The SA Rugby magazine team identify what they would love to see come out of the Boks’ World Cup African derby against Namibia on Saturday.
Craig Lewis (editor) hopes S’bu Nkosi has another blinder.
It seems a travesty that Nkosi can’t find a spot in the Boks’ starting line-up, but that’s directly as a result of the top form of Cheslin Kolbe and Makazole Mapimpi.
In the Springboks’ penultimate warm-up game against Argentina, Nkosi was a class apart though, scoring two stunning tries in a Man of the Match display.
What Rassie Erasmus has maintained is that the Boks’ ‘second team’ will play against Namibia and Canada, with the first-choice side facing Italy. The players with the best form will then be backed to start in the playoffs.
Whether Erasmus is willing to really shake up the side remains to be seen, but if Nkosi continues to put in game-changing performances, he may be impossible to ignore.
After all, there is the left-field possibility of starting Mapimpi and Nkosi on the wings, with Kolbe shifting to fullback.
— SA Rugby magazine (@SARugbymag) September 24, 2019
Jon Cardinelli (chief writer) wants to see the Boks varying their attack and making better decisions with ball in hand.
The Boks did all the hard work during the initial stages of the clash against the All Blacks. At the crucial moment, however, they took the wrong option or their handling let them down. I’d Like to see the Boks striking a better balance between kicking for space and attacking their opponents at the gainline.
There’s been talk of the Boks upping the tempo to run Namibia off their feet. This should work to an extent, but the minnows will also be susceptible to the high ball and to a well-aimed kick behind the defensive line.
Rassie Erasmus has made a host of changes this week and has spoken about employing a slightly different approach. One would hope that they keep working towards a game plan that can bring them success against a well-organised team like Ireland in the quarter-finals.
John Goliath hopes Namibia can show some fighting spirit …
Namibia has a special place in my heart. I couldn’t find a woman who would take me as I am, a sports-loving, beer-belly sporting, mediocre braaier guy from a little town called Paarl. But I managed to dupe a sparkling diamond from Windhoek into moving to South Africa for me. Charm does indeed come in all shapes and sizes.
She supports the All Blacks, along with half of her family (nobody’s perfect …). The other half of the clan has an affection for the Springboks. But every four years, when Namibia play in a World Cup, they support their compatriots with gusto and great excitement.
It just so happens that I’m in Windhoek this year for the big match against between Namibia and the Boks. A big braai is being planned, and it’s basically me against my wife and the rest of her family.
Obviously, unless the Boks again have the sort of nightmare they did four years ago against Japan, the South Africans should win. Quite comforatbly My in-laws know it, and I definitely know it.
There is already talk in Windhoek that any defeat under 50 points would be a win for the boys in blue. But I actually hope that Namibia can be a lot more competitive than that. I’m hoping that they can give the Boks a game that epitomises the fighting qualities of a people who also suffered under Apartheid, but came out stronger.
Yes, I want the Boks to win, but I also want the Namibians to show that they wont be bullied by their big brothers to the south. Hopefully we can all have a Tafel Lager to celebrate afterwards.
Mariette Adams (senior writer) wants the Herschel and Elton plus Kwagga to have a field day.
Herschel Jantjies had to settle for a nine-minute cameo against the All Blacks, while Elton Jantjies and Kwagga Smith were left out of the match-day squad of that particular Test altogether.
Faf de Klerk struggled, Handre Pollard under-performed and Siya Kolisi was also below par – granted he wasn’t fully fit, as we’ve been told – and it cost the team in a big way. In Pollard’s case, coach Rassie Erasmus didn’t even take him off the field because there was no specialist flyhalf on the bench.
Well Erasmus has given starting berths to the Jantjies half-back axis as well as Smith against Namibia and I for one hope to see this trio make such a big impact that it’ll be virtually impossible for Erasmus to overlook them in the upcoming games against Italy and Canada and as well the games in the knockout stage.
The opportunity is there now, let’s just hope the players grab it with both hands, especially Elton Jantjies, who has a tendency to fall wayward when the pressure is on and the stakes are high.
Dylan Jack (staff writer) hopes Vincent Koch fires in first World Cup start.
Erasmus’ plan was probably to allow Trevor Nyakane to start at tighthead prop in this match. However, following Nyakane’s tournament-ending injury against New Zealand, Koch has been fast tracked into the starting lineup.
The Boks’ will undoubtedly miss Nyakane’s positive influence both on and off the field. The drive and energy he brings from the bench would have boosted the Boks in later Tests. It is therefore important for Koch to use this Test as a chance to pick up some form. Anyone who has watched Saracens’ drive to the Premiership title last season knows that Koch brings plenty in the tight-loose. His work rate is second to none, which should help as Eramus plans to up the tempo on Saturday.
One wonders if Koch uses his opportunities in the next couple of matches, whether Frans Malherbe, who did not have his best game against the All Blacks, could be challenged for the starting tighthead spot.
— SA Rugby magazine (@SARugbymag) September 25, 2019
Photo: EPA/Willem Loock