RE: So far the Bok candidates are following the script....
March 27, 2013, 01:30:18
Agree with some, disagree with most. For a start its early days and we have not seen enough to formulate a real opinion on some of the players this season.
Agreed, Kirchner is not the answer and while he was solid for the Boks last year, he has been average for the Bulls this year. Taute has played little rugby this year, but looks the only option at 15. Lambie would have come into contention had Goosen been fit. Frans is not a good option at 15 as he lacks out and out pace and Meyer sees him as a 12, as I do. Ludik is a good S15 level player but lacks real clout to be a Bok. Willie le Roux is a talent but tends to spend his time on the wing.
JP is our best wing but has been poor this year. Not sure what the issue is with him, but then again its been the same issue with the Sharks in general. Habana might still have a year in him, time will tell. You are wrong about Rhule, he was great last year and has found that form again in his last two games. v/d Heever looks to be back to his best, but he needs to show that form each week. Sergel looks a great prosect but size might be an issue. Mvovo has had a good season and taken his opportunities this year. Mapoe was very good last year for the Lions, but has been average for the Bulls this season. If Jordaan does not work out at 13, then he would probably be better suited to wing.
Outside centre is an issue and it might take moving a player like Jan Serfontein to 13 to solve the issue. I am convinced Serfontein has to start for the Boks this year. His showing in the 10 min he was on against the Reds was sublime. He has pace, strength and an eye for space. The way he took on the Reds 12 by first attacking his inside at an angle and then beating him on the outside was brilliant. That was later followed by speed through the gap and a step or two to beat 2 defenders. JJ Engelbrecht has been solid in his last two outings and looks full of running.....what I like about this guy is that he looks to step, much like Jordaan does, but Jordaan might lack the physicality to impose himself. Jordaan has failed to make an impression this year, but to be fair to him, he has had little opportunity. de Allende looks like the kind of centre that would be at home at 13 as well. Its disappointing that Baby Bok, Pat Howard has not been given an opportunity at S15 level yet.
At 12, Jean would provide more of the same, nothing special......we need to move on from solid, Jean is past it. Frans needs to get fit and play the SBW role if he wants to make it at 12. He has the attributes to be our best 12 in the modern test arena, but then he needs to embrace the model he showed in his first S15 outing this year. de Allende has made an impact only to be moved to the bench.....this has done the Boks and the Stormers no favours. Frans Venter is a good prospect but will struggle to get game time with the Bulls. Whitehead was brilliant in last years S15, but has failed to regain that form after his injury. His return to S15 rugby will be defining. Jan Serfotein is the one dead certainty for 12 or 13........we need to work out who his best partner should be. My call would be a fit Frans at 12, with Jan at 13 and JJ on the bench.
At 10, Goosen is a huge loss. Lambie walks it with Goosen out of the equation. Jantjies provides something different. Katrakilis looks a good prospect.
At 9, Hougaard will get game time with the Bulls, he started well with his primary role of service, but needs to find his attacking spark. We need Hougaard at his best at 9. Pienaar like Jean is done. Reinach looks a good prospect as does Groom of the Stormers. v/Zyl of the Cheetahs is another good player, but is struggling to displace the running Pretorious who cant pass.
At loosehead, Beast is still king, but we have depth in Kitshoff who has been good this season - both in the scrums and general play. He has been wrongly pinged for penalties, much like many of the props out there - its a lottery. Coenie looks set to play tighthead, but remains a prospect at loosehead, his usual position. Nkanyane for the Cheetahs has been huge, what a find this lad is. The same can be said of Mellett of the Bulls. We must never see Steenkamp or CJ in a Bok jersey again.....that was insulting.
At hooker Bismark and Strauss are the obvious choices. Chiliboy has lost his mojo. Kyle Cooper of the Sharks looks a good prospect as did Callie Visagie of the Lions last year, who was meant to be on loan to the Bulls this year, but I have yet to see him feature. Fourie is a great impact player in the Brits mould and who can cover 6.
At 3, Jannie is still in charge, Malherbe has come on strong for the Stormers, rightfully displacing the average Pat Cilliers who toured with the Boks. Coenie is strong enough to develop into a great tighthead, but he has some way to go yet. Herbst looks ok and I like Frik Kirsten of the Bulls. Last seasons impressive Cheetah, now with the Bulls - Marcel v/d Merwe will return from injury in May - he is a beast.
We have more than enough depth at lock. Etzebeth and Bekker stand tall, with Steph du Toit and de Jager making the right noises. Added to this, there are youngsters like Willemse, JA Marais and Bresler......plus a handful of others.
At 6, Brussouw was huge on the weekend, Kolisi was huge against the Chiefs and Daniel is a class act but only if he plays 6. Louw is better suited to 7.
At 7 we have Elstadt showing promise, I have always thought he looked Bok material. Alberts will be back to provide more of the physical same. Players like Labascagne, Coetzee and Arno Botha have been good this year, in particular Botha and Labascagne. Botha is equally at home at 8 and suspect Coetzee would be best suited to 8.
At 8, Spies has been better than he has been in a while. Vermeulen has been good and v/d Walt of the Cheetahs has been a good find.
If I was selecting the Bok side now for June.......my side would be:
15. Taute 14. JP 13. Serfontein 12. Frans 11. v/d Heever 10. Lambie 9. Hougaard 1. Beast 2. Bismark 3. Jannie 4. Etzebeth 5. Bekker 6. Brussouw 7. Elstadt 8. Vermeulen 16. Reinach 17. Jantjies 18. JJ/ de Allende/ Jordaan/ Rhule 19. Coenie 20. Strauss 21. Steph du Toit 22. Coetzee/ Louw/ Botha / Labascagne/ Kolisi