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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

All Black's day and on to Australia

I was disappointed that the Springboks didn't beat New Zealand in their Tri-Nations encounter at Newlands last Saturday. Everything was set up for the win with Dan Carter missing 4 kickable penalties to leave us only trailing 0-5 at the break.

That is not a bad position to be in with twenty minutes to go, the pressure on the All Blacks and only 5 points in it. Unfortunately for us there were two turning points. Firstly Bryan Habana's foot finding the touchline and then Percy Montgomery missing two vital kicks during his 100th Test match which he would normally have slotted on any other day. Either of the two would have had us ahead or level at worst.

It was not to be.

In terms of our defence I believe that Schalk Burger proved how valuable he is to the Springboks in covering the inside. As soon as he was replaced Dan Carter got through and scored right under the poles.

Despite everything that Test was within our grasp and in the last quarter things could have turned out so differently.

That is all in the past and the guys must now focus on the Test against Australia on Saturday.

The Springboks need to get back to their strengths - their physicality and their powerful set of forwards. The danger in terms of the Wallabies will come from their backline and it is vital to the cause that we keep clean possession to them down to a minimum.

Once again Schalk will be essential to ensuring that we defend well on the inside. The Aussie backs are highly innovative while the team as a whole plays the multiple-phase game exceedingly well. The breakdowns will be vital and Schalk will help to slow the game down.

If the Springboks want to score tries this weekend then they are going to have to play the game in the Wallabies half of the field as much as possible. Field position could well be a major factor in this one.

In terms of defence the Wallabies are exceptional, owing much to the fact that they don't commit numbers to the breakdowns. This makes it harder to break their defence down.

In terms of lineouts we are going to have to improve on last Saturday's performance where we let ourselves down a bit.

Here's hoping we can bounce back this week.

Jake White speaking to Mike Trapido of the Mail & Guardian


  1. Here's some good news to temper the bad: your book, In Black and White, has just won the Nielsen Booksellers Choice Award:



  2. All Blacks game.

    I would never leave out Ruan and Steyn. Between them they can cover every position in the backline. I could be wrong but Jantjies has limitations; was he caught out of position twice when he was on wing? Scoring opportunities? Don't get me wrong I like him, but in Ruan and Steyn you have the X factor and I don't feel Jantjies has that.

    Also I would start introducing Ruan @ fly half like you said. Bring him from the bench and let him start to settle, would also be good for butch to rest and have some competition.

    Schalk is legend and Luke Watson has been exposed if you ask me. I watched every game this season and he has not made any significant contribution to the bok setup.

    What do you think about BJ Botha not being there... I think Beast is good but does he match Botha?? What about Heinke VDM he is power for the Lions and continues to dominate in his position.

    I have always had my confidence in JP Pieterson. If Schalk saw the inside pass on the line there JP was running a great line and no one would of caught him.

    Anyway we looked good with ball in Hand and besides all the errors we could have scored some nice tries.

    I think we missed Bakkies, they can say what they want, opposition doesn’t like playing against him. He aggravates them and those small aggravations can cause players to make mistakes.

    I can go on and on, but before I write a short story...

    Lets hope we bounce back, we should. @ least we have some consistency in the team selection if if some of the positions/subs are suspect.

    Go Bokke!

  3. One more thing..

    It seems that Eddie Jones is hunting Ruan. It might just be a blessing for us, because I think he is the right guy to mold Ruan into a LEGEND flyhalf?

    What do you think?

  4. Ben thank you for the kind we kind words.

    Nev - I'll give the Ruan one a bit of thought.

    No doubt that Schalk is an important player to us.

  5. Jake,

    I couldn't agree with you more re: your opinions on match turning points. The press have missed this and have jumped down PDV's throat. I reckon good for him selecting Percy despite Cedrick Frolick's immature, typically political remarks.

    Had Bryan not sliced that touch line, it would've been a different ball game. As we know from Dunedin, often only one try seperates great test teams, and we can take courage that we did threaten the All Black's line. Not enough mind you. But we weren't entirely impotent.

    Build on this, look to win the last two games (forget about trying to win the Tri-Nations now) and keep the winning formula. Simple.

    But bloody hell, don't sub Schalk!!


    Thanks Jake. The fans love the Blog.

    James in Durbs

  6. Jake,

    Nice blog mate, just subscribed to your RSS Feed. Was and Am one of your biggest fans. Made this site, but got it up a bit late :) - it was about a day before you stepped down, so only got 100 odd sig's.

    Do you use any online messengers? If so you can email me with the email left behind, as I would like to get you setup on a proper blog where you can be heard. Blogspot can take your blog down at any time and with it all your hard work


  7. Thanks Col and James

    Out of interest I'd like to see who the guys would choose to start on Saturday.

    Let's see your 1-15.

  8. If you are talking about what I would do if I was coach then...

    Springboks -

    15 Percy Montgomery,
    14 JP Pietersen,
    13 Adi Jacobs, (I will stick with him for the tri-nations and see how it ends, he's still 50/50 but he's there lets stick with him)
    12 Jean de Villiers,
    11 Jongi Nokwe, (Not my first choice but he's there lets se what he can do against decent opponents. Undugane would probably be a saver bet)
    10 Butch James,
    9 Fourie du Preez,
    8 Pierre Spies,
    7 Juan Smith,
    6 Schalk Burger,
    5 Victor Matfield (c),
    4 Andries Bekker, (Will give him another shot, started with him, lets back him)
    3 CJ van der linde,
    2 Bismarck du Plessis,
    1 BJ Botha/Heinke Van De Merwe. Probably BJ because of his Experience.

    Subs: 16 Adriaan Strauss, (He did enough to impress me)
    17 Heinke van De Merwe,
    18 Joe van Niekerk,
    19 Vikus Van Heerden,
    20 Ricky Januarie,
    21 Ruan Pienaar, -he can cover Flyhalf and wing in needed.
    22 Frans Steyn. - Replace Percy or Jacobs if injuries .

  9. Hi Jake

    thanks for the blog, this is the team i'll play against the ozzies

    15 Percy Montgomery
    14 JP Pietersen
    13 Adi Jacobs
    12 Jean de Villiers
    11 Jongi Nokwe
    10 Butch James
    9 Fourie du Preez
    8 Pierre Spies
    7 Juan Smith
    6 Schalk Burger
    5 Victor Matfield (c)
    4 Andries Bekker
    3 CJ van der linde
    2 Bismarck du Plessis
    1 Bheast

    16 Adriaan Strauss
    17 BJ Botha
    18 Joe van Niekerk
    19 Wikus Van Heerden
    20 Ricky Januarie
    21 Conrad Jantjies
    22 Frans Steyn

  10. Keep those selections coming guys. The most difficult part of any coaches job is having to tell a player he isn't in the side.

    I'm very interested to see what selections you come up with.

  11. Hi Jake
    Would you care to comment on the so called new approach the Boks are meant to have in terms of attack and playing a more open style?
    The fact that this is somewhat against the grain and maybe not to our strengths is a poser. The past losses against major opposition notwithstanding, do you see this way of play as a step forward or is the team better off sticking to tried and trusted measures.
    As a concerned supporter, I’m at a loss as to where the Boks are as a team. And if not totally without faith in the incumbent mentor, suffice it to say that I think I speak for many when I ask are we on the right track?
    Your book was most enlightening, a real eye opener. I wish you well in all you do. Thank you for the world cup victory and thank you in fact for your entire tenure. It was a breath of fresh air.

  12. Hi Jake,

    OK. Here's my 15. You can send the check to:
    (Don't send cash as I don't trust the guys at the post office.)

    Bok Selector Extraordinaire
    PO Box 555
    Twee Buffels

    The Team

    15 Percy Montgomery
    14 JP Pietersen
    13 Barrett (Possible swap with JdV)
    12 Jean de Villiers (c)
    11 Ndungane (Good under the aerial assaults)
    10 Ruan P
    9 Ricky Januarie
    8 Kanko
    7 Juan Smith
    6 Schalk Burger
    5 Victor Matfield
    4 Andries Bekker
    3 CJ van der linde
    2 Bismarck du Plessis
    1 Beast

    Subs 4:3
    Adriaan Strauss
    BJ Botha
    Fourie du Preez
    AD Jacobs
    Frans Steyn

  13. Hi Jake

    I am also a big fan. Thank you for restoring the pride in the Bokke, and after that it was fitting that we won the RWC. Thanks very much.

    And now for a question from left field... Would you accept a position as technical advisor to Peter DeVilliers? I think your meticulous attention to detail and deep understanding of the game is just what is needed to help Peter execute his ideas.

    Any chance?

  14. Hi Jake,

    Really enjoying the blog and this channel, thank you for your interesting opinions and insights.

    I'm not sure if this is an appropriate question, but seeing as you're no longer involved in selection, I was wondering if there was a player you regret not capping during your tenure? Would a player like Brad Barritt have been on the brink of selection under your setup?

    Also, if you could have selected one international from a different country to play for the Springboks, who would that have been? Or put differently, who was the opposition player that you most feared/admired whilst preparing for a test match? Just some light-hearted questions during this rather disappointing period in our rugby history.


    P.S - Any thoughts of joining Eddie at Saracens, especially considering the South African influence there?

  15. My Springbok team for the second Wallabie test would look as follows:

    1.Tendai Mtawarira
    2.Bismarck du Plessis
    3.Jannie du Plessis (after CJ's impending suspension, with BJ having left already)
    4.Andries Bekker
    5.Victor Matfield
    6.Schalk Burger
    7.Juan Smith
    8.Pierre Spies (no news on Kanko's fitness)
    9.Fourie du Preez
    10.Butch James
    11.Bryan Habana (if fit, if not then Jantjes on the wing)
    12.Frans Steyn
    13.Jean de Villiers - Captain (to alternate 12/13 with Steyn)
    14.JP Pietersen
    15.Percy Montgomery

    16.Adriaan Strauss
    17.Brian Mujati (not really much choice now)
    18.Johann Muller
    19.Cobus Grobbelaar (baptism of fire, I realise, but the tournament is lost, it wouldn't hurt to cap one of the best fetchers in the country)
    20.Ruan Pienaar (as nuggety as Ricky is, Ruan adds a certain calmness in the last 20 minutes or so, can also cover Flyhalf)
    21.Adi Jacobs
    22.Conrad Jantjes (Odwa Ndungane, if Habana is unfit)

  16. My "next-gen" Ideal Team, ignoring quotas, injuries and overseas committments:

    1.Tendai Mtawarira
    2.John Smit (C)
    3.BJ Botha
    4.Bakkies Botha
    5.Victor Matfield
    6.Schalk Burger
    7.Juan Smith
    8.Ryan Kankowski
    9.Fourie du Preez
    10.Ruan Pienaar
    11.Bryan Habana
    12.Brad Barritt
    13.Jean de Villiers
    14.JP Pietersen
    15.Frans Steyn

    16.Bismarck du Plessis
    17.CJ van der Linde
    18.Andries Bekker (Johann Muller for bench when Matfield retires, not far off, looking at current form :( )
    19.Jean Deysel
    20.Rory Kockott
    21.Peter Grant
    22.Conrad Jantjes

  17. Its Time to move Smittie to Prop. (When he is Fit). Also I have been very impressed with Tendai. Huge Smith fan as well, but I think he should be on the bench due to current form. He covers number 4 lock then too. I would go with Deysel in the 7 shirt but am alsoa big fan of duane vermeulen who seems to do very well at the breakdown too (our big worry area right now).

    More importantly then team selection is the coaching staff and the game plan (or lack there of) I feel that is the biggest issue right now

  18. Jake, why do you think the gameplan is not working. PDV must have one?

    Do you know if Sherylle Calder is still in the setup? Cause I don't think she is!!!

    It hurt, it hurts BADLY!!! I wanted to cry really!!!

  19. Jake lets here what you have to say my man!!

    What needs to be done? Hearing stories about players not being happy!

    If it's true then we are in for another record low.

    How must you feel, after building a world cup WINNING team and then to see this bok team that look like headless chickens?