What do we have to work with
April 09, 2013, 00:17:58
We are a good few weeks into the S15, where few impressions have been made, players have been lost to injury and some have taken themselves out of contention for the Boks. Lets look at what we have to work with.
At fullback, Taute our only real prospect is now out for the season. He would have been a serious contender for the fullback or 13 spot. He has had little time to settle with the Stormers, but now his season is over and we cant dwell on whether he would have risen to the challenge of making the Bok 15 spot his own.
Ludik has been in good form for the Sharks, but he lacks that x factor to take him to the next level. Kirchner has been poor for the Bulls and is now injured which will given an opportunity to the talented Visser to make an impression. Daniller, like Ludik, is not Bok material. Frans Steyn could do a job at 15, but I dont believe he has the pace to make a real impact there. Joe for the Stormers has been average. SP Marais of the Kings prior to his injury looked a nice attacking player, but lookes a bit scrawny.
At the moment, our best prospect at 15 looks to be Willie le Roux. He looks to make things happen and is in great form. Had Goosen been fit, I would have played Lambie at 15.
On the wing, it was great to see JP rediscover his form this past weekend. He is a sure bet. Habana should be back in time and should have another season left in him. Of the youngsters, Rhule is looking really good - great pace and step and has a nose for the try line. v/d Heever looks to be back to his best, bringing a physical edge to the role. Young Sergel Petersen looks a great prospect, despite his size. Mapoe has disappointed to date for the Bulls. The Ndungane twins need to pack it in, they lack pace. Basson gave us his trademark takes in the air and is quick but has always disappeared at test level. Aplon is always good, but too small. Mvovo was in good form prior to his injury. JP, Habana and Rhule look our best bets, with v/d Heever up there.
At outside centre, of the current players playing there, only JJ Engelbrecht looks a test quality 13, but he does need to sustain his current form and take it to the next level to convince his detractors. de Jongh has been at best solid, but is not the answer at test level. He lacks the physicality required of a test 13, much like Jordaan of the Sharks. Sadie has been solid enough but has hardly set the world alight. Lacks sheer pace and that physical edge. Murray had a good game for the Kings this was week, but is never far away from injury. Its a pity we dont get to see what Pat Howard and JP du Plessis have to offer for the Stormers. The other real options are moving the very impressive Serfontein to 13 and the same can be said of de Allende. JJ, Serfontein and de Allende are the only real options at 13.
At inside centre, Jean has been solid enough, but do we really want solid? Frans started well, but has fitness issues. Serfontein has been a revelation at 12 and must start for the Boks at 12 or 13. Ebersohn has been in good form for the Cheetahs, but he operates well in space, something a 12 sees very little of in test rugby. Like de Jongh, I suspect he is too small for test rugby. de Allende sadly has had his opportunity to shine taken away from him thanks to the faith the Stormers have in de Jongh. In his last start at 12 for the Stormers, de Allende was very good. Whitehead was the best SA 12 this time last year but struggled to replicate that form after his injury. He will return to action in the weeks coming. I like Frans Venter of the Bulls, but he will struggle for game time. A fit Frans, Serfontein and de Allende are the options at 12. However, Jean will be part of the equation under Meyer.
At flyhalf, Goosen is a huge loss. This opens the door for Lambie to make the 10 spot his own in 2013. Jantjies has not settled with the Stormers, he has shown glimpses of magic and made some errors. Catrakillis is a quality player who would not let the Bok bench down. Lambie the obvious choice with Catrakillis and Jantjies as back-ups.
At scrumhalf, we have Pienaar in good form for Ulster. Hougaard is injured but was looking solid prior to the injury. Reinach has been good this season as has Groom. Schrauder is a good player but looks to be a step behind Groom, same can be said of Duvenhage. Pretorious is a great player but has a poor service, we cant have that at test level. v/Zyl has taken a back seat to Sarel, which is a pity as he is up there with Reinach and Groom. Vermaak has been poor for the Bulls. Pienaar, Hougaard and Reinach are our options at 9.
Forwards to follow