Home Vodacom Super Rugby 2018 Opinion – Who can even consider Matfield over Davids?

Opinion – Who can even consider Matfield over Davids?


I was closing out my weekend out by reading through the Sunday papers and even though I knew better, was shocked to read that the Bulls are giving serious consideration to appointing Victor Matfield as their head coach.

What got to me was that, in this age of professionalism it was being reported that Matfield was going head to head against Deon Davids.

How did our rugby get to this place where a person with little to  zero head coaching experience can be competing against a coach with the track record of Davids?

I may be mistaken but as far as I could find, Matfield has a few consulting jobs behind his name which none of them lasting more than a month or so.

Matfield offers 17 years as a top international player but I fail to understand how that can meet the requirements or qualifications to get a coaching job at a school or club side not even mentioning at Super Rugby level.

Are we seeing a buddy for buddy system playing out at the Blue Bulls?

How can SA Rugby even allow a person like Matfield to be considered by the Blue Bulls for the job?

If you look at Davids, he started his coaching career at Villagers Worcester in 1998, the same year Matfield started his professional playing career with the Blue Bulls.

Davids has coached Boland A, South African Students, Boland Caveliers, Emerging Springboks, South African U20, UWC, Golden Lions(Vodacom Cup), Golden Lions U21, SWD Academic and Southern Kings.

I know I am entering a very sensitive issue but are we looking at classic case of white privilege again, especially when such a person is being compared to a black coach with experience and a track record?

I find it an insult that the Blue Bulls are actually comparing Davids with the likes of Matfield.

It is not just an insult to Davids, but to all the coaches doing the hard work through the system and working hard on coaching badges , that has been put in place for coaches to advance in the game.

I really hope this is just a stupid rumour and there is no truth in this story.

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  1. Ideally Davids and Matfield together, just as it should have been Dobson and Fleck together, with the latter being assistants, until cutting their teeth as coaches for 2 or 3 super rugby seasons.

    What Matfield does do is bring respect. And that counts for a lot when you gotta motivate players. In short, a young bloubul will not want to let down a legend or be kakked out by Matfield.

    I’d like to see what Davids can do at EP, and I hope the others stop stealing his players. I think this guy could just make EP so powerful. Was doing that before half his squad was pillaged.

  2. it does not matter who they pick, it comes down to what they do when picked…
    Head coach does not have to do any coaching if you have the right lieutenants. He just has to manage them and get them all on the same page.
    Best example is the Leinster set-up… Leo Cullum came in with next to zero coaching but he got the right guys in the set-up.

  3. Please go for the guy who still think long hair is fashionable! That will completely demolish the evilish union (Americano’s words – not mine Aldo!)

  4. PJLD: surely they can afford Dobson as local coach for super rugby? I liked fleck as a player but WP have severely underperformed in super rugby given their talent?

  5. @Timeo: Currie Cup yes Timeo, my problem with all of this is more the fact that coaches has to go through a system do their levels and work their way up, Matfield have not moved the world with his assistance coaching jobs nor as a consultant. He should be starting at the bottom in my mind, who gives former players the right to jump the line?

    Rassie in early 2000’s went to CC after laying, at the Free State….That time we also did not have coaches with experience and with the levels behind their names which we have today….

    Had the same opinion then and still about Fleck going to SR coach. I am just not a fan of this, I am a person that wants hard work to be rewarded not reputation. Their are school coaches with more experience than Matfield and it is fact that an great international player does not make a great coach

  6. Would have love to step into my job with only experience behind my name but I had to do the requirements and study to get were I am today.

    Rugby coaches has a few levels to do, I would love to know if Victor has done his or is it above him to do so because he played international rugby?

    Coaches level 1 – Introducing rugby
    The purpose of this introductory course is to enable coaches to acquire basic skills so that players new to the game learn to play in safe, enjoyable competition
    Coaches level 2 – Developing rugby skills
    The purpose of this course is to enable coaches to develop skills for coaching age grade and adult players.
    Coaches level 3 – Analysis & preparation for coaches
    The purpose of this course is to enable coaches to develop more advanced knowledge and skills.
    Coaches – Coaching Sevens
    The purpose of this course is to enable coaches to develop skills to coach the 7 a-side game.

  7. @Jacques:

    I have done all levels and 1st/2nd multiple of times to keep sharp and get new views from different but that does not make me a better coach than a Matfield or someone else that is a natural teacher.
    I have done referee levels 1 and 2 as well diablo

  8. Jacques is right though it’s becoming a profession, where experience is a must. Often great coaches are not the great players. But I do get the feeling Rassie and Matfield would make good coaches tho, but not head coach at first grade level. Coach currie cup or assistant. Even The ABs seem to have a system where assistant goes onto become coach only after several years.

    Dobson is surely the guy to bring into WP head role – this is a no-brainer.

  9. JT I get that JT, but as a coach would you not feel hard done by if a guys like Vic comes and take a job you are better qualified for and have more experience to do?

    Forget about Davids because I think he will not leave Kings now that they have sponsors and are finally pulling some players to the union after all the Watson nonsense but what about Human?

  10. @Jacques:

    Depends on what type of coach you are looking for… It comes down to a team of coaches and head coach these days IMO is more like a director than hands on coach. Will Matfield make a good director? Maybe. Will Pote be a good hands on coach, i think so. why not get them both?
    I preferred being a hands on coach with my boys in Innsbruck but grew into a more director type role as other coaches took over areas of the game and at National level I was assistant coach and more in a technical advisor role which I preferred at the time.
    All depends on what each guys wants and what where he can best bring impact to the set-up. If Pote wants to be director, ok, if Matfield wants to be hands on – give him the Line-out… We do not know the details so no sense in speculating on what the one or the other might “feel” on not getting a certain job.
    Can you get an interview with Pote and ask him this?

  11. Thanks for the insight JT, It is a real grey area because they do not explain that to general public and rightly so maybe.

    I am trying to get an interview with somebody at Bulls to explain the thinking but I think they are stolling.

  12. I’ll tell you what they’re thinking.

    They’re thinking about the Lions who had a disaster with Mitchell and then hired an ex player who played lock and they’re thinking that maybe it will work for us also.

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