New (blue) Bok era dawns

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Bulls, Original Content, Springboks on 16 Apr 2012 at 08:00
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

Yesterday’s somewhat unprecedented Sunday press conference, in which SARU finally revealed its worst-ever-kept secret by confirming Rassie Erasmus as Bok High Performance Manager, couldn’t have happened in a more fitting location than Pretoria; in fact, those who have grown used to the 100-year-legacy of a Cape Town power base running South African rugby should probably prepare themselves to shift further North for the foreseeable future, even if just mentally.

The good news for Bok fans is that Heyneke Meyer’s management team is finally taking shape. With the head coach himself having been prised away from his Jacaranda-lined office a good few months back, it seems we’ve waited an inordinately long time to learn exactly who his back room staff would comprise, with no shortage of wild rumours flying around to fill the intervening time. SARU, it seems, have appointed Erasmus as both mentor and foil to Meyer; the former won’t, I’m sure, play a particularly hands-on role (although he will be “seconded to the Springbok team when they are in camp”) but will presumably concentrate on harmonising structures across all teams, as well as, we hope, raising an eyebrow or two when (not if) the non-Bull quota in the Bok team falls below 25%.

A compromise, it seems, has been reached with Loftus as well, with Meyer to have his pick of the Bulls coaching team, even though they will all be allowed to remain in their current posts until the end of the current season. Johann van Graan, the architect behind so much of the Pretoria forward dominance over the last decade, will continue to act as Meyer’s right-hand man in a green blazer, with former Sharks fullback Ricardo Loubscher looking after the backs. There are more Bulls in defence guru John McFarland and conditioning coach Basil Carzis, so any hope that Meyer’s “cabinet” might comprise a blend of skills and approaches from across the country appears to have been properly dashed; this Bok team will play the Bulls way and if you’re going to select a side to play the Bulls way, you’ll probably want to start with Bulls players. This much is already evident, with strong suggestions that Meyer intends to lure Victor Matfield out of retirement to captain the side against England.

A number of other key men are being lined up to lend a hand, with Ian Schwartz, the Bulls High-Performance Manager, among them. Losing his skills in addition to the slew of coaches they;ll be giving up, will be a bitter blow indeed to the Pretoria franchise; so much of the amazing structures and quiet professionalism that have grown to typify the Bulls approach are as a result of Schwartz’s work and he will prove, I’m sure, indefinitely, infinitely harder to replace than any of the coaches they’re giving up. Louis Koen, Pieter de Villiers and Neil du Plessis will apparently also be roped in as consultants although it’s hard to see how the latter will work with Carzis, since they’re both conditioning specialists.

The good news for the Sharks is that our very own “Doc”, Craig Roberts, has been reappointed to the management team. Slim pickings, I know, but in the hard times to follow, it’s good to know that Craig will continue to represent the forgotten lands to the East of the blue citadel.


  • Interesting! I don’t really know how I should feel about this.

  • Comment 1, posted at 16.04.12 08:10:27 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • I dont have a problem with the “blue” as long as they win.

  • Comment 2, posted at 16.04.12 08:13:33 by Uli Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    Uli Boelie
  • Well lets let the man have whoever he wants so he cant have any excuses! Bringing matfield back just seems f&@$ing ludacris tho, hes not even playing rugby at the moment

  • Comment 3, posted at 16.04.12 08:14:48 by RuckingFun Reply

  • @RuckingFun (Comment 3) : I agree, let him chose who he wants so that he can do the best he can.
    I also agree Mat should stay retired now.

  • Comment 4, posted at 16.04.12 08:23:25 by Uli Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    Uli Boelie
  • I understand he wants Matfield to play for the Sharks or the Cheetahs

  • Comment 5, posted at 16.04.12 08:36:54 by Bokhoring Reply
  • Not sure I want Matfield in the Bok team -but would love a Matfield player-coaching the Sharks lineout

  • Comment 6, posted at 16.04.12 08:41:36 by Bokhoring Reply
  • lol is it 1 April today? :mrgreen:

  • Comment 7, posted at 16.04.12 08:45:42 by Uli Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    Uli Boelie
  • Ag nou ja 🙄

  • Comment 8, posted at 16.04.12 08:48:08 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @Uli (Comment 2) : Me neither actually.
    The more Bulls he select the better our chances in the CC ! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 9, posted at 16.04.12 08:54:55 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • Maybe the Boks new alternate strip will be shocking pink 😯

  • Comment 10, posted at 16.04.12 09:02:48 by lostfish Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Competition Winner
  • Yes I too have heard the rumour that Matfield will be joining either the Sharks or Cheetahs on a temporary basis until the June tests.

    We may have a lock shortage, but no thanks! Stuur hom Cheetahs toe.

    – Over the hill and unfit
    – Disruption/media sideshows
    – Will his heart be in the Sharks? Or will he simply be going through the motions with the green and gold at the back of his mind?
    – Bulls secret agent in our midst when we still have to play them (no way will he reveal any of their secrets). He’s a Bull through and through and I wouldn’t trust him…
    – Most importantly however it will hamper the development of our own youngsters coming through, like Marais. Far better for our own young players to get experience now and make them better players for tomorrow.

    I hope the Sharks don’t fall for this but knowing Straueli….

  • Comment 11, posted at 16.04.12 09:16:52 by siorc Reply

    Gold's Member
  • @Uli (Comment 2) : My sentiments exactly. I’m even fine with Victor coming out of retirement if it’s a short-term measure designed to provide some continuity and stability to the team. In saying that though there are at least two locks in Andries Bekker and Juandre Kruger who could feel aggrieved by such a decision.

    Still, if it’s for the greater good and this team consistently produces I’m not going to be complaining.

    One more thought – couldn’t the Lions use a guy like Victor right now more than any other team? Location-wise it also seems a better fit.

  • Comment 12, posted at 16.04.12 09:42:27 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @siorc (Comment 11) : I have just read that it was reported in Die Volksblad. Where is KSA! He will be thrilled to hear that Victoria may be wearing the Black and white jersey in the very near future 😆

  • Comment 13, posted at 16.04.12 10:11:51 by Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette Reply

    Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette
  • I dont have a problem if we win the WC playing Bulls rugby, but I have my doubts that there will be any fresh ideas with a team of coaches who only know how to play one style.

    I can take seeing FdP back, but not so excited about the possibility of Kirchner, Basson, Ndungane and Olivier all starting.

  • Comment 14, posted at 16.04.12 10:44:37 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • Matfield has been training with the Bulls in the lineouts every Monday since the start of the SR season. He also joined them for defence training this last week and completed the whole session without any problems.

    Those are the facts. Here now is my opinion on the issue.


  • Comment 15, posted at 16.04.12 11:19:31 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 15) : a man of few words? 🙂

  • Comment 16, posted at 16.04.12 11:21:21 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 16) : I used them all yesterday on Xtal’s FB wall. 🙂

  • Comment 17, posted at 16.04.12 11:22:50 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 17) : LOL… will go look

  • Comment 18, posted at 16.04.12 11:24:40 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Ludeke must be a worried man. His whole support staff is being stolen at the end of the season.

  • Comment 19, posted at 16.04.12 11:26:48 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 17) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 20, posted at 16.04.12 11:30:47 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
  • @Big Fish (Comment 14) : In his defence Kirchner seems to be trying to break his Johan Roets shackles and I’m seeing a bit of the Kirchner that played for Griquas

  • Comment 21, posted at 16.04.12 11:31:58 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 21) :
    But would you want him at 15 for the Boks?

  • Comment 22, posted at 16.04.12 11:50:55 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 22) : Ja wait, we cant have that.

  • Comment 23, posted at 16.04.12 12:01:45 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
  • As far as I am aware any South African can be selected for the Springboks…so if Hyneke wants to select Matfield and Mark Andrews as his two locks with Naas Botha at 10 so be it, BUT he will be judged on the results he achieves based on his selections. He is no different to Jake White or PDV…he will be judged by the public on results no matter who he picks. SARU and the Govt have other selection requirements but thats a story for Carte Blanche. So by all means pick Matfield and play 10 man rugby…just remember you will be judged on whether you win or lose.

  • Comment 24, posted at 16.04.12 13:10:35 by SheldonK Reply

  • About half way through the S season – is it time to start pencilling names into Springbok positions? I foresee selection dilemmas in the backline but pickings seem slim in the tight 5 imo?!? Oh, yeah, personally I’m in favour of the coach getting all he wants – let’s see what happens.

    Any Gautengers travelling to DBN this weekend?

  • Comment 25, posted at 16.04.12 17:46:56 by MikeN Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 24) : We don’t want to have over the hill has beens playing and judging the coach on poor choices. We want to have the best players available playing for the Boks and we want the Boks to win.

  • Comment 26, posted at 16.04.12 18:14:20 by lostfish Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Competition Winner
  • @lostfish (Comment 26) : Yeh of course we do. I for one want to see the Boks playing winning rugby no matter if that is 10 man Bulls rugby or run from everywhere Reds rugby. Every coach will make a few selections that the general public do not agree with…so time will tell who [email protected] unfavourable selection is-if its Matfield…well i could live with that! Other coaches have backed worse players…

  • Comment 27, posted at 17.04.12 07:25:27 by SheldonK Reply


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