KSA Shark ©

Gatland perplexed by new Bok coach

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :In the news, Springboks on 3 Jun 2008 at 23:03

Wales coach Warren Gatland appeared to take a subtle swipe at Springbok coach Peter de Villiers when he addressed a press conference in Stellenbosch on Tuesday afternoon.

Gavin Rich writes in Superrugby that many who have sat through De Villiers’ press conferences or read his comments in the media have been a bit perplexed at what the new Bok coach might be intending, with some of his comments appearing contradictory. If the South African’s plan was to confuse the opposition, then it appears he has hit bull’s eye.

For instance, there must surely have been more than a hint of sarcasm behind the following Gatland comment: “If it happens, I am looking forward to the fact that they want to run us off our feet and play an offloading game while also physically dominating and intimidating us. I am excited by those challenges”.

Before that, Gatland, who was adept at making subtle digs at opponents in verbal sparring contests on his previous tour to South Africa as coach of Ireland in 1998, admitted that he couldn’t get a handle on what De Villiers wanted to do with the Boks, or what he expected from Wales.

“We’re expecting a tough, physical game, but I cannot quite put my finger handle on what Peter is intending to do. He says one thing in the paper one day, and then another thing the next day,” said Gatland.

“We selected a forward pack that needs to compete physically with the South Africans. A lot of the guys played against the Springboks in November, so they will be better prepared this time.”

Gatland suggested, noting comments that Stephen Jones had been picked by Wales so they could implement a kicking strategy, that not enough homework had been done on the player.

“That is a presumption that is wrong. If the people who say that had done their homework and looked at the statistics from the Six Nations, they would see that Jones actually kicked less than James Hook did,” he said.

Gatland said he had been surprised to learn that the Bok coach was intending to leave out World Cup winners Percy Montgomery and Francois Steyn from his starting team for Saturday’s opening Test in Bloemfontein.

“We would have expected both Steyn and Montgomery to be there. We certainly expected Steyn to be there, but that doesn’t look like happening now. The composition of their squad will influence on our tactics. On Thursday and Friday we’ll start concentrating on their strengths and weaknesses and assess where we may have opportunities to exploit them.”

Gatland reiterated what he said at the opening press conference after the squad’s arrival in Cape Town last week by saying that his men would be out to show the Boks and the South African supporters that the Welsh should be respected.

“The Six Nations was a stepping stone for us, we want to see how we can do beyond that, and this South African tour is a perfect opportunity for us to learn and show how much we have grown.”


  • Seems they have different opinions of each other. 🙂

    He says one thing in the paper one day, and then another thing the next day,” said Gatland.

    “Wales will be a good team,” he said. “They did not win the Six Nations by watching the game. They know what they are doing. And in Warren Gatland they have the best coach in world rugby at present.

    2nd bit is from an article on News24.

  • Comment 1, posted at 03.06.08 23:07:35 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • Div: Gatland is the best in the world

    Gat: Div just talks and talks.

    Mind games????

  • Comment 2, posted at 03.06.08 23:22:20 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • There’s another beauty in there too.

    Gatland said that Jones kicked less than Hook in thhe 6N.
    Now statistically that might be true, Jones also played one helluva lot less and normally only came on to close games down.

    So another sly little remark by Gatland who seems to be trying out his mind games even those Peter doesn’t seem to want to play. Or rather he might be playing but then playing by different rules to the rest!

  • Comment 3, posted at 03.06.08 23:48:53 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • Everyone is taking a swipe at Peter…cheap journalism…

    Just this morning I read an article in The Times blaming PdV for costing us the first test against Wales because the boys will only train at altitude for 6 days…instead of the conventional 14 days.

    I mean really…since when do robots get affected by altitude?

  • Comment 4, posted at 04.06.08 09:00:25 by blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • Gatland should rather concern himself with the task at hand, rugby – leave PdeV’s schizophrenia to perplex us South African fans.

  • Comment 5, posted at 04.06.08 09:43:16 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • http://www.thetimes.co.za/Sport/Article.aspx?id=778503

  • Comment 6, posted at 04.06.08 09:50:24 by blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • Frankly I don’t care if Mr de Villiers recites passages from Alice in wonderland during press conferences, as long as the Boks are well coached and winning.

  • Comment 7, posted at 04.06.08 09:57:34 by ra-cheltjie de' be-er Reply

  • @ra-cheltjie de’ be-er (Comment 7) :


  • Comment 8, posted at 04.06.08 10:11:01 by blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • @ra-cheltjie de’ be-er (Comment 7) :

    :mrgreen: Will certainly keep the opposition busy trying to figure him out.

  • Comment 9, posted at 04.06.08 18:28:56 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©

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