Duane Vermeulen avoids the matches on tour against Kiwi opposition ...

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May 13, 2019, 15:31

Cape Town - The Bulls will have to manage without No 8 Duane Vermeulen for half of their four-match Australasian tour.

According to Rapport, Vermeulen will only be available for the Bulls’ first two matches on tour before returning home to South Africa where he will be rested in line with Springboks’ policy to rest top players for parts of the Super Rugby tournament.

The burly No 8 will therefore be available for the Bulls’ matches against the Rebels in Melbourne (May 17) and Brumbies in Canberra (May 24), but miss the games in New Zealand against the Blues in Auckland (May 31) and Highlanders in Dunedin (June 7).

The Bulls also confirmed that flyhalf Handre Pollard would have to sit out one of their tour games.

"It's a blow to lose a guy like Duane. He is world class," coach Pote Human said.

Following last Friday’s 45-13 home defeat to the Crusaders, Human's charges will be under immense pressure on tour.

They currently lie second in the SA conference after six wins from 11 matches and are seventh on the overall standings.

However, failure to record a few wins on tour could see them slip out of playoff contention.

Bulls touring squad:

Forwards - Schalk Brits, Trevor Nyakane, Duane Vermuelen, Simphiwe Matanzima, Lizo Gqoboka, Conraad van Vuuren, Wiehahn Herbst, Johan Grobbelaar, Jaco Visagie, Jannes Kirsten, Hanro Liebenberg, RG Snyman, Paul Schoeman, Marco van Staden, Jason Jenkins

Backs - Burger Odendaal, Handre Pollard (captain), Rosko Specman, Manie Libbok, Johnny Kotze, Dylan Sage, Divan Rossouw, Andre Warner, Ivan van Zyl, Warrick Gelant, Embrose Papier, Cornal Hendricks

Once again he tucks tail and runs for cover.

Playing against the weedy Ozzies is ok ... but he avoids playing back to back matches against the kiwis.

It will expose him as old ... as tired ... not fit for Bok duty ... in desperate need of being wrapped up in cotton wool ... or even better ... retirement.


What a sham!!


May 13, 2019, 15:40

He phoned Rassie to pull some strings to get him out of these games.

However, I don't mind because there is no point overplaying him. The Bulls will probably lose all their overseas games and finish last in the tournament. 

The World Cup is going to be run by Northern Hemisphere refs - so having players that are effective at the breakdown is non-negotiable. 
Vermeulen is more effective at the ruck than any loose forward in SA. 

Both he and Marx must not be overplayed - and be ready for the world cup- so the Boks are able to compete at the breakdown against the Northern Hemisphere teams. 
Marx is the best hooker at the breakdown in world rugby. 

Kolisi is rarely able to steal possession at the breakdown.  
Francious Louw is also effective at the breakdown and he has lots of experience with Northern Hemisphere referees. 
It may be worthwhile putting Kolisi at 7 - to allow Louw to start. 
Steph DuToit perhaps on the bench as an impact player, as he is more of a ball carrier. 

The Diesel twins are strong, but they have no impact at the ruck. 

May 13, 2019, 15:55

One of the few smart things SARugby has done in years. Best on the deck, best at the back of the lineouts....able to run balls in against wings from 70 metres out. Keep Duane for the WC while fools fantasize about the Deysel twins.

May 13, 2019, 16:31

Sure - utter BS again.    Vermeulen ducked out of the Rugby Championship because he was afraid that he would be exposed as a passenger after a poor performance in the  3rd English test last year,  He came back onto the scene  in the EOYT and was indeed exposed as being substandard, 

He then went to play for the Bulls in Super Rugby this year,   Same thing - he started off well in the first few matches and then went AWOL in virtually all matches.   Now he is afraid of being further exposed as being sub-standard and he is now duckling out of the Bulls tour,

If the story was not a repeat of what happened last year one could perhaps say he may have a case - but it is an exact replica, and it is high time that people should recognize it as utter BS. 

May 13, 2019, 17:16

It's not a matter of over playing him ... he's old ... he isn't capable of playing 4 straight matches at the same intensity ... he can't even sustain his form in back to back matches.

Burns hot for 30 minutes and then he's kaput.

So tell me Mozart ... which matches in the world cup should he play in?

Should he feature in the all the pool matches ... or only one or two.

Maybe we should save him for the final ... right?

What if we don't get here? Huh??

Wouldn't want to exhaust the poor dear with too much game time. He may just make himself unavailable again.


May 13, 2019, 19:47

Oh hell I dunno....the game against NZ I suppose, he was way better than Reid the other day. After that I'd rest him for Ireland where he can take the stamp out of Stampkar.

Make sense?

May 13, 2019, 20:02

Make belief!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

May 13, 2019, 20:08

'Make believe'....do try to get something right if only a word.

May 13, 2019, 20:34

Not sure if I agree with Rassie on Vermeulen. It takes a lot of matches to get older players matchfit and once they have reached that level, it is best to keep them on that fitness level and lately I have observed a drop in Duane's energy. Case in point: Back in the days of Jake White who brought back Os and Montgomery, Jake kept playing them and never looked  back.

May 13, 2019, 21:23

Very much doubt a warrior like Vermuelen ever dodged any match! What a load if BS to suggest such nonsense.

These same oaks complaining so bitterly that SA players are being rested forget how they ALL supported central contracting and the consequential benefit of managing player workloads. 

Talk about double standards! :D

May 14, 2019, 00:47

I have no problem with warrior  who continue fighting - but there is ample evidence is that he has lost the capacity to  keep fighting on the level he did previously.   We need at least be honest when doing performance assessments on players.  

May 14, 2019, 02:54

Vermeulen 441 metres in 70 carries this Super Tournament or 6.3 metres per carry vs Dan Deysel 593 metres in 118 carries or 5 metres a carry.

May 14, 2019, 07:46

Exactly, Blikkies ... Os was drawn back into the mix and he stated that it took him a long time to get his fitness levels back to where he could be effective. He kept playing and playing ... ignoring the possibility of injury. Total focus. 

Duane hasn't worked on his fitness. He's had plenty of time to build it up to acceptable levels and now he's taking a two week breather ... half way through a tour down under? WTF??

Why? It doesn't make sense. Why not straight after he returns home?

The man's not serious. He's doing the bare minimum to make the WC squad because he knows he's not where he should be.

I would love to see a fully fit Thor doing his thing ... but his version is the same Thor I saw in the latest Avengers movie. Full of cheese whizz. 

Just not acceptable.

May 14, 2019, 09:18


Exactly - the fitness level is what is wrong with Vermeulen.   But Mozart does not realize that.   after that intercept try two matches ago - Vermeulen vanished from sight for the rest of the game.   

Defense is a key element in games especially in the case of loosies and in that respect Vermeulen in the last four matches he played in had the following record:-

Tackles made   -    23

Tackles missed   -    8

MTR                   -   25,80

Mozart would never deal with that type of issue.    In the game against the Stormers Vermeulen made 6 tackles  missing 2  -   the Stormers no 8 made 14 tackles missing 1.    Defense was the key why the Stormers beat the Bulls by 1 point as is proven by the fact that in that game the situation was as follows:-

Bulls  loosies    -   Tackles ,made  16    Tackles missed  6

Stormers loosies  -   Tackles made  44 - Tackles missed 4

What does the above tell you?   Vermeulen cannot keep up with the tempo of games - his pace throughout games cannot be maintained and with an average of 5,75 tackles per game and aside from that missing an average of 2 tackles per game, he is way below par as a defending loosie. 

Another problem is that in the last 6 rounds of Super Rugby the situation is that the Bulls played in five games the Bulls had a bye - in that period Vermeulen benefitted from -

*    being rested against the Reds; and

*    having a bye the next week.

So  from Round 8 to Round 17 the situation is as follows:-

Bulls  -   games played/to be played =   10

               Vermeulen                          =    4

In other words for all intends and purposes Vermeulen would have no further games in Super Rugby this year.   That means  that from now till the start of the Rugby Championship will virtually play NO games at all.

Matfield tried the same stunt in Super Rugby in 2015 and was a flop subsequently in both the RC and the World Cup matches,   Will Vermeulen play in the RC?   Taking into account what happened last year - he may duck out of that competition as well. 

One would have thought once bitten twice shy - but I am afraid that like Meyer Erasmus is falling for that stunt as well.   How the hell does a player remain match-fit without playing in matches?           


May 14, 2019, 09:59

It is actually a really good ploy. I would personally have opted to not send Pollard and Vermeulen at all on a 4 week tour. But would have looked for a window where they would play for 6 consecutive weeks in SA. That way it would simulate world cup conditions.

I would also keep them on for the full 80 min for those 6 games. In world cup finals you want you players to be able to play for 100 minutes.

May 14, 2019, 11:46


What gamers in SA would they play in and on what level would those be?

May 14, 2019, 12:44

Another important part of a no 8's play is his cover defense.

We've been spoiled .. back in the day, a loosie was expected to produce a match where he ran flat out for 7km, hitting the deck, securing possession, wrestling an opponent, from break down to break down ... etc ... now it seems we're happy with a loosie that runs flat out once for 70m and then disappears for the rest of the match because he's exhausted.

That is the player we want in the Bok mix.


May 14, 2019, 14:55

So every bad accusations have been made against Vermuelen by ou maAaAikie and wee cc. Many reflect badly on the man's character. Shame on ou maaaikie and wee cc

At 32 years of age Vermuelen has a year left in him surely. 

Please note the age of some Comrades Marathon stars. Vermuelen's stamina should be okay and his speed is still fine. 

I think he should make the RWC squad. Also suspect he is playing within himself in a RWC YEAR. 

Could ou maAIke and wee cc please apologize for their character assassination of this great Bok warrior. 

May 14, 2019, 14:56


Agree - but there is near to zero cover defense on the part of Vermeulen - his tackle stats confirm that,   Cover defense require pace and he does not have that anymore.     

May 14, 2019, 15:01

He is great around the fringes. Suits a game against England. 

Pick some else to roam out wide. 

May 14, 2019, 15:01

Anyhow where is that apology! :angry:

May 14, 2019, 15:17

There is no character assassination at all.   My assessment is based on facts - not fiction.   Just read what I said about his defense and about what happened last year and  what is happening this year in Super Rugby - the fact is he is repeating what Matfield did in 2015.

The problem is that Vermeulen is trying to make it to the WC by all means possible - even though his performances are not up to standard,  FACT.   Age caught up with him as a rugby player and that is a fact as well. 

May 14, 2019, 15:32

Back to the Vermeulen has no pace....when he has just demonstrated his pace against a wing.....barking mad Mike.

Vermeulen doesn't play the role of first tackler....like Dan Deysel and Stephanie, piling up easy process tackles. He is the guy that comes in after the tackle is made, slowing up the ball or turning it over....more times than any loosie in the competition except Ardi Savea.

May 14, 2019, 16:38


You make me laugh all the time,   by coming up with the most ridiculous statements like -

*   the process tackles  joke you invented to protect your favoured players from being criticized about their poor defense record; and

*   by creating fairy tales to nullify criticism of the minimal; role effectively played by Vermeulen at breakdowns.

However, the real  issue is about Vermeulen getting out of the Super Rugby series the same way he ducked out o the RC last year,   Should a player not be matchfit to play in the WC?   In your book obviously not - you supported the selection of Alberts for the WC squad in 2015 and I believe he played for only 15 minutes in the whole series - so your views on that kind of BS would be an eye-opener.        

May 14, 2019, 21:11

Mike nobody on this Board sees less when he watches a rugby match. Clueless would be kind....your history takes are better reads.

Just stick with moz and enjoy what you can of the rugby, given that , in a rugby sense, you have an advanced case of tunnel vision.

May 14, 2019, 23:25

Yup to ou maAaAikie Vermuelen ducks and dives and is too scared to participate. 

Ou maAaAikie actually believes all this! :'(

Stick to fantasy rugby ou maAaAikie!!! 

May 15, 2019, 12:09


Don't be a bloody idiot,   I never said Vermeulen was scared to participate - I said he cannot keep up with the games anymore and he knows that if he keeps playing he will lose out on selection for the WC.   

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