Dalton likes Marx, Vermeulen and Kolisi as our loose trio....

Forum » Rugby » Dalton likes Marx, Vermeulen and Kolisi as our loose trio....

Jun 27, 2019, 03:48

Interesting.....but of course Kolisi remains a weak link. Having Vermeulen and Marx hunting together would make us a force on the ground. And with two such physical players we could afford to play Kwagga to give us wide coverage:

Malcolm Marx is capable of making a successful transition from hooker to openside flank, writes former Springbok hooker JAMES DALTON.

Marx is quick enough, he’s big enough and he plays towards the ball in an era of rugby where so much revolves around the breakdown.

The Springboks are, and always have been, spoilt for choice when it comes to their pack. This year is no different, and a positional shift for South African rugby’s 2017 Player of the Year, may be the best way the Boks can utilise their wealth of heavies.

Marx has been criticised before for his lineout ability, and is part of a Lions front row that doesn’t evidently dominate scrums. So why endure the negative aspects to his game, when we can make way for an environment where only his positive ones are displayed?

We have quality depth at hooker in Schalk Brits and Bongi Mbonambi, and a positional vacancy at openside, whereby the No 6s of the last few years have found their roles undefined. Marx could fill the Sam Cane-like role that South Africa has been lacking – the specialist opensider who allows for disruption at rucktime, which is the area of the game where most plays evolve from.

With Marx specialising as an opensider also allows for further positional malleability within the starting pack and on the bench. Let’s work from a starting loose trio of Duane Vermuelen at No 8, Marx at 6 and Siya Kolisi at 7, with the latter’s style of play lending himself to the blindside as he is a strong ball-carrier and a skilled link between the backs and forwards.

Brits and Mbonambi can now become interchangeable at hooker, leaving the Boks bolstered with specialised skill at No 2 and with the option to shift Marx back to hooker towards the end of games and open up space on the pitch for an extra loose forward.

A dynamic loosie like Kwagga Smith, whose form this season cannot be ignored, can now be optioned on the bench, but not necessarily at the expense of a physical bench presence like Jean-Luc Du Preez. What you’re doing is creating a bigger pool of talent within your pack of eight.

Rugby starts and ends at the breakdown, and Marx will have the ability at flank, without the responsibility at hooker, to upset the ruck and therein disrupt opposition momentum. His presence in the open would complete a powerful loose trio that at times last year looked to lack cohesion, probably due to non-specificity in their roles at 6, 7 and 8.

Marx already plays the game of a flank, but wearing the No 2 jersey. His only adjustment in shaking the No 2 from his back would have to be the running lines on attack and defence, which I imagine would be a fast adaption.

In a World Cup year, the Springboks need as many of their best players on the field at once, and most importantly their strongest pack. This positional shake-up would offer a new way to utilise these players’ talents within the numerical restriction of selection.

Jun 27, 2019, 08:57

So ... we'll have an 8 who runs out of steam in the first 20 ... a 6 who cannot get to the breakdown ahead of his opposition ... and a 7 who keeps looking around for advice.

Yeah right. That's really going to work wonders for the Goats.

Throw in an elderly man at 2, who by rights should be retired at 39 years old ... or even better, a quota midget because he makes the demographic numbers up as required.

Then to add to that, we should put JL Du Preez on the bench cause he's more physical ... even though he's injury prone and has no time on the park this season.

Then let's put the injury prone Etzebeth and his sore finger in at 4 ... and have Lood, Snyman and Du Toit fight it out for the 5 jersey.

I can see Fransie Steyn and his boep coming in at 12 with whatever quotas on the wing.

Sounds like a dream team to me.


Jun 27, 2019, 09:11

Marx is outstanding at scrum time and is the best hooker in world rugby. 

We have the world's best 7 in Du Toit.

Have concerns about Vermuelen. Niggly little doubts. He can prove he is up to it in the upcoming tests. 

Yes give Kwagga a shot at 6 in the upcoming tests. Is he another Keegan Daniel's. Personally I think he is better but Test rugby at the top level is very physically demanding. Hopefully we shall see how he goes. 

Jun 27, 2019, 15:09

Du Toit the best blindsider in the world......geez I thought that was Stampkar. You can't be serious Hasbeen....tallest left wing maybe.

Jun 27, 2019, 17:50

Standard BS to be expected,     

Jun 27, 2019, 22:55

A back row of Marx, Vermeulen and Kwagga could be exceptional. 

Probably too late now with the Marx experiment, as he could have played SuperRugby first of all and got conditioned to play as an open side with more running. 

Marx is the best fetcher in world rugby, so playing in the openside would give him the chance to have even more impact on the game.
A hooker is the last to break from a scrum, so he is blocked from the openside at scrum time.  
It is also about comparing existing resources at number 6 - and there are not many specialist fetchers.

If Bismark is still in good form he could play at 2- and he has a better throw. 

Jun 27, 2019, 23:52

Agree it's probably too late....but it could have been awesome.

Jun 28, 2019, 08:41

Vermeulen is at best an impact player coming on in the last 20. A full 80 minutes is beyond him and back to back 80 minute matches is totally absurd to even contemplate. 

Dan Du Preez at 8 is a far better option. He is younger, fitter, hungrier and can play back to back 80 minutes matches all season long.

Marx is a powerful scrummager and wins a lot of ball at the breakdown. Moving him to 6 would weaken our front row, especially with the pensioner Brits in the mix or the quota midget.

It would be better to bring an additional ball pilferer in to compliment Marx and lets face it, Kolisi isn't a rugby players backside and shouldn't be anywhere near the Bok squad. 

A combination of Kwagga / Jaco Kriel at 6 with Du Toit at 7 ad Dan Du Preez at the back in the 8 jersey is a much better and more logical selection.

I am glad to see that Flo isn't mentioned any longer.


Jun 29, 2019, 00:12

Dan Ribbetjies du Preez is a Deysel clone......stupidity seems to run in the family and he got his fair share. The moment he is up against the NH packs and encounters real physicality, bet on him to disappear.

These Deysel twins have now been the coming thing for 4 years without any noticeable broadening of their skill sets. Coetzee is a far more talented player among the younger number 8's.

Jun 29, 2019, 00:25

Coetzee's legs have sellotaped together for the best part of the last 3 years, so we just need to see if he is still mobile. He was good at the Sharks - in all three positions of the back row - but a while back.

He was the energiser bunny as the first tackler at the ruck. Although his all-around work rate also included some turnovers and ball carries. He is far more of a complete player that both Diesel's put together. 

Jun 29, 2019, 00:35

I'm referring to Jaco Coetzee....Marcel was and is vastly overrated, but a more aware player than the narrowly programmed Dan Deysel.

Jun 29, 2019, 02:47

I forgot about Jaco Coetzee. He seems to have disappeared off the radar. 

Jun 29, 2019, 06:04

Coetzee is injured - I do not know how long he will be out,

Coetzee is overrated by  our rugby BSter - but Vermeulen is NOT - being the reputation player he is at present!!!!  

Jul 02, 2019, 12:39

Well, this year, Steph is ranked 10th overall in super rugby. So much for best in the world! Marx is the best hooker in world rugby. I like Mbonami, he is a very good player, good enough to be a starter, but he is not better than Marx. Brits? No. Kwagga is not test material. Kolisi is an F- grade forward. A back who has no capacity to play amongst the loose trio. Ranks very low in super rugby for RPI. 

Jul 03, 2019, 11:28

Our only options as a trio are:

At 6 - Kolisi, Jaco Kriel and Kwagga

At 7 - JL du Preez, Jacques du Plessis, Liebenberg and Ruan Ackerman

At 8 - Marcel Coetzee, Dan du Preez and Jaco Coetzee - Vermeulen maybe but not ahead of Dan or Marcel - no way in hell

Jul 03, 2019, 12:22


Who did the rankings you spout on site?

Jul 03, 2019, 12:22


Who did the rankings you spout on site?

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