Excusing excuses

March 15, 2011
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What is the next step when you commit yourself not to offer any more excuses?

Following the Stormers is a bit like following Days of our Lives, the faces of the actors might change from time-to-time but the plot remains more or less the same.

Last week Jean de Villiers was quoted in the media that they (Stormers) have no more excuses (not to perform against the Highlanders), and while many will remind me they won quite comfortably on the scoreboard, no-one can convince me this team is currently playing to its potential.

Allister Coetzee, who used the same line in the past many times of ‘no excuses’, came out following the Highlanders game and quite forcefully defended one of the many underperforming stars in the Stormers setup, Bryan Habana.

Whereas I can understand a coach’s frustration with perceptions in the media and public about his team or players, Coetzee’s attempt to defend Habana simply served to confuse or further justify the criticism of the player.

Myself and others have for years now promoted the idea of teams, and specifically their coaches to embrace social media to, if anything, educate the supporters whose only source of information is the mainstream media.

The problem with Coetzee’s attempt to defend Habana is that his stats, or what he referred to work rate or positive contributions, is invisible to the public and supporters – they simply cannot see what is seemingly crystal clear for him (Coetzee).  This gives the impression, as is felt by the media in many post-match media conferences I attended personally, that the coach is sucking facts out of his thumb and indeed, contrary to pre-match quotes, offering excuses.

Getting frustrated with the media, as Coetzee clearly did, does him and his team or individuals in question more harm than good.

Quite simply, the lack of information, leaves the door open for speculation – and if Coetzee continues to offer these ‘invisible’ statistics to defend or back his players, he is in fact the root cause of speculation found in the media slamming his players and team.

Many people know that the success of a rugby team has a lot more to do from what we see for 80 minutes on a weekend, but ultimately, those 80 minutes is what Coetzee and his team is judged on.

Which brings me back to my question…

If the Stormers underperform, or as I believe personally lose, to the Bulls this weekend, will we hear more excuses, based on parameters only visible or available to those close or inside the Stormers team setup, or will we finally see some action taken?

I expect that similar to Days of our Lives, we can all tune in next week, or even in a month, and pick up the same old plot within 10 seconds.

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12 Comments

  1. avatar Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes says:
    March 15th, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    Their defense is brilliant. The Stormers should stop worrying about attack. Just give the opponents the ball and tackle them back all the way to their goal line.

  2. avatar Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes says:
    March 15th, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    I counted 2 scrum penalties for the Highlanders after they engaged early and won the hit.

    Then the referee cottoned on to them and gave the Stormers a few free-kicks.

    It seems a bit out of whack.
    Deliberate cheating can win you penalties if you get away with it but only cost you free-kicks if not.
    That’s not even counting the punching or the deliberate foul play that won them the match last week.

  3. avatar Morné says:
    March 15th, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Reply to Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes @ 1:40 pm:

    I made the comment that I suspect the Bulls to crowd the tackled area because the Stormers love standing off in this phase of play.

    Over the past 36 months the Stormers have become a great team playing without the ball, to beat the Bulls, you need to play with the ball…

  4. avatar onerb says:
    March 15th, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Morne,

    This is the best prospect of the weekend: Seeing Danie rossouw and flip van der merwe taking the field after 50 minutes, rossouw packing at blindside and flip in the second row.

    Surely one of the heaviest packs to be fielded by the bulls.

    Then they will target the Stormers and keep posession forcing errors and camping on the stormers side of the field.

    Kuhn to replace stegman
    Flip to replace bakkies
    Danie to replace potties

    Allthough I am not a huge kuun fan, he has made a difference everytime he took the field this year. I suspect steggies’s hamstring is not as healed as everyone though, he is a non factor at the moment.

  5. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    March 15th, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    Duminy saved some serious blushes with his 99 against Ireland…

  6. avatar Welshbok die Brandwag says:
    March 15th, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    Morkel takes 2 wickets.

    19/2

  7. avatar DavidS says:
    March 15th, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Micks are 45-3 now

  8. avatar DavidS says:
    March 15th, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    51-4

  9. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    March 15th, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    If this was the Bulls with Morne kicking them to victory nothing would be said and my old friend would write Morne as the best flyhalf and that he should be in the Bok team.

    Good win for the Stormers after the Highlanders beat the Bulls the week before.

    Long season ahead and a long time to become better. This is actually the way the Bulls always start the season with close wins but winning and build on the wins to become unstoppable.

    Happy at this stage as a Stormers supporter

  10. avatar DavidS says:
    March 15th, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    77-4

  11. avatar DavidS says:
    March 15th, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    Reply to Jacques(Bunny) @ 4:29 pm:

    I tend to agree

    It’s like the 2005 criticism of the Boks as being just based around their defence and they would be found out blah blah blah

    Bulls 2007 are “one dimensional”

    Etc Etc Etc

    The fact is

    Stormers

    3 played
    3 won

    You cannot complain about that.

  12. avatar mawm says:
    March 15th, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    The Stormers are underperforming, the Bulls are underperforming, the Sharks are underperforming……..What is wrong with our teams? We are getting wins, but only just against teams that are playing (being allowed to play?) above their expected level. The Sharks should have wiped the Rebels this w/e, but cocked up one scoring chance after another and let in some soft tries. Is it player attitude or is it that our coaching is not up to standard? Look at the difference the coach has made with the Lions…..although they are not there yet, they are a thousand times better than last year.

    About the Boks…………well less said the better. :Boertjie normaal:

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