This weekend was another sad day for Springbok Rugby as the Boks took another hiding, this time at the hands of the All Blacks. We Springbok supporters always believe that there is an outside chance, even when the writing is on the wall. What I wanted this weekend was a better performance from the young Springboks and a closer score. My prediction was a loss of between 12 and 15 points if we played well and a serious drubbing if we played like we did against Australia. Well, the sad thing is that we played well at times and still took a beating. I think the score in these games is irrelevant as we are clearly not playing our best 15. What is important is that we get an idea of who we can rely on when some of our senior players are injured. Unfortunately, after two games in the Tri-Nations there are more questions than answers.
Questions need answering
I know that P Divvy has stated that the results overseas have not changed his mind regarding his World Cup squad, but I really hope they have. So, you might ask which questions still need to be answered. Well, I will try to mention a few. Firstly, he needs to decide on a halfback pairing that can help us defend our title. Is P Divvy going to pick Ruan Piennaar at 9 or at 10? Rumour has it that he wants to pick Butch James at 10. Who is he going to pick as back up to Fourie du Preez? Is he going to take a half-fit Juan Smith and a half-fit Heindrich Brussouw? Who will he pick at 15?
There are a serious number of very important questions that need to be answered in the next few weeks. There are two Test Matches left for the Boks in the Tri-Nations and these questions will need to be answered sooner rather than later. The All Blacks and the Wallabies are, at this stage, much better placed than we and there is a quiet confidence about these two teams that really scares me. Winning test matches breeds confidence and the Boks will need to get to winning ways very quickly if they want to gain confidence leading into the World Cup.
A serious lack of coaching
My feeling is that there is a serious lack of coaching and it will be up to the senior players to make sure that we stand any chance of defending our title as world champions. For that to happen, the senior players need to play and they need to play well. Let's hope the injury curse leaves the Springboks alone so that they can start their preparation in all earnest.
On the Currie Cup front there were no major surprises this weekend. The one thing that did surprise me was the one-sidedness of the two big games between the Sharks and the Cheetahs and between WP and the Bulls. The Cheetahs made some sort of a comeback, but never looked like winning and WP absolutely annihilated the Bulls at Newlands. I predicted that the Bulls would have a few tough years ahead, but it seems as though they really will battle without all their stars. One thing is for sure and that is that we will be in for two better Test Matches here in South Africa. Let's hope that the senior players can rally around John Smit and turn our fortunes around. It will take one monumental effort, but we have the talent and experience to become the first rugby team in history to defend our title as world champions.
Corné Krige; former captain of the Springboks has had a successful rugby career, playing 39 tests for South African in total of 18 of which were as Captain as well as leading the Springboks in the World Cup in 2003. Corné now lives in Melkbosstrand with his wife Justine and three children. He owns his own company, CK Outdoor which specializes in Outdoor Advertising and is sports contributor to Bizcommunity's BizLifestyle section.
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