Key Clash Preview: SA North Barbarians v England
Date: 20th June 2012
Referee: Mark Lawrence
Venue: Olën Park, Potschefstroom
SA North Barbarians:
15 JC Roos, 14 Danwel Demas, 13 JW Jonker (c), 12 Joubert Engelbrecht, 11 Deon Scholtz, 10 Coenie van Wyk, 9 Shaun Venter; 1 BG Uys, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 3 Ashley Buys, 4 Eduan van der Walt, 5 Rudi Mathee, 6 Jaco Bouwer, 7 MB Lusaseni, 8 Nicky Steyn.
Replacements: 16 Pellow van der Westhuizen, 17 Zane Kilian, 18 Boela Serfontein, 19 Martin Sithole, 20 Andries Mahoney, 21 Hoffman Maritz, 22 Tertius Maarman.
15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Anthony Allen, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 Ugo Monye, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Lee Dickson; 1 Matt Mullan, 2 Tom Youngs, 3 Paul Doran-Jones, 4 Graham Kitchener, 5 George Robson (c), 6 Jamie Gibson, 7 Carl Fearns, 8 Ben Morgan
Replacements: 16 Joe Gray, 17 Rupert Harden, 18 Mouritz Botha, 19 Thomas Waldrom, 20 Karl Dickson, 21 David Strettle, 22 Jonny May
SA North Barbarians:
Much like the Southern counterparts last week, little is known about the SA North Barbarians but that does not mean that they will necessary be easy pickings. They have great potential in the back three with Danwel Demas and JC Roos, whilst given that the large majority of players are from the Pumas and Leopards means there will be a relative air of familiarity amongst the side.
Once again playing in midweek to making a Test defeat a distant memory, England have been bold in their selections by picking promising youngsters in Wade, Youngs and Gibson from the start, but also not afraid to see if others who have disappointed on the Test scene can improve with Mouritz Botha and Ben Morgan. Go well in Poteschefstroom and there is little stopping these players from participating in the 3rd Test.
What to Expect:
In both tests and last week in Kimberley England struggled in the lineout, so expect the South Africa pack to have more than enough firepower to trouble any possession. The tackles will be heavy and England will need to work hard around the fringes to tire out those big forwards and create the space for their backs. If the SA North Barbarians can get ahead early through an early try and maintain the pressure through the boot of fly-half Coenie Van Wyk then England might panic and force the game.
Head to Head: Danwel Demas & Ugo Monye
Demas is now 30 but has enjoyed a healthy career with Aironi in Europe and in Super Rugby with the Bulls and Cheetahs in the past, not to mention a stint on the South African 7s circuit. What that all means is that he has plenty of pace to offer going forward, but expect him to pop up infield looking for work. Opposite him Monye makes his first start of the tour and looked likely to play in the 2nd Test before a hamstring injury ruled him out. He is now fit again, and ready to make an impact.
Ones to Watch: Nicky Steyn & Ben Morgan
Again two number eights, but both with a lot to offer. Steyn racks up plenty of tries in the Currie Cup for the Griffons as a pacey back rower with plenty of power who will look to trouble England on 1st phase. Morgan on the other hand, now of Gloucester, has had a disappointing tour of South Africa thus far, failing to make the breaks which boosted his reputation during the Six Nations and appearing worryingly subdued against the Springboks in Johannesburg. Needs a big performance.
England for large parts of last week in Kimberley were very poor with regards to the way they went about the set-piece and were lax in defence. But they still won by nearly 30 points, so expect a simliar sort of outcome on Tuesday evening. England by 20
by Ben Coles