Musical Chairs: Do the Springboks have 2 B-Teams?

Forum » Rugby » Musical Chairs: Do the Springboks have 2 B-Teams?

Sep 17, 2023, 19:46

Graeme Henry went into a 2007 World Cup with 2 All-Black teams -each of which was beating test teams.
They had so much depth - but then suddenly they went into a tight test match and it was clear they did not have an A-team combination.  

It was unclear in many cases who the first choices were, so the All Blacks had 2 B-teams, with no clear A-team.

The combinations had not developed, because of chopping and changing the starting team to accommodate 30 players. 

With the Springbok backline, so many of the positions are unclear as to who is the preferred starter.

9. Faff/Reinach/Williams/Hendrikse
10. Libok/Polllard/Willemse/Faff
12. Delande/Esterhuizen/Pollard/Willemse
13. Kriel/Moodie
14. Kolbe/Moodie/Aredense
15. Leroux/Willemse
11. Ardense/Mapimpi/Kolbe

With so many different combinations being tested, it is unclear
I feel it would be better to follow a similar approach to most teams in this World Cup, namely to start each game with the best team, just tweaking combinations and the bench to give some extra people game time.

This gives the backup players some game time, but focuses more on getting the A-team peaking as the tournament progresses.

Hopefully, RassNabber proves me wrong, but if things do go wrong for the Boks - questions will be raised.

Sep 18, 2023, 06:09

When you look at the Bok backs, these aren't the slower and more direct players of the past. With each new coloured chap that gets selected, another few thousands volts is added.

The game plan is starting to select itself at this point. These chaps are playing brilliant franchise rugby and forcing the Boks to select them. And as each one enters the squad, bit by bit, the Boks are realising that they have to start playing more attacking rugby. That's where all the "variation" talk is coming from at present.

We're selecting Arendse, Willemse, Moodie, Kolbe, Manie...combining them all together you get a very different player than you would were you to combine all our backs from 15 years ago together.

It plays well into the rush defence philosophy because they're all dang quick. And on attack, as a coach, you simply have to play them in a way that gets the best out of them by allowing them more prerogative.

The only fear I have is that we get cold feet and end up being caught between two worlds.

I say, be brave. Go for it. Lean into their strengths and let's see where it goes.

We've seen what the other option gives us...we have decades of data on that. Let's get a WC cycle's worth of data on a different style.

Sep 18, 2023, 07:03

2 B or not 2 B...that is the question.

Sep 18, 2023, 11:52

It will be very interesting to see who Rassie picks against Scotland. Will Pollard be on the bench

Sep 18, 2023, 12:08

 Rassie picks against Scotland?

Sep 18, 2023, 12:10

Sorry, I meant Ireland....:D  Unless it is back to the future

Sep 18, 2023, 12:50

The oaks are slowly realizing that there is much more cover for positions than previously thought when hands were being thrown up at the selections and there was much wailing and mashing of teeth.

It turns out that our scrumies like Reinach and Williams can play wing. Faf can play fly half.

Then we have Deon Forie and Van Staden who can play hooker. Deon has played over 100 top flight matches at hooker. Van Staden has been primed to play hooker for months. 

We have other versutsilty as well. Mostert at lick and 7. Ditto Du Toit. 

Nykane can play lose head and tight head. Kwagga plays 6 and eight. 

We have the great versitailty of Willemse. 

But we must take cognisance that we have not had our best squad selected and more significantly our Frontline test 22 has been effected. So far we have had Pollard, Lood and Am out injured. Now you can add in Marx. That is 4 players out of your match 22. Now we have concerns over Etzebeth. Without Marx and Etzebeth out tight five takes a very big hit. Hopefully Eben gets fit soon. 

Then we have the quota pick that is Orie. We have significantly better locks than him we could select. 

My own feeling is that with all our players fit we would be a shoe in to have won this RWC. Now we are still contenders for sure but our stocks have slipped. 

Another factor that concerns me besides injuries and refs (so far refs have been fine) is the weather. We do not play well in the wet. Take heed Draad! 

One big asset we have is the astute rugby brain of Rassie who some oaks struggle to follow as he is way beyond them. Hahahahahahaha. 

Sep 18, 2023, 13:22

Let’s see how astute Rassie is….with his inconsistent chop and change player selection, a person might be able to improve our versatility in a degree…but whatever happened to picking specialist players for there dedicated positions? Does it not make more sense to seek continuity in selection and build a stable starting team??

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