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Whether its the likely extension of Meyer’s contract or the miraculous finding of another quality coach to steer the Springboks it is high time this one dimensional, tunnel-vision version of rugby ends.

The time is now. South Africa may have made the semi-finals but that is nothing to be proud of, for four years the tone has been the side have been growing and constantly coming second best is not good enough. Has the Springbok lost its desire to be the best? One win in 8 against the All Blacks means something has to change. The players are there and the mind-set is not.

‘Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.’ Time to be bold and rebuild the Springbok squad, be confident in an innovative, unpredictable game plan. To be able to not just look to dominate the collision but to also be able to offer variation on attack.

One of the other reasons the All Blacks managed to have a 97% tackles success was because they knew what was coming. Schalk Burger option, Damian hitting it up and a lack of adventure. It’s a semi-final and truth be told it was meant to be safe and conservative but South Africa took it too far. Instead opting to take points at every opportunity and when they needed a try in the 79th minute, deep in All Black territory they could not.

Why? They had been shelled out in the first 78 minutes, what magic could they conjure up? They tried to play it out but kept getting hit backwards and what started out as a disastrous World Cup campaign ended with bravery and failure. For 1 minute and 50 seconds my eyes could not believe what they saw. The intent to give the ball air; and boy did it trouble the All Blacks but then sanity or for the fans, insanity prevailed. A return to the Springbok shells in the fear to be caught out or to be burned out by the sixtieth minute mark.

It would be wise should the Springboks take a page from the Lions, for years we took a page out of Pretoria and it worked. It is time we reverted to the Lions way and learn a few things. Fitness will be a key aspect and for South Africa they need to take this aspect serious. The failure to close out games comes down to fitness and mental attitude. For the last few years you can see the work Gilbert Enoka has done for the All Blacks.

For those who do not know, he is the mental skills coach for the Black machine. Their ability to control their emotions and soak in the pressure is second to none and this means they win the close ones more that the rest. Argentina where known as the negative side but it seems the Boks have hijacked the tag. The lack of tactical kicking accuracy and inability to engage x-factor players is non-existent when it counts. We have been in the ‘semi-final / final’ scenario before and we have lost to New Zealand. When in the bid to win the Rugby Championship and now.

Time to move on from this disappointment and look forward to Springbok rugby dominating again!! A dark four years, more nearly victories against New Zealand, losses to Japan and Argentina and a return to the drawing board for the Springboks. Who knows adding an Emerging Springboks could be a better way for the South Africa to bring more Test options through in the team’s systems. The talent is there, it just need a lot of tweaking!Change is needed

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Stuart Lancaster, Paul Flanagan & Jose Mourinho. Coaches I look up to. Brilliant what they have taught me. Just before Maro Itoje is set to be unleashed by England the closest thing to a Victor Matfield-Bakkies Botha hybrid. Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm. – Abraham Lincoln

14 COMMENTS

  1. What a disgrace that great players are led by that banzai poepol.
    Heyneke Meyer/Jean de villiers/victor matfield/Jammie du plessis are all guilty of letting the springbok down by hanging onto jobs they knew they were ill equipped for with bullshit reasons.
    More so
    The paying rugby public are fools to pay saru a sent in support to back up similar idiots.
    If the public stopped paying the gravy train runs dry.
    The amount of respect I have for bakkies and frans steyn has doubled in not wanting to be involved with the doos any longer.

  2. It was very easy to develop a game plan to beat the Boks and it was exactly what the ABs did.

    They knew our kicking is crap, our idea of kicking to exit our 22 is to punt the ball to halfway between the 22 and halfway line. No problem then, ABs just have to ensure they kick deep and keep us in our half, with our only tactic of one-off runners and/or mauling we are never going to get from our half to the their 22. If we do, by luck, they trust their defence to stop our limited runners, as Benedict mentioned, it is easy to have 97% tackle success if you know the Bok player is going to run straight at you everytime, all the time.

    Thumbs up to the Boks on their defence, it was very good, but contrary to popular belief and whatever Heyneke has tried to tell us for 4 years, defence does not win you World Cups. Somewhere along the line you have to actually go out and score points. Depending on the opposition to infringe for penalties (luckily for us the ABs obliged), is such a limited approach it is scary.

    All that this negative play achieves is that you will keep the scores close, there won’t be dramatic blowouts, but as a Stormer supporter I can assure you, it will end in heartbreak 9 times out of 10 in play-off matches.

    I have to agree, our approach will have to change, a cliché that comes to mind is that we should stop playing to not lose, but rather play to win.

  3. Just to add, I have a colleague from India who asked me why do South Africans applaud their teams for trying hard, or having plucky losses? He said in India the cricket team will be hung and quartered if they have losses which the public and media deem to have been winnable.

  4. very good article.

    I’m afraid we need a coach who is on the cutting edge. He has a lot of intergrity and knowledge, but the culture is too stifling and limiting and it starts from the top. The senior players have had way too much say for too long now. The only time the Boks actually got quick ball and ran it was in the the first 5 minutes and they were all over the ABs. After that, defense and kicking, of course you going to clue, you can win if you don’t play rugby.

  5. Springbok team to play 3/4 play off for me. Nyakane, Brits, Jannie,PsDT, VM, Kolisi,Alberts, Thor. Paige,Morne,Mvovo,Jan, DdA, Zane, Lambie.

  6. @Benedict Chanakira:

    No way BC.
    Going Zane for Argentina would be like SA wearing reproduction uniforms from 1900.

    Put the SunKing on wing & take off the governor – let him hunt “fire at will” style.

  7. Also-
    I’ve noticed a change in BC tenor.
    First it was pull the plug on John Smit….now HM.
    I applaud this new perspective BC.

  8. It is crystal clear not stemming the flow of hundreds of players OS has created a huge player drain no more obvious than terrible Super Rugby results whilst NZ and Aus go from strength to strength… and the new Super rugby format is only going to add to that…

    The current crop of youngsters coming through simply are not good enough to consistently beat Australia and New Zealand… no matter who the coach will be…

  9. @Benedict Chanakira:

    I said a few years back HM allowing infinite NH players to represent the Boks would only increase the player drain and have a negative effect on the team and their conditioning etc etc (not being able to collectively monitor during the season) … each year the number since has increased and with that worse performances in CC rugby, Super Rugby and Test Rugby…

    And changing coaches willy nilly is not going to change that…

    I do not have all the answers… but the first step would be to limit the migration (perhaps like Aus does) and add an Emerging Bok side (a real one) and a Bok ‘A’ side… keeping a much greater pool in the loop and easier to transition into the Bok 23 through form or injury… exactly like NZ does with effectively around 80 players on the same page with Maori AB’s, Junior AB’s and now the NZ Barbarians…

    Guys like Milner Skudder did not just magically ‘appear’… they toiled from ITM to Super to Maori and then transitioned into the side…

  10. @bryce_in_oz: Agree. sat and hada loo at the systems months ago when you said it and realised SA is behind. Arg are also calling for players to play in Arg to play for Argentina. Slowly getting it going and maybe one or two special players exempted but their game is growing.

  11. @bryce_in_oz:

    I like Australia’s setup where players with over a certain number of caps may be selected. It affords senior players the opportunity to maximise their earning potential, but might have the benefit of younger players sticking around a bit longer in local circles.

  12. @Craven:

    Yeah me too… 50 caps or having signed a 2 year Super contract… would keep far more players around or coming back around test time… both young and experienced…

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