RE: It's time to prove a point.....
October 06, 2012, 04:06:24
Denny and radtad
I have always siad that the WC 2011 would never have been won by SA, They tried to do the impossible by playing a team that was composed of players who should mostly have retired by 200910. The Bryce Lawrence myth was a handy way to explain away the deficiencies in the team. We all know that Lawrence was grossly incompetent - but if we had a decent team, that incompetence would not have been a factor.
It is past history and is of no consequence now. In any event it would not be the first time that incompetent refereeing in theory cost a side the WC - so lets forget about that one and concentrate on the game tomorrow.
The game tomorrow is pertinent. I have a funny feeeling that the outcome may be substantially different from what we expect it to be. We have a fairly elderly team on the one side with lots of experience on the one side (average age 30 - 707 test caps) against a youngish and in many cases inexpereienced team (average age 25 - 435 test caps). The All Blavks especially have some brilliant players in the team - while the Springboks have some promising youngsters as well.
The question really is - will experience and individual brilliance be on the day better than youthful excuberance and .entusiasm? Difficult to answer that one. What can happen is that the All Blacks could win by a fairly large margin - or even that the Springboks could win by a surprising margin.
The All Blacks performances this year have not been consistent - brilliant games followed by less brilliant ones and just when you think that after a brilliant game they are going to burn the opposition in the next match - they struggle again. Unlike in the past - when most of their points came from scoring and converting tries, this year (prior to the game against Argentina) they scored 7 tries in 5 test matches. Not really all that convincing at all. Take another example in their home game against the Wallabies they scored two tries and won by 22 points. In the home game of the Springboks against the Wallabies there were a bigger loss by the Wallabies and the Springboks scored 5 tries. Granted that it could be argued by tthe Wallabies had a major injury problem that affected their performance drastically - but that does not really explain the difference in full.
There are a variety of unaswered questions that needs to be taken into account which can only be answered in the game today, namely -
* will the brilliance of the All Blacks against Argentina be repeated today or will it again be a brilliant game followed by a comparatively weaker performance; and
* will expereience trump yourgful excuberance?
If the answer is yes they will repeat the brilliance shown in the Argentina game - and yes experience will be the key issue here - the All Blacks may win by a very substantially large margin than expected. On the other hand - if the All Blacks run out of steam because of "Ye olde bones - Ye olde bones" and the youthfful team gets the upper hand, they can get a much bigger hiding than anybody would imagine as reasonable. Most people think it is going to be a game with a small winning margin either way - but it may be an entirely different outcome game.
As a loyal Springbok supporter I against all logic predict a 10+ victory for the Boks - but that is not based on logic - but on a sentimental basis.
However, the above is what makes the test today so interesting. A bad loss by the Springboks may enhance even further the rebuilding programme of the Springboks team and may lead to a completely different scenario on the process. A bad loss by the All Blacks could mean the end of the international careers of some of their older players - which could only be of benefit to the All Blacks in the longer term
In any event - the game today can also confirm some of my pet theories of the impact of age on performances and injuries. Theory is defnitely not my strong point - I believe the proof of the pudding lies in the eating - so lets wait and see whether my theory on this score is really a factor.
We will know within the next 16 hours what has happened and I hope that it will be a pleasant surprise to the Springbok supporters.