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Wednesday, January 11, 2006


General Discussions: Attacking the attacking game

An area of rugby that has come under the spotlight in recent times, especially in Springbok rugby, are teams attacking abilities. Through the following article I will highlight why I believe we get it wrong in South Africa.

One area of the game I firmly believe South African coaches and South African fans in general are too conservative on, is attacking play and the way we approach this part of the game.

I guess part of it can be contributed to the way South African rugby has been played over the years and the fact that South Africa and its players were always known to be big and strong.

We had some magicians in the past that could almost break down defenses at will, players like Danie Gerber, Michael du Plessis and Andre Joubert comes to mind. But in general, I believe our persistence with this ‘crash it and bash it’ style of play is the reason we are not a dominant force in world rugby as an attacking team.

Physically, athletes around the world the world have become stronger, faster and bigger since the game turned professional. It is no longer just possible to run over players like we used to, we actually have to out-think and outplay our opposition.

There are many terms or phrases being thrown around these days when it comes to successful attacking strategies, some of which are the advantage line, go forward ball, manipulating space and so on, and although I believe we have the players to successfully compete in this phase of play, I believe we lack creativity and are way too conservative, more from a coaching point of view than from a player point of view mind you.

The one thing Jake White has proven is that a solid defense can win you games, so it has become increasingly difficult to successfully score points from attacking situations given how organized defensive patterns has become – but not impossible.

For the purpose of this exercise I will concentrate mainly on every team’s main attacking unit or weapon, the backline.

There are a couple of things I believe to be vital for any team to be a successful attacking force, they include:

Decision Makers
Creative Players/Playmakers
Explosive Finishers

There are basically 3 main combinations in a backline as we all know, the halfback combination (scrumhalf and flyhalf), the center combination (12 & 13) and the back three (wings and fullback). Each of these combinations performs specific roles that are vitally important for any team. If one combination fails, the rest will fail too.

Most important of these combinations in attacking rugby, is the halfback combination. Almost everything depends on the execution and speed in this department.

In this area the scrumhalf has a very important role, the most important of which is speed. In order for any attacking play to be effective, you need to execute your play at high speed to catch the opposition defense off guard. Defenses are so well organized these days that basically the only two ways you can break it down is by neutralizing their defensive organizers and defensive experts, and secondly to give them little or no time to re-organize their defensive patterns.

There are two main areas from where a team attacks in modern rugby, first phase possession and multiple-phase (broken play) possession.

You hardly see any team score from first phase possession in the modern game, because of sound defensive structures as mentioned above. Apart from well organized lines, the modern game also involves your forwards in more prominent role in this department than what it used to do in the past, thus, your backline does not only compete against the same number of players from the opposing team, but cover defenders in the form of loose forwards as well.

This is the reason most teams prefer using first phase possession to suck in defenders and create multiple phase play from which to attack. I will discuss this later.

I do believe however, it is still possible to successfully launch an attack from first phase possession, but execution and speed is crucial.

The most common mistake made by teams in this area of attack is by drifting, meaning the ball carrier runs sideways and by so doing, closes down the space and options for players out wide.

In my view, for any team to be successful in any attacking situation, you need your game breakers/playmakers and decision makers to manipulate space.

Okay now before I go on let me explain what I mean by manipulating space.

As a coach and team, you should at all times assume your opposing team has a defensive plan against you, because in today’s day and age, guys are way to professional to just pitch up on match day without a plan on how to neutralize your game breakers.

The ‘space’ each of your players has is not necessarily limited to the physical distance between him and the closest defender, but also the time he is given to execute moves by his opposing number(s). Obviously the more time or ‘space’ you have, the better your chances of executing moves successfully.

It is with this view that it is no surprise Jake White regards the line out as a perfect platform to launch attacks from, simply because your opposing team is some way away.

The purpose of manipulating space is not for the player whose role it is to do so, to necessarily score tries, but to disrupt the defensive plan or pattern the opposing team looks to employ.

Like I mentioned earlier, no team comes to the park without a plan, whether it be in defensive or attacking plans they look to employ. It is then obvious that certain players will be marked to a greater extent by the opposing team than others. It is the players’ role on the field then, to assess situations and game plans opposing teams look to employ and adapt their style or plan accordingly, but within saying that, the decision makers and game breakers will obviously stay the same in the team.

Successful attacks in rugby can be largely contributed to one thing in my view, players successfully manipulating space to such an extent that it disrupted the opposing teams’ defensive structures, causing confusion within their defensive ranks and through doing that, create gaps.

So with this view let’s look at possible ways for teams to manipulate space in order to disrupt defensive lines or patterns and in so doing create gaps.

The most important player in first phase attack play is the number 12. Simply because he is given enough ‘space’ to execute moves and still in a position on the field to put the players around him or next to him into gaps.

Now I am not going to discuss different attacking plays one can employ, but I will focus more on the principles why I believe certain players play crucial roles within this phase of play in general.

My views are also largely based on my philosophy on how I see certain positions and their roles. Which might be the reason not many people will agree with me……….**cough**Davids**cough**

Only joking, but in short, my game breakers or playmakers are my numbers 10 and 13, my decision makers’ numbers 10 and 12 and my main organizer number 12. Numbers 11, 14 and 15 must be my explosive finishers or runners.

The qualities I look for in these players are also pretty simple. Numbers 10 and 13 will be my most skilled players with good pace of the mark, vision, and strong, but more importantly, balanced runners.

Number 12 will be my solid player and captain of the backline, he will need to have a cool head, be a solid distributor to either side, a solid defender, preferably have a kicking game, be able to read the game effectively and cover for number 10. It is for this reason that I still believe the perfect number 12 should be someone equally at home at 10, or even better, someone who has played 10 competitively. The value it brings to your play, by taking pressure off the number 10 in defensive situations and also by being able to launch attacks from either 10 or 12 acting as the instigators or decision makers, is hugely beneficial in my view.

Numbers 11, 14 and 15 should be explosive players, preferably strong runners but definitely speed to burn.

I will put down my perfect backline later.

Taking the above into account, the principles for first phase attacking play should make a bit of sense now – I hope.

The idea with this principle and my tactics as explained below is to pierce the defensive line first time, not to setup second phase possession – attack from second phase possession will be discussed later.

If we look at a scrum situation, I am sure everyone will agree that for any team to pierce the defensive line he will need his execution to be perfect, and even a bit of luck. But the luck part is something you may be able to create, if you are able to cause enough confusion within the opposing team and their organizers.

The opposing teams will more than likely try and disrupt your number 9, 10 and 12 players with their defense because this is where everything starts – well, it is what I will try and do.

This is why I believe your number 10 will be very ineffective given the time and attention he will receive, unless he uses dummy runners to put unmarked players out wide into space, almost a situation we saw with Meyer Bosman and Jacques Fourie in Paris last year. But this is an option I will only use as a variation from time to time and usually only something you can execute later in the game when things become a bit loose.

Depending on the position on the field of the scrum, the number 12 must organize and plan his attack accordingly. For example, a scrum in the middle of the field will give him the option to have players run off him from all different angles, with the number 12 orchestrating the direction of play or attack he believes to be the best option, whether that is left, right or straight. But if you have a scrum on the side of the field you would be well advised not to have runners cut back on the angle running into the forwards for example.

It is always better to visualize these scenarios so let’s assume the Springboks have the ball from a scrum situation on the opponents’ 10 meter line, 15 meters from touch and you are sitting on the main pavilion with the Springboks playing from left to right.

The inside center will receive the ball more or less in the middle of the field. To his left he will have the outside center and the openside wing. To his right or directly behind him depending on the specific plan of attack, he will have his blindside wing and number 15, and also to his right he will have the number 10.

I was, and still is, always a fan of an aggressive style of play, the sort of in your face stuff, so I would like my inside center, if I was coach, to attack a specific channel, lets say for arguments sake in this case the 12 and 13 channel at pace and with purpose. The players’ primary objective is to draw defenders to him, the more the better, but once he is in a situation where he needs to off-load he will should at least 3 or 4 options open to him with one or hopefully 2 defenders eliminated to be effective.

His options for instance will include:

A short pass to the outside center
A longer drift pass to the outside center
A skip pass to the wing

A pop pass to the fullback that can run off him either at an angle or straight on either side
A pop pass to the blindside wing that can run off him either at a angle or straight on either side

A wrap around with the number 10

A switch with the outside center

With each of these options it is obviously imperative that the remaining players, who does not receive the ball directly from the number 12, fulfills a supporting role to the player receiving the pass.
Two factors will be extremely important for this to work, firstly, the speed at which the number 12 operates is vitally important. If he just goes through the motions and delivers the pass at the wrong time, he will not draw enough players to himself in order to free up space for his runners. This is something I see quite often in our teams, which almost looks as if they are on the practice field, simply going through the motions, without looking up and assessing how the opposition team reacts.

I compare this to something like a cartoon situation, where Tom runs around, up and down, left and right, does a ‘rope a dope’ around Spike the dog, only for Spike to sit still and watch all this and once Tom is finished and huffing and puffing, he takes his big cartoon fist and smacks him on the head.

Secondly, the execution of the passing needs to be crisp and precise. Each player must know exactly what to do and execute whatever move they plan at high speed and with purpose. Realizing that the crucial part of the plan or play will take place on the advantage line with the defense on top of you, it might be high risk, and if the inside center fails to manipulate the space and time given to him effectively, it might turn against you. But given the reward, it might also be worthwhile. Remember, being a first phase scenario, you basically have to break the initial line of defense only, after that, it becomes a numbers game.

It is a strategy I will personally attempt 4 to 5 times during a game at most, depending on the situation of the game.

If we take a line out situation, the principles will basically stay the same in my view. The only difference will be that the number 10 could play a more significant role, and the job of the ‘space’ manipulator can be shared between numbers 10 and 12, depending on your personal attacking strength or situation of the game.

Your runners also come from much deeper now but you also run the risk of executing the most important part of your play behind the gain line. It also gives you so much more options if you consider the amount of short line-outs teams employ these days, but that also means more defenders to consider.

It is no surprise then really that a lot of teams use this option to set up multiple phase plays.

So let’s look at the multiple phase attacking scenarios, an area where myself and RugRat Davids have debated on quite extensively. I will give my views on attacking play through multiple phases, but I am sure a lot of guys will have a lot to add.

The basis of my backline stays the same, so too the players and their respective roles as I explained earlier.

The one thing on this area of the game that really grates me is the brain dead ‘crash and bash’ attitude South African players in general employs. First off let me make clear that I see great value in attacking the gain line, but if you are not going to do it effectively, why the hell bother.

If I have to take the ratio of success in this area, studying successful attacks against turning over possession, I can only come to one conclusion, that we are not doing this right. Too many times I have seen our players loose the ball in contact, get tackled back, or look completely clueless as to what to do next once they have the ball in hand. The reason for this I believe is that the guys we employ as first receivers are wrong.

The purpose of setting up multiple phases in the game is simple, to draw as many defenders as possible or suck them into a ruck situation, so you can give your flyers the advantage to eventually score points.

One of the problems I think we are experiencing currently is that we are not drawing any defenders into rucks. When our ‘basher’ is tackled, the opposing team first looks to steal the ball, and if our ‘basher’ was not well protected at ruck time, they usually succeed. If they are well protected though, the guys simply pull out of the ruck and form a defensive line again either side of it protecting channel 1 and 2, all this while the attacking team has to commit 3 to 4 players to the ruck to secure possession. So the defending team simply has to compete at the tackle situation, committing 1 or 2 players to either steal the ball, or at the very least slow it down, but as soon as a ruck forms they simply pull out and it is all the same again.

The other reason why it is so easy to defend against this is because you can see from a mile away who is going to be first receiver and you know exactly what channel they plan to attack. Solution, pack channel 1 and 2 with some of your meanest forwards and hitters in the game, a loosie on either side of the ruck to attack the ball as soon as they go to ground and steal possession or slow it down so your big guys can form a line again – brain dead.

The All Blacks have even gone as far as illegally obstructing defenders in this scenario in order to be successful. They cleverly have a couple of guys loitering around the ruck to obstruct the defending players from making clean tackles on the runners attacking channel 1. Hell if the AB’s have to cheat to be effective in this area one must seriously start asking some questions on how effective this tactic really is!

So how do you effectively attack the gain line? Well in my view it is simple, like with first phase play, simply manipulate space and create doubt in defensive structures.

What do you need to do this? Also very simple in my view, your first receivers must be your flyhalf, or if he gets sucked in, your number 12 – always.

A professional team should identify, or rather, should know who their best ball carriers are to attack the advantage line. As with the first scenario, I will have these guys running off my number 10, being the first receiver from all different angles.

How well your number 10 manipulates space is going to determine how well this will work of course, but who do you reckon can manipulate space better, or ask more questions of the defense, the number 10 or prop forward?

It is very important that this does not happen too far back though, meaning it will be of no use if the number 10 gives the ball to his flanker 10 meters behind the ruck, again, it is quick in your face kind of stuff.

The other option this gives you is that you can now attack the advantage line with your big loosies or tight forwards in the number 12 and 13 channels too. This in effect will mean that you not only shift play away from the most packed (defensively) area of play to give yourself a better opportunity at gaining meters, but you are now also committing the oppositions crucial defenders and backline players against your forwards or ball carriers. Some might argue that you are running away from your support if you try this, but by planning these attacks effectively as coach and team, you would obviously make sure as a player, or first receiver, that I do not give the ball to a guy in a worst position than what I am in - but that is schoolboy stuff.

Situations might now develop where you have committed 2 opposition backline players for instance with a forward from your side, which means your backline players, if given quick possession, will be up against slower forwards. A scenario I believe other teams have failed to exploit in Jake White’s rush defense armor – but that is another story for another day.

The advantage your number 10 as first receiver gives you, far more outweighs the advantages of passing the ball directly from a ruck to a forward or crash ball runner. Not only can you attack the advantage line from different angles, you can do it in different channels too. Australians and George Gregan was brilliant at this.

There are those who believe the more traditional tactic works better, and I am sure we will hear from them on this thread, but as with my philosophy, theirs also depend largely on the certain players fulfilling their roles successfully. The biggest problem I have is that through crashing and bashing we do not attack or manipulate space, a tactic successful employed by international teams like the All Blacks, and to some extent the Australians, who seem to be experts on it and regarded as leaders in this area of the game.

My personal view on how to improve this area of our game won’t happen overnight, but it is something I believe that can be coached - or maybe even uncoached. What is also very important is that you select the right players for the right position.

In my debate with Davids, he made some valid points by using the Bulls as an example to illustrate how successful the crash and bash tactic is or can be, and his points were valid, but it is important to note that the Bulls have the perfect players to employ this tactic at a domestic level, and to some extent Super 12 level (I am sorry i have never seen this work at international level for us). Guys like Danie ‘Pakslae’, Gary, Bakkies and the likes are effective ball carriers who keep 2 or 3 defenders busy, and they need to otherwise this tactic will fall to pieces very quickly.

Likewise, the players for my style of play need to fit into the specific roles in the backline perfectly, thus, I have listed my perfect backline for this style of play below.

I have a first choice and an alternative choice. I am not going to discuss the players individualistically but will make mention of players I would have loved to use, but in my view lack one or two skills I believe to be essential.

What I have done is not revolutionary, and I am not trying to piss people off, I simply played coach and selected players I believe will be perfect for the type of game I want to play.

First choice:

9. Craig Davidson
10. Jean De Villiers
11. Bryan Habana
12. Butch James
13. Marius Joubert
14. Jacques Fourie
15. Johan Roets


Craig pips Ricky for the number 9 spot for his added skills with the boot. I think Craig has one of the best passes in the country and he is pretty nippy around the park too.

Jongi Nokwe just misses out for the mere reason that I have not quite seen enough of him, and I am not sure he is the type of explosive runner I am looking for, but if Nokwe does prove to be such a player Jacques will move to my first choice position for him at fullback. I would also consider swapping Johan and Jacques. Ashwin and Dean Hall must also get a mention as possible players but their fitness is obviously worrying.

There are two guys I would have picked ahead of Butch if it was not for their lack of one skill, a kicking game. I think it is pretty obvious I like my number 12 to have the same skills as a number 10, and at times he will need to fill in for the number 10 with my style of play. DeWet and Julies were obvious choices for this role, with DeWet being first choice, but unfortunately as I mentioned, I rate an inside center’s kicking game.

Second choice:

9. Ricky January
10. Andre Pretorius
11. Bryan Habana
12. Meyer Bosman
13. Jean de Villiers
14. Jongi Nokwe
15. Jacques Fourie

The only note on this one is obviously Meyer. I believe if we develop this youngster at inside center, he could become a player mentioned in the same breath as a Michael du Plessis one day.

Well there you have it. I am sure a lot of guys will have their own views on this and I welcome any suggestions or questions.

Dragons, drake, dragonian attacking.

Just thought I'd remind you guys of an old tradition.

Ever notice how it takes at least 15 min for someone to comment on Pissant's articles? Jeez they're long, but as allways, worth the time you spend reading them.

PA, keeping to you're idea of a Number 12, who would be the perfect number 12 in this country and why? I share the sentiment about no12 needing a kicking boot, but I believe he should be more of a playmaker than the solid JP Nel type. Musch like EB was. He had a good left boot and was a great attacking option.

Well said. I will first let it sink in and then give my opinion on what you said. There is obviously some stuff I don't agree with, but not much.

Great analysis.

i think my definition of playmakers might differ from most.

my number 12 is the most important guy in the my backline, and yes he does create situations for players around him, so to define him as a play maker in the general sense according to my views is probably correct.

but then i do not agree that JDV is a playmaker in that sense, and does not fit the role of a number 12.

that JDV can make things happen from nothing, and that he is highly skilled, is for damn sure, and those are guys i brand as game breakers or playmakers.

to answer you question on who i believe is currently the best i would choose 2 guys. from an attacking point of view i believe wayne julies has the edge, slightly, over DWB, but then DWB brings a bigger presence to the game in my view.

young olivier also shows a lot of promise, but i will watch him this year in the S14 to put him in the same class.

one guy i believe we need to invest in is meyer bosman, he has all the qualities to become the best in this position.
Well Spoken.. again

When PA says he will comment on something later... in the beginning of his posts you can be sure it will be much later- but then the journey is almost never boring or not insightful.

I must say PA i agree with you much more than with the Skinstad-note not the role of &- issue.

On Meyer Bosman- where did you read it first to play him 12 in S14 2006?

I really rate him- and believe that he will become OSSOME in time @ 12

Hope that Lowen's experience with regard to defence will rub off.

Given the supported importance of 7 & 12- it might just be that the issue of Super Sub is applicable here.

Hehehe - perrevrekte allover again
are the cheetahs seriously thinking of playing him at 12 or is it your suggestion that they do.
I think it would be great as I am scared he may be lost as you have a settled 10 and game time at his stage of development is crucial.I rate this boy.
JJ this is my earlier post to Baldrick on Keo Re Bosman 2006


It seems that Gaffie & Bevin will be the Fullbacks

Goodes & Lowen the 12's and Kruger, Cooke & Hollenbach the 13's

That leaves 10 for Bosman with De Waal.

I have not spoken with the Cheetah Inner Circle on this but have posted my personal opinion on this issue countless times on Keo since August last year.

DeWaal & Goodes to start MB on the Bench- plays every game 30 mins- 10 or 12 and to start at 10 at least 3 times- preferable against teams where the Cheetah pack can be expected to hold more than their own.

I hope to finalise your jersey by tommorrow- will be in contact.

Posted by: Oranje Orakel at January 11, 2006 10:49 AM

So it is pretty much my view- but as you can remember Rassie utilised him more last year at 12 than 10- but had given him run-on time at 10.

Hope it answers you.
yes OO,

you got me thinking about that last year, and it is something i believe is worth investigating and doing - the boy has the ability, no doubt.
When selecting players for different positions you have to consider both his defensive and attacking capabilities. IMO defence is the 1st thing you look at for your 12 and then his attacking capabilities. I agree with PA that the 12 is the most important player in the back-line but IMO as a defensive organizer and then as an attacking "mastermind". In other words I agree with PA but just want to emphasize the other aspect of what makes the 12 position so important. I use my 10 on attack as a link man to give quick clean ball to 12 where the attack will then come from (not all the time but is my stock option). With 12 being the creator of the back-line attack you have more options than having your 10 doing it all.
I wanted to reply to an earlier poster who made some long-winded statements about forward play, and who should do this, and who should do that, but I couldn't get into the system. My thought on that forward subject was that is was almost total garbage - for those moves to work you would need to have almost complete compliance from the oppo. At any forward breakdown the first player to the greakdown is the nearest player - the second player to the breakdown is the next nearest player, and so on - these players may be anyone from 1 to 15. To expect the No.8 (eg) to get to the breakdown first is just plain bunkum. Does that mean the nearest player has to wait until the designated player turns up, he may well be lying on the ground, or anywhere.

Rugby is basically a game where the forwards try and get as much posession as possible, then give it to the backs to score points. All the backs should be capable of breaking the line from both feet etc.

To try and align a game with set moves from the blackboard is doomed to failure - the name of the game is to do the very best one can with the limited opportunities they are given, and again, the players can be anyone from 1 to 15.

I think the games should start soon so we don't get too much more of these wierdo pontifications,


i suppose you are eluding to the loose forward play.

a relevant statement to what you mentioned i suppose is "in a perfect world".

to expect your plan or for that matter executions of plays to always come of 100% is plain ludicrous. hell if they work 20% of the time you are probably lucky.

rugby, has way to many variables in the 80 minutes players spend on the field for us ever to see every single plan and strategy be executed 100% - that much is true - but to ignore the fact that specifc players have specific or primary roles in defensive or attacking situations is ignorant and very dangerous.

yes a scrum might wheel, which will make a BSF hugely ineffective in defensive situations as stated in the article. then there is weather conditions, referee inerpretations, etc, etc, etc.

what was mentioned by Jo and highlighted in this article first and foremost is that players need to keep things simple, and they need to think on their feet.

very few international teams do this, the AB's probably being the leaders.

hell the flyhalf might just throw a double skip pass making all your loosies and first receiver ineffective - which will obviously mean the wing and fullback will need to tackle and compete for the ball.

defensive strategies should be put in place looking at the strengths of your teams, but does not in any way mean it is the be all and end all of your gameplan.

the ideas mentioned in the piece are ideas based on simple principles, one of which is that if you manage to neutralise your opponents halfback combination including the inside center, and manage to do this effectively, to other players will prove to be hugely ineffective too.

exactly what the springboks managed to do against the AB's in CPT in 2005.

but yet again, these are principles, and the players assigned specific roles were done with the view that they are exactly what you mentioned, the guy closest to the attacker or the guy best suited to negate your oppositions strength through his ability or personal strengths.

rugby is a game of chess, as coach, if i see during the first half the oppositions defense is focused on a certain area of play, it is up to me and my players to adapt our strategies to change our points of attack, and the same for defense as well.

again only principles, nothing more.

You have picked up on soime of my ideas after all.

I'm touched.

God article, except for the bit about the forwards, where I still disagree with you about who should be first receiver and his line of attack.

I still believe that successful teams are those who can use a Jerry Collins or Danie Pakslae to attack the Channel 1 and take out 2/3 defenders. Also, if your forwards are VERY quick and bright, a situation where the tackler's 'bounce' your ball carrier and then stand to the side of the ruck gives you the perfect platform from which to launch the maul. This is a tactic other teams like Argentina and Wales used to some success against us in the EOY Internationals this year. It is a massive weakness in the rush defence and I'm amazed technically gifted teams like Australia and New Zealand didn't pick up on it earlier.

Of particular advantage in this maul is that the line defenders ha eto keep retreating as the Maul moves the offside line. If you then release the ball against them the defensive line is already in retreat and flat footed in response.

I am glad you see the use for having a skilled 12 being the main manin the backline after all this time.

but not jean at 12 davids!!!!
interesting point on the maul though, but like you said you need a couple of bright boys to do this.

but for now i will stick with my first receiver philosophy, you have not convinced me yet, i believe a backline player brings more to the party.
I tend to agree with Davids, if you have someone like Anton Leonard, Danie Rossouw, Jerry Collins etc. on first receiver, they draw two players with them, then you let go to the backline. Especially if you have that first receiver, running into the Flyhalf/12 channel. If you get quick ball from there, you have an overlap with your backline on the frontfoot. If you dont get quickball or if the first receiver is tackled backward, it's still okay, as you have a strong forward that might hold onto the ball long enough for the other forwards to arrive. Then you just start over again. Anyuway this is in a perfect world.

On Meyer Bosman, he could just make a brilliant inside centre. First time I saw him play, was at inside centre. I still think Wynand Olivier has the talent, but we need to see if he can carry the pressur of being EB's follow up. What do you think of Dries Scholts?
past his best imo aldo.

very talented though and brings alot of experience to the party, but i like the idea of investing in a olivier or bosman rather


In time maybe Earl Rose, but for now I'll settle for Butch James or Meyer Bosman.

I'd really like to see if they can't convince Hennie Le Roux out of retirement

a player we agree on in hennie!!

i forgot about earl, also a very good prospect.

i see you are catching on to the kicking (flyhalf type) inside center thing davids...

I always have.
But not in the Mr Solid dependable way you do. He is the most skilled and creative player on the field as far as I'm concerned.

He's the brains trust of the backline.

Not a DWB.

Rather a Hennie Le Roux, Matt Giteau, etc.

I think Tim Horan, Jeremy Guscott, Hennie Le Roux and Micheal Du Plessis probably best sum up what I expect at 12.

This is a terrifying prospect, but imagine an AB pairing of:

10: Dan Carter
12: Luke McAllister

Oh god

I'm going to wake up screaming from that one.....
hell yes, quite scary.

but then imagine a SA backline in 2008 of

molefe (spelling)

Interesting Backline PA. Just a bit worried about the defense. But definitely a great attacking backline.  
well at least i will have the ANCYL offering me lifetime honourary membership  
just joking, but these youngster are damn exciting  

There you go playing Rose out of position too....

But damned that would be a scary prospect.

The only change I would have in my wishlist is for a wing the size of Jonah Lomu to replace Nokwe.

I'm a firm believer that we need a Niel Burger / Ray Mordt type on one wing and a speed merchant on the other.

Maybe more like this

9. Delport
10. Bosman
11. Habana
12. Rose
13. Thabang Molefe
14. Some monster beast
15. JP Pietersen (Sharks)
Maybe that Pierre Spies boy from the Bulls?  
with you on the massive wings davids, but it seems the white boys cant run anymore. and our coloured and black speedsters are not known to be beats....pitty

well nokwe could always bulk up a but - and how about that other boland winger???

Socio-political reality....

And ANCYL will move the goal posts and say there aren't enough 'Africans' in the team...
Maybe Butter Fingers can't pass Bobo?

He's a pretty big character isn't he?

Seeing as Thabang Molefe is so huge, maybe we can move him out to the wing?
but then you loose so much power in the midfield????  
Okay, cool, started reading this article at 09h00 this morning, just finished the last line!

Cool ;-) Thanks, PissAnt

Next time I've got a long train trip, New York-Los Angeles springs to mind, I'm going to print off a couple of your articles!!! Hehehe

Nice one!
It was just a suggestion....

Thanks Dubya

PA's short stories are very informative aren't they?

Seeing as you put so much store by skill at 13 what about moving Meyer to 13, Morne Steyn to flyhalf and Rose at 12.

That gives you Thabang for 14 and Habana 11.
hey not bad davids, i love the way you think. :)

tx dubya, can you imagine how bloody long it takes to write!!!
PA, I'm going to sue you if my eyes wear out!

Enjoyed it though.

Still, I think you did yourself out of two extra articles!! :-)

Boertjie's going to moer you....


I would think a skilled player like Meyer at 13 is a waste.

I'm not coming round to your way of thinking just yet....

Still think my suggestion is better.
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