And I mean, it’s not even like our national team’s honour (or results) depend on this little list of mine ... getting the squad right is way more important for some people. But anyway, this isn’t my pick of the Bok squad, this is just my selection of who I believe have been the top Super Rugby performers until now.
And like I said it was tough because, as we all know, there have been some superb performances all over the country, even in the Eastern Cape.
Yep, from Kings loose forward Chris Cloete’s solid breakdown work to flyhalf Lionel Cronjé’s eccentric, around-the-back dummies that turn into try-creating grubbers (not that that’s the only impressive thing he’s done - don’t forget about his goal-kicking), the thrill has been everywhere. Maybe not as much up in Pretoria, but it’s been pretty much everywhere. And those guys certainly deserve a mention, even if it’s not in the form of their names next to a number on this list
We’ve seen youngsters shine and handle their business like they’ve been doing it for years, we’ve seen trekvoëls settle down and perform, and we’ve seen some older pairs of legs run like they’ve been injected with new life.
The way the Sharks’ Curwin Bosch has handled pressure can only be applauded, while he’s also done more for the Sharks than just setting up the tee and showing his freakish ability to hit the black dot.
Stormers outside centre EW Viljoen has done great things in his debut Super season, and his defence, passing game and offloads, are enough to keep anyone out of the No13 spot. Stormers scrumhalf Jano Vermaak has looked like the (much) younger version of himself with darting runs and great tactical play, and inside centre Dan du Plessis, who misses out on my No12 spot to Rohan Janse van Rensburg, certainly hasn’t gotten much wrong, and his hard work and his rock-solid defence has been just plain brilliant (Janse van Rensburg should thank his powerful runs for edging Du Plessis out).
Young Stormers tighthead Wilco Louw has done extremely well whenever he’s featured ahead of Stormers incumbent Frans Malherbe, not only in terms of his scrummaging ability, but also in terms of his grind around the park.
Lions fullback Andries Coetzee finally seems to be getting the recognition he deserves for his play while Jean-Luc du Preez's ball carries and metres smashed, his tackle breaks and his tackling, it’s all been great.
Again, there are guys who’ve missed out. Guys who have been performing consistently for their franchises...you know, the Robert du Preez’s, the Kobus van Wyk’s and the Cheslin Kolbe’s.
Starting line-up: 15 SP Marais, 14 Courtnall Skosan, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Siya Kolisi (captain), 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg
Bench: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Andries Ferreira, 20 Jean-Luc du Preez, 21 Ross Cronjé, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Andries Coetzee