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I recently had the pleasure to listen to how the season that was (2009), have been one of the more successful for WP Rugby.

Excuse me? Successful? How on earth did you come up with that?

To me personally the only guys that can compete with the Lions rugby union for uttering the most unbelieveable PR crap is Western Province rugby, the only difference being that WP Rugby have been doing it for much longer which is why they are arguably more successful in duping the rugby public and their long suffering fans.

Throughout the year I shared some of the horror stories on this website with you in our privileged position as media guests of WP Rugby union. Most of which is easily forgotten or lost in the maize of positive rugby spin (read bullshit) that we find in the main stream media, and from the guys at WP Rugby themselves.

Make no mistake, I have made some wonderful friends in WP Rugby, most of whom funnily enough, agree with me.

But it is with this last, farewell and thank you for your support message from WP Rugby union where I sat up and asked myself; “Just what do these guys perceive as successful?”

The Stormers ended 10th on the log in the Super 14, Western Province’s three union sides (U/19, U/21 and Senior teams) all only made it to the semi-finals, in which all three lost their matches. Hell even the WP Vodacom Cup side could not even manage a semi spot ending 4th on the log in their league (top 2 qualified).

In fact, the only ‘success’ Western Cape Rugby enjoyed has been through non-unionised governed/managed/administered teams like the Maties (Varsity Cup Champs) and Hamiltons (Club Champs).

Most will tell you achieving the honour of a home semi-final in the Currie Cup takes some doing, and yes it has not been easy but please, don’t be fooled, the Currie Cup in itself is a 5, at best 6-horse race (if Griquas features strongly) so making the semi’s is hardly an achievement and should be a given for a union like Western Province.

Yet the spin-doctors from WP Rugby would have you believe that 2009 was a magical year for WP Rugby and how this now is the sign that WP and Stormers rugby have turned a corner for the 2010 season.

Let me be on record to say that 2010 will be one of the worst years in WP and Stormers rugby in the last decade (and that will take some doing) thanks to the union’s continued ignorance on the importance of proper structures and development of talent through those structures.

You want to sit back and appreciate a successful season?

Then sit back and enjoy the country cousins, the Cheetahs and what they achieved with minimal resources, a nightmare start to their campaign, injury plagued periods throughout the year and even the odd tabloid-type off the field scandals where they not only (for the first time in many years) managed to hold onto most of their core group of players for another year, but also managed to feature 3 teams in 3 finals on Saturday at Loftus where their U/19, U/21 and senior Currie Cup side will take part in the finals of South Africa’s premier domestic competition.

42 Responses to Celebrating success

  • 1

    Mmmm, smaak my ons is in die moeilikheid!! Ai, ai, ai….
    Morne, wat is die storie agter die storie? Wie is die klomp f@kkers wat WP rugby so opdonner en hoe raak ons van hulle ontslae?

  • 2

    Well firstly WP Rugby Admin needs a clean up.

    There are too many power games being played satisfying ego’s rather than rugby issues, but that is something that has been happening for decades in the union now.

    For the most part, start with ‘Honest’ Rassie. The nickname ‘Honest’ he got (from Cheetahs days already) is actually a sarcastic reference, because he is anything but.

    It is my belief (so it is a personal opinion) Rassie has no clue how to put structures in place to ensure continued success or build a union up from a resource point of view. He has no eyes for talent (WP losing droves of players every year) and would rather rely on his purse to buy mercinaries for cosmetic purposes to fill in gaps he has in his talent pool than actually build that up.

    Players are continually disillusioned with Rassie and his plans, because it changes like the weather in CPT.

    I have said it before and will say it again, Rassie is technically one of the best rugby brains out there, so I have no doubt he can be a good coach.

    But there is a massive difference in roles between a good coach, and a good manager/DOR who manages the processes of a union and team of which coaching is one aspect.

    I think this may be largely due to Rassie being young (for a coach) and inexperienced.

    Funnily enough, I rate Rassie and Plumtree from the Sharks exactly the same. So from my point of view, the Sharks should also prepare themselves for an average 2010…

  • 3

    I normally quickly scan through an article and then read it making mental notes, again.
    I am not going to bother reading this again. It made me feel bad enough supporting WP the first time.
    Bloody doem profeet Morne! hiehiehie

  • 4

    Hehe, sorry 😉

  • 5

    Jy moet seker al moeg gepraat wees oor dit.
    Ek ook.
    Dis hoekom ek maar gewaai het by WP.
    Die donners wil nie luister nie….almal was in euforia vanjaar, oor wat?
    Hulle is nog steeds nerens nie.
    En volgende jaar sal hulle ook nie vorder nie.
    Die WP se ou rugbykultuur is weg.
    Hulle maak staat op huursoldate…..en geld wat hulle nie eens het nie…..
    Rassie is n kuk coach, en so is AC.
    Matthew Proudfoot het hulle gatte gered, vir n wyle.

  • 6

    The difference is that the Sharks do have a structure.
    It’s not perfect, but from what I hear they are better off than WP.
    Therefore Plumtree has some support system.
    Like I always say, the business of Sharks rugby is not badly run.
    I am not saying that the Sharks do not have some serious challenges ahead, as I agree with Morne that they do, but once again it is all about management structures and their efficiency.

  • 7


    Yes I am a bit tired but I also felt I need to balance the current euphoria surrounding WP rugby out a bit.


    My only comparison with WP and the Sharks were their coaches, and what I perceive their limitations.

    Plum to me is a very good coach, technically brilliant, but in the aplication of talent and structures or the broader management of the team (player procurement, development, selections, game plans etc) I do not think Plum is the right guy.

    For me there is a massive difference between a good rugby manager, and rugby coach.

    A good rugby coach needs to be managed, a rugby manager, not.

  • 8

    At Super 14 level and even at Currie Cup level, the head coach needs to be the supreme MAN MANAGER first and coach thereafter… after all he’s got assistants to do the technical stuff.

    That is what made Heyneke Meyer so good… and what apparently makes Snorrie so good…

    I question Rassies abilities in this regard… he’s too “pellie-pellie” with his players… and deserves the dirty tag of “Honest” Rassie….

  • 9

    Gee, not exactly what I would like to hear, guys. Ma assit dan moet, dan moetit seker, ne?

  • 10


    In the words of JJ Harmse…

    It is only one man’s opinion!

    Doesn’t mean it will become true.

  • 11

    Morne, I do not disagree in principle with what both you and GBS have said.
    The structure at the Sharks is such that as head coach Plum is responsible for selection, player management, game plan, managing the coaching and motivating the team.
    However the broader responsibilities of procurement, development and rugby structures in the province are not his, but are managed by a team, of which he has input.
    My point is similar to yours in that there is a massive difference between a coach and a DOR.
    However what is most important to me from the outset, is to have a board who understand how to seperate the responsibilities in order to define all management roles for maximium efficiency.
    In doing this they also need to take into account the strengths and weaknesses of their management personell.
    This is just good business planning, but obviously beyond the comprehension of certain unions who are not good businessmen.

  • 12


    Ain’t that the bloody truth.

  • 13

    Anyase, I am out till later.


  • 14

    Die vinnigste wat ‘n mens uit ‘n gat uitkom, is om eers te besef jy is in ‘n gat.

    Maar ek dink daar is seker ‘n paar positiewe punte om te neem uit die seisoen, of hoe ?

  • 15

    Cheers Morne!!

  • 16

    #10 Morne,

    No, I tend to agree with you – we need a sustainable plan. You can only paper over the cracks for so long before the wall gives way.

    And to describe the 2009 as successful is absolutely laughable I reckon…

  • 17

    Wat doen ‘n 2005- Blou Bulondersteuner as hy klaar die
    Curriebeker gewen het? ….. Hy sit sy Playstation af!

    * * *
    Te koop: Goedkoop maalvleis, effens beskadig, gebyt deur ‘n
    Cheetah. Kontak Loftus slaghuis 012 555-5555

    * * *
    Hoe hou jy drank weg van die bulle? Gooi dit in die Currybeker.

    * * *

    Ons sommer net vir die hel daarvan:
    Outjie in SA weermag stuur vir sy ouma ‘n handgranaat met ‘n
    briefie: ‘As ouma die pennetjie uittrek, kry ek 3 dae af om te kom
    kuier’ Liefde Boetie

  • 19

    Rugby definitions – What rugby terms really mean!

    Foul Play – what the other side do. If your side do it, it’s called ‘using your initiative’.

    Ruck – informal, impromptu get-together for forwards and a few close friends.

    Mark – if you can cleanly catch a ball kicked several hundred feet in the air within your own 22 metre line and call ‘mark’ while the entire other side is pounding towards you intent on doing you damage, you can have a free kick. You deserve it.

    Offside – a natural break in the play called by the referee every 35 seconds to let everyone get their breath back.

    Advantage: The situation when a referee decides to allow play to continue and not blow for an obvious transgression immediately, due to a mistaken impression that it somehow benefits a team.

    Blindside: The term used to describe the referee’s inability to see a foul committed.

    Openside Flanker: It is this player who, when approaching the end of a Cup Final, assumes the role of Scrum Half and puts the ball into the scrum.

    Cap: Compulsory headgear bearing sponsor’s logo worn at post-match interviews.

    Free kick: The punishment for lying on the wrong side of a ruck of maul.

    Grubber: Mistimed drop kick from anywhere on the field.

    Goose step: Change in running style from a sprint to high kicking in order to slow down a defender only to sprint once defender has slowed down. First used by David Campese when, sprinting down the touchline, he saw dogsh*t lying in his path and tried to avoid getting his new boots dirty.

    Laws: Rugby has laws, not rules; therefore it is that which you have to disobey in full view of the referee in order to be punished.

    Maul: Free-for-all brawl where the ball is kept in the air. See ruck (1).

    Offside (as in offside line): an imaginary line passing through a ball without puncturing it.

    Place kick: a defensive offensive tactic to prevent the scoring of tries.

    Ruck (1): Free-for-all brawl where the ball is placed on the ground.

    Ruck (2): Accidental stepping on an opponent lying in an offside position.

    Sinbin: a tactic used by some referees to increase their impact on the outcome of a game.

    Try: The verb used to describe what the Bulls do every year in the Currie Cup, often with little or no success.

    Up-and-under: (an integral calculus term in rugby competitions) the inversion of global geographics – the southern hemisphere teams are usually ‘up’, while the northern hemisphere teams are usually ‘under’.

    Wing (1): Northern hemisphere – extra defender.

    Wing (2): Southern hemisphere – top try scorer.

    Away supporters (Bulls): The coachloads of dedicated fans that travel all over the country to see their team play.

    Prop: Front row position that has finally solves the mystery of who did actually eat all of the pies.

    Sevens: An abreviated version of the 15 man game. This shorter version is preferred by front row players as they invariably spend the whole game in the bar and not on the pitch.

    Side Step: A manouvre whereby the attacking player attempts to avoid a defender my means of a brief horizontal, rather than lateral movement across the field of play. The side step has recently been adopted by some defending players as a means of avoiding serious injury when faced with the sight of Cheetah running towards them.

  • 20


    Morne, I remember a while ago you we had a little “chat” about this… to be honest, I never realised it. I suppose that thats how good the Spin doctors are.

    My question is just this. There have been numerous referrals to the WPRU being in a state of internal power struggle for the past few decades. Plural. Now if that is true, how come we managed to win the Cup in within the last 10 years?

    My question leads to another one. If, amidst the power struggle, WP managed to win something, how come the team can’t do it again? Are things so far down the line now?

    Anyway, I hope the Mercs can help out. I mean, a team with the boot of De Waal, the talent of Jantjies and the experience of Habana and Fourie that cannot fire… I mean…seriously.

  • 21

    After the initial joy of getting rid of Fester i questioned the coaching of Rassie. So many WP supporters was happy with Rassie, in a way i am too. He only had a few tricks and no structures were set up, well next year is year 3 the year most coaches term ends, only a Cup will save his career.

    He is breaking the Cape culture and alienate the supporters from the team. Look at the way the Bulls accept Jaco vd Westhuisen back, imagine how happy the Cape would be if he brings back the stray ex WP boys instead of others that never lived there.

  • 22

    And the Cup MUST be a s14 trophy.

  • 23


    The short answer is that WP managed to appoint some very good coaches in the past, and they have had extremely talented and strong characters in the players who were natural leaders.

    Is it a surprise that some of their most recent successes were when Bob Skinstad, Corne Krige and Luke Watson was part of the setup? No.

    Currently WP rugby alienates the press and therefore ultimately the supporters. You will not find Rassie without his lawyer Frikkie Erasmus by his side whenever the media is addressed – if you do, you are lucky.

    He is paranoid beyond comprehension, and seemingly unable to debate issues with guys from the press, even those who have been reporting on the game for decades.

    As much as I do not like Gavin Rich much personally, I was stoked when he attacked the WP Rugby administration in one post match presser last year.

    Most other guys from the media will never dream it, because you will get worked out of the system at WP Rugby. The talk in the media suite from the older, lesser known guys is shocking at how ‘scared’ they are to ask the questions we all want answers to.

    In WP rugby, even the media guys, have to toe the line, form part of a clique or you are cast aside…

    GBS would possibly confirm this but in my dealings with unions Ian from the Bulls, and Yolandi from the Cheetahs are the two best people to deal with, accommodating people to no end.

    Now our main contact at Newlands is a great guy, Malcolm, but you definately get the feeling that there are few, if no cliques in unions like the Cheetahs and Bulls.

    The Lions are just plain useless I am sorry.

    And we only recently started dealing with the Sharks but they are as clinical and professional as you would hope to find.

    Fact is, strong characters at Newlands are worked out of the system, just cast your mind back to Nick Mallet…

    Who gets appointed?

    A ja-boetie (in my view)

  • 24

    Very interesting article, thanks Morné.

    I hope that WP and the Lions can sort out the problems that are discussed here. We need all the unions to be at their best as this will strenghten Springbok rugby.

    Rugby is a big business since turning profesional, and therefore it needs to be run like a business or it will fall apart. The knowledge is here in SA, and we need to pull together to sort out all this problems that rugby in SA encounters.

  • 25

    Is julle besig met Maint op die site? Kannie die Bloggers Photo Gallery oopmaak nie?

  • 26

    @25Blou Baard Pastei – Jy moet eers n foto van jouself vir Grootblousmile stuur, voor jy die Photo Gallery kan oopmaak.

  • 27

    Eish aLL of you miSS the most important part of the arti

    But then gOOde news doesnt $eLL!

    “You want to sit back and appreciate a successful season?

    Then sit back and enjoy the country cousins, the Cheetahs and what they achieved with minimal resources, a nightmare start to their campaign, injury plagued periods throughout the year and even the odd tabloid-type off the field scandals where they not only (for the first time in many years) managed to hold onto most of their core group of players for another year, but also managed to feature 3 teams in 3 finals on Saturday at Loftus where their U/19, U/21 and senior Currie Cup side will take part in the finals of South Africa’s premier domestic competition.”

  • 28

    #27 Spot on, Willem (and Morne).

    Irrespective of what happens at Beloftes Persveld tomorrow, the Cheetahs deserve to be recognised for the domestic success they have already achieved this season.

  • 29

    Die vraag wat beantwoord moet word, is nie wat het (al weer) verkeerd gegaan met Weer Probeer nie, maar:

    Waar is JOU bloutrui ? 😉

  • 30


    Die wêreld is blouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

    Die lewe is ‘n BLOUUUUUUUUUUUUUU LIED !!

    My onnerbroek is blouuuuuuuuuuuuuu

    Blou, blou, blou….

    My balle is…… noggie blou nie…. hehehe

  • 31

    Hoe lyk die weer in Pta, gaan dit more reën ?

  • 32

    #29 bdb

    My bloutrui is safely packed away in my cupboard awaiting the S14 series when my Bulls play against the Australasian teams again.

  • 33


    Thanks fender

    I will take the silence from the buLLies as aPProval- although with “biNNesmondse gebitchery”


  • 34

    Sop net dat mAAndag NIE ‘n BLOU mAAndag is nie!


  • 35

    More almal

    My maag is al so bietjie loperig van opgewondengeid. Kaartjies is gekoop, vervoer is gereel, my trui ruik soos staysoft en die wors is in die yskas.

    Dit gaan darem maar lekker wees om more daar aan te kom, die braaivleis vure te ruik en die blou bul lied oor elke tweede bakkie se speakers te hoor.

    Ek kan nou nie meer werk nie.

  • 36

    eks leKKe jaloers rOOipiet!

    geniet die atmosfEEr!

  • 37

    SA weer se dis more 14 min 23 maksimum met ‘n 0% kans vir reen. Dit klink of dit egter vandag reenerig is, dan kan die bal seker bietjie nat wees more.

  • 38

    Ek gaan verseker, eks net bly ek hoef die jaar nie weer kingspark toe te ry nie, dis darem maar donners ver vir my.

  • 39

    37: ja, dit moet of ordentlik reen of glad nie, maar so tussen-in se paar druppels maak die veld en bal baie glibberig. Maar, dit geld vir albei spanne, reen of droogte.

  • 40

    Interesting article.

    From personal experience, I can also confirm that the development structures at the Lions also leave a lot to be desired.

    I had hoped that with the new Exco’ in place there, that things would improve, but it appears that the more things change the more they stay the same.

    A union can buy players until the trophies are won, but unless sustainable development structures are put in place, success will (IMO) be short lived.

    Having said that, the development initiatives of the IRB on a global scale leave much to be desired.

    Rugby 7’s at the 2016 Olympics will do something towards greater recognition of the game, but I’m afraid that unless they (the IRB) puts some “real” time, effort and money into global development, Rugby Union will remain a minority sport worldwide.

  • 41

    Dink as daar nou een ou is wat hoogs die _______ in is vir die Sharks, is dit Kaplan. Nou moet hy vanaf sy vakansiehuis (net langs Kingspark) in Durban al die pad reis na Transvaal om die finaal te kom blaas.

  • 42

    Ek is amper banger vir Kaplan in ‘n finaal as vir Brussow. Maar dis net omdat ek vir die bulle skree.


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