World XV: Best No.9
In many cases the scrumhalf makes the flyhalf. Not all the time, however.
Great flyhalves tend to feed of a nippy scrumhalf with a great crisp, lengthy and bullet pass.
A great scrumhalf would always protect his flyhalf, never throw at bad ball to the 'general.
Tell that to Derrick Hougaard after a 'hospital pass' from Joost van der Westhuizen in a World Cup encounter against vs Samoa in Brisbane, when Brian Lima bruised his ribs. Bring in cover defence as a secondary task and kicking skills, then you almost have the perfect No.9.
Naas Botha (although second according to the poll) is still regarded as a brilliant and by many still the best to wear the Green & Gold No.10, was devastating controlling matters with his boot. Naas had a brilliant rugby brain.
At provincial level he had the long passing game of Robert du Preez and Tommy du Plessis. That gave Naas 'extra time'.
For the Springboks he had the above and while Divan Serfontein, Joost van der Westhuizen and Garth Wright's passing was not that long in distance, they were more attacking types and will take on half of gaps around the fringes.
That forced loose forwards not just to focus on trying to chase Botha down or catch him in possession (that hardly happened).
Time to pick your all time 'best' Bok and World XV "2ICs".
A lot of 'experts' believe that a club/provincial combo is crucial and although there was merit in that, today in the 'pay & play' era it is not the be all.
Aaron Smith and Dan Carter is a classic example of the modern day game.
If you prefer the combo criteria, these are the winners of the Best ever Bok and World XV 'generals'. Henry Honiball (too many a surprise) ahead of Naas Botha by a small margin and Dan Carter by a landslide over Jonny Wilkinson.
AussieBoer's choices … easy!
Joost van der Westhuizen (second best scrumhalf of all time) for the Boks and Gareth Edwards (Wales) for the World XV.
My best Bok No.9s: 1. Joost van der Westhuizen, 2. Fourie du Preez, 3, Danie Craven, 4. Dawie de Villiers
AussieBoer (Kevin D)
Teams so far:
Vote on polls for your No.9s