A few weeks ago I mentioned the Springboks will have a nightmare 2010 season but little did I know it will start in 2009 already.
The statement was not made because I am clairvoyant, if I was, this will be my last ever column as it is Lotto Wednesday today.
The assumption was made on the back of repeated warnings, backed up by some solid facts and examples from the likes of Professor Tim Noakes.
Now I probably poses about 5% of the knowledge of experts like Prof. Noakes, but given what he has been saying all year long now (and for years before that) and what I personally experienced I can only wonder how long it will take, or how many times we will continue to make the same mistakes, before we take guys like Prof. Noakes and his advice seriously?
When I attended the Currie Cup semi-final at Newlands I made a point of reporting how knackered Victor Matfield looked not only in the game, but how utterly exhausted he looked when he sat in the post-match press conference where in my mind, he simply went through the motions answering questions in mechanical-like responses with some of the oldest clichés around in world rugby.
The magic of 2009 and what the Springboks achieved this year is quickly turning into a bit of nightmare for Peter de Villiers and his management team.
Players are breaking down left, right and centre and none of the stars of the 2009 season look anywhere close to on top of their game.
Is it a surprise that some of the very few stars of this end-of-year tour can be counted on one hand? And that none of them will include names like John Smit, Victor Matfield, Bakkies Botha, Fourie du Preez and the guys that took Springbok rugby to new heights in 2009? Well not when you consider the warnings that were sounded well before the Boks went on tour.
We are blaming the failures of this current tour on everything from player selection to poor tactics, where in fact this has very little to do with the actual cause of the problem and that is how we manage our top professional rugby players.
De Villiers has a point in where he says that the top players must be rested in our domestic competitions and not on tours, but in my opinion he is farting against thunder and complaining about something that has been an issue for years in South African rugby – union before country – and I cannot see SA Rugby wrestling the power away from unions very soon.
The point here is very simple, if we are to believe rugby is a professional sport today we need to treat our players, our assets, professionally – and that means we must ensure they are at optimal levels of conditioning whenever they take the field at the highest level of the game, test match rugby.
For now, expect advice from guys like Prof. Noakes to continue to fall on deaf ears and prepare yourself for another dip in Springbok rugby after such a great high.
In the meantime, has anyone got an idea of what the winning Lotto numbers will be tonight because I think I have a better chance of winning that than witnessing a change in scenery on the rugby front…Tweet