By RICHARD KNOWLER – The Press
Last updated 05:00 01/08/2009
This is one result Graham Henry does not want blotting his coaching CV.
History is speckled with tales of All Blacks coaches who have travelled to South Africa buoyed at the prospect of beating the Springboks on their own soil, only to be sent scuttling back to Aotearoa disillusioned and disappointed.
Alex MacDonald’s lot got spanked 4-0 in 1949, Jack Sullivan’s crew went down 2-1 one test was drawn in Bloemfontein in 1960, the 1970 vintage under Ivan Vodanovich were done 3-1 and JJ Stewart’s 1976 side were left hurt and bewildered following their 3-1 series defeat.
Before those tours, All Blacks teams were largely self-coached by the manager and players.
He might be the most successful coach in All Blacks history but tomorrow morning Henry is in grave danger of joining that infamous list.
Many would argue this is not a real series because it comprises just two tests. But with the way the international programme is, the two Tri-Nations fixtures will have to suffice.
Before he left New Zealand, Henry said the coaches were viewing these matches as a series but last weekend’s defeat in Bloemfontein has torpedoed those hopes, sinking his opportunity to join 1996 coach John Hart as the only other All Blacks gaffer to return home triumphant from the Republic with a series win.
Now Henry is fighting to prevent being the first Kiwi coach to lose in South Africa since Stewart.
The arrival of professionalism has brought greed and cynicism hence tests that are now a dime a dozen but it cannot wipe away the mystique of battles between the All Blacks and the Springboks in South Africa.
When filled to the gills, their magnificent stadiums are a hotbed of parochialis
m, noise and banter. Lifted by their rabid fans, the Springboks explode into action as if they have had TNT shoved down their gullets.
Tomorrow’s stoush at Durban’s Absa Stadium, known as the “Shark Tank”, promises plenty although forecast rain could subdue the running game as these two sides go at it like a couple of angry bears in a pit.
Although the Springboks have tried to avoid the hype about beating the All Blacks twice within eight days on their own soil, they will take a massive dose of satisfaction from the achievement.
Morne Steyn’s selection at first five-eighth shows the Boks’ game plan will be uncomplicated; the Bulls pivot will kick the shine off his boots as he looks to set up his forwards inside the All Blacks half and if there is a chance for him and fullback Frans Steyn to kick long-range drop goals they will.
Steyn banged over a record four drop goals in the Super 14 semifinal in Pretoria against the Crusaders. Despite this, the All Blacks say they have no plan in place to counter this danger.
“No, we haven’t thought too much about that. I think a lot of our week has been about sorting out our own game,” centre Conrad Smith said. “We are aware that he can drop goal and if we give penalties away he can kick them.
“Hopefully we can spend a lot more time in their half than they do in ours. That was the problem last week and that’s more what we have concentrated on this week.”
|ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
Cheetahs 12(9) / Sharks 21(9) – Full Time (score in brackets shows Halftime score)
Penalties (3) and Dropgoal – J L Potgieter
Penalties (5) and Dropgoal – Rory Kokkerot, Penalty Monty Dumond
Cheetahs– 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Danwel Demas, 13 Corné Uys, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Jongi Nokwe, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Tertius Carse, 8 Francois Uys, 7 Hendro Scholtz (c), 6 Frans Viljoen, 5 David de Villiers, 4 Nico Breedt, 3 WP Nel, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Wian du Preez.
Subs: 16 Richardt Strauss, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Izak van der Westhuizen, 19 Kabamba Floors, 20 JP Joubert, 21 Louis Strydom, 22 JW Jonker.
Sharks –Stefan Terblanche (c), Odwa Ndungane/Luzuko Vulindlu, Andries Strauss, Riaan Swanepoel, Lwazi Mvovo, Guy Cronje, Rory Kockott, Ryan Kankowski, Jean Deysel, Jacques Botes, Albert van den Berg, Steven Sykes, Patric Cilliers/Wiehahn Herbst, Craig Burden, Deon Carstens/Patric Cilliers.
Subs: Skipper Badenhorst, Wiehahn Herbst/Dale Chadwick, Michael Rhodes/Nikolai Blignaut, Keegan Daniel, Charl McLeod, Monty Dumond, Waylon Murray.
Fullback Mils Muliaina believes one week is long enough for his side to turn around their disjointed effort against South Africa – and in the process write his name in the Tri-Nations rugby record book.
Doing so would also see him climb to 23 wins in Tri-Nations tests, level with former halfback Justin Marshall atop the list of 388 players who have contested the tournament since its inception in 1996.
Paranoid All Blacks beef up training security
Security continued to be ramped-up at the All Blacks’ final training session yesterday in a bid to shut-out any prying eyes ahead of Sunday morning’s test against the Springboks.
As usual, the team had several security personnel patrolling the perimeter of the school grounds where they trained and one of them screened the area with his binoculars.
Springboks lineout king Victor Matfield took the All Blacks’ precautions as a “nice compliment” but believed there was no need for the New Zealanders to be so secretive, believing he only needs to view their previous test matches on DVD to analyse game plans.
Chatter about their flaky lineout has followed the All Blacks around Durban this week like a swarm of blowflies.
Overall Career of Graham Henry
Wins 58 85.3%
Losses 10 14.7%
He never lost 2 in a row to the same opponent.
He never lost 2 in a row to the same opponent.
Under him NZ scored 283 tries in 58 matches at 4.87 per match
Conceded 95 tries in 58 matches at 1.64 per match
vs Tri Nation Partners
Wins 18 69.2%
Losses 8 30.8%
SA won 5 of the 8 he lost in the 3Nations
Teams faring the best against Graham Henry’s All Blacks
SAF played 13 won 5 lost 8
AUS played 13 won 3 lost 10
The only other team to beat his All Blacks
FRA played 8 won 2 lost 6
OK boys and girls… here we go, today’s thread.
Remember, keep it friendly enough.
Slaan daai KEYBOARDS !!!
OK boys and girls… here we go.
This should become a daily institution, a DAILY KAKPRAAT THREAD.
From “Drive-In” stories to “Poepruik” stories… anything except politics and religion… except by approved bloggers !
Gooooooooi Mieliessssssssss !
An Article from Gavin Rich as seen on superrugby.co.za
Springbok coach Peter de Villiers and South African fans were not the only people on Tuesday doffing their caps in appreciation of John Smit — so were the All Blacks.
Smit was selected for his record-breaking 60th cap as an international captain — he has played 85 games for the Boks in all — and although the Bok skipper tried to play it down, the coach’s of both his own team and his immediate opponents were quite happy to make a big deal about it.
“We have huge respect for John Smit and from an All Black side I would like to acknowledge what a massive achievement it is to play 60 matches as your country’s captain,” said All Black coach Graham Henry.
“John has been a very successful captain for South Africa. We all know about what he did in leading the team to a World Cup victory in 2007, something we in New Zealand are still aggrieved about,” he laughed.
“On top of all of that, he is a really good bloke, a real top man, and I can completely understand why the Springbok players follow him like they do. I would like to congratulate him on his achievement on behalf of the All Black camp.”
De Villiers pointed to the same attributes that saw Jake White annoint Smit as the team leader not long after he took over the Bok squad in early 2004.
“When you ask the question about what qualities he has you should really be asking what qualities he does not have, for he has so many,” said De Villiers.
“He plays such a massive role for us, and above all I think it is something that you don’t see a lot of, he is a real ambassador for his country, and a guy who makes everyone feel at home. Breaking this record could not have happened to a nicer person, John is a real legend.”
Smit said that he would prefer to talk about the achievement after Saturday.
“I haven’t broken any records until I run out of the tunnel in front of the team at Absa Stadium on Saturday,” he said.
“But yes, it has been a huge honour and privilege to be involved with the Boks, and I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of it all. We have the task of beating the All Blacks on Saturday though and that is what we are focusing on.”
Smit said his men were expecting the All Blacks to be a much tougher proposition than they were last week, when the Boks won 28-19 in Bloemfontein.
“As hard as last week’s game was, we have always believed that this one will be a lot tougher,” he said.
“They do not have to contend this time with the debilitating aspects of their short turnaround between Auckland and Bloemfontein. They have had two extra days to prepare this week and that means they will be much better prepared, and they have also had a better chance to analyse us and more time to work out what they need to do.”
” I am a ‘small-brain’ person. A small-brain person doesn’t need to go sit down and study over what he’s going to say to people; it (words) comes naturally. People who study and get A’s and B’s are clever people. But people who don’t go and study and have all that wisdom are wise” –De Villiers philosophy on clever people.
“If you look at those people who say all those things about me you will ask: How did God manage to create those people?” – De Villiers asks a fundamental question.
The coaching staff off the All Blacks made two changes for the test in Durban.
15 Mils Muliaina, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Rodney So’oialo, 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Isaac Ross, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Subs: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 John Afoa, 18 Jason Eaton, 19 Kieran Read, 20 Piri Weepu, 21 Luke McAlister, 22 Cory Jane.
Steyn to start at flyhalf
Durban – Springbok coach Peter de Villiers made three changes to the match 22 that beat the All Blacks by 28-19 in Bloemfontein last weekend – one in the starting XV and two on the bench – for Saturday’s second Tri-Nations Test against New Zealand at the Absa Stadium in Durban.
At flyhalf, Morné Steyn starts ahead of Ruan Pienaar, who is injured. Lock Andries Bekker returns in the place of loose forward Ryan Kankowski on the bench, along with fit-again centre Adi Jacobs, who takes Morné Steyn’s place amongst the reserves.
Springbok wing Bryan Habana and centre Jean de Villiers will both earn their 50th Test caps for South Africa, while Bok captain John Smit becomes the sole record-holder for the most experienced Test captain ever.
Habana, the International Rugby Board’s Player of the Year for 2007 and SA Rugby’s Player of the Year in 2005 and 2007, made his Springbok debut as a replacement against England on November 20, 2004 at Twickenham. With 33 Test tries he is second behind Joost van der Westhuizen on the list of top try scorers for South Africa.
De Villiers, SA Rugby’s Player of the Year for 2008, made his Springbok debut on November 9, 2002 in Marseilles against France. Because of injury he only played his second Test against the Pacific Islands in Gosford on July 17, 2004. Of his 49 Tests to date, De Villiers has played 11 on the wing and 38 at centre. He will equal De Wet Barry’s record for Bok Tests at centre this weekend, with 39.
Smit will lead the Boks for the 60th time in his 86th Test. Last weekend he equaled the record previously held by Wallaby skipper George Gregan and England’s Will Carling.
The Springbok team is (Test caps in brackets):
15. Frans Steyn (31)
14. JP Pietersen (27)
13. Jaque Fourie (46)
12. Jean de Villiers (49)
11. Bryan Habana (49)
10. Morné Steyn (4)
9. Fourie du Preez (47)
8. Pierre Spies (23)
7. Juan Smith (58)
6. Heinrich Brüssow (5)
5. Victor Matfield (84)
4. Bakkies Botha (58)
3. John Smit (85) – Captain
2. Bismarck du Plessis (25)
1. Tendai Mtawarira (14)
16. Chiliboy Ralepelle (5)
17. Jannie du Plessis (8)
18. Andries Bekker (15)
19. Danie Rossouw (39)
20. Ricky Januarie (36)
21. Adi Jacobs (23)
22. Wynand Olivier (23)
. Click here to read the full article
The big question in SA rugby at the moment. Do you change the winning formula shown by the Springboks this weekend where Ruan Pienaar missed to many penalties at test level standard or do you give the standout Flyhalf of the S14 Morne Steyn his first start against the All Blacks.