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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:59 pm 
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In the old days, second row was ideally formed ideally on the basis of a partnership. The partnership would usually constitute one player who was predominantly a mauler front of the line out jumper role, with the other second row being a middle of the line out jumper and probably more athletic in open play. Both men compliment each other and the great ones work in pairs to the extent of actually helping to determine the outcome of games.

The very first partnership which impressed me was Geoff Wheel and Allan Martin.
Wheel being the mauler and front of the line out jumper, Martin being the middle of the line (and a superb line out technician).
This partnership were superb, and utterly dominant during the 5 nations for the best part of a decade. They blew away Haden and Oliver in 1978.

Moss Keane and Donal Lenihan were probably the next partnership which impressed me. Keane the mauler, Lenihan the lineout technician.
Colclough and Beaumount were a great partnership, although Beaumount's early retirement from international rugby was a factor.
Wade Dooley and Paul Ackford's partnership was just before the professional era but they were very effective.

Move on to the modern era, Matfield and Botha were an outstanding partnership.
O'Callaghan and O'Connell were a very good partnership.

Whitlock and Retallick are the current great second row partnership.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:03 pm 
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Dooley and Ackford for me. Dooley just looked such a hard bastard.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:05 pm 
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It's a shame injuries robbed him (and Wales) of a partnership that ought to still be going, but Ian Evans and AWJ were a great pair, who came up all the way together from U.16's level. I still remember being told, in hushed tones, in the early 00's of two monster locks out of the Swansea area who, even in their late teens, were out performing the current Wales locks on the gym stats.

From other teams, in the pro era, I think the Matfield/Botha partnership was just about perfect.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:22 pm 
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Jeff the Bear wrote:
It's a shame injuries robbed him (and Wales) of a partnership that ought to still be going, but Ian Evans and AWJ were a great pair, who came up all the way together from U.16's level. I still remember being told, in hushed tones, in the early 00's of two monster locks out of the Swansea area who, even in their late teens, were out performing the current Wales locks on the gym stats.

From other teams, in the pro era, I think the Matfield/Botha partnership was just about perfect.


Yes, Victr and Bakkies for me.

As a sidenote, Ianto was a valley boy wasn't he? Ponty or somewhere.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:23 pm 
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My first memory was of Murray Pierce and Gary Whetton, I thought Pierce was the bee's knees given I could get an autograph off him running on the field after the Athletic Park games, and he was a big big dude to an 8 year old. Used to see him at the Wellington Club Clubrooms too, I've always been MSP but my mates dad took us there.

Before the current greats I think the last partnership I really enjoyed was Robin Brooke and the Kamo kid. Both had some mad skills and loved having a run, although they were pretty hard bastards for their relative sizes. You'd never think so hearing Jones speak now.

Williams and Jack maybe for a while.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:25 pm 
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Bakies/Matfield was the best one I ever seen.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:27 pm 
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Jeff the Bear wrote:
It's a shame injuries robbed him (and Wales) of a partnership that ought to still be going, but Ian Evans and AWJ were a great pair, who came up all the way together from U.16's level. I still remember being told, in hushed tones, in the early 00's of two monster locks out of the Swansea area who, even in their late teens, were out performing the current Wales locks on the gym stats.

From other teams, in the pro era, I think the Matfield/Botha partnership was just about perfect.


It’s probably just me, but I always felt Ian Evans was badly underrated.

He probably was a bit lucky to make the 2013 Lions Tour, but some of the stuff that got lobbed at him at the time was ridiculous.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:29 pm 
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MaccTaff wrote:
Jeff the Bear wrote:
It's a shame injuries robbed him (and Wales) of a partnership that ought to still be going, but Ian Evans and AWJ were a great pair, who came up all the way together from U.16's level. I still remember being told, in hushed tones, in the early 00's of two monster locks out of the Swansea area who, even in their late teens, were out performing the current Wales locks on the gym stats.

From other teams, in the pro era, I think the Matfield/Botha partnership was just about perfect.


It’s probably just me, but I always felt Ian Evans was badly underrated.

He probably was a bit lucky to make the 2013 Lions Tour, but some of the stuff that got lobbed at him at the time was ridiculous.


By that point his knees were shot, so accusations of nepotism from Gatland was probably fair.

However, prior to that, and when fit, he was a cracking lock. He, like AWJ, are World Class tall athletic specimens that we just don't produce in any sort of numbers.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:31 pm 
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I note that the nation who has won two World Cups does not rate a mention.


John Eales was, without any argument, one of the two greatest locks of all time.



He played in two World Cup winning teams. Eales and "Slaughter" McCall would be my pick.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:31 pm 
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Can't say I liked them all that much but Kobus Wiese and Mark Andrews were a pair of scary fuckers.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:34 pm 
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wamberal99 wrote:
I note that the nation who has won two World Cups does not rate a mention.


John Eales was, without any argument, one of the two greatest locks of all time.



He played in two World Cup winning teams. Eales and "Slaughter" McCall would be my pick.


I'm not discussing great second row individual players. I'm discussing great, memorable, second row partnerships.

I don't recall any second row partnership from Australia worth mentioning.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:35 pm 
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Johnson & Grewcock. Fight them.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:38 pm 
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wamberal99 wrote:
I note that the nation who has won two World Cups does not rate a mention.


John Eales was, without any argument, one of the two greatest locks of all time.



He played in two World Cup winning teams. Eales and "Slaughter" McCall would be my pick.


I sas thinking of Eales before but he didn't really have a strong partner at any stage that stands out for me. McCall was a bit meh, I'd sooner go with Giffin.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:38 pm 
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Whitelock/Retallick would take some beating for all-time NZ combo.

Bakkies/Matfield for the Boks.

John Eales was the Oz GOAT, but as a combo, I always looked up to (pun intended) Steve Cutler and Bill Campbell.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:40 pm 
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As mentioned Jones and Brooke were great for NZ in the 90s, but completely overshadowed by Whitelock and BBBR these days. It's a pity that Ali Williams and BBBT didn't coincide more at the peak of their careers as they could have been an awesome partnership.

Matfield and Botha were my favourite partnership I love to hate.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:41 pm 
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I can’t think of a better one than Botha/Matfield at the moment!

Bearing in mind I didn’t watch much rugby outside the 5Ns growing up, but at the time Dooley and Ackford always seemed fairly dominant when I watched them play together. Not comparing them to Bakkies and Viktor to be clear.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:46 pm 
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I’m surprised that Chris Jack/AW hasn’t been mentioned.

POC/MOK also.

Bakkies/VM were terrific. Liked that they were from different walk of life and weren’t particularly close off the pitch also.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:50 pm 
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Flametop wrote:
I’m surprised that Chris Jack/AW hasn’t been mentioned.

POC/MOK also.

Bakkies/VM were terrific. Liked that they were from different walk of life and weren’t particularly close off the pitch also.


Crikey yes - good call, and I would say POC/DOC even more than POC/MOK.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:51 pm 
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MaccTaff wrote:
Flametop wrote:
I’m surprised that Chris Jack/AW hasn’t been mentioned.

POC/MOK also.

Bakkies/VM were terrific. Liked that they were from different walk of life and weren’t particularly close off the pitch also.


Crikey yes - good call, and I would say POC/DOC even more than POC/MOK.


POC/DOC mentioned in the OP.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:52 pm 
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Toro wrote:
My first memory was of Murray Pierce and Gary Whetton, I thought Pierce was the bee's knees given I could get an autograph off him running on the field after the Athletic Park games, and he was a big big dude to an 8 year old. Used to see him at the Wellington Club Clubrooms too, I've always been MSP but my mates dad took us there.

Before the current greats I think the last partnership I really enjoyed was Robin Brooke and the Kamo kid. Both had some mad skills and loved having a run, although they were pretty hard bastards for their relative sizes. You'd never think so hearing Jones speak now.

Williams and Jack maybe for a while.


Same for me growing up. Used to see Murray Pierce a far bit at junior basketball. He told me he never made the 1st XV at school. So I held out hope that I could be an All Black up to about the age of 17 when I realised I was shit


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:54 pm 
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Miguel Indurain wrote:
MaccTaff wrote:
Flametop wrote:
I’m surprised that Chris Jack/AW hasn’t been mentioned.

POC/MOK also.

Bakkies/VM were terrific. Liked that they were from different walk of life and weren’t particularly close off the pitch also.


Crikey yes - good call, and I would say POC/DOC even more than POC/MOK.


POC/DOC mentioned in the OP.


Mmm - as were Dooley and Ackford on actually reading the OP, which I’ve just done.

Ah well, thanks for nicking all the good ones.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:56 pm 
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MaccTaff wrote:
Miguel Indurain wrote:
MaccTaff wrote:
Flametop wrote:
I’m surprised that Chris Jack/AW hasn’t been mentioned.

POC/MOK also.

Bakkies/VM were terrific. Liked that they were from different walk of life and weren’t particularly close off the pitch also.


Crikey yes - good call, and I would say POC/DOC even more than POC/MOK.


POC/DOC mentioned in the OP.


Mmm - as were Dooley and Ackford on actually reading the OP, which I’ve just done.

Ah well, thanks for nicking all the good ones.


:lol: :thumbup:

You could suggest Imbernon and Palmie for France (before my time - but from what I've read these guys were the wreaking ball of European rugby except when up against Wheel and Martin).


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:07 am 
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Yeah Matfield/Bakkies Botha, how about Brad Thorn/Ali Williams, currently Retallick/Whitelock (or Tuipulotu/Kaino ..).

Right now I'm enjoying the Clermont/France pair of Vahaamahina/Iturria. The first is the weighty maul/breakdown destroyer, powerful ruck clearer, with great hands - and the other the slighter but exceptionally talented finesse lock with a fantastic sense for the game, both with excellent workrate, great offloaders. If they can only both stay on the field and play focused Rugby, the sky's the limit.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:09 am 
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Flametop wrote:
I’m surprised that Chris Jack/AW hasn’t been mentioned. .


They were :frown:


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:10 am 
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Going back a bit further, Meads and Strahan were my pick -- at the heart of the ABs when they won 17 straight.

Other locking pairs I liked in no particular order
Dooley/Ackford
Botha/Matfield
O'Callaghan/O'Connell
Whitelock/Retallick
Brooke/Jones


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:11 am 
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Pelous and whoever was standing next to him.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:12 am 
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Olivier Merle was a scary looking MF. Him and Pelous were scary.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:13 am 
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Matfield and Botha
POC and DOC
Whitelock and Retalick


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:23 am 
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I always felt Bakkies was very much the junior partner in the duo, he definitely preferred to ‘enforce’ smaller players whenever possible. VM was so good that it didn’t matter, would get my vote for the top lock duo I’ve seen play.

Brodie/Whitelock on their way there


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:25 am 
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Miguel Indurain wrote:
wamberal99 wrote:
I note that the nation who has won two World Cups does not rate a mention.


John Eales was, without any argument, one of the two greatest locks of all time.



He played in two World Cup winning teams. Eales and "Slaughter" McCall would be my pick.


I'm not discussing great second row individual players. I'm discussing great, memorable, second row partnerships.

I don't recall any second row partnership from Australia worth mentioning.


Eales and Garrick Morgan had the potential to be the best ever Oz partnership. In 93/94, Morgan was outstanding, probably better than Eales. He stupidly pissed off to play league with the Crushers for a year, then had a string of injuries when he came back to union and never quite got back to his best before heading north to finish his career. I would guess they only played maybe 10 tests together, which was a real shame.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:34 am 
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mojo wrote:
Miguel Indurain wrote:
wamberal99 wrote:
I note that the nation who has won two World Cups does not rate a mention.


John Eales was, without any argument, one of the two greatest locks of all time.



He played in two World Cup winning teams. Eales and "Slaughter" McCall would be my pick.


I'm not discussing great second row individual players. I'm discussing great, memorable, second row partnerships.

I don't recall any second row partnership from Australia worth mentioning.


Eales and Garrick Morgan had the potential to be the best ever Oz partnership. In 93/94, Morgan was outstanding, probably better than Eales. He stupidly pissed off to play league with the Crushers for a year, then had a string of injuries when he came back to union and never quite got back to his best before heading north to finish his career. I would guess they only played maybe 10 tests together, which was a real shame.


I remember Morgan, he was a huge fella. I never knew that he went to League.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:36 am 
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Miguel Indurain wrote:
I remember Morgan, he was a huge fella. I never knew that he went to League.




He ended up at Harlequins, a place where locks go to die.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:39 am 
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Miguel Indurain wrote:

Move on to the modern era, Matfield and Botha were an outstanding partnership.
O'Callaghan and O'Connell were a very good partnership.




In many ways these two were the most iconic lock partnerships in my lifetime. They were together for so long and seem to characterise their teams best years.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:53 am 
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Miguel Indurain wrote:
mojo wrote:
Miguel Indurain wrote:
wamberal99 wrote:
I note that the nation who has won two World Cups does not rate a mention.


John Eales was, without any argument, one of the two greatest locks of all time.



He played in two World Cup winning teams. Eales and "Slaughter" McCall would be my pick.


I'm not discussing great second row individual players. I'm discussing great, memorable, second row partnerships.

I don't recall any second row partnership from Australia worth mentioning.


Eales and Garrick Morgan had the potential to be the best ever Oz partnership. In 93/94, Morgan was outstanding, probably better than Eales. He stupidly pissed off to play league with the Crushers for a year, then had a string of injuries when he came back to union and never quite got back to his best before heading north to finish his career. I would guess they only played maybe 10 tests together, which was a real shame.


I remember Morgan, he was a huge fella. I never knew that he went to League.

IIRC his old man was a league player so I assume he'd played as a youngster.

Not a lock, but a similar loss to Oz rugby was Scott Gourley - I remember seeing videos of him playing in 1988 or 1989 for the Wallabies and he was awesome. I think he only had a decent league career, maybe one match for Oz and not sure if he played SoO.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:02 am 
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Miguel Indurain wrote:
wamberal99 wrote:
I note that the nation who has won two World Cups does not rate a mention.


John Eales was, without any argument, one of the two greatest locks of all time.



He played in two World Cup winning teams. Eales and "Slaughter" McCall would be my pick.


I'm not discussing great second row individual players. I'm discussing great, memorable, second row partnerships.

I don't recall any second row partnership from Australia worth mentioning.


Really? I see you mentioned some Irish journeymen in the OP, but can’t recall two of the best lock partnerships of the last few decades:

Eales and McCall

Eales and Giffin


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:11 am 
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Slim 293 wrote:
Miguel Indurain wrote:
wamberal99 wrote:
I note that the nation who has won two World Cups does not rate a mention.


John Eales was, without any argument, one of the two greatest locks of all time.



He played in two World Cup winning teams. Eales and "Slaughter" McCall would be my pick.


I'm not discussing great second row individual players. I'm discussing great, memorable, second row partnerships.

I don't recall any second row partnership from Australia worth mentioning.


Really? I see you mentioned some Irish journeymen in the OP,


yeah, really.

The two men you refer to as journeymen locked B&I test team scrum, thanks.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:31 am 
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Miguel Indurain wrote:
Slim 293 wrote:
Miguel Indurain wrote:
wamberal99 wrote:
I note that the nation who has won two World Cups does not rate a mention.


John Eales was, without any argument, one of the two greatest locks of all time.



He played in two World Cup winning teams. Eales and "Slaughter" McCall would be my pick.


I'm not discussing great second row individual players. I'm discussing great, memorable, second row partnerships.

I don't recall any second row partnership from Australia worth mentioning.


Really? I see you mentioned some Irish journeymen in the OP,


yeah, really.

The two men you refer to as journeymen locked B&I test team scrum, thanks.


You need to pick your head out of your SH pot there, slim. Have a look around. It's all ok really


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:32 am 
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naki wrote:
I always felt Bakkies was very much the junior partner in the duo, he definitely preferred to ‘enforce’ smaller players whenever possible. VM was so good that it didn’t matter, would get my vote for the top lock duo I’ve seen play.


That's interesting, as I take the completely opposite view. Although he was known for being a thug, and derided because of it, I'm a firm believer that you need a good couple of nasty bastards in the pack if you want to make a genuine fist of it at the highest level.

Botha brought that in spades. He genuinely enjoyed dishing it out, and on a fundamental level, that's what you need...a sadistic streak that means you don't just want to win the contact, you want to hurt the opponent (legally, but can slip into illegality) to such an extent that they subsequently shy away and your life (and everyone else's within your team) is made easier for the remainder of the game.

People who can do that at international level are few and far between (mainly because you are playing against the best of the rest, and they've invariably seen it all before), and it's something that doesn't often get brought up, but I see in Retalick too (and another reason why he's the best). He hits rucks like he means to hurt people.

Ultimately, it's a tough thing to quantify, but you can definitely feel that 'edge' it's loss when those player are not there. In my opinion, Botha was the more important player to the physical way the Boks played.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:39 am 
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Jeff the Bear wrote:
naki wrote:
I always felt Bakkies was very much the junior partner in the duo, he definitely preferred to ‘enforce’ smaller players whenever possible. VM was so good that it didn’t matter, would get my vote for the top lock duo I’ve seen play.


That's interesting, as I take the completely opposite view. Although he was known for being a thug, and derided because of it, I'm a firm believer that you need a good couple of nasty bastards in the pack if you want to make a genuine fist of it at the highest level.

Botha brought that in spades. He genuinely enjoyed dishing it out, and on a fundamental level, that's what you need...a sadistic streak that means you don't just want to win the contact, you want to hurt the opponent (legally, but can slip into illegality) to such an extent that they subsequently shy away and your life (and everyone else's within your team) is made easier for the remainder of the game.

People who can do that at international level are few and far between (mainly because you are playing against the best of the rest, and they've invariably seen it all before), and it's something that doesn't often get brought up, but I see in Retalick too (and another reason why he's the best). He hits rucks like he means to hurt people.

Ultimately, it's a tough thing to quantify, but you can definitely feel that 'edge' it's loss when those player are not there. In my opinion, Botha was the more important player to the physical way the Boks played.


I'd go with naki on this. Matfield was the main man, but needed Bakkies to leave him do his thing. The best partnerships allow this to happen. So perhap it is less a case of one being the main man, more each knowing what each other was good at and playing together. Probably why I think they were the best.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:43 am 
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Matfield was also a filthy fucker at times.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ps7GtXfVZ14


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