Juan Smith Archive

Before we dive balls deep into part 2 of the Super Rugby Preview, lets take some time to reflect on two recent rugby related events. First up, massive maverick thumbs up to the Blitzbokke’s cup win in Las Vegas. Not only did the Springbok sevens side beat New Zealand, they did it in fine style winning 40-21. At one stage leading 35-0. Delicious. Secondly, it is with a heavy heart that all rugby fans the world over say so long, farewell and well-played bru, to Juan blood diamond Smith. After being out of the game for nearly two years the Free State and Bok legend has been forced to retire after tweaking the same Achilles that has kept him out of the game for so long, in a warm up game against the Bulls. Juan played 69 Tests for the Springboks and was part of the team that won the RWC in 2007,  Tri-Nations in 2009 and beat the British & Irish Lions in 2009. He was the work horse in the side, considered one of the best loose forwards to have played for the Bokke and one of the hardest guys to have ever played the game. At provincial [&hellip

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“Suuuuuper Rugby… saaaaay it with me” “No more waiiiting” “Hallelujah” “Enough with the singing already Gosh!” Good stuff. Well played, now hit the showers. This year Super Rugby starts even earlier but at least for the time being still only involves 15 teams. Whether or not and indeed when that will change is a matter for another day, for now let’s get into the swing of things with a casual glance at the South African conference to see who the favourites and not-so favourites are and why. The Kings Told late they are in Super Rugby,  only given one year to get it right and only allowed two foreign players in their squad.  Well done SARU, massive fail on all fronts. Monkeys could do your jobs, not even highly skilled monkeys, just ones trained not to throw poop at the journalists in media briefings. Do the Kings have a chance at not finishing at the bottom of the SA log? No. Are they capable of an upset at home against the Force? Maaaybe. Will at least half the teams in the tournament put over 50 points on them? Definitely

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On Wednesday the Proteas managed to beat New Zealand’s Black Caps in the final T20 game of the series. The beauty of the win was that the Black Caps were so far ahead that they needed less than 6 runs to the over from the 15th over with 7 wickets in hand, which in T20 terms is the proverbial triple decker chocolate cake walk. The game should have been over with 2 overs to spare but the Proteas never gave up, Jess Ryder started to care more about his 50 than his team, Botha and Marchant de Lange bowled quality overs and before you knew it the Black Caps had CHOKED. Put that in your mouth….chew on it…. delicious! Back to more important matters though with 4 Super Rugby games on Saturday. Sat 25th 2012 Chiefs vs Highlanders Sonny Boxer Williams and Aaron Cruden are now playing for the Chiefs and with Lelia Masaga and Richard Kahui they now have one of the most exciting backlines in the competition. Any one of these players can change a game with a piece of individual brilliance but it is in the forwards where the Chiefs are looking a bit vulnerable. They will [&hellip

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World Cup or no world cup, the Springbok performances in this year’s Tri-Nations tournament have been mostly average to fairly shitake. When it was decided to send a ‘B’ side on the Australasian leg of the tournament, the writing was graffitied all over the wall and the poor results should have been expected. This of course does nothing to appease the pissed off and disillusioned Bok fans. The fact is that Pieter de Villiers, Gary Gold, Dicky Muir and the selectors have failed to blood enough new players in their four years together. PdV has made it clear that he knew, back in 2009, which players he would take to the RWC (injuries permitting), which is fine and dandy but shows absolutely no regard for the future of Bok rugby post this rugby world cup. There is however not much the loyal Bok fan can do at this late stage but stop grumbling about the coach and his assistants and get behind the team. The Bokke have one last chance to get back to winning ways before the RWC2011 and thanks to Graham Henry’s decision to rest his frontline players, the task has become a leeeetle bit easier. The All [&hellip

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When I say ‘Supe’ you say ‘Rugby’. ‘Supe’ … ‘Supe’… Quality. It is that time again, when rugby lovers once again get to watch the best club rugby in the world (that’s right northern hemisphere rugby fans… in the world). SANZAR have decided that the best way to maintain and increase interest in Super Rugby is to add another team and increase the amount of local derby games. Whether this is a move of sheer brilliance or sheer tom foolery only time will tell. One thing is for sure, it is going to take quite inspirational player management to end up with a competitve matchday 22, let alone the best players of every team playing in the knock out stages. Each team is going to play at least 16 games each this year with a possible 3 more. That is a lot of beer. I hope I am ready. Supersport has a detailed explanation of how things will now work. Before we plunge deeper into the South African team’s chances, take a gander at the new Super Rugby logo. Notice two things, firstly the clever use of a rugby ball in the middle of the ‘S’  = creative genius. Secondly, notice [&hellip

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Crazy times on the rugby field last week. The Wallabies started like a dingo on fire and caught the Springboks napping to surge to a 21-7 lead after the first 20 min. Bryan Habana had a nightmare game and you could see him willing the field to swallow him whole after a he failed to field a kick-off that went straight through the bread basket to pop up for James O’Connor to run in for the easiest of tries. Habana is world-class and although most people reckon he should have been rested after playing in every game for the Stormers and Boks this season, he will be glad to be playing on Saturday. He sets high standards for himself and will be itching to make up for his blunders with a solid performance. He has been backed by the coaches and rightly so, he is too good not to come right and my money is on him scoring a try this weekend. The Boks did very well to claw their way back into the game and showed real fight, character and experience to out score the Wallabies 20 – 3 in the second half. It was not a great start [&hellip

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Francois Hougaard and Flip vd Merwe have both been included in the team to face the All Blacks on Saturday at FNB Stadium in Soweto. These will be their first Test starts having both played off the bench up until now. With Ruan Pienaar injured and Ricky McDonald’s burger Januarie in poor form, Hougaard has the chance to establish himself as the incumbent scrumhalf. Until Fourie Du Preez gets back that is

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