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My assessment of OZ vs SA

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My assessment of OZ vs SA Empty My assessment of OZ vs SA

Post by Biltong Mon 25 Jul 2011, 7:21 am

According to the Australian press this weekend’s match has shown a turn around of note for Australian rugby.
I think it is important to remain objective about the test match where Australia has just pulverised a decidedly poor Springbok team.

Firstly congratulation to a well deserved victory. But let us not get ahead of ourselves.

Prior to the match, I commented that my biggest concern was the defensive organisation of the South Africans, well it was clear for anybody to see there was no defensive organisation.

What was also very clear was the fact that the Australian forwards had much more intensity at the breakdowns than their South African counterparts.

As we all know this Australian back line is packed with talented individuals who in their own right are all game breakers.
Genia and Cooper had a field day against a totally disorganised and woefully incompetent defence from our loose trio through to Ruan Pienaar, Morne Steyn and Wynand Olivier.

It wasn’t just the missed tackles by these players that should cause a great sense of alarm for PDV, but also the amount of times where Genia literally only had two front row players to run around, and the first Australian try of 80 meters are testament to that. Add to that the almost admiring respect Morne Steyn and Wynand Olivier had for Quade Cooper. It borders on the pathetic that two supposedly international players are standing on the back foot, too hesitant to make any move or decision. As they say, if you don’t even try, you will never succeed.

It is uncanny if you look at when the Australians scored. In a burst of 4 minutes, the Australians scored two tries in the first half. Once the Springboks started settling a little it took until the start of the second half, before the Australians once again had a burst of 11 minutes in which they scored 3 more tries.

As good as Australia was in this match, that is how bad the South Africans were. Very few South Africans covered themselves in any glory. The new look front row was disappointing to say the least. Where has all the powerful props of yesteryear gone? With the injury of Johan Muller before the game, it was immediately evident that Hargeaves and Van der Merwe weren’t even close to the class of Marfield and Botha. They lacked the physicality which makes the Springboks competitive at the breakdown. The combination of Stegmann, Rossouw and Johnson simply didn’t work. Ruan Pienaar and Morne Steyn both had games which should make PDV sit up and realise that neither of them should be competing in world cup knock out matches.

Hopefully after this away tour, we will never see Wynand Olivier near a springbok training camp.

Juan du Jongh did not have a good game either, but what do you expect of him when all around him there is chaos.
Mvovo had a very quiet match, I think he felt lost our there, Basson has oodles of talent, but like I said before the match, he and Aplon combined at the back, lacks size and it showed. But it is hard not to feel sorry for these two, often at times they had to defend in situations where the overlap has been established and support runners were fighting each other off, to get the finishing pass.

What to make of the Australians?

I think they deserve credit, they played what was in front of them, and they beat them soundly. The truth of the matter is that although Genia and Cooper are both very gifted players, to read too much into a performance where they were allowed to run riot without any pressure on them whatsoever, would be premature. We all know their capabilities, but this weekends match was the guide to dummy rugby of how not to play against them.

Most of the Australian tries came from counter attacks deep in their own half, they still do not seem to have the ability to win matches just because they control them. The need for space is paramount to them having opportunities to use their back line.

I look forward to see how good they will fare against an all Black team, that will not be giving them space and opportunity.

Back to the Springboks and PDV. I can only deduce that after more than 40 test matches as coach of the springboks, this man does not have an original idea floating around his brain. His severely lacks the ability to get the best out of a bunch of players who are not as bad as the score line would suggest.

There was no cohesion, the number of passes that went directly into the hands of Australian players was alarming. The blame for this embarrassing loss is squarely on the head of PDV.

I can just imagine how tough a task it must be for John Smit to remain PC about this situation.

It is sadly also time for the big man to retire.

This unfortunately is a game to be forgotten, and no matter whether this was our second stringers playing, it will have damaged their chances psychologically to beat the Aussies come RWC.

Then again, they would only meet them in the Final, and for that to happen, the Boks need to beat a New Zealand team, who has a coach with a brain.
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Post by emack2 Mon 25 Jul 2011, 8:39 am

Hi,Biltongbek to throw together 22 players who may at S 15 produce the goods ,but lack a lot of test experience to take on a team on a mission to prove something was a recipe for disaster.
With due respect for Johann Smit ,Great player that he was Retire Now !!
don`t become a bumbling nonentity in a political game.
I have the greatest respect for BOTH sides,but this Bok side was nowhere
what you expect in a test match.
Saturday,indications are the Weather will Cold.or Wet at best probably a mudlark.All Blacks will not pick a Full strength side but a pack that is very strong in the tight five and back row.
The game I expect to played up Front,don`t think AB`s will be as rusty as last week nor treat the Boks likeFiji they will show more respect in the conditions.
Question is PDV doing a 2007 rerun,or are there genuinely 20 odd players injured?
If genuine OK but reducing a 3Ns to just another match to me is intolerable.

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Post by Biltong Mon 25 Jul 2011, 9:31 am

Hi Alan, I think in his mind PDV is doing a rerun of 2007. But the reality is, his preparation is not the same as 2007.

In 2007 our Boks were in form, they also had more tests to prepare for the RWC. This time round he is hoping that his out of form boks will get prepared during the RWC in the pool games. Only time will tell.
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Post by funnyExiledScot Mon 25 Jul 2011, 9:47 am

My take on the game was pretty similar really. Well played Australia, played what was in front of them and the message is pretty clear, don't give Genia or Cooper an inch, otherwise they'll take you apart. SA gave them yards of space to attack and the result was predictable. There are positives for Australia, but they should be tempered based on the opposition.

SA losing with that side was predictable, but I think the fans could have at least expected two things: (1) for the side and particularly the defence to have a semblance of organisation, and (2) for at least a couple of individuals to put in a worthy performance, and stake a claim for a WC spot. Neither happened.

As regards (1), PDV must go at the end of the WC. He's out of his depth.

As regards (2), I was particularly disappointed in Pienaar and De Jongh. Both are fine players but neither had a game to remember. Pienaar's decision making was flakey, his distribution average and when the going got tough, he started flinging around miracle passes which ruined any chance of the Boks discovering composure. De Jongh was outshone by Oliver (who was utterly average), and that tells it's own story. Stripped of the ball and knocked back in contact, tentative all game long with ball in hand and utterly owned by Ashley-Cooper and McCabe. Such a talented player, and a shame that (a) he wasn't given the chance to shine by those around him, but also (b) that he failed to show any initiative and create anything.

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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler Mon 25 Jul 2011, 9:48 am

Id disagree that P Divvy doesnt have any original ideas. The trouble is he has some very odd ideas.

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Post by Rob B Mon 25 Jul 2011, 9:52 am

Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler wrote:Id disagree that P Divvy doesnt have any original ideas. The trouble is he has some very odd ideas.

The most interesting change in play from Aust was Cooper. Deans has taken a leaf from McKenzie's book and played Cooper at fullback defensively with Beale to the wing and Ioane coming off the wing to defensive flyhalf. Deans refused to do this last season and threatened to drop Cooper after the England after a poor defensive effort at flyhalf at Twickenham (it was a poor defensive effort by a lot of them that day).
While there is a mantra of shutting cooper down and not giving him space, which has been the theme for 2011, it is easier said than done - on counterattack at fullback he has all the space anyone would want and that has served the Reds well this year. Linking with Beale and O'Oconnor means plenty of options even if Cooper is "got to"

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Post by OzT Mon 25 Jul 2011, 9:56 am

Was a frustrating game, from an aussie side, to watch. your no 10 did as you predicted, bombs as soon as he got the ball in the beginning, the wallabies scored as expected against a put together side, but then as you pointed out, showed no dominance what so ever.

Our forwards did well, even won the scrum penality, but we all know it wil show for nothing against a proper test sides.

What frustrated me, not just the dropped passes when the line beckoned, was how we let the boks scored. Even though we were not scoring, surely the test side should be able to shut out at 3/4 time and close up shop? No, we let 2 tries in. am not taking away anything from the boks, but by then I think it was safe to say the game was won, why oh why again the wallabies cannot shut up shop like all top sides could? did not matter in this game but will be plenty of times when a close game we could have lost. after last year's I have to say unbeliveably poor defences against the boks when we were up in the 1st 20 minutes to lose I had hoped, against all hopes, that we could have learnt to at least defend. Nope, obviously no chance of that.

Credit to the boks for coming back, and I love and support the wallabies 100%, but I can see another year of disappointment and enormous frustration of watching our side do some amazing brilliant cutting attacks, and then lose just because we cannot hold on to points.

But what a brill little player O'Connor is becoming, not a backward step. Thought we may miss Drew a lot, and no doubt we will, but least we have seem to have good backups.

I was surprised to see how easily Steyn was handed off by Ioane though for his try. Though least he tried to stop him, maybe more than Quade may have done.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 25 Jul 2011, 10:17 am

What I couldn't understand about the way the Boks played was there hesitation in attacking the breakdown. Once the ball was lost they just stood off and prepared to defend giving Genia and Cooper loads of time to organise an attack. Samoa showed that the best way to stop the Aussies playing is to have the front row just attack every breakdown. It sucks in the Oz support runners limiting the tens options (forces them to go wide but minus support from the forwards) and stops the exciting Aussies backline using good ball. Horriffic performance form the Bok 8. They showed nothing in any aspect of the game.

In the backs Wyland Olivier was all over the place, your 12 has to be a presence in the defensive line otherwise the midfield will fall apart. Olivier was sitting to deep and opening dog legs all around him.

On the upside for the Boks young Lambie looked an attacking fly half of some class. Clearly being mentored by the mecurial genius Michalak has paid off because Lambie really added a couple of extra gears to the Saffa attack.

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Post by TheGreyGhost Mon 25 Jul 2011, 10:25 am

I was interested to see how Cooper faded in the match. I heard the rumours that he was ill the day before. But all the symptoms sounded nervous to me.

As the Springboks started to apply pressure at about the time Lambie came on, he seemed to wither a bit. There were a lot of rushed and inaccurate miracle ball passes to no-one in particular going on. A lot of chip kicks that weren't on and didn't work, and a lot of that leaping fawn before diving into the tackle. Maybe he was just tired, or perhaps he got flustered. Just saying.

I would've thought at 32-6 up Australia might have looked to shut the game down, take the pace out and frustrate the Springboks. If it were the ABs, I would have wanted that at least. Instead, Australia seemed to get very loose.

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Post by Standulstermen Mon 25 Jul 2011, 10:33 am

Biltong

I didnt see the game but from the reports i have read the thought on Pienaar seems 50;50. Some thought he was decent, others not. My bro who saw it said he wasnt great though. Anyway my question was would you rather see Hougaard as your back up 9 and will Muller now make the RWC squad.

Hougaard will more than likely be the future SA 9 given that Pienaar is quoted as saying he has signed on for Ulster for 2 more years.

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Post by emack2 Mon 25 Jul 2011, 10:51 am

The Wallabies usually strike early,the All Blacks have been behind at half-time in most of the last 10 wins versus them.
Think it will be mud pies at Eden Park,AB`s last match is OZ away so they will know what they need to do.By then I expect the Boks will have conceded defeat.BUT Iam always wary of a wounded Bok.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 25 Jul 2011, 11:08 am

I was interested to see how Cooper faded in the match

If he was ill that would be expected. You'd have thought that Deans would have brought a 10 to the bench to cover so he Cooper didn't have to near kill himself by playing all 80 though. The game was won on 50, could have given someone else a go and let Cooper recover a little more.

I would've thought at 32-6 up Australia might have looked to shut the game down, take the pace out and frustrate the Springboks

Don't think that Oz have the ability to do that. They have a backline that attacks brilliantly with ball in hand but when it comes to the tactical battles they look a little lost. Genia has improved considerabley with his tactical options but with the average line out the Aussies posses it's normally just a kick and chase routine in operation.

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Post by Biltong Mon 25 Jul 2011, 11:13 am

Standulstermen wrote:Biltong

I didnt see the game but from the reports i have read the thought on Pienaar seems 50;50. Some thought he was decent, others not. My bro who saw it said he wasnt great though. Anyway my question was would you rather see Hougaard as your back up 9 and will Muller now make the RWC squad.

Hougaard will more than likely be the future SA 9 given that Pienaar is quoted as saying he has signed on for Ulster for 2 more years.

If I am honest, if Fourie du Preez doesn't show form soon, I would prefer Hougaard to be the incumbent and fourie to be his back up. But onse again there are at least 3 other scrumhalves back in SA that would hopefully be tested next year.

Jano Vermaak plays for the Lions, our worst super Franchise but yet is one of our best, he obviously aren't lloked at, but he again scored a hattrick on saturday.

Sarel Pretorius and Dewald Duvenhage are both very talented players as well.
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