Springbok Showdown: Prediction and players to watch
GREEN v GOLD: Saturday’s Springbok Showdown could be a brutal one in terms of physicality as players aim to impress the national coaching team.
There will be a host of World Cup-winners playing at Newlands on Saturday, but there are also a quite a few new faces pushing for Springbok selection for either this Rugby Championship (if the Boks participate) or next year’s prized British and Irish Lions tour.
Springbok captain Siya Kolisi, who will lead the Green team on Saturday, knows there will be a lot of passion and heart on display, especially for the new players.
“We want to show what we can do, and I think it’s a great opportunity for the new guys,” Kolisi told media on Friday.
“For some players, it’s the closest they will ever get to a Test match and I am really looking forward to seeing what we have. There is a strong group of players that are playing here.”
— Springboks (@Springboks) October 1, 2020
With the South African season only just getting underway and with the two teams only being together for a few days, there will be plenty of rustiness on the field. However. it should take nothing away from the intensity that is expected.
“It not about being scared – it’s about giving it everything you can and wearing your heart on your sleeve at all times. That is what we are looking for and also the work rate.
“It’s about what you can do off the ball and that kind of stuff is really important. We understand mistakes will be made and that is ok,” Kolisi added.
For Lukhanyo Am, who will lead the Gold team, there will be too many professional athletes on display to let something like lack of time together getting in the way of execution.
“With all the new faces there has been a lot of information in terms of team lingo and our plays and we have been really trying to push it in terms of the learning, clarity and details.
“I think at the end of the day we are all pro athletes from one to 15 on the field and we should be able to execute whatever plans that we’ve planned.
“In terms of combinations it’s really nice playing with new guys because there is an energy that comes in and there is less pressure,” said Am.
Players to watch:
For Green team: Most of the spotlight will clearly be on the new faces and the youngsters who have attracted the attention of the Bok coaches. Scrumhalf Sanele Nohamba is already being tipped as a future Bok scrumhalf, especially after his performances for the Sharks during last year’s Currie Cup. In the midfield, Wandisile Simelane has plenty of pace and power and he will have plenty of experience next to him in the form of Frans Steyn. Many believe prop Retshegofaditswe ‘Ox’ Nche is unlucky to have just one Bok cap to his name and he will have a shot to show his worth again.
For Gold team: In the pack, Salmaan Moerat is another player who caught the eye the with his performances for the Stormers after the past couple of seasons and it seems he will have a key enforcer role in the gold pack. In the midfield, Rikus Pretorius is an exciting prospect and he fits the mould of a big No.12 that South Africa loves so much. The Springboks have a wealth of talent when it comes to wings, but with the likes Sibusiso Nkosi and Makazole Mapimpi not featuring, a player like Rosko Specman could have a point to prove.
Head to head: The midfield battle looks like a mouth-watering one with Bok star Lukhanyo Am coming up against Wandisile Simelane. Staying in the backline, there has been a lot of talk on Damian Willemse’s future as a flyhalf and some questions could be answered when he comes up against the experienced Elton Jantjies. In the pack, the loose forward battle will be an intriguing one with Rassie Erasmus and Mzwandile Stick going with power in the form of Siya Kolisi, Arno Botha and Duane Vermeulen for the Green team. On the flip side, Jacques Nienaber and Deon Davids, seem to have gone for more speed and mobility with Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Nizaam Carr and Marco van Staden.
Prediction: It’s always hard to come up with a prediction for a game like this. The Gold team will probably be the better of the two teams and will take it by 10 points or less.
Green Team: 15 Gianni Lombard, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Malcolm Jaer, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Arno Botha, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 JD Schickerling, 3 Luan de Bruin, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche.
Replacements: 16 Schalk Erasmus, 17 Kwenzo Blose, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 JJ van der Mescht, 20 Juarno Augustus, 21 Junior Pokomela, 22 Embrose Papier, 23 Manie Libbok, 24 Jeremy Ward, 25 Kade Wolhuter.
Team Commissioner: Rassie Erasmus
Team coach: Mzwandile Stick
Gold Team: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Rosko Specman, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Nizaam Carr, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Replacements: 16 Dylan Richardson, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Jason Jenkins, 20 James Venter, 21 Vincent Tshituka, 22 Ivan van Zyl, 23 Curwin Bosch, 24 Werner Kok, 25 Manual Rass.
Team Commissioner: Jacques Nienaber
Team Coach: Deon Davids
Date: Saturday, October 3
Venue: Newlands, Cape Town
Kick-off: 17.00 (15.00 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen, Rasta Rasivhenge
TMO: Joey Klaaste-Salmans
— Springboks (@Springboks) October 1, 2020