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Francois Pienaar

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Gary Botha (L) and Ian McIntosh (R) pose with students from Waterkloof high school in Pretoria

Gary Botha (L) and Ian McIntosh (R) pose with students from Waterkloof high school in Pretoria

The Webb Ellis Cup has completed its first day in South Africa as part of the fifth leg of the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour.

On August 18 the Trophy visited Hoerskool Waterkloof in Pretoria where children from the school, along with groups from St Peters, Pretoria Technical High School and Elarduspark got to show off their Rugby playing skills in a coaching clinic which was led by former South Africa coach Ian McIntosh and Rugby World Cup 2007 winner Gary Botha.

Land Rover supports a number of schools through its South African dealer network – a total of 31 dealers who support local schools within their communities.

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From a South African perspective the rugby calendar makes little sense. The way the international fixtures are currently set out does not really allow for any competition to run its course to completion, it has therefor been proposed that there will be a break in the Super Rugby competition next year to allow the June tour window, and then the Super Rugby competition will resume. In between all this, there is a Currie Cup that will now take a further step back to accommodate the Super Rugby and International fixtures.

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Tim Noakes has denied accusing anyone of match fixing or any claims that the Springboks’ quarterfinal match against Australia officiated by Bryce Lawrence was either ‘fixed’ or ‘bent’, as has been reported.

In a letter to Sport24, Noakes claimed that his statements had been misconstrued and taken out of context. Continue reading

As a general rule I watch the rugby not the referee.

This of course doesn’t mean that I don’t shout at the referee (even in front of the TV knowing pretty well that he can’t hear me) when he makes mistakes. I can see when the referee has a bad game and of course I get upset but I am, as a spectator, more interested in how we play; what do we do with the ball; our structures and systems at the tackle ball; our game tactics; what is the script we are following; our defensive patterns; are we showing improvement on previous games in areas we didn’t do well; how is our scrum going; are we using starter moves; running angles of the backline; how well is No10 dictating the match and where does he take up position behind the scrums, at rucks and line-outs and so forth.

A consequence of all that is that I tend to reflect more on why didn’t we get things right or what went wrong and what can we improve on, independent of whether we lose or win after the match.  Continue reading

Our friend and fellow blogger, Ashley, felt strongly enough about the issue to send me the following Article to publish… this is his view on the matter and he asks certain rather interesting questions.

Here are his thoughts:

Has the hierarchy at New Zealand Rugby at last lost faith in their team? Have they (or at least some powerful individuals) at last reached a stage where they no longer believe that their team can win the World Cup on their own steam?

Well, from where I’m sitting it certainly seems to be the case.

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Following on from GrootBlouSmile’s article about South African rugby’s next step. Here is my input.

For South African rugby a new era is about to dawn. Soon Peter de Villiers will finish his contract and South Africa will look for a new coach. The South African Rugby Union need to be bold this time, they need to look at which candidate will have the ability to break the mould, someone who will be brave enough to change the way we attack, someone willing to get rid of the old guard and bring in youngsters who still have the ability to play without fear of losing, the new coach will have to find a new ethos and game plan for the Springboks, something that is long overdue.

GBS and BonzaiGBS

The South African National rugby shift boss…. errr sorry, coach appeared to have resigned in interviews in New Zealand, only to then deny that he had resigned upon arrival in South Africa. Whatever the situation, his 4-year contract comes to an end at the end of December 2011 anyway, which leaves the process open for a replacement to be appointed.

There has already been wide-spread speculation as to who the right candidates might be…. but that’s not why I am writing this Article!

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As you read this, Bakkies Botha is back in Pretoria, leaving behind him New Zealand and the next 3 games of the Rugby World Cup which ends on the 23 October.
Cause: “Achilles Tendon injury”.

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Halfway through a frustrating night -during which I slept little due to the massive disappointment of SA dropping out of the 2011 RWC- I started to see some reasons why the Springboks lost.

The thing that kept me awake most was the fact that the Springboks had 76% of the ball, dominated scrums and line-outs (Matfield taking 6 of their line-out balls), had territorial advantage for most of the match and had the Wallabies under massive pressure for almost the entire match and still lost the game.

Here are the 13 reasons I came up during my night of suffering.   Continue reading

John Smit was born on 3 April 1978 in Pietersburg, he went to Pretoria Boys High where he was head prefect and played for the first XV from 1996 to 1998. As natural born leader he was destined to become captain of the Springbok team and was identified at a very young age by Jake White, making his debut for South Africa against Canada at the tender age of 22. Since his debut in 2000 John Smit has played 111 test matches for South Africa, captaining his country on 83 occasions. South Africa won 69 of the 111 tests in which John Smit represented his country, he captained South Africa 83 times winning 54 tests.

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Springboks (3) 9 / Wallabies (8) 11 (Final Score)

The South African Springboks and the Australian Wallabies did battle in the Third Quarter Final in Wellington at 07:00 SA Time (18:00 NZ Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & 4, SHD & M-Net on TV in SA.

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And so, the Springboks exit Rugby World Cup 2011….

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The Wallabies will have to prove they are outstanding all-weather footballers as the anticipated wet and windy conditions during today’s quarter-final against the Springboks will play a major role in determining whether they stay at the World Cup or head home tomorrow.

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Rugby’s equivalent of Hollywood’s famous “Brat Pack” went on show before a packed media contingent in downtown Wellington this morning, and while best mates James O’Connor, Kurtley Beale and Tatafu Polota-Nau attracted their share of interest, the spotlight was drawn to Quade Cooper, arguably the biggest gun in the World Cup west and certainly the Most Wanted.

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Don’t you just hate it when the Springboks go into their infuriating defensive mode of play?

Truth is the Springboks were never really at risk of losing the game and it was almost like a big boy holding a little kid at arms length while the little guy punches himself to a stand still.

The last couple of days required extreme patience from South Africans here in New Zealand. It took quite some maturity to stay relaxed and calm in the face of the overbearing arrogance and confidence exhibited by the Samoan supporters here in New Zealand.

Listening to them you would have thought they are the world champions and a team who have beaten every other rugby nation/team on the continent (as oppossed to the Springboks who have actually done it) so assured where they that they were going to win the match. The pre-match gamesmanship like having a team talk before doing their Haka just an example of an overbearing cocksureness that really should be the privilage of competitors that have done the hard yards and who have the track record and ability to utilze such tactics too gain advantage. If primary school kids pulls such antics against high school kids it is out of place and utterly useless becuase it will make no difference whatsoever to the outcome of the match.  

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Springboks (13) 13 / Samoa (0) 5 (Final Score)

The South African Springboks and Samoa did battle in Albany at 09:30 SA Time (20:30 NZ Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1, SHD & M-Net on TV in SA.

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The Springboks won a very hard match, with a lot of niggle in the match and a fiery Samoa not giving up.

The game was marred by the first Red Card of the tournament, to Paul Williams, for a punch to the face of Heinrich Brussow and also marred by a Yellow Card to John Smit.

Samoa exits the tournament and the Springboks end top of the “Pool of Death”, Pool D.

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There are five changes in the pack as Bismarck du Plessis is partnered with the returning Tendai Mtawarira and Bismarck’s brother Jannie du Plessis in an all-Sharks front row. The final change among the forwards sees the return of Heinrich Brüssow to the back row.

Victor Matfield will captain the Springbok team to play Samoa in the deciding Rugby World Cup Pool D clash at North Harbour Stadium in Auckland on Friday.

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Is this a pot of crock by Brenden Nel, or is it just a public relations stunt or is there after all something most of us miss?

Why are senior players like Fourie du Preez and Victor Matfield, who could possibly benifit the most from John Smit’s exclusion, so happy to play under his captaincy?

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In Victor Matfield’s absence, Danie Rossouw called the lineouts, ran more with the ball and was one of the Springboks’ most impressive players on the park.

With Matfield set to make his return from a hamstring injury in Friday’s match against Samoa, Rossouw will swap the number five jersey for the number four and revert back to playing a tighter game.

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Springboks (31) 87 / Namibia (0) 0 (Final Score)

The South African Springboks did battle with Namibia in Albany at 10:00 SA Time (20:00 NZ Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1, SHD & M-Net on TV in SA.

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The First half was not convincing at all by the Springboks, too many lapses in concentration and too many forced and unforced errors riddled this period. Despite not being clinical enough the Springboks scored 4 converted tries and a penalty in the First Half.

The Springboks started the Second Half in much the same vein, but then suddenly all gears clicked into place, and the tries rained on the poor Namibians. The Springboks scored 56 points in the Second Half.

Altogether, the Springboks scored 12 tries, hell make that 12 converted tries, as the 2 Springbok kickers had a flawless night with the boot as well.

At this juncture in Rugby World Cup 2011, this is the biggest win of the Tournament, surpassing the 83 / 7 score by the All Blacks whilst at the same time keeping the score sheet squeeky clean for the Springboks on the day.

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The Springboks on Tuesday made five changes to the starting line-up for their Rugby World Cup Pool D match against southern African neighbours Namibia at North Harbour Stadium, Auckland, on Thursday.

South Africa v Namibia, 22 September 2011, North Harbour Stadium, Auckland

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Well this was much better. The Springboks were innovative and clearly made some adjustments to how they play the game. Probably because of the change in game plan, most of the players played well. A few played exceptionally well like Frans Steyn, Danie Rossouw, Schalk Burger, Heinrich Brussow, Gurthro Steenkamp and Bismarck du Plessis, when he came on.

Danie ‘Pakslae’ Rossouw was outstanding in everything he did and maintained a high work rate on defence and on attack. Out wide he showed some deft touches, good decision making and a surprising turn of speed.

The most pleasing aspect of the whole match was the fact that they kept the ball in hand.

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