On Saturday the South African "A" side faced a strong Bulls side at Cape Town Stadium. The men in green opened the game with a brilliant run from the talented Reinach at 9 who offloaded a perfectly timed pass to Fassi who ran an excellent line and crossed over for a try in the first fifteen minutes. A conversion from the Captain, Jantjies, adding the extra two points.
A yellow card to Wandisile Simelane saw the South African "A" side down to 14 men for 10 minutes. Strong scrums from the "A" side seemed to relieve them from trouble on multiple occasions, which shows that we have a strong pack of forwards in the reserves, hopefully we are able to take all of the positives with our forwards to the Lions game next Saturday. Damian De Allende had a very strong performance- with ball in hand and on the defense. He is my first choice Inside Centre for the Lions Series.
The Boks "A" side definitely showed us that Nienaber has work to do. This Bulls game was the best thing that could've happened this week. Honestly so glad that the Bulls played a strong game and put some modesty back into the boys. They will have to reassess what they think they know and look at things closer in the weeks leadup to the first of three B&I Lions Test Matches. There is more work there than the coaching staff would like to admit! It will be interesting to see what happens in the week, the changes that get made and the new strategies adopted. Good luck Jacques, you've got your work cut out for you!
Jantjies proved to be a weaker Flyhalf then I already thought he was and his form of late has shown us that he is struggling at10. I honestly think we have better second choice 10's who will work well with our Scrumhalf combinations. Even if it's a younger player who has been in form and is able to provide the Boks with some sort variety. Jantjies doesn't do that for me, he's slow, weak in attack and battles under the high ball. The only really good thing about Jantjies is that he can convert a try from almost anywhere, he has incredible accuracy with the boot- when he wants to! The "A" side only found their way over the line for the second time in the 38th minute where Rosko Specman filled in at 9 quickly and gave a perfect pass to Simelane who dotted down.
I honestly think Jake White's game plan against a star studded SA "A" side was phenomenal! He played to the little weakness that the "A" side had and made sure to capitalize in crucial moments. Well done to Jake White and his outstanding Bulls squad. What a year the franchise has had! Credit is due to the club as a whole. Goosen had a brilliant game despite the critics giving him grief over not playing a hell of a lot of rugby lately. He was the start of an excellent midfield try, putting boys in space where nobody else on that pitch would've found space. H e kicked like an absolute champion and his awareness on the pitch was just unreal. He knew exactly what he needed to do and when the time to execute came, he executed with the precision of a 66m Frans Steyn drop goal- highly impressed by Goosen! He is without a doubt my second choice 10 in SA after this performance. SA Rugby need to drop Jantjies so quickly because Goosen deserves a spot in the squad and nobody can argue with me!
It is going to be an interesting weekend to say the least. This Series is about as important as a World Cup, not quite, but its damn close! Rassie, Nienaber and Gatland are some of the most impressive coaches in the world and all the tricks are going to be pulled out to try get the W for their respective sides this weekend. I am beyond excited and honestly cannot wait another second for this all to start! The real deal!
Springboks VS British and Irish Lions- HERE WE GO!!
NB! Rassie, Jacques, if you see this, please put the Goose in your Springboks Squad... Thanks.