How does the 2009 Tri-Nations winners compare with the 2119 Rugby Chapionship winners

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Aug 13, 2019, 12:21

The following article from News24:-


The Springboks broke a 10-year drought on Saturday when they clinched the Rugby Championship (formerly Tri-Nations) against Argentina in Salta to lay claim to being premier southern hemisphere side.

So just how well do they stack up when measured against their Bok counterparts of exactly a decade ago, who landed the 2009 title after pipping New Zealand 32-29 in a Hamilton humdinger?

I opted to pick a combined XV from the respective starting line-ups as a gauge of that, and it ended up being a very tight exercise.

Taking the liberty of making a positional switch or two, and also bearing in mind that two players are “neutralised” by having been part of squad plans in both 2019 and 2009 (the starting loose-head prop each time, Tendai Mtawarira, and versatile Frans Steyn) representation is shaded by the earlier-era Boks.

Of the 13 berths not involving the admirably durable crossover duo, seven are taken by 2009 heroes, and six from Rassie Erasmus’s fast-emerging 2019 crew.

In fairness, bear in mind that the team of 10 years ago were on the crest of a proven wave, many of them coming off the World Cup success of 2007 - under John Smit, who also captains my selection - and also a British and Irish Lions series triumph just ahead of the Tri-Nations.

Here’s the line-up:

No 15: Willie le Roux (2019) v Frans Steyn (2009)

Le Roux’s a renowned sorcerer, but the Steyn of the time (currently being used as an impact sub in midfield) was a powerful presence both physically and with that bombing boot in the last line of defence; the latter attribute had helped a lot in the Hamilton title-clincher.

Choice: Steyn

No 14: Cheslin Kolbe (2019) v Odwa Ndungane (2009)

Ndungane was a whole-hearted “Mr Reliable” for SA. But he wasn’t blessed with special pace or X-factor and on those grounds the plucky little dynamo who is Kolbe (outstanding against both NZ and Argentina) edges it.

Choice: Kolbe

No 13: Lukhanyo Am (2019) v Jaque Fourie (2009)

Reasonably straightforward: Am is gradually finding his feet for the Boks, but Fourie is a legendary figure of the outside centre channel with his organisational skills, defensive acumen and amazing strength on his feet.

Choice: Fourie

No 12: Damian de Allende (2019) v Jean de Villiers (2009)

Again, fairly clear-cut despite De Allende’s strong showing against the Pumas. De Villiers is another Bok great with his 109-cap career and cutting edge (renowned opportunism, too) in his berth.

Choice: De Villiers

No 11: Makazole Mapimpi (2019) v Bryan Habana (2009)

The 2019 incumbent, while a true flier, isn’t yet established in his spot. Habana is a legend of left-wing play, 2007 World Rugby Player of the Year and RWC winner, plus second most-capped Bok.

Choice: Habana

No 10: Handre Pollard (2019) v Morne Steyn (2009)

Pollard has everything Steyn boasted as a Springbok … only more. His directness and bodily strength make him doubly dangerous, and he was a massive factor in landing the recent Rugby Champs silverware.

Choice: Pollard

No 9: Faf de Klerk (2019) v Fourie du Preez (2009)

De Klerk’s always a tiger for the national cause, but Du Preez was a globally-revered genius of scrumhalf play at his peak, with a rare game-reading ability.

Choice: Du Preez

No 8: Duane Vermeulen (2019) v Pierre Spies (2009)

Thrilling athlete though he could be when games opened up sufficiently, Spies wasn’t always too prominent at the coalface, where Vermeulen is simply a tough-as-nails combatant.

Choice: Vermeulen

No 7: Pieter-Steph du Toit (2019) v Schalk Burger (2009)

Burger played blindside flank in the Hamilton clincher, but I have other plans for him (read on!). So that role goes to the very much on-the-up Du Toit, the former lock adjusting wonderfully to the side of the scrum … and existing SA Rugby Player of the Year.

Choice: Du Toit

No 6: Kwagga Smith (2019) v Heinrich Brussow (2009)

At his vintage best, Schalk Burger (he of such demonic energy) was primarily a “six” for the Boks, so the popular, world-renowned figure eclipses both lower-centre-of-gravity diggers to the jersey here, despite Brussow’s killer showings specifically against the All Blacks during 2009.

Choice: Neither … it’s Burger

No 5: Franco Mostert (2019) v Victor Matfield (2009)

Mostert’s an admirable pro with a ceaseless engine, and especially strong in Salta on Saturday. But Matfield is an all-time lineout legend, and still SA’s most capped player. Nobody, surely, has ever wreaked havoc on opposition throw-ins more?

Choice: Matfield

No 4: Eben Etzebeth (2019) v Bakkies Botha (2009)

Difficult … and no doubt my choice will attract controversy. Both Etzebeth and Botha are ace, front-lock meanies of highest standing. But Etzebeth’s superior athleticism earns him my nod.

Choice: Etzebeth

No 3: Trevor Nyakane (2019) v John Smit (2009)

The way is clear for the rising tighthead force who is Nyakane (utterly lethal at scrum-time in Salta) to claim the spot, as Smit instead enters the radar for the hooker berth – see below.

Choice: Nyakane

No 2: Bongi Mbonambi (2019) v Bismarck du Plessis (2009)

Du Plessis was arguably a nose better than Smit in this berth, which partly explained the latter’s Test spell as a tighthead in order to accommodate both. Mbonambi’s on an upward curve, too. But I want RWC-winning Smit’s calm, revered leadership for my combo, so he fits in here. 

Choice: Neither … Smit cracks it

No 1: Tendai Mtawarira (both 2019 and 2009)

Encouragingly, the “Beast” of the current international season is showing all the relish he demonstrated when he first burst onto the Test scene. It is a tribute all of its own that he was wearing No 1 on both the 2019 and 2009 occasions when the Boks scooped the Rugby Champs/Tri-Nations honours.

Choice: Well, obviously ... Mtawarira "


The above list is rather weird.- but also interesting,   Seven of the 15 players are identified as better in 2019 than their 2009 counterparts.   In other words 8 players from the 2007 WC winning team was better than their 2019  counterparts.


So lets look at some interesting points impacting on the progress of the eight players mentioned above until 2015.becuse most of them were causing the 2011 WC demise and ultimately a total collapse under Meyer by 2015:-


*    Steyn was always a good full back and a flop in other positions he was used in.   The problem he is pace-deficient and a slow reactor to what happens in games.   By 2012 he was gone as a test performer and since then he was totally useless - even on club and franchise level.   


*    Habana was probably one of the best wings ever playing test rugby nd he was a highly individual player who often created tries from nothing.   He retained that exceptional record up to 2014 - in 2015 he went back drastically and by 2016 he was a poor test player.  


 *     Jaque Fourie retired in 2011 - but Meyer enticed him back to play for the Springboks and achieved zero when he returned - should have stayed retired - his reputation was ruined as a result. 


*    Jean de Villiers a great player until his serious injury in 2014 and then came back and played 2 and a half matches in 2015.   He was poor in all three matches and should never have returned after the injury.


*     Fourie du Preez retired in 2011 and went to play rugby in Japan.  Meyer enticed him to come abck to play afterwards - but his performances became less effective and by 2015 he was not half the player he sued to be.


*     Schalk Burger got seriously ill in 2012 and did not play rugby again until 2015 - when he was in Meyer's WC squad - was not up to standard in all games played and should have stayed out of rugby.  He like De Villiers, Fourie and Du Preez


*     Victor  Matfield retired in 2011 and was another player lured back by Meyer and that turned out to be a ttal disaster as well.   He was not the shadow of the player he sued to be and flopped badly 

especially in 2014 and 2015.


*     John Smit was a top class hooker when he started and turned sour when moved to prop        


            ,   



Aug 13, 2019, 12:49

Ndungane was not the incumbent 14, JP Pietersen was. In fact, Odwa only started two games on the wing, both due to the injury JP. 

There are some issues with these selections: 

  1. Schalk easily is the better of the two blinsiders. He has vastly superior skills, mobility, far better defence and more intelligent. One is a legend, the other a C+ placeholder. 
  2. Pollard is faster than Morné was, he attacks the line more ferociously and has developed a knack for reading play quite well. Morné was the better defender though and had a better pass and better boot. Which I'd choose depends on how I'd want to play. I think we could be getting much more out of Pollard. I'll give him the edge. 
  3. Frans was okay at 15. Willie is much better than Frans at fullback. This isn't even faintly close. 
  4. Brussow was a better opensider than Schalk, he was also far better than Kwagga. One of the great tragedies of Bok rugby was the cold shoulder shown to Brussow. He was never bettered in any of his tests, comprehensively outplaying McCaw each and every time. This was the rightful player of the year in 2009. McCaw won it, but only had one half of genuinely quality rugby that season, against Wales. 
  5. Mostert and Victor are very well-rounded players. Victor takes it, but Mostert must be recognised for being one of the few core players of substance in this current Bok side. 
  6. There is this perception that Spies only played well when the game "opened up", when he was actually more industrious. Take the thrilling away win in 2009, 18 tackles and the most metres of any of our forwards. He toughened his game up post-2007 and became a guaranteed generator of front-foot ball. His explosive power off the base of the scrum took us well beyond the gainline each and every time. That said, I still give Thor the edge here. An unbelievably dynamic player for such a big man. On his game, he has it all. 
Now to deal with Lügnerin the Klevar. 

"Steyn was always a good full back and a flop in other positions he was used in.   The problem he is pace-deficient and a slow reactor to what happens in games.   By 2012 he was gone as a test performer and since then he was totally useless - even on club and franchise level."

Actually, Frans output in other positions were better. He was always his most potent from 12, then 13. He was a centre by nature and excelled there. His statistics at 15, under Peter, were actually inferior to both Aplon and Kirchner. 

"Jaque Fourie retired in 2011 - but Meyer enticed him back to play for the Springboks and achieved zero when he returned - should have stayed retired - his reputation was ruined as a result."

According to who? He ended that EOYT with a 100% defensive record. He did what JJ couldn't do and showed exceptional intelligence to link up with du Preez for the try that broke the Welsh game open. In fact, Fourie still has the best record of every player who occupied 13 under Meyer. His reputation was thus that he was touted for a return in 2015 to solve our outside centre woes. In hindsight, it would have been a good idea. 

"Fourie du Preez retired in 2011 and went to play rugby in Japan.  Meyer enticed him to come abck to play afterwards - but his performances became less effective and by 2015 he was not half the player he sued to be."

Fourie was the best 9 under Meyer. In fact, nobody since 2015 has been able to reach the level of du Preez in 2014 and 2015. Not even close. He was arguably the most important player in the team, next to Thor and Schalk. He was a player you said was fat and slow, only for Eddie Jones to remark that he was in the best shape of his life. He came back lean and quick, losing none of his famed skill. 

"Victor  Matfield retired in 2011 and was another player lured back by Meyer and that turned out to be a ttal disaster as well.   He was not the shadow of the player he sued to be and flopped badly 

especially in 2014 and 2015."

This one has been debunked many a time. Quite easily. Had Lood been half the player Victor was that year we'd probably have been in the WC final. Another player Meyer turned to because the next gen couldn't cut. Such a pity he suffered an injury in that WC.

"Schalk Burger got seriously ill in 2012 and did not play rugby again until 2015 - when he was in Meyer's WC squad - was not up to standard in all games played and should have stayed out of rugby.  He like De Villiers, Fourie and Du Preez"

Schalk was a top class Bok under Meyer. In fact, he has left a void that has yet to be filled. Who has come close to the standard set by Schalk? A 2015 Schalk in the 2019 team would upgrade this team immediately. 

CONCLUSION:

I find it hilarious how you turn each and every post into a mud-slinging campaign against the same names, concerning the same years. What does 2012-2015 have to do with the article? This is comparing the 2009 Tri Nations Champions with the 2019 Rugby Championship Champions. What a flump. :D

Aug 13, 2019, 13:12

Your comments are hilarious.and funny.   Lets start with Steyn as defender - a joke at best on your part.   Steyn was a hopeless attacking player - really non-existent and the worst defending flyhalf all the time he played in tests,  No attack - no defense - but then you said he was equal to Dan Carter in performance - but he had one only quality in his favour - his 80% success rate at kicking at goal - for the rest the poorest test flyhalf ever for the Springboks.

Steyn potent at 12 - funny how nobody bar you and co think so.  He flopped for three ears running playing for the Sharks and was declared not a center a all by one coach.   Was the favourite of White and used in 2014.  His contract with SARU was not renewed by SARU in 2015.   He then followed Jake White to Montpellier and when White was around was used at center and flyhalf.  The moment White was gone Montpelier realized Steyn is NOT a flyhalf and not a center either,   They brought on board Goosen at flyhalf and  Serfontein at center,   After that his club did not renew his contract.   Should we rather believe the BS you and Mozart comes up with than what real experts think of Steyn?

Fourie was so bad Davies ran past him twice in the one Welsh test he played in.  Slow and totally ineffective when playing after 2011 - with zero attacking ability,   Should have stayed retired.

Burger was used as an opensider by Meyer in 2015 and was useless in that position since he  was not suitable for what was an apparent Meyer "game plan",   Try the Japan test to start with,  

Matfield buggered up countless times in tests in 2014 and 2015,   Total loss - spoiling his reputation as a player.   Not a shadow o the player he was in the period up to 2011.    Th wort thing Meyer did was to replace De Jager witrh Matfield in the semi - Matfield showed zero in defense and buggered up three times in the semi - bad news hidden way by the fools on site, 

Spies better than Vermeulen?   Biggest joke on site this year - was he not built like Tarzan and played like Jane?  

Another load of AO BS bite the dust.     . LMAO

          

Aug 13, 2019, 13:30

Frans was the only quality centre the Sharks had in 2013-2015. Something Plumtree conceded was true when he returned to Frans after trialling several other players at 12, all failing. Frans tests in 2012 set a standard that Damian lacks the capacity to reach. I know it eats you up inside. In fact, Damian's disastrous 2015 super rugby campaign was also bettered by Frans. We went into that WC without a test centre outside of Jean. 

Fourie was beaten on one move. He was pinned on both shoulders, a 50/50 decision. To claim he was poor because of that one incident, when he didn't miss one tackle all tour, is grossly dishonest. Fourie was the best Bok 13 of 2013. 

Burger didn't play openside once in 2015. In fact, I can't recall him playing openside once under Meyer. He played 8 for five consecutive tests. He was moved to 7 for the Samoan test, as Thor was returning from injury. Burger would play 6 consecutive tests at 7. Steph played 7 against Japan, a team who exposed his current limitations. Schalk was one of the best Boks that season. 

Matfield buggered up countless times? You can never reference any specifics. That says it all. 

Morné was a better defender than Pollard is today. He was better than Goosen, Lambie and any other pretender we trialled. Morné was a tough and robust defender. Very reliable. As for me comparing him to Carter? I have never compared him to Carter. My position, since 2008, has been that Carter is the best 10 of all time. Next is Larkham. I have always rated Butch the best Bok 10 of all time. Not once have I ever rated Morné higher than prime butch. Morné was a good catalyst for attacking rugby. He was never the runner Pollard is, but he got the backs away. The last great attacking Bok side had Morné as a key cog in the engine. He proved with the Bulls in 2010 that he can run the show without du Preez, in what was one of the two best attacking sides in super rugby history. 

You make this far too easy. GG NR.

Aug 13, 2019, 13:51

Burger played openside in all WC tests stupid.   He was useless as a ball recipient and carrier in the series when the ball was constantly passed back to him getting more balls than was passed to the flyhalf.   

Morne still hold the record for worse defense in tests.   In the 2013 AB test - 7 tackles made 4 tackles missed - but the real record was set in the Perth test in 2014 - 9 tackles made 7 tackles missed.   Proof of my statement clear and decisive,. Getting the Springboks backline away as claimed needs for Morne to contribute and he never did.  Stood routinely too deep in the pcket and virtually never attacking the gain line - nullified totally any real backline attacks.   So easy to disrove your fairy tales - it is unbelievable.

Matfield - shall we list just a few:-

*    Fumbled a ball in a line-out in the 2014 away test against the AB's after the Springboks made a corner kick from a penalty,  Potential driving maul nullified.

*    Outjumped in  2014 AB test in Johannesburg resulting in an AB try that could have caused Meyer his only test win against the AB's.

*    Japan disaster - zero contribution to the Tight 5 - standing around in the backline.

*    WC semi - outjumped in first line out when he came on - caused a penalty turnaround - that could have helped the Springboks to win the semi - no defense and zero contribution to any ball carries.   

           .   .  

Aug 13, 2019, 14:04

Now lets get to Fat Fransie - Plumtree never changed his mind about Fatso.   He never used him at 12 again - in the absence of Jordaan and with no other solution available he was forced to use him twice in 2013 at 13.  

No - AO  -  Fransie contributed to some of the funniest disasters I have ever seen in rugby:-

*   Kicking relieving balls from the red zone rolling along the grass (twice)
*   Landing on his arse on the ground twice when trying to tackle De Allende
*   Rated by Foxsport in 2014 as the 252nd valued layer in Super Rugby and the 32nd rated player at center.

If he was of any value at flyhalf or center why did Montpellier replaced him with Goosen and Serfontein and moved him to fullback before refusing to renew his contract with them   

LMAO - Comparing Steyn with De Allende - Steyn is slow and clueless - De Allende is faster and better in all aspects of center play.   But you would not understand what is happening in rugby at present and that makes you come up with silliness,  LMAO        

Aug 13, 2019, 14:09

You keep harping on about that Ellis Park test in 2013. Morné didn't miss one assignment. Each and every one of his "missed" tackles were on scramble defence. He wasn't even the first on the scene. He made all of his own assignments, even stopping Nonu in his tracks, holding him up, turning im around and exposing him for a strip. His worst test was the away test in Australia, 2014. Yet, inspite of the problems he and the Boks faced, he still showed more attacking clout than Lambie. Was it not Morné who got the Boks out into space for a try in the first half? What of his rush out of the line taking Toomua to ground and pressuring the Wallabies deep in their half. It was his worst Bok test, it was by no means without positives. The Boks struggled at 10-12 as the Wallabies worked hard to spread the Boks out and work on that space between 10 and 12, thereby isolating 13. Classic Wallaby rugby. 

You moan about Morné standing too deep, yet you have no problem with our 10s under Rassie standing in the same positions, occupying the same kinds of roles? Only, even deeper still! Hilarious!! :D

Louw was our openside flank in the World Cup? That gaff was the equivalent of forcefully zipping up one's doo-dad, then stubbing one's toes on a jagged rock for good measure. You do make me laugh. :silly:

Aug 13, 2019, 14:21

Why was the ball then constantly passed to Burger and not Louw fool?   

Aug 13, 2019, 14:33

So let me get this straight. Burger had to have been the openside flank because he was passed to. He was the carrier. Well...


Aug 13, 2019, 15:51

He was bonding on the openside all the time so he could be first recipient instead of the flyhalf.  BS so-called game plan of Meyer,  LMAO,  

Aug 13, 2019, 15:55

Bottom line: Schalk did it better. Steph, get your notebook out and watch that 2015 WC. :D

Aug 13, 2019, 16:44

Sure - I do not need a note book at all.  I just remember the Japan disaster where he knocked on 4 balls and the long list of cases where he "died" with the ball when tackled.  Poor Burger was not suited to play the BS Meyer prescribed in the WC.    

Aug 13, 2019, 16:44

Sure - I do not need a note book at all.  I just remember the Japan disaster where he knocked on 4 balls and the long list of cases where he "died" with the ball when tackled.  Poor Burger was not suited to play the BS Meyer prescribed in the WC.    

Aug 13, 2019, 17:42

"clevermike

Hall Of Fame

36996 posts 

 Aug 13, 2019, 16:44

Sure - I do not need a note book at all."

Are you sure AO was telling you to get your notebook and watch the particular game?

Aug 13, 2019, 20:30

Er Muck....Burger was in the match 23 seven times in 2014. You need a note book.

Aug 13, 2019, 20:31

Back to Japan again huh?

Aug 13, 2019, 20:58

No Mozart

The BS keep on flowing,   So Burger played in 2014 and what  I mention pertained to 2015, when Meyer tried to turn Burger into a battering ram - which he was incapable to do.

    


Aug 13, 2019, 21:07

No AO

I can describe as many funny scenes of Morne as I can of Fat Fransie. 

However, Pollard does not stand as deep in the pocket as Morne did and he also do something Morne nearly never did - he attacks the gain line, making for a better forward movement by the Springboks in attacking play, .       


Aug 13, 2019, 21:11

Ceradunce 

Morne's points are basically from kicking at goal - for the rest he was incapable to do as a flyhalf.   

Aug 13, 2019, 21:39

The number on a player's back does not necessarily reflect how they are used on the pitch, especially flankers. South Africa and WP in particular does not always go for the classical openside/blindside, but sometimes stick to left or right flanker... or prefer one player as blind on defence and open on offense...it's rugby, not chess and players, pieces and pawns are interchangeable. :D

Aug 13, 2019, 22:48

"Posted by: clevermike (37005 posts)

Aug 13, 2019, 21:11

Ceradunce 

Morne's points are basically from kicking at goal - for the rest he was incapable to do as a flyhalf. "

I haven't said a word about Morne. As jy moet skrik, skrik tog net wakker.

 
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