Pre-Match - South Africa vs Japan (19 September 2015)
"Score Prediction: Boks to win 62-17. "
This should really been the easiest piece of journalism for me to write…….ever! I have had lots of time to prepare and get my rugby mind into action. You know how life works and most things creep up on us and before you know it, it’s time! This Rugby World Cup is no different and I can't actually believe that we are on the eve of yet another Rugby World Cup tournament. We've had 4 years to recover from that dreadful quarter final back in 2011 and the shock defeat to Bryce Lawrence, sorry I meant Australia. We should be ready for yet another phase of Rugby World Cup history.
I’m delighted to spend this tournament with you and to have a real and honest conversation about this rugby showpiece taking place in England. I have had the privilege to represent South Africa in 2 Rugby World Cups and they are really as special as everyone makes them out to be. My name is Stefan Terblanche!
The Springbok team is off and I for one am delighted that they finally made it to England for their last bit of preparation and fine tuning before kick-off against Japan on Saturday.
As South Africans, we are used to the normal drama and debate surrounding team selection of any Springbok team and this year was no different with the added spice of selecting a Rugby World Cup squad. Yes, we don’t all agree on team selection and that’s another whole debate for another day and to be fair, when will we ever agree on provincial squad selection, let alone Bok selection?
Playing team sports is a wonderful privilege and I learned so much from it throughout my playing days. Teams and individuals are very aware of what’s happening around them and trust me, they all know when the nation is not 100% behind them. Let's unite and get behind our boys - Go Bokke!
Talking about team selection and Heyneke Meyer wasted no time in making a few changes to his starting 15 against Japan and raised more than a few eyebrows in the process. One must feel intensely for Willie Le Roux and especially Damian De Allande. Allande did everything and more of what was expected of him in the build- up to this tournament and now he finds himself not on the bench but in the stands watching this game. Jean De Villiers is the touring captain and he needs to play, according to Meyer. I spoke briefly about team sports and their lessons but this is an extreme case of lessons learned, harsh or fair.
So much to say and so few words in which to do so but I have to at least make a few predictions. The 1st weekend all games should go according to rankings and the top ones will all get off to a winning start. The Fijians are making a lot of noise about their opener against the hosts, England on Friday. England is just too structured and too organized at the set piece for a Fijian team that’s full of free running backs, even in the forwards. Expect a few big tackles from the islanders and 1 or 2 run away tries but the result will go to the team dressed in all white.
I am so looking forward to this tournament and it should be one of the hardest and closely contested Rugby World Cups ever. I said good bye to my wife this morning for the next 6 weeks - rugby functions, games to watch and 2 trips to this rugby spectacle will be keeping me busy. I will do my best to stay calm, have a bit of fun and to keep you up to date with all that’s happening throughout.
Hold fast, this will be over before we know it but not without drama and upsets.
Score Prediction: Boks to win 62-17.
Your passion will drive the Bok Team!