Bools take their foot off the gas….

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May 11, 2024, 14:18

….and almost implode. Another example of playing to win vs playing for the joy of competition. From the moment Zack Burger launched a stupid tactical kick with lots of support around him, they lost all momentum. Saved in the final analysis by a Nizam Carr steal. 

Another disappointing game by Moodie

May 12, 2024, 15:03

That seems to be problematic for them….allowing the opposition to come back with a chance …they should pick up there intensity for the full eighty minutes….Moodie seems to position himself unfavourably in defence, his instinct in that department is letting him down…the straight up tackle he missed, led to a try being scored….he needs to work on his defence in general ASAP.

May 12, 2024, 16:33

I think Moodie will get there. He's barely old enough to even be playing at this level.

I'd like to see him pick up another 5-7kgs of muscle. He's 6'3 and only 89Kgs. For me he could easily get up closer to 100Kgs without loosing pace.

Pretty much agree on his positioning. He doesn't separate attacking the ball and defending clearly enough in his mind during broken play. To it just looks like a bit of immaturity really.

May 12, 2024, 18:17

I agree about gaining a bit of muscle….especially if 13 is his long term destination. At the moment I think he has lost a bit of confidence, it came so easily last year.

May 12, 2024, 20:03

Go crochet a doily, Mavis.

May 13, 2024, 01:27

Crotch gosh….are you broadening your interests?

May 13, 2024, 06:28

That was great by the Bulls to get where they did but piss poor letting Glasgow back like that

Elrigh Louw impresses me big time - such power, always breaches the advantage line on the charge

Ruan Vermaak at 4 is a quality lock, this guy and Ruben v Heerden are our next best after our incumbents.

David Kriel always impresses he has to come into Bok squad contention particularly considering his utility value.

Arendse as we keep saying is something else and Papier is in great form this year

Moodie keeps showing glimpses of his class but like Fassi has to go work on his defence Moodie has to do the same. He is gifted and has raw power but agreed he needs to bulk up to 100kg, he is actually 94kg see article below. Definitely down on confidence as is probably feeling a little deflated effectively being dropped from 13, his favourite position.

Considered surplus to first-team requirements as a schoolboy, Canan Moodie has enjoyed a meteoric rise through the professional ranks, writes Simnikiwe Xabanisa.

Canan Moodie is that rare thing in rugby: a late bloomer at school who became a child prodigy the moment he got to the seniors.

Growing up in Paarl, the Bulls’ utility back had an unhappy knack of not making it into the best junior teams. Moodie played B-team rugby at Under-14 and Under-15 level before missing out on Craven Week selection. He played no rugby at all in his matric year due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Yet, as Oloff Bergh, Moodie’s high school coach at Boland Landbou, told after he made his Springbok debut as a teenager in the Rugby Championship last year, the youngster “went from the U14Bs to the Springboks in the space of six years”.

The SA Rugby Young Player of the Year’s rise has been so meteoric – taking in his SA U20, United Rugby Championship and Springbok debuts in under two years – that he still refers to himself as a 19-year-old, even though he turned 20 this past November.

While understandably as taken aback as anyone by the swiftness of his ascent (the goals he had written down for that period were to hopefully make the Bulls’ Currie Cup and URC teams), Moodie is under no illusion about what has driven his rise.

“As someone that didn’t get chosen a lot [for the big teams], getting to this point is massive for me so I have to make the best of the opportunity I have,” he told BokSquad. “I’ve always had something to prove because I was never the top recruit or pick, so I’ve always had that chip on my shoulder.

“I didn’t get many opportunities growing up so every opportunity I’ve had I have always tried to make the most of it.”

During his stint with the SA U20 team, Moodie – who can play in all the back three positions and was an outside centre at school – took trying to make the most of his moment a little over the top. He sustained a knock in the act of scoring a try, and continued to play on with what was later confirmed as a broken jaw.

“SA U20s was the first opportunity I got to be on the big stage so I had to make the most of it. I scored the try early in the second half and got a heavy blow to the jaw. I obviously didn’t know what it was but I wasn’t going to go off, which is me as well because no matter what happens I try to stay on the field and fight it out to the final whistle.

“I then got a stinger on my shoulder with a few minutes left in the game and I went off for that. It was only later in the evening that I could tell something was wrong and went to the doc.”

In many ways that SA U20 stint in 2021 was the making of Moodie – not only did it show what he could do, it also highlighted his bulletproof temperament.

In an interview last year, Junior Boks coach Bafana Nhleko admitted to his first impressions of Moodie deceiving him because “he just looked like a guy with height and a bit of speed”.

But by the end of the tournament the kid from Amstelhof fell into a small group of players Nhleko felt were likeliest to go all the way, for three reasons.

“He certainly shot the lights out for us and there were three things that stuck to mind: the finishing, his fundamentals and an innate toughness about him.”

Unusually for a young player, Moodie’s calling card is sound basics.

“You look at a Canan: he can kick, he can take a high ball, he can tackle, he can pass... no-one talks about those things because usually when you talk about a young player you say ‘he’s so good at this [but] if he gets better at this then he’ll be a great player’.

“The other thing is his mindset is next level in terms of his work ethic and the extras he puts in when it comes to conditioning and watching games.”

Moodie’s proficiency with the basics has turned him into a deceptive player when it comes to his qualities, but Nhleko could recite them all day.

“He’s got top-end speed, which is something you can’t buy, and the ability to beat his defender with ease, which is taken for granted but isn’t as easy as it sounds. He’s also got good finer skills, which is not so much the fact that he thinks about it but more his decisiveness.

“If he’s going to run he’s going to run, he’s not thinking ‘I should kick’.”

With those features, his utility value and an indiscriminate need to smash people in the tackle, it is little surprise that Moodie turned out to be the Bok coaching team’s type of player.

Last year, the youngster went from coming into the Bok squad as an injury replacement “there to learn” to starting the second Test against Australia, where he scored on debut by plucking a box kick out of the Sydney sky and loping to the tryline with that unhurried gait of his.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think it would turn out this way,” Moodie admitted. “You think of things like this but you don’t ever think of it happening so soon. Playing for the Boks wasn’t on my mind, with good reason because you don’t expect to play for them as a 19-year-old.

“Sometimes things don’t happen as you plan, but someone has a better plan for your life...”

After a rollercoaster 18 months, the quietly-spoken and diffident Moodie says the toughest thing about his newfound status is being recognised at malls and speaking with people who use him as a reference for their inspiration.

Well, that and trying to figure out what to call illustrious teammates whom he grew up idolising. As star-struck as he has been, Moodie hasn’t allowed it to get in the way of getting the job done.

“I knew I was there for a reason and I had to remind myself that I wouldn’t have been chosen if I didn’t belong or couldn’t do the job.

“You have to stick to what you know best, like certain routines and habits you have because they’ll tell you if you’re prepared or not. At the end of the day the most important thing is the rugby game itself and not a 19-year-old making a Springbok debut.”

As attractive as Moodie’s warrior temperament, ability under the high ball and defensive nous is, his utility value is probably the biggest reason they’re drawn to him, especially given their desire to carry on with a Bomb Squad bench.

Having played centre at school, wing at the SA U20s and added fullback to his repertoire at the Bulls, it’s tough to work out what his favourite position is.

“At school I played 13 and quite loved playing there. Obviously it’s different to wing because you’re closer to the ball, carry it more and are more involved in defence. That’s what I love as a player but I got my opportunity at wing so no matter where I play the most important thing for me is to get on the field.”

At 1.92 and 94kg, the scary thing is the lanky Moodie will get bigger. While he hopes he won’t get taller, he would like to fill out more without compromising his deceptive speed.

“Too much weight at once is not good because you lose speed and other things. It’s going to be a slow transition in terms of picking up more weight, becoming better conditioned, stronger and faster.”

By Simnikiwe Xabanisa

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