How'll the rest of the Bok Wc play out?

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Sep 15, 2023, 11:47

So Marx is gone. 

Obviously a problem. As others mentioned, we'll be missing both his fetching and running game. Undeniable too that the forwards lose some of their aura when Marx goes. For me, you automatically respect the physical challenge the Boks pose less as soon as Marx is gone. 

Perhaps the WC isn't a lost cause just yet, but Marx going changes things to an uncomfortable degree, for me.

Eben will have been out for two games, hopefully returning just in time for the Ireland fixture. Luckily that's not a we wanna win that game?

- Since it's not a must-win, perhaps Rassie will run one final experiment, playing two different halves of rugby?

Pollard is back too. So what does that mean? Manie can't really play off the bench, all respect to the lad, but do you trust him to close out a tight game with how he's going off the tee?  The choice is, he starts or he's not in the match day squad, right? A problem you could potentially fix with...

...Pollard and Manie both starting, and Pollard does the kicking at goal. Welcome to something very similar to the present AB problem. Pollard doesn't have much pace though, so where do we want him? 12...13? Does it have to be 15?...probably! In that case, thank God Willemse is basically the Bok's Kallis, and can make a go of it from any position in the backline. 

Obviously, it's speculation and they'll likely go with something far more conservative. 

Regardless, there a good few sub-plots for us here early in the competition. Some interesting, some terrifying. With more to come, no doubt.

It'd just be nice if more of said subplots were interesting and fewer were terrifying.

Bonus: I got to thinking about Willemse when typing the above...

Willemse is quickly becoming one of my favorite players. Smooth skills, opportunistic but capable of poise and composure. I mentioned a few years back that I thought he was a very special player. I'm glad he hasn't changed my mind. I'm also gonna call it now...The Mani/Moodie/Willemse Axis is going to be something else...and when you add Williams to that... it could be very very special.

On that note, here's probably the strongest backline I can think of using current Bok players(and excluding Pollard)

9   Williams

10 Manie

11 DDA(Yes...argue with me about it. The idea is that DDA is always the last man you give the ball to, not the first + defensive balance)

12 AE

13 Moodie

14 Cheslin/Arendse

15 Willemse

Just some Friday, avoidance of work, ranting...

Sep 15, 2023, 12:18

Injuries are often a factor in world cup, and so far the injury rate has been high for many teams. 

South Africa have the depth in certain positions to cover many injuries-but losing a Talisman like Marx is a critical blow.

I think Pollard is going to get the call. He is now fit. 

Perhaps an option is starting Pollard at 12 to do the pole kicking - or at the very least have him on the bench if needed.

Sep 15, 2023, 12:25

I would say that IRE is a must win as it will build our Forward momentum for the knockout games….we need that Confidence and can’t afford to take a step back….With Marx gone this increases pressure on us….Bongi can’t last that long so a proper hooker should come on for the rest of the game…the Backline without DDA is good for a change….Arendse on left wing….but it seems that come hell or high water Rassie will pick DDA on 12 to be our dedicated Crash test Dummie….my opinion is that there is not much room for movement on the Gameplan to accommodate a more expansive game style/Player….all though AE offloads more, Rassie has him playing a very similar role as DDA….it’s Mr. Fabulous alone that can change our course and steer us in a different direction…we might have to wait another 4 Years for that to eventually happen.

Sep 15, 2023, 14:41

We have gone through total mediocrity since WC2019…..second or third in the RC, poor year end tours, an unconvincing Lions win achieved because Morne had the nerve to put us over the line.

This WC is supposed to be the vindication….the proof that it was all just a prelude. So what I don’t want to hear is that losing Marx has changed that prospect,

Sauron has put a a team in place with an average age over 30, depending on selections.  With Marx gone,  if Vermeulen starts we won’t have one starting forward under 30 years old! Is it surprising that injuries are playing a role?

If your best pack is old, you go with it….but you build your successor pack. Bongi is 32, Ox is 28 and Nyakane is 34. Hardly successors.

We have a time bomb problem. We better win this WC, it’s the last credible chance for a long time.

Sep 15, 2023, 16:13

Mozzz said losing Marx is like losing Eben. Ie a big blow

BUT he doesn't want this excusing losing the RWC. Nope nothing must spoil his keenly anticipated joy at roasting Rassie.

If the Boks win the RWC then it's because of an easy route of other sides being poor. 

Beeno reading Mozzzz like an open book. :D

Sep 15, 2023, 17:05

Actually you are right….I would love the Boks to win the WC, it lifts the spirit. But if they lose with NZ at its current level of mediocrity and our depth of resources, it can only be because Sauron has totally screwed up. You bet I will roast him.

Moz perfectly positioned as usual.

Sep 15, 2023, 18:11

Marx out leaves a hollow in my stomach he is that vital to the Boks

There are very few freakish players around, Marx is one, Bismark used to be one, the du Preez twins are which angers me so much that they have not played the role they should have for the Boks

Instead we have 37 year old Vermeulen at 8 and Kwagga passing as a blindside for the Boks

Young Ruan Venter of the Lions is our newest freak

Sep 16, 2023, 00:41

Dave a hollow in your stomach might be just what the doctor ordered

Sep 16, 2023, 02:09

Wouldn't a recent dodgy calf injury rule out goalkicking for Pollard?

Sep 16, 2023, 06:45

Marx is our general. The guy should have been the Bok skipper since about 4 years ago.

He has everything you want in a skipper. He's calm, the first name on the sheet and the toughest of the lot.

Kolisi has grown on me, but he's nowhere near Marx.

I suppose that somewhere, in some sports psychology textbook, it's says that when a team is cruising, setbacks can be a good thing. Perhaps it reminds them of their mortality, causes them to check and double check their plan and inspires them to come up with new plans that make them more unpredictable to opposition.

Whatever, I'd prefer is Marx was there.

The only positive is that we lost him early and can re-settle through the easy pool games. At least it gives the pool games a touch more value than a game of Marco Polo.

Sep 16, 2023, 08:03

Yep he's a loose forward who happens to play hooker.

Still remember him making that tackle in 2019 final which ended with a try. I was sitting with a bunch of French supporters. Up until that point they were quiet,then they erupted. 

My 2nd  team to win Cup is France. 

Sep 16, 2023, 08:33

Marx is a world class hooker, in my view the best, and losing him dents our chances. That said Bongi must step up. 

Deon Fourie is a player I rated very highly in his prime years. He has the speed of a back, was a tough as nails and very good at the breakdown. What has he got left in the tank. From the little I saw he is still quick, is still competing at the breakdown. How will he go in the scrum. He could be a revelation or could weaken us. Time will tell. 

Sep 16, 2023, 09:00

The Marx of 2016 would have been a devastating blow. He is not a loss now, and doesn't change any aspect of our game. If Bongi can find his base level again, he is better than the Marx of the past five years. I cannot see what he does so well at the breakdown. He is quite passive and doesn't threaten opposition ball. His turnovers are essentially a matter of fortuitous timing being in the right place when ball is exposed; he doesn't attack the ruck like Kwagga. All of this was demonstrated quite well in the first All Black test. I don't think Marx is a leader either. Eben is our clear general, and he should have taken the reigns after Jean. It was the clearest and most logical call to make. 

As per Willemse. He did some good things in isolation against the All Blacks in the first test which was very good. He was actually our only really threatening player, in isolation. That's the problem with him. He does have some skills, but can you graft him into the team constructively? It's hard to generate anything through him, and he is hard to play off of. I don't see anything more to him than that. It would take much better coaching, like that of Meyer, to craft out a clear and constructive role for him. 

Pollard is a test 10; Libbok is not. That's the clearest difference. Libbok's exceedingly poor general play and ability to do anything at all, and his total flatlining on defence in every test, means that even a half-fit Pollard is the only logical choice. However, Pollard hasn't outplayed an opposition 10 since the Scot test of 2018. That's a problem. 

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