After a thrilling win after the hooter in Paris, the Boks head up to Edinburgh to take on Scotland at the iconic Murrayfield.

There has been conjecture in certain parts, about Rassie Erasmus possibly shuffling the the team this week, with possibly one or two debutants. The likes of JD Schickerling and Sergeal Petersen have been touted to make debuts, as well as former Blitzbok, Ruhan Nel. As exciting as that would be, I am against any experimentation against the Scots.

First of all, let’s not kid ourselves. Yes, there’s been unbelievable progress. The level of tactical and technical awareness has been elevated way beyond what we’ve seen the past two years. However, this remains a group that is growing, and learning. They’ve lost 5 tests this year, and as much as we can celebrate progress, it is a results business.

Jake White, identified the need for a settled squad and starting lineup, as crucial to winning the World Cup in 2007. He placed a high value on caps, and making sure that his team was as experienced as it could be, during the World Cup. In 2007, our starting lineup in the final, was our most experienced in our history. Each individual knew their role inside out, and knew their teammates inside out.

I feel this is something we need to replicate in the lead up to Japan. The more times Malcolm Marx plays, the more opportunity there is to throw lineouts to Eben Etzebeth and Franco Mostert. The more variations there will be, the more options under pressure there will be.

The more times Duane Vermeulen, Pieter Steph du Toit and Siya Kolisi play together, the more they’ll gel as a back row unit.

Let Aphiwe Dyantyi, Sbu Nkosi and Willie Le Roux build a back three relationship, that can read the game, and when to counter attack or not.

Handre Pollard is the established flyhalf, so let him play with Faf De Klerk as much as possible to develop that relationship even further. The centre pairing of Jesse Kriel and Damian De Allende are experienced and they will continue to grow.

We are less than a year out from our opening game against the All Blacks in Yokohama. And there are very few test matches between now and then, especially with a reduced Rugby Championship next year. We have to nail down our preferred 23 man squad and stick with it. If there are bolters next year that you simply can’t ignore, ala Frans Steyn in 2006, then so be it. But lets field our strongest team and let the results flow.

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  1. Yip, this is a conservative and maybe even sensible view, but I think it is high-time the Boks did something differently.

    I liked erasmus because of his bravery and innovation where he said he was going to experiment. IMO This is the time to do it – not next year.

    The Boks are missing something – id like to experiment to find out. We might find someone who gives the boks something v different and you won’t find that out unless you experiment

    There is another issue, depth. People will get injured. Blood replacement now rather than on eve of RWC. There is no point selecting papier if he’s given no gametine or chance.

  2. time to experiment is in 2020 – time now is to start winning and keep winning going till end of RWC 2019.
    Selecting uncapped/untested players is not experimenting in my view. You are equating the 2, it is time to blood players (I agree) but time to experiment with tactics is not now imo.

  3. I disagree – and agree (I am braaipolar as well!). We need to experiment with tactics – because the box-kicks-no-matter-what is kak. We also need to expose numbers 16 -23 to a full match – as they may indeed need to play some games at the WC (remember Samoa and heavin forbid JAPAN!!). We also need to experiment further on wing and centre and flyhalve – the current incumbents have some systemic weaknesses that are costing us games.

  4. @Bekke:
    we do not use the box-kick and nothing else, in June and RC we played some great rugby. The conditions dictate that we use the box-kick more than risk playing wide and getting exposed.
    You need to mix it up. important is to be able to do both in 1 game…
    Surprise the oppo, give them exactly the opposite they expect.

  5. @Oupa Joe:

    to elaborate – I agree we overused the box kick in the last 2 games.
    vs Eng the Box-kick was taken sooo slowly that Eng could grab some fish and chips on the way back to defend… not good enough.
    vs France Faf used the Box-kick a little quicker but his precision was off so again not affective.
    When to use the Box-kick: IMO when you are going backwards in the contact, you are in your half and can’t get out, it is windy, rainy and your chansers are ready… When you are breaking the gain-line and getting go-forward like we did vs England you should keep on doing that and not revert to a Box-kick… Just IMO.
    Scotland is very good at the breakdown and I think going too wide too often is going to result in turn-overs where Scotland can hurt us…

  6. If we play our A team, I would expect nothing less than an 8 point victory. If we play B team, then I will be happy if we just shown some competitiveness.

  7. Just this June Scotland lost to the United -freaking- States at Rugby Union.
    Don’t do acid prior to the kickoff, but anything else goes including the Harry Viljion type never kick stuff.
    This is THE team to experiment with if you back yourself. I don’t think RE is that confident yet so I get playing it safe – but this should be the matchup you look for to let it all hang out with new approaches/personnel.

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