Jannie Du Plessis….The real deal
Super 14 rugby has provided some good entertainment over the years. In 2006 the Australians thought they had found their solution to being walked over in the scrums. “Rodzilla” had hit the scene and was ready for the big time.
Rodney Blake was a massive man, weighing in at 127 kg. Rodzilla had more than held his own against the other loose head props during the Super 14 that year. Os Du rand had been injured that Super rugby season and came back in time for the Tri Nations.
The first few scrums Os used to size Rodzilla up. Then the moment arrived. Os squared Blake up and squeezed him. Blake backpedaled at a rapid rate of knots and his test career literally ended that day. The Boks lost by two points but Os was back in town!!
Pieter De Villiers has actually made a canny move by moving John Smit to tight head. South Africa is very thin in this position, with Jannie Du Plessis being the only other contender.
CJ van Der Linde, Cobus Visagie, BJ Botha and a number of others are all plying their trade overseas. That means that Du Plessis and Smit are the best on offer in the crucial number 3 position.
Brian Mujati is at best a good provincial player and Brock Harris has added more grunt to the Stormers front row than Mujati could.
No tight head from the other South African Super 14 franchises has impressed either. Just how good Lawrence Sephaka can scrum will be put to the test by the Highlanders Jamie McIntosh in a clash at Coca Cola Park when the Lions host the visiting New Zealanders.
Werner Kruger has looked better than Ryno Gerber for the Bulls but is not Springbok material at this stage.
Jannie Du Plessis will be starting for the Sharks against the Waratahs this weekend. Can he demolish the new Aussie strongman Ben Robinson like the Os Du Rand of old? This is the moment for Du Plessis to draw his line in the sand and let South Africa know he is a hard man of South African rugby.