Boks lack new identity

Written by Morné Nortier (Morné)

Posted in :Original Content, Springboks on 15 Nov 2009 at 12:53

It has been eluded to by a lot of people in the last two years with their criticism of team selections and game plans amongst other things – but it is now time for Peter de Villiers to make his personal mark on the Springboks if he wishes to be remembered as the coach that led the most successful Springbok teams, or the coach that was just lucky enough to be there at the right time.

A lot of comparisons have been made between Jake White and Peter de Villiers in the last two years, and although it is an exercise as folly as comparing players of today to yesterday, there is one thing that does stand out from all successful coaches present and past, and that is their ability to imprint their own identity as coach on the team.

One of the most concerning things for me about Oregan Hoskins since he took office after the shambles of Brian van Rooyen was his statement that he wants to give everyone a voice in SA Rugby administration, and allow him to be led by the leaders of the organization.

Management 101 will show you that the best way to manage people effectively is by empowering them, and although this holds true in a lot of aspects, it should not come at the price of the actual manager undermining his own power or status because of this – you still need a strong leader or general.

The most fundamental difference between Jake White and Peter de Villiers at the moment is that from the outset, Jake White instilled the Jake White ‘brand’ or philosophy in the Springbok team. He did pick his leaders around him and there were some pretty strong ones too, but Jake was never led nor did he ever move away from his ‘brand’ or identity as Bok coach.

Peter has been accused of riding the wave of Jake’s success many times over, and even if this is true it is not a bad thing for most part as we all know, you do not change something that works.

However, if you fail to impose your style, personality and character into any structure, even if it is successful, your success will be short-lived and you will allow yourself to be led, rather than to lead.

A widely shared perception amongst rugby fans, experts and scribes was that this Northern Hemisphere tour should have been used to firstly rest some of our senior players who had a massive year behind them, and two to identify up and coming youngsters and talent.

De Villiers’ strength in the last year according to most was that he learned very quickly from his mistakes and when things went a bit south at times, he quickly adapted to rectify the crisis or problem.

I have a slightly different view on that.

I believe that we are winning the battles but ultimately losing the war, and one of the things that bugged me is that whenever things go wrong, Peter falls back on the tried and tested formulas that has been a work in progress (and possibly at its peak now) since Jake White and 2004.

Add the fact that Peter is quoted many times as to ‘listening’ to his players when making decisions and it is easy to perhaps see why I believe Peter is failing in instilling HIS brand and his style and personality to this Springbok team, and is rather allowing himself to be led, than to actually lead.

Both Nick Mallet and Rudolph Straeuli have been accused to start listening to too many people around them and that being the reason for much of their failures.

From where I sit, Peter should now start to show some balls of steal, and back his instincts and instill his brand and legacy on the Bok team, because like many before him he might just be found out if he does not.

This can be done without making wholesale changes and not for one second do I suggest to throw out what is working, but I fear Peter and the class of 2009 (and beyond) lacks an identity and is riding off the back of the brand created in 2007 in Paris where the Boks won the World Cup.


  • Balls of steal? What you need to be a good thief? Sorry for the pedantry, but I agree with the article…

    It’s a shame that the brand from 2007 wasn’t allowed to continue under the guy who developed it. Still not sold on de Villiers, notwithstanding the team’s success this year. I’m not a racist or a pessimist, I just don’t like the guy or feel he’s up to the job.

  • Comment 1, posted at 15.11.09 16:07:33 by MerckZ Reply
  • How many tests did Mr White win against France? How many did he win in NZ? Or anywhere away from SA for that matter. 🙄

    One gets the feeling that the Boks under Mr de Villiers needs to win every match otherwise it’s not good enough. 🙄

  • Comment 2, posted at 15.11.09 17:34:30 by McLovin Reply
  • I don’t agree that the players need to be rested on this tour. They need to be rested during the Currie Cup.

    The NZ whatever-it’s-called cup final was played while the AB’s are touring.

  • Comment 3, posted at 15.11.09 17:38:10 by McLovin Reply
  • Eng getting absolutely klapped in the cricket. 😎 :mrgreen: 😆

  • Comment 4, posted at 15.11.09 17:40:04 by McLovin Reply
  • Time for a celebratory few drinks.

    Adios amigos.

  • Comment 5, posted at 15.11.09 17:40:33 by McLovin Reply
  • I don’t believe this loss can be attributed to De Villiers insomuch as the players lacked team spirit, there was way too much individuality, there were too many basic errors, missed tackles and poor kicking – kick and chase or for position.

    That we were only a try off France who admittedly deserved to win and were tons better than the Boks on the day shows that even on a really bad day, we aren’t a bad side.

    The problem is that it is going to be exacerbated in the coming 2 years because of being overplayed.

    I don’t buy the bullshit that PDV is to blame here.

  • Comment 6, posted at 15.11.09 18:43:51 by Baldrick Reply
  • Is PDV leading, or is he being led?

    This piece is not blaming PDV for anything other.

  • Comment 7, posted at 15.11.09 18:58:48 by Morné Reply
  • Very humble opinon hed there – I believe that PdV has been incredibly lucky in so much as the Team has, by hook or by crook, notched up some impressive wins – luck does not last however and, I’m afraid that he is gonna prove, NOW, whether he has the gonads for the job! I am one of PdV’s supporters, but will be one of the first to admit that he may have missed tje plot. 😳

  • Comment 8, posted at 15.11.09 20:18:25 by diablo Reply

  • Remember we are still on the journey from the pit to the palace. Patience everybody 😉

  • Comment 9, posted at 15.11.09 20:25:07 by Charlie Reply

  • Why is the bar set so high for Mr de Villiers?

    Has he not, so far, the best ever record of all Bok coaches?

  • Comment 10, posted at 15.11.09 23:15:13 by McLovin Reply

  • @diablo (Comment 8) : So he has been lucky to beat the Lions?

    Lucky to win 5 out of 6 in the Tri-Nations?

    Lucky to beat the All Blacks 3-0?


  • Comment 11, posted at 15.11.09 23:16:57 by McLovin Reply

  • @Morné (Comment 7) : Lead by who?

    He’s doing an outstanding job imo.

  • Comment 12, posted at 15.11.09 23:18:19 by McLovin Reply

  • ..or is it whom?

  • Comment 13, posted at 15.11.09 23:23:08 by McLovin Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 12) : McLovin, I was crucified on this site earlier in the year for saying that I was not sure if Div was actually the coach, however since then he has done a very sound job and I will admit that , however I am still not convinced as too who is coaching this team, if you watch the game it is Dick Muir who is shouting the orders down the Microphone , now I know Div is the coach and makes the final decisions about team selection etc, but as Morne asks is he allowing a management by proxy, which so far has worked for him, or is he the main man, obviously he will carry the can, if he fails.

    I also think everybody is over reacting to the French test we cannot win every game, but I fear we may have peaked as a unit and if we are to do well at 2011 we have to start a new building process now, with some very hard decisions which will make Div unpopular in the short term, but will win him the cup in 2011. If he chooses not to make those decisions and carries on as he has, I fear we will not be the world champs after 2011, or even challenging. This team is tired and there are a couple of Players whom I think have reached there sell by date and its time to call it quits. The Captain being the first person followed by Adi Jacobs and Schalk Burger, Matfield and Botha will not make it if they continue with their current work load. We have to manage them as well if they are to make it, Brussouw as young as he is is getting through a huge amount of work and will need to be watched. Anyway it is sure going to be interesting to see how next year pans out?? Intersting article and well written as always!!

  • Comment 14, posted at 16.11.09 07:58:29 by Whindy Reply
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  • Hi All!

    Still horrified about our Anthem being murdered by a nogals Durbanite!! 😯 😐

    Seems I jinxed Kanko with my “hope he has safe hands” comment on Friday. Shame what a horrible game he had…he has one chance left. Unfortunately even if he place a bomber, I think his inconsistency will count against hime for a permanent possy in the starting line-up.

    Well done Brussouw for outstanding effort.

    The French nailed us in the line-outs…Not very good effort from Bissy and the locks…getting a bit too comfortable as being the “top lock pair” perhaps?

    Abyway – the rugby was sheit, but I still cannot get over Mr Dumisani…where did he get that Durban Poison…????

  • Comment 15, posted at 16.11.09 08:22:03 by Xmas Ice-Icle Reply
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  • @Xmas Ice-Icle (Comment 15) : WASN’T HE JUST DELIGHTFUL, I am still not sure he was not smoked up. I still think it was all part of French coplot to unsettle us :mrgreen: It worked!!

  • Comment 16, posted at 16.11.09 08:36:12 by Whindy Reply
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  • @Whindy (Comment 16) :

    I was dumb-struck, and you know me – I dont get left speechless very often! 😳

    i am sure it must have unsettled the boks – but kudo’s to teh Frogs – they played with a passionate intensity and on the night deserved the win.

  • Comment 17, posted at 16.11.09 08:48:35 by Xmas Ice-Icle Reply
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  • @Xmas Ice-Icle (Comment 17) : I agree, plus our guys were tired I don’t care what anybody says they need a break, I am worried about the Irish, althougth I watched the game against the Aussies and the Irish were not great, but it is their first game so it might be a different story for us. I wonder what team PDIV will pick for Italy??

  • Comment 18, posted at 16.11.09 08:53:02 by Whindy Reply
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  • @Whindy (Comment 18) :

    Problem is – we had a great team taking on France – so ja, it must be fatique – or that must be one of the problems.

    BTW – With limited cahnces – I think Japes did not have a bad game either. Quite a shockererige one for Mr Steyn..but how was that wind???

  • Comment 19, posted at 16.11.09 09:00:05 by Xmas Ice-Icle Reply
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  • @Xmas Ice-Icle (Comment 19) : I still think we lost the game at the toss, we could never pressure their line, it was too easy for them to relieve the pressure and it cost us about 70 meters which is heartbreaking for a forward.

  • Comment 20, posted at 16.11.09 09:04:41 by Whindy Reply
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  • Kanko couldn’t hold onto the ball, Schalk was falling off tackles all the time and the tight five where nowhere to be seen…there wasn’t any urgency from the Boks and they looked like a very tired and unmotivated side……plus the Anthem was a disgrace and just saw on another site that the SA embassy in France recommended mr. Dumisani….typical that our administrator’s had a hand in that debacle 🙄

  • Comment 21, posted at 16.11.09 09:21:56 by Pokkel Reply
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  • We almost always sturggle on EOYT’s. We are at the end of our season and they are always starting theirs.

  • Comment 22, posted at 16.11.09 09:25:10 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 22) : ‘always’????? Last year we beat Wales, Scotland(just) and smashed England ❓

  • Comment 23, posted at 16.11.09 09:28:59 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @McLovin (Comment 10) : That’s a sensitive one 😉

  • Comment 24, posted at 16.11.09 09:30:43 by Charlie Reply

  • @Pokkel (Comment 21) :

    They claim that they were asked for a list of artists , butnever recommended the guy. His name was purely on the list. (They shoudl have made sure though that the guy could actually sing) Hell – my karaoke was better than this guy. And then he says he thought he sang beautifully.. 😯 (hate to see when he FU a song) 😯 And he claims people even said so to him afterwards…I reckon this guy does not know what “sarcasm” means..

  • Comment 25, posted at 16.11.09 09:33:00 by Xmas Ice-Icle Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 21) : Dumisani apologized this morning on John Robbie (not sure of spelling of his name 😳 ) and blamed the microphone people

  • Comment 26, posted at 16.11.09 09:33:40 by rekinek Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 26) : meant to say John Robbie show 😳

  • Comment 27, posted at 16.11.09 09:34:17 by rekinek Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 26) :

    :mrgreen: :mrgreen: Serious?? The microphone people??? :mrgreen: :mrgreen: he’s a better comedian than he is a singer!! I think a change of “art form” is in order here.. 🙄

  • Comment 28, posted at 16.11.09 09:39:46 by Xmas Ice-Icle Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 26) : Microphone my ass….. they could have rather put a microphone in front of Bakkies and it would have been better 😯

  • Comment 29, posted at 16.11.09 09:40:28 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 29) : At least he would have know the words :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 30, posted at 16.11.09 09:59:28 by Whindy Reply
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  • Known 😳

  • Comment 31, posted at 16.11.09 10:01:24 by Whindy Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 29) : i wasn’t listening too attentively but there was a whoooole story. he apologized at least

  • Comment 32, posted at 16.11.09 10:07:21 by rekinek Reply
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  • @Whindy (Comment 14) : i think that youngsters are not introduced in a satisfactory way. if you keep current starting XV we may have a very old team for 2011 🙄

  • Comment 33, posted at 16.11.09 10:15:53 by rekinek Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 29) : KARAOKE !!!

  • Comment 34, posted at 16.11.09 10:20:20 by Charlie Reply

  • @Whindy (Comment 14) : All the players you mentioned can easily make the 2011 world cup provided they are afforded enough down time.

    But like you said a bit of over reaction from some quarters. I believe the Boks have peaked for 2009 but they will be back. Just give them some time off.

  • Comment 35, posted at 16.11.09 10:20:26 by McLovin Reply

  • @Whindy (Comment 14) : Also, I don’t think too much should be read into Dickey and his microphone. Nick Mallet didn’t have a mic and I’m pretty sure Martin Johnson didn’t use one. 🙂

  • Comment 36, posted at 16.11.09 10:23:11 by McLovin Reply

  • @Charlie (Comment 34) : I was impressed with Adi’s defence….pity he forgot how to pass though 🙄

  • Comment 37, posted at 16.11.09 10:23:12 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 32) : He should never have apologized…because he never should have been allowed near that stadium 👿

  • Comment 38, posted at 16.11.09 10:25:20 by Pokkel Reply
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  • Ras Dumisani apologised – I watched his videos on YouTube – he could’ve done so much better… I guess the French thought it was a great idea since his music is popular and he’s South African. Well – it didn’t work out.

    I heard the Springboks were disorientated from the word go – let’s smash Italy and The Irish and all will be forgiven…

    We lost one game against a good side —away from home. Yeah, I hate it when we can’t adapt or change to plan B & C – but there’s no need to panic still…let’s move on – there’s nothing else to see here…

  • Comment 39, posted at 16.11.09 10:28:15 by blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • @Pokkel (Comment 23) :

    I said ‘almost’ 😉

  • Comment 40, posted at 16.11.09 10:28:58 by wpw Reply
  • @Pokkel (Comment 37) : Where was the support mostly, to actually bridge the French defence you just can’t spread the ball wide… 😉

  • Comment 41, posted at 16.11.09 10:32:11 by Charlie Reply

  • The try by France was not valid, but Barney turned a blind eye… 👿

  • Comment 42, posted at 16.11.09 10:33:51 by Charlie Reply

  • @Pokkel (Comment 29) :

    ‘Microphone my ass’ 😯

    You a Stormers supporter now?? :mrgreen:

  • Comment 43, posted at 16.11.09 10:36:34 by wpw Reply
  • I am not sure how its Divvies fault that Jake sulked off into the wilderness, he could have applied like eveyone else – Jake always gave me the impression that towards the end of his tenire we owed him – which isn’t the case – he was lucky to coach a great team as well – no mention of that – sure he helped build it – but without the players who is to say he ould have been a success? His ‘b’ team he was want to pick occasionally spent its time getting smashed by opponents including some of the worst defeats by Aus and the All Blacks.

    Jake wasn’t a fantstic coach he got lucky and won the RWC – making him beyond reproach or critisim and it gave him a huge head.

    Sorry but Div deserves more acknowledgement. It can’t work in the favour of one and not the other.

    What was the article about 😈

  • Comment 44, posted at 16.11.09 10:58:13 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 43) :

    That is rather a revelation from a Stormers supporter! Welcome out of the closet, Wes!! 😉

  • Comment 45, posted at 16.11.09 11:01:49 by Xmas Ice-Icle Reply
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  • @Worcestershire Sauce (Comment 44) : 🙄

  • Comment 46, posted at 16.11.09 11:21:59 by robdylan Reply
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  • “Boks lack new identity”
    I think they have taken their first steps to getting the new identity….. ably assisted by Ras Dumisani.

  • Comment 47, posted at 16.11.09 11:25:02 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • I heard Ras Dumisani on the radio this morning, he sounds genuinly sorry for his performance and said that his mike was not working and he couldnt hear his own singing.

  • Comment 48, posted at 16.11.09 11:27:44 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • John Smit is still very new to Twitter. Stuck in broadcast mode 🙂

  • Comment 49, posted at 16.11.09 11:32:35 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Worcestershire Sauce (Comment 44) :
    If I remember correctly SARU brought the date forward for applications for the Bok coaching job. At the time Jake White was in France with the Boks for the World Cup.
    I doubt he would have applied anyway, having just won the world cup.

  • Comment 50, posted at 16.11.09 11:33:47 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Xmas Ice-Icle (Comment 45) : 👿

  • Comment 51, posted at 16.11.09 11:41:55 by wpw Reply
  • Don’t think SARU wanted Jake and Jake didn’t want SARU at the time.

    Looks like he didn’t apply cause he felt why should he, he just won the RWC.

  • Comment 52, posted at 16.11.09 11:48:21 by McLovin Reply

  • @Xmas Ice-Icle (Comment 45) : @wpw (Comment 51) : 😆 :mrgreen:

  • Comment 53, posted at 16.11.09 11:48:44 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @McLovin (Comment 52) :
    Thats how I have it, and understandable from him too. Having the closing date during the WC campaign was a bit of a give away as to who was not on SARU’s wishlist.

  • Comment 54, posted at 16.11.09 11:56:52 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • Oregan Hoskins has been in contact with the FFR regarding Friday night’s singing of the national anthem.

    France manager Jo Maso told the media the South African embassy organised that reggae singer Ras Dumisani would sing the South African anthem in Toulouse, but Saru president Hoskins has written to the FFR expressing his unhappiness.

    ‘As a union we were shocked and horrified by the rendition of the anthem and I contacted the French Federation on Saturday morning to express our very grave concerns,’ Hoskins said in a statement. ‘The performance of the anthem is a treasured part of any rugby international and we take great pains in this country in the selection and rehearsal of artists to ensure that we appropriately honour all anthems.

    ‘Something went seriously awry in Toulouse and the upshot was that offence has been caused not just to the Springboks and Saru but to South Africans in general.

    ‘I congratulate France on their victory in the Test match, but look forward to their response on this important issue.’

    Shoyab Casoo of the South African embassy in France denied Maso’s claims and told Die Rapport that the embassy had given a list of singers to the FFR as requested, but had not chosen a particular one.

    ‘We just gave them the names of people we’re aware of,’ said Casoo. ‘We didn’t know how well these people could sing.’

  • Comment 55, posted at 16.11.09 11:58:54 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 51) :

    Hey, you started.. 😉

    On a complete different note…I saw the most beautiful thingetjie this morning. A baby Kiewiet – the first time in my life I saw a baby one and in real life! Sad thing is, it was in the road and his mom and Dad tried frantically to get him out of the rd. I was holding up the traffic, so had to move – hope the little bugger is okay! 😐

  • Comment 56, posted at 16.11.09 12:01:10 by Xmas Ice-Icle Reply
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  • @Xmas Ice-Icle (Comment 56) : A kiewiet crossing the road? Probably thought he was a chicken. 😉

  • Comment 57, posted at 16.11.09 12:28:02 by McLovin Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 57) : 😆 skerp

  • Comment 58, posted at 16.11.09 12:46:45 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @McLovin (Comment 57) :

    Pffft! 😛

  • Comment 59, posted at 16.11.09 13:09:38 by Xmas Ice-Icle Reply
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