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Thu Apr 17 06:14:03 SAST 2014

Coach and Strauss expect great things of Goosen

LIAM DEL CARME | 28 September, 2012 05:450 Comments
Australia v South Africa: The Rugby Championship
Johan Goosen of the Springboks looks on during Rugby Championship match between the Australian Wallabies and the South African Springboks at Patersons Stadium on September 8, 2012 in Perth, Australia
Image by: Mark Kolbe / Getty Images

DON'T concede penalties, Wallabies, not even in your own half.

This sage advice came from Bertus Pretorius, kicking coach of new Springbok flyhalf Johan Goosen, who believes under the windless conditions of Loftus Versfeld, his charge could raise the flags from 65m tomorrow.

Goosen is in the Springbok starting line-up for the first time after Morne Steyn was asked to vacate the position he had occupied in all but three of the team's tests since the start of 2010.

"It's going to be tough for the Wallabies if they don't keep their discipline," said Pretorius.

"The air is thin and the ball will travel. I don't think Johan should necessarily attempt a kick that long first-up but that is the kind of range he is capable of kicking if the elements don't play a role."

He warned that a goalkicker's first attempt, especially from long range should be thought through carefully before being attempted: "That relationship between kicker and captain is quite important. You don't want to start with a miss.

"Johan normally misses one attempt, but when he gets the first one he normally kicks everything thereafter."

Pretorius said Goosen, who is still only 20, required some fine-tuning when he recovered from a dislocated left shoulder, but the glitches are now gone.

"He struggled with his rhythm. That was understandable, given the fact that his shoulder had just recovered and he couldn't turn. Ordinarily I believe in quality and not quantity in training but I let Johan kick himself into rhythm before he went on tour. I could see his rhythm returned in Dunedin."

Goosen missed his first attempt against the All Blacks - a monster on the angle from just inside the 10m line - but he showed remarkable fortitude to bang over the next one from near the halfway line.

Adriaan Strauss, Goosen's captain at the Cheetahs, is also expecting great things. "Johan will do well and will fill Morne's shoes. I don't think nerves will get the better of him. He's a player who can handle pressure."

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