has come right at the right time.
We hope that Nienaber would have changed his approach a bit with his selection of Jantjies at 10 because for me Jantjies is not a kicking flyhallf and we need to play his game to bring the best out of the Springbok flyhallf.
He has two of the best next to him in the midfield so he should be able to control the game nicely and give our back a bit more to play off this weekend.
Me for one is happy that Willie Le Roux is back in the starting XV specially against a team like Scotland who whole mindset is to attack you all day. With that at this level we should get plenty of opportunities to counter attack and that is where their is not much better than Willie for this team.
Jesse had a poor game last weekend but the little time he had on the field this season did not help, he is a great player and I expect much more from him this weekend.
Scotland will come at the Boks but I still have the Boks to win this one by 10.
Here is your Springbok team for Saturdays clash against the Scots:
15 – Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz) – 70 caps, 60 pts (12t)
14 – Jesse Kriel (Canon Eagles) – 49 caps, 60 pts (12t)
13 – Lukhanyo Am (Cell C Sharks) – 24 caps, 25 pts (5t)
12 – Damian de Allende (Munster) – 56 caps, 35 pts (7t)
11 – Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks) – 23 caps, 85 pts (17t)
10 – Elton Jantjies (NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes) – 42 caps, 312 pts (2t, 64c, 57p, 1d)
9 – Herschel Jantjies (DHL Stormers) – 19 caps, 25 pts (5t)
8 – Duane Vermeulen (Ulster) – 59 caps, 15 pts (3t)
7 – Kwagga Smith (Yamaha Júbilo) – 17 caps, 5 pts (1t)
6 – Siya Kolisi (captain, Cell C Sharks) – 61 caps, 30 pts (6t)
5 – Franco Mostert (Honda Heat) – 49 caps, 5pts (1t)
4 – Eben Etzebeth (Toulon) – 95 caps, 15 pts (3t)
3 – Trevor Nyakane (Vodacom Bulls) – 52 caps, 5pts (1t)
2 – Bongi Mbonambi (Cell C Sharks) – 46 caps, 45 pts (9t)
1 – Ox Nché (Cell C Sharks) – 7 caps, 0pts
16 – Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears) – 44 caps, 50 pts (10t)
17 – Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers) – 57 caps, 5pts (1t)
18 – Vincent Koch (Saracens) – 29 caps, 0 pts
19 – Lood de Jager (Sale Sharks) – 54 caps, 25 pts (5t)
20 – Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers) – 9 caps, 0 pts
21 – Cobus Reinach (Montpellier) – 19 caps, 40pts (8t)
22 – Handré Pollard (Montpellier) – 58 caps, 580 pts (6t, 83c, 124p, 4d)
23 – Frans Steyn (Toyota Cheetahs) – 72 caps, 144pts (11t, 7c, 22p, 3d)