I have read comments on two articles this week and the debate has been interesting. It has also lead me to question whether we are not seeing to bigger picture, or if Coach Coetsee does not have one.
One article, related to Nollis Marais not using Paige and Nyakane in his team facing Boland. Questions were asked about his dedication to the Bok cause. Now his argument to me is sound, the released Boks have not been training with the Bulls, so they are out of sync with their gameplan and team cohesion. I agree with this argument.
It irritates me when a team loses momentum, because Boks return and has to be played. But what about the Bok cause. Shouldn’t we all be pulling in one direction, give the Boks game time and get rid of those cobwebs? The short answer for me would be, Yes. There is however a but. I shared a link where Nollis asked for Coetsee to meet with the Franchise coaches, share his vision, so that everyone could be on the same page and work towards one goal.
Because let’s face it, at the moment every one just plays his own game and that is visible when they come together at the Boks. For the franchise coaches to be able to implement their Boks immediately, their needs to be a central agreement on how to play. That would make it easy for the Bok player to return and slot right in.
At the moment that is not the case, so should Marais play his Boks and lose, it is his neck on the line, rather than the collective. It could cost him his job, if that decision leads to a loss. Don’t get me wrong, I am a massive fan of both Paige and Nyakane, and find the criticism leveled at them massively unfair at times.
But for the moment it doesn’t seem that their is a national plan, so a CC coach cannot just bring that player back into the fault, fr the greater good, as it just doesn’t seem that there is one.
The second article related to WLR and Lambie being included in the Bok squad. Now my initial reaction was, that this opens up the door, to move Goosen to 10 or 13 and play Lambie of the bench. Good news all round, but what about the national cause? Wouldn’t it be better to experiment a bit?
The rugby championship is already a disaster, we are playing to avoid the wooden spoon at best. Why bring in WLR, when he has proven to be out of form and maybe, just maybe not good for team spirit? Why stick to the tried and tested, when they have failed?
Would a backline of 9 Hougaard 10 Jantjies (yes I’d give him a last chance, think Loftus will do him good), 11 Habana 12 RjvR, 13 Mapoe 14 Ulengo/Ishmaiel/anyone but Mvovu, 15 Kriel not make more sense? Isn’t now the time to expose youngsters? We have already lost the RC, we are at home, Aussies are playing at Loftus where we can deafen them with Kurt Darren, Liefling and Steve Hoffmeyer. Experiment a bit.
But that again would require a bigger picture. Is it just me or does it seem that we do not have one? I for one still think AC can make it. He does have to overcome some hurdles. He needs to take guidance and implement the way forward. He needs to come out and say, I want this and that to happen at bok level.
He needs to share his plan with the Franchises. The Franchises need to give him their support. And lastly, us as a rugby public need to realize that Bok rugby is at an all time low. AC cannot solve this over night. There are systematic issues, not just at the Boks, but with SA rugby as a whole, that he needs to fix.
This will take time. We need to give him this year. We need to give him freedom to experiment, look at what works best. At the moment we don’t. I include myself, I want the Boks to just win every game, but isn’t it time we all look at the bigger picture?