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It was written on their faces. The Boks, to a man, left Soccer City in despair last night, their 2012 Championship ending on the most depressing note.

The All Blacks, the trend-setters in the modern game, were beaming and edging ever closer to a world-record run of victories, after a game that only required one half of a puff from them.

Lungani Zama – Sunday Tribune

And, while Steve Hansen will look for new ways to open up opposition backlines, Heyneke Meyer is still looking for reasons why his way is still not working. It’s been a common thread this year.

Five months into his job, Meyer now knows that there is a monumental difference between moulding a franchise outfit to your own image and keeping the Boks relevant.

And, as much as he is part of the problem, Meyer cannot take sole blame for the depressing results. Too many of the senior players that he has are not providing the performances that are needed to keep the side going in these tough times.

Jean de Villiers, the captain, has thrown more stray passes over the last two months than he has in his entire career. The backline, when the ball has got to them, played as if they have just been introduced to each other.

At some point, the excuse that the Springboks are still learning will no longer be accepted as a reason for the abject displays that they have served up. After all, the entire team has played – and starred – in Super Rugby, where they have met the same players who are now dominating them so thoroughly.

And amidst all this, Meyer has maintained that the team is finally grasping his ideas.

By the end of the match at Soccer City last night, the Boks looked more clueless than ever, punch-drunk from being routinely raided by a team with a proper, modern game plan.

When the All Blacks were under the cosh in Nasrec, they soaked up the pressure and tightened the defence. The Boks, whenever they have had questions asked of their temperament, have wilted.

The defence used to be a source of pride, but lack of organisation has seen it become very leaky when confronted by pace and inventive running.

Those kind of errors could be understood against England, when Meyer had precious little time to assemble the troops. But now, five months on, and a solid stint of Championship Rugby later, there should be a defensive pattern that everyone understands.

The end-of-year tour to Europe now looms large as Meyer’s last chance to end 2012 on some kind of high.

Regardless of the results, which cannot really get much worse, what Heyneke Meyer simply has to do is take off the blinkers and scrap the Blue-Bull-print.

The Currie Cup run-in will again display those players who deserve a chance to play a more prominent role.

Players like Pat Lambie, who has the type of footballing brain that teams like New Zealand and Australia build entire backlines around because of their ability to play the moment.

That Lambie’s introduction in place of Zane Kirchener at Loftus last weekend raised the biggest cheer was telling. The public want to see him, and others like him, play.

Bok rugby has become stale and predictable. And yet, only Meyer has the power to change that. Only he can change the way the Springboks approach matches. Come November, we will see if he has had a change of heart.

59 Responses to Springbok rugby has become stale

  • 51

    i’m not sure whether i already pasted this one on here, but here goes:
    from sport24, an article by nzlander tony johnson

  • 52

    Best article I have read on the Boks.
    Heyneke Meyer has had more coaching pedigree than any other Bok coach, and he has had the past 4 years to study Springbok and World rugby.He has had every golden opportunity over the years.
    And this is what he comes up with ? The players KNOW they are playing brain dead rugby….all the good rugby has been over-coached out of them,by the YES men who Meyer has surrounded himself with.
    As the article mentions,a lack of belief and spirit is written on the faces of the players.THAT is what causes bad tackling.
    Kick badly, chase badly….head down and donner away, and lose the ball in contact….Meyer offers nothing else.
    And he is quoted, along with every excuse in the book, as saying there is no plan B….that all international teams play like this.
    And he won’t change……feel very sorry for the players.

  • 53

    Many articles point out good player management, yes its true but it is also easy when the results stream in, the moment they start losing we will see their reactions…

    “The current All Black side may not be the best ever, but they are certainly the fittest. They are superbly conditioned and managed. During the week prior to the test at FNB Stadium they only had one full-on training session. They have been working at quality rather than quantity in their preparation. They didn’t even bother with the traditional captain’s run for the tests in La Plata and Johannesburg, because of the time it would involve sitting on a bus.

    At home there is a tacit agreement between the NZRU/All Blacks and the franchises that key players be given downtime during Super Rugby – ideally a week off one side of the bye so they get a good ten days downtime.

    And Richie McCaw, who has played brilliantly but also taken a pounding during the current winter, has been given six months off at the end of the current rugby year in an attempt to prolong his career”

    It would take someone of greater knowledge than me to prove it, but I am sure there is some sort of correlation between fitness, conditioning and workload management, and the lack of chronic injuries affecting the All Blacks right now.

    It is a vindication of the pyramid system in New Zealand, where the best interests of the national team are paramount. It hasn’t always worked – the “rest, rotation and reconditioning” program prior to the 2007 RWC is widely regarded as a spectacular backfire, but a more subtle approach since then has produced rich dividends.

  • 54

    ok, anyone remember jake white?
    well, whilst the mentioned one was Natonal Coach
    ME and ALMOST ALL THE OTHER IDIOTS ON THIS SITE, was sure that we knew, uhm, well …… more than he knew
    at different stages we wanted him to drop (and not see again) the likes of
    victor matfield
    bakkies botha
    fourie du preez
    john smit
    percy montgomerie
    jp pietersen etc etc etc.
    that his side would not get past the quarters (and bloody hell, the nearly didnt, lol)
    of better captains than john the passenger smit (and better hookers also, didnt we?)
    that his name (john the passenger smit)wouldn feature in the top 10 hookers we had in the country at that stage
    that jake white was an idiot
    that we were right on all counts!!!
    Boy, were we proven wrong!! (hate the taste of humble pie, lol)

  • 55

    jeez!! no fishes!! Crazy

  • 56

    55 @ ashley:
    Die water is TE troebel… hehehe

  • 57

    gbs @ 56
    kinners moenie inni water mors nie, want grootmense moet dit drink? Conceited

  • 58

    57 @ ashley:
    Ek drink nie water nie, want die visse poef, pee en het seks in die water…. hahaha


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