He’s only just turned 20, and looks and sounds his age. But new Springbok flyhalf Johan Goosen certainly doesn’t play like someone who is still under 21.
We all saw what he was capable of in the first half of the Super Rugby season for the Cheetahs, but a serious shoulder injury kept him off the field for four months.
And after playing only 50 minutes of Currie Cup rugby in his comeback, Goosen was picked for the Springbok squad and showed that he can handle Test rugby against the Wallabies in Perth.
Although he got only 10 minutes of action in the 26-19 defeat, he did enough to suggest that he could soon become a big player on the world stage. He put in a jinking run, kicked well, looked composed and appeared to offer so much more than Morné Steyn at pivot. “It hasn’t really sunk in yet. I was a bit nervous, but it was a big privilege and honour. It is just a pity that we couldn’t pull it through. It was very exciting for me to get my first cap. Now that that is over, we can move forward,” Goosen said after the Perth clash.
“Well, I won’t take the honour for myself (when asked about his line-breaks). It’s a team sport, and I just did what was expected of me. It would’ve been great if we could’ve won the game.”
Bok coach Heyneke Meyer revealed that he wanted “something special” from the Burgersdorp youngster on Test debut when he sent on Goosen with 10 minutes left. Wallaby tighthead prop Ben Alexander had just scored his team’s second try, which gave Australia a 26-19 lead.
“I guess you can’t do too much in 10 minutes. I just did what I could – I maybe could’ve done a bit more here and there. But it was my first game, although that’s not an excuse. I tried to do what I had to,” said Goosen, who is the latest Springbok from Grey College in Bloemfontein.
“Yes, there was disappointment in the dressingroom. We have high standards, and we should’ve won this one, no doubt about it. The guys are disappointed. We definitely think we should’ve won this game. We did very well to stick to the game plan in the first half, and in the second half we made one or two mistakes, and they came back into the game and kept the pressure on us.”
All Goosen wanted to do after the match was speak to the people close to him, especially his girlfriend. “I didn’t get a call from my family before the game. It’s actually poor of them! I haven’t spoken to my parents or my people yet. But I know that they support me in everything I do. I think I’ll call my dad first, and then I’ll call her!” – Cape Times