Boks Poised to select physical freak
November 12, 2013, 12:10:12
Pieter-Steph du Toit has had his introduction to international rugby and is now ready to assume the responsibility of starting his first test when the Springboks play against Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday.
The South Africans haven’t trained since they arrived in Edinburgh late on Sunday night and they won’t be in any kind of action on Tuesday either, so there hasn’t yet been a chance for the media following the tour to see Heyneke Meyer’s shadow selection for Saturday’s clash running together.
But while he stressed that he wasn’t the coach and didn’t make the selections, assistant coach John McFarland gave enough indication of the massive regard the management have for the young Sharks player to suggest this will be the weekend when the former Swartland pupil’s ship will come in when it comes to realising his international ambitions.
“Pieter-Steph is just a physical freak, and he has an engine to go along with his massive size as well,” said McFarland during the first press conference since the squad’s arrival in Scotland.
“I am not the coach, and I don’t make the decisions, but Pieter-Steph has made a start to his international career now, hasn’t he? Heyneke has been very good at earmarking and identifying talent. He spotted Pieter-Steph way back before he had even played Currie Cup rugby, when very few people knew who he was.
"Heyneke has a proven track record when it comes to bringing through players who go on to become greats in the game and I think that will be the case here.(UNLIKE SNAPSTER AND OU MAAAIKIE MEYER KNOWS HOW TO BRING YOUNG TALENT THROUGH)
“Apart from everything else he brings, Pieter-Steph’s work rate is incredibly high. He is up and down off the flow so quickly, and it obviously helps that in his formative years he played in the back row. His athleticism is a huge bonus for a lock.”
Du Toit has been taken under the wing of veteran Bakkies Botha on this tour, and the pair are often seen together during the team’s downtime.(WELL i SUGGESTED AS MUCH WHEN OU MAAIKIE AND SNAPSTER WERE WAILING THEIR HEADS OFF WHEN BAKKIES WAS SELECTED. SOME OAKS CANT THINK STARTEGICALLY. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA)
The debutant spoke highly of Botha’s mentorship role when he was interviewed following the 24-15 win over Wales that started this tour and his test career in Cardiff last weekend.
With Meyer wanting to rest some of his players so that his men can deal effectively with what is really a five-day turnaround between the Edinburgh match and the final game of the tour against France in Paris the following Saturday, Du Toit looks set to showcase his prodigious talents for the first time as a member of the starting team.
And you can take it as a sure bet that Botha will be there to guide him through his first start, and in so doing join Jaque Fourie and JP Pietersen in beginning his second career as a Bok.
Like the Japan-based pair, before this tour Botha, who like wing Bryan Habana these days plays for French club Toulon (THAT WEIRDOU ROOITWIT NOW DOESNT WANT HABAN IN THE SIDE AND OU MAAAIKE PROBABLY STILL RESENTS THE AFCT HABANA IS IN THE SIDE), hadn’t had any involvement with the Boks since the 2011 World Cup campaign ground to a disappointing halt in the Wellington quarterfinal against Australia.
While Botha is back with the Boks and there is even talk of a possible comeback for Victor Matfield (NO, NO NO!), Meyer does back the young duo of Eben Etzebeth and Du Toit, who many feel could go on to become even better than the famous Botha/Matfield combination.(iNFAMOUS IF YOU ASK ME - A GREAT LOCK PAIRED WITH A106 KG STRINGBEAN WHO SPENT HIS LIFE AVOIDING PLAYING AS A MEMBER OF THE TIGHT FIVE AND FOULING UP THE BACKLINE)
Botha’s call-up, and Matfield’s comeback if it happens, is all about backing up the young players while adding experience and mentorship to the group.
The team for the Scotland test will be named on Thursday once the squad has trained and the management have had a proper opportunity to assess the seriousness of the few bumps and bruises picked up against Wales last week.
At this stage first-choice flyhalf Morne Steyn is the only player under an injury cloud, although team doctor Craig Roberts is confident he will be in the selection mix.
“Morne has made a big improvement so it is looking positive,” said Roberts.
One thing is certain: even if the Boks do experiment with a few of their selections for Sunday’s game, the South Africans will not be taking the Scots lightly.
They have been burned too often in the past for that, and while there are seven places separating the two teams on the IRB rankings, the Boks have fresh memories of the fright Scotland gave them in a match in Nelspruit in June.
“If I recall correctly, the Scots were leading 20-3 at one stage of the first half and we had to fight really hard to come back and win that game,” said McFarland.
“That was a really tough test and we are expecting another hard game on Sunday. I don’t think they will change much from that June match. Their tactics worked for 40 minutes of the game against us last time and they will be eager to try it again.”
HOW THE WEE ABS WOULD LOVE TWO HAVE TWO YOUNG LOCKS LIKE E TZEBETH AND DU TOIT. UNFORTUNATELY THEY DONT PRODUCE MEN LIKE THIS