One of my favourite parts of websites is the best XV team and judging by traffic on this website, it’s one of yours too. I have yet to see a Springbok XV from the first two weeks of the Super XV, so here goes…
1) Steven Kitshoff (Stormers) - at just 20 years old the WPRFU are clamoring for this boys signature on some from of paper stating that he is committed in the Cape before the Bulls come with their deep purse.
2) Adriaan Strauss (Cheetahs) - Aggressively leading from the front for a Cheetahs pack that does not seem to be firing on all cylinders yet. Carried the ball well, threw good line-out ball and solidly hooked the ball back for his scrum.
3) Werner Kruger (Bulls) - The big, hard man has been well… big and hard this year (oooer). Providing a great scrumming foundation and covering the hard yards up the middle of the field, as well as providing great defense.
4) Eben Etzebeth (Stormers) – Bakkies who?
5) Juandre Kruger (Bulls) - More than a replacement to Matfield this Air Marshaller has a hard physical edge to his game too.
6) Siya Kolisi (Stormers) - Topped the tackle count again this week, with 15 more tackles than the next player. Reminds me of both a young and old Schalk Burger with his enthusiasm on defense and his great lines on attack.
7) Jaques Potgieter (Bulls) - The other Potgieter is going to have trouble coming back into the team after his injury. This guy has speed to burn and is a big physical presence on the field. Was responsible for the Bulls finding space up the middle of the field time and again. Gave away a silly yellow card by being overly enthusiastic, but still a great performance.
8) Josh Strauss (Lions) - Man, this guy is everything that I want in a captain. Inspires by leading from the front. It took 3 Hurricanes to bring him down close to the line and he STILL went forward with momentum and made the ball available. If you were to build a team around a captain like Jake White did, I’d have to say that this would be my Bok captain.
9) Francois Hougaard (Bulls) - Yes it was a red card, but other than that over the last two weeks his work-rate in the middle of the field has proved to be the spark that the Bulls have needed to up their pace of playing the game.
10) Elton Jantjes (Lions) - People claim that Steyn is brilliant, but his pack is more than dominant and his scrum half provides brilliant go-forward ball. Let’s see him behind a par pack and a scrummie that is slower than Ms Daisy like Jantjes has had for the last 2 weeks. Great accuracy at goal, exceptional hands and taken a step up in defense. It’s a real rags to riches story – having had his confidence thoroughly broken last year, it took two coaches of the caliber of Mitchell and Spencer to rebuild this young man. He’s a better player for it and could be a Bok bolter.
11) Lwazi Mvovo (Sharks) - Mimicking the skills of one of the island boys, he uses his power and feet to break at least one tackle whenever he gets the ball and is looking to offload to provide continuity.
12) Francois Venter (Bulls) - this kid is fast developing his game and like a lot of the young talent this year does not look out of his depth at all. In fact when Sadie is fit I expect Olivier to man the bench for the rest of the season.
13) Nobody - Habana and Peitersen have been dismal failures and everyone else is either a turnstile or a cart-horse. De Jongh had a flash of brilliance, but needs match practice. Cannot in good faith give this to anybody. Bigbum Fourie is sorely missed.
14) Gio Aplon (Stormers) - The only person looking like scoring a try in a misfiring Stormers back line. He is looking for work like Habana was 2 seasons ago and has caused some ruck turn-overs.
15) Riaan Viljoen (Sharks) – Also not saying much. Pietersen is classy, but lacks penetration through contact, Taute is raw talent, but this weekend was not his best game with sloppy play, Daniller is a plodder and Kirchner had one moment of brilliance in an otherwise ho-hum game. Viljoen looked dangerous with ball in hand and has a prodigious boot.
There we have it, we’ll keep track of this lot and see who replaces who next week. If you look through this list and put these 15 players in the green and gold you would get an exciting attacking team and what is noticeable is that 4 black players are making it on merit onto the field, with space for De Jongh, should he up his game, at outside centre. Fielding 5 players of colour in a Springbok first XV would be a first. Add Beast, Chiliboy, Habana on the wing and Aplon at Fullback, that’s 9 in a 22. That makes me glad and is positive for the future of Springbok Rugby in the Heyneke Meyer era.