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Broken promises


“You lied to me Tappe, you lied to me!” No, it has absolutely no relevance (other than a rugby related comment) to the Bok squad but reading some comments since the announcement of the Bok squad one would swear Heyneke Meyer committed high treason!

The comment, for those who are interested, were famously uttered by Bob Skinstad once in a Super Rugby game against the Lions at Newlands where referee, Tappe Henning apparently told Bob that time is up and if they kick the ball out it would be half time. However, Tappe allowed the line out to take place (for some reason) and the Lions ended up scoring from that set piece which had old Bob in a hissy telling Tappe all the way to the change room how disgusted he was breaking a promise to the Stormers captain – the Stormers still won however…

I don’t know why but reading the massive fall-out since the Bok squad announcement this is the first thing that came to mind, because for some reason it seems that Heyneke Meyer has betrayed the South African rugby public, or like Tappe, lied to them.

Now the announcement of any Bok squad is bound to be met with some criticism by a rugby-crazy public but I seriously have not seen Capetonians so upset since Queer Eye for the Straight Guy was cancelled!

Personally, I have written a couple of columns on Heyneke Meyer and his challenges as Bok coach so since the fall-out on Saturday night (and most of Sunday) I went back to dust off some of my research material to see if the Bok mentor indeed went back on any promise he made to the South African rugby public…

I picked up a lot of instances where Meyer talked how excited he was with the enormous talent South Africa had which he experienced first-hand with his planning camps where well over 100 players were invited. It was also apparent that Meyer has been, and probably still is worried about the limited preparation time (one week) he has before his first test in charge which explains his initial plans to bring back old stalwarts like Victor Matfield and Fourie du Preez (which has obviously not materialized). The other thing that was quite noticeable reading through all the Meyer quotes in the media is that he won’t be rushed especially when it comes to appointing his captain (a vitally important thing for him) or leaders within the team to such an extent that his captain for the Poms will only be temporary until he had more time to establish some common ground with the players.

So after reading through volumes and volumes of articles and quotes the closest thing I could come to a ‘promise’ he made to the South African rugby public was the following;

“I, Heyneke Meyer, promise the South African rugby public that we (the Boks) will play every single test as it were our last – in other words, we play to win every single test because there is only two kinds of rugby, winning rugby, and losing rugby”

Okay, okay, not in those exact words but you obviously get the picture.

No-where could I pick up where Meyer said something like; ‘Okay I will pick about 4 okes from this team, 8 from that team and, ag just to be fair and keep those cousins happy, 2 from them’.

Does that mean everybody will be or has to be happy with the 30-odd guys he picked? Of course not, personally my first choice 30 will look vastly different from Meyer’s as I am sure everybody else’s would too, but then again, neither of our teams has to go out on Saturday and take on the Poms.

Fact is ladies and gentleman there will always be players who are unlucky not to be included (and of course those that are) and no I cannot defend or justify all Meyer’s selections because I don’t know what his plans or strategies are (other than wanting to win of course). The one thing I can guarantee you is that Meyer has a plan because you do not win trophies as a coach if you don’t.

Personally I find this massive fall-out from the public quite laughable since Meyer still has to go out and actually lead his troops into their very first test match under him! This squad was selected for one very simple mission – to win the test series against the Poms. So why don’t we all just calm the #%^@ down a bit and see how that goes before we call him a fool (or some of the other choice terms I read in the last two days) – after all, that is the only thing he has promised and asked of us.

Leave a comment


  1. I am no fan of a few players in the squad, but the reality is HM will live or die by his selections .. So quite frankly it’s his prerogative who he picks.

    But seriously … Wynand? Englebrecht? And Kanko?

  2. Anything over a 66% success rate will be an improvement on most before him.
    However even if he gets an 80% success rate he will still have people giving him :poop: for selecting x instead of y :mrgreen:

    Bok supporters – ai :shake: :mrgreen:

  3. Rugby is not just about rugby and this is where Meyer got it wrong. If a decision is to be made purely on technical grounds he may well have selected the best squad to deliver the goods in such a short period … BUT … he missed the bigger picture of gaining TRUST and SUPPORT from all over SA.

    People were afraid he would give the Boks a Bulls flavour and that is exactly what he’s been doing to date. His whole management structure comes from the Bulls. Even JJ Harmse got a job. And now the squad is dominated by Bulls. Meyer missed what matters most when you start and that is to unify the country behind you.

    Meyer might be a great rugby coach, but he’s not switched on to the important things around the game … the off the field stuff. Despite the injuries to key Stormers players he should not have loaded the squad with Bulls players in the way he did. We know who the top 15 will be, and that is okay, but it is the rest of the squad make-up where he should have done better imo. Epic fail.

  4. Traditional opposition to the Springbok identity was biggest in the Western Cape but under PdV the pressure was relieved and people made less and less of an issue of it. Today, here in CT, I hear a lot of “this is the return of old Springbok, a team that does not represent us”. Meyer should have been more sensitive to this.

  5. Reply to Kat @ 10:19 am:

    Ja, you’ll NEVER please the Cape Spanish –
    not even when you beat the Kiwis.

    However I agree that HM could have been
    a bit more sensitive in his selections,
    i.e. Aplon and De Jongh.
    Meisiekind without the peroxide is still shyte.

  6. I seriously have not seen Capetonians so upset since Queer Eye for the Straight Guy was cancelled! Thats great…just that their is more peroxide on the sharks than any other team.

    How many players are cape born players that have been selected??

    Cape Spanish?? The majority speak afrikaans hence afrikaners and lets never forget that. Our history, the collective afrikaner history is a lie if you think its only whites. In this regard more 75% of all afrikaaners can be called spaniesh. This is fact and how about going for a DNA test?

    Think Tewis De Bruin. :pot: so lets keep to the rugby then.

    Not sure about De jongh but I do think Aplon for his attacking credentials should have been in. Yep I am an Aplon fan.

  7. This has nothing to do with race or colour or where you from! It’s about rugby! I believe HM is brave in hes selection and I believe he want the team to perform but I don’t know which Super Rugby games hes been watching!

    Zane Kirshner, Jano vermaak, JP Petersen, Ryan Kankowski, Jacques Potgieter, Wynand Olivier, and Elton Jantjies? When We have Siya Kolisi, Joe Peteresen, Gio Aplon, Juan De Jong and Peter Grant? Yes he will NEVER please all the fans! But surely players that are performing at Super Rugby level (Probably the toughest level of rugga) should be the players fit for the Green and Gold.

    Am I wrong?

  8. I suggest you do better research next time then! He clearly said, when challenged about his bulle preference, “I will go out of my way to be fair to all players and will even choose players from other regions when they are on the same level as a Bull(shit) player”. Based on this alone: On what grounds are Vermaak better than Duvenhage??? And even Josh is better 8th man than pap drol spies

  9. Reply to Kevin_rack @ 10:49 am:
    Reply to no.13 @ 11:10 am:

    FYI the term Cape Spanish is used by
    some on this blog in referring to
    Cape Coloured – that one-eyed specie that is
    never happy with any team containing
    less than 15 of their ilk, and of whom
    a lot are still supporting the teams
    playing against the Boks.

  10. Anyway, HM will probably stick
    to at least half of his promise:

    “We’ll win with ugly rugby.”

  11. I Meyer can win 75% of his matces, I will be very happy indeed.

    A long as we don’t lose to Ireland, Scotland, Wales and those lower ranked it would be a step up.

    50% success vs NZ and OZ minimum, correct our record against france and conitinue to dominate England with the odd loss here abd there.

    He does that, he can pick Earl Rose for all I care, as long as he stays away from Puke Watson.

  12. Yeh i dont mind where player come from.

    The can play for japan, but Jean Divs, Spies, Meisiekind, Kircher have had more than enough chances to prove their worth and its just not happening.

    So leaving out a De Jong to me says we are retreating to place where we feel safe.

    Meyer adapts and has been a great inventor of many things in rugby, yet he is also the guy who likes the anton leonard type player.

    I have long abandoned blind patriotism for entertainment. I am no longer happy with just a win. I want the game to be played to the tilt using 15 guys at speed with flair and creativity and brute force etc all combined. I dont want to see very talented teams ‘win ugly’ anymore.

    HM will earn my respect based on this, not whom he ultimately selects and where they hail from.

    I just want to see us play the way we know we can.

  13. Reply to Boertjie @ 11:22 am: FYI Boertjie I’ve been a Bok supporter since I can remember. You cant generalise people like that. If you can tell me why Jano Vermaak, Wynand Olivier and Ryan Kanko got selected about players such as Gio Aplon, Juan De Jong and Siya Kolisi then I will listen. Not just judge what you say as irrelevant ranting with no purpose because you “supposedly” don’t support the boks. Player who perform and play their hearts our deserve selection!

  14. Reply to The Year of the Cheetah @ 11:44 am: I am with you mate, it is all gog to control possession and territory, but FFS have some idea how to use players.

    Habana scorde 30 tries in his first 35 tests, and 10 in his next thirty five tests.

    se the man for more than just catching, chasing and tackling.

  15. Reply to no.13 @ 11:45 am:

    I can only gve you my opinion on the basis f what I expect Meyer to do.

    Kolisi is in his frist season, needs to prove himself in another season.

    Juan de Jongh and Aplon are both unlucky not to be there, and I agree meisiekind shouldn’t be near a green jersey, but Meyer wants big players

  16. Reply to The Year of the Cheetah @ 11:44 am:

    Ja neh see that is where I differ.

    How I can interpret what you said could also read like: “I don’t mind losing as long as the rugby is pretty”

    Reply to no.13 @ 11:45 am:

    We can debate the merits of the selections or omissions but none of us will be able to justify it.

    I too think Gio and Juan are unlucky, but then my philosophy on that aspect of rugby is different to Heyneke Meyer’s so I understand why he did it, at least for now for the Pom test.

  17. Reply to Morné @ 11:51 am: Agreed! It’s the way he sees it and the way he sees the game. Still unhappy to see players performing not in but I hope he’s got a plan with as well. You will never be able to please a whole country.

  18. Reply to no.13 @ 11:45 am:

    With you there on merit. Aplon and De Jongh
    qualifies IMO.
    As for the rest: I follow the SMS column and
    letters in the Argus.
    It is clear which people are wearing the
    blindfold re team selections.

  19. Reply to Sauce @ 10:02 am:

    JJ’s a bit weird… but every coach has his young bolters and HM has been a fan for ages even before poaching him…

    I’ll take JJ over Snor’s Earl Rose any day of the week…

  20. It’s a bit concerning how weak the Bok’s loosie depth looks compared to Aus and NZ?

  21. Good article MOrne ans so true,

    few years ago when Mallet chose about the whole Stormers team the BUlls cried foul, today its the revers,

    The problem here is none of them have actually taken the time to see whats behind the selections and whats in the plans re style of play team dynamics etc.

    For the Cries it only has one meaning, “my provincial team has been done a dirty”

  22. Reply to bryce_in_oz @ 5:15 pm: Injured, Vermeulen, Jean Deysel, Juan Smith, Schalk Burger

    Not selected, Ashley Kohnson, Heinrich Brussow, Kolisi, Josh Strauus, Derrik Minnie

    Overseas, Francois Louw, and a bunch of others

  23. Reply to biltongbek @ 5:19 pm:

    Deysel is not injured, Ashley Johnson is not rated, Smith is never coming back from that injury, Burger maybe, Strauss slower than a cart-horse, Minnie well not rated neither by me nor HM…

  24. Spot on Bryce.

    Seems HM though has taken the view that fetchers add no value under current law interpretations. It’s a brave call.

  25. By the way, I think it was the correct thing to do with Kolisi. Sometimes the best thing to do with such prodigious talent (especially when the media is going crazy for him) is to leave him kicking his heels just a little bit longer. Think of Maradona not making the 1982 World Cup or Messi not being picked for the 2006 Champions League final.

    His time will come though.

  26. Reply to il postino @ 5:50 pm:

    I think he is a real talent, but hell there are aspects of his game that really needs some work.

    I made the comment at the start of the game on Saturday that it almost looked like his body was battered (played into the ground by Coetzee) and he was avoiding contact – of course he came back and proved that kak statement wrong!

    The lad will be in the Championship squad or EOYT at a minimum, he will be capped this year.

  27. Morne…..I do not give a rats arsh about how you look at it…..I am sorry HM went back to his Bulls safetynet(Or so he thinks) because he have so little time.

    What do bother me is the words he spoken when he was given the job…..

    He siad:”“You know it’s ironic: when I first came up to coach at the Bulls everyone (teased) me and thought I was a Stormers supporter,” Meyer told Sport24 after his Bok appointment on Friday. “Nowadays people probably consider me a Bulls fan.

    “But you are obviously loyal to your team and like every single coach you just want to win; it doesn’t matter who you pick.

    “Obviously there are a lot of Bulls players I believed in when I moved there, otherwise I wouldn’t have gone.

    “But it’s very important to me to be viewed as coach of the whole nation. In a sense that may be unfair to a few of the Bulls players because in a 50-50 situation I might (be inclined to) go for the others.

    “I promise you, if you want to win you simply have to pick the best team you can. I don’t envisage there being any provincialism even if some people may inevitably see it that way.

    “I just want what’s best for the Springbok team … I’m clear in my mind about that.”

    So don’t come with shit of proving himself. I am a great HM believer but what he and his selectors did too not just WP players who should have been selected on form infront off wannabe names who did not proof themself or even worst did not even played in half the season, is plain fuckup.

    I am sorry he lied too us like Snor did when he said he will not used JW Wc team of 2007 and will build his own team with his own game.

    I hope for HM sake and SA Rugby future that this does not backfire….would hate to see him go down the drain because he made the first stupid rookie mistake and lied to the supporters.

    SA supporters is not stupid although King Mallete think so.

    The Boks is and will always be my number 1 teama and will support them to the end it’s is just hard to believe in someone who turns his words around when he thinks we forgot….

  28. Reply to Jacques(Bunny) @ 8:08 pm:

    Did you read what you actually just posted?

    Let me highlight a couple of things for you;

    like every single coach you just want to win; it doesn’t matter who you pick.

    “I promise you, if you want to win you simply have to pick the best team you can. I don’t envisage there being any provincialism even if some people may inevitably see it that way.

    And obviously some people see/saw it that way

    “I just want what’s best for the Springbok team … I’m clear in my mind about that.”

    Now please, highlight his PROMISE in that thing you copied and pasted again for me. Or should I?

  29. Reply to Morné @ 10:47 pm: fok jy is al nes die media sien net wat jy wil, soos ek gese het ek is ‘n moerse HM fan en sal een bly maar een die kak wat hy aangejaag het met ouens wat nie op vorm is en wat nie die beste in hul posisie is nie maak my naar, ek hoop net hy het ‘n backup plan want ek reken die souties is baie beter as wat baie dink, maar hy en sy trawante sal seker skuil agter te min tyd as hulle hul gatte sien teen die souties. We’ll hy het nou die kans om my en menige ander ‘n put te druk vir sy part hoop ek hy kry die kans om vir my die middel vinger te wys. Morne ek dink jy sal flepen goed doen by politieke party :soek:

  30. Reply to Morné @ 10:47 pm: gaan kyk na jou opskrif van die berig, en dit is presies waarom ek so bietjie gal braak oor HM se groep, maar soos jy se kom ons kyk watse dryfings sien ons saterdag en hoe ons teen die engelse gaan, dan praat ons weer sondag hieroor

  31. Daar is nie meer iets soos Brooklax in Pretoria nie.

    Jy sê net “Stormers” dan beskyt hulle hulself….



    Make a total fookup of your job as
    Bafana coach.
    Put up a fight.
    Retire with R20 million.

  33. Reply to Boertjie @ 7:59 pm:

    Insane isn’t it… soccer has always had astromical wages… but in Africa that’s just stupendous…

    One of the biggest problems in RSA is the ludicrous compensation levels particularly in govt departments… in many cases chumps in average positions are getting almost twice what the Australian PM gets ‘with’ the exchange rate!

  34. “But it’s very important to me to be viewed as coach of the whole nation. In a sense that may be unfair to a few of the Bulls players because in a 50-50 situation I might (be inclined to) go for the others.”

    I guess the Cape-ous interpreted that promise as meaning the WP player will be picked and are now understandably upset.

    There are also the great angst.

    What I think really counted against the WP players is their defensive game-plan. HM cannot replicate that because he do not know the details. The attacking flair of the players have not been on display for several years and will be impossible to ascertain or instil in 5 days.

    So we have what we have. Possibly the lowest percentage of WP players in any Bok team ever. Unprecedented, shocking. HM treading on thin ice.

  35. Reply to Timeo @ 3:31 am: Yep thin ice indeed! England might be lining us up to do a “Newcastle” on us in Durbs – with apologies to Wallaby fans after their side got stitched up by a gallant Scots side in Newcastle (Aus) yesterday.

  36. Reply to Timeo @ 3:31 am:

    Nah mate… one doesn’t even need to hypothesise that much over the WP inclusion/exclusions… well other than some irrational fans…

    It’s quite simply really… if Bekker, Burger and Vermeulen were not injured… that would be 3 extra WP players in and 2 Bulls and a Shark out balancing the numbers again quite a bit…

    Grant was never going to be chosen with Steyn and Lambie there and Jantjes on the outer… JP was never going to make the 32 man squad with Kirchner, Lambie and Frans there…

    Aplon is the only real shaft and to a lesser degree JDJ for this test… and Kolisi is IN the extended squad…

    Much adieu about nothing really…

  37. Reply to out wide @ 4:08 am:

    With the weather on the turn they would have taken great confidence out of that 30yr drought breaker… England haven’t won in RSa in 12 years…

    Official odds by bookies though don’t seem to give them much chance Boks $1.31 Eng $3.5… worth a punt on the Poms for a win… or a 1-12pt win @ $4… or Boks a 1-12pt win @ $2.65…

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