So week two of Currie Cup rugby and the first round of The Rugby Championship are over!!
And again we saw some great rugby played. Let’s start off with the Currie Cup.
Friday evening and it was Free State vs Bulls, and I think the Cheetahs surprised everyone, some of their own fans included, by beating a much more fancied Bulls side. Not taking anything away from the Cheetahs, but the Bulls were just shocking on the night. It seemed they were more concerned with playing the man, rather than the ball. But none the less, a very good game by the Cheetahs. Raymond Rhule, what a talent!! I know I’m going to get bashed for saying this, but I Honestly feel that Mr Sindile Mayende wasn’t up to the job. He’s complete lack of ability to play advantage, and the numerous off the ball stuff he failed to notice was just shocking (relax Cheetah supporters, he made questionable calls both ways). I think one of the very few (if not the only) light in a dark Free State night for the Bulls was CJ Stander. You can see by his attitude on the field that he’s unhappy (about who or what I don’t know) but hell, this guy can PLAY!!! I once again urge Mr Meyer to get him in the Bok Squad ASAP!!!
Saturday, Griquas vs WP. For awhile I thought Griquas might just upset the guys from the Cape! I feel that having the wind at their back in the 2nd half help WP alot. But I’m not the slightest bit impressed by them. Griquas was in the pound seat for most of the game, and just about threw the game away. Talk about Union whose talent get ‘poached’, I think Griquas just need a bit more patience and self-believe, and they’ll upset a few teams this season. And SARU wants to let the Kings play Super Rugby?
Sharks vs Lions, due to other commitments, I was unfortunalty unable to see the whole game, bar the highlights. Lions looked good in the first, but faded badly in the second. But we have come a bit accustomed to the Lions only playing for 40 minutes in the last while. Sharks looked a bit dreary in the first, but a great second half to slingshots the Banana Boys to the top of the log.
AB’s vs Wannabe’s, again having to sit at work on a Saturday (insert sick face) I was unable to watch the game except for the highlights. The Wannabe’s looked poor, and the AB’s seemed to be just cruising in 2nd gear. Nothing great done by them, although I have to say the try from Jane was a beauty – beating the cross covering defender, but enough done to secure the win.
Then the big match of the weekend Bokke vs Pumas. Let’s start off by saying, a win is a win! After a long Super season, and players having bashed each just a few weeks ago, and now having to play along each other, I have to say job well done! There were a few things that bothers, but that’s expected. Positives first. We won! Bonus point would have been nice, but we still won! Adriaan Strauss, having to come on early due to Bismarck’s injury, did very well. Etsebeth once again strong and solid, good work rate. Marcel Coetzee, yet again a very solid performance, with a very good try scored. Alberts is a machine, need I say more? - (could maybe learn to pass a bit more!) Daniels didn’t do much wrong in his first Test as a starter, was bad to see him get penalized for not doing anything wrong. Morne, after the last English Test I thought this just might the beginning of the end for Morne, but he had a good a solid game. Kicked al his goals, drew the defence for Kirchner’s try, and very well with the cross field kick, having heard the referee playing advantage, for Habana to score. Was following the comments made on his play on the news threads, especially those made by the Province and All Black contingent, and I do agree that his still not back to his very best, but a vastly improved performance to that of the 14 each draw. Habana had a good game aswell, regathered well in the air to score the try and had a few good runs, Mvovo had a quiet game, never got to see much ball. Kirchner (I am of opinion that Lambie should start at 15) had a good game aswell, and didn’t do much wrong either. I think JJ Engelbrecht really did well in his first Test when he came on too.
Down to the negatives, I know that the Pumas scrum is one of the best out there, but our props need to step up. I think things actually went better with Pat Cilliers at 3, than with Jannie. If Mr Meyer selects Ruan Pienaar, who’s based in Ireland, surely he can get Guthro too? Or is he still injured?? Bekker... Last week I read the article where he said that he’s Andries, and not Victor. I think Andries stood around in the backline more than Victor did in his whole career. And it seems that his back has packed up again? Hougaard didn’t really do much wrong at 9, but he looks sooo much more dangerous at wing!! Maybe give it a try? Pienaar at 9 and Hougaard on the wing to start?? I’m really not happy with the midfield, alot of the blame gets put on Morne for not putting his backline away, but Frans Steyn is too stingy to play at 12, don’t get me wrong, I really like him and we need his huge boot, but he’s just hogging al the ball we get! So unfairly Juan doesn’t get to see much ball either. Maybe just switch the two around so Frans plays 13 and Juan 12? That is after all his position of choice! Or Lambie at 12 and Frans moving to 15? Even Juan at 12, JJ at 13, and Frans at 15?? We still have players shooting up out of the defensive line, trying to go for the intercept. This does have his advantages, but the cons by far outweigh the pros. Players have done this in the past with limited success, but the AB’s and even the Wannabe’s will nail us when we have both de Villiers and Habana do this! We lost way too much ball at the ruck, our loosies and locks need to start imposing themselves in this area! With Bismarck out, we have no fetcher, which is a big concern. The AB’s will have a ball with Richie Mc Cheat being offside as he always is.
Lastly, help me if I’m wrong, but what’s the use of subs if they don’t make an impact??
But, a win is still a win. We can only improve from here. Very big congrats to Pat Cilliers and JJ Engelbrecht on making their Bok debuts!
Until next week, keep well!