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The test match in Mendoza was dogged, with the Pumas, as usual, giving away too many kickable penalties

Neil Jardine

Captained Rhodesia 1962 – 1969
Rector of Michaelhouse. (1978-1986)

"Rugby is a thinking game – its’ not a running or a kicking game. This mania for running with the ball and playing open rugby at all costs is stupid – you must adapt yourself to the circumstances and play to your strength"

Now 50 years later Niel Jardine writes for Frosty ...

So at last they've got the scrumming laws right. Only three instructions and guess what? The ball has to be put in straight! It tells you something about the corporate intelligence of those in authority that it has taken this long. I mean, for seasons now, the slightest crooked throw at the line out was blown and yet the scrumhalf was permitted to put the ball in under his forwards' feet. Absurd! It made a mockery of 90% of scrums. I was thinking of suggesting to coaches that they pick their hooker at loose head lock! But let's be grateful for small mercies.

The test match in Mendoza was dogged, with the Pumas, as usual, giving away too many kickable penalties. They were a completely different side from that which 'played' at Soccer City. The Sharks outplayed the Bulls in almost every phase of the game, tight, loose, passing, kicking, tackling. Young Zeilanga had a great game at fly half but he has to rethink his chip kicks, every one of them going down the throat of an opposition player. Possession given away on a platter. Change to the grubber! And what of the WP versus Golden Lions match; a thriller after a regenerated Lions team returned to the field after the break. But, in my view, WP threw the game away. I'm of the school of 'take the points'. Do NOT kick for the corner in preference to kicking at goal unless there is a special reason i.e. you need 7 points to win the game. Mauls from the corner line outs seldom result in tries. I've seen a stat which says the success rate is about 20%. Defence techniques are just too well coached. Of course where teams are not of equal strength this argument does not hold. Having made the wrong decision with two penalties, finally, the WP captain, Fourie had to kick to goal to tie the match. More unthinking leadership and tactical blunders by captains who should know better.

Finally, what about the speed of the new WP wing Cheslin Kolbe! Lightning fast. Who says you've got to have huge wings? Jake White that's who. So players of the calibre of Gio Aplon and the 'forgotten' Brent Russell are consigned to the history books. Morne Steyn is playing great rugby. I'm a Lambie fan but how can you leave out the man with the golden boot.

 

NEIL JARDINE

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