Ireland vs South Africa: Preview and Prediction

Rugby rugby rugby and more to come this weekend.

Is there currently too much rugby in the year? Definitely yes.

Are peeps super excited for this game? Mostly no.

Will I still watch this weekend? Of course… no wait, I am going to a wedding, so no. Would I have said yes to the wedding invite if I had checked the rugby calendar…maaaybe.

We are at that time of the year when the Southern Hemisphere sides travels up North and remind them of how rugby should be played. It’s a tradition or old charter or something. Sure there may be a game or two that is close and the Aussies invariably end up losing one but on a whole the gap in rugby quality between the top sides in each hemisphere still remains.

This weekend, the Springboks take on the Irish in Dublin. Unfortunately both sides have been dick punched in the face by injuries but at least the Bokke have gotten used to dealing with this all year and have a moderately settled side. The Irish would usually wear white jerseys but have instead opted for black. er…. okay…. er… whaaat?

Random jersey colour decisions aside, let’s get the Guinness poured and the talking of the toot at the ready as we look at Ireland vs the Springboks.

The end of year tour should be about blooding new players and developing squad strength and Heyneke Meyer has sort of embraced this while still managing to piss off almost the entire country with his selections. He has (finally) chosen Pat I use Clear for Men Lambie at flyhalf but has then done the unthinkable and dropped Elton Jantjies from the match day 23 altogether. Huh? Why Heyneke why?

The official line is ‘insurance’ in case Lambie basically firetucks things up. Way to have faith in your player coach, also what kind of terrible insurance is this? Steyn’s woeful play and inaccurate kicking cost him his starting spot, mostly due to being over-played. How this is ‘insurance’ is beyond me. In other team changes, winger JP Pietersen comes back in for the injured Habana and Juandre Kruger comes in for Andries tall timber Bekker.

Jaco Taute has been chosen at centre in spite of Meyer claiming that he sees him as a future fullback and Schalk Brits has been recalled as an impact player off the bench. Many will feel (and rightly so) that Juan De Jongh has earned a starting spot and he must be wondering what he needs to do to impress the Bok coach enough but at least he is on the bench.

For the Irish, the injury front has denied them two of their past captains and after the horrific year Declan Kidney has had, he will do well to still have a job next year should the Irish fail at home. Brian O’ Driscoll and Paul O’Connell are out, as are Rob Kearney, Rory Best and Steven Ferris. Simon Zebo comes in at fullback, Jamie Heaslip takes over the captaincy and SA born hooker Richardt Strauss gets a start against his cousin Adriaan.

The Bokke should have the measure of the Irish pack and should edge the lineouts, rucks and mauls. The scrums will be evenly contested but Lambie should get plenty of front foot ball and will look to prove to Meyer he has the kicking game required by the coach at this level. The Irish backline can be dangerous with wing Tommy Bowe and centre Gordan D’Arcy both capable of moments of magic and flyhalf Johnny Sexton playing a similar style to Lambie which should lead to some exciting attacking play.

The Irish are always hard to beat at home and will put on a brave fight but do not have enough firepower up front and will be bossed at the breakdown by Vermeulen and Louw, which should open up chances for Lambie to either kick for goal or field position. Expect a Bok victory but a lost opportunity for the coach to try new combinations as he starts looking to the future of Sprongbok rugga.

Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin

Kick-Off: 7:30pm

Referee: Wayne kiwi favourite Barnes

Ireland vs Springboks prediction: Bokke by 7-12

In the other games this weekend, Eng will beat Fiji, Wales will beat Argentina (just), Italy will beat Tonga, Australia will beat France and the All Blacks will absolutely hammer Scotland.

rennton

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~ by bowlphilosophy on November 9, 2012.

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