How to ensure South Africa wins #RWC2015
The 2015 Rugby World Cup is in full swing, and South Africans are hoping that their beloved Springboks become the first team to win the William Webb Ellis trophy for the third time.
After a few pints, The Devil’s Advocate looked into those winning teams and identified three selections that coach Heyneke Meyer needs to make to ensure we win.
Pick Pat Lambie at flyhalf:
It’s simple. Whenever South Africa have played a Natalian at number 10, they’ve won the Rugby World Cup. In 1995, it was Joel Stransky who kicked the winning drop-goal to clinch the victory over the All Blacks in that epic final. But in the build-up to the tournament, he wasn’t the first choice. Hennie Le Roux, who played outside him at inside-centre, was coach Kitch Christie’s initial choice as flyhalf.
In 2007, it was Butch James who did the job for South Africa. Another Natalian who stepped up to the plate and delivered the goods when it mattered.
In 1999, coach Nick Mallett famously skipped over Natalian Henry Honiball to start at flyhalf in the semi-final against Australia. Instead, he stuck with the red-haired Jannie De Beer, who had just struck a world-record five drop-goals against England in the final. While we like his name, we all know what happened in that match.
And in the 2003 and 2011 events, when the coaches took Blue Bull flyhalves along for the ride, we also came home early.
Of course, it would be even better if Heyneke picked a Maritzburg College alumni to lead the backline at 10, since that’s the school that both our World Cup winning flyhalves attended, but Michaelhouse is just up the road, so that will have to do.
Pick Jesse Kriel:
If Heyneke Meyer is looking for a talismanic Maritzburg College Old Boy to ensure a World Cup win, he need look no further than the sensational Jesse Kriel. He may be playing for the Blue Bulls now, but he lit up the Maritzburg College rugby fields in his school days – just like our World Cup winning flyhalves Butch James and Joel Stransky.
Picking Jesse Kriel would ensure the superstition is upheld. We’ve never lost a World Cup with a College boy in the backline.
Pick Pieter-Steph Du Toit as one of the loose-forwards
When South Africa won the 1995 Rugby World Cup, Kitch Christie surprised everyone by selecting lock Mark Andrews at number 8. And in 2007, Jake White picked Danie Roussouw as a loose-forward. We won both tournaments.
This year, Pieter-Steph Du Toit made the squad after being injured for the better part of two seasons. With both first-choice loosies Duane Vermuelen and Willem Alberts also
coming back from injury, there’s a good chance one of them won’t make it through to the final. Heyneke Meyer has clearly checked out the record books and that’s why the talented youngster is in the squad. Don’t be surprised if his name appears on the team sheet, and if it does, you know we’re in with a chance.
That’s it Heyneke – 3 crucial selections you need to make if we are to stand a chance of winning the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Make them and victory is certain. Persist with Pollard and De Villiers, and we’re certain to be on an early plane home. It’s written in the stars – or at least at the bottom of a beer glass.