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Arlecchino

Armchair selectors & SPRINGBOK News

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Interesting chat, perhaps the best way to properly examine this is to consider the sage words of Matfield.

 

He is properly pissed off with Marais and his "plan". He stated on Saturday night that the heifers have no apparent culture or gees. They have no apparent strengths such as a very good lineout and drive or first phase move off it.

 

The scrum is now crap he said.

Mallett pointed out that their scrum has been crap for a few years now. Think of Dianne Gray-ling and Wornout Kruger (who was the worst tighthead I have ever seen). Matfield mumbled something unintelligible. Naas agreed and expressed his own disgust.

 

Nollis Marais wants men to play like controlled chess pieces.

 

So much change is happening in South African sport, that the traditions of our sport culture are getting lost. We have always been a bit like the Aussies in cricket - tough, honest grafters in the core of the team, one or two really gifted players, but always fair. In rugby our culture has always been hard up front, tough scrummagers, effective lineout practitioners and skilled swift backs. Our plan was to grind the opposition forwards into the dirt and then let the Brylcream Boys have some ball to go play with.

 

You guys talk up Faf and to be honest, when he first played for The Lions he was adventurous. Now he just looks like any other "clearer". He has had his flair coached out of him. A scrumhalf is a reader of the game, he must know when to keep driving his forwards and when he can let his 10 have good ball to run with.

 

There are no hard and fast rules about when the 9 must pass or kick and yet some coaches force the 9 to do this or that in specific areas of the field or in certain circumstances. Instinct is not coachable. Reinach has no flair and Faf has lost his. Ross Cronje has improved a bit, but watch his passing - he is a two-stepper. In the age of what Mac introduced - the rush defence, nowadays referred to as "linespeed"- two steps by the scrumhalf means that the defending backs have been able to run 15m. Space has gone. He kills his own backs. The ball is passed under pressure and with lateral movement and the wing is running in row 3 by the time the ball gets to him.

 

Just as the ball dictates for the most part where the offside line is, so does the ball dictate the advantage line. One thing we can learn from Sevens is that the ball can be worked into space simply by offering support to the ball.

 

As for the talk of the pacy backs like Skhosan and Rhule or Mapoe and several others, can they turn and catch the ball and then kick? Can they shut down their opposite number and crowd his space so that they can then tackle the mother into touch? The honest answer is not encouraging. Do they instinctively look for work all over the park? Watch Ruan Combrinck who should be at fullback. As a wing he is everywhere looking to support the ball.

 

Take two teams onto the rugby field and say “Do you want to play rugby?” Then throw the ball off the field. Can you play rugby?

 

Rugby is a game for men who are able to concentrate for a full 80 minutes and are able exercise their will over the opposition. It is a game for people who can think as individuals but who are able to play for their pals and spill their blood for the team. It is a game for cool heads but also for men with fire in the belly. You have to be able to light the fire and run and tackle and pass and kick and jump and scrum and all the while think like a cold-hearted assassin and do that non-stop for 80 minutes with a smile on your dial as you choke the life out of the opposition. Kill or be killed. Listen to hear when players charge into a ruck – are they shouting “the ball, the ball”? Not anymore. That spirit to get the ball and then play with it has been lost. Play intelligent, tough rugby with the ball as your god.

 

Then go have a beer with the dude you have just crushed into submitting to your will and see who knows the most verses of “Eskimo Nel”!!!

 

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Agustin Pichot - my kind of player.

Major teams: Richmond, Bristol, Stade Français, Racing Metro



Country: Argentina


Test span: 1995-2007

Argentina caps: 71 (69 starts)


Test points: 60 (12T)

In the immediate aftermath of Argentina’s maiden Rugby Championship triumph – a tense 21-17 defeat of Australia in Mendoza – emotions were running high. Even so, mercurial centre Juan Martin Hernandez had one figure in mind above anyone else.

“Many people were involved in making this dream come true,’ he said. “But I want to dedicate this victory to Agustin.”

The tribute was touching, not least because Agustin Pichot spent his entire career as an insatiable standard-driver. That role seemed to be magnified by the intensity of the international arena, and he became an icon of the 2007 World Cup.

Shoulder-length hair tousled around his collar and socks rolled down around the ankles, captain Pichot stood in the centre of circle of team-mates before and after each match. He spoke with conviction, cajoling them to work harder, congratulating them for challenging the world order.

By the end of the tournament, Argentina had beaten Ireland, Scotland and France twice en route to third place. To precursor his impact as an instrumental campaigner post-retirement – pivotal in introducing Argentina to the Rugby Championship and a South American franchise to the 2016 Super Rugby competition – Pichot underlined his talents as a superb scrum-half.

In possession, he probed around the fringes, pulling defenders around and releasing carriers. Without the ball, he harried runners relentlessly.

Pichot was 20 when he made a try-scoring Test debut against Australia in 1995 and remained with Buenos Aires amateur outfit Club Atletico San Isidro until joining Richmond in 1997.

Via an enjoyable stint at Bristol, he arrived at Stade Français and helped them to domestic titles in 2004 and 2007 as well as a Heineken Cup decider in 2005.

In 2000, Pichot captained Argentina for the first time in a 34-23 success over Ireland and was subsequently involved in overturning every Six Nations side, most notably England at Twickenham in 2006.

Speaking about the notion of Argentina one day winning the Rugby Championship, he crystallised his own ambitious philosophy. “We’re going for that, full throttle. Let’s dream.”


Read more at  http://www.rugbyworld.com/rugby-positions/scrum-halves/agustin-pichot-65573#vJj92BdAfpmmQsG3.99

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Guest Harlequin SA

There is no doubt that I am in a foul mood. The slaughter of innocent teenagers and even younger kids (the latest fatality named as the youngest was 8-years old). Of course ISIL (The Islamic State of Syria & the Levant), have claimed "credit" - a strange term in the circumstances.

In any event that has somewhat tempered my anger at Allister Coetzee (the imposter who is posing as Springbok coach - who was kicked out by Western Province).

I have not yet fully analysed the squad but what jumps off the page is the inclusion of Duane Vermeulen alongside Warren Whiteley. The latter is a lightweight from my part of the World whilst the former is the real deal from a hard part of the country where men don't need a jack to change a wheel on their Isuzu - they sommer hold the bliksem up with one hand and change the wheel with the other.

The other two glaring selections are the exclusion of Ruan Combrinck but the inclusion of Jaco Kriel. Combrinck has spectacularly made a come-back from injury whilst Kriel is still officially on the injured list.

Then there is the inclusion of Raymond Rhule who one commentator last weekend described the Free State winger as a "turnstile" - using my terminology. Lionel Mapoe must be spitting mad. At least Mapoe is a genuine finisher and the mistake was to think of him as a centre. He has been almost incognito this season bar one try this last weekend in what was already a rout against the heifers.

The composition of the forwards is somewhat lopsided with 6 props,         3 hookers,  4 locks & 5 looseforwards.

What do they see in Lizo Gqoboka? I understand that trevor Nyakane may be going through the same problems that he had at the Cheetahs - Naka Drotske couldn't wean him off his diet of 6 KFC burgers for breakfast. However to pluck a youngster out of a bunch of losers in his first season seems to be sending the wrong message to the likes of du Toit amongst others.

To set a precedent of recalling Steyn but not Bismarck (who many still regard as the best hooker in World rugby) is just insane. 

I hope to The Almighty that the current crop of coaches allow Hougaard to play his natural game and protect him when he kicks from the base. Worcester trust this guy and have picked out his faults and adjusted. Can the Boks "brainstrust"do the same???

The backs are made up by 1 FB, 3 Wings, 5 Centres, 1 Flyhalf & 3 Scrumhalves.

The querstion now is to see what AC regards as his Test 23 and who are in this squad to satisfy the ANC? I will not offer any thoughts on that score. I will leave that to your mate that idiot Arlecchino.

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Springbok squad:

Forwards: Lodewyk de Jager, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Ruan Dreyer, Eben Etzebeth, Steven Kitshoff, Siyamthanda Kolisi, Jaco Kriel, Frans Malherbe, Malcolm Marx, Bongi Mbonambi, Teboho Mohoje, Francois Mostert, Tendai Mtawarira, Lizo Gqoboka, Mahlatse Ralepelle, Coenie Oosthuizen. Duane Vermeulen, Warren Whiteley (captain)
 
Backs: Lukhanyo Am, Andries Coetzee, Ross Cronje, Damian de Allende, Francois Hougaard, Elton Jantjies, Jesse Kriel, Dillyn Leyds, Rudy Paige, Raymond Rhule, Jan Serfontein, Courtnall Skosan, Francois Steyn.

South Africa A squad:

Forwards: Ruan Botha, Uzair Cassiem, Chris Cloete, Thomas du Toit, Andries Ferreira, Jason Jenkins, Wilco Louw, Jean-Luc du Preez, Franco Marais, Retshegofaditswe Nche, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Andisa Ntsila, Trevor Nyakane, Ramone Samuels.

Backs: Ruan Combrinck, Lionel Cronje, Juan de Jongh, Warrick Gelant, Makazole Mapimpi, Lionel Mapoe, Dewaldt Duvenage, Jamba Ulengo, Francois Venter, Jano Vermaak, Harold Vorster, Fred Zeilinga

I reckon the best of both those squads against each other may even end up being edged by the Bok A side.

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Charlie, I like Lizo, but he can't scrum for sh!t from what I've seen so far. Maybe one for the future, but too soon. Lots of other brainfarts in the sellection. Too tired to get into it now.

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This is what makes Coetzee's selections look stupid:

http://www.rugby365.com/countries/south-africa/79253-coetzee-wants-kriel-to-roar-with-lions

Last weekend Ruan Combrinck more than amply demonstrated his superior abilities as a complete footballer against an admittedly struggling Bulls team.

However given that this is his first game back and he showed his fitness, how can the Bok "coach" leave him out whilst including Jaco Kriel who is still on the injured list?

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...and Duh Duh who did very little. But as I have said, i would rather RC fully recover, who gives a flying monkey if Duh Duh injures himself again..

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Here is how the genius of Keohane sees it:

http://www.sport24.co.za/Columnists/MarkKeohane/fear-not-boks-will-whitewash-france-3-0-20170524

I did say that i was concerned about how seriously the French view this tour?

Not at all it would appear.

I guess Guy Noves is under a certain amount of pressure to be serious contenders in the Six Nations and to finally win a RWC for France.

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Can he put a ball into a lineout yet at 33, because if not, he is not going to learn how to now, I have no issue with Bizzie not being picked and if overseas players were picked, i think the correct ones were. However Hougaard, what position is he planned for Wing and 9 cover. OR starting 9, because Hougaard can be really kak if he is not allowed to play his game and if told to slow it down.

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47 minutes ago, Owen Meany said:

Swakste groep spelers vir die bokspan in n lang tyd. 

Far too many Bulls.

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Forwards: Lodewyk de Jager, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Ruan Dreyer, Eben Etzebeth, Steven Kitshoff, Siyamthanda Kolisi, Jaco Kriel, Frans Malherbe, Malcolm Marx, Gqoboka, MahlatsBongi Mbonambi, Teboho Mohoje, Francois Mostert, Tendai Mtawarira, Lizo e Ralepelle, Coenie Oosthuizen. Duane Vermeulen, Warren Whiteley (captain)
 
Backs: Lukhanyo Am, Andries Coetzee, Ross Cronje, Damian de Allende, Francois Hougaard, Elton Jantjies, Jesse Kriel, Dillyn Leyds, Rudy Paige, Raymond Rhule, Jan Serfontein, Courtnall Skosan, Francois Steyn.

Hoort nie daar nie.

Het hulle nie onlagns sien speel nie.

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21 hours ago, Arlecchino said:

Am & Ralapele are out and Vermeulen will not get picked as he only arrives in SA on Tuesday.

And then some think he's the better captain??? At least Whitely is committed to being on time and training with the squad....

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1 hour ago, Mata Hari said:

And then some think he's the better captain??? At least Whitely is committed to being on time and training with the squad....

Which is exactly why a foreign based player cannot be captain.

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...and should not be considered for the Boks. Steyn for example, i watched a few minutes of him with the baabaas and he does not impress me.

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Methinks the Bok A side might give the 1st team a few lessons.............

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