Bok chances: some get plenty, others get none…

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Springboks, The Rugby Championship on 6 Sep 2012 at 09:59
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Excuse me, Mr Meyer, sir… but I’m very confused.

Let me elaborate. I’m confused because I can’t understand the way you treat players in (and out of) your Springbok squad. The hallmark of any good coach, I’ve been told, is the relationship he is able to build and the trust he is able to garner among those playing for him. A lot of that, surely, must be built on fairness and honesty and while I’m the last one to accuse anyone of dishonesty without evidence, I’m struggling to see the fairness in your most recent selections…

Let’s start with the thorny flyhalf issue, one that has been debated a lot already. We all know that you see Morne Steyn as your first choice, yet we’ve also been forced to watch him bumble his way through an entire Super Rugby season – and four of the last five tests – without giving anyone even the vaguest glimmer of evidence that he is the best flyhalf in the country. You’ve had two other flyhalves in your squad, in Pat Lambie and Elton Jantjies, yet the former never gets off the bench (supposedly because you “see him as a fullback”) while the latter has been dragged into and out of more Bok squads than he has had hot dinners without ever being given the opportunity to play. In comes Johann Goosen, though, straight into the squad and into the match 22 based on one ropey Currie Cup performance after four months injured, while the other two are out in the cold. Where’s the fairness in that?

Let’s look at your loose forwards, then. You steadfastly refused to pick Heinrich Brussow when he was available, insisting instead on using Marcell Coetzee out of his normal position (this is a trend we’ll pick up on later) in a loose trio that has a very one-dimensional look to it. About the only player in your squad who ever offered something different – Keegan Daniel – amazingly gets dropped (after a test in Argentina when he was one of the few players to look like anything) in favour of Duane Vermeuelen, another who, while talented, has only just come back from long-term injury. Even more baffling, though, is the decision to bring in Francois Louw from the middle of nowhere when Brussow was so close to availability that you could have chosen him instead. It’s not like you can argue that Louw is any closer to match fit than Brussow, by the way, because the UK season hasn’t even started yet. Why is Louw there, though, unless his selection is your tacit way of admitting that you got it wrong and we do need a fetcher after all? In that case, why not pick the best one we have? And please explain why, having opted to bring in yet another big ball carrier in Vermeulen, when we already have Willem Alberts and Coetzee playing that role, you opted to retain the incredibly similar Jacques Potgieter in your squad, rather than the more versatile Daniel? Did Potgieter really do anything in his test appearances to date to make him worthy of another chance, but Daniel not?

Talking of chances, though, I wonder how Francois Hougaard gets away with still being in the starting lineup? I mean, he’s had plenty of chances to show what he can do in his preferred position of scrumhalf and has cocked up every one. So now he gets a chance – a free ride – to establish himself at wing at the expense of Lwazi Mvovo, who has done nothing wrong in his showings to date and has been performing as a specialist wing for the last three seasons. What makes Hougaard so special that he gets more chances, whereas Mvovo does not?

Maybe it’s about experience… could that be it? Do you want to keep Hougaard in the team, regardless of form, because he’s an experienced player? Pity that the same logic didn’t apply to Andries Bekker, then, an experienced player dropped from a dizzy height after one bad test. Funny that the man who replaces Bekker, Juandre Kruger, has a weird thing in common with Steyn, Potgieter and Hougaard. I’m not going to point out what it is, because surely you, Mr Meyer, would be above anything as petty as actual provincialism, right? It’s also interesting, though, that a lack of experience doesn’t prevent Vermeulen or Goosen from being brought straight into the side, Again, one rule for some, a different rule for others.

Let’s get back to this positional mucking about, though. We’re told – repeatedly – by your bevvy of tame journos that Pat Lambie cannot possibly be picked at flyhalf for the Boks because, shock horror, the Sharks occasionally play him at fullback. If you had bothered to actually talk to the Sharks coaches, who have known Lambie a lot longer and better than you do, you could very quickly have worked out that the Sharks actually do see Lambie as their best flyhalf and could have explained the quite tactical reasons that he was deployed at fullback for a few games. Asking those questions and getting those answers, though, may have detracted from the agenda to keep Lambie away from Bok 10, so probably safer to stick with the easy answer of “I can’t possibly play him out of position”. What, then, makes it ok to play Coetzee, Hougaard or even Jean de Villiers in positions other than the ones they’ve filled for their franchises in Super Rugby this year? Different rules for different players, I guess.

Lots of changes, lots of theories, lots of explanations, in other words. But of consistency and fairness, Mr Meyer, I’m seeing little. Let’s hope that doesn’t come back to bite in years to come.


  • EXACTLY!!!!!

  • Comment 1, posted at 06.09.12 10:07:45 by CDRhino Reply
  • I actually think Kruger is a better bet than Bekker, and never deserved to be dropped for Bekker after the English tests.

    Apart from that I agree 100%.

  • Comment 2, posted at 06.09.12 10:11:22 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 2) : I also am quite happy with Bekker being dropped… I just think Hougaard should have been dropped too. And Steyn.

  • Comment 3, posted at 06.09.12 10:12:44 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • SPOT ON!!!!! – I only whish there was some way we can make sure that this article gets rubbed under his nose. I’d like to hear his response to your FACTUAL arguments. But then again, high and mighty and always untouchable to us normal mortals.

  • Comment 4, posted at 06.09.12 10:18:10 by Drifter Reply

  • A good article. From a fairness perspective, the treatment of Lambie and Daniel seems particularly bad. I don’t see how anyone can think that’s right. Goosen and Vermeulen were always in HM’s thoughts. They just got injured at the wrong time.

  • Comment 5, posted at 06.09.12 10:19:52 by MikeSebMatt Reply

  • Great piece Rob. Im trying to bear with Meyer, but the trend is worrying. Especially dropping Mvovo just to accommodate Hougaard is appalling.

    I’m finding it best to just keep quiet for now.

  • Comment 6, posted at 06.09.12 10:22:24 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Drifter (Comment 4) : None of this will be new to him

  • Comment 7, posted at 06.09.12 10:24:37 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Rob, I think you’ve just summed up the thoughts of the entire nation.

    @Big Fish (Comment 6) :
    Agree, really want to support Meyer, but unfortunately my patience is wearing thin.

  • Comment 8, posted at 06.09.12 10:24:39 by 13 Reply

  • Well said.

    Re Juandre though, he got that one right. The guy is the form 5 in SA and should play.

  • Comment 9, posted at 06.09.12 10:24:56 by King Shark Reply
    King Shark
  • I am sorry, but if the SHARKS actually saw him as their BEST flyhalf, then why the freaking hell did he not play there this whole season? Sharks management up to shit then? BR, FS, RP, now PL.

    You want to become a utility player? Join the Sharks….

  • Comment 10, posted at 06.09.12 10:26:10 by Uli Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    Uli Boelie
  • Great article Rob. I wish that there is a journey that has the guts to ask Meyer these questions and get some straight answers for us.

  • Comment 11, posted at 06.09.12 10:31:03 by KingRiaan Reply

  • @Uli (Comment 10) :

    This is one reason why I hope that the rumours of Jaco Taute joining the Sharks aren’t true. He has shown some utility value during this year’s Super Rugby competition and we all know how being moved around too often can really mess up a player.

  • Comment 12, posted at 06.09.12 10:32:33 by 13 Reply

  • Any chance that this would get sent to the Bokke for a response??

  • Comment 13, posted at 06.09.12 10:32:38 by Dunx Reply

  • @Uli (Comment 10) : I actually think that the Sharks played him at fullback to use him and Freddy in tandem on attack. Go take a closer look and you will notice in how many different phases in the game Lambie was actually the first receiver. Getting Lambie to play with Freddie in the run on team is going to have far reaching positives for Lambie’s game. Similiar to what happened when Butch played inside centre and Tony Brown flyhalf. Another example was having Carter play inside of Mehrtens and Carlos in his younger days.

  • Comment 14, posted at 06.09.12 10:34:58 by KingRiaan Reply

  • BRAVO!! Well said and written.

    HM applies his selection policies haphazardly. If the same standard was applied to all players equally, it would mean that if Andries Bekker was dropped after one poor game then Morne Steyn would have played the first match against England and would have been carrying tackle bags after that.

    Ironically, I agree that Juandre Kruger should be the number 5 lock above Bekker but it is an example of the same policy not being carried out fairly for all. Wasn’t the argument to select Inzane Kirchner at fullback because he had been the incumbent when he had been injured and deserved to be picked again (*Cough* bullsh1t *cough*) then why could Bekker waltz straight in if Kruger had been the incumbent and had only justified his position in the team.

    This is the first time in my life that I have actually planned to do something else other than watch a Bok game and I’ve planned to do something else for the rest of the away series of matches. The home matches are too far away at the moment but I’m sure I’ll have arrangements in place.

    Life’s too short to watch bonehead rugby!! 👿

  • Comment 15, posted at 06.09.12 10:37:12 by Butchie34 Reply
  • I wish that we had Hougaard and Mvovo as the wings. Habana hasn’t done much to keep his spot and Mvovo and Hougaard offer so much more on attack!

    Morne Steyn should not have been selected based on his Super Rugby form. Peter Grant and Pat Lambie are the logical options!!

  • Comment 16, posted at 06.09.12 10:38:06 by ChrisS Reply
  • @Uli (Comment 10) : Many a team would have had a hard time not to pick Freddie at fh with the form he showed. I bet every fh in world rugby would have endured being retreaded to a utility position to ensure Freddie stays at fh.

    You do remember that the Sharks had Freddie at scrummie with Lambie at fh, if I’m not mistaken Freddie moved to fh when Lambie got injured.

    Unlike with our Bok coach, there’s no free ride at the Sharks, if you get injured and the next guy steps up you’ll have to fight for a chance to regain your starting spot. But rather than shove Lambie to the bench, we all know he’s a great fb so use him there.

  • Comment 17, posted at 06.09.12 10:38:42 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • Best piece written in a long time Rob….absolute hard hitting and searching questions….well put!!

  • Comment 18, posted at 06.09.12 10:40:06 by grant10 Reply

  • @ChrisS (Comment 16) : Logical arguments and an illogical coach do not mix.

    To any person who thinks logically it would be logical that the game plan he wants the Boks to play reached it’s sell-by date at the end of the Tri-Nations in 2009 when the rules were changed to suit the ABs play more.

  • Comment 19, posted at 06.09.12 10:40:18 by Butchie34 Reply
  • P.S. – Mr Meyer, with all due respect,consultation with the coaches of the countries franchises has been mentioned by yourself,yet in your wisdom, you have either failed to consult or have not taken heed of what was said about player management!Cases in point being Goosen & Vermeulen.Surely the players already called are more than capable replacements as mentioned already – Lambie,Jantjies,Daniel or even Brussouw.Do you get feedback from your team on how the discards are playing so they can redeem themselves in your setup?Please beware of the proverbial “full-circle” theory (it may be a conspiracy in your eyes) – ill-advised decisions come back to bite you on the butt!

    P.P.S. – Remember it is OUR team, not yours (though you are led to believe it is) & you choose to ignore that in favour of autocracy.Also,try and see there are other colours in our rugby rainbow and not just light blue!

  • Comment 20, posted at 06.09.12 10:41:51 by markm Reply

  • @grant10 (Comment 18) : Agreed.

  • Comment 21, posted at 06.09.12 10:41:53 by Butchie34 Reply
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 19) : :mrgreen: Apologies!! I’ll go and have a few drinks and see if I can get into the right frame of mind!

  • Comment 22, posted at 06.09.12 10:42:01 by ChrisS Reply
  • @ChrisS (Comment 22) : I agree with you completely on every point that you made. It’s just BlouBallas Meyer who would disagree (when it suits him) :mrgreen:

  • Comment 23, posted at 06.09.12 10:47:36 by Butchie34 Reply
  • On the button Rob. There seem to be agendas.

  • Comment 24, posted at 06.09.12 10:50:02 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @markm (Comment 20) : “Remember it is OUR team”

    I think HM needs to be reminded of this.

    I remember Martin Johnson getting absolutely grilled in the live post match interview after we hammered them (I think it was 2010).

    We need journalism like that reminding HM who’s team this is that he is coaching, he needs to be held accountable. But thus far he’s been given license to do as he pleases.

  • Comment 25, posted at 06.09.12 10:50:54 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • Great article Rob and very fair and valid questions to ask. Problem is though that Meyer (like all coaches at this level) is accountable to fans but not really answerable. I realize I’m at risk of arguing semantics here.

    What I’m getting at here is that Meyer is not obliged to share his reasoning behind selections with us and we as a result have to try and piece it together from sound bites and bits and pieces of interviews. Even Mega-photo-graphic-memory-tron seems to struggling to piece together the bigger picture there.

    These crazy selections may be part of brilliant two year master-plan (that includes some experimentation) or alternatively they’re the choices of a coach desperate to prove he is worthy of his office.

    I’m sitting the fence for now (and searching for silver linings to passs the time) because I’m desperately hoping it’s the former. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 26, posted at 06.09.12 10:53:38 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 25) : It’ll come. When the All Blacks paste us against the wall next week, he’ll come back to a sh*tstorm at ORT. If he thought the fallout was bad from a draw against Argentina was bad, if we lose he’ll really feel the heat.

    If we lose both names, he better get plastic surgery and a name change before he even tries to come back into the country.

  • Comment 27, posted at 06.09.12 10:54:05 by Butchie34 Reply
  • @Uli (Comment 10) : He got injured, Freddy took his chance with both hands, Pat had to outplay Freddy for the spot, he couldnt. Its commendable from the Sharks that they did not shaft Fred just because Pat had returned from injury. If Fred had played badly he would have made way for Pat.

  • Comment 28, posted at 06.09.12 10:55:31 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @vanmartin (Comment 26) : well said… even before the English series friends were asking me what i think of meyer’s selections etc and i said i can’t piece it together @ the moment because when he was DoR of the bulls he vociferously spoke about switching to a “high-tempo ball-in-hand” approach, went and got pine pienaar from free state and coaxed ball players and speedsters like sadie, adongo & engelbrecht to join bulle.

    the guy who took over the Boks seems to have reverted back to 2007 (not sure if this is a safety net or part of an elaborate plane)

    so, like you i’m watching, combing for clues/hints in games & interviews.

  • Comment 29, posted at 06.09.12 11:06:19 by Megatron Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 29) : that said i get impatient & annoyed when i read articles like this.


  • Comment 30, posted at 06.09.12 11:09:11 by Megatron Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 29) : I hope the man has not succumbed to Bok coach disease – start with great ideas and then revert to tried and tested (and not working anymore) once the chips are down.

  • Comment 31, posted at 06.09.12 11:09:52 by Bokhoring Reply
  • One of your best articles yet, Rob!

    Well written!

  • Comment 32, posted at 06.09.12 11:14:25 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 25) : I remember the Martin Johnson interview.Nick Mallet also faced something similar many years ago when he dropped Teichmann from a dizzy height & years later said in hindsight it was a regrettable & bad decision he made.

    @vanmartin (Comment 26) : Accountability (responsible;capable of being explained)is far more severe than answerability (Responsible;accountable;solvable;having to explain)? Same meaning – having to explain. Pure semantics.If he was accountable, he would have to explain, but clearly it is not part of his brief. 🙂

  • Comment 33, posted at 06.09.12 11:16:39 by markm Reply

  • @markm (Comment 20) : Naka Drotske in an interview after Goosen played his first Currie Cup game this year, basically asked the Bok selectors not to select Goosen yet as he believed the time is not right yet.

  • Comment 34, posted at 06.09.12 11:17:48 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Megatron (Comment 30) : Brilliant article! We really are predictable and the rest of the world can see it and are laughing about it.

    We need to get Wayne Smith in as an assistant coach. Fresh ideas are needed much as they were when Eddie Jones came in and helped Jake White!!

  • Comment 35, posted at 06.09.12 11:20:13 by ChrisS Reply
  • MR ANDERSON…i mean Meyer 😆 😆

  • Comment 36, posted at 06.09.12 11:23:13 by Talent Reply
  • @Megatron (Comment 30) : I think this phrase sums up our game in Argentina: “Instead, the Boks gave too many cues away about who is to get the ball, and the Pumas read them like a Wilbur Smith novel.”

    Will be interesting to see what Meyer learnt from that game.

    @Bokhoring (Comment 31) : Agreed, it does seem to be a Springbok coaching trait. Hoping it’s not the case this time around.

  • Comment 37, posted at 06.09.12 11:23:14 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Very good Article. Agree 100%.

  • Comment 38, posted at 06.09.12 11:25:18 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @vanmartin (Comment 37) : Does that mean that Wayne does not rate SA authors either? 😛

  • Comment 39, posted at 06.09.12 11:30:00 by Bokhoring Reply
  • Well written . I’ve pieced it together ,Meyer has two conflicted brain cells that do battle for room in his cranium ,the one winning is light blue ,the one losing is green.

  • Comment 40, posted at 06.09.12 11:30:17 by Talent Reply
  • @Letgo (Comment 34) : Allistair Coetzee said something similar about Vermeulen a week or so ago. It is as if HM is cocking a snoot at the the coaches as they are beneath him who is in charge of the once mighty Boks! Plumtree also queried the dropping of Keegan.Does the name Rudolf Straeuli come to mind with similar intentions when he became coach?Go figure.

  • Comment 41, posted at 06.09.12 11:30:41 by markm Reply

  • @markm (Comment 33) : Unfortunately it’s challenging to clearly explain the concept that although a Springbok coach has a certain duty towards the fans it has historically not required of him to always fully explain each decision he makes. As a result we the public are sadly left to make do with very vague scraps of justification instead of clear logical reasoning.

    If I was arguing pure semantics I would agree with you that the two words are pretty much synonyms but I believe the second paragraph explains the distinction I’m trying to get at. I’m honestly not interested in pursuing an argument on semantics – it wasn’t the point I was trying to make. Blame it on my limited vocabulary. 😀

  • Comment 42, posted at 06.09.12 11:32:53 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Just a quick question: – What is the criteria for being a Springbok coach, who makes the final decision (based on what?) & what are the credentials of those choosing the coach? ❓

  • Comment 43, posted at 06.09.12 11:34:30 by markm Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 30) : And according to Meyer this is the gameplan employed by the top rugby nations, which he supposedly spent hours studying.

    Apparently he is not such an astute rugby brain as he’d like to believe, because he obviously missed everything that is needed to make this gameplan successful.

    Why do we have so many dumb coaches in SA?! 👿

  • Comment 44, posted at 06.09.12 11:34:40 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @ChrisS (Comment 35) : personally i wanted Wayne Smith as our Head Coach but i know SARU would not do it and wayne himself won’t take a Head coach job, he’s said numerous times that he prefers the “tracksuit and on the field” coaching position, which is why he took an assistant role at the Chiefs and lo and behold SR champions.

  • Comment 45, posted at 06.09.12 11:37:14 by Megatron Reply

  • @Bokhoring (Comment 39) : Sadly, the ones I’ve read tend to usually be as predictable as the Boks of late. “River God” being the exception proving the rule. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 46, posted at 06.09.12 11:38:03 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Nicely done Rob. 😎

  • Comment 47, posted at 06.09.12 11:39:35 by JarsonX Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner
  • @ChrisS (Comment 35) : @Megatron (Comment 45) : Problem is, HM is far to knowledgeable to take advice from a mere assistant coach.

    He’s the captain of this ship, come hell or high water ain’t none of them deckhands gonna tell him how to run “his” ship.

  • Comment 48, posted at 06.09.12 11:41:07 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • Bekker wasnt dropped.
    His ankle and back are still not hundreds and they’re giving him 1 more week with the doc to have it completely sorted for next week.

    He will start against the ABs in Dunedin.

    And the Morne Steyn issue is the only other issue really worth talking about.

  • Comment 49, posted at 06.09.12 11:42:27 by John Galt Reply

    John Galt
  • @vanmartin (Comment 42) : 🙂 I understand the distinction – no argument will ensue! You are quite erudite!(no it is not a swear word).In a “democratic” country like ours, surely the coach can listen & take into consideration the voices of the fans – the ones who apparently pay for him to be there? ❗

  • Comment 50, posted at 06.09.12 11:46:51 by markm Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 44) : i have read that and when i juxtapose his hard-arsed attitute in that interview and the simple way wayne smith picked apart the performance in Mendoza is when i get despondent!

    our guy is arguing that there’s a “philosophical mistake” being made about his gameplan being archaic when infact he thinks it is on par with EVERY OTHER one, the World Cup winning coach with 2 Super Rugby titles is saying “yes all the gameplans might require physical dominance and winning the collisions but YOU are simplistic in your approach and are being figured out by even the EIGHTH ranked team in the world, bring some ‘subtlety’ and guile to be extraordinary”

  • Comment 51, posted at 06.09.12 11:49:48 by Megatron Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 48) : Jake said Meyer’s Assistants are the “MOST INEXPERIENCED MANAGEMENT TEAM IN INTERNATIONAL RUGBY” and he wasn’t lying…compare this with Henry, Hansen, Smith, Byrne, Cron…

  • Comment 52, posted at 06.09.12 11:52:49 by Megatron Reply

  • @vanmartin (Comment 46) : Thank goodness for Amazon and Kindles 🙂

  • Comment 53, posted at 06.09.12 11:52:53 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Megatron (Comment 52) : Our back line coach does not even have Super Rugby coaching experience, and our forwards coach doubles as attack coach 👿

  • Comment 54, posted at 06.09.12 11:54:56 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @markm (Comment 50) : Confession time – I had to look up the meaning of erudite :grin:. Thank you.

    I just wish one of our coaches (provincial or national) while someday set a precedent by playing open cards with the public. I’d love to see the effect of that. Imagine a coach admitting that he is selecting a player on nothing more than a gut feeling and he’s hoping it pays off. I suspect we’d stomach that a little easier than some of the current explanations being dished up.

    @Bokhoring (Comment 53) : I don’t leave home without mine. I tend to prefer audio books to radio these days.

  • Comment 55, posted at 06.09.12 11:56:16 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @MikeSebMatt (Comment 5) :

    Goosen have now played one season of senior rugby . 2 campaigns (1 CC and one SR) . he completed 0/2 because of getting injured .


    Goosen is always injured .

  • Comment 56, posted at 06.09.12 12:03:16 by Zibbie Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner
  • @Megatron (Comment 45) : @FireTheLooser (Comment 48) : Wayne Smith would have made an awesome Bok coach. There’s still plenty of time to pull in an assistant or consultant who can add value and variety.

    Why is Rassie not involved?

  • Comment 57, posted at 06.09.12 12:08:30 by ChrisS Reply
  • Very well written! I have to wonder if Meyer and the rest of the bok management really expect everyone to believe all their nonsense excuses. Do they really think the public is dumb enough not to notice the different treatment of certain players, or do they just not care?

  • Comment 58, posted at 06.09.12 12:10:11 by HeinF Reply

  • @ChrisS (Comment 57) : what does Rassie do in that booth when Heyneke is losing his shit? 🙄 😥

  • Comment 59, posted at 06.09.12 12:12:27 by Megatron Reply

  • @Uli (Comment 10) : Freddie was in some excellent form, plus they still used Lambie as a first receiver during certain setpieces. Playing Lambie at fullback gave them the option of bringing him in on attack

  • Comment 60, posted at 06.09.12 12:13:38 by HeinF Reply

  • @ChrisS (Comment 16) :

    maybe Elton as well …

  • Comment 61, posted at 06.09.12 12:14:05 by Zibbie Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner
  • @Megatron (Comment 59) : I’m wondering. Rassie has always struck me as a very astute and attacking coach. Bash it up rugby doesn’t strike me as his style and the current Bok “gameplan” has none of his character in it.

  • Comment 62, posted at 06.09.12 12:15:18 by ChrisS Reply
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 15) : Agree!The last 2 weeks were the first time in years that I could not be bothered to watch the games. I only found out about the draw more than 24 hours after the final whistle 2 weeks ago

  • Comment 63, posted at 06.09.12 12:17:57 by HeinF Reply

  • @HeinF (Comment 63) : People can’t really say that my lack of interest is because there aren’t that many Sharks players either. There are heaps of Sharks players in the team – more than 2010/11 if I remember correctly. But the rugby being played is mind-numbingly dull. If it was a choice between watching entertaining rugby that loses or this drivel, I’ll happily watch my team lose.

    The funny thing is that I clear my calender so that I can watch the Currie Cup which I find far more enjoyable than Bok rugby. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 64, posted at 06.09.12 12:21:07 by Butchie34 Reply
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 64) : Frustrating doesn’t even begin to describe it!!!

  • Comment 65, posted at 06.09.12 12:22:41 by ChrisS Reply
  • @ChrisS (Comment 65) : Frustrating is like comparing the size of your pinkie to the size of your whole arm. It’s only a dip in the ocean.

    Not sure if that is at all understandable. Sorry 😯

  • Comment 66, posted at 06.09.12 12:30:15 by Butchie34 Reply
  • So. We gonna win or lose this weekend? 🙂 🙂

  • Comment 67, posted at 06.09.12 12:38:51 by Caratacus Reply

  • @Caratacus (Comment 67) : If Aussies match us up front we’ll lose.

    If we can demolish their forwards, we’ll win.

  • Comment 68, posted at 06.09.12 12:43:13 by Butchie34 Reply
  • Here,too, is an interesting read;

  • Comment 69, posted at 06.09.12 12:57:17 by markm Reply

  • @Butchie34 (Comment 64) : Yep, I’ll gladly watch the sharks game at 3 in the afternoon,still worthwhile!even when we were so far behind the cheetahs last week, they were really playing exciting rugby, so you could always sense they were going to stage a comeback. The question was only if there were going to be enough time, but it made for an awesome finish to the game.The boks’ game on the other hand…

  • Comment 70, posted at 06.09.12 13:14:13 by HeinF Reply

  • @HeinF (Comment 70) : The Sharks game was exciting and had you on the edge of your seat because you could sense we were able to do it.

    In Cape Town when the Boks were hunting the 4th try it was stale and dull and a part of me knew we weren’t going to get it.

  • Comment 71, posted at 06.09.12 13:25:06 by Butchie34 Reply
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 68) : Agreed, if the forwards gel and dominate the tackle points I suspect we’ll scrape a win. I am slightly worried that we have three battering rams in our starting loose trio though. Doesn’t seem especially balanced to me.

  • Comment 72, posted at 06.09.12 13:40:45 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • this will be the 1st test of mcfarland’s defence…england exposed us periodically but were themselves too green to put us to the sword…argentina didn’t threaten us in as much as they just belted & out-thought us.

    australia will most probably throw the kitchen sink to salvage some pride.

  • Comment 73, posted at 06.09.12 13:58:19 by Megatron Reply

  • @vanmartin (Comment 72) : That’s the problem. All our loosies are the same sort of player. The Aussies will gang-tackle them and make sure we don’t cross the advantage line. This will mean that the ball is just shifted out with no go forward and then kiss the ball goodbye cos Morne’s got it and it’s headed straight down Adam Ashley-Cooper’s throat.

    @Megatron (Comment 73) : That was my thought as well. A better coached more experienced team will not make the same mistakes and will crucify us. If we’re not careful we might actually come stone last in the Rugby Championship.

  • Comment 74, posted at 06.09.12 14:01:37 by Butchie34 Reply
  • @vanmartin (Comment 72) : it’s only balanced in the sense that it doesn’t comprise 3 Sharks players.

  • Comment 75, posted at 06.09.12 14:08:36 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @Megatron (Comment 30) : Great article Rob, encapsulates everything I’m thinking. In fact, this week he called Vermeulen a classic no 8 and then not a typical no 8 in successive days! He also lamented that there was not enough pace in the loose trio…and yet discarded Daniel!
    Thats also a quite outstanding article by Wayne Smith that Megatron posted, the technical analysis is literally leagues ahead of what we get over here. And the reality is he is writing a match report and is barely even scratching the surface…
    It reminds me of the articles I read about the innovation that Eddie Jones brought to our 2K7 side. The backs were raving about his view that in any attacking movement there is a designated passer and a designated receiver, and your lines of running and your role must be understood. The article went into far greater technical detail than I can remember or reflect on now, but it was plain to see by virtue of performance on the field.

  • Comment 76, posted at 06.09.12 14:11:57 by neilster Reply

  • Awesome article Rob. Read all our minds and put it to screen.

    I also don´t agree with the way things are done by the Bok management, but I can´t remember when I have EVER agreed with it.

    Far too often their decisions and team selections seem totally ridiculous and I can´t understand why we still think that we´re bigger and stronger than everyone else, so play a confrontational game.

    That would be fine if we also combined it with an iota or two of THINKING, but I´ve given up on that score.

    When is the last time a Bok backline has scored from a set-piece move that managed to baffle the Aussies or All Blacks? I think the only one I remember is a close win we had when Honeyball and Slaptjips combined to score under the posts a looong time ago.

    So I´ll wait and see what Meyer can do. The difficult thing to me is that he used to be my next-door neighbour, so I know how passionate he is about the game. He takes every poor performance by the teams he coaches almost as a personal insult.

    Rugby has moved on though, so whether that is enough only time will tell. So far it doesn´t look promising.

  • Comment 77, posted at 06.09.12 14:20:18 by rhineshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Spirit of Rugby
  • oh fickle sharkies – only 5 sharks +1 former in the starting line out plus 2 on the bench and Meyer bashing begins. :mrgreen:

    Remember the boks under Meyer played only 5 tests. If memory serves me right,Lambie started in one test, sadly injuring himself which ruled him out from the next (for which he would have been a starter). Then you can argue what’s the point of throwing the youngster into a clearly struggling side. At least he can say – he did nothing wrong in Mendoza.

  • Comment 78, posted at 06.09.12 15:07:21 by rekinek Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition Winner Author
  • Perhaps to put the matters in some perspective, it seems to me that Lambie is clearly a second choice fullback in the national team – that’s not bad consider his relative lack of experience on the test level.

  • Comment 79, posted at 06.09.12 15:09:48 by rekinek Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition Winner Author
  • @Megatron (Comment 29) : my guess would be the safety net. I don’t know much about bok vs provincial set-up but my guess would be that he is still getting to know the players from other provinces.

  • Comment 80, posted at 06.09.12 15:18:25 by rekinek Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition Winner Author
  • @robdylan (Comment 3) : Great article Robbo. If only HM could answer those questions. I’d be a happy man.

  • Comment 81, posted at 06.09.12 15:26:27 by Quintin Reply

  • @rekinek (Comment 80) : “getting to know them”? 😯

    then we’re in more kak that we can imagine.

  • Comment 82, posted at 06.09.12 15:30:25 by Megatron Reply

  • @rekinek (Comment 78) : Meyer: ““The No.10 makes most of the calls, so it is important for him to spend time with the team,” the Bok mentor said,

    adding: “We will see how it goes on Saturday, but I definitely want to give him some game time as soon as possible.”

    If Lambie didn’t know that he was cover for kirchner then this statement should tell him (and most of the sharkies 😀 ) everything he needs to know.

  • Comment 83, posted at 06.09.12 15:33:58 by Megatron Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 83) : he was talking about johan goosen…just incase.

    Re Lambie:

    “Pat [Lambie] is a quality No.10, but I do believe his best position for the Boks is at No.15,” Meyer said, adding: “He adds additional attacking options, especially coming from the back.

    “He is very versatile and a very skilful player.

    “I would have liked to have given him more game time in the previous Tests, but we didn’t have any players left on the bench. I don’t want to make any promises, but he is a great guy to have on the bench – if you put him on with 20 minutes left, hopefully he can do something special for the Boks.”

  • Comment 84, posted at 06.09.12 15:40:03 by Megatron Reply

  • I’ve had a rethink. The job of a coach is to pick the best team and then give them the right gameplan to win. Principles are important but the main job is winning. Do I therefore have a problem with Hougaard being given Lwazi’s spot on the wing? Only as a Sharks fan. Hougaard has X factor. He has arguably played his best rugby there. It doesn’t matter if Mvovo has played wing for 10 seasons. Bekker is a bit unlucky but I reckon his back is becoming a real problem. Kruger did well against England so why not. Vermeulen is a bit lucky, but I reckon he’s been the best no 8 in the country for 2 seasons. Morne Steyn is lucky. The coach has a blind spot there. His kicking is not great and he does nothing else. I also think Zane Kirchner is lucky. I’d rather have Lambie at 10 for the Boks and Ludik at 15.

  • Comment 85, posted at 06.09.12 15:46:58 by MikeSebMatt Reply

  • @MikeSebMatt (Comment 85) : Hougaard would drop off the starting XV if JP was not injured. That I am quite sure. Plus Vermeulen is lucky because Spies is injured and Kanko unavailable. It is not like Meyer has everybody available.

    Also to be frank if one does not consider Lambie as a flyhalf – I am not sure that Elton is exactly the answer, so like it or not Morne Steyn may seem to be the only option.

  • Comment 86, posted at 06.09.12 15:57:22 by rekinek Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition Winner Author
  • @Megatron (Comment 82) : i am not sure you read it exactly as I meant 😆

  • Comment 87, posted at 06.09.12 15:58:08 by rekinek Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition Winner Author
  • I have no doubt on your first point. JP is the best wing in the country. But he’s injured. Spies and Kanko are unavailable as well. the coach can only pick available players. Anyway I think Vermeulen has been better than both I’ve 2 years. I think Lambie should be considered a 10. He’d do a good job.

  • Comment 88, posted at 06.09.12 16:01:37 by MikeSebMatt Reply

  • @MikeSebMatt (Comment 88) : My problem isn’t so much that he hasn’t picked Sharks players or anything like that. It’s the Springbok team so you really want the best players you can in the setup and people are always going to have a problem with the players.

    My issue with the current regime is that the style of rugby HM wants to impose on the players (and they’re not allowed to play any other way) is so dull and outdated that if it were a style of haircut, the closest would be a mullet with big fat chops.

    Life’s too short for bonehead rugby.

  • Comment 89, posted at 06.09.12 16:06:12 by Butchie34 Reply
  • This is what the Wallabie forward coach has to say:

    Blades, a respected Wallabies tight-head prop, said there were some advantages in confronting the Springboks. Unlike New Zealand, who can be unpredictable up front and constantly change their tactics, the Springboks remain rigid in their approach. ”In a South African Test, the guys know exactly what’s coming, and you just have to steel yourself for it. It is going to be direct, physical and aggressive.”

  • Comment 90, posted at 06.09.12 16:15:03 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 90) : It’s true… all the players are of the same type and there isn’t any variety.

    They aren’t going to suddenly shift into an all out attack, running into spaces and offloading in the tackle. They have it bash it up and hope for a player to fall off a tackle.

  • Comment 91, posted at 06.09.12 16:22:02 by Butchie34 Reply
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 90) : um, the Poms figure that after 2 Tests and the Argies (with GH) after 1 Test…not rocket science.

    hooper said as much yesterday too, he said pocock told him to “take the battering but just make sure he emerges with the pill”

  • Comment 92, posted at 06.09.12 16:29:15 by Megatron Reply

  • Brilliant article!

  • Comment 93, posted at 06.09.12 17:59:20 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • I think pointing out Hougaard’s x-factor is missing the point. Mvovo is also an x-factor player, with the advantage of having played wing all season – something Hougaard has not done.

    Dropping Bekker for Kruger could be justified – except that its a complete turn-around on the weird decision to demote Kruger in the first place.

    Add that to the about-turn on de Jongh and a flank with fetcher abilities, not to mention Daniel’s initial ear-marking as a starter against the Aussies, and the picture that emerges is of one confused mofo.

  • Comment 94, posted at 06.09.12 19:20:59 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • Very passionate piece here by Rob. While i agree about the injustice done to lambie with the younger goosen selection, i wish i could have read something like this when adi jacobs the incumbent bok centre at the time was being dropped by plum for oupa marius. A far cry from the current outburst about lambie.

  • Comment 95, posted at 06.09.12 20:30:28 by cody007 Reply

  • @cody007 (Comment 95) :
    I’m a Shark to the hilt, but the truth is that Adi was screwed. Not just then either.

  • Comment 96, posted at 06.09.12 20:50:20 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @cody007 (Comment 95) : I don’t know since when u have been around – but (and I speak on behalf of most on here – even if we debated on him being starter or super-sub) LOVE Adi. He got shoddy treatment! And this was discussed at lenght!

  • Comment 97, posted at 06.09.12 21:33:04 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @cody007 (Comment 95) : Sorry dude (or dudette) but you are dead wrong – there was a lot of bitching on here for a very long time about Adi’s treatment.

  • Comment 98, posted at 07.09.12 02:23:07 by MysticShark Reply
    Competition Winner
  • @cody007 (Comment 95) : Google Sharksworld for mentions of Adi Jacobs in that period – you’d be very surprised.

  • Comment 99, posted at 07.09.12 10:03:15 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Speaking of, does anyone know if Adi is still playing somewhere?

  • Comment 100, posted at 07.09.12 11:18:45 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @cody007 (Comment 95) : I remember there being tons of comments complaining about the shoddy treatment of Adi at the time.

    If it were up to me, I would have rather given Adi a pay raise instead of bringing in THAT replacement. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 101, posted at 07.09.12 11:31:38 by Butchie34 Reply
  • @Salmonoid (Comment 100) :

    Hey Sammy!

    He is not playing any rugby at the moment. 😥 🙄

  • Comment 102, posted at 07.09.12 11:40:49 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 102) : 😥 Is he in Cpt, coaching maybe?

  • Comment 103, posted at 07.09.12 11:49:47 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @Salmonoid (Comment 103) : Last I heard he was based in Cape Town – no idea what he’s up to these days.

  • Comment 104, posted at 07.09.12 13:00:00 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Salmonoid (Comment 103) : @vanmartin (Comment 104) :

    I don’t believe he is coaching at the moment. Probably persuing his business interests!

  • Comment 105, posted at 07.09.12 13:26:50 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 105) :
    That’s what I heard too. I think he had enough with the crap and decided to walk away on his own terms.

    I think he had a few more seasons in him, but I can understand his disillusionment.

  • Comment 106, posted at 07.09.12 14:15:11 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 106) : Ashwin also walked away from the crap at the Lions in ’08.

  • Comment 107, posted at 07.09.12 15:04:15 by Megatron Reply


Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.