I have seen allot of talk about the South Africa poor show yet again in this years Super Rugby competition.
With only the Lions and the Sharks able to get a playoff spot one can not hide from the fact that our teams have been below from what is expected.
The Bulls coach John Mitchell has this week been speaking to the media and put it down to the quality of their squads.
‘We’re guessing and thumb-sucking to think that our sides can win a tournament of this magnitude, especially with the amount of games that need to be played,’ Mitchell said. ‘To rely on just a few world-class and Super Rugby-quality players is a joke.
‘We, as South African teams, simply don’t have squads that are of Super Rugby quality in its entirety. Only when we start creating squads of Super Rugby quality overall will a South African team win the tournament.”
I want to take it to a step further in saying that before you even look at the quality of the squads we need to look at the qaulity of coaching.
I know coaching and gameplan will differ from person to person but we can with a clear mind ask who of the four current coaches are actually good enough for this position.
Is it not the coaches that pick his squad and buy the players to strengthen theses squads?
Stormers coach Robbie Fleck was pulled from U20 team to Super Rugby and after three years have failed miserably in converting the Stormers to a side that can win the competition.
I remember him saying he will win the competition in three years. Well he has achieve in three years 5 wins from 15 matches so far.
It is not that WP Rugby do not have the talent, in fact they have some of the best junior teams in the country but does not seemed to be able to pull these youngsters to stay in the Cape.
When they buy players it seems they also only by players with and after sell by date.
At the Sharks they have Robert Du Preez and in my mind he has failed as much as Fleck with the Sharks in the two years he has been the head coach.
Every year we say at the start of the season that the best team on paper from a South African point of view is the Sharks but every year they seemed to fail.
With the quality of players du Preez should be better off than just 6 wins from 14 matches.
I put it down to poor coaching.
With the Lions Swys de Bruin have not come out with praises this year after taking over from Ackermann.
Although he had plenty of injuries the Lions just do not have the same oemf as what they had with Ackermann in charge.
We once knew when the Lions backs got the ball the chances are 99% that they will score tries and this season it just did not happen or they let more pass them than what they were able to put on the board.
So the question is again if Swys are a brilliant coach when he has a strong head coach or is he able to make the switch to head coach.
The Bulls have a coach that have coach locally, in Super Rugby and at International level.
At the start of the season they showed so much improvement but as the season went one they faded away as the promises from politicians after elections.
One can give him and his Bulls a chance to grow as it is only there first year together but plenty of work needs to be done to get quality players to the union and to the level to compete for the title.
The sad part is that South Africa have good quality coaches that has just been shown the middle finger who are now coaching overseas or at lower levels.
Coaches like Johan Ackermann, Jimmy Stonehouse, Jake White, Gary Gold, Heyneke Meyer, Alan Solomons, Frans Ludeke and Nick Mallett are all quality coaches with the CV to proof it but do not get top jobs in SA.
Not one except Mitchell maybe has better CV’s than anyone of the above mentioned one’s, so why are we letting them go to coach overseas?
Last year SARU enabled Franchises to get up to 80% investors in the franchises and up to date not one franchise have took advantage of this policy.
If we do not get investors to get the money in we will not be able to keep and compete with the European and Japanese markets and we will keep having to breed new stars for other clubs.
At the end for me we need to get the quality coaches back in SA so that they can get the quality of players back in our teams and maybe then we will be able to compete for the Super Rugby title again.
Franchises needs to get investors in to have the backing to buy and keep the quality players.
If we do not start this now we are heading nowhere and our Super Rugby teams will stay in just keeping up the numbers.