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Match Report - South Africa vs Scotland (03 October 2015)

Monday, 05 October 2015
Stefan Terblanche

"I was fortunate in my rugby playing career to travel all over the world and to visit some incredible places. "

I was fortunate in my rugby playing career to travel all over the world and to visit some incredible places. Throw in the opportunity to play on all the world famous rugby pitches and one can understand why rugby gave me so much and why I will be forever indebted to the sport. After playing rugby for so many years I could be forgiven for losing some interest in attending live matches and trying to take a break from it all Saturday after Saturday. Attending Saturday’s game in Newcastle rekindled that excitement of a live rugby game and I can now fully understand why spectators travel thousands of miles to attend these spectacles of sport.

St James Park was a very special place to be on Saturday and I enjoyed every single moment of the whole experience immensely. Off course the result helped to make it an even more memorable outing but from singing our national anthem to joining The Scots during Flower Of Scotland it was a near perfect rugby day out.

The Bok performance was good and we fully deserved to win by 18 points. The concern by some but mostly from the Bok management team of not having enough experienced players in the starting team, with the loss of De Villiers and Matfield was quickly swept under the carpet and some younger players performed like hardened career professionals.

I have to mention the performance of the lock pairing of Lood De Jager and Eben Etsebeth. As a former backline player I will never confess to know anything about forward play but goodness gracious me, those 2 youngsters we quite simply immense in all areas of the game. The way De Jager carried the ball and 3 Scottish defenders along with him across the gain line was something else. The way Etsebeth defended and carried Scottish attackers back across their gain line could be felt in the stands every time he made a tackle. I can quite honestly say that I have not seen a lock pairing performed so well together in a Bok game for a very long time, if ever.

In the backline the captain on the day, Fourie Du Preez took full control of the backs and brought this forwards pack well into the game. De Allende was his usual impressive self and well complimented by his partner in the midfield, Jessie Kriel. JP is finding his form on the wing again at the right time and together with Bryan Habana and Willie Le Roux they are now starting to perform well together as a back triangle to form our last line of defense and attack.

I said before the tournament that we have the players to win the Rugby World Cup 2015 but that we are not selecting the best players and therefore the best possible team. I strongly believe that Heyneke Meyer has now found his best team and that he continues to select this team or something very similar, we could go all the way to the final on the 31st of October at Twickenham.

I also said before the tournament that I am very concerned about the style of The Australian team and that the Wallabies be a dark horse at this year’s tournament. They have now shown why and the way in which they disposed of England on Saturday at Twickenham, knocking the host out of the tournament, certainly made the rugby public take notice and signaled their status as serious contenders. I can’t wait for this weekend’s showdown between Wales and Australia. Both teams have already qualified for the quarters but bear in mind that the winner of this game will avoid South Africa in the quarters and will more than likely play Scotland. That’s massive motivation for both teams and will be in the back of their minds for the whole 80 minutes.

So yes, it was worth the 7 flights and the 30 odd hours spent of the plane, eating cold airline food and sharing my seat with the big guy next to me. It was worth the odd lack of sleep and the expensive beer after the game- It was all worth it at the end!

Let you passion drive this team.

Stefan.


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