Why were the Boks humiliated?


Saturday’s humiliating loss against the Wallabies prompts the question: Where did we go wrong?

Article by Boertjie

Is it all to blame on a long and very sapping Super 15? All the franchises played the same number of games, yet the All Blacks and the Wallabies are able to select their strongest teams – even after being involved in the Super15 Final.

How come then the Springboks have now landed 25 players injured? (And one would guess that at least half of them are “genuine” injuries or, at the very least, serious fatigue.

Is it a lack of conditioning?

Or is it a matter of poor coaching – with backs again showing no attacking moves or skills, apart from the few times Mvovo and Aplon had posession? There was one unorthodox move by the Boks, which prompted me to think: Is this all they can muster after a week together?

Did we have too many players that were not up to the speed at which test rugby is played?

Why did we come short on defense – with 44 missed tackles after only 42 minutes?
Was any defensive coaching done? Or are there just too many players in the team that don’t know the basics of defending?


On top of it all it seems that we have once again dug our own grave in a certain sense. Thanks to better foresight and planning, New Zealand and Australia had the advantage of warm-up tests agains teams from the Pacific Island.

The B-team Boks had none, and I’m afraid it showed.

A Bok team that was very pleased with their preparations in Sydney was again humiliated Down Under. I say again, because who can ever forget the 0-49 drubbing by the Wallabies some seasons back, and the Boks being downed 12-32 and 17-31 by the Kiwis sand 13-30 by the Aussies only twelve months ago.

Against our A-team, mind you.

And it seems the worst is till to come next weekend, because the All Blacks will keep their foot on the pedal by selecting their strongest 22. They have beaten Fiji 60-14, but feel there is still a lot of “misfiring” that should be rectified . . .

I don’t have the insight to add, but I know there are some RugRats out there who would like to voice their opinions. Let’s hear it!

I stand by what I said on the match thread:

All teams have the same aims (call it game plans), but some are just so much better equipped to put it to fruition. And by that I mean players with outstanding skills and decision makers (think Genia, Cooper, Carter, Sonny Bill and another half a dozen, not to mention the loads of talented and well-coached forwards) and a decent coaching staff.

Who do we have to counter with – even at full strenght? Why don’t we produce players like these?

Two Springboks had some interesting insights after the test, and I will quote from Rapport:


“The Bok coach again proved that he is not capable of getting a new team to gel.”

“John Smit was horrible and should not be going to the RWC.”

“Morne Steyn is not adding anything to the Bok-attack.”

He says good games were had by Danie Rossouw, Gio Aplon, Flip van der Merwe and CJ van der Linde.


“Ruan Pienaar and Morné Steyn don’t attack the gain line enough. Steyn stands to deep. We have three or four good flyhalves, but are they coached well enough?”

“Quade Cooper and the whole Wallaby backline messed the Boks around.”

Facebook Comments


  1. Love it or hate it, but the 3N and the CC are non events this year.

    Perhaps we should not waste our time analyzing the Bok B team playing a meaningless friendly.

  2. We were overpowered and bullieed at the rucks, and backline was useless. Meisiekind cant pass, think he forgets there are other playes outside of him, also Steyn was poor. Smit needs to go tail between the legs and ask the coach for early retirement. Chiliboy was much better.

  3. No boertjie, it makes no sense saying ‘all teams have the same gameplan’.

    All teams do have the same aims and goals, but not gameplan.

    My assessment is that in order to regain our status after the 2003 debacle, Jake White opted to go back to our old strengths and make us win games first and foremost – no matter how ugly. Suddenly our pack stood up and this gave Jaco Vd Westhuyzen and Barry and Joubert good ball to manouvre with.

    As we approached the 2007 World Cup, and largely as a result of the 49-0 game in Oz, we decided to become a bit more conservative. Playing to our strengths now meant we keep the ball in the hands of big ball carriers (who wont lose it as easily) and use our 10 to play for field position. Our outside backs would chase ball and round off whatever ball we turned over. By 2007 we perfected this gameplan.

    Peter had all the right ideas in 2008 but the results went against him and I have the feeling the senior clique in the team convinced the coaching staff to go back to the 2007 blueprint. The success off 2009 for me rests purely on the introduction of 3 new players (beast,brussouw and steyn). Its 2007 rugby with 3 better players – simple as that.

    As you can see from the above we have neglected the type of skills that could see us dominate rugby for a good 7 years now for the sake of ‘playing to our historical strengths’. Once the foundation was laid for winning games (in 2007) we could add a whole backline dimension but deemed it too risky.

    The 2007 blueprint (lets call it it the Heyneke White gameplan) was successful and thus filtered down to all SA teams, which meant in every team in the country a certain skills set was being neglected. As an example, can anyone remember how Trevor Halstead was lambasted pre 2003 as a one ddimensional basher? Those were the days when we all expected our backline players to ‘create play’. Today its hard to find a 12 or 13 who is not a mutant copy of Halstead?

    We simply need to add value again to the roles of the forgotten 5 players out wide. Again, the Reds win will naturally chnage the way we coach our teams from under 9 level – as well as the type of play that kids want to focus on. For the first time since the Danie Gerber years kids are now running around looking for space for the offload, stepping each other, trying to flick balls and pass it in different ways etc. This is a good thing. Its too bad the Boks are stuck in 2007 planning and thus our players skill set reflect this.

  4. Well this is from White himself, and something I agree with totally. There has been no progress or evolution in our playing style and we had such a strong foundation to work from…:

    A: The fact is, the Boks shouldn’t be copying the 2007 blueprint. These are different players at different stages of their careers, while we also had pre-World Cup friendlies then, which isn’t the case this year. The Tri-Nations is the Boks’ only opportunity for Test rugby before the World Cup with some new players and management staff. The Boks are also playing different teams in the World Cup, at different venues, so it’s a different build-up completely. We are also heading into this as defending champions, we should be doing things differently, being innovative and showing the way. Not looking back at 2007.

  5. Reply to the cheetahs are pumas! @ 11:12 am:

    Yip… and he doesn’t mention there were 4 extra tests played on top of the 2007 3N… against their two top pool competitors…

    This mob haven’t a clue… and the Mandela Cup now isn’t 1/20th the value of the Bledisloe…

    I watched the game with a few Rebels players and fans… they were laughing at Snor and his charges…

    What an embarrassment!

  6. Reply to Morné @ 11:16 am:

    I think 4 years is enough, as long as every coach builds on the one before him.

    After this World Cup SA is to undergo a huge change with so many players retiring etc. I hope we go for someone with vision and creativity and balls.

    Head Coach: Rassie
    Backline: Peter Roussouw
    Forwards: ?
    Scrumming: Os Du Randt
    Analyst: Brendan Venter
    Defence: Nienaber
    Kicking: Percy

    I’d make Potgieter captain…

  7. No one could believe a team could take such small backs into a test match… and the three-fold increase in miss-tackles since the last meet was telling…

    So too playing such and unbalanced loose-trio, a pack that doesn’t hit both offensive and defensive rucks as a unit… and they were out-muscled again by the Aussie big boys…

    And to think they opted to not have an extra loosie nor 5/2 split…

    What a meaningless joke of a test… and next week will be no different… and to think some Japies had the audacity to suggest the Wallabies were ‘disrespecting’ the Samoans…

    They should take Mandela’s name off the Cup… perhaps the Snor Cup…

  8. Reply to bryce_in_oz @ 11:26 am:

    Yes it realle makes a mockery of our supposed ‘depth’ when we cannot string a B side together. Or we do but we expect them to play like our A side even though we use vastly different personell.

    Nowhere is this better illustrated than with Johnson, who is very limted in many aspects but great at some others, yet we chose for him to play to his weaknesses? Ditto De Jong, Basson etc.

  9. Reply to bryce_in_oz @ 11:31 am:

    I believe our arrogance has a lot to do with this team selection. Peter for example does not rate Sonny Bill. He probably thought the Super 15 coaches are just dumb to not be able to contain Genia and Cooper.

    We dont seem to analyse anymore?

    I mean going into he game it was written 1000 times that Genia and Copper are the dangermen.

    SA’s stock response was: “Ja but its test rugby – very different. Cooper and Genia wont be able to do fancy tricks”

    And what happened? Hell I dont think those 2 had as much space all year! The O Connor try for example? It looked like Cooper was the fast kid at under 13 level. Obviously very little analysis was done on him…


  10. oh and bryce, I still await the stats on Olivier’s “playmaker passes”. Also metres gained.

    He did Jean De Villiers proud yesterday. The perfect Bok 12.

  11. I have a friend who’s quite into watching Craven Week.
    He says this last one was by far overall the worst he’s

    The WP coach (for the last 3 years) says the team
    only played according to instructions for about
    40 minutes in all 3 games – the rest of the time
    individuals tried to impress in order to make the
    SA Schools team.

  12. I got a sketchy feeling when seeing the highballs launched starting the 1st half. Were they thinking they had a Brussouw to fetch?
    With all the lock injuries….couldn’t Josh Strauss fill in?
    Did Stegman play last night? I heard he did but thought after watching that it may have just been a rumor.

  13. This game was used as a trail game , it is criminal to disrespect any Test like this. We need to play almost the same side to evaluate them properly, the poor buggers had no chance. No combinations , no cohesion.

  14. Reply to the cheetahs are pumas! @ 11:49 am:

    RSA has no 12’s outside of JDV and Frans no surprise there… thank fark was there to tackle for Basson, De Jong and the rest of the Orks… even Steyn was covering the wings on defence… pathetic all round…

    As I said… a waste of a game… shows up the coaching staff from selections, to combo’s and onwards…

    Embarrassing… the Mandela Cup is a joke!

    Thank fark for Jordy Smith…

  15. I think most will agree that you pick your lose forwards as a unit, they must compliment each other. I read a big argument about Stegman on Rugby-Talk, then watched the replay at 6:00 this morning , well i saw Stegman do his job. minutes 3/6/12…., what i also saw is that we hit the rucks on our own, not 2 two like the Aussies did. That can mean one thing, if Schalk was playing with Stegman he would have blown the Aussies away while Stegman already had his hand in there. Spies also combines better with him because of his physical driving the opponents back.

    Stegman might feel he was set up for failure with this combo.

  16. What the heck did Ruan think, he was really the worst of the lot. He killed so many balls. To play outside such a service must be hell. Look at the variation that Genia displays at no 9

  17. Reply to Morné @ 12:24 pm:

    That’s a relief…I would have really been worried if K. Floors was playing and i didn’t notice his blonde-dye job.
    It really is tacky to treat a test with this sort of cavalier attitude. I thought I was watching a game of pick-up not an organized endeavor.
    Hopefully they can turn it around if not it just has to be endured. The USA went through the same thing with the Carter & ahem… current administration

  18. Was this REALY a bona fide B side?

    Or more like a few old timers, some hezawazzes, some heezahasbeens and some wishtheyweereBsiders…

    Be honest

    Very few of these players would warrant inclusion in a form B side based on Super 15 form…

    I will just agree with what Timeo said… in the first post…

    Only an idiot would judge the Boks on this game…

  19. Reply to DavidS @ 1:16 pm:

    No, I’m judging SA rugby as a whole:
    Admin, coaching, talent.
    And where SA rugby is after the S15,
    compared to OZ and NZ.
    And how NZ can do Grand Slams in Europe
    by rotating as much as they do.

    A 13-year-old Australian boy has been charged with drunk driving after police pulled him over for his erratic behaviour on the road.

    Hehehehe. I see they breed them young.

  21. Boer

    2007 NZ won the 3N with ease which included a surprise win against SA in Durban

    2003 NZ won S12 with THREE sides in semis but Australia beat them in the “four more years boys” game in RWC. NZ won the 3N unbeaten.

    In 2010 SA had TWO sides in the final of S14 and we came last in 3N.

    Who won the RWC in 2003?

    1999 Two NZ sides in semis contested S12 finals and they won 3N… out of RWC against France and lost 3/4 place play off against Bokke with plenty!

    Kry net bietjie perspektief asb…

  22. TN 2011 …. nobody will remember

    If I asked you who won RWC 1999 / 2003 and 2007 would you be able to name the winners?

    What is I asked you about 3N in those years?

    No worries I will

    1999 = NZ
    2003 = NZ
    2007 = NZ

    Do you care?

  23. Om ‘n analogie te tref is jy nou besig om iets te doen wat soortgelyk daaraan is om voor te stel dat aangesien die Bulle in 2007 nie in die CC finaal gespeel het nie was hulle ‘n kak span en die hele Bulle franchise is geheel en al ‘n disaster wat besig is om uit mekaar te val met geen hoop om ooit weer ordentelik rugby te kompeteer nie…

  24. Reply to DavidS @ 1:38 pm:

    You’re trying to whistle walking through the grave yard at midnight, and there are a lot of false notes.

    So hey, if we retain the Webb Ellis SA rugby is
    And if we don’t make the semis?
    Or get humiliated by the Kiwis in the semis?

    You are asking for perspective. Read [32] for
    my perspective, and add the 2010 TN results.

  25. Reply to DavidS @ 1:38 pm:

    Just shows NZ’s unwavering world dominance in world rugby and the bench-mark they set… and how stagnant Bok rugby is… never attempting to close the gap despite ‘purported’ depth…

    It’s the same old same old… every decade a coach might come along and point RSA test rugby in the right direction and then he’ll be axed and another chump will come along and stagnate the whole process…

    And that is exactly why on balance RSA will never… as it appears cares to dominate Australia and NZ in every single test played…

  26. “This was a victory stripped of any psychological importance for winners or losers.” – Stuart Barnes in the London Sunday Times on the Tri-Nations match yesterday.

  27. Creesus Jaist!

    What the hell else does anyone care about but who win WWE?

    What matters?

    Lions tours

    Grand Slams

    Winning in NZ


    Made for television kak to give that News of the World media mafia millionaire more cash in AUD and to give Aus Union more clout… and make New Zealand think for four years to make up more “why we aren’t chokers” excuses like England’s overrated football team at every Soccer World Cup

    S15 the same…

  28. Reply to Morné @ 2:46 pm:

    If by “moving forward” you mean reaching par with New Zealand, I don’t think the WC have anything to do with it.

    I think they are ahead of us because they have a national consensus on how to play the game and all teams and players are coached in a similar manner.

    We don’t and I we never will.

  29. Reply to Timeo @ 9:50 pm:

    The Bulls’ game-plan happens to be the most successful in South Africa but is also deeply and forever unpopular in the Cape. The Cape happens to hold the largest and most influential rugby community.

    The Boks will always play below their potential because of this conflict.

    The upside is that it makes, rugby in SA much more interesting.

  30. Reply to Timeo @ 9:50 pm:

    You’ve hit the nail.
    Is it because NZ (3½ million people – the same as Cape Town)
    is a smaller, more closely knit and homogeneous community?

    Or maybe because they don’t have a Cape?

  31. Reply to Boertjie @ 10:36 pm:

    I think it’s because they don’t have a High Veld. Running rugby does not work so well at altitude. Witness The Lions in recent years.
    The handicap for visiting teams from the coast has made The Bulls more successful than they would have been and it’s a double edge sword for the Boks because most Tests are played at sea level.

  32. Defense is about combinations. New combinations caused lack of communication. Lack of communication caused defensive glitches.

    Hey but dont let reality stand in the way of a good bitching session.

  33. Reply to Timeo @ 11:38 pm:

    “I think it’s because they don’t have a High Veld… running rugby doesn’t work on a high-veld”

    Well last years historic Wallabies win on the high-veld suggests that’s not the case… it was a try-fest.

    A quick look at the Bok ‘A’ backs including Steyn at 15 missed 4 tackles the entire game… this last week saw three times that with Basson (5) on his own.

    Frans Steyn, Hougaard to name just a few should have been a part of this squad to strengthen it and give themselves more game-time.

    The fact they knew the track would be wet, had a weak pack… and then still included Jacobs with Lambie rather than a 5/2 split shows the coaching ‘brains-trust’ up for what it is… a joke!

  34. Thank god I am sitting in Bali without a tv! Anybody with half a brain would we are on a hiding to nothing! Mixing attacking players with dull crash ball players in the backline ees stoopid! I would love to see REbersholm playing. He has great leadership, defense and attack!
    We are going to take a big one against the Kiwis!
    :Rule 9:

  35. Hoessit, Tjops.

    Not too surprised at the outcome, I don’t say “I told you so”…but refer to post namboer_STORMERS! @ 12:07 on Tuesday’s 3 Debuts thread.

    Don’t think Boks were humiliated though but not too much positives either. Unless you call learning that Steyn(and others) will in all probability not be 1st (2nd?!) choice anymore, ‘positive’. It wasn’t a 49-0 drubbing, we did have to travel and it was a B-team (at best!) so I guess it could have been worse.

    I had my reservations about the defense in midfield and attacking power there too. Same for Stegmann’s inability as yet to produce in the test arena. It was shown up. Still don’t think Kruger should be there. I just think Snor & co. stuffed up the selctions – small tweaks might have done the trick. (Think JdJ and Meisiekind swopping, for one…)

    Very worrisome that Flip, Hargreaves and Muller (can’t believe I’m naming the latter two…) are also now crocked. What happens if Daniesourus gets a knock now?

    Will have to see Sat vs AB’s, but that’s a monster of another pedigree and I’m stocking up for the not-so-good news.