Will the (Springbok) World end in Wales?
During my personal trials this week I’ve been telling myself: At least I’m not a worn-out, toothless herbivore facing a raging red dragon with my back to a cliff, a crag or a crevasse in the Welsh winter this weekend.
Alas, what awaits the hapless herbivores in the land of other people’s fathers tomorrow?
It is with some amusement that I note unlucky Allister now falling back on a tactic already all too familiar to the battered Bok fans: select a few young players and declare we are building for the future. (Preferably mention the World Cup.)
As strategies go, it’s fair … especially when other options are nonexistent. Note how Allister wants these new players to “do well” and has left out references to resounding victories.
Media mediating aside, I cannot help but be reminded of an ill-fated tour to New Zealand which must still be a bad memory to two former players called Gaffie du Toit and Dave von Hoesslin.
When a young player is granted an opportunity to be thrown under the bus, what choice does he have? Walk that plank bravely, young lambs.
What will happen tomorrow? Here are the options:
The Boks start with an early (and lucky) try, but the Welsh tighten their defence and the Boks become impotent as ever. It’s not long before the Bok defence leaks the first try. The Welsh convert their penalties while the Boks send crucial ones astray.
By halftime, the Boks are still within reach, but the faith is long gone. Gradually the Boks fail with every attacking opportunity and by the middle of the second half, the Welsh put the score beyond realistic expectations. The Boks lose by two tries or more.
The Boks trail after a lacklustre first half but mount a second half comeback reminiscent of the June game in Port Elizabeth. Just as it looks as if the Springboks might pull the game from the fire, Combrinck and/or De Jager are sent off for foul play. Without the full complement, the Welsh edge ahead to win by a narrow margin.
The Boks are dreadful from the start. The isolation of individual efforts soon shows that there is no hope for the game. Under enormous pressure, the wheels come off entirely. The Welsh win by a record margin.