Div deserves his due

Written by Wesley Weber (wpw)

Posted in :In the news, Springboks on 3 Sep 2009 at 10:26

Brisbane – Perhaps it was that pink tie he had on when he announced his first Springbok squad, perhaps his strange statements in the media, or perhaps just the high expectations created by South Africa’s success at the 2007 World Cup. Whatever the reason, one fact remains: Peter de Villiers’s critics are struggling to eat their words and give the coach his due.

Louis de Villiers writes for sport24.co.za

If the Springboks lose against the Wallabies in Brisbane on Saturday – and it is a definite possibility – something will again be said of his perceived shortcomings. If South Africa win it will be down to the players and, if they lose, the coach will be blamed by the critics.

However, De Villiers is building a record second to none. Following South Africa’s Tri-Nations win in Perth, the Springboks have won 15 out of 20 tests under him. Ten of the victories have come in the last 11 tests. Of these, only the victories over Italy and a weakened Argentina last year can be viewed as easy games. It makes De Villiers the most successful coach of the professional era.

It is sometimes said that he inherited his predecessor Jake White’s team. However, White has been off the scene for almost two seasons now. De Villiers has already chalked up as many wins over New Zealand as White, who does deserve credit for establishing a policy of consistency of selection.

However, the World Cup victory blinded people to South Africa’s previous standing in world rugby. It is only in the last month or two that people stopped doubting the Boks’ superiority.

“This team is much better than the one that won the World Cup in 2007,” said esteemed Wallaby coach Robbie Deans this week.

Prior to De Villiers, Nick Mallett was the last coach to enjoy sustained success in successive seasons. One of the reasons for that was his initial policy of player empowerment.

De Villiers’s loyalty to his players – as seen with the banning of Schalk Burger – means that a Gary Teichmann or Gaffie du Toit-style debacle is highly unlikely. Ruan Pienaar is probably embarrassed at being compared with Tiger Woods, but he won’t for a minute doubt that he has his coach’s support.

There is no doubt that De Villiers has a gifted generation of players at his disposal. You could say that about most of his predecessors, but their reaction was to hand out test caps like sweets. White, mercifully, ended that tendency, but was possibly too conservative and slow to change.

De Villiers deserves praise for the fact that superstars such as Jaque Fourie and Schalk Burger had to regain their places off the substitute’s bench.

He was a little fortunate with the emergence of Morné Steyn and Heinrich Brüssow, but also seized the opportunities when they presented themselves.

De Villiers’s fiercest critics will have to concede: If he resigns tomorrow, he leaves a stronger Bok team behind than the one he inherited.


  • Brilliant article!!! 😎

  • Comment 1, posted at 03.09.09 10:29:58 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 1) :

    Agree 😀 – read it this morning on the news..have to say – he puts a smile on my face whenever I see him – he is just such a character!

  • Comment 2, posted at 03.09.09 10:37:57 by Prof. Ice Babe(Super Girl) Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • Ahhh Louis, what a guy. A journo worth his salt. Probably the last decent sports journo left in the daily rags.

    @Prof. Ice Babe(Super Girl) (Comment 2) : Have you heard him speak? The man sounds like a grader cruching gravel.

  • Comment 3, posted at 03.09.09 10:55:06 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
    Worcestershire Sauce
  • @Worcestershire Sauce (Comment 3) :

    And funny as shit!

  • Comment 4, posted at 03.09.09 11:19:57 by Morné Reply
  • @Prof. Ice Babe(Super Girl) (Comment 2) : I sometimes only go to games to hang with Louis,a better character you will not find.

  • Comment 5, posted at 03.09.09 11:21:04 by provincejoulekkading Reply
  • @Worcestershire Sauce (Comment 3) : Last time I saw him he had on a pink knitted jersey that hung to his knees,a fooked up jeans and untied Weermag boets!


    Nice article too.

  • Comment 6, posted at 03.09.09 11:22:34 by provincejoulekkading Reply
  • Jeez can I clear a room or what?

  • Comment 7, posted at 03.09.09 11:28:30 by provincejoulekkading Reply
  • @provincejoulekkading (Comment 7) : 😀

    @Morné (Comment 4) : Indeed.

  • Comment 8, posted at 03.09.09 11:29:50 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
    Worcestershire Sauce
  • i don’t by the tie or media comments story, people formed baseless opinions on pdv because he got the job before heyneke meyer, who was tipped by most (especially bulle fans) as the next best thing. When pdv got the job they just hated him from the get.

    I remember having debates with colleagues, showing them the man’s cv and the similarities in it to jake’s, none of them wanted to listen…to them he was a “quota coach & thus incompetent”

    Nowadays some are munching humble pie or they don’t even want to discuss rugby. They say pdv inherited an experienced team, yes, a team experience in losing against new zealand! A team experienced in playing badly away from home! A team experienced in being wooden spoonists in the tri-nations!

    Pdv forever! “from the pit to the palace, there’s moerse lot of [email protected] inbetween”

  • Comment 9, posted at 03.09.09 11:32:34 by quota Reply

  • @Worcestershire Sauce (Comment 3) :

    I was actually talking about PDivvy… 😳

    But now I would really like to get to know Louis too… 😉

  • Comment 10, posted at 03.09.09 11:38:25 by Prof. Ice Babe(Super Girl) Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • Wel done Peter, you exceeded my wildest expectations….now how about a whitewash(pardon the pun :mrgreen: )

  • Comment 11, posted at 03.09.09 11:42:36 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • @Prof. Ice Babe(Super Girl) (Comment 10) : Lol DIV is the opposite….maybe they should do a duet 😆

  • Comment 12, posted at 03.09.09 11:52:47 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
    Worcestershire Sauce
  • @Pokkel (Comment 11) :

    Hey!!! LMAO 😯 😆

  • Comment 13, posted at 03.09.09 11:54:35 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 13) : Howzit bra??

  • Comment 14, posted at 03.09.09 11:59:37 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • @quota (Comment 9) :
    Maybe, just maybe, he was seen as a quota by many because the person who appointed him said that that is what he was. If the president of SARU tells the world that his newly appointed coach was not the first choice then who are the masses to disagree. Blame Hoskins firstly.

  • Comment 15, posted at 03.09.09 12:03:33 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • Let’s go and smash the Aussies – then I’ll buy a PdV poster… :mrgreen:

  • Comment 16, posted at 03.09.09 12:16:58 by blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • @Salmonoid (Comment 15) : I blame Hoskin’s, how to hamstring a person before he even has a chance.

  • Comment 17, posted at 03.09.09 12:20:09 by molly Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 15) : @molly (Comment 17) :

    What exactly did Hoskin’s say ?

  • Comment 18, posted at 03.09.09 12:56:08 by blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • @blackshark (Comment 18) :

    Actually – forget that question…

  • Comment 19, posted at 03.09.09 12:56:46 by blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • PdV is the man. 😎

  • Comment 20, posted at 03.09.09 13:15:15 by McLovin Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 20) : +1

  • Comment 21, posted at 03.09.09 13:38:05 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
    Worcestershire Sauce
  • @Salmonoid (Comment 15) : hoskins never said heyneke meyer was the first choice! Never uttered those words! He said ” i want to be honest with south africa, when we made the appointment we didn’t consider rugby reasons only, when making the appointment we consider the issue of transformation in rugby very very seriously”

    Now @ what point did he say he was incompetent? At what point did he say the man’s credentials were inferior?…

    Lwazi Mvovo, Luzuko Vulindlu, Beast Mtawarira are evidence that the sharks as a franchise “consider transformation of rugby very very seriously” you can refer to them as quotas if you like, but are they incompetent?

  • Comment 22, posted at 03.09.09 16:37:29 by quota Reply

  • hey now. Let’s just remember the rules, guys

  • Comment 23, posted at 03.09.09 17:08:16 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • well done Snorre, keep it up!

  • Comment 24, posted at 03.09.09 18:11:57 by JarsonX (Insomniac) Reply
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