Player Performances 2012
December 12, 2012, 05:31:23
Whuilst there is no international rugby at present and very little to discuss on Super 15 or CC level - I think it give us ample opportunity to evaluate the Springbok player performances in 3012 and see what careerwise could be expected from them in 2013. In dealing with the issue one has to take into account performances on Springbok, Suoer Series and CC level - as well as age where that aspect could impact on their future selection. In the ginal analysis one also have to look at potenial candidates who threaten their future selectability.
Kirchner was virtually the only player that can be assessed insofar as Springbok performances is concerned and there was no real differences between his performances as a Springbok and as a Super Series player are concerned. The best way to describe Kircher;s performances objectively in 2012 would be as solid. He was in general good in following up strategic kicks. His joining of backline attacking moves was average to poor - eg the fluffed pass in the Dunedin test to Habana in the Dunedin test. In general he tended to crashball ineffectively in joining the backline since his passing game in general was deficient. Generally solid in defence - but in that respect occassionally out of position - eg the Dagg try in Dunedin. His positional play in receiving kicks was good and his carching of high balls under pressure was acceptable.
Assessment - 6/10
Did not really damage his career through deficient performances - but at 29 his age could become a factor - especially after 2013. Would still be in 2013 - but cannot be said to be a certainty in selection.
Did not play at full back for the Springboks long enough to justify during any tests an assessment for performances on that level. On Super Series level he played at full back in about half of the Super Series matches - mainly because of injury. During he times he did play at full back in the Super Series level - he was solid in all aspects of the game. Has good ball sense.
Assessment - 6/10
Lambie played in three tests at flyhalf and does not intend to play at full back in future. He can be a back-up full back - but that is also unlikely in the broader scheme of things. A young player with massive potential - but more likely at flyhalf than at full back.
Potential full backs
Came on for a short while as full back for the Springboks - but was very average. Joe Pietersen was the Stormers first choice full back. Already 29 years of age and unlikelyto be a real choice as future Springbok selection. 5/10
He played ar full back for the LIons in 2011 and performed extremely well in that position - but in 2012 was moved to 13 by that team. He played for the Springboks in 3 tests and his performance in those tests was average in attacking play and below par in defence (eg the Soweto test). He clearly stated that he in future will concentrate in playing at full back and will playin that position for the Stormers in 2013. Excellent potential full back - likely to be the main contender for the full back position in 2013 and subsequently. 6/10
Did not play any tests and was at full back for about half the Super Series games - also play at wing for the Sharks. Was the standout SA full back on Super Series level and showed very good defensive and attacking abilitities 5.5/10.
Started off his senior career at full back - but then moved to 12. He played in half the tests this year at 12 - but his performances in that position was very average and he will have to show much more if he wants to remain at 12 in 2013. If he continues in present vein as a center - he may move back to full back. 5/10
The likely candidates for 2013 to play at full back for the Springboks are Kirchner, Taute and Ludick No real problems in that position. Based on potential I would say Taute is the top choice.
Pietersen played at wing for the Springboks and a few games at 13 for the Sharks. H is and remains one of the top wings in World Rugby. At center he was clearly not playing well at all - his performances for the Sharks can at best be decribed as average. He can realistically only be played at wing, 8/10
One of the top wings in World Rugby and the SA Player of the Year in 2012. Although he is already 29 years of age - he is showing no signs of decreasing ability. 8/10
Back Up Players
But for Mvovo - who had some disappointing playing time for the Springboks - the other players to be considered on Super Series and CC level are Rhule. Basson and Van den Heever.
Much has already been written about this major problem in Springbok selection and I am not going to repeat what was already raised previously,
At 12 he is asssed as 6/10 - at 13 not really good enough at 5/10
Played in the number 12 jersey in half the tests and can at best be assessed as 5.5/10.
Performed average at center - 5/10 - and wants to play at full back in future. Not a future candidate as a center and is unlikely to play in that position in future.
At 13 he can at best be assessed as 4/10 - 3/10 in tests and 5/10 on other levels.
Showed class on both Super Series and CC level and is by far the best potential candidate. Is very young and showed exceptional ability already - 6/10
De Allende, Serfontein, Howard, Small-Smith and Howard. They are all still very young and the only one really showing class on CC - level was De Allende. The other candidates played only in the Junior WC and the age group competitions or as bench players on CC level.
There is indeed hope that the younger candidates will ultimately end the present "dead backline syndrome" the Springbok team is suffering from.
Much has been written about this position as well - so I will basically jsut give an assessment of the candidates based on performances on test and Super Series level:-
Goosen - 7/10
Lambie - 7/10
Morne Steyn - 5/10
Jantjies - 5/10 (3.5/10 on test level and 6.5/10 on other levels)
Goosen and Lambie are at present the only two real candidates for future selection
This issue was also discussed repeatedly in the past and only an assessment is fiven for performances on test level:-
Pienaar - 6/10
Hougaard - 4/10
Pienaar remains the top candidate - but at 29 is also on the elderly side. Hougaard intends to upgrade his game in 2013 and remans a top candidate if he can overcome some deficiencies that became evident in 2012. Of the other candidates Reinach and Groom could come into the picture in 2013 and later.
The Springbok forwards in the main select themselves and there are very few changes expected. Players like Bismarck Du Plessis, Burger and Spies would be back from injury and could be in the frame for test selection next year. Du Plessis is an automatic choice - whilst the others would have to show real class to be in contention.
Daniel proved that he really is top class on Super 15 level - but average when he had limited playing time for the Springboks. Probably too light in weight to be competitive.
Oosthuizen had major injury problems in 2012 - but hopefully would recover and ba abe to continue with his career in future. If so he would become a major contender for selection.
The younge candidates are indeed promising and the following need special mention - based on both Super 13 level, on CC level and in the Junior WC:-
Arno Botha - 6/10
Elstadt - 6/10
Kolisi - 5.5/10
Du Toit - 6.5/10
Malherbe - 6/10
Kitshoff - 6/10
Hopefully there would not be a repeat of the nonsencical selections like Greyling, Werner Kruger, Van der Linde, Steenkamp and H van der Merwe in future.
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