Heyneke Meyer’s decision to favour ball-carrying ability rather than prowess on the floor allowed George Smith to run riot last weekend at Loftus. The same mistake has not been made again.
One of the two changes to Meyer’s side that were pipped by the Brumbies, and the most significant, is the inclusion of Pedrie Wannenburg on the flank in place of Danie Rossouw.
Whilst Wannenburg is not a specialist fetcher in the mould of Smith, his greater mobility and pace mean he’s far more effective on the floor, and will have a crucial role to play in nullifying Phil Waugh.
“Waugh is just as good as Smith, but I still don’t want to refer to Pedrie’s inclusion as an attempt to have the advantage of two openside flankers,” Meyer told Beeld.
“Pedrie is a versatile forward and doesn’t just add value with his play on the ground, but he is also mobile and a good ball carrier.”
The Bulls’ search for a specialist opensider to give them more options in the back row is well known. Luke Watson was aggressively pursued at the end of 2004, and the acquisition of Tim Dlulane indicative of Meyer’s approach to have the biggest possible variety of players in his side.
Meanwhile Meyer stated that Rossouw’s relegation to the bench gave his side a trump card in the second half.
“We definitely forfeit natural aggression by not including Danie in the starting lineup, but on the other hand he has proven himself as an incredible impact player.
“We can use him as either flank or lock. I know he will also make a huge difference as a replacement. If we use Danie and Pierre (Spies) judiciously, they can make a big difference in the last 20 minutes.”