With SA Ruby (SARU) in the throngs of considering the appointment of a new Rugby coach for the Springboks, when Peter de Villiers’ contract concludes in December 2011, it might be prudent to look at results in the last 4 years.

The first thing which emerges is that there has been a steady decline in winning percentages over the last 4 years.

During the first 2 years of the reign of Peter de Villiers the winning percentage was an average of 68 % but during the last 2 years of his reign it has dropped to an average of 56.5 % for those 2 years.

It has to be noted that Peter de Villiers inherited a World Cup winning squad, which has now slipped to No 4 in the IRB rankings, below France.

Peter de Villiers is certainly not the only one to blame, SARU and the Unions and SA Rugby Franchises must share some of the blame.

The start South Africa need now is for the correct successor for Peter de Villiers to be appointed, irrespective of where he finds himself in the world or what his nationality might be, but that must be accompanied by SARU creating the circumstances and the support this new figure needs to succeed at all costs. Personal interests need to be suppressed for the National good.

I am afraid that is requiring far too much from a bunch of people with a bad track record!

Let’s take a deeper look:


9 Tests were played by the Springboks, with 5 wins and 4 losses. 3 of the wins came against Samoa, Namibia and Fiji, so out of the 6 remaining Tests against premier World opposition only 2 was won.

The Springbok winning percentage for 2011 was only 55.5%.

The games were as follows:

SA 9 / 11 Australia
SA 13 / 5 Samoa
SA 87 / 0 Namibia
SA 49 / 3 Fiji
SA 17 / 16 Wales
SA 18 / 15 New Zealand
SA 9 / 14 Australia
SA 7 / 40 New Zealand
SA 20 / 39 Australia



14 Tests were played by the Springboks, with 8 wins and 6 losses.

The Springbok winning percentage for 2010 was only 57.1%.

The games were as follows:

SA 21 / 11 England
SA 17 / 21 Scotland
SA 29 / 25 Wales
SA 23 / 21 Ireland
SA 39 / 41 Australia
SA 44 / 31 Australia
SA 22 / 29 New Zealand
SA 13 / 30 Australia
SA 17 / 31 New Zealand
SA 12 / 32 New Zealand
SA 55 / 11 Italy
SA 29 / 13 Italy
SA 42 / 17 France
SA 34 / 31 Wales



12 Tests were played by the Springboks, with 8 wins and 4 losses.

The Springbok winning percentage for 2009 was 66.7%.

The games were as follows:

SA 10 / 15 Ireland
SA 32 / 10 Italy
SA 13 / 20 France
SA 32 / 29 New Zealand
SA 6 / 21 Australia
SA 32 / 25 Australia
SA 29 / 17 Australia
SA 31 / 19 New Zealand
SA 28 / 19 New Zealand
SA 9 / 28 British & Irish Lions
SA 28 / 25 British & Irish Lions
SA 26 / 21 British & Irish Lions



13 Tests were played by the Springboks, with 9 wins and 4 losses.

The Springbok winning percentage for 2008 was 69.2%.

The games were as follows:

SA 42 / 6 England
SA 14 / 10 Scotland
SA 20 / 15 Wales
SA 53 / 8 Australia
SA 15 / 27 Australia
SA 0 / 19 New Zealand
SA 63 / 9 Argentina
SA 9 / 16 Australia
SA 30 / 28 New Zealand
SA 8 / 19 New Zealand
SA 26 / 0 Italy
SA 37 / 21 Wales
SA 43 / 17 Wales


Are South Africans happy with the winning percentages, even with the best percentage of 69.2 % in 2008?

I certainly am not, and I am absolutely ashamed at the decline in winning percentage to the woeful conclusion in 2011 of just 55.5 %.

The once proud Springboks boasted a positive winning ratio against ALL NATIONS, including New Zealand, before they came back from isolation and there has been glimpses that it could be like that again, like the brilliant run by the Springboks under Kitch Kristie in 1995 and the 17 wins in a row under Nick Mallett just before the turn of the century.

South Africa can certainly not complain about a lack of registered players and player reserves compared to the other leading Nations of the world, in fact with the potential in South Africa the natural conclusion should be that the Springboks should always aim for the No 1 spot in World Rugby. South Africa should rightly be in the position New Zealand has occupied in the modern era, almost always No 1 throughout, and always the favourite to win any competition they enter.

We all know that politics and the complexities in South African society plays a negative role in achieving the desired results, but that excuse has become stale and is a serious indictment against South Africa’s inaility to move forward and beyond these hampering factors.

Have South Africans come to accept mediocrity and have they become happy to suck the hindmost tit?

Has the Rainbow Nation thrown their hands in the air and given up?

I certainly hope this is not the case and I hope you have not given up either!

My hope is for the people in charge of rugby in South Africa to show some backbone to make the necessary choices and correct decisions, to pull South Africa out of this self-created shambles which has become the norm. South Africa is better than what we are being fed and led to believe is achievable.

27 Responses to Springbok Rugby statistics for the last 4 years

  • 1

    No I am certainly not happy. I expect a 75% win ratio at all times. We should not lose home tests ever. As far as away results go, we should be able to beat most teams away from home.

    The problem lies with SARU.
    Then with grass root level development of non white rugby players.

    The one goes in hand with the other, SARU wants to appease the politicians and hence selections are made not always on merit. Even today still it happens. Our caoching cabinet compared to New Zealand is bare. rugby is a subject in New Zealand schools, here it is an afterthought.

    Nepotism is the next problem. I have seen it with my own eyes at primary school level where my boy is now. If daay is not on the PTA or painting the rugby poles, unles your kid is brilliant has little chance of getting a fair opportunity. and this goes on all the way through school.

    Our whole system from base level up has many negative influences from nepotism, transformation, inadequate coaching, poor administration.

  • 2

    sorry daay – daddy

  • 3

    The more I look at the figures, the worse it looks…. eishhhhhhhhhh

  • 4

    I agree, not happy either, when you look at the teams we have beaten – especially in the last couple of years, which makes the percentages look better on paper, it is even more depressing. I also think we were very lucky against the Lions, and the stats don’t show how poor we actually were in both those matches. For me the sharp decline started after the first test, and has continued since then.

  • 5

    Ek’s nie gelukkig eens met 80% nie. Niemand kan kers vashou by SA se reuse spelerspoel en talent nie. Ons 2de span is veronderstel om die Drienasies te wen. Maar SA Rugby is soos my geliefde WP, en ek kan maar net my skouers lig en sug, want (en ek bedoel dit met die grootste liefde en respek) dis soos om ‘n gestremde persoon lief te he : jy weet soms self nie rerig hoekom nie, maar die gevoel bly daar.

  • 6

    On this decline alone, PDV should not even be on the short list, even as the incumbent. This WC should have been an easier tourney to win compared to the last one.
    What this article does not cover, and that would be even more of an inditement of PDV’s ability as a coach, is who has he developed to take over from the Matfields, Smit’s and FDP’s of the team? There is Bekker, Bismark and Hougaard, but who else would be in the team right now if he had to choose a team to play NZ next Saturday?

    We have no heir apparants for our our props, no 4 lock, and the whole backline.
    Scary stuff.

  • 7

    I know we have some bright young stars coming through, like Lambie, Jantjies, Taute , Goosen, Mvovo etc, but how much experience do they really have in internatinal rugby?

  • 8

    6@ Lion4ever:
    Not the best of results in the last couple years, no excuses but I guess there are some mitiagting circumstances such as provincial coaches playing players into the ground during Super 14 and Currie Cup etc, and also if you look at those results there are a lot of games against New Zealand who have been a powerhouse under Graham Henry. Don’t agree that this World Cup was easier, had to beat Australia and would also have needed to beat NZ in their own backyard, only big team we played last World Cup was England…

  • 9

    @ Bullscot:
    Was this the best ever NZ team? Not by a long shot. While they have some great players, the majority are just good players. Take McCaw and Carter out and you have team that is beatable. The Australia game was a game we should have won. The coach did not have an answer to the tactics of the Aussies and the refs complicity.

  • 10

    9@ Lion4ever:
    I don’t know, don’t think I’m qualified to know which is the best team having only started watching rugby in the early 80′s. Those are two great players you mentioned but I think the final showed they managed without Carter, they were down to was it 4th choice flyhalf and still found a way around it. Think they have loads of quality backs and Franks is good, Thorn good experienced lock, and for me Kaino was the man of the tournament so as good as McCaw and Carter are I think we would have liked to think that without them NZ aren’t good, but thats an insult to Graham Henry and the rest of the players. Yes there should have been some wisdom and possible change of tactics after half time but the players also need to take responsibility especially as the Bok team was so full of experience, he didn’t coach them to give away that last penalty and if it wasn’t a penalty then can’t see how the loss can be put so heavily on coaches shoulders as you imply there were some reffing problems. Don’t get me wrong the coach has a huge role to play and folk are quite rightly disapointed but I think too often in all sports coaches get singled out when it is a collective effort and sometimes players get away lightly from the criticism.

  • 11

    @ Lion4ever:
    Must run been good discussing the rugby have a good day there Lion4ever.

  • 12

    Bullscot, you make a valid point, about the players adapting to the ref and changing tactics at halftime. BUT, and that is a big but, we have seen PDV take a very good team and turn it into a poor team. This ranges from poor tactics to even stranger team selections at times, and also the allegations that Smit, Victor and co called the shots.

    WRT to the NZ World Cup team, I am not denying that the team is a good team. What I am saying is that it is not a great team. The players you mentioned will never let the side down, but McCaw and Carter are very talismanic players, and without them in the side, the AB’s lose some of that aura about it.

  • 13

    I thought this Article would envoke quite a bit more reaction from our bloggers, voicing their dissatisfaction with Springbok results of the last 4 years… guess at this time of the year everybody is a bit apathetic… and need a good rest over the Festive season.

  • 14

    I would have also thought so. I am surprised that no-one has even ventured (again) to list what they thnink would be the run on side under the new coach.
    Here is my team:
    1) Beast
    2) Bismark
    3) Jannie
    4) Alberts
    5) Bekker
    6) Brussow/Minnie
    7) Juan Smith/ Minnie
    8) Vermuelen/Josh
    9) Hougaardt
    13)De Jongh
    14)JJ Engelbrecht

  • 15

    Of course I could have included some more Lions players, but I declined. Players such as Mapoe and Murray were not considered because of injury. Rhodes and Whitely could also be considered at 7.

  • 16

    14 & 15 @ Lion4ever:
    A bit premature selecting a squad, not knowing who the coach might be and what the 2012 Super Rugby season might bring.

    Will certainly be interesting to see who puts their hand up for No 4 lock, inside center, outside center (Sadie?), wings and fullback.

    I recon we might have Schalla as Bok captain (I would not).

    I am excited about the new crop of youngsters who will put their hands up… like Kolisi, Jacques Potgieter, Whiteley, Josh Strauss, Flip van der Merwe, Daniel Adongo, JJ Engelbrecht, Jaco Taute, Johan Goosen…

    Also excited to see guys back like Joe Pietersen, Brussow, Juan Smith…

  • 17

    144@ Lion4ever:That is a good team there. Though with the speculation going around that H. Meyer will be Bok Coach (if that is the case) then with out a doubt we will have Spies at 8. For me that will be a pity cause right now there are better players than Spies at 8. How good a captain he will be I have no idea, he could be a brilliant captain or not so. Just have to see how he goes in SuperRugby with the captaincy.

    Don’t count JPP out at 14 just yet either. He is only 25 and can still be one of the best. Doppies won’t make inside centre with Frans Steyn coming back to SA. He will be joining the Cheetahs I heard from June. So without a doubt Fransie will be at 12 with Doppies probably back up.

    Anyhow plenty other players might come through in SuperRugby so we will have a better idea who for Boks come the England game.

  • 18

    16@ grootblousmile:If Meyer is Bok Coach we will have Spies as captain. Have no idea how good he is as captain either, but know he is not our best at 8.

    There is a lot of rumours going around that the Bok Coach will be Meyer with Assistants, Venter, Rassie and Treu. Now have NO idea if it is true. Could just be that, rumours.

  • 19

    17 & 18 @ Puma:
    Spoke to Heyneke last week Wednesday, he won’t be coach!

  • 20

    If AC is our Bok Coach then the captaincy will go to Burger.

    If by some miracle and Mitchell is our coach, then I doubt he will just select Strauss from Lions as Bok Captain. He will weigh it up first, bide his time before selecting. Brilliant coach and I would really want him to get the job, but that is a pipe dream I know. Saru will be looking for a South African first. For me Mitchell is our best coach right now in South Africa without a doubt.

  • 21

    19@ grootblousmile:Okay I believe you that he said that.

    These rumours only came out yesterday. Could he change his mind?

    Also heard last week it could be Gert Smal. If he is the Bok Coach then it will be Burger to captain.

  • 22

    21 @ Puma:
    We were at the Bulls Media Day, whole day last Wednesday, had the chance to speak in depth to a number of people. Heyneke said no… and it is clear he is heavily envolved, with his full weight at the Bulls for the new season.

    Gert Smal is a likely possibility… I like what Gert Smal did with the Irish forwards.

    John Mitchell won’t be coach, he feels he has a lot to do still at the Lions.

    I agree with John Robbie though, hope the coach is not appointed for 4 years.

    Who knows what SARU will do… who knows!

  • 23

    22@ grootblousmile:Then it will be either AC or Gert.

    Mallett does definitely not want the Job either. B. Venter? Could be him who knows.

    When to the renew players contracts? That must be a worry for some players.

  • 24

    23 @ Puma:
    Might be a blessing not to renew Player contracts too quickly… let them play their guts out in Super Rugby, make themselves unmissable for Bok honors.

    Both Brenden Venter and Alister Coetzee have indicated their unavailability… but how rigid that is, I don’t know.

  • 25

    24@ grootblousmile:We may lose some players if we wait long to renew their contracts.

    See the crici is back on so will hop over to the cricket thread.

  • 26

    25 @ Puma:
    The players have now decided where they will play in 2012, so I do not think we will lose any.

  • 27

    Ok, so JM and HM are out for sure, and so is JW. So who does that leave us? Gert Smal would not be a bad choice. He has done great work with the Irish. Brendon Venter was good at Sarries. Alistair Coetzee, has not been able to transform the Stormers/WP into a team that is able to go the distance, and neither has Rassie. Plumtree seems to have hit the ceiling at the Sharks.
    Dawie Theron and Jimmy Stonehouse are dark horses. I like what they have done at the Griquas and Pumas respectively, and no one has mentioned Naka Drotske either, and then there is Nick Mallet.

    Of this list above, my shorlist would be in order of preference: Mallet, Smal, Venter.


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