Our one-eyed pundit on why South Africa will beat England
By One-eyed pundit
Last Updated: 04/11/19 12:21pm
All objectivity is straight out the window as our South African one-eyed pundit raves over the Springboks ahead of their clash with England at Twickenham on Saturday, live on Sky Sports.
The Boks are back and are heading to Twickenham for another taste of victory against England.
We walloped you 2-0 in June, then we let you win the third Test - against our B team!
Eddie says it's not about winning this weekend, but it's the 'performance' that counts. Pull the other one EJ. Try telling your fans it's just a friendly. All the pressure is on you. This is a must win for you, boets, and you know it.
The All Blacks are up next for England. You need a bit of form going into that or it could get very ugly. We only lost to them at Loftus Versfeld Stadium because we had to replace some of our best players with 15 minutes to go. You're just lucky Faf de Klerk and Willie le Roux are not allowed to play this week.
Speaking of Faf and Willie, I've spent the week looking for the holy grail - an answer to exactly why they can't play. Niks, naught, nothing. Basically it boils down to this: England can play their Premiership players but South Africa can't! Still, Ivan van Zyl will have an armchair ride behind our juggernaut pack and as for Damian Willemse he's already got a cult following with his electric pace and side-stepping abilities, as do wingers Sbu Nkosi and Aphiwe Dyantyi - give them the outside boys, I dare you!
Duane Vermeulen's back - and his ankles are bigger than his knees! He's in on the blindside flank in the No 7 shirt (we've got it right, the rest of the world is wrong!) with Warren Whitley at No 8 and Siya Kolisi at 6.
That is some tasty back-row with more than 100 caps between them - take Dylan Hartley out of the mix and that is more than the rest of your pack combined! It's going to be a tough day at the office for you at the collision and the breakdown.
In fact, it's going to be a tough day at the office all across the park! Our front row will be licking their lips like Rassie Erasmus has given them a free pass to an all-you-can-eat meat fest. I mean where are all the loose-head props in England? In South Africa they are literally everywhere.
In England, kids dream of one day wearing sequins on Strictly. In South Africa, they dream of getting cauliflower ears. Steven Kitshoff is a big biltong-eating monster - watch out Kyle Sinckler.
Malcolm Marx is back too - you know, the best hooker in the world right now! He missed the maulings in June but you will know exactly what all the fuss is about after either his first touch or your first touch!
No wonder EJ went with co-captains, Hartley is not going to know his sixes from his sevens after Marx is through with him!
Then there is our tackling dynamo Pieter-Steph du Toit. He starts at lock on Saturday but will probably end the game on the flank - he'll be everywhere. He made 83 tackles in the Rugby Championship - 11 more than anyone else.
Maro Itoje, Tom Curry and Brad Shields will do their best - but did I mention that Duane is back?
As for the backs, well Danny Cipriani, who started in that dead rubber in Cape Town in June - the one you won - isn't even in the squad!
Ben Te'o can play but it's a big call to start him. He's played just 29 minutes of rugby this season - 29 minutes! Twenty-nine Challenge Cup minutes. Twenty-nine minutes where he threw an intercept pass resulting in an Ospreys try…
Our backs are in the groove, Handre Pollard oozing confidence, kicking everything, taking the ball up and distributing. Outside him you have Jesse Kriel and Damian de Allende - two battering-ram centres who can produce a sidestep on one of your tiny 5p coins.
So do I see any chance for England on Saturday? Even if I squint hard in the Twickenham sun, I just can't see a chink in our armour. We may not have Faf but we have too much power, too much grunt and, when your defence cracks, too much pace. Even the stage whispers of 'Remember Japan in 2015' are easily drowned out with a confident cry of 'BOKKE! BOKKE! BOKKE!'
Watch England make our one-eyed pundit eat humble pie: #Followtherose this autumn with all of England's Tests live on Sky Sports throughout November. The action starts on Saturday, November 3 against South Africa before clashes against New Zealand, Japan and Australia.