Springbok Team for the 2nd Tri-Nations Test
Pieter de Villiers has resisted firing the entire team (which couldn’t have been easy) and made just 2 changes to the starting 15 to play the All Blacks in Wellington on Saturday.
Both of these were forced as Danie Rossouw comes in for the suspended (Public enemy No.1) Bakkies Botha and CJ van der Linde comes in for the injured Jannie Du Plessis. Ryan Kankowski replaces Rossouw on the bench.
Danie Rossouw had a sublime Super 14 season and possibly should have started last week instead of the loose cannon Bakkies. Let’s hope he takes this chance to cement his place in the team leading up to the World Cup and makes it very hard for Bakkies to come back into the team. He also grows a great beard which everyone can appreciate.
Kankowski and CJ last played for the Bokke in the first test against Italy, which is a game many (except the Italians) would prefer to forget, although Kankowski had a great season for the Sharks and CJ, returning from Leinster, is a proven world cup winning prop.
Pieter de Villiers has resisted making more changes in the hope that showing faith in his players will perhaps bring out the best in them come Saturday. I hope he is right.
My view is that having Jean de Villiers on the wing is a mistake. Jean looked out-of-place and quite hopeless on the wing last Saturday and I feel Aplon should be given a start. He may be short of stature but is super fast, a better counter attacking player, a solid defender and in great form.
I would drop Jean to the bench and have him as an impact player with a view to bringing him on to replace Wynand Olivier. I feel Olivier still has something to offer and deserves another chance. I would like to see him playing with some good go-forward ball, in the hope he can replicate some of the form shown in the S14. Whether our forwards can provide this is another matter.
PdV has up until now persisted with Ricky Januarie at scrumhalf but in truth he has had an up and down international season so far. I feel Ruan Pienaar may be a better option but bringing him on with 10 minutes to go is not going to make any difference. I would bring him on with 20 to 30 min left in the 2nd half to give him a proper run.
For the backs to operate efficiently though, we really do need the forwards to front up on Saturday. Guys like Schalk Burger, John Smit, Victor Matfield and Pierre Spies should not need any more motivation for the next game as all will feel they had bad games and let their team and country down.
The matchday 22 is as follows:
Springbok team – 15-Zane Kirchner, 14-Jean de Villiers, 13-Jaque Fourie, 12-Wynand Olivier, 11-Bryan Habana, 10-Morne Steyn, 9-Ricky Januarie, 8-Pierre Spies, 7-Francois Louw, 6-Schalk Burger, 5-Victor Matfield, 4-Danie Rossouw, 3-CJ van der Linde, 2-John Smit (capt), 1-Gurthro Steenkamp.
Reserves: 16-Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17-BJ Botha, 18-Andries Bekker, 19-Ryan Kankowski, 20-Ruan Pienaar, 21-Butch James, 22-Gio Aplon.
Not happy with the team? Do you want to talk about it? Send us your thoughts.