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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:11 pm 
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Good to see the confidence returning to the Republic :thumbup:

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Boks will win Rugby Championship!
2018-06-21 13:42


Mark Keohane
The Springboks will win the Rugby Championship. The All Blacks won’t finish in the top two.

Not long after the Springboks won the series against England (with a Test to spare), the usual suspects (read the average South African rugby doomsday fan) was already conceding defeat to the All Blacks, based on the Springboks’ first two Test wins against England.

It went something like this: If we start like we did against England the All Blacks will hammer us; if our defence is as poor the All Blacks will hammer us; if we kick as much the All Blacks will hammer us; if we throw as many 50-50 passes the All Blacks will hammer us.

The All Blacks can’t really hammer us more than they have done in the past few seasons. Twice in the last two years they’ve put 57 points past the Springboks. One the one occasion, the Boks (in Albany, New Zealand) didn’t even score a point.

The All Blacks, over the last decade, have been the most magnificent side in the history of the game. They have won 90 percent of their Tests, beaten everyone home and away, played more Tests away from home than at home and won every trophy available, including successive World Cups, home and away.

Their quality and consistency has been unrivalled. No team, over a sustained period of near 10 years, has achieved as much success with players as talented.

But from what I have seen in the last 12 months, that incredible All Blacks era has peaked and the All Blacks graph is in decline and the chasing pack is starting to climb.

The current All Blacks, in no way, are comparable to the squad that won the 2015 World Cup.

The pack, in particular, can’t be spoken of in the same breath and currently they are without their two most influential forwards in the injured Brodie Retallick and Kieran Read. The duo may or may not be back for the Rugby Championship, but they will have to be at their peak to lift the quality of what is a very ordinary All Blacks pack.

The All Blacks backs are always world class, but it doesn’t matter who you pick in numbers 9-15, if your forwards aren’t up to it, you won’t consistently have dominance.

My retort to those who claimed that the Springboks were lucky they weren’t playing the All Blacks on the last two Saturdays is that the lucky ones are the All Blacks, that they weren’t in Johannesburg or Bloemfontein. Had they been, it would have been a series win for the Springboks against the All Blacks.

The All Blacks were woeful for an hour against a very limited French team in Auckland. They trailed 11-8 at half-time and at 55 minutes the match was tied up 11-all. It then took a sending off and mismatch in numbers to turn the game the way of the All Blacks.

In last weekend’s second Test, the All Blacks were even worse. They had the advantage of an extra player from the 12th minute after French fullback Benjamin Fall was red carded. They led 21-6 at half-time but lost the second half 7-5.

What was there to fear about the All Blacks? That’s the question I’d ask those who couldn’t acknowledge the quality of the Springboks’ back-to-back wins against an England side, who I would have backed to win both Tests against the All Blacks in New Zealand, given what the All Blacks produced.

To those who put the All Blacks on a pedestal so high that all visual of their fallibility is blurred, take an aerial view of the men in black. You’ll see more inglorious than glorious. The core of that wonderfully talented 2015 World Cup squad is gone.

The next generation isn’t anywhere near as potent.

Enter Rassie Erasmus and his Springboks.

Erasmus is building a pack of forwards that will be the envy of every coach. He is also, thanks to the inclusion of Lions head coach Swys de Bruin, adding an attacking dimension to South Africa’s back play.

South Africa, on balance, have more depth and quality in their forwards than New Zealand. The Wallabies have greater presence in their backs than the All Blacks.

I’m picking South Africa and Australia to be the top dogs in this year’s Rugby Championship, with New Zealand in the unfamiliar third place.

The All Blacks aren’t as good as many think and the Springboks and Wallabies are better than most think.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:15 pm 
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Keo a top journalist... :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:23 pm 
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odd144 wrote:
Keo a top journalist... :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


He is without doubt the most high profile rugby journalist in the country. The voice of the nation, some would say


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:26 pm 
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:thumbup: Can't disagree with anything in this excellent article.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:28 pm 
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Bindi wrote:
:thumbup: Can't disagree with anything in this excellent article.


Apparently you’re taking second place, mate :thumbup:


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:31 pm 
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Well that's us f**ked then. Might as well hand the trophy over now. Congratulations Boks.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:32 pm 
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naki wrote:
Bindi wrote:
:thumbup: Can't disagree with anything in this excellent article.


Apparently you’re taking second place, mate :thumbup:


Well SA are near on invincible, so that's only fair.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:39 pm 
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Double post


Last edited by The Native on Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:40 pm 
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I hold fears for our very ordinary pack. I mean, even when fully fit they have only got to fall back on the best overall setpiece in the game, great skills with ball in hand and a backrow the match of any in world rugby.

Le sigh...


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:45 pm 
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naki wrote:
odd144 wrote:
Keo a top journalist... :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


He is without doubt the most high profile rugby journalist in the country. The voice of the nation, some would say

Franno has a rival :o


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:47 pm 
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Hopefully we can beat off the Pumas and avoid the wooden spoon.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:57 pm 
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Good to see a Prophet recognised in his own land ... and that he called first "Peak All Blacks" ... :lol: :lol: :lol:


Last edited by Botha Boy on Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:57 pm 
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This is just setting him up for a nice rage-piece when NZ put 50 on the Boks.

Classic Keo.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:30 pm 
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Keo a top SA journo?
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:37 pm 
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Jensrsa wrote:
Keo a top SA journo?
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


He's the best you've got.

I know that isn't saying much but it is what it is.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:41 pm 
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Thomas wrote:
Jensrsa wrote:
Keo a top SA journo?
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


He's the best you've got.

I know that isn't saying much but it is what it is.


Not really. He thrives on controversial statements. Always to be taken with a pinch of salt


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:47 pm 
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Jensrsa wrote:
Thomas wrote:
Jensrsa wrote:
Keo a top SA journo?
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


He's the best you've got.

I know that isn't saying much but it is what it is.


Not really. He thrives on controversial statements. Always to be taken with a pinch of salt


It's okay mate. It's okay.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:50 pm 
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Jensrsa wrote:
Thomas wrote:
Jensrsa wrote:
Keo a top SA journo?
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


He's the best you've got.

I know that isn't saying much but it is what it is.


Not really. He thrives on controversial statements. Always to be taken with a pinch of salt


A pinch of “salt”, eh?

Didn’t know that’s what the kids are calling it these days


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:53 pm 
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naki wrote:
Jensrsa wrote:
Thomas wrote:
Jensrsa wrote:
Keo a top SA journo?
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


He's the best you've got.

I know that isn't saying much but it is what it is.


Not really. He thrives on controversial statements. Always to be taken with a pinch of salt


A pinch of “salt”, eh?

Didn’t know that’s what the kids are calling it these days


Glad to know I'm still regarded as a kid :)


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2018 1:14 am 
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obelixtim wrote:
Well that's us f**ked then. Might as well hand the trophy over now. Congratulations Boks.


He didn't say the boks will win the RC this year - left the timeline open


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:02 am 
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Don't tell me the ABs have lost their aurora again. They really need to take better care of it.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:07 am 
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odd144 wrote:
Keo a top South African journalist... :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:



Fixed.

He's definitely yours and he's about all you have got.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:13 am 
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The good times had to come to an end sometime. Hopefully the ABs can hold Argentina off for another couple of years. :((


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:15 am 
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Can I have a large cup of whatever he’s drinking?


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:23 am 
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JB1981 wrote:
The good times had to come to an end sometime. Hopefully the ABs can hold Argentina off for another couple of years. :((

I'm getting ready to spit at Steve Hansen's race horse.


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