Fourie du Preez - Some Perspective
May 28, 2012, 00:14:30
I have read twice now how Du Preez was apparently a weak link for the Boks. A certain test at Twickenham in 2004 being the focal point of this argument. I have just completed transfering the 2006 TNs to disc and had a chance to go over a few things. Some of his highlights include the breakout try he set up against NZ in the first TNs test of 2004. It set the tone for Jake's debut season. He was part of what was an outstanding attack in 2004. I recall his opening try against NZ in 2006, a clever chip over the defence to setup Paulse, his burst which scored the opening try in the away leg of the 2009 TNs against Australia. He was the spark in a four try bonus point win. Or how about his entire 2007 season? 2005 was laden with rock solid play. There are far too many moments of genius to cite here but suffice to say his pedigree was never in doubt. All the way back to 2004 it was evident that he was a tactical genius and high impact player. It was unfortunate that our pack got bullied in the 2004 test at Twickenham where we were smashed off the ball ruthlessly, but by no means was Du Preez a weakness.
Meyer selecting him as temporary captain is not a move I would have made, but retaining him in the team, whether it be as a starter or bench option, always has value. Hougaard is a fine 9, but he is not the tactical master that Du Preez is and he does not run the ball to the same degree of efficiency either. That bullet pass off both hands is something no other 9 can match, even today. To classify him as a kicker only, or one-dimensional, is foolish. At a time where we are most vulnerable, we must not be so shortsighted as to attack players of Du Preez's calibur.