Step and unbelievable dummy sets up try


Streaker starts mass brawl after tackle


Ben Flower red card for vicious punches


The Top 5 Schoolboy Prodigies


Prop lays into fullback with big shot


Tameifuna's huge hit on Michael Hooper


Sam Burgess breaks cheekbone, plays on


Just how fast is Carlin Isles?


The Human Hurdle Attempt

Monday, September 09, 2013

Springboks full of belief after thumping the Wallabies in Brisbane

The Springboks put in one of their better performances in recent years as they broke the Brisbane hoodoo to crush the Wallabies 38-12 in their Rugby Championship clash at Suncorp Stadium. They face the All Blacks in Auckland next, believing they can win.

While the big South Africans have always had the brute strength to beat teams into submission, in recent times they have brought a new dimension into their game, showing an attacking intent that clearly wasn't favoured, or executed, under former coach Peter de Villiers.

Heyneke Meyer, through a few key selections and a change of attitude has managed to find a good balance, making the Springboks a far more potent threat. On Saturday they were powerful up front then scored some great tries out wide, with both wingers playing their part.

"They've kept their physicality but they've sped up their game. They're using their backs a lot more and this will be the first time they've had so many bonus points in this competition." commented All Blacks coach Steve Hansen, who will this week be planning ways to counter the challenge.

"That's a reflection on how they're using the ball so they're going to be really, really tough.

Springbok coach Meyer has backed his men, after having won nine matches in a row, to take on the best team in the world when they meet this coming weekend at fortress Eden Park.

While the All Blacks haven't lost at Eden Park since 1994, they were less than convincing against Argentina and will be missing key breakdown man Richie McCaw. With Bismarck du Plessis and Francois Louw in lethal form in that area against the Wallabies, the Boks will fancy an upset.

"They're the world champions, they're No 1 in the world. They're expected to win at home, and I suppose that places them under pressure," said Meyer. "We'll take the underdog tag. I still believe that we have a long way to go, but that doesn't mean we don't believe we can win this Saturday."

Against Australia Morne Steyn's boot, and an early try to replacement prop Coenie Oosthuizen, gave them a lead that kept them in control for most of the game. In the second half the pressure told and three more very well taken tries gave them a bonus point and sealed the win.

"We've set high standards for ourselves. A lesser team would be content with a two from three record (on the road), but we want to win every game. We won't need any extra motivation in a game against the All Blacks at Eden Park," Meyer added.

Looking towards the weekend, can the Boks beat the All Blacks? 

Posted at 6:28 am | 22 comments

Posted in The Rugby Championship

Viewing 22 comments

FatProp September 09, 2013 10:31 am

Well that was impressive. Argentina vs Australia really will be interesting, can cooper and co play well on the back foot because their scrum will get destroyed. Boks vs all blacks will be great, but without McCaw the breakdown will be hard for New Zealand to control I think the Boks may have the best collective back row unit in the world( probably over doing it). Also is saili going to be able to cope I didn't see much of super 15 but up against JDV and Engelbrecht he may struggle

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mrjmmlc September 09, 2013 5:14 pm

agree with mccaw will be missed but the allblacks still have a good back row including best no8 in the world kieran read.
saili isnt a question because nonu is back for this weekend

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Ottawa Rugger September 09, 2013 6:29 pm

Alright, that poses the new question of whether or not Nonu can stay composed under the physical challenge of the Springboks without putting in a shoulder charge and getting carded

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riccardo September 13, 2013 5:55 am

It is the combination of the back-row unit that matters and these Boks are good at the breakdown if a little slow. They will target this area as it is not one of Cane's strong points. Coles and the locks will have to really up their work rate to cater for this.

I hear Read touted as the best #8 in the world a lot and as an All Black fanatic I love his developing game. He did however go missing on occasion against the French and was outplayed by the other contender for this mantle, Picamoles.

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riccardo September 13, 2013 6:03 am

As an aside don't forget to add Bismarke to that trio. He is a formidable opponent and for me the best hooker in world rugby...

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Snoop September 09, 2013 9:46 pm

Completely disagree, boks backrow is probably the weakest it has been in years. They've got muscle in their tight five, but All Blacks will still dominate the breakdown. There probably won't be a huge amount of play in midfield, though Engelbrecht is easily the worst starting centre in the championship, JDV will be the man to watch. Also the ABs back three have it over the boks', save for Habana.
If ABs get good ball, they'll dominate as always. The game will be decided by Retallick v Etzebeth, Franks v The Beast, Woodcock v Du Plessis/Ooesthiuzen, Hore/Mealamu/Coles v Bismark.

I rate Meyer as a coach, he's done well so far, but still think there is daylight between the ABs and the rest, not being one-eyed. The boks put some points on weak opposition and all of a sudden they're world-beaters...

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FatProp September 10, 2013 10:18 am

I think it is a little unfair to say weak opposition because the wallabies did beat wales 3 times in a row and they are not really that bad ! They beat England at Twickenham and beat the lions in one test. And I did say I haven't watched much super 15 but Engelbrecht hasn't done badly and I think he plays well with JDV.
I think that as a unit they are a great back row, I did over react in saying the best back row in the world but I just watched the match and thought they were great. Alberts was smashing everything that moved Vermulen was great collecting kicks running the ball smashing rucks, and Louw is brilliant over the ball. Now maybe the 2009 back row was probably better but the tour vs England they were a lot worse with Spies-Alberts-Cotezee nothing at the breakdown good carrying but nothing else.

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KremsRFC September 10, 2013 3:52 pm

@Snoop
While not overrating the All Blacks, you are vastly underrating the Springboks, particularly their pack.
What the highlight package above does not show, is all the work that the boks' forwards put into this game that made those highlights possible. They physically imposed their will on the field, and dominated (in many senses of the word) the Australian pack. You said above, "If the ABs get good ball," I think they're not going to have as easy a time of it as you imply.
Also, I think you are underrating the playmaking ability of the Boks, particularly Willie le Roux. He has been sizzling in Super XV, and has only been getting better in test football.
As far as "weak opposition", don't forget, Australia is ranked 4th in the world. That can't be taken from them ;)

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beast4president September 09, 2013 11:05 am

Great win by the Bokke. Aus are struggling at the moment but I think they were up for this match after their losses against NZ and the fact they've been unbeaten at Suncorp by SA. I think if SA stay grounded and very disciplined they'll be in for a victory on Sat at Eden Park. Methinks its going to be a very tough affair, both sides grinding it out for the 80. May come down to the boots of Steyn and Carter...

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Kiwi In Germany September 09, 2013 12:43 pm

I have an ominous feeling this may be the return of the Bokke from old... They look in much better form than the ABs.

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XonMeerKat September 09, 2013 1:37 pm

Well, the players and coaches gotta believe, but reasonably I hope the Boks can win at home and loose by less than 7 away. The All Bllacks have been warned and every AB player will be super psyched.
But, the positives are that the Boks played good rugby, not the "watching paint dry" of the Peter de Villiers era.

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Eddie-g September 09, 2013 2:52 pm

Great win for the Bokke, but anyone who's watched Heyneke's teams over the years knows this is what you get when they click.

Dominate set pieces, dominate territory, compete at every collision, and then open the game up when the opponents are gasping for air. That's what the Bulls did in their prime, that's what the Bokke do now.

I dunno about the Aussies, missing too many first choice players, getting found out by a side that wants to really blast them up front, but also never seen them so tactically inept either.

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Karl September 09, 2013 4:19 pm

Bring back Robbie Deans! haha oz

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NotAWelshDavies September 09, 2013 4:36 pm

I really hope the laws can be reviewed next season so tackles like Michael Hooper's don't have to be illegal. As the laws stand, it was correct to card him.

But personally, I don't think anyone would want to see a tackle like that merit a sin bin. It's a tough call for the officials, who want to put safety first, but it would be nice to see big hits become legal once again.

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Computer says no September 09, 2013 5:22 pm

Willem Alberts put in some monster hits on the ozzies. All of them perfectly legal. The laws are fine, you can put in big hits without lifting in the tackle.

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Ottawa Rugger September 09, 2013 6:31 pm

I'm inclined to agree. Even then, it's okay to lift, just don't tip!

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Larry September 09, 2013 5:23 pm

As a neutral this Springbok team is becomming one hell of a good side. They took the Aussies apart at ease. Great to see JDV playing so well again.

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peanut gallery September 09, 2013 8:07 pm

All blacks vs Springboks is going to be epic!
I personally hope it all kicks off with a 'Kapa O Pango'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtIfxC-VPpQ

View Video

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fatflanker September 09, 2013 8:14 pm

if you lift and keep moving forward the player being tackled will fall on his ass and it won't be a penalty. as you said, lift donĀ“t tip

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Strums September 09, 2013 10:20 pm

The ABS have been on top for years, I don't see it because of the player talent I see it because they have a far superior governing body along with a phenomenal coaching set up. Throw in immense talent and you have an unrivalled winning formula, professionalism has been great to NZ. However the South Africans are built to play rugby and every now and then Sarfu does something right and appoints a coach is able to get a team to settle which makes boks and unstoppable force and i see this with this team, the average age is 24, this team will be great in two years but could be sooner come sat. Abs your time at the top is under serious threat sooner than you think.

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riccardo September 13, 2013 6:01 am

Good post.

I would ad that the South Africans and All Blacks have grass roots systems second to none and it is this mehanism that churns out future stars, for League too unfortunately.

If you get a chance to watch the Landrover 1st 15 Competition you will see what I mean. The standard of Rugby is incredibly high and this flows through club and Rep competition.

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Rukhage September 09, 2013 10:32 pm

I sure hope the Pumas are composed enough against the Wallabies to finally win something, as it stands I'd say the Pumas have an edge on the Aussies, but then again the Wallabies have been playing in these types of conditions for a long time and the Pumas are only playing their second championship. At least against the ABs the Pumas didn't lose their composure and maintained a solid performance for the whole 80 minutes.

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