CAPE TOWN – I think Malcolm Marx, when on top of his game, is without comparison among world hookers. However, there can be no disputing Bongi Mbonambi’s red-hot form of the past few months.
Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has rewarded Mbonambi’s powerful display against Namibia with a start against Italy in a match the Boks must win to stay in the World Cup on Friday.
Italy’s record in the Six Nations has been awful over the past five years. They are comfortably the worst of the six tier-one northern hemisphere teams. But they do have a powerful pack and they are deserving of the respect Erasmus has shown in his selections.
Erasmus has acknowledged Mbonambi’s power game in giving him a start ahead of Marx. The latter will most definitely add a dimension to the Boks when introduced against tiring legs. Erasmus may just have settled on the best one-two hooker combination for purposes of the result.
Mbonambi is strong in the set piece and carries well. He brings solidity as a scrumming hooker. Marx, with his turnover ability and athleticism, gives the Boks a hooker/loose forward type of presence.