We have to be brave and select our best 15

Forum » Rugby » We have to be brave and select our best 15

Oct 09, 2023, 18:49

To start against France which will call for some risky decisions none more so than leapfrogging Am straight into the starting side ahead of the robotic Kriel.

This call is a no brainer if Am is fully fit which would be measured in training in his ability to step.

We have to attack the French scrum and in order to better facilitate this we have to start the stronger, bigger and far more gifted RG ahead of the bog ordinary bloody Mostert. We need RG on the field for a minimum of 50min not the 30 he gets off the bench

Pollard vs Libbok is a tough call but I agree that scoreboard pressure is tantamount so Pollard has to start

On the wing we need the size of Moodie on the wing ahead of Arendse

At 8 it’s a close call between Wiese and Vermeulen but for me Wiese has had more of an impact

Willemse has more than proved his worth at 15 and is a must

The side has to be:

15. Willemse

14. Kolbe

13. Am

12. de Allende

11. Moodie

10. Pollard

9. Faf

1. Kitshoff

2. Bongi

3. Malherbe

4. Etzebeth

5. RG Snyman

6. Kolisi


8. Wiese

16. Fourie 17. Ox 18. Nyakane 19. Kleyn 20. Kwagga 21. Williams 22. Libbok 23. Esterhuizen

Willie vs Esterhuizen is a close call on the bench as is Reinach vs Williams

Oct 09, 2023, 18:54

I can live with that...although I think Libbok should play as much as possible. 

Oct 09, 2023, 18:58

Agreed it’s a tough call not starting Libbok but we just can’t afford another Ireland kicking debacle

Oct 09, 2023, 19:12

If you pick Libbok to start and his Kicking is not on, we might risk not taking all our points and end up chasing the game….Start Pollard and get a good start and then bring Libbok of the bench like in the Tongan game. I would start AE , but on the bench is better than no Andre. Let’s hope Rassie has enough sense to make the right choices….Moodie on Wing is good choice but if Am is not fit, he should start there. When will the team be announced?

Oct 09, 2023, 19:14

Pity Willemse don't kick much better than Manie...I'm not against Pollard,  classy player, but not enough game time to walk back into the starting 15...same for Am...I also wish these 2 were ready,  but they simply can't be...bench at best.

Oct 09, 2023, 19:22

If DuPont  can play with a mask, Pollard can play having had a pretty full match against Tonga. Libbok’s skills won’t work with the game plan we will use in this match, even ball in hand Pollard is the better option, most of the running will be in traffic.

Oct 09, 2023, 21:17

Playing Am in this game, with zero game time, isn't brave...it's the tried and tested mixtures of conservative-stupid that us Saffas excel at.

It goes something like this..."form is never greater than experience".

It completely ignores that experience is nothing without form, while form is only partially, and not always, reliant on experience.

Selecting Am for this particular game, even on the bench, would be a massive mistake. But exactly the type of thing we would do.

It doesn't apply to Am, but we also get to a point where we completely overvalue experience. Where eventually we have players that are clearly better than their more experienced counterparts but because experience is so overvalued, we simply never pick those better players...until the experience demigods retire way past their prime. Remember when we took the once great Matfield to a WC long after he wasn't test quality any more?

Doesn't matter if you're half the pace that you used to be. Doesn't matter if you're only a fraction as sharp. The only thing that matters is that you have been to the most rodeos.

It's South African sport anti-logic 101.

I predict a calamitous and embarrassing weekend ahead for the Boks.

I don't want my crystal ball to be right but all signs are pointing to us getting wrecked.

Oct 09, 2023, 22:38

So you would not select Am and you would stick with Kriel or would you select Moodie at 13

I hear you regarding the experience thing and players knowing the system - it’s utter bullshit

Matfield is the perfect example, so was Os du Randt and Percy Montgomery

Vermeulen, Frans Steyn are the more recent examples and why Mostert keeps getting the green light

But the Am scenario does not apply here. My theory is that Moodie is not even in the equation at 13 and Kriel is the conservative crap option as he offers very little on attack. So for me if Am proves his fitness in training then I’d rather gamble with him starting and him giving us so X factor at 13 instead of the boring predictable stuff we will get from Kriel.

It’s a knockout game you need to go for broke you can’t play it safe. Moodie has shown glimpses but he is far from the finished article. Am ahead of him all day but I’d rather have Moodie start ahead of Kriel if Am is not ready.

Pollard went straight into a game after a far longer layoff than Am has had. He only had 30 min for Leicester before that Tonga game.

Am to start with Moodie on the wing to move to 13 if need be but we would also be covered with Esterhuizen on the bench

Oct 09, 2023, 23:05

That is an unbalanced back row as it does not have a breakdown specialist. It might have been fine with Marx, but not without him, 

The breakdown was exposed against Ireland and perhaps a bigger factor in the loss than the goal-kicking. 

The Boks need Vermeulen at the breakdown. Ideally a younger Vermuelen, but hopefully he still has enough.

The breakdown often sets the initial tempo of the match. Even if the scrums and lineouts are good, if the breakdown is not going well, the opposition can make goal kicks or dominate the territory battle. 

If Bongi is playing well, keep him on the field and bring on Deon Fourie at 6 in the 2nd half to compete at the breakdown. 

I don't think Pollard is ready to play 80 minutes in a quarter-final against France.
Maybe not AM either, Although AM's injury was minor in comparison, it was not long ago he was playing for the Boks. 

I would rather start with Libbok and bring Pollard on if Libbok pole kicking is bad. 
Then have Pollard on the pitch at the end of the match if it is close.

Oct 09, 2023, 23:21

The Irish only dominated the breakdown in the second half which is ironic given we had Kwagga, Fourie and v Staaden on the field

It highlighted the flaw in having three smaller players in the forwards. Given this fact the expected impact of the 7/1 split was neutralised. Too many smaller players in the pack results in us being less effective in clearing out and preventing turnovers

For the record Wiese effected a turnover or two so was doing a Vermeulen job

Oct 10, 2023, 01:11

Moodie coming to this WC was completely pointless.

It's not like he's 29, they've just discovered how good he is, and want to give him as much game time as possible so that he can soon start regularly going forward.

No. They brought him to the WC and never intended on playing him in any games that mattered while already having plenty of cover at 13.

Why bring him? What's the point?

And why on earth play him in warm up matches at all?

What the F is he warming up for?

We already have Willie, Willemse and Kriel, who are all utility players and who can all cover 13, and while the knew Am would be back later in the competition too.

Then, why play Moodie against Wales and the ABs at all when it's been ages since Kriel played beside DDA and you are beyond certain that DDA and Kriel will start all your big games in the absence of Am?

It makes zero sense.

Perhaps there is some master plan, but I don't think there is.

Everybody else is just window dressing and it'll be...Pollard, DDA, Am, Cheslin, Arendse(cos Mapimpi is injured) and Willemse.

That'll be the starting backline announced tomorrow. Perhaps Am will come off the bench and Jessica will start.

Now, if Mapimpi wasn't injured he'd be there too.

And there you have it, an almost identical backline to the one that played the 2019 WC final. None of them as sharp as they were 4 years ago, most of them rusty as hell, and outside of Willemse/Arendse everybody severely lacking game time at this WC.

That is where we find ourselves.

We we were almost certain we would play France, at home, in the 1/4s...and this is how we going into it. It's a joke really.

And just to add more madness to it all...

Eben, for some unknown reason played 80 minutes last week. Then, Willemse, by some distance our best back, has had an insane amount of game time at this WC...starting against minnows.

Kinda like we don't give a shit if the worlds best lock and best 23 are injured before the knockout stages.

So some of the first choices get almost no game time at the WC up to the knockouts, and others play full games against minnows.

And then you look at Ireland. No funny business. No bullshit. They simply start their best side and build on top of already well established combinations.

It's a circus versus an army. I don't think Ireland are better than the Boks. They are just coached and managed at a level that is so many tiers above what the Boks are.

Oct 10, 2023, 08:16

Saw a headline about Ireland fist string being over played and it could catch up with them. Our best players are fresher. 

Moodie on the wing is a must. Can't have two tiny wingers. 

6-2 split versus 5-2 spit is also a big issue. 

We can't assess Am from our arm chairs. It's one huge call to let him start. 

So every difficult choices to be made.  

Dave has picked a good side. But that said there are other possibilities. Personally I usually have fairly definite views but not certain about a number of things. 

Plum would have expired if he saw various pundits on You Tube selecting Allende and Kriel at center and Mostert at lock.

One way to look at it is to ask which pack member do you think should pay 80 minutes. The two most able to do so are Du Toit and Mostert. I think Eben can do it as well.

Anybody thinking it's all very clear selection wise doesnt understand the various issues. 

Oct 10, 2023, 09:17

I'm a big Mostert fan, Beeno. I like everything he does.

It's those two in midfield that are killing me.

Oct 10, 2023, 09:23

I think Plum you are undervaluing them. 

Let's see what Rassie does. He will have a plan and then select the players to execute the plan. 

One thing for sure the Frogs will know they have been in a battle. Hence I tend to favour the 6-2 split. 

Nov 09, 2023, 01:26

So some posters wanted Libbok rather than 13/13 Pollard. If Libbok played as much as possible as Draad wanted…the Boks would have lost.

Nov 09, 2023, 04:16

The wet weather doesn't not suit Manie's game...and he kicks poorly...and Pollard did start off the bench and proved his form from the bench before starting in the final, which was always going to be a wet affair...show me one complain from myself because Manie was dropped for the final...

Nov 09, 2023, 06:50

I called it, regarding Manie, before the world cup even started .. it was always my concern

I still think I was a bit harsh on him, as I said at the time, but it doesn't make me any less wrong

If Pollard had not been flown out, we would not be world champions ...

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