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Ruck Off You Nancy Aussies

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You can never rely on the French. All they had to do was go to Cardiff last weekend with a bit of fire in their bellies and they’d have denied Wales the Six Nations Grand Slam.

But no, writes Jeremy Clarkson for the Times (London).

They turned up instead with cheese in their bellies and mooched about for 80 minutes, seemingly not at all bothered that we’ve got to spend the next 12 months listening to the sheepsters droning on about their natural superiority and brilliance.

Or worse. Give them a Grand Slam and the next thing you know, all our holiday cottages are on fire.

There are, of course, other reasons I hoped the French would win. I’d rather live in France than Wales; I’d rather eat a snail than a daffodil; I’d certainly rather drink French fizzy wine; and I’d much rather sleep with Carole Bouquet than Charlotte Church.

However, as the match unfurled I found myself supporting the Welsh. Even though they seemed to have only three players – Jones, Jenkins and Williams – they were just so damn enthusiastic. And there was no doubt their excellent performance was lifting the spirits of the supporters. This made me feel warm and gooey because, like all civilised beings, I truly enjoy seeing a downtrodden people being given a crumb of something that makes them happy.

I was in Wales last week and it was pretty depressing. The place has more speed cameras and more roadworks per square inch than any other nation on earth. It also has more pebble-dashed housing and more rain too.

The only cheer is that children there are given free toothbrushes on the NHS, but this doesn’t seem quite enough, somehow, to make up for the shortfalls. That’s why I’m delighted to see them walk off with a nice cup.

Well done, all of you. You beat the civilised world, fair and square. And now, having got that out of the way, we need your help . . .

The problem is that far, far away, in a sinister place called Australia, there is dirty work afoot. They are trying to change the laws of rugby so that it becomes less about mud, fighting and severe spinal injuries and more like ballet. In other words, more like the delicate nancy-boy running game that they play. This must be stopped.

In football there are 17 laws – or 18 if you count the unwritten stipulation that you must be a wet fart to play it in the first place – whereas in rugby there are 22 laws. And that’s before you get to the subclauses and subdivisions that conspire to make the whole thing more complicated than the assembly instructions for a space shuttle.

I know a great many rugby fans who claim to know what’s going on out there, but that’s just the beer talking. The fact is that no one does. And yet despite this the game works.

We saw examples of the two extremes in Wales’s game against France last weekend. In a scrum towards the end of the match, the Welsh forwards simply steamrollered the Frenchies clean off the ball. It was an exquisite demonstration of power. And then, moments later, some ugly little ginger burst out of nowhere and ran the length of the pitch in an exquisite demonstration of speed.

You will find this mix in no other game on earth except, I think, American football. But it’s hard to be sure because every time anything happens they cut to an advertisement for Budweiser.
The Australians now say that handling should be allowed in a ruck, that there need not be an even number of players from both teams in the lineouts and that rolling mauls can be dragged down. No, don’t worry. I don’t know what any of it means either.

They are already playing games over there in which quick lineout balls need not be thrown straight, and all players except the scrum-half have to be five metres behind the rear foot. It’s all mumbo jumbo – and how they can understand this when they can’t even get to grips with the basics of eating indoors and call an afternoon an “arvo” is beyond me.

But what I do understand is that all of the law changes, and there are about 6,000 of them, are designed specifically to take the scrum out of the game. This is important in places such as Sydney. Get that lot into a bending-over position with a bunch of other hunks and you’d never pull them apart.

What’s more, when you have spent upwards of A$700 on a haircut and colouring, the last thing you need is to spend 80 minutes with your new highlights rammed up a Welshman’s muddy bottom.

Well now, look, Bruce. If you want to mince about on a pitch, falling over every time anyone goes near your Botox, give up with the Aussie laws nonsense and play the same wetty-footy that’s seen in the rest of the world. If on the other hand you want to play a man’s game, quit your whingeing – that’s our job – and get stuck in.

Changing the laws because you’re no good in a scrum would be like us saying that the winner of a cricket match should be the team best at saying “The rain in Spain”.

Happily, despite some support from New Zealand, the Aussies are unlikely to garner much sympathy from their other southern hemisphere colleagues, South Africa, who did rather well out of the current laws in the last World Cup.

But to make the Barbie Boys give up, we must ensure there’s a united front up here in the developed half of the world. That means Jean Claude, Iueeaneuauun, Mick, Leonardo and William Wallace coming together, united as one, and reminding our Australian friends that if it weren’t for Nigel they’d still be scorpions and snakes.

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91 COMMENTS

  1. AS I have mentioned before!

    These ELV – will die as Experimental Law Variations…

    Never to be seen in the North!

  2. Comment by pietploos — March 26, 2008 @ 11:23 am

    I hope you are right! I just love Clarkson
    Good writer!

  3. JT – I have seen a number of French coaches in the last couple of weeks – and they all just shook their head in disbelieve!

  4. Comment by pietploos — March 26, 2008 @ 11:33 am
    When it started I enjoyed it but by week 3 I was bored with it and found myself enjoying the NH club games more! :???:

  5. JT – Like this gentleman mentioned>

    WE WANT TO SEE SCRUMS – AND NOT JUST 7 IN A GAME!

    WE WANT TO SEE LINEOUTS AND THE PLAYERS OUTWID EACH OTHER!

    WE WANT TO AT LEAST HAVE A 50% CHANCE OF KNOWING WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN AT THE NEXT, RUCK OR MAUL….

  6. He is obviously not a big fan of roundball.

    JT,

    I don’t think all of the ELV’s is that bad. Will publish something tomorrow on my views about them.

  7. Comment by Donner — March 26, 2008 @ 11:41 am

    The problem is that the ELVs were brought in to make it easier for the ref and fan at the break-down… This had the opposite effect IMO and the break-down is a f…ing mess. Everyone off their feet but still only selectively penalized! All that needed to be done regarding the Laws was work on ref CONSISTANCY!

  8. Comment by pietploos — March 26, 2008 @ 11:40 am

    Then he would have loved the game we played on the weekend. there were approx. 40 to 50 scrums lot of handling errors and the break-downs were a bit of a mess and restarted with a scrum. Very few penalties…

  9. Comment by pietploos — March 26, 2008 @ 11:40 am

    That is all fine, but what about people that want to see wings outwit their direct opponents, centers actually running into gaps and not bashing, flyhalfs that actually think outside a gameplan.

    I think the ELV’s might just be a good thing for SA rugby, to get rid of the trench our players are in because of the over emphasis of structure and wanting to bliksem other teams with our big forwards.

    Everybody is crowing about the NH rugby and that is still hard uncompromising rugby. Must we now play like them because they have shitty weather?

    I grew up with French rugby being the example of flair rugby. Can you still say that?

    I think Michilak actually came and play in SA cause he finds that rugby unsatisfying.

  10. Comment by Donner — March 26, 2008 @ 11:49 am

    Have you seen the games like Llanelli v Blues or Wasps v Clermont or Bath v Wasps?? These game have had more running skills and excitement than any S14 game so far! WITH THE OLD LAWS!! WOW
    IMO it is not the weather or the Laws that make the game it is the attitude of the players on that given day that can turn a game into a fantastic display of skills. These games mentioned above had it all! The LO’s the scrums the wingers doing their thing and good defence!
    That is what we want, a full package!

  11. WE WANT TO AT LEAST HAVE A 50% CHANCE OF KNOWING WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN AT THE NEXT, RUCK OR MAUL….

    Comment by pietploos — March 26, 2008 @ 11:40 am

    With the exception of one or two refs, I think that they are more consistent than previous years.

    Under the normal rules a team would put in all the effort and brilliant play to break down a defensive line, only for negative play to undo all this by the opposition slowing down the ball in a situation where the ref was teantative to blow it up, because it would have been a penalty.

    Holding on was never consistent. Now it is blown immediately. The fact that there is now an offside line at the tackle, makes it much easier for the ref to see, cause there is players joining the tackle from different angles to hide the holding.

    The refs will also grow into these things. The one aspect that they will need to be more strict on with a set of rules, is the repeated infringements. When freekicks will turn into penalties.

  12. Comment by Donner — March 26, 2008 @ 11:49 am

    For that – we do not need new Rules – WE NEED COACHES who coach RUGBY and not systems and phases!

  13. I have mentioned it before!

    I am worried about the standard of our coaches.

    I do not think a lot of our Coaches would have been employed in NZ.

    There is a number of NZ coaches doing very well in Europe and NOT A LOT of SA Coaches!

  14. Comment by JT — March 26, 2008 @ 11:56 am

    JT, I haven’t seen those, but from our SA point of view, we have fallen back in those skills levels because of structure.

    The Sharks are the first team since 18 months ago, that has shown an improvement on that level.

    Unfortunately I don’t have the time to watch all those games and thus I am talking from tests and major SA games that I do have time to watch.

    Maybe I should also get me those DVD’s.

    I think some of the ELV’s can work. It is experimental so lets see what comes of it. Maybe the NH teams will actually agree with it once they played under it.

    We have seen the stats and the only thing that is down is the line outs and also only marginally. If the tactical kicking of the flyhalfs improve, that might not be the case.

  15. Comment by pietploos — March 26, 2008 @ 12:06 pm

    Did you see what PdV said in the article earlier today on structures.

    It gives me some hope.

  16. Comment by Donner — March 26, 2008 @ 12:08 pm

    Contact me on Skype and set up an FTP server and I may be able to help you…

  17. Comment by Donner — March 26, 2008 @ 12:02 pm

    IMO the players are now doing more spoiling because it will only be a FK…

  18. Comment by JT — March 26, 2008 @ 12:15 pm

    That is where the refs will have to get the consistency. Say for instance, four times in a row and it is a penalty. At this stage one ref allows it with maybe a warning after the tenth time and another penalises after 3.

  19. JT,

    AND I think that there is no more spoiling than previously. It is just easier picked up.

    And if the players are clever, there won’t be time for the other team to spoil it without being caught out.

  20. The only time you’ll find me in Church …

    is in Charlotte

  21. i think they should keep the free kick rule between the two 10 meter lines and if the defending team is behind their 10 meter it should be a penalty. Then we would see much more attacking lineouts close to the oppo line and if they still want to spoil it in their own 22 they concede a penalty

  22. Comment by onerb — March 26, 2008 @ 12:49 pm

    The Laws are supposed to be simplified… This is even more complicated but I like the idea. I would go as far as 22 to 22.

  23. Comment by onerb — March 26, 2008 @ 12:49 pm

    Like the idea. Then atleast there is boxes to help the refs.

  24. Has anyone noticed that there are no foreigners on Keo today?

    I wanted my dose of NZ/Aus beating today and there is noone…maybe they were expecting me!

    I was waiting for any of them to tune us about our dismal record this weekend.

  25. geeee, now I’m confused. Hehehe, head spinning and all.

    Lets see: The attacking team will get a penalty if an offense is committed anywhere from the defending team’s 10metre line towards the defending teams goal line, but the attacking team only concede a free kick in that area.

  26. That will encourage teams to attack rather than kick because the reward is much bigger.

  27. onerb,

    If the defending team infringe in their own 22 it is automatically a penalty. Outside the 22 it is a free kick.

  28. but the attacking team only concede a free kick in that area.

    Comment by onerb — March 26, 2008 @ 1:30 pm

    Yip. This will get the refs concentrating.

    Poor Hugh Bladen. He will not know what hit him.

  29. The no passing back into the 22 has had the

    oposite effect it was suppose to

    Now there is mucjos arial ping pong as no-one can kick it out to secure territory

    WankFookRule#4

  30. Comment by onerb — March 26, 2008 @ 1:27 pm
    FK between those lines… Anything in the 22m will be a penalty and YC.

  31. Comment by ThisNoRuckingIsMuckingUpTheGameF@ckTheIRBelv(e)s — March 26, 2008 @ 1:39 pm
    LAW!!!!

  32. Donner

    I would say from the defending teams 10 metre line should also be a penalty because then they run the risk of the goal kicker going for posts. But the 22 is also fine.

  33. Now there is mucjos arial ping pong as no-one can kick it out to secure territory

    WankFookRule#4

    Comment by ThisNoRuckingIsMuckingUpTheGameF@ckTheIRBelv(e)s — March 26, 2008 @ 1:39 pm

    It is not the law that is not kicking it out.

    Players should up their skill level. The NZ teams are doing exactly what the All Blacks did against the Boks last year.

    Kicking it down the middle of the field and waiting for the return kick. Then they strike beating the guys that followed the kick (if any) or just breaking tackles with pace.

    Our kickers need to start kicking into the spaces, kick their kicks lower (less chance of the receiver catching the ball and thus he will have to deal with a bouncing ball, giving chasers a second more) and most of all learn to attack from deep.

  34. I think the ELV’s have caused

    1. More kicking

    2. More aimless running from players who get the ball off a kick and have no idea what to do with it

    3. LESS attacking

    4. More league-esque play and less proper rugby (i.e. the tactical kicker has been neutralised, the fetcher has been neutralised to become more of a first time tackler than a ball spoiler and centres do exactly what Donner contends they did under the old laws. They bash into opponents – take a look at Brad Barritt for instance and waylon Murray)

  35. Comment by Donner — March 26, 2008 @ 1:58 pm

    IMO we saw this in the Stormers game v the Blues. The Stormers started realising that they need to keep the ball and did so very well and was on the way to win/draw the game until they brought on brown who f..ed it up IMO. Not his fault, it was his frst game for the Stormers.

  36. Davids,

    That is the players that is so used to play under structures that they cannot think. It is not the fault of the laws.

    Of all the things you mentioned, the SA teams are the ones that are stuggling the most with it.

  37. Comment by Donner — March 26, 2008 @ 1:58 pm |Edit This

    Ag nee kak Donner

    Everyone is doing the kicking thing like aimless areal ping-pong

    Us, the Australians and Kiwis

    Even in the Varsity Cup this is a nortm

    Even in the few matches I managed to see of the Australian Premier League last year had this facet.

    You cannot and I emphasise you CANNOT after 130 years expect a player to carry the ball back up from his own 22 when 130 years of history and tradition and damn common sense tells him to hoof it back as far as he can

  38. hoof it back as far as he can

    Comment by DavidS — March 26, 2008 @ 2:10 pm

    The point is to not just hoof it, but actually afford your team a chance to get the possession back from the kick.

    We have seen alot of that. Just think about Luaki’s try agaisnt the Bulls. And he is a 8.

  39. Comment by Donner — March 26, 2008 @ 2:10 pm

    My players look at me as if I am mad when I talk about sturcture… They expect to do it like the pros with phase after phase wearing the oppo down to score… IMO I give them the back-line moves and they need to score from that. If they do not manage it the forwards get their turn to take it up a few times so that the back can re-organize and get into position for the next try scoring move..
    KISS – keep it simple and stupid.

  40. Comment by JT — March 26, 2008 @ 2:14 pm

    Without the ELV’s I am with you 100%. Under ELV’s however, I agree with PdV. Structure is not going to guarentee you success.

    At some point you are going to need the playsers to think outside of that structure and change the approach.

    You literally have to have 4 gameplans and 4 defensive plans ready to go at a moments notice.

  41. Donner

    You are highlighting individual occurences that come down to utter luck.

    When someone drops the ball on yoiur fb

    His first instinct is “Right they’ve gotten the ball into our 22 now. I have to put a stop to that”

    Remember that the attacking players p[robably knew the kick was coming so they have a headstart on the defenders to get to the ball carrier.

    The defenders have to change from a rush defence (and most of them do this these days in any case) turn and sprint back.

    Usually in an umbrella the wings are the ones that have the furthest to turn and run back.

    Your fb is isolated. Usually the scrummy and 8th man are the one falling back quickest.

    Your FB is faced with an inenviable situation

    He has at least six attackers bearing down on him and two support players.

    He has to kick upfield, but then he has to chase himself because if he doesn’t his players are all offside, so he has to chase, ;leaving his team uncovered at the back, because the likelihood is the only real chasers he can get are voila No 8 and 9

    And his team structure at the back collapses. The wings must fall back to coverthe FB – hence no speed in chasers

    The centres and FH and openside and forwards have to spread out for the run back from the opposition or the high kick that he will launch.

    This is the norm.

    The suggetsted play you have is a rarity that almost never comes off and when it does look spectacular but only because it almost never happens.

  42. Davids,

    I agree that if you RECEIVE the ball n your 22, the first OPTION you consider should be to kick it out (you are allowed too), but atleast sometimes look for the other options.

    Getting the ball 10cm outside your 22, is a different story. IMO the first option should be: “How am I going to keep the possession they just handed us.”

    Having confidence in counter attacking the player will immediately start jogging at least summing up the options while closing the gap between him and his support.

    Possession is king. 2nd prize is a good kick that gives your team a 50/50 chance of either regaining the ball or forcing the other team into a mistake with pressure.

  43. BTW,

    You will see that mostly the wings chase and the 10 and 8 falls back to cover a possible return kick.

  44. Okay here goes

    Rugby is not a contact sport. Ballroom dancing is a contact sport. Rugby is a collision sport

    Heyneke Meyer c 2006

    The ELV’s will change the game from that intoa contact sport like ballroom dancing, and no wonder Donner supports them…. with his light 5 team and all that.

    No scrums to get hammered in

    No mauls to have ten tries scored against them.

    And his heart beating faster when he sees Jean De Villiers’ blonde locks bouncing in the wind when he takes a ten metre break off a lineout, before Ma’a Nonu takes him out with the mother fragger of all spear tackles.

    Comment by DavidS — March 26, 2008 @ 2:37 pm |Edit This

  45. Donner

    That what you describe is league

    And in contrast to what you say, league is much more structured than union

  46. Comment by Donner — March 26, 2008 @ 2:22 pm

    What I gave you there was a very simplified way of looking at it. the “move” is up to the ball carier, he has to look up see what is infront of him and make the decision of how to break down the defence, how he is going to open a gap for a support player etc. It is not like a structure of ok we are on the left we play to the right for 5 phases and then use the backs on the left again. It comes down to getting the players to asses what is in front of them and reacting to it in the best possible way.
    The last thing we want to do is stunt the players creativity…

  47. The reason for the present apparent lack of structure is that people are still getting used to the structures of the ELV’s. IF these rukes live till 2011 the play will be as structured as they were under Jake White

    Two things

    1. PDV won’t cope

    2. The game will look like league

    The fans will leave.

    They already are.

  48. Comment by DavidS — March 26, 2008 @ 2:37 pm

    Just some of the ELV’s.

    I can tell you that if feels great when your team can actually beat the Reds and not kiss them. :evil:

  49. The last thing we want to do is stunt the players creativity…

    Comment by JT — March 26, 2008 @ 2:40 pm

    I agree. I fear that is what have happened to some teams in SA.

  50. Naas was on Total rugby and he said that the Wales tour to SA is probably the most looked forward to tour to SA in YEARS! Finally there seem to be a buzz with the Welsh coming here and bringing what ever it takes to win!
    I agree with him. The welsh are up for it! I just hope SA will be ready and have the coached signed and some players too…

  51. Davids,

    I don’t see how running the ball back in a counter attack, can be seen as league. I thought rugby was about scoring tries.

    If the opportunity arises then take it. It is not because it looks flashy, it is because it can be done with the right skills.

  52. Comment by Donner — March 26, 2008 @ 2:43 pm

    But what is the real reason?? Coaches not instilling them to play freely or a culture problem of not having that arrogance like the kiwis. Arrogance in a sportsman is a valuable asset, I have a player like that. He makes his mistakes but he tries things all the time and I won’t want to stunt him by not letting him try things!

  53. Comment by JT — March 26, 2008 @ 2:45 pm

    Yes it is great. I am jsut worried that some people are only looking forward to it, to see PdV fall on his face. Hope he can prove himself. And ofcourse try to steer away from the media and the poopoolitics.

  54. Comment by JT — March 26, 2008 @ 2:48 pm

    I think more the coach than not arrogant.

    Caoches have a torrid time in SA as we all know. When the pressure is going to be on him, he would more likely try to get more control over his destiny, thus gameplans to the tee or the player is history.

  55. Comment by Donner — March 26, 2008 @ 2:48 pm

    I hope PdV instills a more creative style to the bokke. I think with Muir and Gold it could become a good enviroment for the players, but they will have to stay away from the old guard and start fresh!

  56. Comment by Donner — March 26, 2008 @ 2:54 pm
    The Matfields and Fouries etc.
    Like Gatland at Wales did away with Gareth Thomas!

  57. JT

    That is absurd, Matfield got man of the match award in his last int game in a world cup final. So you would do away with them to bring some flair in? Do you remember tri-nations 2004, last game vs aussies? The try Matfield made with flair?

  58. Comment by Donner — March 26, 2008 @ 2:59 pm

    I do not know them so can hardly judge but I guess I would stay away from guys like Matfield for a start. He comes across a bit to big for the game but this is only IMO from out-side. Will PdV have the respect from some of these senior players? If not get rid of them, thee is enough guys to take their place.
    Others that give me a feeling of being bad for the squad:
    Jaques Fourie,
    Stay away from: tWatson and Bolla
    Bring in guys who will add to the squad on more than a rugby level; Stefan Terrblanche, AD Jacobs, Floors

  59. Comment by onerb — March 26, 2008 @ 3:03 pm

    Not always about performance but the well fair of the squad… Will Matfield be an asset under PdV?? Or will he be a hinderance??

  60. Comment by JT — March 26, 2008 @ 3:06 pm

    Again I have to agree. Remember that Jake had sent him home because of attitude problems after Jake took over.

    From what I understand from PdV is that he rely on the players to also accept responsibility and to work with him, not for him. He again made mention of it in the article earlier today.

    I also think Terblanche will be valueable for his experience, but am pretty sure PdV will rather go for Jantjes.

  61. It will actually be very interesting who PdV will choose as locks.

    And ofcourse how will he fit Dollie into his plans. I just know he is going to pull that one.

  62. Rugby teams in NZ perform excellent displays of running rugby and skills almost every weekend. You can also see it at 7s tournaments.

    You will be joined by about 10 other fans.

  63. Comment by Donner — March 26, 2008 @ 2:46 pm |Edit This

    Rugby is not about sdcoring tries

    It’s about winning

    RWC 2007 Final should be a good example of this.

    Your chances like that are going to appear like a flash in a pan in one or two games per season and players are going to look superb for pulling it off, but for the most part it ain’t gonna happen

    The Luauki try you refer to occurred solely because the dumb Samoan wasn’t doing his job as a #8

    Neither Muir nor old have proven themselves as ‘forwards’ coaches.

    IMO PDV is also more of a believer in the backline theory

    Watch how the All Blacks beat us with their forwards and the Australians too

    Not to mention Wales

    I don’t think that I’m one of those people who wants PDV to fall flat on his face

    But I fear time will prove that in the same way as Carel Du Plessis he was moved up too quickly

    And in the same way as Rudolph Streauli he’s too arrogant to realise it

  64. From what I understand from PdV is that he rely on the players to also accept responsibility and to work with him, not for him. He again made mention of it in the article earlier today.

    Comment by Donner — March 26, 2008 @ 3:15 pm |Edit This

    PDV has said a lot of things

    Most of them unutterable kak

    Super 14 will determine the Bok team

    If I coach the Boks we will have to accept some losses for the sake of transformation

    I’m not looking at the overseas players for the Boks. I prefer players who show their patriotism and play at home.

    Don’t be surprised if some the Boks are not from the Super 14 squads but also from the Vodacom Cup

    The oke speaks with a forked tongue to make his relevant audience happy

    I trust him not at all.

    Any international coach who says he coaches without structure is a failure looking for a place to occur.

    Successful structure coaches

    Won the last three World Cups

    Rod McQueen

    Jake White

    Clive Woodward

    And the most successful ones of recent times?

    Again structure coaches

    Bernard Laporte

    Eddie Jones

    Robbie Deans

    Heyneke Meyer

    Rassie Erasmus

    Laurie Fischer

    Jake White

    Graham Henry

  65. The players that PDV rates have never stepped up in any case

    Morne Steyn
    Warren Malgas (whom he selected ABOVE Ruan Pienaar for an RWC final we lost)
    Ashley Johnson (who sensationally replaced Pierre Spies in RWC final we lost in case anyone forgets)
    Thabang Molefe (who can’t get a Vodacom Cup game for the Lions)
    Ishmael Dollie (who can’t get a game for WP Vodacom team)

    In as far as Thabang Molefe and Dollie are concerned, I do not allow anyone to tell me that PDV is right and coaches at the Bulls, Griquas and Lions are wrong about Molefe

    While in Dollie’s case, PDV is right and coaches at EP, WP, Stormers and Boland are wrong

  66. Comment by DavidS — March 26, 2008 @ 4:01 pm

    I was not referring to his ramblings in the media.

    I recalled something he said to me, when I had a chat with him.

    Regarding winning. 95% of the time you are sure to win the game if the players think (this includes discipline) and you score more tries than the other team.

    Ask any Saturday golfer why he goes back to play again and again. Becasue of that one shot out of the 80 + on the day. Managing to perfect the skill in that one shot.

    It is the same for each position in a rugby team. Managing to perfect the skill. Scrumhalf – the perfect pass, flyhalf – that tactical kick, – centre breaking the line, wing – beating that opponent, frontrow – getting the perfect hit, etc.

    But all of them you can ask what the great moment was and I am pretty sure a try will be amongst them for 99% of them.

  67. Matfield is the SA Forward with the best BallSkills.

    ELVs in S14 would have fitted him like a glove. Just a pitty the players around him was never coached to play rugby.

    BUT

    When I pick a Bok Team – Bakkies and Victor are my first choices.

  68. TheBrand

    Comment by DavidS — March 26, 2008 @ 4:19 pm

    And I will take that as a compliment.

  69. Yip, I just find it very odd that SARU have gor rid of JW who has crafted a world champion team that are still young enough to play RWC2011.

    However, that is history as they say, so I will give PdV a chance to select his own team and judge them on results. What we dont want is rebuilding, but will be open to his rugby suggestions providing the team shows promise.

    His problem will be results, if it goes badly and he’s rejected a proven team, it wont be pretty. tough for any coach following JW and HM.

  70. That first test is going to be very interesting wrt selections, let alone the game itself against a resurgent wales.

  71. Comment by Donner — March 26, 2008 @ 4:13 pm

    Why is that?? Treated kak by the coaches IMO… From an U21 WC champ to a disillusioned rugby player thanks to the Lions… :evil:

  72. JT

    With respect

    That is not true

    Thabang spent two seasons with the Bulls getting no game time

    Then a season with Griquas getting no game time

    He’s been with the Lions for one Currie Cup season only and he DID get game time

  73. Comment by DavidS — March 26, 2008 @ 5:25 pm

    Ok I’ll rephrase.. thanks to the bloody vaalies!

  74. Ok I’ll rephrase.. thanks to the bloody vaalies!

    Comment by JT — March 26, 2008 @ 5:28 pm

    That is what I heard.

    Davids,

    Did you send the women out shopping?

  75. JT

    I understand that you want the dynamics of the team to work better.

    But have you noticed that the biggest strength of the Bulls have not been used once this season.

    And yes I’m talking about competing at lineout time. Why? Because matfield’s not there.

    That guy is worth about 10points per match just because of his lineout steals at crucial times.

    I got so frustrated at the Bulls on saterday just watching the ball go to the oppo. Actually made me sick.
    We would not have that with Matfield. And with the limited amount of linouts nowadays it will be even more crucial to take the oppo’s attacking options.

  76. Comment by onerb — March 26, 2008 @ 5:48 pm

    I agree to a point, under the ELVs it is a bit different thought with 20+% less LO ball. IMO Matfield with Meyer (coach) worked well at the end but how will he get along with Ludeke? IMO the big problem with the Bulls are the players are not happy with Ludeke and this spreads through the camp. Now change Bulls to Bokke and Ludeke to PdV and you may end up with a similar problem where no matter how good the coach (I know Ludeke is a bad example) if a few players are not happy with the situation it could poison the whole squad…
    Luke is another example.

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