Are the current Boks good enough to bring home Bill?

Discussion in 'Rugby World Cup 2007' started by BokMagic, Sep 2, 2007.

  1. BokMagic

    BokMagic Guest

    Right, this is the million dollar question for all Bok supporters, isn`t it? Are the current Bokke good enough? Cerainly a whole lot better than the rather chaotic bunch of 03, probably better than the class of 99, but as good as the class of 95?

    Firstly, well it was a different era back in 95, and a whole different ball game. Amateurism and all that. And even if the Boks of 07 come out on top in this comparison, well that doesn`t guarantee us anything. So this might just be a pointless exercise, but it`s fun nonetheless. So here goes.

    Let me first try to establish one point. There`s an old saying- no man is an island. The same is true of a rugby team. 15 highly talented individuals does not a rugby team make. I`m rather going to have a look at combinations here. I`ll use the team of the 95 final, and Jake White`s probable 1st-choice starting XV as a base for this comparison

    Back 3- the class of 95 had Andre Joubert, James Small and Chester Williams. In Joubert, we had one of the great counter-attackers in world rugby. Small and Williams were pretty good defensively, good at falling back in support of the fullback, had very high work-rates and often went looking for work on the wrong wing. Both were decent if unspectacular finishers, and from counter-attack, only Joubert was a threat. Defensively, a very solid combination. On attack, less so. The class of 07 will be Montgomery, Habana and Pietersen. All 3 are solid enough defensively without being spectacular, the 2 wingers show a bit less eagerness to go looking for work. But in Habana especially, we have a predator of note. And even though Pietersen is still a pup, he`s also shown an inclination to run from virtually anywhere. And of course, the ace in the hole is Frans Steyn as impact player and game breaker. Verdict- class of 07, by a whisker.

    Centres: Hennie Le Roux and Japie Mulder in 95, Jean De Villiers and Jacque Fourie in 07. The class of 95 was built around defense, defense and more defense. In De Villiers, we have a player who can read attack probably as well as Hennie, and certainly read defense much better. And Fourie runs much better lines than Japie can ever dream. Verdict- class of 97 by a track mile.

    Halfback pairing- 95 was Joost and Stransky, 07 will be Du Preez and Butch. Joost was one of the most talked-about attackers in the game back in 95. He was watched so closely, that it often resulted in more time and space for Stransky. Joel might not have been a world-class 10, but RWC 95, especially the final, was his moment in the sun. He was the undisputed Bok 1st-choice, and the confidence showed. He won his duel with Mehrtens hands-down in the final. Where Mehrts had the chance to stick over as easy a droppie as you can find, from right in front of the sticks, right on regulation full-time to clinch it for the AB`s, he failed. And Stransky didn`t. Now compare that with Du Preez and Butch. Sure Du Preez probably has the superior kicking game, but Joost was a game-breaker par excellance. Butch might be stronger defensively than Joel, he might be a better distributor, he might be a stronger runner. But his kicking out of hand is very inconsistent. And he arrives in France, knowing that he`s the 1st-choice mainly due to the injuries sustained over the past 18 months by Pretorius. Verdict: Class of 95 by a country mile.

    Right, enough about the backline. I`ll get into the pack and the coaching staff by Wednesday. Too much typing isn`t good for the fingers....
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  3. BokMagic

    BokMagic Guest

    Right, onto the pack.

    Front row: 95- Os Du Randt, Chris Rossouw, Balie Swart- a very solid scrummaging front row. Question mark over the hooker`s throwing ability. 07- Os Du Randt, John Smit, BJ Botha- similarly solid up front. Smit`s lineout work is superior, but is offset by BJ Botha`s inexperience as the anchor. Verdict- evens.

    Second Row: 95- Kobus Wiese and Hannes Strydom, colleagues at provincial level. Wiese was a throwback to the 80`s, big ******* who pushed in the scrums, cleaned out and added his bulk to the mauls. Strydom was a bit of a passenger. 07- Bakkies Botha and Victor Matfield- Bakkies is in the same mould as Wiese, although a much better lineout option and more athletic. Vic is the lineout king, who also gives you options from broken play. Better at kickoffs, lineouts and a better athlete than Strydom. Verdict- class of 07 by a distance.

    Back Row: 95- Francois Pienaar, Ruben Kruger, Mark Andrews. Pretty interesting selection there with Andrews at 8. But actually pretty inspirational. Kruger was the fetcher, Pienaar the ball carrier and destructive loosie, making the fringe tackles and generally spoiling. But neither were very tall, and the Boks had a marked weakness at the back of the lineout. 07- Schalk Burger, Juan Smith, Bob Skinstadt(?)- you get the fetcher in Burger, the linking player who is also effective at the breakdown with Smith, and the creator with Bob. All 3 are lineout options, and all 3 are effective ball-carriers. Verdict- 07 looks the more balanced outfit.

    So, in conclusion, it looks like the class of 07 is pound for pound a better team than the RWC-winning side of 95. If that will translate into silverware is debatable, as the game of rugby has changed beyond measure since 95. And every single national team today is probably better today than their counterparts in 95, professionalism and all.
  4. O'Rothlain

    O'Rothlain Guest

    Answer: No.
    Reasoning: They were almost beat by Connacht.

    I personally don't care if they were a mix bunch of b-siders or whatever. I honestly don't think they are good enough to do it, however, who f___ing knows...they may win the whole thing. Just kidding...they won't.
  5. shtove

    shtove Guest

    Can't remember a lot about 95 - DG/DG/DG/DG/DG/DG/DG ...

    Surprised you think the centres are better by so much. If SA are going to do it this time, I think they'll have to gamble on Steyn at 12, because Fourie/de Villiers just won't do anything against the top teams. Maybe SA are dangerous enough with their established back three, but their pack won't give the stable lineout possession to rely on rumbling in the maul and counter-attacking from deep.

    Don't worry - at least you'll have Steyn for 4 tournaments.
  6. KZNSharksFan

    KZNSharksFan Guest

    Haha and ireland have any chance at all? I think not!!!!
    They nearly lost to bloody Italy and only won off a dodgy forward pass.
  7. RC

    RC Guest

    Mate, don't take things so personally. He's just stating his opinion. There's no need to be petty and start slating Ireland, is there? This topic has nothing to do with Ireland.
    Now, let's keep it on topic, shall we?

    Yes, i believe the Bok's have the ability to win this world cup.
    They've shown they have class in the backs, and power and brute force up front. They are one few teams that can beat the All Blacks and although beating the NZ ers isn't the key to winning the world cup, it's a pretty essential factor.
  8. shazbooger

    shazbooger Guest

    My main concern would be around the 9 - 10, and 12-13 combinations. I just dont see the quality there at the moment, well not sufficient quality to win the WC.
    You guys will be there or there abouts, and while I wouldnt rule you out I'd place you in the chasing pack behind France and the AB's.
  9. jesus05chat

    jesus05chat Guest

    I belive the Boks or Australia will win and I am almost sure the French or new zealand will not win .
    If you want to watch the match of the world cup holder Englande against the Boks I have 4 blue tickets cat.2 to sell. I you are interested => sjeanphilippe(arobase)
  10. darwin_23

    darwin_23 Guest

    Answer: no

    Reason: Its not being played in South Africa!!!!!!

    If the world cup was played in South Africa such as in '95 I would suggest that the boks would be equal favourites with the AB's, however they are away from home, and they are a very different side away from home. Over the last few years other teams have not performed outstandingly away from home (with the exception of the AB's) however many countries have much better away records than South Africa - as such I don't believe South Africa is going to be a major threat at this world cup (though I have been wrong before <_< )
  11. BokMagic

    BokMagic Guest

    What`s that old saying again? The proof of the pudding will be in the eating. Less than 48 hours to go before kickoff for ths year`s edition, so all answers will be had shortly.

    What has me concerned, is positions number 10 and 14, where we do not have an established first-choice right now, as well as 8, where Skinstadt can go either way, Van Heerden unfortunately won`t start, and Rossouw`s not got the pace or skills set required. Other than that, overall quietly confident. This year`s super 14 certainly did a whole lot to dispel those away form doubts. We couldn`t have done much more in terms of preparation, our pack looks very solid, and there is sufficient pace out wide. Will be interesting to see if Steyn gets a crack at 12 for the Samoa game, and if he does, to see how he shapes. But overall, while we`re certainly not favourites, I do reckon that we should easily make the last 4. And from there on in, it`s anybody`s game on the day.
  12. stormmaster1

    stormmaster1 Guest

    Gotta be honest: Sa aren't a complete rugby side like NZ, but they are tough and can beat anyone on their day. That qulifies them for an outside chance at winning the trophy, but i wouldn't expect it. Comparing the sides of 95 and 07 (great job by the way +rep) shows similarities: pack hard as nails, overall very good defensively. I think the real differences will be in 9 and 10 on the pitch, although passion and self-belief may be the real keys.
  13. The one person taht sa dont have though and havent since 95 is a coach like kitch christie. its a real pity that you guys shunned him for so many years and is unforunate htat he died but for me hes kinda person you need.
    he took a really **** team 18months before that world cup to being the best and that i s the difference white goes in with a team that has been up htere for some considerable time but still does consistenly win convincinngly over the other top teams
    so imo no sa wont win it but then neither will nz
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