Scrum calamity a costly WP error

Written by Wesley Weber (wpw)

Posted in :2009 Lions Tour, In the news, WP on 15 Jun 2009 at 07:10
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

Western Province coach Allister Coetzee admitted that tactical blunders at scrum time is what cost his team in their 23-26 loss to the British and Irish Lions at a wet and cold Newlands on Saturday.

Jan de Koning reports for Rugby 365:

With less than five minutes on the clock the teams were tied 23-all and Province in a handy position to push for a rare and famous win against the tourists.

However, the decision to send JD Moller on to replace strong-scrummaging Wicus Blaauw saw WP concede two penalties in quick success – the second of which replacement James Hook slotted (in the 76th minute) to preserve the tourists unbeaten record.

Coetzee described it as a “tactical error”, but said he thought a tiring Blaauw had to be replaced.

“It is a simply thing, you have to get your bind up,” Coetzee told a media gathering at Newlands, adding that it was a “testing time” for Moller in the wet and rainy conditions.

“To come on at that stage and an experienced scrummager like Euan Murray [who came on as a replacement himself a few minutes earlier], they [the B&I Lions] will exploit the situation.

“All credit to the B&I Lions, they knew it was an important scrum and they came at us,” Coetzee said of the set piece that earned the visitors a win that gave them a five-from-five record on their 10-match tour of South Africa.

Describing it as “the turning point in the match”, the WP coach said his team could have scored and the Lions knew they needed a big scrum.

The WP coach admitted that it was not the result they wanted, but like captain Luke Watson he downplayed the final result and pointed to the many “positives” they will take from the game going into the Currie Cup from next month.

“You are playing against a Test side and in all areas you will be tested,” Coetzee said, adding: “I’m fairly happy with the physicality of our team.”

Watson admitted that they underestimated Lions fullback Rob Kearney’s booming boot and in the beginning kicked too much on him.

“We had strategy regards the weather, we wanted to put it behind the wings,” Watson said, adding: “We weren’t aware of the fact that the fullback had a cannon for a boot.

“We decided not to kick down the fullback anymore and with 20 minutes to go we changed and decided to pick up the pace. It was all part of our strategy.”

Watson said not too much should be made of the fact that WP lost, but rather the focus should be on the occasion.

“A lot of us are getting too caught up in the result,” he said.

“The occasion of WP being able to play against the Lions is huge.

“We weren’t 100 percent result driven,” he said of the game.

“We are looking to build momentum going into the Currie Cup and it was the British and Irish Lions, it was a fantastic occasion for all of us.

“Having said that, if we had an extra three or four points it would have been an even better occasion.”


  • -De Waal had a pretty decent game (due to the conditions of course)
    -Our tight 5 (yes we do have one) stood up quite well until JD Moller came on.
    -Brok Harris had a very good game and even forced one or two turnovers at the breakdown.
    -Anton Van Zyl was immense and seems to be a good signing!!!
    -Joe Pietersen can’t tackle!!

  • Comment 1, posted at 15.06.09 07:23:16 by wpw Reply
  • WP were much better than the Sharks – I enjoyed what I could catch of this game.

  • Comment 2, posted at 15.06.09 08:56:37 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • Joe Pietersen knocked the ball on at least 5-6 times. Eish!!! 😯

  • Comment 3, posted at 15.06.09 09:00:51 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 1) : Worms has always been a quality player. Really struggle to believe he stuck around in Joburg for so long.

    As for Brok, well… you know my saying about blind squirrels!

  • Comment 4, posted at 15.06.09 09:04:15 by robdylan Reply
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  • “We weren’t aware of the fact that the fullback had a cannon for a boot.”


    I am quite surprised at that, normally something like that shouldn’t evn have to be learned from analysis, just a know in the professional rugby world.

    But hats off to WP, they did well against a good team

  • Comment 5, posted at 15.06.09 09:50:06 by Ollie Reply

  • @Ollie (Comment 5) : That’s the FIRST thing that struck me when I read the article!

    Obviously Luke didn’t watch any of the Six Nations, or European rugby for that matter. Kearney is KNOWN for his big boot! 😯 🙄

  • Comment 6, posted at 15.06.09 10:08:03 by Villie Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 1) : Agree with most of what you say.

    However….De Waal is such a limited player. He has a great boot and nothing much else. Basically the rest of the backline is rendered impotent with him at 10.

    Wee Pee scrum was surprisingly decent. Blaauw does look useful. JC Moller was hopeless. Just collapsed every scrum after he came on.

    Joe Pietersen refuses to tackle at all. You cannot have a 15 who just waves people through. At least little Gio Aplon never shies from a tackle. He may not always make the hit, but he certainly doesn’t just wave people through.

    Peter Grant is wasted at 12 with De Waal.

    Duvenhage looks a decent scrumhalf.

  • Comment 7, posted at 15.06.09 10:12:17 by Villie Reply
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  • By the way, where is Nick Koster? Surely Rassie has given up on his experiment of playing him on the wing?

  • Comment 8, posted at 15.06.09 10:18:46 by Villie Reply
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  • @Villie (Comment 7) :

    Spot on bru!!!

    JD Moller cost us at least a draw as we had momentum and that scrum was in their 22.

    I’m sure we would have held them for the draw.

  • Comment 9, posted at 15.06.09 10:20:40 by wpw Reply
  • Not only can Joe not make tackles… he also refuses to take any hits. I can not actually believe he kicked the ball away after the siren went, all because he was about to get tackled.

  • Comment 10, posted at 15.06.09 10:22:54 by molly Reply
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  • I watched from the stands but must say WP surprised me no end. I am biased but I thought Pieter Louw and Dewaldt had good games. Specially Dewaldt he sure delivered some good passing even on the back foot and under pressure.

    I also cant understand why they havent played Gio from the start. Bobo had a open line and try his tap dancing, thought Gio would be away in that move, also Chavangha was poor. Hoped he could put speed on that Pom wind arse.

  • Comment 11, posted at 15.06.09 11:23:45 by PaarlBok Reply

  • Look Joe havent had a good game but to his credit the weather conditions was dicey. In the old days the north western would have favoured you and I could not believe that first kick of Jones into the wind. So it was defnitely swirling a bit. Well at least he scored a nice try to make up.

    As a WP supporter its getting better by the day now. At half time I thought another Lions/Sharks score was coming but the boys did themself proud and ending strong. I rate Lawrense as the best ref but he made som strange calls and let himself influense by the Lions players. Always had a big thought about Powell but lost all of it after the Lions match and he did not gave his jersey to Clever. Looked vrekken arrogant on saturday.

  • Comment 12, posted at 15.06.09 11:29:27 by PaarlBok Reply


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