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South Africa v Ireland - 6 July 2024

Bet Rassie needed to change his trousers when he realised he can pay an ex-referee to mouth off in the press instead of him having to do it
Rassie tried to hire Nigel last year but was rebuffed because he was expecting his first child. When did Garces join the French setup? 2020?

The truth is RSA has limited resources compared to the NH countries, so any new hire has to have extreme value to the coaching staff. Unlike Ireland, England, or France, the Boks can't hire 15 analysts to do behind-the-scenes work.

You put Hansen and JGP in that team and Ireland win this game IMO, regardless who the boks play.
That being said I thought both teams looked impressive given time apart.
Hansen is an average international winger, so I don't see a difference there. The game was not lost on the wings. Hansen would struggle to be a consistent starter for the RSA franchises.

JGP is certainly a difference maker, but Casey was very effective; his 50:22 was brilliant. Conor Murray should have been put out to pasture about 3 years ago.

The problem with Ireland is the same as Wales during the Gatland glory years: Fantastic starting 15, but any injuries expose their lack of depth. Here's a question I saw circulating on Twitter: How many South Africans would you rank above Cian Healy and Finlay Bealham?

LH:
Spicy Plum
Ox
Steenkamp
Nyakane
Harris/ Mchunu / Healy

TH:
Malherbe
Koch
Du Toit
Fouche
Louw
Bealham

Furlong and Porter are good players, but Healy and Bealham would struggle to make an SA 'A' squad, much less the Springboks. Hell, Louw pulverized Porter at Loftus and can't even make the Springboks 33 man squad.
 
Hansen is an average international winger, so I don't see a difference there. The game was not lost on the wings. Hansen would struggle to be a consistent starter for the RSA franchises.
I don't necessarily agree that we win that game with those two personnel changes (add Keenan and I might be swayed because of how shaky the back 3 looked without the ball during Osbourne's baptism of fire) but I think this is an outrageously bad assessment of Ireland.

Mack would provably start for any SA franchise just not necessarily as a winger. Ireland dont use their wings like any other country and Hansen is a big point of difference in the team. He'd be a 15 or converted to centre in most systems but clearly a difference maker at international level.

JGP is certainly a difference maker, but Casey was very effective; his 50:22 was brilliant. Conor Murray should have been put out to pasture about 3 years ago.
JGP changes the dynamic massively, he's the primary playmaker with Ireland. Agreed on Murray.
The problem with Ireland is the same as Wales during the Gatland glory years: Fantastic starting 15, but any injuries expose their lack of depth. Here's a question I saw circulating on Twitter: How many South Africans would you rank above Cian Healy and Finlay Bealham?

LH:
Spicy Plum
Ox
Steenkamp
Nyakane
Harris/ Mchunu / Healy

TH:
Malherbe
Koch
Du Toit
Fouche
Louw
Bealham

Furlong and Porter are good players, but Healy and Bealham would struggle to make an SA 'A' squad, much less the Springboks. Hell, Louw pulverized Porter at Loftus and can't even make the Springboks 33 man squad.
Bealham is a very underrated player, He'd just generally on the pitch with a weak loose head and unbalanced back five for a scrum, when he starts he's grand. Loosehead is an issue.

In any case, comparing it with the country with the most depth on earth in their strongest position is a pointless exercise.

Other than that I don't see much problem with depth:
Hooker is sound.
Second row in a good position but need to bridge the gap between Henderson and a few promising youngsters well.
Back row is deep, a lot of guys who'd have caps for other countries in the 6n or RC (not SA) aren't getting a sniff.
9 is a bit weak after the top two, one or two promising options from recent 20s sides are probably worth a fast track.
10 is in its early stages of development but not an issue.
Midfield is probably the best in the world at the moment. Osbourne Ringrose seems to be second choice at the moment, very few starting pairings that I'd take over those two from other countries.
Back three is fine, can bring in solid guys but probably need to get minutes for them to be comfortable at the level. I don't think I agree with Farrell always trying to make like for like replacements here though, if you lose Lowe's or Hansen's unique skillsets, get a bit of pace in here by putting O'Brien on, he's got a fine boot too.
 
Rassie tried to hire Nigel last year but was rebuffed because he was expecting his first child. When did Garces join the French setup? 2020?

The truth is RSA has limited resources compared to the NH countries, so any new hire has to have extreme value to the coaching staff. Unlike Ireland, England, or France, the Boks can't hire 15 analysts to do behind-the-scenes work.
No qualms with hiring ex referees to work behind the scenes, a lot of countries do that and you'd be daft not to - do have issues with the Boks trying to leverage his credibility in the press releases

Really I have issues with recently retired ex-referees publicly commenting on contentious decisions in general, regardless of if they're team affiliated (Peyper) or just making a buck in the media (Owens)
 
I don't necessarily agree that we win that game with those two personnel changes (add Keenan and I might be swayed because of how shaky the back 3 looked without the ball during Osbourne's baptism of fire) but I think this is an outrageously bad assessment of Ireland.

Mack would provably start for any SA franchise just not necessarily as a winger. Ireland dont use their wings like any other country and Hansen is a big point of difference in the team. He'd be a 15 or converted to centre in most systems but clearly a difference maker at international level.
I disagree, but it's moot because every winger in the world--outside of the AB's--is a class below Kolbe and Arendse. Lowe impresses me every time I watch him, but he isn't Cheslin.
JGP changes the dynamic massively, he's the primary playmaker with Ireland. Agreed on Murray.
I like JGP a lot. But he needs front-foot ball and great ball placement to be effective. He is not a Dupont or Alex Mitchell who can create on their own with their elite athleticism.

Ireland struggles to get gain line success against the Boks, and it noticeably affects him. Also, if you want to make it about players out, the Boks are without several starters as well, including some of the best players in the world in Willemse.

Bealham is a very underrated player, He'd just generally on the pitch with a weak loose head and unbalanced back five for a scrum, when he starts he's grand. Loosehead is an issue.
All I know is Cian Healy shouldn't be anywhere near a top club team, much less an international side. Leinster clearly don't trust him either, because if they did, Porter wouldn't have played nearly every minute versus Toulouse. Watching England vs the AB's looked like two evenly matched squads, besides the props. And the AB's props won them the game.
In any case, comparing it with the country with the most depth on earth in their strongest position is a pointless exercise.
I'd argue France is a clear #1 for depth these days, but I don't want to come across as pedantic.

Other than that I don't see much problem with depth:
Hooker is sound..
We shall find out now. Hooker is strange globally because outside of Sheehan, there are no other promising young talents coming through.
Second row in a good position but need to bridge the gap between Henderson and a few promising youngsters well.
Agreed. This is where Ireland's development is remarkable. Ireland producing better locks than every other nation except South Africa shouldn't be possible considering the population/resources.
Back row is deep, a lot of guys who'd have caps for other countries in the 6n or RC (not SA) aren't getting a sniff.
Agreed.
9 is a bit weak after the top two, one or two promising options from recent 20s sides are probably worth a fast track.
I don't think JGP or Murray make it to RWC27. But I can't comment on U20 sides because I am too ignorant.
10 is in its early stages of development but not an issue.
Agreed. Pendergast seems overrated to me, but I like Crowley a lot.
Midfield is probably the best in the world at the moment. Osbourne Ringrose seems to be second choice at the moment, very few starting pairings that I'd take over those two from other countries.
Yep. Ireland and South Africa clearly have the best midfields, especially after Dante's form collapsed after the RWC.
Back three is fine, can bring in solid guys but probably need to get minutes for them to be comfortable at the level. I don't think I agree with Farrell always trying to make like for like replacements here though, if you lose Lowe's or Hansen's unique skillsets, get a bit of pace in here by putting O'Brien on, he's got a fine boot too.
I rate Keenan. I would have loved to see Willemse vs Keenan. Two completely different players with elite skillsets.
 
Who is arguing that the 6/2 split is dangerous?

Apparently a journalist asked it, fishing for a soundbite I'm sure.

Agree with TAB about our depth. In most positions we're doing fine and really far better than we have any right to be e.g. lock. But the positions where we're lacking we're really lacking.

I have hope for looshead with McCarthy and Boyle but scrumhalf I've less faith in our ability to develop players at. Gunne and Devine are talents but our ROI on 9s is pretty shocking.
 

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