Bok Barometer

Discussion in 'General Rugby Union' started by BokMagic, Feb 25, 2007.

  1. BokMagic

    BokMagic Guest

    Right guys and girls, we`re in a World Cup year, and this thread is basically a look at the form players during the 1st few rounds of the Super 14. Who is putting their hands up, and who is kicking the door to national selection down? Here are my thoughts, please feel free to throw in a couple of other players who`ve really impressed.

    15- Percy Montgomery(Sharks)- even though he`s had a bye this round, he`s certainly responded very well to being "rested" last season- looking sharper than he has for years,
    14- Louis Ludik(Lions)- although he`s playing fullback at the moment, we all know that he`s really a winger- and geez, he`s been electric for the Lions of late
    13- Jacques Fourie(Lions)- getting better and better with every round, clearly over his injury woes of last season
    12- Brad Barritt(Sharks)- Meyer Bosman let himself down badly this weekend, and Jean De Villiers is struggling in a losing cause
    11- JP Pietersen(Sharks)- another Sharkie on a bye, in by default due to Habana getting shown up pretty badly over the weekend
    10- Butch James(Sharks)- because of too little game-time, at this stage, for Andre Pretorius and Frans Steyn at 10.
    9- Fourie Du Preez(Bulls)- without Hougaard by his side, had to shoulder virtually all of the halfback decision-making for the Bulls. Outstanding kicking, distribution and defense.
    8- Ryan Kankowski(Sharks)- yet another on a bye, but he`s been comfortably the best no8 in Saffaland
    7- Juan Smith(Cheetahs)- outstanding in every game thus far, excellent line-out option, great linking play, just huge in every game really.
    6- Cobus Grobbelaar(Lions)- lack of pace for the Bulls loosies, and neither Burger, Watson or Floors have covered themselves in glory yet.
    5- Vic Matfield(Bulls)- the undisputed line-out King of the World, also doing quite a bit of work in the loose. Have also upped his game in the tackle-counts.
    4- Cobus Varkhond Grobbelaar(Lions)- made a definite impact coming on in the 2nd half at the weekend. Getting through a mountain of work at the moment. With Bakkies Botha coming back, he might just be in next week though.
    3- BJ Botha(Sharks)- bubbling just under, Brian Mujati of the Lions, who`ve really impressed this season, and Supersub CJ with his barnstorming runs down the wing, BJ just shades it on his scrummaging prowess.
    2- Gary Botha(Bulls)- Gary is always there, hitting his line-out forwards with almost robotic accuracy, scrummaging well, defending well, picking and driving, mauling it up. Honourable mentions for Tiaan Liebenberg of the Cheetahs, Willie Wepener of the Lions, and John Smit of the Sharks, who only loses out due to lack of game-time.
    1- Heinke vd Merwe(Lions)/ Guthro Steenkamp(Bulls)- tied between these 2 this week- Heinke`s been unbelievably consistent, and has probably been the best scrummaging loosehead in the whole competition, but Guthro`s performance on the weekend was just plain awesome.

    So, who do you guys reckon should also get a mention in here?
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  3. Dumbo

    Dumbo Guest

    Reckon you'd be pretty much on the money there. Spot on.
    Will be interesting to see how things start panning out towards section time for the Tri-nations.
    One thing that AMAZED me last year was how the selectors wouldn't favor Du Preez...
  4. BokMagic

    BokMagic Guest

    There`s been this funny perception that Du Preez kicks too much- very funny as he was the joint leading try-scorer, of all 3 teams, in last year`s Tri-Nations.

    A couple of incumbment Boks must really up their game over the next 9 weeks in order to move up the rankings, so to speak- particularly Burger, De Villiers, January, Cronje and Van Niekerk. On a positive note, Bakkies, Steenkamp and Andre Pretorius have all returned from injury lay-offs over the last 2 weeks, and all 3 are looking really sharp at the moment- even though Pretorius only had a couple of minutes over the weekend, he really looked good and composed. Also, Os Du Randt seems to be playing again, in the lower levels after an injury lay-off.
  5. Dumbo

    Dumbo Guest

    I know this part of the forum should be for Saffa's BUT how anyone can pick January in an international starting 15 over Du Preez is beyound me.

    I'm still learning what makes the current selection policy in SA tick and anyone that wants to add their 2 cents worth is fine by me... just makes no sence at all.

    De Villiers seems to be having a rough time of it, think it's his own fault... his running lines are shocking, most of the time he's running at right angles!

    Still though the Sharks, Cheetahs and Lions seem to be having a good time of it.
  6. BokMagic

    BokMagic Guest

    On the issue of January`s selection last year- in my humble opinion, we are pretty blessed to have both of them, and Ruan Pienaar, available to the Boks at no9- 3 completely differing styles, but all 3 adds substantial value to the squad.

    Du Preez is the composed, controlling presence- the decision-maker, the playmaker, the closest thing we have to a Dan Carter in SA, and is a must in the tight-fought matches. Rarely makes mistakes in either option-taking or execution.

    Pienaar is the live-wire you want when the chips are down and you`re trailing by 15 with 20 minutes to go- he`s the game-breaker that can turn matches with a moment of sheer genius, but he has his limitations- one-footed kicker, thus has a tendency to have the odd kick charged down. Also likely to have a dart from under his own sticks- not really the guy to start off with, but a valuable member in any squad.

    And January is the little mongrel, with 200& commitment and dedication, punching way above his weight in defense, never giving an inch and always being in your face on defense. Seems to leave his best rugby for when he wears the green and gold jumper, especially when he comes up against a team in all black strip.

    Yes, Du Preez is the man for my money, but January, when on form, is a close 2nd.

    Any fellow South Africans out there who agree/disagree?
  7. wygy

    wygy Guest

    I'm undecided about Januarie, he's had a couple fo absolute stormers in the green and gold but it seems his not consistent at club level

    admittedly I havent watch as much super 14 as I would have liked (getting Sky fitted next week woohoo)

    one name that seems to be popping up loads is the Cheetahs Philip Burger..I havent seen hime but apparently the man has wheels
  8. BokMagic

    BokMagic Guest

    Phillip Burger- yes, the man can scoot, alright- great step, coupled with huge acceleration- one of the SA stars of last year`s 7`s circuit. He needs only an inch of space to weave his magic, but has been found wanting on defense, playing out of position at fullback IMO. But a helluva good prospect nonetheless, and definately worth a mention here.
  9. Watched Burger player in the last Currie Cup and was hugely impressed. He doesn't look like a typically defensive winger, but when he gets the ball he flies!

    The try he scored in the final was immense, outstripped he Bulls defense with seemingly no effort whatsoever.
  10. BokMagic

    BokMagic Guest

    Right, round 5 has come and gone, and the cream is finally rising to the top (reckon I can say that, what with 3 of the top 4 from SA!) Altogether excellent weekend for the Saffa teams, with 4 wins and a draw out of 5 games. A couple of players have upped their games considerably, obviously wanting to crack the TRF Bok Barometer squad!

    Here is the Form XV IMO:

    15- Percy Montgomery(Sharks)- all the solidity and composure of Percy ca. 2004, with some of the flair last seen in 1997/8
    14- Breyton Paulse(Stormers)- Finally getting his act together, looking very sharp.
    13- Jacques Fourie(Lions)- another solid performance over the weekend
    12- Jean De Villiers(Stormers)- looking like the JDV of old again, slicing up the opposition with regularity at the weekend. Brad Barritt falls out due to getting injured early on, and Wayne Julies also upped his game with some outstanding defense for the Bulls at the weekend.
    11- JP Pietersen(Sharks)- very sharp against the Crusaders, couple of knock-ons but generally a class above the rest, with Habana still struggling and Aplon and Cooke still not consistent enough.
    10- Buth James(Sharks)- for that classic back-hand pass! Andre Pretorius still lacking enough game-time, and Peter Grant also stepping up, but needing to be more consistent.
    9- Fourie Du Preez(Bulls)- by a whisker from Ruan Pienaar, whose last-minute touchline conversion certainly comes close to earning him a spot this week.
    8- Ryan Kankowski(Sharks)- because of a lack of genuine challengers, and he`s been consistent in all 4 games.
    7- Juan Smith(Cheetahs)- even in an unimpressive side over the weekend, still head and shoulders above the rest IMO. Huge in every match.
    6- Cobus Grobbelaar(Lions)- once again, consistency`s the key- both Burger and Watson stepped up at the weekend, but both need to be more consistent. Look out also for Derick Kuun of the Bulls, if he gets given a start soon, as he should.
    5- Vic Matfield- just doesn`t lose a line-out. Ever. Even if he`s up against Chuck Norris in the line-outs, I`d still back Big Vic.
    4- Andries Bekker(Stormers)- Bakkies was nowhere over the weekend, Varkhond Grobbelaar was pretty OK, but it`s the 2nd consecutive big game by Bekker.
    3- Brian Mujati(Lions)- makes the step up past the injured BJ Botha, once again for consistency of performance
    2- Gary Botha(Bulls)- 2-horse race between Botha and John Smit at this stage- with Botha just shading it, by virtue of Smit missing his jumpers too often against the Saders.
    1- Heinke V D Merwe(Lions)- seriously, can this guy get any better, even though he`s only 21 at the moment? Would love to see Heinke go up against Carl Hayman, he`s that good already IMO. And then his running with ball in hand- just plain awesome, SA`s star of the S14 at this stage.

    Any comments/ suggestions/ glaring ommissions/ partisan views etc?
  11. Juggernaut

    Juggernaut Guest

    Yes, a very good weekend for all South African teams particularly the Stormers. I was very impressed with their game and looks like the Stormers of old - running rugby and counter-attacking. De Wet Barry is slowly getting back his form, so is Paulse & De Villiers.

    I knew the Bulls and the Lions would win their game in Australia as the Reds and Brumbies have not been that impressive so far. Both Aussie teams play a more defense-oriented game but dont have the pack to do that.

    Cheetahs were very lucky to come away with the draw.

    After watching all 5 games, here's my Top Boks XV:

    1. Gurthro Steenkamp (Bulls)
    2. John Smit (Sharks)
    3. BJ Botha (Sharks)
    4. Johan Ackermann (Sharks)
    5. Victor Matfield (Bulls)
    6. Luke Watson (Stormers)
    7. Ernst Joubert (Lions)
    8. Juan Smith (Cheetahs)
    9. Ruaan Pienaar (Sharks)
    10. Andre Pretorius (Lions)
    11. JP Pietersen (Sharks)
    12. Jean de Villiers (Stormers)
    13. Jacque Fourie (Lions)
    14. Odwa Ndungane (Sharks)
    15. Percy Montgomery (Sharks)

    ** Ernst Joubert & Juan Smith had been the two most consistent players at 7 so was one of the reason I shifted Smith back to No.8

    Also Ndungane played a far more enterprising game on the weekend and was always looking for the ball coming off his wingers spot, thus just edging Paulse on my team.
  12. wygy

    wygy Guest

    dont worry gents once I get sky in this week with my first full weekend of super14 under my belt i'll have a team up next week, currently I'm getting all my S14 info from
  13. BokMagic

    BokMagic Guest

    After round 6, here goes:

    15- Percy Montgomery(Sharks)- still the man in the seat, even after losing out this round through injury
    14- JP Pietersen(Sharks)- couple of bad knocks over the weekend, still some excellent runs, always threatening on attack.
    13- Jacques Fourie(Cats)- quiet weekend against a massive Blues side, still the class of the 1st 6 rounds.
    12- Jean De Villiers(Stormers)- massive last week,just edges Barritt of the Sharks, but needs another big game next week to stay ahead of the chasing pack.
    11- Brian Habana(Bulls)- the old Habernero`s back!
    10- Butch James(Sharks)- by default really, as Pretorius is still finding his feet after the long injury lay-off, Hougaard and De Waal are way too one-dimentional, and Grant is blowing too hot and cold.
    9- Fourie Du Preez(Bulls)- pure class, once again.
    8- Juan Smith(Cheetahs)- in the lack of a standout 8, I`ve drawn inspiration from Juggernaut`s suggestion!
    7- Ernst Joubert(Lions)- once again,shown up by the mighty Blues, but pure class in the previous rounds.
    6- X at this stage, nobody putting up their hands consistently enough! On purely round 6 form, probably the Sharks` Jacques Botes
    5- Vic Matfield(Bulls)- the line-out King is alive and kicking
    4- Bakkies Botha(Bulls0- the Bulls locking duo were superlative in dismantling the Tahs line-out at the weekend, and Bakkies was massive in the tight-loose too.
    3- BJ Botha(Sharks)- superb over the weekend- not too many tightheads in world rugby can claim to have destroyed both Os Du Randt and Ollie Le Roux in the same match!
    2- Gary Botha(Bulls0- even though I`m a huge fan of John Smit, both as captain and hooker, and Smittie`s playing better in open play since he has in 2004, his line-out work`s gone a bit off the boil in the last 2 games.
    1- Guthro Steenkamp(Bulls)- taking over from Heinke V D Merwe this week, after yet another superb effort, especially when carrying the ball up.
  14. Dumbo

    Dumbo Guest

    <_< for mine didn't work that hard for his two tries... playing a pretty lowly ranked team... but then again.. who else?
  15. BokMagic

    BokMagic Guest

    Just to clarify- when they win, the Joburg team is referred to as the Lions- new name, new franchise, new beginnings, erasing all memories of the joke that was the Cats. After getting the rugby lesson dished out by the Blues, I`ve gone back to naming them according to last year`s team. My mistake!
  16. Looks good.I would play very much the same side.But you know how it goes in this wonderful country.If you don't select enough players of colour you will have a bitch of a time explaining your selection to SARFU etc.But let's hope things will chill soon. :bravo:
  17. Dumbo

    Dumbo Guest

    Or change...
  18. Juggernaut

    Juggernaut Guest

    Some good choices there BokMagic. Most of whom I agree with. :cheers:

    Let's see what the next round provides.
  19. BokMagic

    BokMagic Guest

    Right, after round 7 a couple of changes again:

    15- Frans Steyn(Sharks): 2nd week of outstanding form, taking over from the injured Percy in both the Sharks and the Bok Barometer, mostly for running everything on sight.
    14- Odwa Ndungane(Sharks)- been looking solid over the last 3 weeks, and Habana and Paulse`s been off colour in round 7.
    13- Jacques Fourie(Lions)- quietish again. Form is temporary, class is eternal.
    12- Brad Barritt(Sharks)- JDV`s been awfully quiet in the last 2 rounds, and makes way for the ever-improving Barritt at 12.
    11- JP Pietersen(Sharks)- showing more flair than any other Saffa winger this season.
    10- Butch James(Sharks)- another steady game. Pretorius needs to up his game to get in. De Waal had his best game this season for the Cheetahs, but still too one-dimentional for a Bok pivot.
    9- Fourie Du Preez(Bulls)- still the best in the business in SA.
    8- AJ Venter(Sharks)- rewarded for a magnificent display this weekend.
    7- Juan Smith(Cheetahs)- the cappie`s looking in awesome form, every week.
    6- Luke Watson(Stormers)- I`m not a fan, but he`s been consistently the best this season- by default really, as no other openside has really put their hands up. Burger and Floors have been very disappointing of late.
    5- Vic Matfield(Bulls)- the Bulls line-out was reduced to nothing in his absence. Just shows again how invaluable he is.
    4- Bakkies Botha(Bulls)- same comment as for Fourie- form vs. class.
    3- BJ Botha(Sharks)- if anything, even better than last week. Makes a living by destroying looseheads, and the new scrumming law fits him like a glove.
    2- John Smit(Sharks)- playing his best rugby since 2004, and finally getting his line-out throws on the level of the last 3 years. Good to see Muir also using him sparingly.
    1- Deon Carstens(Sharks)- this one could go down to the wire, with Os, Guthro Steenkamp and young Heinke V D Merwe all in the mix this year, but Carstens was just huge this weekend- especially in the loose, and on defense.
  20. Juggernaut

    Juggernaut Guest

    Spot on again BokMagic. :cheers:

    The Sharks front-row has really impressed me alot. Fingers crossed that JW gives them a chance at the Tri-Nations.
  21. BokMagic

    BokMagic Guest

    Round 8 has come and gone- and the thrills and spills of being a Saffa supporter is like riding a roller-coaster. With the exception of the Sharks` first 6 matches which has been excellent, and the weekly drivel we`re subjected to by the Stormers, no SA side has shown any consistency. As a result, the Form XV is also showing very little consistency. So now we all understand why Jake White believes in consistency in selection- seeing as there is no such thing as consistent form with SA rugby teams/players. Anyway, here goes:

    15- Frans Steyn(Sharks)- absolutely zero form against the Brumbies, specialised in knock-ons. But still the best on show. If the Cheetahs` Bevan Fortuin delivers this coming weekend, maybe there`ll be 2 contenders next week.
    14- Odwa Ndungane(Sharks)- one of the few SA wingers at least trying.
    13- Jacque Fourie(Lions)- looking much better than last week.
    12- Jean de Villiers(Stormers)- went pretty OK against the powerful Saders, and Barritt just crashed into the Brumbies the whole day.
    11- Louis Ludik(Lions)- by default. Habana`s been nowhere in the last 2 ronds, and Pietersen was absoluely woeful at the weekend.
    10- Andre Pretorius(Lions)- showing why many considers him the class no10 in SA rugger, and not a minute too soon!
    9- Fourie du Preez(Bulls)- class no9 of the comp. to date.
    8- Ernst Joubert(Lions)- out of position, huge game over the weekend while AJ fell out of the bus.
    7- Juan Smith(Cheetahs)- on a bye, but superb every round to date.
    6- Baywatch Grobler(Lions)- was the main supply of turnover ball for the Lions against an all-AB back row over the weekend. Watson was largely anonymous against the Saders, and falls out this week. Fortunately Schalkie`s starting to look a bit better, and should come into the reckoning at a later stage.
    5- Vic Matfield(Bulls)- once again towering above all comers in the line-outs.
    4- Bakkies Botha(Bulls)- combined superbly with Matfield again, the big 2nd row ******* is getting back to his best-quickly too.
    3- BJ Botha(Sharks)- still to find his equal this season. No loosehead`s been able to stand toe to toe with the unfortunately named BJ for 80 minutes.
    2- Gary Botha(Bulls)- very tight between Gary and John Smit, Gary carries it this week after yet another Fitzy-like display. Did Gary and Fitzy go to the same school?
    1- Deon Carstens/Heinke vd Merwe/Guthro Steenkamp- take your pick really. The 1 position where we are really blessed with depth. Throw in Sir Os Du Randt, the King of Osfontein too, and we`re really blessed at loosehead.
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