Morné

When you gamble, someone always loses


Written by Morné Nortier (Morné)

Posted in :Original Content, Stormers, Super Rugby on 23 Feb 2011 at 15:24
Tagged with : , ,

It seems my criticism in recent weeks and months with regards to the Stormers and their setup has been misinterpreted.

It might seem I have few positive things to say about a franchise that played in both the Super 14 and Currie Cup finals in 2010, but that is not true.

WP and the Stormers have made good strides in recent years, their age-group level teams have ended up in finals more often than not and this success is seemingly being transferred to Currie Cup senior, and Super rugby levels.

When the Stormers team was announced I headlined my article, ‘Stormers gamble with selections’.  The reference was specifically towards playing Rynhardt Elstadt at number 4 lock, young Poolman on the wing, and rookie Gary van Aswegen in the crucial flyhalf position with a jet-lagged Peter Grant his back-up on the bench.

Let’s be honest, and with respect to the Lions fans out there, the Stormers would have to seriously cock things up to lose against the Lions at home this weekend, and some might see this a good opportunity to give these guys a run as the Stormers always seemed slack in their exposure of youngsters to senior rugby.

It is also not a case of me not rating anyone of these players, just about all of them I believe are very talented, and can become future stars for the franchise, but most of them are probably being exposed a season too early.

Now don’t think I am focussing on their age when I say this, I am in fact pointing to the fact that because of the way these guys were managed, and not given proper time to develop in the structures already, exposing them to Super rugby where some have not even featured in Currie Cup senior rugby or are relative rookies at that level, suggest to me these selections are a massive gamble.

And this is the crux of the matter.  A union like the Stormers or WP should not put themselves in a position where a selection is a gamble or perceived as one.  Because if a team is properly managed, and a season or competition is properly planned, this should not be an issue.

You cannot control injuries of course, but when the franchise plays a rookie in a vital position like flyhalf as they are doing this weekend, has nothing to do with injuries, but more to do with bad management and planning there is cause for concern.

I have no doubt Elstadt and Poolman will be relatively protected and eased into this level of competition given where they will slot in and given wings at WP hardly get the ball, but Van Aswegen’s career could easily be destroyed, or the development of it delayed for a number years.

He could also have a blinder, earn man-of-the-match and make this column and myself look utterly foolish too which would be great for him and the team, but it does not change the fact that the selections of him, and others for this week’s match, is a gamble.



52 Comments

  • So if the Stormers don’t pick a youngster and he leaves then everyone bitches that they don’t look after their local talent.

    Then they pick one and that’s also not good enough.

    I bet if the Crusaders or Brumbies etc. picked some unknown youngster everyone who would saying what a wonderful job they’re doing. Such visionaries.

    :roll: :roll: :roll:

  • Comment 1, posted at 23.02.11 15:34:47 by McLovin Reply
    McLovinAssistant coach
     
  • @McLovin (Comment 1) : There’s always the risk of playing an unknown, but I wouldn’t write them off just yet.

    Last year, the Sharks picked a guy at Fullback when we played against the Highlanders who had only played one match for the CC team against the Leopards, which hadn’t been televised. And look where he is now!

    These players might have the same effect and result.

    My only criticism is that the Stormers management must have seen where things might have gone when they loaned Grant to the Kobe Steelers?? but they persisted with a results only view and didn’t try to expose a player who would still be in the setup to the next year to senior rugby and get him ready for the possibilty that Grant might arrive late or be injured.

  • Comment 2, posted at 23.02.11 15:42:48 by Butchie34 Reply
    Author
    Currie Cup player
     
  • maybe I spoke to soon when I said that the media wasn’t going to crucify the Stormers for fielding this side :)

  • Comment 3, posted at 23.02.11 15:45:38 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 3) :

    I take serious offense with you calling me media!

  • Comment 4, posted at 23.02.11 15:48:30 by Morné Reply
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    MornéTeam captain
     
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 2) : I’m sure this is all part of the plan.

    And there will always be unforeseen events, whether at the start, middle or end of season.

    Like Cronje who was supposed to be given a crack at flyhalf last season and then gets into a bar fight. Who knows what could have been. :smile:

  • Comment 5, posted at 23.02.11 15:48:46 by McLovin Reply

    McLovinAssistant coach
     
  • Anyway, seems rather hypocritical of me to slam coaches for giving young players a chance, given my criticism of Plumtree over the last few years for NOT doing it.

    Let’s just say, I’m actually in favour of it, as long as the reporting is balanced

  • Comment 6, posted at 23.02.11 15:50:09 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 4) : I KNEW you were going to :) He he…

  • Comment 7, posted at 23.02.11 15:51:13 by robdylan Reply
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  • @McLovin (Comment 5) : True, it could have been a three horse race between Jantjies, Lambie and Cronje to wear the mantle of the next great Springbok flyhalf.

    Cronje though must be wishing he had stayed in the FS. He might’ve had a couple of good season of Super Rugby behind him by now.

  • Comment 8, posted at 23.02.11 15:51:33 by Butchie34 Reply
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    Currie Cup player
     
  • I say hats off to the coaching staff for giving the youngsters a go. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 9, posted at 23.02.11 15:52:40 by McLovin Reply

    McLovinAssistant coach
     
  • “Let’s be honest, and with respect to the Lions fans out there, the Stormers would have to seriously cock things up to lose against the Lions at home this weekend” :shock: Why? If you ask me, this represents a great opportunity for the Lions. Stormers are a depleted team. Who cares if they got 3 world-class centres, they lack critical depth in the forwards and that’s going to count.

  • Comment 10, posted at 23.02.11 15:53:42 by CapeShark Reply
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    The Great Couch SharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • @CapeShark (Comment 10) : Only the Forwards, I think they lack critical depth everywhere!

  • Comment 11, posted at 23.02.11 15:55:31 by Butchie34 Reply
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    Currie Cup player
     
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 2) : With reference to Pat Lambie, his graduation through the ranks of the Sharks was actually carefully monitored. He didn’t just appear out of the blue. He was the leading points scorer in the u-21 competition and appeared for the Sharks in their warm up games at Newlands last year where he gave a good account of himself. The same cannot be said of Van Aswegan. Picking Van Aswegan is a gamble because in the warm up games he has given no indication that he is ready for this kind of level.

  • Comment 12, posted at 23.02.11 15:59:28 by CapeShark Reply
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    The Great Couch SharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • @CapeShark (Comment 12) : That’s true. He also played a couple of Vodacom Cup games, if I remember correctly. And if my mind also serves me correctly. Plum said at the beginning of last year that Lambie would be managed correctly and that he would eventually be groomed to take over as the Sharks FH. This was even before the season started.

    So it’s actually nice to see that there is a definite plan with our players.

    Did Van Aswegan even play any CC game last year or was he only in the u21 team?

  • Comment 13, posted at 23.02.11 16:02:46 by Butchie34 Reply
    Author
    Currie Cup player
     
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 13) : No Currie Cup experience to my knowledge. As you say they persisted with De Waal which was a complete waste of time, it turns out.

  • Comment 14, posted at 23.02.11 16:04:25 by CapeShark Reply
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    The Great Couch SharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • @CapeShark (Comment 14) : The worst thing though is that they knew at the beginning of the CC that he was going to be leaving them to play for an Italian team. Sorry I can’t remember and don’t really keep track of non-Sharks.

  • Comment 15, posted at 23.02.11 16:06:44 by Butchie34 Reply
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    Currie Cup player
     
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 13) : I believe van Aswegen did get a few runs off the bench in the CC last year… 2-3 games, max. Maybe a total of 80 minutes?

  • Comment 16, posted at 23.02.11 16:08:07 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 16) : So maybe he’s about equal with Lambie in terms of development before being thrown into the Super ring.

  • Comment 17, posted at 23.02.11 16:09:43 by Butchie34 Reply
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    Currie Cup player
     
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 15) : Treviso?

  • Comment 18, posted at 23.02.11 16:10:21 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 18) : yes, Treviso

  • Comment 19, posted at 23.02.11 16:10:49 by robdylan Reply
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  • Good arti Morne (as usual) but so concise , were u in a hurry ;-)

    You somewhat touched on the point that I wanted to make for a few days now.

    There seem to be a misconception (or perhaps it so appears to me) that if one is tad critical of one’s team he is immediately labelled as pessimist or something worse.

    The fact is that one has a very different expectations from various teams. And whilst the Lions coming close to beating the Bulls may be sort of achievement for them (let’s face it : they were hopeless last year in S14 and in CC they lost to Pumas :roll: :roll:
    On the other hand for the Sharks’ dominance of Cheetahs getting only 15 points clear is below what I would consider their best.

    Same for Stormers – they might not have won anything for a while but they are a very good team and union clearly has structures in place so the expectations are so much higher and I would say rightly so.

  • Comment 20, posted at 23.02.11 16:32:23 by rekinek Reply
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  • Valid points from a Stormers(?) fan. (If I’m not mistaken?)
    Would have the same opinion if similar things were done at the Sharks. . .

  • Comment 21, posted at 23.02.11 16:38:02 by Crock Reply

    CrockUnder 21 player
     
  • @McLovin (Comment 1) : we’re in Africa :mrgreen:

  • Comment 22, posted at 23.02.11 16:41:01 by rekinek Reply
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  • @McLovin (Comment 1) : seriously though. I do not know much about Van Aswegen. Did he play in the Vodacom Cup, Currie Cup, U-21. If he went through the ranks this is what I would consider looking after the local talent.

    The other thing is what position does he play. Put him on the wing great, prop – fine, but inexperienced flyhalf may cause a lot more damage- methinks.

  • Comment 23, posted at 23.02.11 16:43:25 by rekinek Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 23) : He has to start somewhere. For some it works out for others not. We’ll never know until he plays.

  • Comment 24, posted at 23.02.11 16:45:39 by McLovin Reply

    McLovinAssistant coach
     
  • Dont see the issue myself. All the Aussie players start at Super Rugby… they have ntohing else.

    Yes its a gamble but then you need to blood players at some point.
    I’d be surprised if the Stormers lose this one and, of they do, I hazard a guess that it will be a collective failure rather than the failure of one of the green players.

    Good article thoguh Morne.

  • Comment 25, posted at 23.02.11 16:47:56 by VinChainSaw Reply
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    VinChainSawTeam captain
     
  • @McLovin (Comment 24) : true, but nothing more enjoyable as some rife speculation :grin:

  • Comment 26, posted at 23.02.11 16:48:52 by rekinek Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 23) : I would say van Aswegen was the best u21 rugby player last year and therefore also the biggest surprise package of 2010 junior rugby.
    Of the 2 possibilities put forward by Morné, I hope he earns a MotM.

  • Comment 27, posted at 23.02.11 16:51:45 by beet Reply
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  • @VinChainSaw, yep. Some of their best were played in Super Rugby and test from a very young age… If the player has it, that’s all there is to it.

  • Comment 28, posted at 23.02.11 17:00:36 by Crock Reply

    CrockUnder 21 player
     
  • Its great that the youngster are getting game time but it should be him on the bench and Grant starting.

  • Comment 29, posted at 23.02.11 17:03:24 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 20) : Agreed, I`m happy and relieved the sharks won their first outing. But since they are CC champions and we faced local opposition I expect a lot from them.

  • Comment 30, posted at 23.02.11 17:14:20 by Original Champion Reply
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    Original PierreSuper Rugby player
     
  • @rekinek (Comment 20) : @Original Champion (Comment 30) : I don’t think anyone on this site has said that ANY supporter can’t be critical, whether in tad form or at length, about their team’s performance. There is nothing wrong in expecting great things from our boys each time they take the field. Criticism is a good thing, as long as it is constructive and well defined.
    I think the point that has been made since last weekend is that fan criticism was taken to such extremes by some in the wake of the victory against the Cheetahs that it turned into something much more disturbing – an irrational and ill-founded ripping to shreds of key members of the Sharks squad based on nothing more than a below par outing in very difficult conditions which gleaned the pre-requisite four points on the log.
    I am sure everyone will back me up when I say that everyone on this site has the right to their own opinion, but when that opinion infringes in terms of its contents being vitriolic, angry, hateful, spiteful or otherwise divisive then a clear line in the sand has to be drawn. And in my opinion, for what it’s worth, that line is now a benchmark – a Rubicon of acceptability, if you like.
    As regards youngsters getting a fair bite of the SupeRugby apple – I’m with most of you here when I say “go for it”. SuperPat wouldn’t be SuperPat if Plum had kept him on the bench.

  • Comment 31, posted at 23.02.11 18:26:08 by SharonvanWyk Reply
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    ShazCurrie Cup player
     
  • Pat Lambie simply illustrates the point I am trying to make.

    A prodigy who played at Bok age-group levels and structures throughout the Sharks structures. Was he rushed? No.

    My point is not giving youngsters like Gary a shot, in fact I applaud this move, IF IT IS DONE CORRECTLY and its planned.

    If anything, Lambie and his rise to prominence illustrates perfectly the difference between the Stormers and the Sharks, where if you take Lionel Cronje, another prodigy who played for the age-group Boks, being wasted for 18 months within the WP/Stormers setup, never given a shot, or a fair shot.

    And I am sorry, this bar-room brawl which happened a year ago now is a shitty excuse, if anything it illustrates how incapable the management in the Cape is with managing players, through good and bad.

    The decision to pick Van Aswegen is nothing more than a desperation move, and that is my issue.

    Comparisons with Lambie and how youngsters get a fair shot is best reserved when comparing to Lionel Cronje, not Gary, who believe it or not, I hope will not be destroyed by this move.

  • Comment 32, posted at 23.02.11 19:03:14 by Morné Reply
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    MornéTeam captain
     
  • But if Van Aswegen does great, who loses? :smile:

  • Comment 33, posted at 23.02.11 19:18:20 by fyndraai Reply
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  • @fyndraai (Comment 33) :

    Smartass! ;)

    As a Bulls supporter you will know quite well the importance of player management and how THAT is the secret to success for any union.

    You cannot tell me the selection of Gary smacks of desperation, so even if Gary turns out to be success, it does not hide or change the actions, or methods used by WP/Stormers management in ‘developing’ talent or managing it – they will continue to do so, and they will fail more often than succeed.

  • Comment 34, posted at 23.02.11 19:21:33 by Morné Reply
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    MornéTeam captain
     
  • @fyndraai (Comment 33) : The Lions AND Morne. :)

  • Comment 35, posted at 23.02.11 19:25:28 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • All i can say is this seriously stuffs up my decision on who to pick this weekend on SB.

  • Comment 36, posted at 23.02.11 19:26:22 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 36) :

    Stormers dude, no doubt there. And that comes from a guy that does not rate the Stormers at all this year…

    Lions will win games at Ellis this year.

  • Comment 37, posted at 23.02.11 19:28:11 by Morné Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 32) : Excellent point, excellently illustrated.

  • Comment 38, posted at 23.02.11 19:43:34 by SharonvanWyk Reply
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    ShazCurrie Cup player
     
  • @SharonvanWyk (Comment 38) : I suppose the whole argument here is that of what, precisely, a calculated risk is as opposed to a straightforward gamble. There has to be an element of calculated risk in playing any “rookie” (for want of a better phrase) for the first time in a major competition. But agree that in Van Aswegen’s case it’s more a desperate gamble and roll of the proverbial dice than risk assessment process. Sink or swim is not a good (or sound) management ethos.

  • Comment 39, posted at 23.02.11 19:47:15 by SharonvanWyk Reply
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    ShazCurrie Cup player
     
  • @SharonvanWyk (Comment 39) :

    Summing up the point in one paragraph, which is why you are a professional obviously ;)

  • Comment 40, posted at 23.02.11 19:50:16 by Morné Reply
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  • @SharonvanWyk (Comment 31) : well put, as usual

  • Comment 41, posted at 23.02.11 19:52:15 by robdylan Reply
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  • Who is going to take the penalty kicks?

  • Comment 42, posted at 23.02.11 20:28:29 by fyndraai Reply
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  • Morne, I think your point is that while blooding youth is often a very good thing, there should have been some grooming and planning in doing that – not simply a case of nobody else being left and no prior significant game-time being allowed due to poor planning. I agree.

    With regard to this recently-popular issue of decrying people’s right to complain about their team, I think this is being over-played, and we need to be careful about presuming to declare what is acceptable and unacceptable criticism.

  • Comment 43, posted at 23.02.11 20:37:44 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @fyndraai (Comment 42) :

    Van Aswegen.
    @Big Fish (Comment 43) :

    On your first point, precisely.

    On your second, not my battle.

  • Comment 44, posted at 23.02.11 21:19:56 by Morné Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 44) :
    No battles taking place here. I for one am VERY happy with a victory over the Cheaters.

    Just feel that we have to be careful of how we treat dissenting voices: even if they are on the lunatic fringe.

  • Comment 45, posted at 23.02.11 21:45:36 by Big Fish Reply
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  • I hear Juan Smith will be ready for the bulls game.

  • Comment 46, posted at 23.02.11 21:54:38 by Ben Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 43) : It might just be the events in N/Africa that are making this the flavour of the season for me but I’m 100% behind your comment in paragraph 2. Let the folks have their say!

  • Comment 47, posted at 23.02.11 22:08:56 by beet Reply
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  • Darn it sounds like the Crusaders game will not take place. Neemia Tialata’s twitter feed says; “Im glad they have made the right decision and not play our game against the crusaders this sat. Now them boys can look after their love ones.” Its for the better I think

  • Comment 48, posted at 24.02.11 02:25:13 by Ben Reply
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  • Lets see what happens, there is certainly a place for the young guns, age should not be a limiting factor, but as the author points out, it is the managing of the assets, you don’t want to see these youngsters becoming “a Gaffie” where the psychological damage of a loss become a haunting factor in his career… Jantjies (Elton) is also showing some concerning signs and trust he too is managed well and proper – Pat Lambie is a far more mature young man in comparison and obviously his schooling is to thank here… Lets see what happens… The pressure is on, lets how the loosies manage the disruption factor between Van Aswegen and Ricky Januarie, I for the sake of Van Aswegen would’ve played Dewies at scrumhalf, his service is more consistent, he has better time on the ball, and his decision making is far superior…

  • Comment 49, posted at 24.02.11 07:58:47 by DarkDestroyer Reply

    RichardCurrie Cup player
     
  • @SharonvanWyk (Comment 31) : @Big Fish (Comment 45) : that’s the thing who gets to decide what is acceptable/constructive and what is unacceptable /destructive criticism. who draws the line and what are who’s credentials?

  • Comment 50, posted at 24.02.11 14:52:08 by rekinek Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 50) : That’s a valid point, but again, I think it’s not necessarily what you say, but how you say it. I think Rob and the adjudicators on this site are extremely fair in their rulings and more than have the credentials to judge what’s a fair criticism and what’s just plain spiteful and out of line.

  • Comment 51, posted at 24.02.11 17:35:58 by SharonvanWyk Reply
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    ShazCurrie Cup player
     
  • @SharonvanWyk (Comment 51) : the simplified and somewhat entirely pragmatic approach would be to understand that they own the site, are entitled to set the rules and respecting them is the condition of participation. Would save us whole lot of debate about drawing the line, which frankly speaking is probably in very different places for each one of us. ;-)

    I just think that a lot of the destructive criticism comes from the die hard supporters who just struggle to keep their cool because they are so emotionally involved.

  • Comment 52, posted at 24.02.11 17:51:22 by rekinek Reply
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