top of page

Ellis Park - The Bok Management Horror Show

Let me start off by congratulating the All Blacks. A side that was under immense pressure, with a coach on the chopping block made it look like they were playing at home, so comfortable they were. On the other side the Springboks management were made to look like they were coaching rugby for the first time this week, maybe they should be put under pressure this time around.

Let me start with the 'Bomb Squad' a term equal in endearment and trepidation coined in 2019 when deployed on occasion. Back then the Boks relied on a horses for courses selection which meant that the 6-2 split only featured in specific tests, it was by no means the expect norm. For the second week on the trot the risk has proven costly. A 9th minute head knock sent Jessie Kriel from the field and suddenly the Boks were left with a single bench option in Herschel Jantjies for the remainder of the encounter.

This also lead to a rejigging of the backline as we had no out and out wing on the bench. Le Roux came on at 15, sending Willemse to 12, De Allende to 13 and Am to 14. De Allende struggled to have his usual impact in the wider channel, whilst the rejigged backline was caught out a number of times defensively as they struggled to gel in the face of an All Blacks running assault. Ronnie and I discussed the use of the 6-2 split and bomb squad in the Podcast, which you can check out here.

Moving on from the construction of the bench, there are two calls that absolutely shocked me this week. The selection of Joseph Dweba to start once Bongi was injured was an interesting one, considering Marx's man of the match performance at Mbombela. The player had a shocker of a test as Sam Whitelock looked like he'd been training with the Boks all week, pinching lineout ball at will. This aside, the coaches wanted to use this as an opportunity to give the player experience and show they back him, wow did they fail dismally.

To be substituted in the 29th minute is an insult, I don't care what 'plan' you claim it was part of. Either the player wasn't match fit at all and the Bok management weren't paying attention when selecting him, or they simply destroyed every ounce of the players confidence taking him off that early. What a joke it was to see Marx on at 29 minutes, the All Blacks front row must have been licking their lips at the fact they wouldn't have to face a fresh Marx in the second half.

Then to Duane, who was another early substitute. I am tired of the Springboks using test rugby to allow players to find form and fitness, it is simply not the place for it. The whole world knows that Thor is incredible on the field, but the Boks have an abundance of talent at loose forward and rushing him back, in such a massive test shows them up on many fronts. Players, whether a world cup winner or not, must earn the right to wear the Green & Gold. You perform well for your club, you earn a call up and go from there.

Vermeulen was substituted in the 35th minute with Jasper Wiese. Wiese has come into his own in the Bok jersey and whilst I have never been his loudest supporter, he did not deserve to be sitting on the bench on Saturday. Adding to this substitution was Ox Nche off for Kitshoff also in the 35th minute.

Before half time the Springboks had already made 3 substitutions, a decision that would come back to bite them. Altitude is clearly not a factor that benefits the Springboks anymore, with players scattered around the world, they are hardly used to it. Using the bench so early meant the players ran out of steam and the huffing and puffing was obvious. The All Blacks out coached the Springboks yesterday and their smart use of the bench made it look like they had trained at altitude for months, if you doubt what i'm saying, re-watch the last 10 minutes of that test and you'll understand.

Related Posts

See All

8 תגובות

15 באוג׳ 2022

Despite diffie91‘s vitriol (must be on SA rugby’s troll payroll) the article is mostly spot on. Nienaber calls his bizarre selection decisions “rugby” decisions even though there was no logic to them whatsoever. An outbof form Vermeulen was selected in the hope that he could counter Savea at breakdown cause Nienaber knew Marx would not be there. Dweba and Dwayne battled and we solved the strategic problem the AB’s had at breakdown for them. After the bok pack had to work incredibly hard to get us back. We gave them momentum and confidence on a platter. The selection policy or “rugby” decisions made by Nienaber should be severely criticized from all corners. it lost us a very important test match.


Worst rugby article I have ever read. If you don't understand coaching and the selection process in any professional rugby set up, please don't ever again try to write an article regarding our South African professional rugby set up. You are INSULTING yourself by publishing this excuse of an rugby article. Maybe you should go and rewatch the test and try to write something more positive about our team. Just a shame that Rugbypuntit would publish an HORROR Show article like this. If you doubt what I'm saying re-watch the whole 80 minutes of that test, not just the last 10 minutes.


בתשובה לפוסט של

I couldn’t agree more, absolute trash writing. Seriously, what was the point.

I have to say, we’ve seen exactly the same rubbish from many so called rugby pundits over the past few weeks absolutely destroying the All Blacks and their under fire coach……I read the same verbal garbage that was equally galling !!

OK, yes the AB’s are struggling and yes the Boks didn’t quite complete this week as they had planned but the fact is, after Ireland these are still the 2nd & 3rd best teams currently in World Rugby…….Do not get me started on the stupid, yes stupid WR rankings……..I only wish the SA teams stayed loyal to Super Rugby and all their Southern mates.😊


I agree with this article and I consider that the spine of a rugby team runs through 2, 8, 9, 10 and 15 we only had 15 and 10 to rely on. 9 Was good the previous test but maybe beginners luck. On Saturday his lack of experience came through. 8 Not fit, 2 Not op to premium test standard. Now how would a coaching team concoct a spine like that and not to mention that Jessie Kriel is not a wing and will never be one. One wing compromise may by ok with a solid spine, but sadly was not the case on Saturday.

bottom of page