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3865 Topic: Comprehensive, sensible, flyhalf article
mozart

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Comprehensive, sensible, flyhalf article
February 25, 2013, 17:35:34
Lambie, Steyn make early impressions

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by Brenden Nel 25 February 2013, 16:05

The four-way tussle for the Springbok flyhalf berth kicked off in style this past weekend with the Bulls' Morne Steyn and the Sharks’ Patrick Lambie staking early claims for the position.

The duel between the four main franchise Bok flyhalves is one of the highlights of this year’s Vodacom Super Rugby tournament, with the four-way race likely to help decide Bok coach Heyneke Meyer’s flyhalf choices as he heads into the international season in June.

And while only one round has been completed, Elton Jantjies’s performance at Loftus and Johan Goosen’s jittery start in Bloemfontein have earned them criticism from their own supporters as their teams lost their opening games.

There is no doubt all four flyhalves will play an integral part in a dramatic run-in to the Bok selection this year, and with Meyer only likely to pick two flyhalves, consistency under pressure will be a massive factor in not only their respective teams' fortunes but in ensuring they stay in the national selectors' sights as well.

Meyer though will probably put more stock in performances against overseas opposition than local derbies, but a solid high percentage of success in the place-kicking stakes will be a pre-requisite for any candidate.

Jantjies has come under fire after failing to spark the Stormers' backline and failing with his boot on a night the Bulls dominated their southern rivals.

Yet it would be unfortunate if the youngster was given all the blame for the performance, even though there are those fickle enough in the Cape to clamour for Peter Grant's return after playing on Sunday in the Japanese Cup final.

Grant was on the losing side as his Kobe Steelers went down to Fourie du Preez’s Suntory Sungoliath in the final and while he is back in Cape Town now, he may be given an extra week to recover.

Jantjies will know he is under pressure when he takes the field this weekend, but it is also worth remembering the competition is a marathon and not a sprint, so one performance is not necessarily cause for panic.

As Stormers coach Allister Coetzee told the Cape Times, Jantjies’s performance can be put down to nerves.

“I have no doubt about that. It is easy to say that after the game because he didn’t have a good game. He was mentally fine, and one’s just got to manage this – I mean, all the new players were nervous. We know that the nail was knocked in very, very low, and we’ve got to raise the bar as the Sharks are very strong,” Coetzee said looking ahead to this weekend’s clash with the Sharks.

Johan Goosen’s return started with three missed kicks at goal, but the youngster steadied himself to look a lot more dangerous in the second half. And it is also worth remembering that he hasn't played any rugby for a number of months due to injury.

Goosen will be a major cog in the Cheetahs' armour this week as they face the defending champions, the Chiefs, in Hamilton and it is expected he will be a much more dominant figure on attack for his side.

The Grey College Wunderkind is seen as the future of Bok rugby. However, he will know that after a breakthrough season the second season is often the toughest for any player and that he will need to show confidence and form early on.

His coach Naka Drotske has no qualms about this, and believes it is only a matter of time before he is back to his best.

"The way Johan fought back after a slow start was a big positive," Drotske said at the post-match press conference. "Last year he missed about three kicks all season and today he missed his first three kicks, which was unusual. It was good that he got his confidence back in the second half and that shows what a quality player he is."

At Loftus Versfeld Steyn served a timely reminder that he is not a spent item by kicking seven out of seven and pinning the Stormers back in their own half for much of the game.

Steyn’s performance, while not exceptional according to his own standards, was one of a calm figure looking to make a point to those who have written him off after a poor 2012 season.

“That’s the thing with senior players, they can put a bad season behind them,” Bulls coach Frans Ludeke said. “Morne is always the type of guy who has an unbelievable work ethic. It was a great start for him and it was great to have him back at his best. That was the difference for us in the first half, he kept the Stormers in their own half and helped us keep the scoreboard ticking.”

Steyn may be behind the others now in the pecking order, but if he finds his consistency again and keeps on driving the point home, the Bok selectors won’t be able to ignore him further.

The Bok incumbent Pat Lambie showed again this weekend why he still is the favourite for the number 10 jersey, with an all-round performance that was enough to make his coach John Plumtree sing his praises.

Lambie’s all-round feel for the game was one of the major reasons why the Sharks excelled in Bloemfontein and his coach believes he can only get better.

"Pat played beautifully tonight," Sharks coach John Plumtree said at the post match presser. "His kicking for posts was outstanding. The faith the Bok management showed in him last year, and the pressure they put on him to improve, has been evident in training and it showed today.

"Pat is just going to get better and better. What's important for Pat is that he has to have the right people around him, to play off him. Frans Steyn on his outside and JP Pietersen coming off his wing is what helps Pat's game. He pretty much did everything right tonight.

It may be overstating things to forget that Demetri Catrakilis also had a great game for the Kings, and Grant could push for selection if he is granted a starting spot again.

But for now these four will battle it out in the coming weeks, closely watched by not only the Bok selectors, but the entire country.

Round one went to Steyn and Lambie, but there are a number of rounds left to be decided. Jantjies will bounce back, as will Goosen as their teams face opposition who test them in different ways.

It will be fascinating to watch and in the end the depth at flyhalf can only ensure that Springbok rugby will be the winner.


sebastienchabal

Status: Bok regular
Posts: 757
RE: Comprehensive, sensible, flyhalf article
February 25, 2013, 17:46:20

Why there is even a debate or issue on this is irritating...looking a gift horse in the mouth. The answer is clear cut...Lambie. Why must these blind guides set up variables to confuse. It just boggles the mind...if HM does not envaluate this correctly then his ability to determine or even worse his integrity will be at risk. But this is premature...lets hope we can learn from past mistakes and choose a winning combination.


sebastienchabal

Status: Bok regular
Posts: 757
RE: Comprehensive, sensible, flyhalf article
February 25, 2013, 17:52:55

Why there is even a debate or issue on this is irritating...looking a gift horse in the mouth. The answer is clear cut...Lambie. Why must these blind guides set up variables to confuse. It just boggles the mind...if HM does not envaluate this correctly then his ability to determine or even worse his integrity will be at risk. But this is premature...lets hope we can learn from past mistakes and choose a winning combination.


oimatey

Status: Bok regular
Posts: 1175
RE: Comprehensive, sensible, flyhalf article
February 25, 2013, 19:16:35

 With Lambie kicking as well as he is there is no reason M Steyn should be considered. Goosen to be the backup flyhalf / impact player late in the game if he is able to stay healthy. 

 

Jantjies has a lot left to prove before he should be considered.

 


mozart

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RE: Comprehensive, sensible, flyhalf article
February 25, 2013, 19:29:58

I agree Matey....perhaps the more difficult decision will be what to do if Lambie gets hurt and Goosen continues to blow hot and cold.


clevermike

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RE: Comprehensive, sensible, flyhalf article
February 25, 2013, 20:57:40

Mozart

Definitely not Steyn - he kicks hot and blows everyting else cold   The most one-dimenstional flyhalf in world rugby- kicking away 80% of the balls past to him - even a schoolboy can pass balls better than he can.


BonganiP

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Posts: 229
RE: Comprehensive, sensible, flyhalf article
February 25, 2013, 21:47:29

Ou Clever Trevor, I trust that you meant to say that he kicks away 80% of the balls passed to him. Correct? If so, I challenge you to prove that. Here and now.


Boklogic

Status: Bok regular
Posts: 1903
RE: Comprehensive, sensible, flyhalf article
February 25, 2013, 23:40:23

Bongani, never much to add, but will sit and rip other posters thoughts to shreds.

Here is one for you Bongani. Morne Steyn kicks 80% of possession away that should be held on to and attacked through the hand. I challenge you to prove that otherwise. Here and now.

 

Take Chris Noakes for example. Flyhalf for the Blues. He kicked 4 balls away last weekend and ran 10 times with 21 passes for a respectable 5.3 metres gain each run. This allowed the dangerous Piutau to amass 166 running metres in 16 runs for a sterling average of 10.38 metres a run.

Steyn was the best of the Bulls back with 61 metres run in 5 attempts for a 12.2 metres gain average. Not bad for a kicking flyhalf so I ask you then, why did he still have 17 kicks vs 22 passes? Surely if he had kicked 5 balls only, those 12 extra runs or passes would have seen the Bulls dominate further. The sad thing about these stats is that this was a game in which Morne played "well". So what is bad then if that was good because to me that is unacceptable that a flyhalf has almost as many kicks as passes! is bad something like 25 kicks with 14 passes! Not all 25 kicks are beauties, at least 15 to 18 of those would be handing possession back to players like Dagg and Jane!

 

Goosen 9 kicks with 30 passes and 8 runs

Lambie kicked far more than we would have liked too but at the end of the day, had that game been 10 mins longer, the Sharks would have lost in my opinion. We saw the damage the Cheetahs caused when we kicked on to them and they ran it back. Kicking is no good. Its gifting possession away and Morne is king of that. The only thing stopping the Cheetahs from being a major force is that they let themselves down on defence. They get way too loose and unstructured. If they can sort that out and attack as they do, they would be the one team that would find bonus point wins no problem!

FB Piutau 1/0 5 2/4/16 166 3 6 1 1 3/1 0/0 0 0/0
W Halai 2/0 10 0/1/7 55 2 3 0 0 3/1 0/0 1 1/0
C Ranger 1/1 5 0/2/9 60 2 3 1 2 6/1 0/0 1 0/0
C F Saili 0/0 0 2/12/7 80 2 7 2 1 9/0 0/0 0 0/0
W Moala 0/1 0 0/3/8 79 1 3 1 2 2/0 0/0 0 0/0
FH Noakes 0/0 0 4/21/10 53 3 2 0 1 8/3 0/0 0 0/0

 

FB Piutau 1/0 5 2/4/16 166 3 6 1 1 3/1 0/0 0 0/0
W Halai 2/0 10 0/1/7 55 2 3 0 0 3/1 0/0 1 1/0
C Ranger 1/1 5 0/2/9 60 2 3 1 2 6/1 0/0 1 0/0
C F Saili 0/0 0 2/12/7 80 2 7 2 1 9/0 0/0 0 0/0
W Moala 0/1 0 0/3/8 79 1 3 1 2 2/0 0/0 0 0/0
FH Noakes 0/0 0 4/21/10 53 3 2 0 1 8/3 0/0 0 0/0


BonganiP

Status: Baby Bok
Posts: 229
RE: Comprehensive, sensible, flyhalf article
February 25, 2013, 23:55:39

Listen ou Bokdrol. Of course you had to jump in to save ou Clever Trevor's arse again. I don't give a flying fuck about whoever's stats. Ou Maaikie said that Morne kicks away 80% of the balls passed to him, and I reckon he is talking kak. I would be happy to concede if he can prove that, but I think I am safe. So run along now and and hold back and put your stats back in your bag. We can get back to that after we have solved this little issue.


Boklogic

Status: Bok regular
Posts: 1903
RE: Comprehensive, sensible, flyhalf article
February 26, 2013, 00:27:26

Bongani, you add very little in terms of rugby nouse instead you love to cause kak and challenge every poster.

 

Lets hear something of substance from you. Lets hear what you think of Morne instead of what you think of other posters comments all the time!


Saffex

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Posts: 8466
RE: Comprehensive, sensible, flyhalf article
February 26, 2013, 00:53:12

Disagree with this. Morne added nothing other than good use of the boot and has been a proved failure for years in terms of igniting the Bok backs - he should never play for the Boks again.

 

Lambie won the battle of the flyhalves in the first half, Goosen dominated the second half. Goosen showed more enterprise with ball in hand.

 

Both were good and after week one I'd say even but if pushed I'd give it to Goosen. For the record Catrakillis was good as well and is no mug

 

 


carpetmuncher

Status: Bok regular
Posts: 1396
RE: Comprehensive, sensible, flyhalf article
February 26, 2013, 07:59:30

morne to me does what morne does kicks his kicks and keeps his forwards on the front foot with the boot. nothing special nothing amazing. just solid robotic flyhalf play. on the other hand people knock goosen for his first game but people tend to forget that he was wrapped in cotton wool until a couple of weeks ago and he wont be 100% on the money from the start. he needs some time to ajust to super rugby. lambie on the other hand was on the money from the start but only due to the fact that his forwards had the upperhand on the best of times. looking towards RWC 2015 we cant go wrong with lambie and goosen as our 10's. all depends on the game pattern on course but if meyer can maybe teleport his game plan out of the 1960's those players might actually show that they can run with the ball.


BonganiP

Status: Baby Bok
Posts: 229
RE: Comprehensive, sensible, flyhalf article
February 26, 2013, 21:08:21

Boklogic

Status: Bok regular
Posts: 448
RE: Comprehensive, sensible, flyhalf article
February 26, 2013, 00:27:26


Bongani, you add very little in terms of rugby nouse instead you love to cause kak and challenge every poster.

 

Lets hear something of substance from you. Lets hear what you think of Morne instead of what you think of other posters comments all the time!

 

 

Are you daft or something? I don't give a shit what what you want from me. I have told you that I will wait until I have heard from ou Maaikie, and then we can have a look at your burning issue. Now run along and wait your turn.


Boklogic

Status: Bok regular
Posts: 1903
RE: Comprehensive, sensible, flyhalf article
February 26, 2013, 22:58:49

Still nothing Bongani. Is rugby even your game? Doesn't seem like it.

Does the PSL not have a blog? Maybe you better equipped to talking soccer because you know nothing about rugby.


BonganiP

Status: Baby Bok
Posts: 229
RE: Comprehensive, sensible, flyhalf article
February 27, 2013, 10:59:25

Hey Bokdrol, why don't you poke your friend Maaikie to answer, so I can attend to your burning issue. I wouldn't bother you with football (not soccer) you wouldn't understand it, even though the rules are much less complicated than rugby.


Beeno1

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RE: Comprehensive, sensible, flyhalf article
February 27, 2013, 12:49:41

Boklogic we are dealing here with a  ss mole too scared to reveal his identity.    Come out of the closet bog ani!


bluebok

Status: Bok regular
Posts: 1148
RE: Comprehensive, sensible, flyhalf article
February 27, 2013, 15:06:00

I am with Saff here, sort of, I'd play Goosen without a doubt. He was a little rusty out of the blocks, but he more than made up for it in the second half. And with the time he has been off, his performance was still better than I expected. Those of you with head up bum, that say he is too young and inexperienced, think about this. He has one Super Rugby season, even if not a full one, under his belt, and a couple of tests too. By the time this Super Rugby season is finished, he'll have had more than enough exposure to the top levels of the game to warrant his inclusion in the Bok side. Lambie, well he has it all, I guess, but there is still something missing in his game that worries me. Can't quite put my finger on what it is. Steyn, if he can keep performing as he did on Friday, then he will still  be in contention come time for bok selections...like it or not. I think he can still add value to the Bok team under specific circumstances. In tight, test match rugby, behind a good pack, he is still a game winner. Jantjes, never was, and never will be Springbok quality.


Boklogic

Status: Bok regular
Posts: 1903
RE: Comprehensive, sensible, flyhalf article
February 27, 2013, 22:32:08

Bluebok, what happened to the Sharks had nothing to do with Goosen. The air in Bloem is way thinner than that in Durbs and it was the first game of the season so Sharks were blowing hard in that period of 10 mins until they dug deep to come out of it.

Remember, the Sharks had two easy pre season games and both played at night. They then went to take Cheetahs on in the arvo in sunshine and thinner air. It all played its toll and Cheetahs are obviously a lot more accustomed to that. Must refrain from making it sound like Goosen turned the game around. It was circumstance rather than ability from Goosen that turned the Sharks dominance around. Expect Lambie to put this flyhalf debate to bed later in the season when the Cheetahs arrive on the shores of Durban.


clevermike

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RE: Comprehensive, sensible, flyhalf article
February 27, 2013, 23:02:12

I do not know why there is such a long debate on the issue of the flyhalfs.  We have two excellent young flyhalfs in the country,   In any test series you will need both of them in the squad and they are both going to play for the Springboks this year - so why the debate.

I say we are lucky to have two such talented players in a critical position on the field of play,   They play a differnet style of rugby when required to do so by the coach.   Both bring different qualities to the game - but both has one thing in common - excellent ball sense.

 


Boklogic

Status: Bok regular
Posts: 1903
RE: Comprehensive, sensible, flyhalf article
February 28, 2013, 01:08:26

Yeah Mike, its just strange how all of a sudden, Goosen was the spark that ignited the Cheetahs. It was a culmination of tiring Sharks players that were not game fit, thin air and a Cheetahs resurgence lead by the forwards that enabled Goosen to get more loose with the ball and run the Sharks around. Elton Jantjies would have done the same thing if he was in that situation as would Lambie if him and Goosen switched teams.

 

They are both very good players but the way some guys talk is that Goosen is lightyears ahead of Lambie when that is not the case at all. Goosen has not been tested like Lambie has nor does he have the temperament of Lambie at this stage in his career. When the Sharks were dominating, Goosen hardly featured and the score could have got big on them and would have if this game was a little further into the season and guys were more match fit. Skill wise, both great players, goal kicking attribute, both can not be faulted, strength, Lambie takes the cake here. Composure under pressure, Lambie again.

 

At this point in time, Lambie is the best option we have that will spur Goosen on to get better. Competition is king. One thing is for sure and as Mike elludes to, we will have two world class 10's by 2015 if things carry on the way they are.  A team can be good, but never great if they do not have a great 9 and 10 combination. Gregan/Larkham. Genia/Cooper (have the ability), Marshall/Mehrtens, Smith/Carter (heading this way), Du Preez/James. SA needs one of Hougaard or Reinach to step up now and be great! Hougaard unfortunately is not "breaking through" if you know what I mean. He has flashes of moments when he looks the real deal but they not consistently there. He needs to spend time with a real great of the game like Du Preez, Marshall, Gregan and co and really learn the game from a 9's perspective.


clevermike

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Posts: 11874
RE: Comprehensive, sensible, flyhalf article
February 28, 2013, 06:00:59

boklogic

Sasue is going to kill me for this one - but I think Reinach has a better chance of succcess as a scrummie than Hougaard has.   In the one game they played against each other as scrummies - the CC semi last year - reinach comprehensively outplayed Hougaard in all components of scrummie play.  

In Reinach's first game at Super 15 level - he also showed much more in skills than Hougaard did.   When having to cover kicks by the Cheetahs and he was in his own 22 - he made massive ground making relieving kicks - something Hougaard is incapable of doing.   He definitely have  a more crispy and accurae passing game than Hougaard.    

Hougaard had a nightmare 2012 season and he has a lot to prove this year if he wants to stay in contention.   In a way I have another problem and that is Hougaard's ability to take options.  That grubber kick - where the referee fouled up so badly on Saturday - was really idiotic play.   Any other referee would have given a penalty against Hougaard for putting all his forwards off-side and it could have drastically changed the outcome of the match.    

The crux of the matter is the reading of the game by Hougaard.   His inability to function as a clever reader of the game was what made Meyer drop him as a scrummie - and I have as yet not seen much improvement in that.   In 2012 Hougaard's relieving kicking game was catastrophic - in 2013 he had thus far no charge down kicks - but was still very average.  He did show some improvement in passing of the ball though and was not as slow and inaccurate as he was last year.  To my mind he has a long way to go before he would be acceptable as Springbok scrummie.  


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