Cobus Visagie on the Boks, Hougaard & Saracens

Cobus Visagie, regarded at one time as one of the best tighthead props in the world, moved to London, some years ago, to play for Saracens. Visagie is now the commercial director, as well as an assistant coach at Saracens.

I recently spoke to Cobus, and one of the things he mentioned was the form of current Bok, C.J. Van der Linde. He was highly critical of C.J, after the third loss of the Boks to the All Blacks, at Soccer City.

CJ Van der Linde

But during the All Black test, C.J. Van der Linde came on after Juan Smith had left the field – a turning point in the game, according to Visagie.

“CJ has not once impressed in the scrums and after ten minutes he stood with his hands on his knees. BJ (Botha) is a better scrummager and his work ethic and tempo are phenomenal.”

Visagie regards Francois Hougaard as a real find for the Boks. Indeed, Hougaard’s performance against the Wallabies clearly shows that he is a great prospect for the future.

“While watching the test against the Wallabies at Loftus, with the Wallabies attacking from almost everywhere and, indeed, from their own goal line, it occurred to me that we may have seen the last of the relentless kicking games, I don’t think there’s any doubt that the Wallabies had decided to fully adopt this winning strategy from the All Blacks”.
Another team to have successfully used the All Blacks’ approach, as a template, are the Natal Sharks who convincingly crushed Western Province recently.

Perhaps even the Boks scrum coach, Gary Gold, who a few weeks ago still defended the Boks’ kicking game against the All Blacks, will now grudgingly admit that times have changed.

The new mantra in rugby is: attack from anywhere, even if it seems totally insane!

Francois Hougaard

Kicking for touch is one thing but kicking away possession with a kind of nonchalant recklessness is hopefully a thing of the past. Francois Hougaard, early on in the game kicked the ball into the hands of the opposition, and this led indirectly to one of the Australian tries a few minutes later.

The new mantra in rugby is: attack from anywhere, even if it seems totally insane!

Visagie formed the Springbok supporters’ club earlier this month, in anticipation of the year-end tour by the Green and Gold.Springbok jerseys, biltong and some of the best wines the Cape winelands have to offer, will be available, at a discount, to members.

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