Saturday, 24 September 2011

Pool D: South Africa v Namibia

One sided? A bit. And there can’t have been a full can of Castle Lager left anywhere on the North Shore - this could have qualified as a home game for both teams given the local area’s ex-pat community.

If I was being cynical I might say it was a case of almost a feeder nation playing the team where its best and brightest might have ended up once ... but maybe not now. These Namibians never got on the scoreboard tonight, but they never, never gave up ... and if Chrysander Botha is not in a South Afrocan Super team next season it will be a crime. Did you see the bravery of that silky little 75kg player in bringing down Tendai ‘The Beast’ Mtawarira in full flight? He succeeded whee Mike Catt failed with Jonah back in 1995.

I think the Namibian 10 Kotze also deserves praise, as does their Captain, Jacques Burger who just came across as a consummate professional in every post-match interview: he knows what they up against, what they have to expect from themselves ... and is honest if they fall short. Hope to see more of this attitude and this player.

South Africa? Well, I think it was a step down in intensity from Fiji, and that showed in their play. I am still liking this Double Steyn 10/12 axis ... it really gives them penetration, and having Hougaard to cover wing and halfback is very lucky. I’d still maintain that we are seeing glimpses of a coming Springbok team with the likes Aplon, de Jongh, Hougaard ready to fill big boots when certain players leave after the World Cup.

So, an 87 point win, and 10 RWC wins on the trot for the Boks. Look out everyone, they are warming up ... and they simply do not miss kicks at goal or many chances to score.

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