Although the Bok team leaving for the UK this weekend is basically the
same as the team that played there briefly end of last year, there are
a number of differences.
I would say they are the following:
On full back: Percy Montgomery has matured into a good full back. He
has always run well and had great ball handling skills (teams that
fell for the perception that he is shaky under the high ball have
quickly stopped testing him this year).
To this he had added the ability to kick the ball very far and with
He can drive the opposition very far back with huge kicks.
On the wing James Small is gone. In his place is Stefan Terreblanche.
A fastish wing that can run very evasively. A great body swerve
executed subtly in the tackle and a good sense of where he is. He has
been off form in the Currie Cup - but played for a team that got very
little chance to run.
Inside center: Last year*** Muir was in the team. He was replaced
this year with Pieter Muller - who had since to withdraw from the
It will be interesting to see who Mallett will play there. Probably
Franco Smith. He played no 10 against Ireland middle of the year and
is the reserve fly half. He has developed great a defense and is a
very good distributer of the ball. A bit short on real speed, but has
a good eye for the gap.
The locks will we Andrews and Otto again. Venter might move from flank
to lock in the last 20 minutes of the tests again.
The front row: Os du Randt is missing. The front three will probably
be Garvy, Dalton and Robbie Kempson (good and strong scrummer) with
Ollie le Roux coming on as replacement in the last 20 minutes - he is
big and round and loves to run - and has surprising speed.
Owen Nkumane might possibly replace Dalton in the last 20 minutes. He
is a very robust player, good driver across the advantage line and
Loose forwards: Teichman will play all 80 minutes. The incumbent
flanks are Venter and Erasmus. The problem is Bobby Skinstad who made
huge strides this year - to the point that it is probably a bad idea
not to have him in the starting line up. He is about 6 foot 3 and very
fast. Great handling skills and a wonderful feel for where and how the
game is developing. On a good day he can make tries and score a few
Up to now, he came on as a last 20 minutes replacement for Venter with
Venter moving to lock and Andrews coming off.
If Skinstad starts the tests, Venter MIGHT be on the bench. Or be in
the team on lock with Andrews on the bench.
The Bok team will probably try to be a team that moves fast around the
field rather than one that tries to bind opposition down.
They will probably also try the nuclear bomb defensive tactic that
worked so well in the tri nations. That is they will probably try to
tackle very aggressively behind the advantage line and will probably
again utilise defensive channels - where players see to it that
channels parallel to the touchlines are covered all over the field.
How wet fields will influence this all, remains to be seen.
What sort of game will England play?