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Pollard returns for Wellington clash

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content on 10 Sep 2014 at 08:22
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

Heyneke Meyer has once again overlooked Sharks pivot Pat Lambie and rather opted to hand Bulls man Handre Pollard a start at flyhalf in Saturday’s Rugby Championship test against the All Blacks in Wellington.

Pollard, who was uninspiring in two tests against the mighty Argentina, was dropped ahead of last week’s game against Australia, with Meyer reverting to the usually solid Morne Steyn. Steyn played badly in Perth however, missing a vital penalty kick for touch which ultimately resulted in the winning score for Australia, among a number of other indiscretions. Despite the presence of Lambie on the bench, the coach never thought to bring him in to dictate matters, as he has done many times previously for the Sharks.

The coach’s memory, it seems, is remarkably short; not only has he seemingly forgotten about Lambie’s credentials, he has additionally forgotten that just a fortnight ago, Pollard showed him and the world that he is not yet ready for the responsibility of playing flyhalf at test level. I’m not quite sure how picking the rookie again for a crucial test against the in-form Kiwis is the sensible thing to do; all we can hope is that Meyer is as forgiving and committed to the development of other youngsters in his squad. Perhaps Heyneke doesn’t like a flyhalf whose first name doesn’t end in an accented “e” (or doesn’t speak Afrikaans at home)?

The team is unchanged otherwise, with captain Jean de Villiers earning a 100th test cap.

South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Jan Serfontein, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Lodewyk de Jager, 20 Warren Whiteley, 21 Francois Hougaard, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Damian de Allende.


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