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Springboks

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The khaki brigade

The khaki brigade

WP Rugby has launched an investigation into alleged racist behaviour that occurred during last Saturday’s Rugby Championship match at Newlands.

According to Cape Talk radio, the accusations have been levelled at a group of men dressed in khaki outfits, who used the ‘k-word’ every time a South African player of colour made an error on the field of play.

When confronted by another member of the crowd, they got aggressive and verbally abused him for the remainder of the match. Continue reading

Jonathan Kaplan

Jonathan Kaplan

This weekends rugby was dominated by the championship.

Credit again to the best team in the world, The All Blacks for completing yet another win and dominating the important parts of each match to win the trophy.

The were put under some pressure by the Argentinian scrum early on but still found a pathway to success and their superior conditioning allowed them to come right back at the dominant pack in the second half.

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The Rugby ChampionshipNow that the excitement of the crazy last 10 minutes at Newlands has subsided, maybe it’s time for a reality check for the Springboks and their supporters – regardless of what happens at Ellis Park this coming week, the All Blacks remain top of the southern hemisphere pile and there is still a lot of work to be done before their position will be properly challenged.

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Scott Fardy  Michael Hooper

Scott Fardy conforts Michael Hooper following the loss

Australian Rugby Union boss Bill Pulver recently called for a rotation of Rugby Championship games because he believed playing the All Blacks twice at the start of the tournament had killed off local interest.

After the Wallabies deflated in the final ten minutes in Cape Town, Pulver’s latest brainwave could be pleading to SANZAR that Australia does not play any important Rugby Championship matches away from home, and that the Springboks are barred from using their reserves bench.

These are kooky times, and as the frazzled ARU brain’s trust has made it quite clear, the Wallabies need every bit of help they can get.

Still it is all too late to stop the Mandela Plate, like the Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship silverware from remaining for another year thousands of kilometres away from the ARU’s bare trophy cabinet.

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Israel Dagg

FULL GALLOP: All Blacks fullback Israel Dagg finds clear air during their 34-13 win over Argentina to clinch the Rugby Championship for 2014.

Launching pads don’t get much better. With the pressure now off, the All Blacks board a flight to Johannesburg today with strut, swagger and no inhibitions.

Yesterday’s four-try 34-13 win over the Pumas clinched a third successive Rugby Championship title but, more importantly, saw the All Blacks regain their attacking groove.

After two weeks battling New Zealand rain they threw off the shackles in La Plata and now have the freedom to craft a gameplan without worrying about any tournament permutations.

To further enhance their 22-test unbeaten run they will be intent on harnessing that flamboyance for a blockbuster clash of styles rematch with the Springboks.

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Heyneke Meyer, SARU President Origen Hoskins, Victor Matfield and Jean de Villiers with Salie Fredericks

Bok coach Heyneke Meyer, SARU President Origen Hoskins, Victor Matfield and Jean de Villiers hand over a Springbok jersey to Salie Fredericks on Friday.

Mr Oregan Hoskins, president of the South African Rugby Union (SARU), accompanied by a Springbok delegation on Friday visited the recuperating former “Coloured Springboks” captain Salie Fredericks at his house in Gordon’s Bay.

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer, team manager Ian Schwartz, captain Jean de Villiers and vice-captain Victor Matfield accompanied Mr Hoskins, as they wished Mr Fredericks well with his recovery from surgery.

Fredericks, who was labelled as the “Black Frik du Preez” by some newspapers in his playing days, played more than 200 provincial matches for Western Province in competitions of the former South African Coloured Rugby Football Board, and later the non-racial and anti-apartheid South African Rugby Union.

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Duane Vermeulen

Duane Vermeulen

The formidable presence of No 8 Duane Vermeulen could be missing from the Springbok arsenal when they play their final Rugby Championship match of the year against the All Blacks at Ellis Park next Saturday.

Vermeulen left the field late in the second half with a rib injury, and with Schalk Burger having already come onto the field for Teboho Mohoje, that meant that a lock, Victor Matfield, had to take up position on the side of the scrum.

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SpringboksSPRINGBOKS

Meyer Praises fit, gutsy Boks

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer on Saturday applauded the fitness and never-say-die attitude of his team in defeating Australia 28-10 in the Rugby Championship at DHL Newlands.

The Springboks scored three tries in the last ten minutes to seal a bonus point victory.

“We played great rugby at times in the first half, but their defence was great. We became a bit frustrated because of that, but in the second half the fitness levels and impact from the bench was massive for us; I told our conditioning coach Basil Carzis as much afterwards,” Meyer said.

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Jean de Villiers

Pa Jean de Villiers gister op Nuweland saam met sy spruite Layli (links) en Lana regs).

Van die land se rugbykenners was gister nét so verstom deur die Springbokke se fantastiese eindpoging teen die Wallabies op Nuweland, as die meeste rugbykykers.

 

De Wet Barry:

“Daar was ’n lang tyd dat ons glad nie die bal gehad het nie, waarin ek regtig baie bekommerd was,” het De Wet Barry, ’n voormalige Springbok-senter, gesê.

“Dit was wonderlik dat ons verdediging gehou het en toe ons eers weer die bal kry, het die wedstryd geswaai.”

Volgens Barry was die Bok-agsteman Duan Vermeulen uitstekend tot hy beseer is.

“Hy het uitgetroon op die verdediging en by die afbreekpunte.”

Volgens Barry het Heyneke Meyer boonop dié keer sy plaasvervangers reg aangewend.

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South AfricaAustraliaSpringboks (5) 28 / 10 (10) Wallabies (Final Score)

The South African Springboks and Australian Wallabies did battle in The Rugby Championship at

Newlands Stadium, Cape Town at 17:00 SA Time (15:00 GMT, 01:00 Sunday AEST).

This was the live match discussion Article.

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

*******************

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Matthew Burke

Matthew Burke

If there was a World Cup without the All Blacks, we would have a great chance of lifting the William Webb Ellis trophy. Unfortunately that isn’t going to happen.

I say this because perhaps we may have been a little harsh in our criticism of the Wallabies in relation to our neighbours across the ditch.

The Wallabies are in a predicament, along with South Africa and Argentina. The three of us contest a competition against a side who right now are clearly the best rugby-playing nation.

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AustraliaThe Wallabies have their ammunition for a drought-busting Newlands ambush thanks to derogatory newspaper comments that have made the Springboks wince.

Coach Ewen McKenzie is certain to plaster the back-page of the Cape Times over the Australian dressing room wall on Saturday night after their chief rugby writer claimed the Wallabies didn’t deserve to be on the same field as South Africa.

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South AfricaThe Springbok starting line-up to face Australia shows three changes, with Teboho “Oupa” Mohoje and Francois Hougaard included for Saturday’s fifth round Test in the Castle Lager Rugby Championship at DHL Newlands in Cape Town.

Francois Louw’s injury means a positional switch for Marcell Coetzee in the starting team. There is a further four changes on the bench, with Cobus Reinach in line to make his Springbok debut alongside the experienced trio of Bakkies Botha, Schalk Burger and JP Pietersen.

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SuperBruLet me start off this week’s SuperBru thread by saying “Thanks for nothing, Sharks!”

Typical of the Cell C Sharks, play like plonkers for most of the Currie Cup, but then turn it on just in time to mess up everyone’s GSP.

After losses to the Steval Pumas and then at home to the GWK Griquas, not many gave them a chance at Loftus. Well done to the Sharks though, but it must be added that the Blue Bulls looked like plonkers on Saturday.

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Welcome To Hell

A former high-ranking Australian rugby union official once remarked: ‘that the best thing about South Africa was QF 64′. In other words, the flight home!

The comment, which was made within the earshot of several players, drew a laugh at the time; but it also probably served to sum up why the Wallabies haven’t been as successful in the Republic during the professional era as they should have been.

Simply, the country intimidates.

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AustraliaStorming Brumbies winger Joe Tomane makes his long-awaited return to Test rugby in three changes to the Wallabies’ starting line-up for their clash with South Africa.

Tomane was named on the wing alongside 97-Test veteran Adam Ashley-Cooper, who has recovered from a neck injury, while Queensland hooker Saia Fainga’a was given the nod ahead of Reds teammate James Hanson.

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Teboho Mohoje

Teboho ‘Oupa’ Mohoje looks on during Springbok training

The player at the centre of a race storm surrounding the Springboks says he has no choice but to ignore the controversy created by his selection.

Rookie breakaway Teboho “Oupa” Mohoje was named ahead of 71-Test veteran Schalk Burger to start against the Wallabies this weekend and was thrust headlong into a fierce debate over the politics surrounding rugby in South Africa.

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Teboho Mahoje

Teboho ‘Oupa’ Mahoje

A racial row has erupted in South Africa on the eve of the Wallabies’ showdown with the Springboks.

A selection battle between rising Cheetahs star Teboho “Oupa” Mohoje and World Cup winner Schalk Burger has pitted sections of the South African media against Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer.

The battle was eventually won by Mohoje, with Burger selected on the bench for the Test.

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Heyneke Meyer

Heyneke Meyer

Even as he spoke at Wednesday’s press conference here, a stiff north-wester – so often the city’s rain-preceding wind – howled and dark clouds engulfed Table Mountain, not from the end that characterises the trademark lilywhite summer “tablecloth”.

Yet a notably recurring theme from Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer was his wish for a precipitation-free Castle Rugby Championship Test match against the Wallabies at Newlands on Saturday.

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Brendan Venter

Brendan Venter

Having suffered back-to-back away defeats – albeit by narrow margins – the Springboks’ chances of winning the Rugby Championship are now balanced on a knife’s edge.

While home ground advantage should offer the Springboks some solace, from personal experience, pressure is magnified on home soil.

The expectation is that the Springboks should beat the Wallabies comfortably at Newlands on Saturday, and I feel that’s a horrible position for a team to find itself in.

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Tony Johnson

Tony Johnson

The All Blacks had a mantra through the last World Cup, one that has continued to serve them well.

“Expect the unexpected and deal with it” was a change of philosophy after years of striving to leave no stone unturned in the quest for a perfect preparation.

Somewhere along the way they realized that planning to have the best players in the best shape, and the team functioning tickety-boo on the day was unrealistic. It became more about embracing pressure and expectation, and being able to adjust when things inevitably go wrong.

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John McFarland

Springbok defense coach John McFarland.

In the years of the old Tri-Nations competition competed for by South Africa, New Zealand and Australia it was universally agreed that the Springboks were at a disadvantage because of the travel schedule.

That may not have changed now that the premier southern hemisphere competition has morphed into the Castle Lager Rugby Championship.

At least that is the view of Bok defence coach John McFarland, who believes that the South Africans have it tough in being the only side in the new competition, which now also includes Argentina, who have to play three consecutive matches away.

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Corne Krige

Corne Krige

Naturally there has been plenty to discuss since New Zealand defeated the Springboks in Wellington and Australia grabbed their second win of the Championship over Los Pumas.

One man though has stolen the headlines since Aaron Cruden’s ill-advised late night drinking session caused him to miss the flight to Buenos Aires.

His two-match suspension is completely the right call in the eye of Krige, who described his actions as “bordering on criminal.”

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Victor Matfield

Victor Matfield wins a lineout ahead of an Australian rival in Perth two weeks ago.

South Africa’s aggressive new breakdown tactics will leave them exposed to penalties and short on tacklers out wide, the Wallabies believe, while Australia’s forwards coach Andrew Blades has taken aim at Victor Matfield for trying to manipulate referees.

The Wallabies woke up in Cape Town to headlines of their scrum “tricks” and articles suggesting they manipulated referees into giving them penalties rather than earning them.

And still ringing fresh in their ears is Matfield’s comments after his side lost 24-23 in Perth three weeks ago, in which he questioned the legality of the Wallabies’ tactics in stopping the Boks’ rolling maul.

Blades brushed off the barbs as Australia prepares to face South Africa this weekend at Newlands, where they have not won since 1992.

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John McFarland

Springbok defense coach John McFarland

The Springboks want to keep the Wallabies guessing over who will fill the blindside flanker’s role for them in Saturday’s Castle Lager Rugby Championship clash at Newlands for as long as possible.

The Bok team is to be announced at lunch time on Wednesday, and more clarity will probably be offered on what the starting line-up will look like in Saturday’s match when the Boks train in a session that is open to the media and public at Cape Town Stadium on Tuesday.

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JanSerfontein

Jan Serfontein

Jan Serfontein is hoping to see more attacking ball this weekend than he has in his first two Tests at outside centre for the Springboks.

Having played all of his rugby at No.12, Serfontein was picked outside captain Jean de Villiers in the two Rugby Championship away defeats to Australia and New Zealand which saw him make more of an impact on defence than attack.

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Nigel Owens

Nigel Owens

Wales’ Nigel Owens will be the man with the whistle for the Springboks’ must-win Rugby Championship Test against Australia at Newlands on Saturday.

Kick-off is at 17:05 SA Time.

In a tournament blighted by sub-standard officiating, Heyneke Meyer’s men will be hoping Owens has a controversy-free match as they look to keep their title hopes alive with a bonus-point victory in Cape Town.

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Pieter de Villiers

Bok scrum coach, Pieter de Villiers.

The scrumming travails that dominated the headlines and media copy after the two Castle Rugby Championship matches against Argentina are now behind the Springboks and quickly receding from memory, according to their scrum coach Pieter de Villiers.

The unedifying sight of the much vaunted Bok scrum backpedalling in the Salta match against the Pumas, as well to some extent as the game before that at Loftus, precipitated a wave of panic among South African supporters.

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Francois Louw

Six weeks out: Francois Louw

Springbok flanker Francois Louw underwent surgery on Monday after he injured his neck in the Rugby Championship Test against New Zealand in Wellington.

Team doctor Craig Roberts told reporters in Cape Town on Monday that Louw had suffered a pinched nerve in his neck, and would be sidelined for about six weeks.

“Francois initially took a knock to his head, and the scans showed damage to a nerve in his neck. He has had surgery today on the (affected) disc and that should relieve the pressure (on the nerve),” said Roberts.

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Kurtley Beale

The Wallabies have tasted endless defeat at Cape Town since 1992.

As if beating the Springboks and Pumas on their home turf is not onerous enough, it also involves a road trip from hell.

The Wallabies will this week discover the logistics involved in getting to South Africa, Argentina and then back home can send everyone around the twist.

Countless Wallabies can vouch for the fact it is an itinerary fraught with danger. But it is always memorable – and for many past and present Wallabies it ranks among their career highlights. You certainly never forget it.

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Lizo Gqoboka

Lizo Gqoboka is one of three young, up and coming players that have been selected to attend the Springbok Training Camp ahead of their final two matches in the Rugby Championship.

Gqoboka, along with Nizaam Carr, Seabelo Senatla, will join the camp this week.

“They are three promising young players we’ve identified and we’d like to expose them to the Springbok ethos while also having a look at what they can do in training,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.

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Schalk Burger

Tough competitor: South African enforcer Schalk Burger is an opponent not easily forgotten, says Phil Waugh.

If Schalk Burger plays for the Springboks against the Wallabies on Saturday after being recalled from his club in Japan, Michael Hooper can expect a bruising encounter he will long remember, warns former Australian Test flanker Phil Waugh.

Waugh, who played against the barnstorming South African 23 times during his Test career, said: “Every time I played Schalk there were plenty of fists in the face both ways; but it was always a healthy competitiveness.

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Eben Etzebeth

Rise to the top – Eben Etzebeth.

Eben Etzebeth isn’t your average 22-year-old. South Africa’s young lock is viewed as absolutely pivotal to the team’s future.

That’s not a status which is simply handed out either. In his 27 caps so far, Etzebeth has seamlessly fitted into Test rugby.

We seem to live in an age of young locks beginning to dominate Test rugby; Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock, Courtney Lawes and Joe Launchbury, Sam Carter, with Pieter-Steph du Toit to come.

There’s little now at the international level that Etzebeth hasn’t experienced, including a prolonged lay-off through injury.

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Teboho Mahoje

Teboho ‘Oupa’ Mohoje in aksie in die toets teen Skotland vroeër vanjaar in Port Elizabeth. Hy het daar van die plaasvervangerbank af net ’n rukkie speelkans gekry.

Teboho ‘Oupa’ Mohoje – en nie die veteraanlosvoorspeler Schalk Burger nie – in die Springbokke se beginspan Saterdag op Nuweland teen die Wallabies.

En Francois Hougaard op skrumskakel, terwyl Cobus Reinach wat van die bank af in sy debuuttoets gaan kans kry.

Dít lyk na die plan van die Springbokafrigter, Heyneke Meyer, om die Suid-Afrikaners se kwynende aanspraak in die Rugbykampioenskap te behou, Mohoje (24), wat 1.93 m lank is en die skaal op 107 kg laat kreun, sal sy eerste kans in die beginspan in die plek van Francois Louw kry.

Louw het in verlede naweek se verloortoets teen die All Blacks senuwees in sy nek vasgeknyp en sal eers weer in November vir die Bok-toer na Europa beskikbaar wees.

Hougaard sal in die plek van Ruan Pienaar opdraf, wat ook in Wellington beseer is.

Mohoje se insluiting is nóg ’n hoofstuk in sy sprokieseisoen. Dié Vrystaatse kantman het vroeër vanjaar in Port Elizabeth ’n rukkie teen Skotland gespeel.

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Bryan Habana

Bryan Habana

Currently away with the Springboks, Bryan Habana hasn’t been distracted by the outlandish statements of Mourad Boudjellal at Toulon.

Habana will be in line for his 102nd cap against the Wallabies in Cape Town next weekend, but the Toulon owner earlier this week demanded that Habana along with Bakkies Botha and Argentina’s Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe return to play for their club.

Perhaps Habana wasn’t distracted because those kind of outbursts from Boudjellal aren’t new. In the same week he also raised the possibility of cancelling Leigh Halfpenny’s contract.

“It’s not up to me to decide on going back. We have the right lines of communication. SA Rugby have been working hard behind the scenes to address the rumours that have been going around this week,” Habana exclusively told Planet Rugby.

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