Gosh here’s a surprise....

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May 05, 2020, 17:16

The  best Bok team over 50 years doesn’t include the .....hahahaha....world’s best player.  But F du Preez, Schalk, Juan, Victor and Bakkies make it. Although I would also have been happy with Joost, Etzebeth and the Beast. What’s happened to Rich, he’s suddenly become smarter.




Everyone is doing it and until now I have resisted just because there are many things that make selecting a best ever Springbok team odious, the fact that like most other amateur selectors I am not well over 100 years old being one of them.

> > > COMING SOON: behind-the-scenes documentary on the Boks' 2019 RWC win... 

The best you have seen is one thing, the best EVER is another entirely. Yes, the modern rugby players are bigger and more professional obviously than the rugby players of yesteryear. If you had use of a time machine and just transported Philip Nel, who captained the only Bok team to ever win a series in New Zealand back in 1937, into the present he wouldn’t cope against the modern players.

But allowance needs to be made for the era the players of previous generations were playing in and what the expectations were then. If a player was hugely influential in say the 1950s, who is to say he would not, with the benefit of modern training methods, been as influential today?

A good example of why we should be wary when asked to choose the best player in a certain position EVER is when you assess the scrumhalves. There is no denying that Joost van der Westhuizen and Fourie du Preez were the best Bok No 9s since the unification of South African rugby nearly 30 years ago.

When you are talking about influence and ability in his specific generation though it is hard to discount the claims of Danie Craven in an all time greatest Bok team. Did I see him play? Of course not. Did he have massive influence on South African rugby over a long period of time? Without a shadow of a doubt.

NAAS WOULD HAVE ADJUSTED AND EXCELLED NOW TOO

On the different requirements for different eras theme, there is a relatively recent example we can turn to. Few South African flyhalves of any generation have dominated games to the extent that Naas Botha did. You will hear those who remember him play lament that he didn’t tackle much and the recurrent joke in his era was that somehow he always managed to keep his shorts clean (I am not sure if that is entirely fair, but anyway).

The thing though about Naas in his era was that there was less of an expectation for flyhalves to tackle than there is now. Even relatively recently the wearers of the No 10 could be protected by a specific loose-forward, who’d free him from having to do the dirty work. Corne Krige did it for Louis Koen at the Stormers and the Boks two decades ago. Come to think of it, the Sharks are still doing it…as is any team that Quade Cooper plays in.

I remember having a chat with former Bok and Natal coach Ian McIntosh years ago and he made a point that I agreed with: Naas was ahead of his time when it came to the professionalism of his approach and he would have done the physical work that would have been required of him to be a better defender had he been playing now rather than between the 1970s and early 1990s.

The thing about Naas is that I did see him play, so he can make it into my personal finest Bok selection, though not into the Greatest Ever just because, and I am thankful for this just because I would be long dead now if it was the case, I never got to see Bennie Osler.

YOU ARE MORE EASILY INFLUENCED WHEN YOU YOUNG

When you sit and choose your own personal best ever team, what might strike you if you unemotionally analyse what you are doing is that you might go for players that played at the time when you were most easily influenced. Meaning when you were young. The reason I thought in my youth that Gerrie Coetzee was one of the greatest heavyweight boxers ever was because Norman Canale, a prominent boxing writer at the time, said so.

And if you look at my team selected from the past 50 years it will strike you that all the backs save for scrumhalf Fourie du Preez played in the time when I was at school or university. The Boks didn’t play much in those years (1980s), but had they done so they would have boasted enough size, power and pace (Danie Gerber, Ray Mordt, Johan Heunis), plus wizardry and playmaking ability (Michael du Plessis and Naas), to redefine how the Boks were seen.

Believe it or not I wasn’t a Western Province supporter (instead I could write a book about Natal’s best moments of their B Section years if anyone is interested), but there was something special about that Golden Era team that won five Currie Cups between 1982 and 1986.

People forget now that Michael du Plessis actually played a lot of his provincial rugby at flyhalf, but it was as a centre that he was ahead of his time, both defensively and in his ability to read a game. He played No 12 for the Boks. Had the Boks played more in those year, Du Plessis would have helped the legendary Gerber break many records.

Jaque Fourie was a brilliant centre and would certainly be in the best Bok team of the era that I have covered the game as a rugby writer (1991 to the present), and Pieter Muller was for different reasons a monster too, but Gerber would vie with Fourie du Preez in my view to be the best South African player of the last 50 years.

That answers the question of why Du Preez makes the side and not Joost. Joost was a bit like Beauden Barrett: Probably the best rugby player in the teams he played in and one of the best rugby players of his era but not always necessarily the most ideal player in his position. He had technical weaknesses we cannot overlook. Du Preez had none, and the thought of him operating in tandem with Naas behind the pack that I have chosen is enough to frighten the wits out of any mythical opponent.

NO WORLD CUP WINNING CAPTAINS MAKE THE TEAM AS PLAYERS

You will notice that none of the World Cup winning captains make the team. Francois Pienaar, John Smit and Siya Kolisi were/are all brilliant leaders, but they wouldn’t make the best team as players. Pienaar was an outstanding leader, and should have gone into politics after his playing career ended, but neither he nor Siya are better rugby players than Schalk Burger.

The 2004 Rugby World Player of the Year wasn’t the out and out fetcher most wearers of the No 6 are but then what South African opensiders who lasted the pace and had long careers were? Heinrich Brussow was probably the best of them but he never played for the Boks for long enough.

That age bias thing might come in here but Morne du Plessis was the Bok captain when I first started following rugby closely in the mid-1970s and he was hugely influential at the time. He retired relatively young (he was 31 when he called it quits at the end of 1980) but still had an international career that spanned nearly 10 years. 

When it comes to statesmanship, a rare thing in politics these days unfortunately, Morne would be your man. A mark of this was how highly respected he was by the All Black team, led by Andy Leslie, that lost a particularly rancorous and controversial series here in 1976. I’m told he was also highly regarded for his sportsmanship by the Lions team that toured in 1980 too.

Indeed, if he and Edward Griffiths, who drove the public relations successes of the 1995 World Cup, when Morne was manager, got to work with Donald Trump I am sure the pair of them could do the impossible by making the American president popular with the media. Were it not that he seems to be a reluctant hero, Du Plessis would probably have put his good leadership to use as a rugby president when his playing career was over.

Du Plessis was a genuine No 8, unlike two of the players who played in that position in three of the Bok World Cup winning sides. Mark Andrews played there in 1995 and was really a lock, Danie Rossouw, normally a flank or lock, was at the back of the scrum when Jake White’s team won in 2007. Duane Vermeulen, less of a classical No 8 than Du Plessis, played in the most recent World Cup and he’d be my second choice, with Gary Teichmann third and Nick Mallett fourth.

Mallett only played two tests for South Africa but my memories of him as a player were good ones and it could possibly be argued that he would have played more for South Africa had a) South Africa not been isolated from international rugby at that time, the early to mid-1980s, and b) he’d elected to study at Stellenbosch rather than UCT.

LOTS OF CLOSE CALLS

The nearest challengers for Botha at pivot would be Henry Honiball, for Heunis at fullback it would be Andre Joubert, who’d in turn be a short head ahead of Gysie Pienaar, who’d have been the starting No 15 were it not for his troubles dealing with the high ball in New Zealand in 1981.

Divan Serfontein, who scored the winning try in the first test against the British Lions in Cape Town in 1980, was the next best to Du Preez/Joost, though I do have good memories of the late Paul Bayvel against the All Blacks in 1976, while Gerrie Germishuys, Chester Williams and Bryan Habana would challenge Carel du Plessis on the left wing. But not for nothing was Carel known as the Prince of Wings. He never made it as a coach, but what a great rugby player.

Frik du Preez was just a bit before my time and the period the team is selected from, and I know just enough about those first six years of the 1970s, the ones where I was still in single digits when it comes to age, to know there wasn’t too much material to select from. In that period the Boks did win a home series against the All Blacks (1970), remembered for the tackling of Joggie Jansen, but they were well beaten by England at Ellis Park in 1972 and of course the Lions in 1974. 

SITTING ON THE FENCE OVER SECOND ROW

The impossible selection is at lock. There were three post-isolation Bok locks who were the best in their world in their position and roles at times in their career and I am not going to select a team that leaves out any one of Bakkies Botha, Mark Andrews or Victor Matfield. So let’s rotate them according to the opposition.

I will select my best post-isolation team, the era of Bok rugby I have covered, next week and hopefully by then I might have made up my mind on my starting second row. Right now I can’t. Another toss-up is for hooker, where there is nothing separating Bismarck du Plessis and Malcolm Marx, and possibly even Uli Schmidt in his pomp.

It is also nigh impossible to choose between Juan Smith and Pieter-Steph du Toit. Indeed, there was an abundance of riches at blindside flank in this half century, with Theuns Stofberg and Gert Smal also worthy of consideration for the No 7 jersey.

There aren’t any current Boks in the side - Malcolm Marx was in but I just crossed him out on the basis that I can get away with it if I argue that we should wait until his career is over before deciding, and the same goes for others who in a few years may well belong in the team listed below.

BOK TEAM SELECTED FROM THE YEARS 1970 TO 2020: Johan Heunis, Ray Mordt, Danie Gerber, Michael du Plessis, Carel du Plessis, Naas Botha, Fourie du Preez, Morne du Plessis (captain), Juan Smith, Schalk Burger, Mark Andrews/Victor Matfield, Bakkies Botha, Hempies du Toit, Bismarck du Plessis, Os du Randt.

May 05, 2020, 17:48

Smith with sloppy butter fingers and all, I have seen  Smith playing a lot of games and never thought he was all that great - a good player definitely not an outstanding one.  Compared to Du  Toit he was definitely deficient. 

My  team are -

HO de Villiers, Jannie Engelbrecht, Danie Gerber, Michael du Plessis, Carel du Plessis, Naas Botha, Divan Serfontein, Morne du Plessis (c), Pieter-Steff du Toit, Schalk Burger, Mark Andrews, Bakkies Botha, Piet du Toit, Bismarck du Plessis, Tendai Mtawarira

I do not like one-dimensional  players like Du Preez as top stars - too much kicking and passing back to forwards - not an ideal situation together with Naas reducing the backline to defense only.   For a long time in  his career Du Preez unfortunately played under dud coaches  that reduced him to a player with no real decision-making focus on his own.     

May 05, 2020, 17:50

"There aren’t any current Boks in the side - Malcolm Marx was in but I just crossed him out on the basis that I can get away with it if I argue that we should wait until his career is over before deciding, and the same goes for others who in a few years may well belong in the team listed below."


LMAO!

The rugby noob doesn't sound very smart in other areas either!

May 05, 2020, 18:15

Surprisingly mature selection. Not perfect, but almost devoid of media darling myths. 

May 05, 2020, 18:24

Are you talking about my selection - dunce,

May 05, 2020, 18:36

"Are you talking about my selection - dunce,"


May 05, 2020, 18:45

Oops the quantitative noob....doesn’t get 1970 to 2020. I know you have a numbers problem Peeper, but this is world class stupidity,


And Wanker, Juan Smith was wayyyyyy better than Dud....and he wasn’t even as good as Schalk.

So Peeper, who was your man again....oh yes.....Luke Watson.

Game, set and match!

May 05, 2020, 19:00

Listen dimness - why put a restriction on it,   It is a huge improvement on what Rich came up with,   Having looked at many games in which both played and especially also  the 2007 and 2019 WC finals and there is no comparison between the two.  Du Toit is Rolls Royce class in rugby - Smith is a Toyota class in rugby,   Proof is required when making statements - you just spout nonsense,          

The difference lies in the following:-

Renowned for his strong ball carrying, Smith is one of the best blindside flankers in the world. 

*  He was awarded the World Rugby Men's 15s Player of the Year in 2019.

Get the message - Smith was one of the best loose forwards in the world after the RWC in 2007.   After the 2019 WC Du Toit was awarded as the Best Player (all positions) in the World.    

May 05, 2020, 20:34

It’s not the best side by any stretch

Heunis at 15???

Carel ahead of Habana???

Michael du Plessis ahead of Jean??

Naas ahead of Pollard???

du Preez ahead of Joost????

Morne du Plessis ahead of Vermeulen or Skinstad or Joe????

Bakkies ahead of Etzebeth?????

Hempies du Tout come on

Lockdown has obviously got to Gav I’ll have to have a word

It’s actually a poor reflection of the best

May 05, 2020, 21:20

Pass this along to Gavin....


Joubert ....even better than Heunis
Mordt our best wing ever
Gerber....my first back pick
JdV.....the interceptor’s interceptor
Habana....too many great tries to leave out
Pollard.....our only truly all round flyhalf and he won a WC.
Joost....just for the head on tackle on Lomu.

Beast... won a Lions series and a WC final with his scrumming.
Marx......pre 2018 version
Hempies.....my only Dud Toit
Etzebeth ... the best # 4 lineout forward extant and a great athlete
Victor....my first pick....and cappie!
Schalk....pre neck issues when he outfetched McCaw and Smith
Juan ...every good Bok team has a Spaniard.
Vermeulen....divine help from Asgard.

May 05, 2020, 21:23

That’s a far better side but not quite there yet

Agreed on that man Mordt though - he was my hero as I started my rugby on the wing until I got to senior school

May 05, 2020, 22:02

The best wing I have ever seen in playing rugby was definitely Engelbrecht,   He so impressed the New Zealanders that a Maori family named a son after him and I saw him scoring two long distance tries against the bulls with a broken collar bone to boot.   He was just a real star in every game he played on both  test and provincial level .  

As per normal Mozart has no idea about loose forward play requirements,  Smith played the same game as Alberts - a better version I grant him  that, but that was not sufficient.  There was no real cases where he was efficient in ball protection and recovery and he was not pacey enough to compete in that regard,   His ball skills was also questionable.  In the last Game I saw him losing possession twice before half time.   He always had ball skills problems.   .  

May 05, 2020, 22:03

Wehe . . . Moffie got so excited when he saw Pieter-Steph's name wasn't there that he started shrieking and plucking at his weak little gherkin before reading the bit where Rich said he wasn't picking current players.

LMAO!

"There aren’t any current Boks in the side - Malcolm Marx was in but I just crossed him out on the basis that I can get away with it if I argue that we should wait until his career is over before deciding, and the same goes for others who in a few years may well belong in the team listed below."

How embarrassing!

May 05, 2020, 22:29

Wrong.....here’s the relevant quote:



I will select my best post-isolation team, the era of Bok rugby I have covered, next week and hopefully by then I might have made up my mind on my starting second row. Right now I can’t. Another toss-up is for hooker, where there is nothing separating Bismarck du Plessis and Malcolm Marx, and possibly even Uli Schmidt in his pomp.

It is also nigh impossible to choose between Juan Smith and Pieter-Steph du Toit. Indeed, there was an abundance of riches at blindside flank in this half century, with Theuns Stofberg and Gert Smal also worthy of consideration for the No 7 jersey.

There aren’t any current Boks in the side - Malcolm Marx was in but I just crossed him out on the basis that I can get away with it if I argue that we should wait until his career is over before deciding, and the same goes for others who in a few years may well belong in the team listed below.


........


He was clearly considering current players ....and only Marx was in.....then he decided to wait on Marx. And he was comfortable waiting on all the others he hadn’t included thinking by the end of their careers they might make a case.


So as usual you simply show your pathetically poor comprehension skills..... schplotsky dumbass.

May 05, 2020, 22:32

Malcolm Marx was in.

May 05, 2020, 22:33

Malcolm Marx was in

May 05, 2020, 22:33

Malcolm Marx was in

May 05, 2020, 22:35

Pfffffffffffhahahaha!


Oh look, someone's dreamed up a team and guess what? It doesn't have the hated one in it! How exciting! This is one of the greatest days in my life! I better post it as quickly as I can! There! Game set and match to me!!! I'm so clever . . . oh . . . hang on . . . maybe I should have read the whole thing . . .

LMAO!

May 05, 2020, 22:36

There aren’t any current Boks in the side....Malcolm Marx was in. 


I’m hoping this is helping but you are so thick I’m not sure if you can grasp that he was considering current players, but only Marx made the mix and then when he couldn’t decide on Marx he decided the same logic applied to others he hadn’t included.

May 05, 2020, 22:38

Moffie, we can all see you're embarrassed and a bit irate but no need to hit the submit button multiple times like ou Maaik always does. 

Go have a lie down. Maybe everyone will have forgotten what a huge dick you made of yoursef after you've had a little nap?

LMAO!

May 05, 2020, 22:40

Not at all.....Malcolm Marx was in.....and Stephanie was not in.

It’s not hard to understand, take it one word at a time. LMAOFY!

May 05, 2020, 22:41

LMAO!


Where's a Servile Gimp when you need one?

May 05, 2020, 22:47

Shit Mozart missed the part where he said’ the same applied to other players’. I have the the doddering old fool at last. Well actually he can’t be that stupid because he has made a fool of me every time. 

Still this is my chance to pounce.....hold on he has countered with ‘Marx was in’.

Shit that’s hard to counter.....hey open up another cardbordeaux ...Marx was in, that means he left out Steph. How could Rich be so stupid. Well I’m stuffed again so I’ll just have to pretend it’s not important.....glug, glug!

May 05, 2020, 22:53

Glug!

May 05, 2020, 22:55

Moffie and Bozo have a lot in common. They're both self-important arseholes, they're both stupid, they're both braggarts and - as can be seen above - they'll both go to the most embarrassing and childish lengths to try and pretend they didn't screw up. 

Moffie's attempts to pretend he didn't just get egg all over his fat stupid face remind me of Bozo making changes to the hurricane's path with a sharpie after he said Alabama instead of Florida.

LMAO!

May 06, 2020, 00:19

So it’s  that disastrous  a loss that you have to invoke Trump? I’m flattered, really. So let me reciprocate. I think you and Zuma have a lot in common.....lying, boozing, cheating  and  above all failing.

May 06, 2020, 00:33

I can remember that when Dave posted articles of Rich years ago Mozart went bananas  especially when I believe Matfield should not be in the WC squad and Mozart went totally of his trolley,  Now suddenly there is a hint that Rich may not consider present players in his WC squad and thought about Marx -  the hooker position was not one where we really have too many world beaters and the only two names that came up was Bismarck - but he was a player that was somewhat controversial at times and that left Rich only one alternative - which he considered and then decide not to go with him,   

Now in this article he  did not select Du Toit and Mozart believes that is paradise, his hated du Toit is not in Rich's team and he is now a great writer,  How can things change so much that Mozart suddenly found value in what he wrote.  That from Mozart shows absent rugby  knowledge and unlimited prejudice.           

May 06, 2020, 01:07

I will give my heart and soul  to acheive the ultimate goal.  A priceless prize surpassed   I will love you all regardless of race or caste.    

I share this wish with all This mere monk from Nepal and with a solemn intent may I hold dear those who torment.

My thoughts focused and direct all deviations checked. IF myself or my friends falter I stall stand tall and not alter.

From a servant to a slave the victimised and exploited I shall cherish them one and all as if i had found a precious treasure haul.

May they be sincere or insincere or someone I once held dear If they should cut me to the bone thier worth I would not bemoan.

When the green eyed monster speaks may I turn the other cheek smile and wish him well. His wrongs best not to dwell.

Lifes to short for angers pain. Don't allow your life force will be drained His troubles you gladly accept the secret hurt you kept.

A pure mind swept clear no place for emotions or fear lifes concerns just an illusion samsara a life lived in delusion.

May 06, 2020, 01:14

Bemoan....Peeper and Wanker do a lot of bemoaning.

May 06, 2020, 04:29

Not so Mozart

I just want things to be dealt with on a rational basis,   That is way past your level of nonsense displayed regualarly on site,      

May 06, 2020, 04:29

Not so Mozart

I just want things to be dealt with on a rational basis,   That is way past your level of nonsense displayed regualarly on site,      

May 06, 2020, 10:24

Another good example of Moffie acting like Bozo can be seen on the notorious Not so Fassi thread which went something like this:


Moffie: Fassi got run over twice in the Reds game!

Rooinek: Here's the video clip of the game in question . . . what minutes was Fassi run over?

Moffie: Sputter . . . okay so it wasn't against the Reds, it was against the Jaguares that he got run over twice.

Rooinek: Okay then, here's the video clip of the Jaguares game . . . what minutes was Fassi run over?

Moffie: Well . . . gulp . . . Fassi doesn't make the tackle on Carreras! Nyaah nyaah nyaah!

Rooinek: But was he run over?

Moffie: He missed two tackles. Game, set and match!

Rooinek: But you said he was run over . . . I'm just asking which minutes he got run over.

Moffie: It was a lack of physicality.

Rooinek: Huh? You're dodging the question.

Moffie: You and Dave are ganging up on me, it's not fair!

Rooinek: Just answer the simple question.

Moffie: I'm getting bored with this . . .

LMAO!

No exaggerations, that is how the discussion went. Go see for yourself if you don't believe me. It's just like Bozo "answering questions" on what he did about the Coronavirus in the month of February. Same levels of deceit, cowardice and evasiveness.

May 06, 2020, 17:01

Waaaaaaaahahaha Peeper abandons the subject of this string and is forced to bring in another string which he of course misrepresents.  No Mas was never so obvious.....you got your clock cleaned again.


Game, set and match!

May 07, 2020, 09:40

Mozart

You do not even know that in tennis game set and match is meant end of the game.  In your case we deal with a situation where there is no understanding that anything logical came out of any issue raised by you and unless there are logical discussions on your part there is no way that any statement like "game, set and match" is possible. 

Too much of the issues raised by you  defies logical and reasonable discussion of rugby issues and what you come up with can best be described as BS and totally against reality and based on prejudice.   In the process you devise things that is totally based on rubbish and then claim there is reality in what you cone up with.  Try and get away from that attitude and then we will accept that your "game, set and match" statement is realistic.        

 
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