At 16.00 today (Sunday 15 April), Heyneke Meyer is set to release the names of his support team, but there may be a surprise in store……

It has been well documented that Heyneke Meyer wants to use the services of his ex-Bulls playmates, Johann van Graan, John McFarland, Ricardo Loubscher en Basil Carzis. For this privilege, he has asked the powers that be at SARU to advance this months pocket money to the tune of about R3,5 million so that can pop down to the local Bull-ders Warehouse to purchase them.

It is rumoured that the Bulls are willing to release the 4 musketeers, but they don’t come cheap. Apparently they would like, R1,5 million each for van Graan and McFarland, and R250 000 for Loubscher and Carziz. After a bit of haggling, it seems that the Bulls have got their way, and Meyer will be announcing his team today.

It is also widely known that Meyer has wanted to use the services of Matfield as a line out specialist for the upcoming test series. It now seems, according to JJ Harmse, writing in the Rapport, that Meyer is attempting to drag Matfield kicking and screaming, out of retirement for the 3 matches to not only play, but to captain the side too.

Added to this, he has said that the overseas players will be legible too, so that players like Du Preez, Rossouw, Steenkamp and Frans Steyn may join the fray.

I have no problem with that last part, if, the players deserve their place, but Matfield? Come on, please.

The man may be the greatest lock to have ever played the game, and he may be a genius in that position, and he may be a man mountain, but he retired after the world cup for heavens sake. He may well be fit – apparently he still runs with the Bulls during training sessions, but if he hasn’t played any competition rugby since the World Cup, and he won’t be playing any either, before the test series, how can he possibly be expected to play at his very best. What a daft idea. What of match fitness and match sharpness? They don’t come from the practice field – or rather from the side of the field, telling others what to do! Don’t kid me and tell me that anyone can just come in from the cold and play the way he was prior to his departure. He will be pushing nearly a year out of the game by the time the series comes round. Look how rusty the current players were coming into the season, and how long it took some of them to shake off some of that rustiness. By all means use him as a specialist – there probably isn’t anyone better, but please, not in the team. Trust me Mr Meyer, Matfield will be ridiculed by all and sundry if he plays again – the naysayers will be just waiting to pounce.

We have a wrath of locks that could, and should take his place, and these guys are the future. We have great leadership potential for a captain – Du Preez, Spies, de Villiers, Burger (if fit), Strauss, etc.

So, my final word, Mr Meyer, let the man be, don’t let him live with ghosts for the rest of his life. Use him wisely in the specialist role, and trust yourself that you can put together a team that can take on the world with out having to resort to the museum relics.

And to Mr Matfield, you were the greatest lock ever to play for South Africa in my humble opinion, please, please, don’t change that.


83 Responses to Dial ‘M’ for Matfield

  • 51

    bdb @ 49

  • 52

    cant remember who said this, but here goes;
    “possibly the only harder thing in sport than making a successful comeback is knowing when not to come back”

  • 53

    46@ Ashley:

    Howzit Ash,

    I think if a player is good enough no matter how young he is he should get selected. Remember Frans Steyn played in wc 2007 at the age of 19 and was superb there and Lambie played in the last wc at the age of 20 and was one of our best Boks in that world cup.

    Also have to remember S15 is not far off test rugby. Etzebeth and Kruger are playing against the very players that they will play against later this year in The Rugby Championship (if Meyer selects them) which I think he should and definitely for the England test as well.

    Etzebeth is the best 4 Lock in the S15 never mind just our conference. So why must he wait to get selected? Kruger is best 5 Lock in our conference too. We should be building another world class lock partnership right now rather than later.

    Another thing that worries me is Victor might just want Bakkies to come back and play as well. That would be totally unfair on Etzebeth that is playing outstanding rugby.

  • 54

    puma @ 53
    point noted!!
    ok, lets put it like this … i’m willing to give hmeyer the benefit of the doubt given his trackrecord and his ability to bring youngsters through the system. i’m just worried about the amount of time available to him before that 1st test and the effect of that last few derbys on our player resources!! its gonna be one heck of a introduction to international level for him and his coaching staff!!

  • 55

    Yeehaa, harvest finally finished harvest, pressed the last tank of red, just a bit of barrel filling then thats it. At last I’ll be able to focus on rugby-talk – Hahahaha

  • 56

    Bulls flank Dewald Potgieter will be out for four to six weeks after tearing his hamstring against the Lions, wish, poor guy, more bad luck

  • 57

    see that the stormers have sent for quinn roux as replacement for andries bekker. for those of you who just went: ‘quinn who?” … well ive got news for you … roux was judged better than etsebeth and was assured of a starting place before injury ruled him out!!
    hoe lykit? julle bulle dalk vi andries hê? julle kan hom ve’niet kry en hy kan nog senter ook speel (amper soos matfield, lmao)

  • 58

    jeez as ek sien hoeveel jong talent besig is om deur te kom raak ek sommer so opgewonde dat ek eers moet stilsit tot die opgewondenheid gesak het … fok, kannie wag vir die internasionale seisoen nie!! lmao

  • 59

    57@ Ashley:Will be great to see him in a Stormers jersey. They say Etsabeth should be fit again, so Quin Roux will probably play off the bench. Looking forward to the Reds match, should be a goodie, especially if Quade Cooper is back

  • 60

    57: Roux is ‘n baie goeie speler, wonder waar is hy gebore en het leer rugby speel ?

  • 61

    eks seker jy sal vir ons sê (selfs al wil ons nie weet nie, lol)

  • 62

    jfk @ 59
    quade who? :wink:

  • 63

    54 @ Ashley:
    I am quite stunned with your sober stance on the Matfield issue… rugbykenner!

  • 64

    gbs @ 63
    hahaha, of course is ek 1 … kyk maar net waar lê ek op superbru, lol.
    oor matfield … soos jy kan aflei is ek so bietjie in 2 geskeur oor die issue, so laat ons maar sien hoe dinge vorder!! anyway, waar ons ‘stocks” met matfield se uittrede en botha wat nie beskikbaar is nie, bietjie skraal gelyk het, lyk dit nou of ons gaan sukkel om saam te stem oor die beste slotkombinasie (en dis maar een daarvan) vorentoe!!

  • 65

    gbs @ 63
    wat bedoel jy jy’s “stunned met my sober stance”?
    moes jy nie nou al gewoond daaraan gewees het nie?

  • 66

    ander issues mag dalk senter wees … ek sou fsteyn op 12 verkies, maar wat maak jy met jdevilliers? dan’s daar dalk fdupreez wat volgens gerigte terugkom (nie seker hoe sy vorm op die oomblik is nie), maar wat maak ons met hougaardt? hy kan uitgeskuif word vleuel toe, maar vir wie los jy uit? wat van jaque fourie? lambie of joe op 15?

    ok, een laaste gedagte oor die “ou manne” (fdupreez, jaque, ens ens)
    1. ons is almal moeg vd 4 jaar veskoning,
    2. ons wil wenrugby sien (en nie net eenkeer ñ skrikkeljaar nie)
    3. ons wil ons regmatige plek (no1 op die ranglys) inneem en daar bly.
    wel as ons dit wil doen, het ons vd ouer hande nodig totdat die jonger spelers genoeg exposure gekry het!!

  • 67

    64 & 65 @ Ashley:
    Nee ek moet sê, as Anti-Bull verbaas jy my met jou berekende objektiwiteit oor die kwessie… dit terwyl elke flippen ander Anti-Bull gil laat die spoeg sommer so wyd spat en hulle hul tande kners en speelgoette uit die cot uit neuk asof Heyneke Meyer ‘n oppersonde gepleeg het.

    Om eerlikheid te sê, nee ek issie gewoond daaraan nie!

    Die ander ouens kyk in hulle eie ooglede vas en sien nie die groter prentjie nie…. babbel net voort… niks gewoond nie!

  • 68

    66 @ Ashley:
    Flok, jy maak vandag HEELTEMAL te veel sin…

    Wie is jy en wat het jy met my goeie vrind Asblikkie gemaak?

  • 69

    gbs @ 68
    kan dalk wees omdat die volgende rondte (bulls vs stormers) nog bietjie vêr in die toekoms is, lol.
    hoekom het julle dannie d naweek in pienk gespeel nie?

  • 70

    gbs @ 67
    ek dink jy is nou besig om te skel dat die spoeg spat en jou speelgoed by die kot uit te bliksem
    dit net omdat ander ouens nie met jou saamstem nie
    :grin: of is jy dalk net kwaad omdat hulle nie met heineke saamstem nie? :wink:

  • 71

    70 @ Ashley:

    Nee man, die ouens maak ‘n Tafelberg uit ‘n molshoop oor die kwessie…


  • 72

    gbs @ 71
    wel ja
    gelukkig is ons ondersteuners in die posisie dat ons gebruik kan maak van hindsight … coaches het nie daai luukse nie. moet sê, ek dink nie baie ander coaches sou die kans vat wat heineke nou (volgens gerigte) bereid is om te neem nie. of dit gaan werk sal ons maar moet sien.
    onthou enigeen nog vir jwhite en os du randt?

  • 73

    72 @ Ashley:

    … and for those Sharks supporters moaning… Snorman went and fetched John Barney Smit from France and kept him on too long as well…

    Each coach has a couple of players in whom he trusts and in who he places a lot of faith…

    Hell, we all have our people who we rate and back in our daily lives, people we trust implicitly and people we depend on. What makes a Bok coach so different!

  • 74

    This is exactly why I wrote this article – just to stir the pot a bit, and elicit some decent responses. And we’ve had those, and more!

    Very glad GBS has bought up the PdV/Smit saga – my only response from his comment is, are we then meant to look at HM in the same light as PdV because he may do the same thing? If so, at least we have the pleasure of hindsight, and we know where the use of Matfield will lead to!!!!

  • 75

    75 @ Just For Kicks:
    There is a marked difference…. Snormonster fetched Barney as his LONG TERM captain, whereas I sense that Heyneke will use Matfield as a transitional measure… a stop-gap for want of a better term, to seemlessly bring through the newbieswith experience backing them and propelling them through.

    It’s hardly the same thing… and on top of it Snormonster never started his tenure with 4 or 5 days to prepare either.

    But hey… everyone is free to judge and make up their mind, however warped their bias against Meyer as Bulls mentor might be.

    I don’t think Heyneke Meyer will have a 100% Bokke record.. virtually impossible… but I expect a lot from him and better results between World Cups than Snor, White, Viljoen and Streauli.

    I also think South Africa’s emerging and latent talent is in a much better spot now than 4 or 8 years ago, so that’s another big positive the Bokke can and should build on!

  • 76

    gbs, jfk
    i never came around to reading jwhite’s in black and white (or whatever the book’s called). anyone of you guys read it? does he say in it what his initial plans with os were and how long he planned to keep him around? i cant imagine for one moment that jw wouldve thought that he may still have os around after 4 years. so what was the motivation behind bringing os back and how does it differ from heyneke’s motivation to bring matfield back?

  • 77

    76@ Ashley:First of all, my main motivation here is just to get a rise out of GBS, I was in that kind of mood. Sorry, mate!!! Secondly, I have no real problem, if he’s the right man, i.e. there aren’t players good enough to play in his place. I do, however, think we have enough good players at the moment. With Os, at the time, and correct me if I am wrong, we were very thin on the ground for props?

  • 78

    jfk @ 77
    not sure, but that mightve been the case (that we were a bit thin at prop at the time)
    i still believe that it was a massive chance taken by white. think os was out of competitive rugby for quite some time by then, wasnt he? (not sure about how long …. does anyone know?)

  • 79

    Aangesien die Stormers se softie slotte so maklik seerkry maak dit heeltemal sin dat die bok afrigter ordentlike slotte wil kry. Die Bulle bokke speel dalk in pienk, maar hul is nie pienk van binne wat so gou breek soos daardie langslot van die kaap nie.

    Goeie plan Heyneke.

  • 80

    79@ bdb:I’d agree if we weren’t playing such a softie opposition!!!!

  • 81

    79 @ bdb:
    Janee, wragtig….

    Raak sommer beseer deur na die game te kyk vanuit die senter posisie!

  • 82

    bdb, jfk, gbs

  • 83

    81: langbek en philip schutte sou ‘n goeie kombinasie uitgemaak het ..


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