CAPE TOWN – Rugby journalist Mark Keohane's rants and raves following the weekend's rugby action.
1. A salute to the combined and individual efforts of the three foreign-based Springboks in Duane Vermeulen, Faf de Klerk and Willie le Roux. Their influence was colossal in South Africa’s win against England. De Klerk and Le Roux produced arguably their best ever Bok performances and Vermeulen towered above every other forward in his all-round contribution.
Bok coach Rassie Erasmus got it spot on with his selection of the trio. De Klerk and Le Roux are more complete players now than when they left SA, and Vermeulen commands presence and respect from his teammates and the opposition. This was a statement that the right foreign-based players strengthen the Boks.
2. The All Blacks’ history-making trio of Barrett brothers combined for New Zealand's first try of the season in a script that could have been written by their mom and dad. The trio did all the work from the first break to the touchdown for the most memorable family try. Lock Scott Barrett made the break, fed to younger brother Jordie, who made another break to set up the try for the most celebrated of the brothers, Beauden, to score.