French Top 14 - Toulouse vs Clermont
December 05, 2012, 10:18:08
I was particularly interested and just watch a replay on TV - since Guthro Steenkamp was starting for Toulouse and wanted to see how he performs in that game - especially with regard to scrummaging. The first scrum was firm on both sides.
The second scrum was a mess and Steenkamp was penalized. Then followed a remark by the commentator to the effect that Steenkamp is NOT showing the form that he showed in the past when he played for the Springboks. The next scrum resulted in a penalty again - I thought the problem was on the other side of the scrum - but the referee pointed out the side where Steenkamp was scrumming as the problem area. The next scrum was messy and althrough Toulouse won the ball on own throw-in - the scrummie was under pressure and ultimnately it resulted in a turnover.
That was followed by two scrums where Steenkamp was clearly scrummaging upwards - in the case of one a penalty was awatded against Clermont and in the other case - the ball was won by Toulouse and went to the Toulouse backline.
Another firm scrum followed - but the last one in the first half was a mess again with Toulouse going backwards.
Insofar as other play is concerned - there was only one instance involving Steenkamp deserve mentioning - and that was a missed tackle by him. Steenkamp was replaced at half-time.
Toulouse scored three brillinat tries. The third one was a brilliant individual try by the Toulouse full back where 5 Clermont players missed their tackles and the said player ran from halfway virtually through the whole Clermont side. The other two tries resulted from brilliant back line play after line breaks - the really noticeable part was the effective off-loading in tackle situations to the players that ultimatly scored the tries.
That brings me to two questions, namely -
* what the hell does Steenkamp do to deserve getting selected for the Springboks - when the commentators themself said he is not up to standard playing for a club side?
* why does it seem impossible for the Springboks to make line breaks and off-load balls effectively when tackled?