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Meyer not panicking over Super Rugby flops

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Cape Town – South Africa endured one of their most challenging Super Rugby seasons to date in the same year they are hoping to lift the Rugby World Cup, but national team coach Heyneke Meyer is not pushing the panic buttons yet.

None of the country’s five teams managed to make the semi-finals, the first time South Africa will not be represented at that stage of the competition since 2003 when they bombed out of the World Cup in Australia with barely a whimper.

That might be a bad omen for Meyer, and the reality is that too many of the country’s regular Springboks will look back with little cheer on what has been a dismal campaign.

Had the competition format not forced a South African team into the knockout stages, their best-placed side, the Stormers, would only have had enough points for seventh place in the regular season table.

But Meyer told reporters recently that while the form of the South African sides presents a worry, he is not having sleepless nights just yet.

“Obviously it is a concern, but in saying that there is always a positive as well and I don’t believe a player can peak from February to October 31,” Meyer said.
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“If you look at the other countries, I know it is not always easy to compare, but many of the other superstars have not been at their best so it is important to peak at the right time.

“Confidence is contagious and so is a lack of confidence. In 2007 two (South African) teams were in the (Super Rugby) final and we won the World Cup so if I could have picked then obviously I would have liked teams to be in the final.

“But I don’t think it is the be all and end all of winning the World Cup.”

Meyer said what was important now was that his Boks destined for the World Cup begin to pick up their form in the Rugby Championship starting next month.

“A lot of the guys who are not on form are world-class players and one thing I have seen with these players is that once they put on the Springbok jersey we are talking about a totally different animal and it is my job to get their confidence up.”

Meyer reiterated a long-stated mantra that he will pick his World Cup squad on form and that he does expect to see an improvement from players who may feel they are a sure bet for a place in his squad for the tournament.

“I have had a lot of meetings with the senior guys to see where they stand. I am confident we will get these guys back up into form, but they do also have to put up their hand and show they are good enough.”

The World Cup will be held in England from September 18 to October 31. South Africa are in Pool B along with Japan, Samoa, Scotland and United States.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Ooh kak – I can just see all the old okes being picked already – another wasted RWC

    Mallett screwed it up by de beer over honiball, the Greatest screwed It up by picking smit over bismarck and now HM is going to screw it up by packing the old guard.

    I avtually shudder to see the starting lineup and expect to see all of strauss, jannie, Matfield, schalk, FDP and jdv – I’m just shitting off that he goes ultra conservative and morne steyn or Lambie replace pollard or willie Le roux is dropped. I don’t mind of the snr players come on with 20mim to go to close games out but we want the young guns competing for 60 and drilling fkd oppo.

  2. HM knows SR is festival-champagne rugby.
    He doesn’t take it with a grain of sale – he takes it with a handful.
    His only concern is distributive sorts @ 12/13 & making sure his charges clean rucks like vikings ala Bryce Austrlia’s reminders.

    Once those boxes are checked he know WC glory is in the bag. He has Habana + Corny Hendrick + SunKing to provide the whiplash-like counterattack off turnover ball the like International rugby has not seen.

    NZ is paniced by this as shown by their desperate add ons of Micronesian Islanders to bolster confidence.
    It will not work.

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