Personal reflections on Day 1 of the build up to Saturday 7th October -Springboks vs All Blacks

What a remarkable day on two sides of the Peninsula with the Springboks and All Blacks in town

-In the centre of town at 12h30 sharp the ever efficient Bok media officer rolled in the Bok coach old Alistair Coetzee .He looked pensive and proceeded to discuss how he thought the Boks did well on Saturday in their 27 all draw .

His body language spoke of a man under pressure and even the attempted odd piece of humour seemed to fall flat .

The Cape media are well known for asking the odd probing question with one member of the media gang asking is the Bok Coach a dead man walking? and what did he make of one of his team members outbursts on twitter .

I have never engaged with Brendan Venter ( he seems a nice enough bloke ) but being media savy I am not so sure.

His tweets got taken out of context and surely he could have put out a lovely comprehensive media release regarding the pros and cons of the Boks development instead of trying to debate the drawn match in 140 characters .

The meet and greet latter that afternoon at the Cape Town stadium also only had a few 100 people ,which is a shame ,because the players are decent men ,under a huge amount of scrutiny and the coach is not exactly putting out the most coherent or positive message .

I got told by one of my media colleagues from Durban the Boks will lose on Saturday ,It is only the margin that is in question and one can’t argue with that statement .

The Boks dont seem to have blooded enough players and given the bench players a good enough run and players who where in the frame like Curwin Bosch earlier in the season are now sitting twiddling their thumbs while other players namely Pollard come back into the team on reputation only having been out injured for a while.

BUT …Across town in the leafy suburb of Newlands the All Blacks rode into town like rock stars ( a 5 star hotel no less ) ..it helps when you have real currency at your disposal and they proceeded to turn on the charm offensive .

Steve Hansen spoke in glowing terms about the challenge on Saturday and how they love playing the Boks and he also spoke about the thinking of bringing some players over earlier, namely stars Sam Cane ,Ryan Cotty and Sam Whitelock et al, who could be seen sunning themselves on Camps Bay and visiting Mynt cafe over the weekend .

The challenge the coach remarked is to keep the top players fresh for the end of year tour of the Northern Hemisphere .Sam Cane was then rolled out to the media and again spoke of the challenge that lies ahead on Saturday .The pressure will surely rise during the week ,but I have no doubt the All Blacks want to build on the 57 nil demolition they did in Albany over the Boks two weeks ago

The stakes are high as the South African rugby public are an unforgiving lot and they want to see the Boks improve .

The last time the All Blacks played at Newlands was 2008 ,I was still at BMG Records , and now in 2017 some 9 years latter I get to go see the test match with my wife and daughter who is 17 and wonder if the Boks will take it up the nought again . They did in 2008 the score was 19 nil .

Steve Hansen knows what to do to get the rock stars to click .If they put on an 80 min display the score could get ugly.

Lets see what the fox has up his sleeve prior to selecting the team ,but he has all the aces and the joker to play with. Who will deal the first hand, Blacks or Boks.

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