Committed to failure

Written by Maria Delport (Letgo)

Posted in :Original Content, Springboks, The Rugby Championship on 12 Sep 2012 at 09:47
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You know what the worst part is about Heyneke Meyer’s newest team selection? Not that he dropped Marcell Coetzee, arguably the best player across the 6 tests Meyer has coached so far. He has been selecting Coetzee out of position anyway and this team needed a genuine open side flanker and some balance from the start, so bringing in Francois Louw makes some sense. I am not absolutely pissed off with this selection because Meyer selected Louw or dropped Coetzee to the bench, even though I think there are few who can say the Boks had a better loose forward out of the 8 Heyneke Meyer has used so far (only two of which are unavailable).

The problem with the 8 players and 5 different combinations Heyneke Meyer has tried so far, is that he clearly has no idea what the problem with the loose trio is and why we are struggling to get over the advantage line, when it is glaringly obvious to everyone else, including his opposition and lowly fans like myself to see.

He keeps putting the blame on the players and their execution, which is pathetic, because we all know each of these players have been performing well above what they have been able to deliver in the Green and Gold for their unions against the same and stronger players. So why, when we all know that Alberts, Coetzee, Daniel, Louw, Potgieter and Vermeulen (all available players) are all very capable loose forwards (some more than others, but still), have they looked so rudderless under Meyer?

I suppose this being a Sharks supporters site and me being a Sharks supporter, the first reaction here will be ‘Sour Grapes’, but I can guarantee you that even though I do not like the treatment of some of ‘my’ players by our new Springbok coach, that this is not what it is. It has made me a little more passionate about the issue, but Elton Jantjes and Heinrich Brüssow can also feel mistreated by the Springbok coach. Then there is JJ Engelbrecht, who maybe should not have been selected over Juan de Jongh in the first place and we knew that, but Meyer put his trust in the player and then just dropped him with no rhyme or reason.

Here’s the thing, I think all the players in the starting line-up are quality players, including the two new players in the loose trio and the two players in the backline that Meyer just won’t drop. Do I think there are more talented players that are left sitting on the bench or watching the game from their living rooms? Glancing over this team I believe there are at least 7 positions that could be filled with better or equally talented, but better suited available options. But that, I suppose, remains a matter of opinion, as we all have our favourites that we would like to be given a chance. And any coach has the right to back his players and in fact should back his players. The problem is that Meyer has not.

Where he may have been consistent with select players, some might say even with the players he should not be so consistently giving chances, others have not been granted this type of trust and treatment from their coach. While Meyer maintains it is the firepower and execution of his forwards, where he has made the most of his inconsistent selections, which is the problem, critics in the media (many of whom with respected rugby opinions) have pointed to Meyer’s game plan and one dimensionality and predictability thereof, as the first problem.

It remains to be seen, but the previous excitement and confidence I had in the selection of our 2012 Springbok coach has momentarily been lost to the blubbering, confusing mess that Heyneke Meyer has delivered so far. His commitment to a plan that seems to be destined to fail and his unwillingness to adjust where he may have been getting it wrong does not bode well for his chances of regaining support, at least not from me.

1 Comment

  • Totally feel for my “oud-Portie” Marcelle, but I can’t I say that haven’t seen this one coming. A loose trio is about combinations and Marcelle somehow skewed the “combination” with his skills, size and workrate. Our best Bok loosie by far this season, just do not posses the bulk for a no 7 or the skills for an all & all fetcher(6). The fact that Duane and Big Al is not in top form also does not help, because 50% of each at least gives you 1 bulk, or does it(Heyneke maths…)? Maybe Duane’s bulk in top form could have opened the door for Marcelle in the 7 jersey?

  • Comment 1, posted at 12.09.12 12:36:24 by catfish Reply

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