OPINION: Why Mostert can be the perfect Bok blindside

Mon, 05 Mar 2018 16:30

SUPER RUGBY ANALYSES: Francois John Mostert was a 'no-name' brand, unwanted young lock when he joined the Lions in 2013. Now, five years later, he is one of the most talked-about second row forwards in South Africa.

The latest evolution in the remarkable career of the 27-year-old started this past weekend - when he played on the flank for the Lions in a convincing win over the Bulls, a team that regarded him as surplus to requirements.

To suggest he is a 'workhorse' would be an understatement.

Apart from the fact that he has played every single minute of Super Rugby the Lions were involved in this year, he has clocked some impressive statistics.

In his 240 minutes, he made 30 tackles, with a 91 percent tackle success rate.

Even more important is his discipline - just five penalties, with no red or yellow cards.

However, it was his performance on the side of the Lions' scrum - in the 49-35 win over the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld this past weekend - that had pundits talking about Mostert being a Springbok blindside flank option.

The question is: Does he have what it takes to be a genuine international blindside flank?

1. The blindside flank is often amongst the tallest members of the squad - a loose forward that can comfortably also play in the second row.

Mostert ticks that box!

2. The modern blindside flank also should have the ability to function as a No.8.

Mostert has not been tried at the back of the scrum yet.

3. The blindside flank is tall and strong, but also be one of the fittest players on the field - as he must play a key role in both attack and defence.

Mostert ticks that box.

4. The classic blindside also has a 'huge engine' - a workhorse that makes tackles all over the field, attempting to win turnovers and gaining hard yards when in possession of the ball. While as tall as a lock, he will be slightly slimmer than his second row counterparts - a lean athletic build with long rangy legs - because of the high workrate he is required to do.

Another tick in the Mostert box.

5. The blindside must still be well built, as he will have to use his strength to tackle and ruck with any member of the opposition.

Also a positive for Mostert.

Verdict: Select him now. He will be a perfect fit for the Boks!

By Jan de Koning
@king365ed
@rugby365com

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