"Scotland kicks off, the ball is caught by Etzebeth who gives to Pienaar who kicks the ball for Hougaard to chase."
There is nothing wrong with those actions when viewed out of context. In any normal game you would expect that something like that will happen. The only problem with that is, I predicted exactly that before it happened. I predicted what Pienaar will do. I then predicted that Scotland will lose the ball and we will have a lineout. We won the line-out and Pienaar hoisted again. Again I called it - exactly, play by play.
Don't get me wrong, I love rugby and I love the Boks. Saturdays used to be a time where everything and I mean everything led up to kickoff. My child's sleeping time, the braai and also rationing the brandy led up to kickoff. Now kickoff is something that happens in between the rest of life. Sometimes I don't even go into the lounge to watch, I would stand outside and just glance at the TV.
England vs the Ozzies
The absolute saddest thing is that I was channel flipping between the Bok's game and the England game. Watching the "purple dragons" (what one earth were they thinking) play the Ozzies was a delight. I then continued to watch this game rather than the Boks!!!! Sad state when you don't even want to watch your favorite team play.
I am all for a pattern and establishing combinations and to build on the future and all that other bulltwang. What I don't want is that the lovely game is lost somewhere along the way.
It is only a game
What every rugby (and sport for that matter) should remember is that rugby was/is supposed to be a sport and a game. It is supposed to be enjoyed and you should marvel at the skill involved. You should be mesmerized by running lines, chip-and-collect-kicks, hand-off by a winger running on the touchline. Those are the things that I wan't to remember. I don't care that I can put a 120kg monster on the field that can flatten anyone in sight. That is not rugby, that is a brain dead excuse for rugby. (Ask Wahl Bartmann).
What happened to Danie Gerber and Faffa Knoetze and Carel du Plessis. Those guys played rugby with not only passion but skill as well. That is what we need to bring into the modern game.
New Zealand - the shining light
Where do we go from here then? Well for one we need to get rid of Heyneke (bash) Meyer. Yes that style worked for the Bulls and cudos to him. Unfortunately it won't work on international level. You are killing the most skilful players in the country, Jean de Villiers, Patrick Lambie, Juan de Jongh, JP Pieterson and also to a degree Hougaard and Habana.
Look at what New Zealand is doing. They don't have the biggest players on the park. They play will all the passion we have but they add that element of skill as well. Look at what Dan Carter can do. Nothing tells me that out players can't do the same. We have some brilliant structures and schools in place. The only problem is that they are then sent through the mince-machine (known affectionately as Bok Selection) and come out the other side as a shadow of their former self!
We as supporters are to blame as well. We always demand performance. I would rather watch the Boks lose but playing with skills and free abandon than watch the dour affair we have now. We might yet get some performance from Heyneke but at what cost?
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