Mark Keohane’s Independent Media Rants and Raves following a weekend of Super Rugby, Sevens and Six Nations.
Handre Pollard remains South Africa’s most complete flyhalf.
This is the best form I’ve seen from Pollard since he made his Super Rugby debut in 2014.
He was in such control against the Sharks and influential in the emphatic 37-14 win at Loftus on Saturday. Pollard, if fit, will be the Springboks’ first choice at the World Cup.
What is comforting for Bok coach Rassie Erasmus is that Elton Jantjies is showing a mental toughness that didn’t look possible after the horror show against England at Newlands last year. Jantjies was outstanding for the Lions in kicking six from seven and scoring a try.
It irked me to see Brad Shields score two tries and tug at the English rose on his jersey. Shields, a year ago, had never ever been to the United Kingdom.
He was all Kiwi – born, bred and with ambitions to wear the black of New Zealand.
He was a former Baby Black, but because of ancestry got picked for England before ever setting foot in the place. It’s a disgrace. Similarly, New Zealand born and bred flyhalf/fullback Gareth Anscombe.
He kicked the winning penalty against Scotland to keep alive Wales’ title aspirations.
Two Kiwis doing it in the Six Nations makes a mockery of the international game.
I have no issue with a player raised in a country that he wasn’t born in playing for that country.
But these Rent-a-Test mercenaries should be made extinct in the modern game.
For the rest of my weekend’s Rants and Raves visit IOL