By: Bunny (Jacques Nortier)



The second head to head we look at for Saturday important World Cup semi-final between the All Blacks and the Springboks must be the important number eight jumper.

Thor vs Read

The Number 8

Vermeulen and Read can be describe as the best there are in the game at this stage when it comes to world number eights. Between the two they have shown there big match temperament and they are players for the big occasions.

Vermeulen was nominated last year as World Player of the Year and received South African highest accolade when he was named SARU Player of the Year and Players Player of the Year.

Read on the other hand have been in the same boat with New Zealand Rugby and is a player that is feared all over the world. He is what you will call a try-scoring machine when it comes to forwards crossing the white wash.

Although both players are some of the finest you will see in the game…..they play a total different game to each other but equally important to their teams.

Both players have suffered some injury setbacks this year but in the last two matches have return to their old best as what we got used to. The combination that these two will have with their sidemen will be the difference who comes out on top on Saturday.

According to stats we can see how different the games are which these two are playing…..

stats 2

One thing is for sure, both the All Blacks and the Springboks needs these two stars to pitch up on Saturday for there teams.


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  1. I assume these are current WC stats? Indeed, highlights 2 complete different player styles (or instructions?). Thor is certainly not your classical 8th man (last one I saw in SA was Chean Roux (who apparently is now also part of Groot Doring’s management team?). And he is far from his best, but how valuable was that 1 try assist! He needs a big hit early in the game to set the tone!!!

  2. @Jacques (Bunny): Thanks – can you do same for fullbacks? Anything to compare our “genius” with Aaron? E.g. number of breaks, kicks? Wish we could get stats on how long it takes for our 2nd phase ball to get to the flyhalve vs. theirs?

  3. We have been coached to kick the ball away for ten years.
    New Zealand has been coached to use it.
    Bunny plz put our wins/losses against the AB up for last ten years.
    I think it’s that simple.

  4. When an AB runs into men and bosh we go wow
    the ab go-why didn’t he pass?
    We are coached to be dumb.
    We have the greatest potential in the world being coached into the most one dimensional side ever
    So much so that we lose against Japan.

  5. @Duiwel: I think few New Zealanders were upset when Savea ran over two players on Saturday for his second try… They looked pretty excited to me.

  6. @Duiwel:

    2005 – AB 1 Bokke 1
    2006 – AB 2 Bokke 1
    2007 – AB 2 Bokke 0 ( Bokke win WC)
    2008 – AB 2 Bokke 1
    2009 – AB 0 Bokke 3
    2010 – AB 3 Bokke 0
    2011 – AB 1 Bokke 1 (NZ win WC)
    2012 – AB 2 Bokke 0
    2013 – AB 2 Bokke 0
    2014 – AB 1 Bokke 1
    2015 – AB 1 Bokke 0

    That gives you AB – 17 Bokke 8 in last ten years

  7. @Bekke: Haha, considering Australia were crap for the last three years, Cheika comes in loses in Europe wins the RC. How crazy? Hourcade comes in grows his side. Darn it we have been playing a game plan for 8 years and we still lose with it. Change is needed. We may need to surprise NZ. Like a special game plan just for the AB. What they have not seen all 4 years. Come on bokke Believe!!

  8. @Jacques (Bunny): I want him to stay if he will promise to do what he did with the Bulls. He is a long term guy. He builds. Look at the Bulls. Meyer is that type of coach. We are a demanding fan base and the last few years have been disturbing!

  9. Impressive stats Bunny. As you say, two great number 8’s matching up this weekend. Kieran Read has great skills and some say he could play equally well at 12 or 13 as he does at 8 but your stats do show up a weakness that has developed of late and that is handling errors. Duane 0, Kieran 12!

    Sure, Read has collected the looseball more , scored more tries, made more turnovers but I wonder if Read’s problem is that he doesn’t seem to range around the wing so much anymore and all the close to the breakdown stuff is now exposing him more? Duane at RWC2015 appears by comparison to have a pretty safe pair of hands.

  10. @out wide: I seem to recall Duane knocking one or two passes from FDP in the American game I think? Maybe the ref allowed advantage and the knocks weren’t blown up.

  11. @JT_BOKBEFOK!: the difinition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. South Africa has been below par for this last 4 years, no excellence of note. no trophies, nothing. you cant compare his winning percentage to that of ou piet. no matter what u say about piet he won where it mattered! in the All Blacks backyard! we need someone new, with new ideas. im against eddy, only because hes not south african. we must have some brains out there that can mix our play. we have brilliant forwards… how hard can it be to tweak that combination just a little and get our backlines involved? This is why rugby is SUPPOSED to be a brilliant game, because it caters for all shapes and sizes, everyone has a job to do.

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