Ruing departures instead of embracing the future?

The Bok future … For sure …

Well after that little debacle, if Heyneke Meyer cannot now see the way forward for the Boks, then he never will …

Played out in front of him, for a full 11 minutes or so, was the future of Bok rugby – Francois Louw as an out and out open sider, Johan Goosen as a flyhalf willing to take the ball up or distribute to someone in a better position to do so, and Patrick Lambie as a fullback who’s instinct is first to see what space is in front of him, rather than just kick the ball back at the opposition …

Sure it’s easier once the game has opened up in the second half, and yes, they were basically forced into playing that kind of rugby because the Boks were chasing the game, but it was far and away the best period of play for the visitors.

The way I see it, we can either moan and groan about losing players like Du Plessis, Matfield, Botha, Russouw, Burger, Smith, Du preez and Fourie and how they would have made a difference to the game plan currently employed by Meyer, or we can embrace the likes of Strauss, Etzebeth, Kruger, Louw, Brussow, Vermeulen, Alberts, Pienaar, Goosen, Steyn (F), Lambie, Serfontein, Taute, De Jongh, Brache, Small-Smith, Jordaan, Habana, Pietersen, Mvovo, Rhule and Willie le Roux and put together a game plan that suits this super talented and super skilled bunch …

A total no brainer in my book … Bring out the shades my friends – the future is bright!

But for as long as the Bok default mind set remains “Kick and chase” rather than “Hold on and see what we can do with the ball in hand”, Meyer will continue to rue the departures rather than embrace the new.

Of course the Boks need to do their basics well, and that will include an element of accurate kicking so as to put the opposition receiver under pressure, or even just to get field position, but for close on 40 minutes yesterday, all the Aussies could do, was kick the ball at the Bok back three. Yet for those 40 minutes, the Boks chose to mirror the aimless strategy rather than have a dip at a side clearly short on confidence after hammerings from the All Blacks.

Admittedly the Currie Cup is 2 levels down on international rugby these days, and it is early days, but it seems this switch has finally been flicked down in the Western Cape, with WP now understanding that while defence is key to any gameplan, winning games is done through scoring tries. First the demolition of the Bulls at Newlands, then the more measured, yet still convincing, win over the Cheetahs in Bloem last night.

Meyer would do well to include both those games, along with the first 40 minutes of the Bok’s second Test against England, and the last ten minutes of yesterday’s game against the Aussies in his Sunday viewing. And he might want to add a few tinnies of Speights lager to that mix, because he is clearly in need of something relaxing. That screaming into the walkie talkie, besides helping no one, is heart attack inducing stuff …

A look at the weekend’s results and resultant logs …

Rugby Championship results:
Australia 26 – 19 South Africa
New Zealand 21 – 5 Argentina

Rugby Championship log:
New Zealand Pld:3 W:3 Pts:12
South Africa Pld:3 W:1 Pts:7
Australia Pld:3 W:1 Pts:4
Argentina Pld:3 W:0 Pts:2
 
Curie Cup results:
Free State 22 – 29 Western Province
Blue Bulls 23 – 32 Golden Lions
Griquas 22 – 15 Sharks

Currie Cup log:
Western Province Pld:5 W:3 Pts:15
Golden Lions Pld:5 W:3 Pts:15
Sharks Pld:5 W:3 Pts:15
Free State Pld:5 W:2 Pts:11
Griquas Pld:5 W:2 Pts:10
Blue Bulls Pld:5 W:2 Pts:8
 
Superbru:
Well done to Charl de Villiers (divz) who took the yellow cap with 2 correct calls (with margin points) in the Front Row Grunt Rugby Championship Superbru pool. All of BLUEITS, The Gum, Ricky_O, Shane and divz top the leader board though, so the fight is really on for the 6 month 1 for the Road membership …

And in the Currie Cup FRG Superbru pool it’s Jimfromsa who continues to dominate the leaderboard – and the race for the R 2300.00 in Reebok vouchers, while Christ Mcneash (McBeast) took the yellow cap this week with three correct calls with margin points!

Tank Lanning’s 2 out of 2 in the Rugby Championship sees him in 11th place on the log and a contender, but his rather embarrassing 0 from 3 in the Currie Cup sees him drop 93 places to the real dregs at the bottom of that leaderboard …

Selected Club results (courtesy of @saclubrugby on Twitter):
Predator Finals: U19 UJ 19 Pukke 18; U21 Pukke 24 Impala 16; 3rds Pirates 25 – Pukke 35; 2nds UJ 22 – Impala 21; 1sts UJ 30 – Pukke 12.
WP: Hamiltons 64-14 Tygerberg, Durbell 38-17 Belhar, Villager 30-56 SK Walmers.

Curie Cup 1st division results:
Valke 22 – 29 Pumas
Griffons 54 – 37 Boland
Border 19 – 35 Eastern Province
Eagles 64 – 34 Leopards

Currie Cup 1st division log:
EP Pld:11 W:10 Pts:50
Pumas Pld:11 W:8 Pts:42
Griffons Pld:11 W:7 Pts:38
Leopards Pld:11 W:6 Pts:33
SWD Pld:11 W:6 Pts:31
Boland Pld:11 W:2 Pts:20
Valke Pld:11 W:3 Pts:20
Border Pld:11 W:0 Pts:8

U21:
Lions 21 – 29 Blue Bulls
Cheetahs 28 – 40 Sharks
Griffons 12 – 30 Boland
Valke 27 – 27 Pumas
SWD 15 – 10 Griquas
Border 20 – 29 Leopards

U19:
Lions 18 – 22 Bulls
Free State 31 – 40 Sharks
Griffons 26 – 14 Boland
Valke 21 – 14 Pumas
SWD 23 – 41 Leopards
Border 50 – 20 Griquas

Aviva Premiership:
Bath 30 – 23 Wasps
London Irish 31 – 40 Gloucester
Leicester 34 – 26 Worcester
Sale 16 – 23 Saracens
Northampton 24 – 21 Exeter

Top 14:
Biarritz 27 – 8 Montpellier
Toulon 42 – 12 Bordeaux
Toulouse 62 – 13 Agen
Perpignan 18 – 13 Bayonne
Stade Francais 20 – 20 Castres
Grenoble 52 – 7 Mont de Marsan
Clermont 13 – 12 Racing Metro

PRO12:
Leinster 45 – 25 Newport
Ospreys 13 – 16 Ulster

Player Watch:

Eben Etzebeth has been cited for alleged “Punching or Striking” when he made contact with Australian player Nathan Sharpe with his head.  The Citing Commissioner deemed the incident to have met the Red Card threshold for foul play.

Dan Carter is out of the Bok game next weekend after not recovering from a claf strain.

Will Genia is out for the rest of the season with an ACL tear in his knee.

10 Comments

  1. Justin Marshall describing the Argies tackling – “they are hitting them in the hips and around the thighs, brilliant”. As tackling should be – as it was executed by players such as Ryk Van Schoor, Mannetjies Roux, Joggie Jansen etc.

    I would love to see Jean de Villiers missed tackle stat over his career – it must run into the 100’s. Two vital tackles missed yesterday and twice he looked for the intercept- lucky he got away with it.

    The more I watch our CC the more I shudder at our level of skill compared to those who play in the ITM cup. I am not sure if we have that abundance of talent who can make it at test level.

  2. Nice article tank. Heinekens ultra conservative approach has managed to transform my total excitement in the future of Bok rugby into despair. I’m not enjoying watching the boks, usually one of my favorite things on the planet.
    Louw goosen, pat and Perhaps Alberts at lock and of course brussouw’jie back in the mix. That’s a team that excites me, ( with a new game plan)
    Please oh please Heineken

    1. Perhaps for the first time EVER, It felt like I was watching the Boks on Saturday for work purposes rather than enjoyment!

  3. i think people had a huge expectation from HM after PdV, up till now there is no, not even a hint, of the HM magic that he used to turn the Bulls franchise around. But like you say Tank you have to make it work with the players you have and not the players you would like to have. i know HM is that kind of coach who improvises and adapts. It is time for him and SA rugby to trough away the box and be less predictable. Like you so rightly indicated WP has done the last 2 games. i just cant believe HM is so one dimensional, is there other influences?

    1. James, I too, am a believer in HM. He has surrounded himself with what he knows, and not with people who will challenge him. And he looks more paranoid by the second. We need the real HM to stand up … Please!

  4. The Springbok is becoming extinct! We have forgotten how to play rugby and it starts at junior level where the emphasis is on size and not skill, brawn and not brain. Little Aaron Cruden will twiddle us round his finger like a well conditioned middleweight against an old and unfit heavy! Uninspiring, lackluster, conservative, one-dimensional, old fashioned, kick-and-hope, deep, slow and poor just plain poor. Nothing at all has changed in Bok rugby for 10 years and nothing at all since Meyer. We have to embrace a different way, create a different culture while holding on to what was good about Bok rugby. We need a visionary, someone please, A Rugby Ghandalf Guru to save out of this Rugby Mordor abyss. Basil Bay, Mallet, Mitchell please someone! Teach our young kids to attack and create space! Try and beat the defender instead of smashing into him. Run with the ball in two hands, hold the ball, keep it alive, kick to release pressure not to heap it on yourself. How can a side like Australia beat South Africa 7 out of 8 times! It should be other way around with our history and talent. We need a revolution!

  5. Tank, it certainly does look like the job has got to HM at this stage – he was never like this. I know he did not accept SARU’s media manager and wanted his own choice, but whoever he is has to sit him down and start guiding him through interviews – he is not handling them very well. One starts to ask the question whether his biggest mistake is who he has chosen to surround himself with.

  6. HM was a good coach at provincial level. The Bulls dominated under him as I believe they had the stronger forwards up front (than the rest of the country), which in turn made them standout in this tactic he is trying with the Boks. At International level the playing field is more level and this tactic is no longer gonna work as you are playing the best in the world. He needs to change tactics. or at least play people who can read a situation and can use both, when and where needed. He has people to work with to be able to do so. He just need to speak the word.

    Move in Brussouw, shift Coetzee to 7. Use guys with flair like Goose and Lambie.

    Imagine a backline Hougaard / Pienaar; Goose, Mvovo; Frans; Whitehead ; JP and Lambie… 🙂

    1. Apologies for taking so long to ok this … Pesky thing called meetings 🙂 Good point re the Bulls having a bully boy set of forwards who could dominate. Although scrum was never that flash. Now needs a plan that takes point of contact away from forwards. But that also requires magnificent conditioning … Not sure Boks are there yet …

Comments are closed.