Friday, 29 June 2007

second string teams are so 2006

With Jake White pulling out his 'first stringers' for the remainder of the Tri Nations, the question is raised - has he made cowards of the Springboks?

There are so many arguments and accusations flying about at the moment about national teams sending their so called second and third stringers you would think we were talking about a music shop full of guitar tuners rather than some brutish blood sport.

In my eyes, White - by withdrawing his star Springboks has ultimately played a very telling card. He doesn't have faith in his team to beat the Australians and New Zealanders on their home soil. The whole thing about conditioning is too late now anyway. If they turn up at the World Cup the ring rusty Boks will run the risk of what happened to the conditioned All Blacks when they came back into play in the Super 14 after 8 weeks out - injuries galore (and serious ones too if looking at the locks).

But the real disaster is the Tri Nations. Last Saturday's test match was brilliant because it was hotly contested, passionate and competitive. The Australians and New Zealanders can slug it out with each other for sure - but without the Boks, this is no longer a tournament. Just another series of tests where we have to put up with second string excuses and second rate media soundbytes from cowardly coaches who send their second rate teams.

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