Boks v Jocks

Big day here tomorrow.

Scotland are in town.

For my fellow enthusiasts I’m reprinting the report from today’s daily read. It  will / should give you …

a) An insight in our approach to the game, and

b) Perhaps a different perspective from whatever sports reporters are scribbling in your neck of the woods or

C) For those with no rugby reporting in their local press whatsoever a reminder that there’s a game on!

WHEN Heyneke Meyer took over the Springbok coaching reins, the only shades of grey were on his temples as opposed to the almost complete silver head he now sports. Coaching the Boks will do that to a bloke.

“I’m getting grey quite easily,” Meyer, probably thinking of the hair-raising 31-30 result against Wales last weekend, joked ahead of this weekend’s clash against Scotland at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

Meyer’s job has not been without its pressures, and although pundits would easily tip the Boks for a walk-over against the Scots tomorrow, this game will be as important a test match as any for the coach as he builds towards next year’s World Cup.

This weekend he will be doing it with a mix of the veterans who won the 2007 World Cup with Jake White and youngsters with no fewer than five uncapped players in his match-23 squad.

“What I’m happy about is that [based on the last two tests against Wales] we can build an innings and also chase the game under pressure,” he said.

“I’m also happy with the [number of] tries we are scoring. We need to keep the structures but I also want the guys to go out and express themselves. The younger guys are excited and will probably make mistakes. They just need to stay composed.”

The Boks have for years been accused of playing overtly physical rugby, marred by an excessive kicking game. However, recently they even surprised the Scots with a more expansive game with fullback Willie le Roux masterminding the entertaining running rugby.

Now with 20-year-old Handre Pollard also having a chance to bring his exciting element to the side, they hope to continue surprising with a varied style of play.

Asked which areas the Scots feared to take on against the Boks tomorrow, coach Vern Cotter’s simple answer was: “Everywhere! They are a good finishing team. They are big and physical. They are going to move the ball at certain times. If we give them space, they are going to score tries,” Cotter said.

Although the game against Scotland is unlikely to be as close as the battle against Wales last weekend, Meyer’s side will not be going into the match over-confident or underestimating the much-changed Scottish side.

“We have a high regard for Scotland. They have a new coaching staff, new energy and they have won three on the trot,” Meyer said following Scotland’s wins over the USA, Canada and Argentina over the past three weeks.

What Meyer is looking forward to most is to see the young charges, which include Pollard, Lood de Jager, Jan Serfontein and Coenie Oosthuzen, in the starting lineup, ahead of next year’s World Cup.

“This is the first time we are involved in four [back-to-back] tests which will be the same scenario at the World Cup. I got criticised for naming a big squad, but I think it was the right thing to do and give guys chances.

“A lot of these youngsters will get opportunities to show me where they stand,” he said.

The Scots themselves are going through a sort of revival. Cotter has made three changes to the starting XV that beat Argentina last week. He has also included the uncapped 20-year-old Adam Ashe at No 8.

17 thoughts on “Boks v Jocks”

  1. Hi Soutie

    It’s on live on Evil Empire Sports 1 tomorrow so I’ll be watching and looking out for you. Not holding my breath about the result as we are undoubtedly doomed – an injury list a mile long and we don’t have the strength in depth to cope with that. It should be an easy training workout for the Bokke but should help us as well in our preparation for the World Cup next year as we blood new players.

    Janus, the MacDonald of Keppoch warcry? Interesting rendition as there is no ‘v” in the Gaelic alphabet. You have to use ‘mh’ or ‘bh’ to produce the ‘v’ sound. The ‘Aiulra’ throws me as well as it does not seem to be a common Gaelic rendition of Andrew.

    The version registered with the Court of the Lord Lyon is ‘Dia’s Naomh Aindrea’.

  2. Morning JM

    My daily read tells me it’s gonna be a full house, that’s about 44,000 of us. (Gotta love our new stadium.)

    We’ll be there, usual place above the tunnel.

    Half of last week’s Bok side that played Wales have returned to their paymasters (France, Japan, Ireland, Timbuktu etc.) so our side will also include a lot of the fringe players. There’s talk of young Pollard our Junior World Cup (U20) flyhalf and captain making a debut.

    The weather is perfect, if a little chilly by 5pm, should be a great day.

  3. Hey Jay, what’s this about googling in the toilet?

    Is it not easier to take a magazine?

  4. Haw Janus

    There was a definite knock-on before their first try. The game might have turned out completely differently if they hadn’t been gifted that early score by the venal NZ referee and his henchmen.

    Except it wouldn’t have. Well and ruthlessly played the Bokke. A steep learning curve for our young and inexperienced players. We can only get better.Please?

  5. What a day, what an occasion, what great weather (it poured during last year’s England test.)

    There’s always something special about watching the Springboks.

    A great day from morning ’till night, the pub we had left our cars at even arranged a pipe band to march through the middle of us during the after match festivities!

    Here’s a few pics of the day…

  6. Mr Mackie, I fear that Scotland will never beat any major team until they stop singing that dreadful dirge before a match, when there are so many good patriotic Scottish songs to use as an anthem. Mind you, the same could be said for the English! 😦

    I agree that the Southern hemisphere ref was not kind to Scotland, but they never are to any Northern hemisphere team. I do not think this made much difference to the result, though.

  7. From reading the comments it seems that “we wus robbed”. Glad you enjoyed your day though, Soutie.

  8. Any idea why Zimbabwean no 8, David Denton was dropped? He was man of the match against Wales, earlier this year.

  9. Hi Sipu.

    He’s still our first choice at Number 8 and one of our best players. He was concussed in the last game of the season and does not yet have medical clearance to play again. We played Adam Ashe in Denton’s position. Adam had a grand total of 36 minutes of pro rugby as a replacement when he took the field against the Boks. Two other possibilities were not released by their clubs as the game was outwith the International window.

    We will, hopefully, be spoilt for choice at Number 8 once Cornell du Preez and Josh Strauss complete their residential qualifications and learn the words of the ‘dreadful dirge’.They have both said that they would like to play for Scotland so let’s hope that they don’t get too good and appear on the Boks’ radar before that happens.

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