While the year escapes me as I set upon these words, I remember the Wallaby test when Scott “razor” Robertson was picked on SupeForm instead of the Josh Kronfeld world that he alone lives in at 7, for the All Blacks.
Robertson had been in sensational form for the Saders, and it seemed that it was a horses for courses decision – don’t you love that cliche?! Me too; time to down the strychnine. You first! The only problem was that in the intervening period between the SupeStuff and the International affair, someone had swapped the track; changed the race, and entered new participants that were asking different questions, requiring a different answer.
I am no horse-whisper… of note, but if a horse isn’t prone to jumping objects along the way, when one pops into their grill when they are mounted with mankind on back, such could prove a world away from their previous reality. You know what happens next – timber; rider with one leg hanging by the stirrup; what a drag on love.
I am no Ed-itor for nothing – make mine a double. I could also be on the rocks!
You see as good as Robertson’s form had been, the level playing field had found another sod and gone off in a northern direction. It was patently clear that what he offered at one level did not extrapolate to the next in that role. For all his form, the other’s class at the Test level had a permanence, and his game was suited to meet these needs.
All of this to say that it is a travesty of rugby justice for the Bokke to leave Brussow on the sidelines. Yes, yes, we are backing Meyer, and giving him his head, but he will have lost his if he confronts McCaw and Pocock, with the pocket-rocket not playing in the Six shirt.
Okay, because Mrs Coetzee is now screaming swahili, let me proviso her Marcell. This is not denying the talent of the young man. Nor is it saying that in a future world, he could well be the man with the six appeal. This does understand that this series is being used to breed the base in Bokke green, which also explains why Meyer has already talked about a return for Brussow. This talk would make as much sense as someone stuck stuttering on the letter A, deciding to enter and stay for a happy hour lasting the whole day, if he was anti the fetcher, per se.
In such matters we want pat answers – no, this is no Lambie to the slaughter – and one suspects this is a smarting Meyer moving to both encourage Heinrich to elevate his game, while also reflective on the English stayer, with little go in 7. As an ardent All Blacks man, I hope this is so, as in my opinion Hulkrich must turn green this season.
Speaking of Bokke Rugby, I did rise at 3am to catch the first witness of a new era in Springbok rugby. I endured the first 40, but enjoyed the kiss and the cuddle of the 2nd, as most of the Bokke 8, eventually proved enough.
At the interval, there was concern about the breakdown, both in attack and defence. It did, as expected, look like they were playing together for the first time. Apart from a deformed handful, it lacked cohesion and synergy, which was not made to pay by an English side that left points on the field, in the first half.
As I have noted in response from some in the Republic, some of this has been edited over by the Second 40, where for the most part, the Springboks started to combine like they knew each other – different colours, though. For the United Nations of England, the sad reality was that only after the match-facts did they decide to really use the ball with width to the extremities, with the impact noticeable; Ben Foden’d home, in the corner.
This will have encouraged the locals, but even given the obvious provisos, the home side were missing the arrowhead & work of Brussow.
In thinking through what has been broken down in this context, there are a number of “either/or” fallacies that enter this argument. One. Fetcher or ball carrier in “6″. Well, I would argue that you want the two to become one. McCaw can be your exhibit A, with Heinrich proving more than efficient. He is different from the behemoths; yet effective. In fact, I would argue from the recesses of my imagination that he has a skillset that is as well rounded as a Coenie-man. Two. Frontrow fetch it now, therefore again, there is no need for this in “6″, which is obviously also flowing through from number one. I think it is fair to opine that we in New Zealand have led the way with 15 men tuned in to a cross-contamination of core roles in various positions. We expect our big boys & pretty boys to strap themselves over the man on the ground. One of our better ones in the backs is Conrad Smith, with another the Hooking Hore, Andrew. You may have noticed he started on the weekend. So did McCaw.
In saying all that. As it stands this day, Marcel Coetzee is to Heinrich Brussow what Scott Robertson was to Josh Kronfeld.
Again, the Kid has got a bright future. I know; what dark location did I pull that one out of; yet, he does not provide that edge the Springboks will need if they are to both consume their own ball on attack and slow-to-steal the opposition’s, when the real rugby starts, and it will be war at the breakdown. Yes, show me the statistics from SupeRUG; now shove them up your Naas – with much respect – your insides glow. Okay, bring the battleship Bismarck to the breakdown, but also pick the tugboat, Brussow.
Finally, when all the members in Springbok rugby prove fit, iamjonnyking would have a trio, something like the following –  Brussow.  Burger.  Alberts. Big Willem – reminds me of the German kid who ate everything on the movie, Willy Wonka [#JustSaying] – is the go forward in the boot. Burger, the Bliksem on the side that is needed in the collision; an ideal man to arrive second at the breakdown on defence; man to make havoc. Brussow, playing the part of the paperman who folds over like an Origami - Crane – while also disrupting at will!
I think I have said enough; just about THIS subject. I have another one to bloviate about next, but it is late.
While I get some sleep - What Say You?
Shooting from the Lip