As we all very well know, the British and Irish Lions have stolen the first of three Test matches away from South Africa and its passionate fans. We, the South Africans, were absolutely horrified by the performance our boys gave a week ago. The last twenty to thirty minutes of the first Test were watched through my fingers, whilst I poured my next pain killer with ice. The Lions fans were also disappointed by the Boks performance in the second half, they expected a fight to the death, but were eventually handed the match result on a silver platter. Shocking! South Africa's game plan should be the complete opposite of last weeks horror. Less kicking, more attacking, physical rugby and for the sake of keeping us sane, give Kolbe the ball! He is a wizard, he will make space, don't stress!
Also, who is going to win the battle on the wing, Kolbe vs Van Der Merwe? In the second half one could feel the momentum shift to the Lions and a cause of that was definitely Duhan doing the dirty work in the air out wide. He put a phenomenal amount of pressure on the Boks when it came time to regather a high ball. If he didn't recover the kick, he certainly did put pressure on Willie and Cheslin when contesting for a high ball. So good job Duhan, I guess.
The Lions are expected to play that high ball game that they have so ironically adopted. They definitely played the game better than we did. Another thing we can expect to see in the next Test Match is more cheeky through ball kicks and chips over the top into midfield space. Just a prediction, lets see what happens.
Scrum down. Some massive size up front with Furlong and Vunipola. Will we see more excellent contestable scrums? A good scrum is honestly one of the most beautiful things to watch. I will link a massive scrum for the readers to watch, I hope you get as passionate as I do!
Vunipola, Cowan-Dickie, Furlong VS Kitshoff, Mbonambi and Malherbe. Who wins this front row battle? In the First Test we saw a few infringements that were not blown, errors made by both sides. So hopefully we can keep a legal bind for a few seconds this time.
Impact off the bench will be a massive factor in this game as it was in the first. The updated starting Bok front row is fitter so that means we are able to make a late change to the front row. We can sub at 60 mins instead of at half time now. Maybe that contributed towards our demise on the weekend.
Perhaps Curry won't stand up in the middle of a scrum this weekend either. Stay down boy!
The Boks are starting their rookie No.8 this weekend, Jasper Wiese in only his second test. I believe he still has a lot to offer the Boks. He hasn't had a Vermeulen style performance yet, but I think its on its way! He will have something to prove this weekend. Congrats on the Start Jasper!
Dan Biggar vs Handre Pollard. Pollard takes it, not because I am a biased writer but because he is an absolute stud of a human. Also because I am biased... Biggar comes second and gets an early sub to Farrell at 10.
Hopefully we can see less kicking, more running rugby. De Allende loves to carry, lets use him more, put him out wide and use him there as a variant! Just play to your talents and I am certain that we will have a better game! The kicking game last weekend caused us to make more and more errors, and our response to that was to carry on kicking away possession. Retain it and run it boys, lets see it happen!
There has been a lot said about the Director of Rugby, Mr. Erasmus. It's my turn now. What a King he is. I am proud to be led by a man who stands up for what he believes in, I back every single word he said in that one hour video. If you haven't seen it yet, I will link it below. There have been people saying that he is a disgrace and he should be fired for his actions. HOGWASH! He is standing up for a team that he is the head of, that's like people calling a successful CEO a silly goose because he's successful. Rassie is highly respected here at home in South Africa and he went out on a limb for his team and we all respect him for that. Fight for what you believe in! We stand by you!
Rugby Australia have come out and said "There is no place for abuse of match officials in Australian Rugby, with Rugby Australia committed to promoting a fair, safe and inclusive Rugby experience for all participants, officials and fans."
Which is a fair enough statement, nobody wants to ref a game and then get blasted for it. But goodness gracious, the clearly obvious calls were not being called, like there wasn't even a ref on the field! Thanks for some more media exposure Rugby Australia, but luckily the Lions series is taking place in South Africa.. Lets take the passion to the field instead of the media from now on.
The game this weekend goes to RSA by 3 points. Hoping it closer to 43 points but to be on the winning side this weekend would be exquisite!
Rassie clearing the Air:
Crazy scrums we need more of: