Systems, systems, systems, by Lloyd Burnard – Sport24


That has been the key word to emerge from Saturday’s horrific 57-15 thrashing that the Springboks received from the All Blacks in Durban.

All Black coach Steve Hansen has seen his side move to 17 consecutive wins, one away from a world record, while the Boks continue to look like they are in the middle of a massive identity crisis.

Bok coach Allister Coetzee could do nothing but acknowledge the difference in quality between the sides, but he was quick to point out the difference in systems.

The All Blacks, and New Zealand rugby, implement a system that coach Steve Hansen last week described as “simplistic”.

That system, Hansen concluded after Saturday’s Test, sees everyone involved in New Zealand rugby – top to bottom – sharing the common goal of producing quality professional rugby players.

The All Blacks are in mind with every decision that is taken, and a central contracting system means that New Zealand Rugby is able to manage its own players in a way that will ultimately benefit the national team.

Every single thing that happens in New Zealand rugby falls within that structure and, as a result, there are succession plans put in place years in advance.

For the Springboks and Coetzee, there was no such succession plan in 2016 following the exit of previous coach Heyneke Meyer.

“There are lots of reasons but yet again the players and the coaching team will have a long look at ourselves. It is only us who can turn it around,” Coetzee said on Saturday night.

“I keep referring to their system, and after every World Cup they just come out the following year with a stronger team … a better prepared team … while we have to start from scratch. Systems are important.”

Now, with the Boks set to tour the northern hemisphere in a little over a month, SA Rugby is hosting a national coaching Indaba in Cape Town from October 19-21.

That weekend will see Coetzee joined by other South African coaches and, hopefully, administrators as SA Rugby looks to put their collective heads together and map the way forward.

It is an initiative that is welcomed by Coetzee.

“Absolutely important,” Coetzee said of the Indaba.

“If you look at a few contestable kicks and the aerial skills are not good enough. They keep winning possession … then surely we have a problem with our aerial skills and it’s not a Springbok thing.

“That’s why the Indaba is important; to address those focus areas where we think we’re lacking.

“I know what we need to fix but I would also like to know from other top coaches in the country if they agree or concur that these are the skill sets that we’re lacking.

“Contact skills, for argument’s sake. We get into good positions on the field and we just lose it. There’s not a lot that you can say here tonight.”

That’s fair enough … there are certainly specific areas relating directly to skill that need addressing in South African rugby.

But one would hope that this Indaba does more than that, and that the first steps towards identifying a common South African goal that is shared by our national team, franchises and unions can be taken.

Facebook Comments


  1. Have the Messerschmitt-Willie LeRoux be the skills coach –
    As soon as he is done with being inducted into the Rugby Union Hall of Fame.
    Most skillful player in SA by miles.
    Until then….this coach meeting is just a way to get AC to diffuse responsibility.
    When you have people (SARU) who think its a good idea to plan a meeting and decide who the national coach is going to be on APRIL 1ST(!?!?)…..
    It disqualifies you from making any key decisions from that point on.

  2. This guy still has time to change it all, but he needs a compete re-think. I don’t think he has it in him.

    The first change that needs to be made is a commitment and backing of the team to play attacking rugby.

    Second change is to drop the old buggers and put a new captain in place. That means Strauss, flo and Habana.

    Third change is to get some spark at fly half abs midfield. I’d go with Wilkie he roux and fly half with Rohan at 12 and goosen at 13. De Allende is good but needs to rediscover his form so either bench or dropped for EOy tour. faf or whoever is picked at scrum half needs to provide quick attacking ball.

    Fourth change is that mostert should go into lock with etsebeth and psdt into blindside. Kriel and whitely too start – these are hunting dogs who can run anyone off their feet. Marx needs to come in at hooker and supported to do so.

    Boks will win and no one will mention skills again until they lose and they start looking for more excuses

  3. The problem is not as simple as just changing the team. He needs to start with 5 POC in the run on team. Taking that into account, your backline won’t happen cab.

  4. Same guy who said recently he is happy with his current coaching team and do not need any help??? Is it too late to stop his Parkinsons?

  5. Mallett said after the NZ game that the Problem is that the unions are all for themselves and Bokke are not a priority… or something to that affect.
    Then a secound later he says that the Franchises/Clubs in SA should be run like businesses and not the way they are run now…
    How does those two Things work together? IMO they don’t. Either SARU are in Charge like NZ and all work to make the Bokke great again or they are run like businesses and all do what they can to make Money?

  6. @Jacques: but WHY is that – is it because without the Union the NZ Clubs/franchises will be broke?
    In SA the Clubs/Franchises think they do not Need the Union? If the Union had to carry These Clubs etc maybe they would have more to say? And if they do then USE your power!
    Carrot & stick Approach.

  7. @JT: Union JT I am talking about Bulls. Lions WP and so on, maybe you misunderstood me.

    We need to be collective in what we do in SA, NZ have proven that that is a key to their success

  8. Is this the same Allister who just a week or so ago said he does not help from outside his coaching staff when rumours surfaced that he had asked for help?

Comments are closed.