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Heyneke Meyer

Do officials crave the limelight too?




Officials are starting to act like neglected kids who have always sought attention with atrocious calls and decisions every week. It is as if they want to be in the headlines every week and for all the wrong reasons. Some may call the criticism unfair but its warranted with the number of high profile howlers growing by the week. Soon the question of match fixing will become part of the rugby conversation.  Instead of focusing on the rugby, most press conferences, around the world have resulted in talk of the referee decisions. Blues coach Tana Umaga the latest to highlight some inconsistencies. There were many a dubious call that are yet to be put to the fore.

  1. The neck roll on Schalk Ferreira by Sam Whitelock has yet to be cited and one has to wonder what the problem is. A result of the Southern Kings front row heading back home.
  2. It was almost the howler of the year for me, Jaco Peyper was about to send the Brumbies to the bin instead of the shower for punches. Had sanity not prevailed the Brumbies could have got away with that one.
  3. The punch by Nizaam Carr was missed amidst the punching row.
  4. Dillyn Lleyds’ try was actually inconclusive. There is a grey area on this one and I await an explanation from the South African referees on how this was a try.

Law 22.1 & 22.2 state- There are two ways a player can ground the ball:

(a) Player touches the ground with the ball. A player grounds the ball by holding the ball and touching the ground with it, in in-goal. ‘Holding’ means holding in the hand or hands, or in the arm or arms. No downward pressure is required.

(b) Player presses down on the ball. A player grounds the ball when it is on the ground in the in-goal and the player presses down on it with a hand or hands, arm or arms, or the front of the player’s body from waist to neck inclusive.

The list will go on, unless teams adapt on a game to game basis they will struggle. What you will be penalised for in one week, you will be allowed in another. The Reds-Blues clash was an example of an official not sure about the breakdown /scrum laws with some contentious calls. Surely there can be ways in which the officials fix this trend before it gets worse.

The use of neutral officials in clashes could be of help. Watching the Jaguares game against the Chiefs; one has to wonder what SANZAAR are a aiming at with the officials finding themselves making some rather one sided calls on occasion. One has to feel for the Argentinians who have had to face this all season.

All attack, no defence

The Lions managed to put the Cheetahs to the sword and further exposed the Bloemfontein side’s inability to tackle, cover the support runners and read the play of the opposition. The Cheetahs have a tournament high of 116 tackles. A further 38 more than the beleaguered Kings who show some bright sparks but lack the nous to dominate an 80 minute game. The Bloemfontein side is still in rebuilding but would have done well to focus on defence first this season to heal an Achilles heel that has derailed them in the last decade. The chances are looking good that South Africa will harbour at least two of the worst sides in the competition. While most sides will battle with balance the Cheetahs just seem to forget the entire aspect that is defence.

Team of the week:

My team of the week this weekend features a few surprise players and the top performers in:

Warrick Gelant (Blue Bulls); Ruan Combrinck (Lions); Johnny-Ben Kotze (Stormers); Howard Mnisi (Lions); Nemani Nadolo (Crusaders); Elton Jantjes (Lions); Faf de Klerk (Lions); Jed Holloway (Waratahs); Sean McMahon (Rebels); Elliot Dixon (Highlanders); Pieter-Steph du Toit (Stormers); Blade Thomson (Hurricanes); Marcel van der Merwe (Blue Bulls); Malcolm Marx (Lions);  Sef Faagase (Reds)

Puzzling Meyer changes two


Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images


The Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer made just two changes as he named a familiar side to take on the Argentinians. Having suffered defeat earlier in the year, a battle to finish at least third at the World Cup and on the official rankings Meyer was quick to replace Fourie du Preez with Ruan Pienaar and Rudy Paige was added to the bench. Victor Matfield comes into the stating line up and is handed the arm band. He swaps with Lood de jager. I see the value in the side winning this game to end the side’s year on a high. What is telling is in the bigger scope of thing Meyer has sent messages of a lack of trust, belief and courage to not only make changes but to believe in the abilities of the players.

I am in awe as the World Cup and the potential end of some careers and players like Siya Kolisi , Lwazi Mvovo and are not trusted. In some way Meyer is sending a different message. You are not good enough and you were a selection that was forced upon. It really is sad and while he has already secured a four year deal, well reportedly he has shown stubbornness, blindness and continues to not only make his position fragile among the fans. Meyer states that ringing the changes would be a lack of respect to the jersey. So the other Springboks are not worth the honor of donning the jersey?

Meyer is a loyalist and will be going all out for bronze. It will be a result, if he wins that will make his win percentage even better but in perspective it will be another dry and unsuccessful four years. Something is wwrong in the South African system and maybe it is time to look else where. It has been a poor habit of ours but if the coach only trusts 16-20 players only in a squad of 30 or better yet in five franchises there is a problem.

We wish the Springboks all the best and may they prevail. A second loss to the Pumas would bring mixed emotions, however it is important to note the mental state of the players that have lost a semi final earlier in the week. It would have made sense to start with players who have had little game time but will be motivated to get some minutes but to also prove a point. Meyer knows best, he is a national coach anyway.


Springbok team to play Argentina:


Springboks – 15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Victor Matfield (c), 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Beast Mtawarira.
Subs: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Jannie du Plessis, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein.

Can New Zealand be beaten?


JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, 05 October 2013 : Kieran Read of the All Blacks celebrates the victory with his try during the Castle Lager Rugby Championship test match between SOUTH AFRICA and NEW ZEALAND at ELLIS PARK  in Johannesburg, South Africa on 05 October 2013. The All Blacks won the trophy by beating the Boks 38-27. © Anton de Villiers / PHOTOSPORT
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, 05 October 2013 : Kieran Read of the All Blacks celebrates the victory with his try during the Castle Lager Rugby Championship test match between SOUTH AFRICA and NEW ZEALAND at ELLIS PARK in Johannesburg, South Africa on 05 October 2013. The All Blacks won the trophy by beating the Boks 38-27.
© Anton de Villiers / PHOTOSPORT

The old enemies will be at it again and this time in the Rugby World Cup for the first time since 2003. In the last few years the All Black have got one over us and bar the penalty Pat Lambie struck to snatch a win. The Springboks have only tasted victory over New Zealand once in the last four years. Do we ride on the myth that as the All Blacks biggest rivals we can beat them and are the only side capable of giving them a headache? New Zealand have been in scintillating form and have managed to score countless tries in the last few games passing the fourty mark four times. Daniel carter has rediscovered his form, Ma’a Nonu has been on the rise and they managed to kick the poor french back to France.

What do the Boks need to do? I look at three of many areas the Springboks will need to be on their guard.

  1. Stop Julian Savea– The bus as he is known has failed to score against South Africa ever but the winger has just rediscovered his tormenting form and has been on a rampage. A natural try score who has 38 tries in 39 games (more than Lomu). He is the top try scorer in the World Cup and impressively, has done well both out wide, in the middle and when the All Black winger’s new tactic of doing pick and go’s. They have been able to use their wingers on the fringes which has seen opposition sucked in and you will see a loose forward or hooker having to deal with either one or scoring on the wing or a Savea using his power and explosiveness to not only just gain vital yards but score. It will be interesting to see if they will be out to use this tactic against the Springbok wingers that are among the biggest in the world. Will they test the Bok forwards as well? Springboks defense on the fringes has to be organized. On the attack the side has to be able to manipulate the space down the middle of the All Black ruck as the defending champions have a habit of stepping back from rucks.
  2. Dan Carter & Nehe Milner-Skudder brilliance– Dan was at his mercurial best this weekend and is clearly on an upward trajectory. The man was easily the general, kicking with aplomb and creating tries in such mesmerizing manner. Nehe Milner Skudder? Can you defend X-factor? It has been done before majority of the winger’s tries are pretty much a step out side and a dart inside(vs -Australia, France,Tonga & Namibia). It’s not as easy as that but the winger has a habitual action which was handled well by the Highlanders in the Super Rugby final. The Springboks will need to have their defensive game up to scratch and will need to have Duane Vermeulen and Bismarck du plessis in wrecking mode as they look to impose themselves physically. It will be important to note how Carter had two or three defenders around him, resulting in created space outside or back door pass in his last few games. South Africa’s 10-12-13 axis has a habit of being sucked in and will need to be shepherded well by a leader. A defensive leader must stand up this weekend.
  3. Kicking game – Probably the best kicking game in the land. NZ have been exceptional when it comes to kick and chase and the catch by Ben Smith last week brings back nightmares of Dan Biggar’s leap against Willie le Roux.The Bok’s high ball skills will need to be on their A-game but more importantly their overall kicking game has to improve or they will be punished. Handre Pollard’s 5/8 kicking was just enough and in any other knock out game would have been not good enough.New Zealand where at hand to score of a charge down through Brodie Retallick and unless Fourie du Preez (who was charged down recently) is protected or the rest of the kicking options practice perfection. They will be punished.

Variety will be the order of the day. South Africa can not afford a one-dimensional approach and will need to re-enact the performances of 2013 and 2015, but must also look to sustain this pressure. South Africa – New Zealand clashes have been decided by the superior fitness of the kiwis and their mental ability to dominate the second half and more importantly the last 20 minutes of a clash. In the two side’s last 20 clashes the All Blacks have outscored South Africa on 17 occasions in the last 20 minutes. The last time was 2009 when South Africa outscored NZ 6-3.

Will the men in green be able to produce a performance of the ages? In Jerome Garces, they have a bogey referee from France and the Springboks have tasted defeat a couple of times when they have officiated their games. The injury cloud over the likes of Lood, Bismarck du Plessis and Victor Matfield will have many worried particularly Lood de Jager. Meyer is believed to be contemplating throwing young Pieter-Steph du Toit in or Willem Alberts at lock should the locks fail to recover. Physical, accurate, smart and a controlled aggression approach can win this clash for South Africa.

Adding a bit of variation and surprising the All Blacks will assist in beating their biggest rivals. What they have shown over the last few weeks will not worry New Zealand. A brand new Springbok must play on Saturday and not the timid, average side that has shown character but scrapped through the World Cup.

Average score over the last 7 games has been 27-18 to the All Blacks. It promises to be a clash to remember or to forget.

Meyer could be in until 2019!




So reports suggest Meyer could be in the Springbok hot seat until Rugby World Cup 2019. The news has been prominent since last season and has surfaced once again this year at a time which is the toughest in Heyneke Meyer’s tenure.

This is not new, Springbok coaches always feel the heat before the World Cup and this is nothing new. The call if true could be the right one. South Africa are definitely not ready for a foreign coach and the uproar from the politicians could further complicate the life of that man.

A look around the local fraternity and you are likely to not find any candidates as well that are ripe enough. Meyer has only been bettered as a coach by only three other stalwarts as Springbok coach.

Meyer has selected 17 players of color in his tenure and managed to bring in several exciting young players over the years. He was pivotal in the transforming of the Blue Bulls a few years ago and a further four years could be a step in the right direction for the Springboks despite his recent results.

This is something that has benefited New Zealand in a continuation of a coaching set up. Meyer is one of the best coaches in the country, if not the best.

A few lessons and maybe some hope?


By: SA Rugby
By: SA Rugby

Argentina have reasons to be positive

The brilliance that was the Pumas must be acknowledged. Their development side managed to dazzle in the Vodacom Cup a few years ago and some of those performers excelled a few years later. They made history for their country and beat the mighty Springboks.

Their attitude was massive and they managed to beat a side that pushed Australia and New Zealand to the death of games. A simple attitude change can make a huge difference. They showed hunger. Juan Imhoff was playing Vodacom rugby in 2011 and was joint top try scorer with a certain JJ Engelbrecht.

Fast track four years and you have the same player looking set to be a regular in his Pumas team while JJ is an outcast in his country. a player that has had a peripheral role in South African rugby. This highlights the development the Argentinians have been doing and will continue to. It has been coming; this win over South Africa.

A draw in Mendoza a few years ago, scrapping home last year. They have finally managed to go the extra mile. Argentina continue to move forward and despite 11 changes will be happy to say this- They had that first win in the Championship, they manage to get not just a five-pointer against the Springboks but managed to not finish bottom.

They will take lots of confidence to playing at home next week but what they have at the moment is this- a solid scrum (illegal scrumming? The poor prop played to the referee’s whistle just like a certain Pocock did 4 years ago) and a reliable goal kicker something the All Blacks and possibly South Africa are lacking. Kudos to the Pumas for recovering from All Black and Australian hammerings.


Go back to the tried and tested then… and Meyer? Meyer must stick to the plan

Well the truth is the Springboks will always be backing the players in the system and we cannot afford to lose to the Pumas next week. I will not say impossible, but it’s unacceptable.

Meyer will need to fast track Willem Alberts, Fourie du Preez and then hope and pray that Duane Vermeulen returns with some form on the opening day of the World Cup. These man on their day would have offered you with some go forward ball on Saturday but also some much needed composure.

What I will say is Faf de Klerk could have been the best option this weekend considering the number 9 offers a spark and pizzazz when with the ball. Look at the games played yesterday. How important where the scrumhalf’s?

Aaron Smith was brilliant but also costly with that yellow card of his; the Springbok number 9’s both let themselves and the side down, Australia’s Nic Phibbs had a shocker but his replacement rescued him with Nic White showing how important a live wire number 9 can be and Argentina? Tomas Cubelli, their nine was really good and played a key part in realising Juan in many occasions.

Sorting the half back issue will be important and the trip to Argentina will remind us were exactly we stand.

Whether we will crash and burn or the Springboks will get a miraculous recovery and mount a World Cup challenge Meyer must not deviate from his plan. Its too late to change everything from game plan to even calling the likes of Jaco Kriel.

I think we need to offer the rest of the squad an opportunity. Meyer has very little option really, unless he picks the same XV to pick themselves up? He will get a hammering from fans whether he does that or anything else. From my understanding it was always part of his plan to use everyone in the friendly game. So will he deviate thanks to this snag?

I hope not. Meyer must show character and back his guns. What type of coach is he? Last I checked he was a successful Bulls-style of rugby coach and this must mean he must get the players that suit this rugby. Go back to basics and do a few selection shake ups.

Bring in a hungry bunch of players to turn the heat up. Pat Lambie, Morne Steyn, Zane Kirchner, Lwazi Mvovo, Warren Whiteley to mention a few. Let them go out there and redeem this mess they dished up this weekend.

The absence of Jean de Villiers, Marcel Coetzee and Willie le Roux is the perfect opportunity; with just Marcel in form it could be of advantage to the Boks. The only concern is playing someone out of position.

Captain is up for grabs once again with Jean de Villiers set to be out for four to six weeks. So will Schalk who showed some short comings as skipper continue or will they throw the armband toward Fourie du Preez?

One game to get some confidence going or even get better combinations in order. Heyneke Meyer will need to prove his mastery in the next few weeks.



NZ squad to tour South Africa


JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, 05 October 2013 : Kieran Read of the All Blacks celebrates the victory with his try during the Castle Lager Rugby Championship test match between SOUTH AFRICA and NEW ZEALAND at ELLIS PARK  in Johannesburg, South Africa on 05 October 2013. The All Blacks won the trophy by beating the Boks 38-27. © Anton de Villiers / PHOTOSPORT
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, 05 October 2013 : Kieran Read of the All Blacks celebrates the victory with his try during the Castle Lager Rugby Championship test match between SOUTH AFRICA and NEW ZEALAND at ELLIS PARK in Johannesburg, South Africa on 05 October 2013. The All Blacks won the trophy by beating the Boks 38-27.
© Anton de Villiers / PHOTOSPORT

Daniel Carter and Sonny Bill Williams among big players miss out on the squad to tour Africa, I mean South Africa. There will also be no Waisake Naholo as the start winger managed to break his leg on what was an impressive debut for the All Blacks. Hansen also sounded disappointed with the injury suffered by Naholo who he feels will make a great All Black. Nehe Milner Skudder was also omitted due to a rib injury that has not ecovered.

New Zealand’s 31-man squad:

Forwards: Dane Coles, Keven Mealamu, Codie Taylor, Wyatt Crockett, Ben Franks, Owen Franks, Nepo Laulala, Tony Woodcock, James Broadhurst, Brodie Retallick, Luke Romano, Samuel Whitelock, Jerome Kaino, Richie McCaw (captain), Liam Messam, Kieran Read, Victor Vito
Backs: Andy Ellis, TJ Perenara, Aaron Smith, Beauden Barrett, Colin Slade, Lima Sopoaga, Ryan Crotty, Malakai Fekitoa, Ma’a Nonu, Conrad Smith, Israel Dagg, Charles Piutau, Julian Savea, Ben Smith

Springboks name unchanged squad


South Africa will field the same starting 15 and the same bench as they did for their 38-12 humbling of Australia in Brisbane last weekend.

September 11, 2013 – 2:02PM
Zane Kirchner is upended by Israel Folau in Brisbane.Zane Kirchner is upended by Israel Folau in Brisbane. Photo: Getty Images

Coach Heyneke Meyer says the Springboks will need to go up a gear when they face the All Blacks in a top-of-the-table Rugby Championship clash in Auckland on Saturday.

Meyer says it’s a great position to be in to be able to name an unchanged squad, but adds that he has utmost respect for the All Blacks.

“You don’t want to get into the situation where it’s easy to pick the same side and everything goes well and you’ve won,” he said.

“We know we have to make an unbelievable step up. This is the best team in the world we’re facing.”

Meyer said some of his players had the flu but he expected they would all be over it by match day.

Both South Africa and defending champions New Zealand have won their first three matches of the tournament, but the Springboks lead the table because they have an extra bonus point.

New Zealand will name their team on Thursday morning.

South Africa: Zane Kirchner, Willie le Roux, JJ Engelbrecht, Jean de Villiers (captain), Bryan Habana, Morne Steyn, Ruan Pienaar, Duane Vermeulen, Willem Alberts, Francois Louw, Flip van der Merwe, Eben Etzebeth, Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis, Tendai Mtawarira.

Reserves: Adriaan Strauss, Gurthro Steenkamp, Coenie Oosthuizen, Juandre Kruger, Siya Kolisi, Jano Vermaak, Pat Lambie, Jan Serfontein.


Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-union/union-news/springboks-name-unchanged-squad-for-all-blacks-clash-20130911-2tjzl.html#ixzz2eYow2FLy

2013, the Year of the Bok


I have been mulling over a subject for my last column of 2012 for about a month now.

Meyer happy with win


Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer applauded his team’s defence, discipline and guts after South Africa edged out England 16-15 at Twickenham on Saturday.

Execution over innovation


It is a term one of the most successful coaches of Springbok rugby used on the magazine show Boots & All last night to describe Heyneke Meyer and our current Springbok playing style.

Time for a reality check


Things in Springbok rugby are never normal or straight-forward, it always shifts between the insane and the absurd and this week there was a big swing towards the latter.

Re-think the match 22


Our very own Brendon Shields, who is under a self-imposed ban from blogging till now, shares his views on how we should re-shape and re-think how we use the whole team.

Ons identiteitskrisis


Ek kan vandag maklik skryf oor hoe bekakkenswaardig die Springbokke in Nasrec was teen die All Blacks gistermiddag, maar dit sal te maklik wees.

Nou vir die ‘Ware Jakob’


Julle sal my vergewe as ek nie té liries raak oor die Bokke se wen oor die Wallabies gister nie, vir die eerste keer die jaar het hulle eenvoudig ’n wen gekry wat hulle verwag het om te kry.

Still on target


It is easy to criticize and say what Meyer is not getting right at the moment, but has anyone sat back to consider what he is being quite successful in doing in only 7 tests?

Terug na stap nul


Kan dit waar wees? Kan twee afrigters van totale teenoorgestelde pole hulle in dieselfde posisie vind op dieselfde stadium van hulle loopbane?

The Aussie view


Greg Growden from the Sydney Morning Herald gives us the Aussie view from this weekend’s test.

Rigtinglose Bokke


Die Springbokke se vertoning gister teen die Wallabies het weereens bewys dat Suid-Afrikaanse afrigters hulle te veel bemoei met wat hulle nie het nie, eerder as om dit wat hulle wel het tot sy volle potensiaal aan te wind.

Perth likely to be a battle for runner-up


Under pressure … the respective coaches, Robbie Deans and Heyneke Meyer, enter this encounter with critics banging at the door.

September 7, 2012

Paul Cully

  • Under pressure ... the respective coaches, Robbie Deans and Heyneke Meyer, enter this encounter with critics banging at the door.

Photo: John Selkirk

Those old enough to have grey hairs will have allowed themselves a wry grin at some of the commentary emerging from South Africa this week.

Some malcontents suggested a new playing style was required to match it with the All Blacks, and that a re-evaluation of the traditional Springboks strengths was required. It’s the sort of complaint that surfaces when the South Africans fail to crush an opponent through sheer physicality, as was the case in the draw with Argentina.

It won’t happen. There may be tweaks but South Africa’s gloriously physical style will be the same in a decade as it is now. Their under-20 side, even with the likes of outstanding prospect Jan Serfontein in the midfield, won the Junior World Championship final against New Zealand this year using four familiar bludgeons: the lineout drive, the scrum, heavy collisions and a superior kicking game. The Springboks side that takes to the field in Perth tomorrow night will not be a great one, but at least their foundations will be solid.

The respective coaches, Robbie Deans and Heyneke Meyer, enter this encounter with critics banging at the door. This is as common in coaching as selecting but Deans’s situation is evidently perilous and there is no mystery behind it.


His side, in one real sense, has been going backwards for months. The Wallabies have spent progressively less time in the opposition 22 in every game this year, starting with the Scotland debacle in June. The figure fell to about 25 per cent in first Test against Wales, had dropped to 13 per cent by the third Test of that series in Sydney and stood a touch above 10 per cent in Auckland two weeks ago.

Accordingly, tinkering with the line-ups over the past three weeks has given the appearance of charging at windmills. New men have come and gone to little effect. At least the forwards can say they were simply outgunned. The lightweights behind them have underperformed.

The prevailing winds have also been against the New Zealander all year. Australian Super Rugby sides won a miserable 24 per cent of their games against South African opposition this year. The Reds, who make up almost half of the 22 to face the Springboks, succeeded in one match from five. The only team to avoid a losing record (the Brumbies, 2-2) were coached by a South African. The school of thought – recently voiced by a former coach from the analog age – that Australia is sitting on a group of players who would conquer the world if they were not being so egregiously mismanaged interprets the situation too simply.

Yet this week’s XV at least gives the appearance of an improvement. Adam Ashley-Cooper at No.13 is a threat to the wonderful but declining Jean de Villiers and powerful but medium-paced Francois Steyn. Dom Shipperley is a desperately needed finisher because despite all his outstanding work, Digby Ioane’s strike rate is nine tries from 27 Tests.

When the Argentinians got in behind the Springboks’ defence two weeks ago, their lack of speed was palpable. Yet adventure – absent from the Wallabies this year – is first required to achieve it. The first four Argentina passes in the move that provided their try were all offloads in contact, from a counter-attacking situation. The blueprint could not be any clearer.

Problematically, South Africa have also emerged stronger from deliberations at the selection table.

The key switch is the removal of Francois Hougaard from the base of the ruck – where his clearances were substandard against Argentina – to the wing, with Ruan Pienaar taking over at No.9.

Pienaar is a confidence player but that commodity is high since playing an instrumental role in leading his Irish province, Ulster, to the Heineken Cup final.

In the pack, Andries Bekker was unrecognisably poor in Argentina, third best in every two-man collision, and makes way for the sterner Juandre Kruger. And Willem Alberts returns to his best position, at blindside, instead of Jacques Potgieter, who was repeatedly cut in half on the gainline by the low-tackling Pumas.

There should be concern about Hougaard’s role on the flank, which will undoubtedly contain a roving component. If the big Springboks ball runners start to rumble through the 10-12 channel, Hougaard’s eye for a gap and acceleration in the following phases will be a huge issue for Australia.

Both these sides are weaker than the outfits that contested the World Cup finals, but the result is no less in the balance.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-union/australia-rugby/perth-likely-to-be-a-battle-for-runnerup-20120906-25h4n.html#ixzz25lVNjUPe

Boks focus on today’s Wallabies, not last year’s cup


SPRINGBOKS supporters still wince when reminded of it, but South African coaching staff will not be using the horrid memories of last year’s World Cup exit to motivate their team against the Wallabies.

September 6, 2012
Bryce LawrenceNot a favourite person among Springboks fans … referee Bryce Lawrence. Photo: Jason Oxenham

The Wallabies’ 11-9 triumph over the Springboks in the quarter-final in Wellington in October caused uproar in South Africa, with New Zealand referee Bryce Lawrence becoming the country’s public enemy No.1 after several dubious decisions went Australia’s way. The then Springboks coach Peter de Villiers was scathing, basically blaming Lawrence for his team’s departure from the tournament.

However, de Villiers’ successor, Heyneke Meyer, has no interest in reliving that game, believing it has no relevance to the Perth Test on Saturday night. That might have a lot to do with only four Springboks who played in Wellington remaining in the starting line-up.

”I am not a guy who lives in the past,” Meyer said when announcing his Test line-up. ”There’s only Jannie [du Plessis] left from that World Cup forward pack, so I can’t use it as a motivation. But I also don’t believe in negative motivation. I instead know where we have to go, and we want to be the best team in the world.


”We are far from that yet. We have our own goals over the next four years, and that’s the focus – not what happened in previous games.”

Meyer made some unexpected selections, including moving halfback Francois Hougaard to the wing, and revamping his back row. He even conceded this could cause problems.

”One thing we don’t have in our back row, which is a little bit of a concern, is out-and-out pace,” Meyer said. ”But we make up for that by having a back row with a big work rate. Duane [Vermeulen] is not your typical No.8, but he is a very hard, grafting player, and gives you go-forward. What we lose in speed, we gain in muscle and intelligence.”

The Wallabies were not too bothered to hear Hougaard had been moved out wide last night, as they believe he is more dangerous closer to the ruck.

Meyer argued Hougaard out wide could be a match winner.

”He is a great player,” he said of the 24-year-old. ”It doesn’t matter where you pick him, he remains a game breaker. He will get more space on the wing.”

SOUTH AFRICA: Zane Kirchner; Bryan Habana, Jean de Villiers (capt), Francois Steyn, Francois Hougaard; Morne Steyn, Ruan Pienaar; Duane Vermeulen, Willem Alberts, Marcell Couetzee, Juandre Kruger, Eben Etzebeth, Jannie du Plessis, Adriaan Strauss, Tendai Mtawarira. Res: Tiaan Liebenberg, Pat Cilliers, Flip van der Merwe, Francois Louw, Johan Goosen, Pat Lambie, Lwazi Mvovo

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-union/union-news/boks-focus-on-todays-wallabies-not-last-years-cup-20120905-25eqx.html#ixzz25lCmUuB5

The difference between winning and losing


He is only going into his 6th test as Springbok coach having yet to taste defeat, but Heyneke Meyer already finds himself under enormous pressure in the lead up to the test against Australia this weekend.

White expresses concern over Meyer’s ‘style’


There’s a problem with Heyneke Meyer’s Springbok coaching style, says former Bok mentor, Jake White.

Clarity behind Kanko’s omission


There has been some confusion over Kankowski’s omission from the Springbok squad of 30 players for the Castle Rugby Championship kicking off in Cape Town on the 18th of August.

A C+ for Meyer and the Boks


It did not take long to find myself in a very similar position with regards to the Springbok coach and Springbok rugby as I did in the past.

Joe Pietersen called up to Bok squad


DHL Western Province fullback Joe Pietersen has been called up to the Springbok squad in Port Elizabeth following the non-availability of a number of fullback options for Saturday’s third and final Castle Incoming Tour Test against England.

Jannie hails new Bok scrum doctor


Springbok tighthead Jannie du Plessis has hailed new scrum coach Pieter de Villiers as the key to South Africa’s strong performance up front last week.

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 15:17

The Boks put in a solid showing at scrum-time against a physical England pack on their way to victory in the first Test in Durban, and Du Plessis said that he expects another fierce test in Johannesburg on Saturday.

“Both teams were very physical and I think it is massive for this week’s game to stay physical and play good rugby,” he said.

Former French international front row star De Villiers only had one week with the Boks ahead of the first Test, but Du Plessis said that he made some vital technical adjustments in that time which paid off at Kings Park.

He commented: “We have a new coach in Pieter de Villiers who has really brought in some new ideas and exercises that made a massive difference.

“It is one of the foundations of getting good go-forward ball so there is always a lot of emphasis on scrummaging, but it is nice to work with people that make a point of talking about it.

“He brought us technical exercises, a few fitness drills and other ways to put your feet. All those things make a big difference at the end of the day.”

The 29-year-old prop had an impressive match in front of his home crowd, getting involved in some loose play as well as the tight exchanges, but he was quick to point to the collective contribution of his teammates.

“It doesn’t always happen like that because you play against opposition who are the best in their country.

“I guess that is why it is called Test rugby – it really does test you and maybe it was lucky for me I got seen a bit more on the weekend.

“All the eight guys played brilliant rugby in the pack and also in the backs, so I wouldn’t say it was my best game – I would say it was a great team performance,” he said.



Stern words lift Boks


Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer says a few harsh words were spoken at half-time after they outplayed England in the second half at Kings Park on Saturday.

Springboks 22 v England 17 FT


Heyneke Meyer’s Boks will make their debut today against England in Durban – a test that will set the tone for Meyer’s tenure as Bok coach.

In the Hotseat – Heyneke Meyer from Durban


Heyneke Meyer took some time off from preparing the Boks for the first Test against England to answer your questions sent in to him by readers of BOKzine.
June 07, 2012

Heyneke Meyer took some time off from preparing the Boks for the first Test against England to answer your questions sent in to him by readers of BOKzine.

Your Question: The Bulls defence is suspect, Bob showed it during Boots and All Thursday night 31-05-2012. The record also proves it. Why do you not employ the Stormers defence coach? He has made the Stormers the best defencive side in the Super 15? – Owen Hughes

Heyneke answers: That is a good question Owen. I won’t say the Bulls’ defence is suspect, in some of their tour games they rather made individual errors which allowed tries to be scored. I have a lot of respect for Jacques Nienaber and we’ll look at getting him involved in some role in future, but we’ve gone with John McFarland as him and I have been working together for years. He also does more than just defence and is very involved in our kicking game as well as helping the hookers with their throwing, being a former hooker himself.

Your Question: Howzit going boet? I am really a massive fan In fact my spare room has every scarf, hat towel, flag, big springbok and little springbok I have all the rugby balls dude from BOKKIE to world cup, I’ve been to all the Scotland and South African games…. I was wondering what are the chances of getting a signed card or something from the BOKKE. thank you. – Trevor Conradie

Heyneke answers: It’s always nice to hear from someone who is a passionate Bok fan, thanks Trevor. I’ll have to speak to the relevant people to see what they can come up with. All the best!

Your Question: Heyneke, What I would like to know is if you could name ANY former Springbok to the team for this series, not as a way to add depth, but in terms of the effect you feel the given player has on a squad as a whole, who would it be? Please consider more than just the players who retired from Test rugby recently. – AJ White

Heyneke answers: I’m really happy with my squad and I know the guys can do the job for us. Now that the team has been named, it would really be unfair of me to single out any specific player from days gone by, I’m sure you understand. We considered all available options and now it’s up to the players in the squad to show they can stay here.

Your Question: We can expect the All Blacks and Australia to play an expansive game, and they clearly have exceptional backline players to accomodate this. What is your thinking in terms of how the Springboks will counter this – do we take them on at their own game or do we go for a more traditional approach? – Gareth Brown

Heyneke answers: Gareth, I think we’ll have to wait and see. The All Blacks were certainly not the most expansive side at the World Cup last year, in fact, they kicked more than any other team. We will go for the approach that will help us win Tests. But we’re only focused on playing England at the moment.


Heyneke answers: Hi Michael – this question was answered yesterday when I named my team. Juandre is in the mould of Andries and Victor as line-out specialist and organiser (very important) and Eben and Flip are more like Bakkies, who do the hard work around the park. There will always be room for both kinds of locks in a team.

Your Question: Hi coach, I seriously hope you will give Joe Petersen a chance at fullback as I think Zane Kirchner and him has been far the best fullbacks this year. Also just one thing please? Please pick players on form only? No matter who the players are- if they are not performing drop them. Thank you and good luck!! – Marius

Heyneke answers: Hope you like the team we announced on Wednesday Marius, but I’m guessing you would’ve preferred Joe over Zane. We’ve gone for the best players that we think can do the job against England and I can assure you that Joe is not out of the picture at all, but he is injured at the moment.

Your Question: Im still over the moon u got the job ! Dont u think its ridiculous that bizzy was selected to play a hapless lions team days b4 Eng series, they arnt exactly going to loose if a hungry/fit//fresh 180% Burden plays ??? U agree that our plyr mgmt should take a leaf out of the Crusaders & NZ re rotation/injury comeback etc. – Holzie

Heyneke answers: Thanks for the support Holzie, it’s nice to see I’ve still got some fans out there ;-). We don’t have any say over the way the Vodacom Super Rugby franchises utilise their players and I have faith in their coaches. We communicate with them regularly, but in the end they also have a job to do and I understand that full well, having been on the “other side” as well.

Your Question: Hello Heyneke Meyer, do you think you right to coach the bok team. And do you got a different format than the province coaches. – Desmond

Heyneke answers: I’m very excited about this opportunity to be entrusted with this big job. It’s not up to me to say whether I’m the best man for the job, but I will always do my best for the Boks. My format will be to use our traditional strengths or whatever it takes to get the Boks back to winning ways again.

Your Question: Indien klein Lambie gesond is gaan daar ‘n plek vir hom in die Bokspan wees? Veral gesien dat Francois Steyn nou ook terug is. Al is dit net op die bank om iemand tussen die agterspelers wat beseer word te vervang. Gaan ons no. 1 stut geleer word om reguit te druk – onthou hy het die meeste strafskoppe teen hom van enige stut!! – Dirk C le Roux

Heyneke answers: Ja Dirk, altyd, soos jy gesien het met die spanaankondiging. Pat is uiters talentvol, het ‘n goeie voet, kan aanval en is veelsydig. Ons het goeie losskakels en heelagters en daar sal altyd plek wees vir ouens wat my wys hulle wil vir die Bokke speel. Ons stutte het baie hard gewerk aan hul tegniek saam met ons skrum-afrigter, Pieter de Villiers. Dis iets wat vir ons baie belangrik is.

(Dirk asks about what role Pat Lambie will play and if our loosehead prop will push straight. Heyneke said there will always be a place for Lambie as he is very talented, kicks well, can attack and can play in different positions in the backline. And that our props will be ready as they’ve worked hard with scrum coach Pieter de Villiers.


Heyneke answers: Basil, ek ag Heinrich baie hoog – asook ‘n hele klomp ander oopkantflanke wat vanjaar skitterende rugby gespeel het. Dis altyd moeilik om span te kies, maar ons voel gemaklik met die span wat ons vir hierdie eerste toets gekies het. Brussow is beslis nie uit die prentjie nie – ek dink ook hy is ‘n baie goeie mens en dit maak dit soveel moeiliker om hom nie te kies nie.

(Basil says Brussow has not conceded many penalties but that Oosthuizen has. Heyneke says that it’s never easy to select a side but that they are happy with the team selected to face England and that Brussow is not out of the picture at all.)


CAMPO: Boks go for combinations and a simple game plan


I was at the Springboks training session the other day, after their first squad for the year had been named, and it was interesting to get a first hand perpective on the tactics the team will take into the English Tests.

The verdict – precise kicking from 9 and 10.

By , 6 Jun 2012

Jean De Villiers of the Springboks is brought down by Jamie Roberts of Wales. AFP PHOTO / Marty Melville

From what I could determine, it looks like kicking will play a big part in the game plan, which fits in with the type of team that new coach Heyneke Meyer has selected (Blue bulls style).

He has clearly picked a team that he knows will play the simple style that he wants to play. It’s a team rich in talent and experience, which is important as he must win in the eyes of all South Africans.

Sure, there’s been a lot of people in South Africa complaining about the squad, and the omission of flanker Heinrich Brussow in particular. And to be fair, a number of Stormers players who have been playing well haven’t been picked.

But Heyneke knows the world will be watching, and playing England at home, he knows winning is the first and foremost priority.

Yesterday, we saw the Wallabies lose (again) to Scotland.

It seems to me, the problem was that the Australian team had no combinations in the centres and at 8-9-10.

You need combinations at this level of rugby. You can’t just pick a bunch of talented individuals and expect them to do the job.

I am sure some will use the weather as an excuse but, sorry, not good enough. This is the ultimate level of rugby and there are no excuses.

In the past, the most successful teams have had great combinations in key positions: Farr-Jones/Ella, Farr-Jones/Lynagh, Hawker/O’Connor, Nonu/Smith, van der Westhuizen/Stransky, Gregan/Larkham, to name a few.

What is concerning me is the move towards creating all-round players and doing away with specialist players, which affects the team and the combinations.

Communicating and understanding each other comes through playing together consistently, which does not happen nowadays. Some would argue that Australia has not produced a successful combination at 10/12/13 since Horan and Little, some 12 years ago.

The Springboks under 20 team played against Ireland the other day.

Ireland controlled the game and the Boks combinations didn’t click into gear. They had a few opportunities to win but combinations and confidence let them down.

At one point near the death, they had a lineout four meters out from the Irish line and lost the ball and the match as a result.

You must stay composed and stick to the basics.

This is what happens when you get together as a new team, without any significant combinations in place.

Look at the Reds this season. Genia has struggled this year because, for much of it, he hasn’t had Cooper alongside of him in the backline. The more great players you have, the more pressure you put on the opposition.

But an even bigger problem in Australia is that we lack combinations in the centers, as we saw in the RWC2011.

Wouldn’t it be great to see a Horan/Little combo again? Stop the opposition and give the outside backs a chance to show how good they are.

Having watched the Springboks backline at training, you could see that it is a backline that has played together and will understand each other under pressure.

Meyer has entered his debut series with an understanding that he needs to pick combinations in key positions to be in with a show of winning.

At this level of rugby, you can’t keep chopping and changing. That’s when things fall apart.

Against England, the Springboks are playing the enemy. There is a lot of pride there. They simply have to win. And I think this squad can do it.

Check out a bbumper weekend of rugby ahead, with the All Blacks vs Ireland and Australia vs Wales. I know what I will be doing.

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!

Meyer names players for final planning camp


Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer will hold a fourth and final Planning Camp in Durban from Sunday, with 42 players across all five Vodacom Super Rugby franchises invited to attend.

Thinking big


When you are charged with the responsibility of something on a National scale, you need a National Plan of Action.

Meyer to battle SA teams before Poms


According to Jan de Koning and Rugby365, Heyneke Meyer’s first test won’t be against the Poms, but against local rugby franchises and unions.

Building bridges


Where Meyer is now more confident in including a number of youngsters for the upcoming test series against England, his most important decision remains who he will select as skipper.

Meyer about to face his biggest test


It might be a strange thing to say, but Heyneke Meyer is about to be tested in a way he has never been tested in before during his career as a professional coach, and it won’t be on a rugby field.

Meyer to bring back more than just Vic


With no time to prepare for England, new Bok coach Heyneke Meyer may bring back a few more players than just Victor Matfield.

Meyer’s assistants named


The South African Rugby Union (SARU) on Sunday announced the appointment of former Springbok loose forward Rassie Erasmus into a senior management position at the organisation.

Meyer wants Matfield as captain


SA rugby will today announce a number of appointments within its organization, but none more important than Heyneke Meyer’s coaching team.

Bok assistant coaches announced on Sunday


SA Rugby have released a statement saying that a major announcement on key appointments to SA Rugby will be made on Sunday.

Meyer announces training camps & players


Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has named a group of players that will be attending the first planning camp in Pretoria next week.

Fee negotiations halts appointments of assistants


Brenden Nel writing for SuperSport.com reports that Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer’s appointment of his management team is at an impasse after the Blue Bulls Company demanded a big fee to release several of their coaching staff to the national union.

Frans coming back to SA


Frans Steyn will be returning to South Africa at the end of the current French rugby season.

Nick Mallet joins Boks


Mallet is on course to join the Springboks coaching staff alongside Heyneke Meyer. ALSO: Heyneke must select black players.

Loubscher in line for Bok job?


Brenden Nel reporting for SuperSport writes that Ricardo Loubscher might be lined up as Springboks assistant coach.

Grow up Stormers supporters!


I just could not let this pearl of a column from JJ Harmse pass by…

Meyer se Bokke, sal eg Suid-Afrikaanse Bokke wees


Nuwe Springbok afrigter, Heyneke Meyer, gesels met Hanlie Retief van Rapport oor sy drome, planne en hoe hy al van skooldae af geweet het hy sal eendag die Springbokke afrig.

Smal’s not given up coaching Boks


The chips might not have fallen Gert Smal’s way this time around but the former Springbok assistant coach and current Irish forwards coach has not ruled out the possibility of coaching the Springboks in future.

Meyer officially appointed as new Bok coach


Heyneke Meyer will be the new Springbok coach after a Special General Meeting of the South African Rugby Union (SARU) ratified his proposed appointment in Cape Town on Friday.

Bulls, SA Rugby official statement(s) on Meyer


The Blue Bulls have released an official statement on the issue of Heyneke Meyer and the Bok coaching job.