Springboks Francois Hougaard and Juan de Jongh were on Wednesday named in a strong Springbok Sevens (Blitzbokke) 12-man squad for the 1st 2 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournaments of the new season, in Dubai and Cape Town.
The season kicks off on 4 & 5 December with the Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens, which is followed a week later by the inaugural HSBC Cape Town Sevens, on 12 & 13 December, at the Cape Town Stadium.
Hougaard has played in 35 Tests for the Springboks and recently joined the Sevens squad on a 1-year contract. He is set to make his World Series debut in Dubai, while DHL Western Province centre and skipper, Juan de Jongh (14 Tests), return to the Springbok Sevens fold for the 1st time since making his 1st and only appearance for the side in Wellington in 2008.
Werner Kok, the newly-crowned World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year, Cheslin Kolbe (DHL Western Province) and last season’s top-try scorer on the World Series circuit, Seabelo Senatla, will combine with regular stalwarts Cecil Afrika, Justin Geduld and Rayno Benjamin (Toyota Free State Cheetahs) to form a potent Blitzbokke backline attack.
The tough-tackling Benjamin is set to make his 30th World Series appearance while skipper Kyle Brown is on course to play in his landmark 50th tournament in his hometown of Cape Town.
The durable Brown, Philip Snyman, Kwagga Smith and Chris Dry will provide the necessary steel upfront and complete a strong selection who will defend their crown in Dubai. The Springbok Sevens are also the current tournament champions in South Africa.
Allister Coetzee looks set to be named the new Springbok coach in December.
It has reliably been learnt that Heyneke Meyer has lost the support of the majority of South Africa’s provincial unions and will be replaced at the General Council meeting of the South African Rugby Union on 11 December.
SARU has already postponed their General Council meeting by a week, to 11 December. It will be preceeded by a meeting of the Executive Council on 9 December.
Current team manager Ian Schwartz, who is employed as a permanent staff member of SARU, has apparently flown to Japan to speak to former Springbok Assistant Coach and DHL Stormers Head Coach, Allister Coetzee, to take over the national team.
Coetzee has an exit clause in his contract with Kobelco Steelers – the club he coaches in the Japanese Top League.
Former Springbok wing James Small says Emirates Lions coach Johan Ackermann deserves to be considered for the Springbok head coaching role.
The South African Rugby Union (SARU) is set for its next General Council meeting on 11 December and it is at this meeting that the fate of under-fire Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer will be decided.
The latest mumblings are that Meyer could be offered a 1-year contract extension, but the possibility of Meyer being axed also exists.
The Springbok Sevens team (Blitzbokke) scooped the Team of Year Award at the annual SA Sports Awards in Bloemfontein on Sunday.
The SA Sports Awards is annually hosted by the Department of Sport and Recreation of South Africa, recognising SA sports individuals and teams for their outstanding sporting contributions on and off the field.
Springbok Sevens pipped the South African Test Cricket team and the SA Lightweight Women’s Rowing team to claim the prestigious award.
Sunday evening’s accolade capped a successful 2014 / 2015 season for the Blitzbokke team. They were the 1st team to qualify automatically for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and finished 2nd to Fiji on the final standings of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
SANZAR has appointed Andy Marinos as the organisation’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
His new job will formally commence on 1 January 2016 and he replaces Greg Peters – who is taking over as CEO of the new Argentina Super Rugby team.
The South African, who is no stranger to the position, having previously served as CEO between 2008 – 2010, brings a wealth of business and rugby experience to the role, both as an administrator and professional player.
Marinos re-joins SANZAR from SARU, where he has served as General Manager of Commercial & Marketing for the past 5 years, in addition to SARU Acting Managing Director and Board Member (2008 – 2010), Springbok Team Manager (2008), Manager of South African National Teams (2005 – 2010) and World Rugby Sevens Advisory Group (2008 – 2015).
The South African Springboks have been stung by the loss of 2 key Sponsors, namely ABSA Bank and BMW!
The Springboks are set to lose their jersey sponsor after ABSA Bank decided not to renew its contract with the South African Rugby Union (SARU).
According to the Sunday Times, the slow pace of transformation is one of the reasons for the decision.
The South African Rugby Union extended its condolences to the family of legendary Springbok centre John Gainsford, who passed away on Wednesday morning following a long battle with cancer. He was 77.
Gainsford established himself as one of the greatest centres of his generation due to his powerful bursts and rock-solid defence.
He earned 33 Test caps and scored 8 tries during his Springbok career between 1960 and 1967, playing in 71 Springbok matches in total (including tour matches). He remained the most capped Springbok centre until as recently as 2001 when his record was finally overtaken by Japie Mulder.
Gainsford was a world-renowned player, who emerged from the Villagers Rugby Club in Cape Town. He made his Springbok debut on 30 April 1960 against Scotland at the young age of 21 and played his last Test at the age of 28.
New Zealand Rugby chief Steve Tew said it was premature to speculate about Japan joining The Rugby Championship.
The sport is currently on a high in the Asian nation after the Brave Blossoms’ exploits at the Rugby World Cup, which included a stunning 34 / 32 win over South Africa, but there are already concerns about its preparations for the expanded Super Rugby competition next year.
With Japan set to host the next edition of the Rugby World Cup in 2019, World Rugby is keen to consolidate its popularity in a large and potentially lucrative market.
The governing body’s chairman Bernard Lapasset said on a trip to Tokyo this week that Japan should join The Rugby Championship, which currently comprises New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Argentina.
But New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew said a more immediate concern for Japanese rugby was fielding a competitive side in the Super Rugby competition in 2016.
Strange as it may seem considering the hype beforehand over “emotional Springbok swansongs” in the bronze playoff match at Rugby World Cup 2015, only 1 member of the squad at the tournament, captain Jean de Villiers, has officially confirmed his Test retirement.
Several younger Springboks spoke beforehand of their desire to beat Argentina – a task duly achieved – as a fitting send-off for senior players bidding farewell to the green-and-gold cause.
Almost 2 weeks on from the end of the Rugby World Cup, however, it is still only the luckless Jean de Villiers, injured again in just the 2nd Rugby World Cup match against Samoa, who has definitely bowed out after 109 appearances since 2002.
Perhaps influenced by the state of flux surrounding embattled coach Heyneke Meyer, the likes of Victor Matfield, Fourie du Preez, Schalk Burger and Bryan Habana intriguingly haven’t yet pulled the plug publicly on their illustrious Springbok careers.
The majority of “older” Springboks who took part in their hot-and-cold Rugby World Cup 2015 campaign are now exclusively foreign-based and there have been some pleas back home for only locally-stationed players to be chosen for South Africa henceforth – a tricky matter considering the ever-shrinking strength of the Rand against other currencies, which hardly helps keeps the best players rooted here.
We have received a request by a reader and newly registered blogger here on Rugby-Talk.com, Helgaard, to place an ARTICLE here on Rugby-Talk, containing an OPEN LETTER by him to SA Rugby, all supporters and interested parties as well as decision-makers in our country.
The topic of the Letter, follows the trend and main topic of discussion amongst Springbok supporters, namely whether Heyneke Meyer should stay on as coach, or whether he should go.
In his well-worded and well-reasoned letter, Helgaard supports the “Heyneke Must Fall” stance on the matter, and seeing as Rugby-Talk.com is “By the people, for the people” we gladly place relevant and requested reader content here on Rugby-Talk.com… once if conforms to the necessary literary requirements, of course. I wish more readers would act like Helgaard and send me their contributions, as it could lead to Rugby-Talk.com really becoming the official voice of the marginalized supporter out there and depicting the views of the average rugby supporter and not for supporters to be boxed in by the normal way media steers things to suit their own agendas.
Helgaard’s views are his own and does not necessarily reflect the views of this publication.
Without further a do… here is Helgaard’s Letter in it’s entirity:
WHY HEYNEKE MUST FALL…
Background to the article
As a dedicated Springbok supporter, I watched my fair share of the 48 games played at the Rugby World Cup 2015, including the 7 Tests in which the Springboks featured. I also watched all of the other 40 Tests played since Heyneke Meyer took over as the Springbok coach.
Durban, and not Johannesburg, will host back-to-back Rugby World Cup winners, the New Zealand All Blacks next year.
The South African Rugby Union revealed that the 3-times Rugby World Cup champion All Blacks will play the Springboks in Durban on 8 October in The Rugby Championship encounter between the 2 sides on SA soil.
The Springboks and All Blacks have played each other in Johannesburg 5 times in the last 6 years – with 2011 the exception, when they met in Port Elizabeth.
Durban last hosted a Springboks versus All Blacks Test in 2009, with Newlands completely off the map (for the biggest face-off in the game) since 2008.
The exceptionally large All Black following in Cape Town, which have become increasingly vengeful towards the Springboks (even spitting at players), is the main reason why Newlands will not host the All Blacks in the near future.
Bloemfontein (2009) and Pretoria (2006) have also not seen an All Black Test in years.
The South African Rugby Union (SARU) has delayed its General Council meeting by a week.
The meeting was originally due to take place on 4 December and is understood to have a major influence on whether or not Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer’s contract is extended following the Springboks semifinal exit at this year’s Rugby World Cup.
The meeting will now take place on 11 December and will follow a meeting of the Executive Council on 9 December.
Sports minister Fikile Mbabula is expected to brief the media on Thursday on the Springboks’ performance in the Rugby World Cup, as well as on transformation in the national team.
South Africa lost to New Zealand in the one semifinal of the tournament, following blistering wins against Samoa, Scotland and the USA. Those victories came after the Springboks lost in their opening game against Japan.
There has been debate about the racial make-up of the team, especially from the side of the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) – who has taken a strong line against coach Heyneke Meyer.
Cosatu Western Cape secretary Tony Ehrenreich said on Tuesday that Meyer “must rest assured that he is not welcome in rugby by the majority of SA supporters and he should go”.
New Zealand and Australia’s World Cup finalists join forces in a superstar Barbarians’ squad when they take on Gloucester and Argentina this month. Add a sprinkling of South Africans to it and you have the Barbarians squad.
Wing Nehe Milner-Skudder, the All Blacks’ opening try scorer in the 34 / 17 win against the Wallabies, is just 1 of 7 All Blacks in the squad.
Milner-Skudder will be joined by Tawera Kerr-Barlow and Charlie Faumuina, as well as fellow wing Waisake Naholo, when the world famous invitation club returns to action at Kingsholm on 17 November before taking on Rugby World Cup semifinalists Argentina in the Killik Cup match at Twickenham Stadium on 21 November.
Tevita Kuridrani – the scorer of Australia’s 2nd final try – has been added to the squad and joins Wallabies captain Stephen Moore and flank Scott Fardy in a 24-man group.
The squad also contains one of the world’s greatest lock partnerships in South Africa’s Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha who are backed up by rising star Lood de Jager.
Barbarians head coach Michael Cheika will have formidable firepower at his disposal with the likes of Fiji’s World Cup star Nemani Nadolo lining up with South Africa’s Pat Lambie and Australia’s Joe Tomane.
There is world class front row potential with Moore and Faumuina alongside South Africa’s Tendai Mtawarira, while flank Fardy was 1 of Australia’s most consistent Rugby World Cup performers.
There are 2 uncapped players in the squad: Cheetahs’ centre Francois Venter and Hurricanes flank Ardie Savea.
They may not all be “coining it” immediately to the extent that certain foreign-based colleagues are, but Springbok Rugby World Cup 2015 players contracted only to domestic franchises are about to reap the benefits of an unusually lengthy off-season.
In a development that ought to see them importantly start a heavy 2016 roster pretty firmly refreshed, both physically and mentally, those players are largely off competitive duty for the next 4 months.
Outside of a Rugby World Cup year, the month of November would normally see them packing bags – no doubt just a little reluctantly – for the obligatory end-of-year European tour in conditions likely to be wetter and colder than those agreeably experienced during the recent, more autumnal Rugby World Cup in those climes.
Instead the beach beckons back home now as relevant Springboks with extended international futures like Eben Etzebeth, Frans Malherbe, Lood de Jager, Trevor Nyakane, Rudy Paige, Pat Lambie and Jesse Kriel wipe rugby from their minds for several weeks, until Super Rugby 2016 pre-season activities with their respective sides.
Even then, blue-chip Springbok players are often shielded to a significant extent from warm-up matches staged in inevitably murderous summer heat and are largely asked to instead hit the ground running when the competition-proper gets underway.
No longwinded article, just a nice Press Conference video upon the Springboks return to OR Tambo International Airport…
As well as winning a host of new admirers for their adventurous approach throughout Rugby World Cup 2015, beaten semifinalists Argentina and headline-grabbing Japan have also enjoyed the biggest rise of all the competing nations in the World Rugby Rankings. Both are ranked 3 places higher than where they were when Rugby World Cup 2015 began at Twickenham Stadium on Friday 18 September.Los Pumas have moved up from 8th to 5th thanks to their 2nd place finish behind New Zealand in Pool C and the way that they effortlessly brushed Ireland aside in the quarterfinals.
A disappointing World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup campaign this summer left Japan languishing 13th in the rankings, and at that stage few people would have predicted what they would go on to achieve in England: 3 wins from 4 and a place in tournament folklore.
The Brave Blossoms’ historic 34 / 32 win over South Africa in Brighton may not have been enough to book them a place in the knockout stages but it did help them return to the world’s Top 10.
With points exchanges doubled to reflect the importance Rugby World Cup matches no-one fared better than Japan, going from 72.06 rating points pre-tournament to 77.05 at its conclusion.
The positons of the Springbok coaching and management team for the 2016 season and beyond will be reviewed by the Executive Council (Exco) of the South African Rugby Union (SARU), SARU announced on Monday.
Jurie Roux, the chief executive officer of SARU, said that the contracts of all of the national team’s coaching, medical and logistical staff expire at the end of the year.
“The Executive Council (Exco) has the power to appoint management and coaching staff with the exception of the position of the Springbok coach, which is ultimately decided by the General Council of SARU,” said Roux.
“That body meets on 4 December when the positon of the Springbok coach for 2016 will be on the agenda. Once all affected individuals have been notified of any decisions a public announcement will be made, which is not expected before 5 December.
“We realise the great public interest in the subject and this is easily one of the most important decisions we take as an organisation. Supporters will understand therefore that we have many factors to consider before any announcements can be made. Those deliberations cannot take place in public out of respect for individuals and our governance structures.”
Media are advised that SARU will make no further comment on the process until any announcements have been made.
’n Basiese kontrak van R 5 miljoen per jaar, aansporingsbonusse uitgesluit.
Dís glo die vergoeding waartoe die Suid-Afrikaanse Rugbyunie (SARU) ingestem het in die nuwe kontrak met Heyneke Meyer, die Springbok-afrigter.
Volgens bronne het Meyer al voor die Wêreldbeker-toernooi ’n kontrak onderteken om die span vir nog 4 seisoene, tot in 2019, af te rig.
Oregan Hoskins, SARU se president en voorsitter van die uitvoerende raad, het Vrydag benadruk dat die finale besluit by die Algemene Raad sal lê. Elke provinsiale rugbyunie word in die Algemene Raad verteenwoordig.
Die kwessie gaan na verwagting vroeg in Desember ter tafel gelê word.
Uit verskillende oorde is verneem Meyer kry aansporingsbonusse vir die verowering van die Wêreldbeker, ’n wenpersentasie van meer as 60% en ’n 2de plek op die wêreldranglys.
Die kontrakkwessie hang al weke lank soos ’n wolk oor Suid-Afrikaanse rugby, met SARU wat dit nog nie onomwonde in die openbaar ontken het nie.
South African Minister of Sport and Recreation, Fikile Mbalula, has paid tribute to the Springbok team that defeated Argentina to claim the 3rd place in the Rugby World Cup.
The Springboks claimed 3rd spot at the 2015 Rugby World Cup after beating Argentina 24 / 13 in the Bronze Final at London’s Olympic Park stadium on Friday night.
“I take this rare opportunity to salute Victor Matfield, Schalk Burger, Bryan Habana, Fourie du Preez, Jean de Villers for their selfless services and infinite commitment to the men in black green and gold and the people of South Africa,” said Mbalula in a statement released on Saturday.
South Africa said goodbye to a large swathe of great players in victorious fashion when they defeated Argentina 24 / 13 in the bronze medal final on Friday.
Schalk Burger, Fourie du Preez and Bryan Habana (above) will all be over 35 come Japan 2019, while 38-year-old Victor Matfield, who captained them in the bronze medal match at the Olympic stadium, has already announced his retirement for the 2nd time.
All 4 were members of a glorious few years for the Springboks in which they bestrode the world. It began when Jake White’s team won the 2007 World Cup and, under his replacement Peter de Villiers, they won the 2009 Tri-Nations then beat the British & Irish Lions 2 / 1 in a Test series in the same year.
Du Preez, Habana and Matfield were also part of the Blue Bulls team that was coached by Heyneke Meyer and became the 1st South African franchise to win the Super Rugby title, in 2007.
Springboks (16) 24 / 13 (0) Los Pumas (Final Score)
The South African Springboks and Argentinian Los Pumas did battle in the 2015 Rugby World Cup 3rd Place Play-off at
Olympic Stadium, London, England at 22:00 SA Time (20:00 UK Time & GMT, 17:00 ARG Time).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & M-Net on TV in SA.
On 31 October, 9 of the iconic aircraft will treat fans in Twickenham Stadium, as well as the Richmond and Trafalgar Square fanzones, to a special flypast prior to the start of the final between New Zealand and Australia. They will flyover Trafalgar Square 7 minutes before kick-off, then over Twickenham Stadium and the Richmond Fanzone at 15:55 as the teams line up for the anthems.
The finalists are set to battle it out for rugby’s greatest prize, the Webb Ellis Cup, in front of a sell-out crowd of 80 125. South Africa and Argentina will also go head to head in front of a full house in the Bronze final at The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – in front of 56 000 spectators.
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer named his strongest possible team as a mark of the greatest respect to an outstanding Argentina team as both teams chase the end-of-season reward of a bronze medal at the Olympic Stadium in London on Friday evening.
Victor Matfield replaces Lood de Jager as 1 of only 2 changes to the starting line-up from Saturday’s semifinal against New Zealand. He takes over the over the captaincy from the injured Fourie du Preez, whose place in the No 9 jersey is taken by Ruan Pienaar, with Rudy Paige coming onto the bench.
South Africa will be going all out to ensure they end their Rugby World Cup campaign on a high note when they face Argentina in their 3rd-place play-off on Friday.
That was the message from Springbok flyhalf Handré Pollard who scored 15 points from 5 penalties in his team’s 18 / 20 semifinal loss to New Zealand last Saturday.
“We still got 1 more game to go and it is another opportunity to represent the Springboks – it is still an amazing honour,” said Pollard.
“We can still go away with the 3rd place but it is not what we came here for.
“Its still not bad so we going to go out on Friday and just give everything we have. It’s the last Test match and we just have to get result.
Flank Willem Alberts, who struggled with injury this year, echoed Pollard’s sentiments.
Insisting that all Springboks play domestically is the best way to “restore pride” in the national jersey, says former Springbok prop and pundit Robbie Kempson.
Speaking on SuperSport’s “RWC Master Plan” programme which has run during the current Rugby World Cup in the United Kingdom, the 1998 Tri-Nations title-winning front-ranker said he backed the decision by Argentinean rugby bosses to make it compulsory for all players wishing to represent the Pumas next season to play for the new Buenos Aires-based franchise in remodelled Super Rugby.
“It will help galvanise a side that will produce for them, going forward.”
But the 37 Test-cap Kempson added that he felt South Africa had “missed a trick” through their policy for the latest Rugby World Cup, which allowed for squad inclusion of 7 players who are exclusively contracted to overseas franchises – Fourie du Preez, Zane Kirchner, Bryan Habana, Morné Steyn, Ruan Pienaar, Francois Louw and Schalk Brits.
We take a look at different views on whether the South African Springboks coach, Heyneke Meyer, should stay on as Springbok coach till the next edition of Rugby World Cup or whether he should be replaced as coach.
Rugby365’s JAN DE KONING and Sport24’s GARRIN LAMBEY are of the opinion that Heyneke Meyer should stay on as coach, whereas Sport24’s Herman Mostert believes Heyneke Meyer should be replaced.
My own opinion is that South Africa lacks quality coaches, who could take the Springboks up a notch or 2 and I do not believe the South African rugby culture, SARU’s stoid stance on rugby and the political environment is at all condusive to appointing a foreign coach, to take the Springboks further and upwards. I therefore believe that Heyneke Meyer should stay on, but I also believe there are a number of things which needs to change, to make the Springboks serious contenders for the World No 1 spot.
Let’s take a look at the different views:
South Africa captain Fourie du Preez says Saturday’s semifinal defeat by New Zealand is likely to be his last game for his country after he picked up a facial injury.
Du Preez finished the match with a swollen eye and cheekbone and is doubtful for the bronze final on Friday.
Asked about his future, a dejected du Preez said: “I don’t know if that was my last game, I’ll see how the injury goes. That was probably my last game. I have got a broken tooth and I will be getting a check on my cheekbone tomorrow, but they don’t think it’s broken.
Scans taken after the match cleared the No 9 of a fractured cheekbone, but he does have a damaged tooth.
He will also have to wait and see if the swelling goes down before a decision is made if he will play against Argentina at the Olympic Stadium in London this coming Friday.
However, medical opinion is that he should be available.
The Springboks have been given 2 days off, before they will fit in a couple of training sessions – a full session on Wednesday and the captain’s run on Thursday – ahead of Friday’s meaningless encounter.
Team doctor Craig Roberts’s post match medical report had some other good news as well.
Flank Francois Louw, who received 16 stitches to his forehead for a deep cut, is available for selection.
“That won’t keep him out of play, it has healed up and it is fine,” Roberts told a media gathering.
Argentina have dismissed Springbok suggestions that Friday’s bronze final does not mean anything and are determined to celebrate their attacking style at the tournament by beating their Rugby Championship rivals.
After his side narrowly lost to New Zealand 20 / 18 in Saturday’s 1st semifinal, South African coach Heyneke Meyer said it would be tough mentally to prepare for the clash at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. “It does not mean anything to me. It is like kissing your sister,” he said.
But, despite the disappointment of failing to get past Australia in their semifinal, Argentina captain Agustin Creevy and his squad were excited about trying to secure the 3rd place.
Asked about Meyer’s comments, Creevy said: “I don’t know why he said that. I would rather be 3rd than 4th. We want to be in the Top 3. We need to get over the defeat and start again. The 3rd-place playoff means a lot.”
Flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez, who scored all of Argentina’s points in the 29 / 15 defeat by the Wallabies, said: “We came here to play the final, but I think we gave it our all. The biggest challenge now is to finish on a high note and get the 3rd place.
“We’ve got a mentally very tough game ahead. This week probably won’t be as pleasant as this past one, but we’ll make a great effort to get the bronze medal.”
The Southern Hemisphere nations consolidated their positions as the Top 4 in world rugby after a weekend of battle that resulted in the Top 2, New Zealand and Australia, moving through to this Saturday’s final of Rugby World Cup 2015.
South Africa, who lost 20 / 18 to New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup semifinal on Saturday, retain their position as world No 3 ahead of Argentina, who were defeated 29 / 15 by Australia in Sunday’s semifinal.
The Springboks and Pumas will contest the Rugby World Cup bronze final on Friday and the winner is likely to be the world No 3, with the sides separated in the rankings by less than 1 point.
Under the points exchange system used to calculate rankings, sides take points off each other based on the match result; whatever 1 side gains, the other loses. Such points exchanges are doubled during the Rugby World Cup to recognise the unique importance of the event.
Nigel Owens has been appointed to referee the final of Rugby World Cup 2015. The 44-year-old from Wales is a veteran of 67 Tests but on Saturday at 17:00 SA Time (16:00 UK Time) he will take charge of the biggest match of his career to date.
Owens will become just the 7th referee to do the job, following in the footsteps of Kerry Fitzgerald (1987), Derek Bevan (1991), Ed Morrison (1995), Andre Watson (1999 and 2003), Alain Rolland (2007) and Craig Joubert (2011).
His experience and his consistency over many years, as well as his excellent form during the build-up to and during Rugby World Cup 2015, has won him selection to the pinnacle match in the sport at the end of a tournament in which the high quality of officiating has been a feature.
Springboks (12) 18 / 20 (7) All Blacks (Final Score)
The South African Springboks and New Zealand All Blacks did battle in a Semifinal at the 2015 Rugby World Cup at
Twickenham Stadium, London, England at 17:00 SA Time (16:00 BST, 15:00 GMT, Sunday 04:00 NZ Time).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & M-Net on TV in SA.
Old age is not for sissies, they say.
At Twickenham Stadium on Saturday youth will not be for sissies, as those men will fling themselves body and soul into the Rugby World Cup semifinal between New Zealand’s All Blacks and the South African Springboks, still the game’s greatest rivalry.
Those 46 men, in peak fitness, will risk everything in a sport that is as near as it can be to battle.
They will risk sinew, muscle, bone, heart and mind – everything short of life itself and, who knows, if it were asked of them would life be too big a sacrifice?
And then 80 minutes later they will shake hands and even hug the men they battled against – despite the fury of their effort and despite even the disappointment of defeat.
The match will not be a hate-filled war.
The 2 sides have met 3 times before in Rugby World Cups.
South Africa just won the Final in 1995 and then won the 3rd place play-off in 1999. New Zealand walloped South Africa in the quarterfinal of 2003.
The people of both countries will know about this match and experience their own level of tension in the hopes and fears of the day.
It is a part of the culture of those countries.
In days when matches between the 2 countries were few and far between, as travel dictated (and there were racial hamstrings in 3 New Zealand sides to South Africa till 1970), South Africa led New Zealand in the winning tally.
Those days ended when the world was an easier place for travel.
Then New Zealand pulled ahead and are now 17 matches ahead, with the Springboks still closer in the rivaly than all other sides against New Zealand, which also means that they are more likely to beat the All Blacks than other teams would be.
For the 4 coaches of the Rugby World Cup semifinalists – Argentina’s Daniel Hourcade, Australia’s Michael Cheika, New Zealand’s Steve Hansen and South Africa’s Heyneke Meyer – the coming weekend promises to be a defining moment in their careers.
Win and they can look forward to leading their teams out for the Rugby World Cup final at Twickenham Stadium next Saturday, lose and they will be left to prepare for Friday night’s bronze medal match at the Olympic stadium, wondering what might have been.
Hansen summed up the contrast earlier in the week: “You either stand up and be counted or go home. Even worse, you have to play that other game.”
One thing the coaches share is that none had spectacular playing careers – Cheika’s Australia Under 21 caps represent the closest any of them came to international rugby – though all 4 have worked tirelessly as coaches to earn the positions they currently occupy.
Let’s not beat around the bush, the All Blacks are firm favourites to beat the Springboks in their Rugby World Cup semifinal clash at Twickenham Stadium in London on Saturday.
Since Heyneke Meyer took over as Springbok coach in 2012, the Springboks have only managed 1 win over their old rivals in 7 attempts.
Overall, the All Blacks now boast a healthy 52 to 35 lead in the head-to-head standings, with 3 draws.
It is therefore no wonder local bookmakers have the All Blacks as 9-point winners. They have been more impressive than the Springboks in 2015 and after their 62 / 13 annihilation of France last week, again proved that their attacking skills are far more superior than that of the Springboks, who struggled to cross the whitewash in their win over Wales.
In the modern era, it would be fair to say that if the 2 teams play each other on 10 occasions, that the All Blacks would win 8 of those.
However, Saturday is a Rugby World Cup semifinal and there will be more nerves.
There’s also another aspect of the game – the weather – which could sway the pendulum more in South Africa’s favour.