South Africa v Lions – 3rd Test

July 4, 2009

Just thought I would type out some thoughts, after prematurely turning off the TV in a blind rage.

This was the most ordinary performance I have seen from the Springboks since Peter De Villiers first Tri-Nations game in charge last season.  It was a limp Bok performance – bereft of gameplan or structure.

Constantly kicking to an obviously well drilled Lions back 3 wasn’t helping matters, as Kearney spent the first 25 minutes of the match punishing the Boks with well weighted kicks and precision counter assaults.

Ralepelle was doing fine, pulling him prematurely for Du Plessis was ill thought out.  By that stage the game was lost and all Du Plessis did was compound frustrations with his incessant ability to start a good fight.  Johan Muller failed to fill in Botha’s shoes – he was a lot of bark but no bite in the end.

Brussouw was superb, but good god – Brussouw IS NOT A BALL RUNNER, why must the Boks insist on using him as such?  Why he was forced to try and make the gainline in midfield over Kankowski or Smith amazes me.

Its also nice to see PdV has coached the life out of Olivier and has him back as a bloody De Wet Barry type crash ball runner. If the Super 14 proved anything it is the dynamic nature of Olivier – if only they could use him properly.

Nokwe is a good finisher – nothing else. Wings in the Bok side need to be able to create (due to 10 through 13 being able to do nothing), not just finish.  Kirchner had a solid enough debut, apart from a botched try, but Steyn played much better when he was on.

The Lions were superb, Vickery though proved he is over the hill.  He got lucky with the Bok scrum being penalised a few times early in the match until the ref cottoned onto the fact that as much as Gareth Rowntree (Lions Forwards coach) wants us to believe it, Vickery is not “back”.

Shaw bossed Matfield and the rest of the Bok pack, and was unlucky to get sent off.  If Du Preez wasn’t injured he would not have got a yellow.  Heaslip was powerful with ball in hand, and Martin Williams seemed to irritate the Boks to no end which probably meant he was doing a good job of openside flanker.  Riki Flutey was dangerous in the midfield, and Shane Williams sublime living off breaks and taking advantage of Ndungane’s poor defensive play to scoot in for 2 tries.

The match leaves the Bok’s to question both their depth and squad make up ahead of the Tri Nations.  My tip this year is the Wallabies, with the Boks/Nz battling out for 2nd and 3rd.

Ill make a post later in the week with a quick Tri Nations preview and a quick review of each sides squad (if anyone cares 😛 )

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One Response to “South Africa v Lions – 3rd Test”

  1. johnny said

    nice evualtion of the game. bakkies was a bigger loss than i thought and your right vickery is not ‘back’. i though on paper the starting midfield for the 3rd test was better than the 1st and 2nd…well thats who i would of picked i’m not a fan of jacobs and pienar is a 9, which just unfortunatley means he should be on the bench.

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