Springboks Bring Back Belief

Another week has passed and a nation is still singing the Springboks praises from their victory over Samoa.

Sadly the 4 tries by one individual did not happen even though JP Pietersen missed it by only one. However, between him and Bryan Habana who has stretched the Springbok try scoring record to 60 tries with his amazing effort at the end of the 80minsmade it 4 tries between the wingers and we will claim that as our special moment of scoring 4 tries in a game versus Samoa as in 1995 and 2007.

Overshadowing the victory however was former Springbok Captain, Jean de Villiers’ jaw breaking injury. Who would have thought that history would repeat itself yet again? Another Rugby World Cup omen? Well, the former Captain sure seems to think it might just be as in 2007 he got injured against Samoa as well and the Boks went on to claim their second Webb Ellis Cup.

Thus far the only thing counting against the Boks is the fact that no team has ever lost a match in the history of the World Cup and gone on to win the tournament.

A similar scenario is facing England on Saturday evening when they come up against two-time winners, Australia at Twickenham. Never has a host nation been eliminated out of rugby’s global showpiece before the knockout stages and England are on the brink of making history if they fail to beat the Wallabies.

Would this affect the tournament? Yes it would! Do we care? No we don’t!

We are only concerned about whether the Springboks can stand up against a Scottish team that is beaming with confidence after South Africa’s first round slip up against Japan that has caused the Scots to lead the standings in Pool B.

The question however is, if South Africa will be happy to settle for second place on the standings if things don’t go their way on Saturday or not?

As we know Heyneke Meyer and his troops by now, this is a non-negotiable question and nothing but a bonus point win will suffice.

A lot has been made of the two “Afrikaner Scots”, WP Nel and Josh Strauss that could cause the Boks some headaches, but we have to disagree with this. The Springboks would have learnt from their 2010 loss to Ireland when former Bok assistant coach, Gert Smal, was part of the Irish management team that outsmarted the Green & Gold in the lineouts on the day.

Meyer has only but received praise since naming his team late on Wednesday afternoon and deservedly so.

Many have said that this is his possible near best team out of the 31-man squad that he could select from and that is very true. Finally the centre pairing of Kriel & de Allende will be in place and also the lock pairing of de Jager and Etzebeth. Fourie du Preez has been named as South Africa’s 56th Bok captain and rightly so. In fact this is long overdue, but we all know that du Preez has turned down the honour before.

Arguably the world’s best number 9 since Joost van der Westhuizen, du Preez is not a man of many words. He however has and still earns respect from friend, foe and referees from around the world for his honest and clinical approach to the game and therefore believes he is ready to lead this team to greatness in the absence of Victor Matfield who would have taken over the captaincy from de Villiers if it was not for his hamstring strain that has left him out of Saturday’s clash against the Scots in Newcastle.

We were surprised with Bismarck’s selection ahead of Adriaan Strauss who has really stood out in this World Cup thus far, but we do know his impact off the bench later in the game will be immense.

Other than that we feel that Meyer is busy winning over the trust of a nation, that a week ago was still claiming his scalp amongst others after the Japan fiasco.

Clearly the right men are finally in charge of steering the ship and after Saturday we truly believe that the Boks will become headline contenders again.

We believe that this will be a battle of note between South Africa and Scotland as nothing less than all or nothing is expected from both teams. We however believe that the Boks will continue to grow and gel as a team and will finish the game off in the final 15 minutes with a resounding 16 points victory including the 4 try bonus point.

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