Keo takes a look back at the positives and negatives of this past weekend’s Super Rugby for Independent Media, highlighting the impressive performances of Jantjies and Jean-Luc Du Preez, whilst asking questions of South Africa’s continual support for mediocrity, as the losing Sharks were described as “magnificent”.
1: The Stormers have no chance of winning Super Rugby. They’re not good enough and they’re a team that wouldn’t be able to buy a win on the road, let alone earn one. Stormers captain Siya Kolisi said his performance wasn’t good enough. He said other senior players were also not good enough. One wants to applaud the honesty and frankness of the captain’s comments, but with the ownership of performance comes ownership about the lack of preparation. How can a team so readily and easily admit they were not mentally or physically up for the challenge? It asks serious questions of the coach, captain and team leadership. It also tells us they never believed they could go to Johannesburg and win.
2: I am among those who have been motivating for Kolisi to be the Springbok starting loose forward and captain. I have also been a huge disciple of Nizaam Carr’s performances over the years. But it is difficult to promote the national virtues of either player after the limpness of their effort against the Lions. It was also impossible to counter Nick Mallett’s view that Carr, in particular, goes missing too often in big games and that Kolisi this season is showing a similar softness too often in big moments.
3: For the second successive weekend Sharks flank Jean-Luc du Preez was monumental against a New Zealand team. The Hurricanes were a bigger examination than the Blues and Du Preez produced an even more imposing performance. He made 12 carries and 14 tackles and was equally influential on attack and in defence. He is currently the form loose forward in the competition and comfortably the best in South Africa.