A thin line

Written by Stephen Smith (StevieS)

Posted in :Reader Submissions, Springboks, The Rugby Championship on 30 Aug 2012 at 10:44
Tagged with : , , , ,

There is a thin line between coaching and controlling. Having done a bit of schools coaching (and not at any high level I will readily admit), I know what worked for me. Man management, choosing the best players for each position and getting them fit and motivated, and getting them to play to a game plan based on our strengths, but allowing them the freedom to play the game as they saw it i.e. adapt to the opposition and alter their play accordingly.

Heyneke Meyer is a brilliant coach, just look at his track record, it speaks for itself, but somewhere along the line he has become too rigid and unbending. Where is that imagination which helped him lead the South-Western Districts Eagles to the Currie Cup Semi-Finals and the Bulls from chokers and underperformers into Currie Cup and Super Rugby winners and arguably one of the most powerful Unions in the world?

Heyneke Meyer seems too fixated on forward dominance when making his game plan, the same way Jake White was before bringing in Eddie Jones as a consultant which allowed us to utilise our big, fast, powerful backs properly for the first time during Jake’s whole tenure.

We are blessed in this country with some of the most gifted athletes in the world so why don’t we make more use of our resources? New Zealand are the perfect example of a team which blends their forwards and backs seamlessly, so why can’t we do it? At the moment our coaches are so rigid and unbending that those X-Factor players we do have (Lambie, Habana, Hougaard etc) are becoming predictable and boring, simply because they fear getting dropped for not following the game plan or making a mistake. Let’s not kick away what little possession we do get, let’s rather protect it, run the ball and show the world what we can do! I for one would rather see a mistake from a player trying something than sit through another game like we saw this past weekend!

Here is my question for the readers; what type of game plan should the Boks follow? What will allow us to beat New Zealand regularly?


  • After reading this, it makes me wonder how two exact opposites coached the boks. Divvy basically said to the boys, go do what u want on the field… HM wants to tell them exactly what to do on the field…. Now, what’s better? I recon both are worst off as both don’t have a good balance. I think you need a balanced coach doing both.

  • Comment 1, posted at 30.08.12 10:57:41 by Uli Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    Uli Boelie
  • I don’t think we really know what HM’s coaching in the bok set-up is about just yet. He is still finding his feet in the environment and in doing so is sticking to what has been successful for him in the past. That much is clear. He would have to be blind not to see the flaws in the bok play against the Argies and i suspect he will adapt, not markedly, but subtly, according to the opposition… We will know more after the games against the Aussies and All Blacks. We’re expected to beat the Aussies twice and NZ at home. If we lose, or even battle against the Aussies, then we have room to be concerned. If we lose against the All Blacks, well, fair enough, they’re better than we are right now, they have continuity going for them and almost all their best players available…

  • Comment 2, posted at 30.08.12 11:02:41 by The Quirk Reply
    The Quirk
  • The less I say about Heyneke the better.

    Too big-headed. Has convinced himself that he can do no wrong.

  • Comment 3, posted at 30.08.12 11:05:28 by hendrikp Reply

  • The simple answer is probably play to your strengths. Ours does not stop at big bruising forward play and up and unders.

    – Get the forwards to try to run into the gaps, not players. If you need to tackle a guy going past you, he’ll cross the gain line. If he comes head on you can smash him back.
    – Protect the ball as if it’s a huge ass diamond at the breakdowns.
    – No forwards between the centers, except if it’s really broken play.
    – Get a flyhalf who attacks the gain line and who can put his inside center into a play making position, not a bull dozing one. We have a world class back line, but they are being underutilised.

    If we get out of rumble bumble mode, our guys can be devastating.
    If the backline can be supplied with constant quick front foot ball, gaps will appear in any defense, be it out wide or on the fringes.

  • Comment 4, posted at 30.08.12 11:05:29 by PTAShark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @PTAShark (Comment 4) : Can’t fathom why Jantjies was left at home unless Pat is going to get a run… At some point…

  • Comment 5, posted at 30.08.12 11:08:33 by The Quirk Reply
    The Quirk
  • Hopefully. Or at least get Steyn to stand within 10 meters of a ruck?

  • Comment 6, posted at 30.08.12 11:10:08 by PTAShark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @The Quirk (Comment 2) : He has said after both draws, there was nothing wrong with the gameplan, the players didn’t execute it right. He is a coward hiding behind excuses, he sets the players up for failure, and then blames them when they do fail!

    No matter how much or how little a coach is to blame, shoving it all onto the men putting their bodies on the line, while acting as if you had everything perfect is not worthy of being called a coach, the leader of his men. That is a dictator!

  • Comment 7, posted at 30.08.12 11:18:54 by Die Kriek Reply


  • Comment 8, posted at 30.08.12 11:19:41 by Caratacus Reply

  • What i want is for the ball passing to be more flat and not pass into our 22 from the 50 meter every game. We lose ground because we cant get back to the gain line. It gives them time to defend when we run from way back.

  • Comment 9, posted at 30.08.12 11:20:23 by Dunx Reply

  • @The Quirk (Comment 5) : I don’t think Pat is viewed as a flyhalf option. Merely as an emergency backup. I think HM sees Pat as our 2nd fullback.

  • Comment 10, posted at 30.08.12 11:20:56 by King Shark Reply
    King Shark
  • @Caratacus (Comment 8) : SKOP NOG N GERRIEOWEN JULLE BLIKSEMS!!!!!!

  • Comment 11, posted at 30.08.12 11:23:04 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • The question asked at the bottom of this article is the key. It’s easy to criticise a coach without saying what he should do. The Kiwi team has no obvious weaknesses. Obviously its not going to work to bulldoze them. I think our key is at 10 12. With the right 10 to give Frans Steyn more space we may have something. I think Lambie should be starting at 10. The fact that SBW has moved on may be an opportunity. We have to play a fetcher to protect our ball and slow down theirs. They are very good. If we can match them elsewhere and create something around Frans Steyn, I see that as our only chance.

  • Comment 12, posted at 30.08.12 11:28:51 by MikeSebMatt Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 11) : ROTFLMAO!!!!!

  • Comment 13, posted at 30.08.12 11:33:45 by Caratacus Reply

  • @Die Kriek (Comment 7) : I’m taking a wait and see attitude right now. Everybody said he was the right coach when appointed so i say give him time to prove them right or wrong… If he proves to be a dictator who shifts blame then fine, sack his ass… If he proves to be good coach who gets results then we’ll all be singing his praises and offering to buy him beer.

  • Comment 14, posted at 30.08.12 11:40:04 by The Quirk Reply
    The Quirk
  • @Caratacus (Comment 13) : thought you might like that πŸ™‚

  • Comment 15, posted at 30.08.12 11:41:49 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @King Shark (Comment 10) : He has been the only flyhalf option on the bench the last two games, unless HM envisages putting Frans there should Morne not be able to continue for whatever reason…

  • Comment 16, posted at 30.08.12 11:42:08 by The Quirk Reply
    The Quirk
  • My previous comments aside, i vomit in my mouth a bit every time Morne Steyn and Hougie kick an up and under… And when Sideshow Bob touches the ball…

  • Comment 17, posted at 30.08.12 11:44:26 by The Quirk Reply
    The Quirk
  • @hendrikp (Comment 3) : agree with you brav

    Great article !! I just wonder ,you can treat a bull like a school boy -crap him out at half time ,question his commitment and so on -how do the rest of them respond to being treated like u16s?

    May needs to be introspective, isasimpleasthis

  • Comment 18, posted at 30.08.12 11:46:33 by Talent Reply
  • To think a guy with a BA in Sports Psychology could have his team playing like drop-kicks.

    Reminds me of a saying when I finished university 😯

    – An Engineering graduate asks how something works.
    – A Science graduate asks why it works.
    – An Arts graduate asks “would you like fries with that”.

  • Comment 19, posted at 30.08.12 11:57:05 by hendrikp Reply

  • I agree with you about the balance needed.

    I have heard/read a few of the boks saying their best time in the bok setup was under Divvy, even though they were losing. It seems they were happy but rubbish at rugby.

    HM seems to be getting the crazy eyes that Strauli had which is a worry.

    We need a gameplan that can be versatile to adapt to the available players. Players should be given the confidence to play to their abilities. My understanding is that that is Gary Kirsten’s approach to the Proteas and look at how that is working out.

  • Comment 20, posted at 30.08.12 12:01:05 by Orelando_G Reply

  • @hendrikp (Comment 19) :
    Not this Arts graduate. I ask the Engineering and Science graduates where my coffee is. πŸ˜†

  • Comment 21, posted at 30.08.12 12:02:32 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Orelando_G (Comment 20) : Rubbish at rugby???? Perception based

  • Comment 22, posted at 30.08.12 12:05:18 by Talent Reply
  • Some of the boks best rugby in recent times was under Pdivy. British and Irish lions ,world cup that tri-nations we cleaned up…

  • Comment 23, posted at 30.08.12 12:07:17 by Talent Reply
  • @Talent (Comment 22) : let’s see Heyneke’s boks score 8 tries against Aus in his first year before we accuse Divvy’s mod of being rubbish, I say

  • Comment 24, posted at 30.08.12 12:07:52 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Didn’t we put close to 60 points on Argentina with players like Conradie and Bobo ?no disrespect to them but they weren’t springboks

  • Comment 25, posted at 30.08.12 12:08:22 by Talent Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 24) : Agreed. I was a Pdivy fan

  • Comment 26, posted at 30.08.12 12:09:12 by Talent Reply
  • @Talent (Comment 25) : *not Springbok A/B material

  • Comment 27, posted at 30.08.12 12:09:49 by Talent Reply
  • I think HM is still in Franchise/Province mode and does not realise that there is a HUGE difference between building a franchise, and seamlessly molding the best athletes in South Africa into a unified force.

    He has stated that he will coach the players and not pick them….that’s franchise building mentality.

    He’s in over his head and it’s painstakingly clear to everyone except our new three stooges.

    Unless he changes, he’s no different from Jake White in building a team that performs once every four years. Here’s to another world cup winning team, wake me up when it’s 2015.

  • Comment 28, posted at 30.08.12 12:10:30 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Talent (Comment 23) : call me old school and easy to please… but I just like the Boks to score f*ckloads of tries and win games by 40

  • Comment 29, posted at 30.08.12 12:10:51 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • We have some of the most talented players in the world.Use them to the best of their abilities. Don’t base play around a couple of players.Bismarck is out, so adapt by using a “like” player – Craig Burden or Schalk Britz.The Aussies & AB’s have Morne Steyn’s number, so they WILL close him down (Pocock,Messam.McCaw).Have a plan B to flow flawlessly from Plan A.Our Forwards need to be “tied loose”. Coetzee,Alberts & co need flexibility to do their jobs.If you are employed as an accountant in the corporate world, be an accountant not a sales rep or stock controller!JdV needs to take control when on the field. He is the CEO so act like one. Don’t micromanage like HM & his 2-way radio do.Lambie,Frans & Pienaar can be game breakers and changers – if only this could be seen.Get the ball to the wings.We have have 2 of the most creative & devastating wings around. Use them.In fact use all the players and keep the tight 5 out of the line (Strauss & Bekker this is for you).Most of all keep it simple – stick to the basics – the ball is yours,keep it away from them & share with your team – sharing is caring.K.I.S.S – Keep It Simple Springboks.

  • Comment 30, posted at 30.08.12 12:13:06 by markm Reply

  • I would have liked to have seen Gary Gold ,Jake White ,Alister Coetzee or Mallet be Bok coach. I say the verdicts still out on Meyers ability as a coach however in comparison to what Jake White managed in 2004 and what Pdivy managed in 08/09 his start doesn’t look promising.

  • Comment 31, posted at 30.08.12 12:13:42 by Talent Reply
  • @Talent (Comment 22) : Perception based on a quarter final exit at a world cup and last place in the Tri-nations.

  • Comment 32, posted at 30.08.12 12:14:51 by Orelando_G Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 29) : I wonder what Meyer would choose ;type writer or laptop ,horse and carriage or car ?? Gun or caveman club πŸ™„ πŸ˜† -With Morne Steyn at 10 we have no chance of ever running the ball from the 22 to the tryline and scoring by numbers 9-15

  • Comment 33, posted at 30.08.12 12:18:51 by Talent Reply
  • @Orelando_G (Comment 32) : circumstantial exit -poor reffing ? Tri-nations where we didn’t even really compete for the title? Instead built for the world cup.

  • Comment 34, posted at 30.08.12 12:20:30 by Talent Reply
  • What was Pdivys record prior to that I wonder?

  • Comment 35, posted at 30.08.12 12:21:39 by Talent Reply
  • @Talent (Comment 34) : building for the world cup and then going out in the quarters = rubbish.

  • Comment 36, posted at 30.08.12 12:28:21 by Orelando_G Reply

  • it all boils down to one thing…
    Rugby is a team sport, and with MS as FH we are not playing a team game. Therefore we will never win anything.

  • Comment 37, posted at 30.08.12 12:29:49 by Uli Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    Uli Boelie
  • @Talent (Comment 35) : taken from Wikipedia so I cant vouch for the accuracy.

    John Williams

    Ian McIntosh

    Kitch Christie

    Andre Markgraaff

    Carel du Plessis

    Nick Mallett

    Harry Viljoen

    Rudolph Straeuli

    Jake White

    Peter de Villiers

  • Comment 38, posted at 30.08.12 12:34:27 by Orelando_G Reply

  • @Uli (Comment 37) : I reckon it is not just about Morne but the plan the players play to. You can put Dan Carter at 10 for the Boks and he will look like rubbish.

    Mallet made a few good points after the game on Saturday:
    – about the fact that Morne does not call the shots in the backline. We still seem to be stuck in FdP mode with 9 running the show
    – about the options available to Morne to use, e.g. no runners off him on either side, but always a pod of big forwards at centre

  • Comment 39, posted at 30.08.12 12:36:03 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Talent (Comment 18) : Thanks, glad you enjoyed the article.

    Some interesting opinions here πŸ™‚

  • Comment 40, posted at 30.08.12 12:40:53 by StevieS Reply
  • @Big Fish (Comment 21) :

    Doing better then me then!

    I’m not quite working at McDonalds… Mum did suggest it though when I couldn’t find work for ages 😯 πŸ˜†

  • Comment 41, posted at 30.08.12 12:52:25 by hendrikp Reply

  • @Caratacus (Comment 8) : I think he`s got a direct link with Ishmael over at Sportsbet . . . :mrgreen:

  • Comment 42, posted at 30.08.12 13:26:46 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • the authour asks “what type of game plan should the Boks follow? What will allow us to beat New Zealand regularly?”

    i venture an answer, there’s no certain type of gameplan that SA needs to beat NZ regurlarly! we need a coach or coaches that can VARY our game…we are not inefficient or rubbish, we are PREDICTABLE.

    for example: Meyer’s coaching sends big bloody signals to the opposition from the 1st ruck, our forwards bunch up together and our backs stand 15 metres away, the opposition is not in two minds where the ball is going and they set their defence and as predicted marcell or alberts gets the pass and BANG he goes into a gang tackle by 3 defenders, doesn’t breach the gainline, his ball placement is compromised as there three defenders wrestling him, he can’t shift the point of attack by using linking passes (something the sharks did well at the end of the season and the argies in mendoza, look at their try) the result is our ball smothered.

    heyneke complains that the players are weak at the breakdown instead of making the play less predictable for opposing defences…this is where an “ATTACK COACH” comes in.

    it took stuart lancaster and his greenhorns 2 games to figures out and they BESTED us in PE, it took Argentina 1 game (and Graham Henry) to figure us out and they BESTED us…

    we are currently PREDICTABLE, we need variation, decoy moves, 1st phase set pieces that catch the opposition with their pants down like the dagg try against australia where he stood DIRECTLY behind carter (never seen before) shadowed him as he drifted with ball in hand…sbw and nonu ran straight at the aussie defence without any ball but committed them (decoy) only for dagg to shoot past carter with acres of space and beale to beat and voila…7 points off a 30 metre scrum, no phases, no rucks just plain INGENUITY!

  • Comment 43, posted at 30.08.12 13:28:09 by Megatron Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 43) : Brilliantly said Meggie.

    You are absolutely right, we need to vary our gameplan but still play to our strengths.

    My 1st Team coach used to tell us, ‘Put the ball into the corners for the first 5 minutes, see what they do and play accordingly.’ It sounds simple but it really worked.

    Thanks for your take on things, really appreciated reading that. We are predictable and I very much fear we are going to be badly found out.

    Perhaps Rassie as an attack coach in the set up?

  • Comment 44, posted at 30.08.12 13:33:35 by StevieS Reply
  • @Megatron (Comment 43) : Quite right. And you know what, they’ll probably never use that Dagg set move again as they’ll have come up with something new already. If we had a move like that, we’d try and use it in every game ala Hougaard blindside wing taking flat ball from flyhalf!

  • Comment 45, posted at 30.08.12 14:03:59 by neilster Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 43) :

    Well said Mega and damn frustrating for the fans!

  • Comment 46, posted at 30.08.12 15:51:19 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • @neilster (Comment 45) : “If we had a move like that, we’d try and use it in every game”

    yep, “EXECUTION OVER INNOVATION” the biggest load of rubbish ever! “it doesn’t matter if the opposition knows what your next move Francois, you must execute it so well (meaning run harder) that you fok hom (jy luister fransie) and barge through the advantage line regardless.” πŸ™„

    come now, again!

  • Comment 47, posted at 30.08.12 16:03:02 by Megatron Reply

  • @Pokkel (Comment 46) : yep, i was sitting at Newlands and thinking to myself “i travelled 1480 km and paid R450 for a ticket to watch this nonsense”

    very frustrated bok fan!

  • Comment 48, posted at 30.08.12 16:15:03 by Megatron Reply

  • Here is my question for the readers; what type of game plan should the Boks follow? What will allow us to beat New Zealand regularly?

    The answer is simple. Follow the plan of SA teams in the recent past that have managed to beat New Zealand teams regularly.

    Which teams are those?

    The Stormers in 2012 finished top of the log in a competition featuring 5 NZ teams. Rassie Erasmus ought to know something about that plan.

    Before that?
    In 2010 the Bulls and the Stormers finished top of the log. Meyer and Erasmus would be familiar with those.

    Before that?
    In 2009 the Boks win the 3N. With the leading lights in that series, Matfield, Du Preez, Steyn, et al., all being disciples of Heineke Meyer, he would know something about it.

    Before that?
    Bulls 2009. Meyer knows about that.

    Before that?
    Sharks and Bulls 2007. Meyer knows about this one also.

    Relax, the Boks are in good hands.

  • Comment 49, posted at 31.08.12 03:11:06 by fyndraai Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @fyndraai (Comment 49) : this is 2012, what worked in 2007 will NOT work this year!

    talking about gameplans super rugby teams used to win, you need to realise that international rugby is a totally different kettle of fish that is why you have players like say robbie fruean, maitland, whitehead, ranger who are starters at their franchises but do not make their national teams. it is a different level, defences are tighter,attacks are sharper & strategies more detailed than in super rugby.

    what works in super rugby will not suffice at this level!

    robbie deans has 3 super titles, equal with the most succesful saffa franchise, if it was as easy as u say then how do you explain his 3 out of 17 ratio against against the ABs since 2008?

  • Comment 50, posted at 31.08.12 07:45:08 by Megatron Reply

  • How many successful franchise coaches have been able to carry those successes into an international head coach position?

    From my limited observations it seems as though the best is to first become at least an assistant coach at international level, or coach the national age group team before being ready for the demands of international rugby.

    In both Deans and now HM the gap between franchise rugby and international rugby is patently clear….and both coached franchises who’s styles are vastly different from what their national teams are supposed to play.

  • Comment 51, posted at 31.08.12 08:51:49 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 48) : Seen the ticket prices in NZ/Aus lately? We as South Africans really get the raw end of the deal from Sanzar. We having to pay a hefty fee to be able to watch rugby on TV or at stadiums. Compared to those countries, were life affordability is so much cheaper. They are making rugby only for the rich in South Africa.

  • Comment 52, posted at 31.08.12 08:55:43 by Uli Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    Uli Boelie
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 51) : I tend to agree there, I do however hope that this is just a phase in aproach from HM, and that he makes good sooner than later.

  • Comment 53, posted at 31.08.12 08:59:02 by Uli Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    Uli Boelie
  • @Uli (Comment 52) : With the amount of money we’re having to bleed to watch some rugby, you’d think public opinion would carry a bit more weight.

  • Comment 54, posted at 31.08.12 09:02:22 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Uli (Comment 52) : that said, R450 was the price for the best seats at Newlands in the grand stand…there were cheaper seats, starting from R250 i think…so one can get affordable tickets…

  • Comment 55, posted at 31.08.12 09:20:12 by Megatron Reply

  • Difference is NZ plays every season for what it is a season! We on the other hand is fixated on the ideal of building a useless squad over 4 years! We completely forgot what the game is all about and we just can’t get it into our thick skulls that the game actually evolves every year and its adapt or die.

  • Comment 56, posted at 31.08.12 09:30:40 by Bakmister Reply

  • @Orelando_G (Comment 38) : I completely forgot that John Williams won a test in 1992, vs France, Lyon, 20-15. Well look at that! HM wasn’t the first Bulls coach to win a test match

  • Comment 57, posted at 31.08.12 09:39:34 by Bakmister Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 55) : As far I know, all ticketing are priced the same for Springbok games at kings park? Not 100% sure about other stadiums, I do know those standing tickets at NL normaly are allot cheaper.

    @FireTheLooser (Comment 54) : I agree totaly.

  • Comment 58, posted at 31.08.12 10:28:55 by Uli Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    Uli Boelie
  • @Megatron (Comment 55) : All seats available for sale were R450.00 except for the standing area in front of the Danie Craven stands.

  • Comment 59, posted at 31.08.12 10:58:51 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @Salmonoid (Comment 59) : @Uli (Comment 58) : thanks, in anycase the rugby didn’t match the ticket price!

  • Comment 60, posted at 31.08.12 11:10:47 by Megatron Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 60) : The rugby was diabolical, spare a thought for the poor folks that forked out the same amount to sit tucked away in the corners somewhere, mind you in those seats, at Newlands, a good game and a bad game probably look the same. Oh well there is always the atmosphere.

  • Comment 61, posted at 31.08.12 11:17:18 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
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  • @Megatron (Comment 50) :

    You may be correct in saying that what worked at SR will not work at test level, but then it is the only success SA teams have had against NZ and Aus for more than a decade and thus there is at least a track record to point at.
    The popular alternative approaches have nothing.

  • Comment 62, posted at 31.08.12 14:29:46 by fyndraai Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @fyndraai (Comment 62) : I think we should have given Gert Smal a shot, we’ve never tried employing an assistant coach that has experience with our national team and another country’s national team.

    He would at least not have had his own entourage of no name “backline” and “forward”/”attack” coaches that had to be dragged with him.

    We’d have seen a fresh change in all aspects of our team as he would not have had any favorites that just had to be in the team – yes MornΓ© and Sideshow, I’m talking about you.

    But alas, we fell back to trying to use our franchise coaches/directors to coach our national side – remind me again when last this worked? ’95? Yeah.

    Anyways, now we know better. πŸ˜₯

  • Comment 63, posted at 31.08.12 14:43:37 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @fyndraai (Comment 62) : “but then it is the only success SA teams have had against NZ and Aus for more than a decade”

    really? when peter de villiers beat the all blacks in 2008 in Dunedin and 3 times in 2009 was that game plan based on any of our franchises’ success?

  • Comment 64, posted at 31.08.12 15:48:09 by Megatron Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 64) :

    The 3 wins in a row in 2009 was with never ending up-and-unders.
    PDivvy gets credit for being the coach but the game-plan was from the Bulls’ blue-print.

    The Boks came 3rd in 2008 and was 1 out 3 against NZ. The win in Dunedin and the phrase “consistently beating NZ” does not go together.

  • Comment 65, posted at 31.08.12 16:31:51 by fyndraai Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 63) :

    Morne Steyn played 35 test matches under Peter de Villiers.

  • Comment 66, posted at 31.08.12 16:57:47 by fyndraai Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @fyndraai (Comment 66) : but at least when Div picked him, you could argue it was based on Super 14 form…

  • Comment 67, posted at 31.08.12 17:07:51 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @fyndraai (Comment 66) : I’m sadly well aware of that, but even Pdivvy knew him to be rubbish, to the extent where he ruined Pienaar’s career in trying to convert him into a fh in order to not use Steyn.

  • Comment 68, posted at 31.08.12 17:17:27 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • Good article and many good points made by passionate supporters of the game. Some personal observations in no particular order:
    – HM is a good coach with a proven track record and deserves his appointment.
    – It should come as no surprise that he will coach the Springboks with the same philosophies as his other teams.
    – The great thing about this game is that there are many different ways to play and several can be equally effective in the same situation.
    – HM is conservative in his playing style and winning is everything to him.
    – Entertaining the spectators is of secondary consideration for him.
    – he won’t run the ball in the “wrong” parts of the field.
    – his team will kick for territory.
    – His team will kick to regain possession (up and unders)
    – his team will strive for physical dominance on attack and in defense.
    – he will pick whoever he thinks is the best goal kicker in whatever position. Kicks win games.
    He believes that the fewer passes a team makes on attack the less chance there is of a mistake (turnover)
    – he will encourage width on attack of the front foot and in the right part of the field.

    I could go on. We should not be surprised by how the Boks will play over the next few years. I personally don’t like his style or philosophies but I do respect them and respect him as a proven successful coach. Consequently I am prepared to give him time to get the players all singing off the same hymn sheet. I would encourage all supporters to do the same.

  • Comment 69, posted at 31.08.12 17:17:58 by insider Reply

  • @insider (Comment 69) : Thanks for that… you are right. I mean, for one thing, Meyer is the only guy who’s actually accountable for the results and must be given the opportunity to try things his way.

  • Comment 70, posted at 31.08.12 17:36:25 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @fyndraai (Comment 65) : So basically you are saying play Bulls rugby because it was successful in winning the Super 14 a few years ago and that when we did well at Tri-nations there were some senior Bulls players in the team.

  • Comment 71, posted at 31.08.12 17:48:03 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @insider (Comment 69) : @insider (Comment 69) : @robdylan (Comment 70) : all well and good to havw philosophies & rigid way of playing that a franchise must buy into over 7 years 2000 – 2007 but this is INTERNATIONAL rugby, you play 12 games a year spread over 9 months, ledgers/ win ratios between countries are the currency, history is based on these games…it is NOT training ground it’s a battle zone

  • Comment 72, posted at 31.08.12 17:49:28 by Megatron Reply

  • @Salmonoid (Comment 71) : I think you just summed it up.

  • Comment 73, posted at 31.08.12 17:57:00 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @Megatron (Comment 72) : All the more reason for the incumbent to stick to what he knows works for him and what got him to where he is. It is why he will pick players to fit his patterns and not pick players who may be very good at other aspects of the game that sit on the fringes of his philosophies. He is not saying other players are bad players, simply they don’t fit the role he needs in order to have his game plan carried out with total efficacy.

  • Comment 74, posted at 31.08.12 17:57:33 by insider Reply

  • @insider (Comment 74) : His game plan is not being executed very efficiently by these preferred non thinking robots of his.

    How much time does he need to completely “labotomise” these already 1D players?

  • Comment 75, posted at 31.08.12 18:35:48 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 75) : I think HM would totally agree with your first point. As for the second I’m afraid I can’t comment. I think you will understand more fully now why he is taking Vermeulen and Goosen with the squad to learn, even though they are not yet fit enough to play, and why Keegan Daniel is out and Francois Louw is in.

  • Comment 76, posted at 31.08.12 18:49:02 by insider Reply

  • @Salmonoid (Comment 71) :

    Point me to a style with which SA teams have had more success and I’ll be all for it.

  • Comment 77, posted at 31.08.12 18:51:57 by fyndraai Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @robdylan (Comment 67) :

    True. His form has been off but no challenger has really emerged either.

    Could have been very different if the Sharks will stop contracting foreign fly-halfs.

  • Comment 78, posted at 31.08.12 18:53:57 by fyndraai Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld

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