In my weekly rants and raves for Independent Media’s IOL, my focus is on Eben Etzebeth’s immediate and enormous impact in his 80 minute return to rugby after a 9 month injury layoff.
Eben Etzebeth was simply colossal in Durban on Saturday. The youngest player to get to 50 Tests for the Springboks made fools of those disbelievers who questioned why coach Rassie Erasmus had started him against Argentina This was his first competitive match since the last Bok match of the 2017 season.
He led from the front, added mongrel and physicality to everything he did and showed great skill with ball in hand. He also proved a menace to the visitors at lineout, and his presence certainly added to the scrum potency. In Afrikaans they’d say “Hy’s ‘n Meneer ”
1. This hatred of the All Blacks irks me. This is a team that continues to set standards unheard of in international sport. The All Blacks have won 100 of their last 112 Tests, with 50 percent of these matches played away from home.
Their second half display in Sydney was breathtaking. If you love rugby, you have to appreciate the brilliance in their performance. Forget nationality for a moment and just observe without emotional prejudice; no other team in the world can be as good without the ball and then give an attacking masterclass with the ball.
To the haters, you can’t love rugby and not love watching the All Blacks.
For the rest of my weekend’s Rants and Raves visit iol.co.za