Baldrick’s view

Written by Alan Williams (Baldrick)

Posted in :Original Content, Springboks on 31 Aug 2008 at 14:00
Tagged with :

Having become a published author after my piece on watching the game from the stands last week, and something of a celebrity (a legend in my own lunchbox so to say), I felt that my newfound fame and authority on all things Springbok-ish affords me the platform to say a few words on the win over Australia on Saturday at Coca-Cola (AKA Ellis) Park.

And a little prompting to increase the number of contributors to this website….

During the week, much was made of the captaincy of Victor Matfield and the coaching ability of Peter de Villiers. Also, word from the Oz camp was that they felt fresh and energized, were going into the match with enthusiasm and confidence and would end the tour on a high. Coach Robbie Deans made a few unforced changes to his side and things were looking ominous.

Add to that was de Villiers claim that his team had played too much rugby and were feeling flat in the Durban Test. However, against the better judgment of the arm-chair critics known as the fourth estate, he stuck to his guns and his manne and with calls to boycott the game, SA Rugby was on a hiding to nothing.

What ensued was a flat Wallaby side who looked uncharacteristically jaded, who performed well below promise and ability and lacked the clinical edge we are so used to seeing from them. The Boks played with more urgency, and dare I say it, a lot more heart – something you cannot coach, but hope – nay expect – from the men playing at the pinnacle of their careers.

I would say that the only disappointment was that they had not played like this before. There is only so much a coach can do off the playing field, and come match day, it is up to the players to do what they are able to. If that means giving 150% effort, so be it.

The 150% effort that most (and unfortunately I have to say I don’t believe we got that from everyone) gave resulted in a one-sided klap for the opposition who were blown away by the brutality and accuracy of the Boks. Players were hitting rucks in numbers and protecting the ball and ball-carrier and that was the big difference to last week.

That they threw the ball around shows that perhaps there is something to be said for de Villiers’ game plan. I am no expert and so will not criticize it, suffice to say, I believe it should be paired with doing the basics right first, getting a platform laid before launching into full scale attack.

But remember, the shortest distance between the ball and the tryline is straight, and I think we did well here, and this is part of the direct rugby – play it as you see it philosophy – which is being questioned.

Anyhow, I don’t believe that all our woes are over, but I certainly do feel good about the result, and that PDV has the players and the game plan to possibly do the job he is paid to.

I still think he needs to be given some time to establish what he wants to build – despite the colourful quotes he is fond of using – and gets ridiculed over. As Baldrick would say, “I have a cunning plan..”


  • In qualifying what I have said above, I do not want to appear to be PDV’s biggest supporter as I don’t believe he has the credentials, but if he surrounds himself with the right people and gets the support of his players then there is every reason to believe he could do it.

    Jake White has a less than fantastic pedigree as Head Coach prior to his stint, and he was the coach when he were beaten 49-0 last year in OZ. Jake had 4 years and got the business done in the end.

    I think we should be supporting him.

  • Comment 1, posted at 31.08.08 14:34:20 by Baldrick Reply
  • (a legend in my own lunchbox so to say),

    ARE YOU ROBBIE FLECK????????????? 👿

    Seriously though, good piece.

  • Comment 2, posted at 31.08.08 14:46:44 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • That they threw the ball around shows that perhaps there is something to be said for de Villiers’ game plan.

    I posted a thread this week and i can’t find it now but the author was saying that when the gameplan PDV is trying to employ comes together it comes together WELL and when it goes awry it goes AWRY!!!!!

    I think it came together this weekend and from the lack of complaints about handling errors and turnovers to Aus i suspect the players deciding to play to their abilities may be a big factor in it coming together this weekend.

    Lets face it had we not turned over so many ballas and knocked on so may times last week, the result would have been different.

  • Comment 3, posted at 31.08.08 14:50:54 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • Gavin Rich seems to believe the Boks returned to their old game plan this week.

    Coach Peter de Villiers may have lost an opportunity to win some of his lost favour back from the public when he refused on Saturday night to acknowledge the role that a return to the traditional Springbok structured approach played in the big win over Australia. ……….

    ……….At Coca Cola Park the Boks scored eight tries, but it was undeniably the way they returned to the core roots of the success of the four years under Jake White that turned it around from the sloppy performances which cost them so dearly in the previous home matches against the All Blacks and Australia.

    I suppose this could be a big point of debate this week. Did he or didn’t he return to the old style? 😕

  • Comment 4, posted at 31.08.08 19:04:09 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • Perhaps there was an element of circumspection and the players built an innings before hitting the sixes. Last week it was six or stix from the word go.

  • Comment 5, posted at 31.08.08 19:25:05 by Baldrick Reply
  • Very nice review.

  • Comment 6, posted at 01.09.08 12:13:40 by MorneN Reply
  • @MorneN (Comment 6) : he’s a sharp oke, is Baldrick

  • Comment 7, posted at 01.09.08 12:15:54 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 7) :

    Yeah obviously – he must have listened in last week when I told you not to worry about the Boks – we only had to correct minor things.

  • Comment 8, posted at 01.09.08 12:19:59 by MorneN Reply
  • Nice piece baldrick.

    I missed the first bit of the game thanks to not being able to find the appointed pub in tel aviv on time.

    From what I saw though the boks committed gtreater numbers to the rucks this week thank before and thereby kept old of the pill. simple really. As guys were saying in the week, Morne being the one who wrote an article on it – build the platform and then cut loose.

    Pdv advocates high risk risk and that will always lend itself to big wins and big losses, with you pretty much always losing the big tight game.

    That said, well done to Div and the boys – it looked bloody impressive. Oz were dire though. Absolutely terrible. lack of motivation for a game they didnt need to win?

    Oh, and loved the comparison Peter makes with himself and Jesus… bit of an accentric nutter that one. Thankfully #i like eccentric.

  • Comment 9, posted at 01.09.08 18:53:51 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 9) : we’ve agreed not to discuss that last bit. Did you miss the memo?

  • Comment 10, posted at 01.09.08 18:58:07 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 10) :

    Anyway, no I missed the memo.

    But it’s not politivs so I feel it’s fair game? Nie waar nie?
    Are we censoring idiotic comments now along with political ones? 😉
    Nah just joking and apologies if I talked out of turn.
    Anyway I thought it was an hilarious thing to say.

  • Comment 11, posted at 02.09.08 20:53:15 by VinChainSaw Reply

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