So how wrong did Meyer get it re player selections?
January 03, 2013, 10:35:30
Lets look at his selctions
Front row. We had Beast, Bissie, Coenie and Marcell injured. Meyer rightly concluded that Kitshoff and Malherbe were still too young. Hence he went for Guthro who according to Jauzy19 has been performing very well in France. Mike of course got that one wrong. Guthro had a decent stint on the loosehead for the Boks a was generally agreed.
Snapster wanted chilli boy in at hooker dispite my warning him that Strauss was a better player by some way. Guess who got that right. Meyer of course got both those calls right.
Meyer also went for Cilliers. Cilliers came on for Jannie against England and was solid in the scrum and very good outside the scrum. Meyer gets that one right. Then we came to CJ. CJ was okay at looose head but not at tighthead. Meyer half go that right. - much to the delight of mike and snapster who thought they had finally found something to crow about.
Then we have the Kruger and Greyling saga. Kruger was a bulle tighthead who Meyer picked along with some othe bulle players becaus e he knew he had no time to prepare against England. Greyling had a good super 15 season and sudenly got a brain spasm or two to the horror of all. This however was unexpected and nobody could have predicted it. But these hindsight genuises went to town on this one!!!Expect Greying to have a good super 15 in 2013 as he is intrinsically a good player.
The we come to locks. Here we had the dispute as to who should partner Etzebeth. Snapster ranted on about how Du Toit should be the man. He had been toutting Juandre but realised after being advised by Beeno that Juandre lacked the real clout for the position (Juandre at 110 kg was however a lot more physical than stringbean matfield at 107 kg - as could be expected). However, Juandre wasnt too bad. Flip was the other lock since Bekker was injured. Nobody really came up with any alternatives. Bresler was mentioned. Snapster of course mentioned other youngsters like Willemse etc but wisely Meyer knew that they were not ready. So far difficult to fault Meyer.
Then we come to the loosises. Meyer tries the untutored fans hot pick Daniel who then flopped yet again and showed test rugby was not for him dispite all the clamour. Fortunately Meyer allowed him just enough time on the field to make that apparent to the lunatics demanding his inclusion. Potgieter played a useful test against Argentina at Mendoza where he was rated the best Bok looseforard. So not a bad pick by Meyer given also his fine Super 15 season. But some loonies criticise Meyer for choosing him.
Myer plucked louw out of Bath and Louw was the best loosie in the world this year at test level. He brought in Duane Vermuelen who after a very long break was man of the match against England. Along with Alberts these three formed a voracious loose trio. Exactly the right loose trio for NH. Meyer spot on once again and his critics left eating humble pie - ther staple diet!
Meyer should of course have chosen the outanding Deon Fourie to tour but choose the quota player chilli boy instead for obvious reasons.
In the backline he chose Hougaard at scrummie and when Hougie was not doing the job switched to Pienaar. All this maybe debatable but who can really honestly fault Meyer.
Morne was Meyer initial flyhalf. Apart from his goal kicking he wa okay. Had his goal kicking been on song Meyer would only have lost one test the whole year. Was it wrong for Meyer to believe Morne's goal kicking could be righted. Of course not. Meyer had been reluctant to play Goosen knowing yet again that this under 20 player was not ready. But encouraged by cameos off the bench and a frothing rugby public he picked him and Goosen was injured. Showing both Meyer and Beeno to have been corredt in wanting to hold him back.
Jantjes was chosen ahead of Lambie because Lambie had been playing mostly at15 and because of the clamour of the quota brigade. Lambie was correctly made bok flyhalf on the NH tour after a sting at flyhalf for the sharks. Who can find fault with Meyer - realistically no one but this didnt stop them trying.
At center Meyer very wisely chose Jean and he proved to be one of the best Bok backs. Frans was unfortunately injured and Meyer tried Taute at center- a very reasobable pick given his form at center in the ailing Lions out fit and his skills set. The only disagreement I have with Meyer re the centers is his omission of Jordaan from the NH tour.
Meyer would obviously have picked JP and habana as his wings but they were each injured in the year and other wings were selected. Hougie showed he was an able wing and Mvovo should he lacked a bit of physicality but should remain in the picture. However there were no bad selections at wing.
Kirchner came in for a lot of srick but his solid performances gave him some credit. It apears thought that Taute will be seriously considered at 15 dutring 2013. Again little to fault Meyer on.
Ou Mike and snapseter love to go on about Meyer's disasterous selections etc but the facts do not bear them out at all. What they cant explain is that but for Morne's goal kicking imposion the Boks would have ewon the Rugby Championship and lost only one match.
Now all this with some 20 players not available. Hats off to Meyer. Expect the Boks to be better this year as well. The Meyer bashers are in for a hard time methinks. As all agree he needs a specialsit attack coach on the team.
All in all the Boks are getting ready to rule world rugby. Kiwis please take note.