How will Heyneke Meyer fare in 2013?
In his first year, Heyneke Meyer was immediately under fire and he started with two unconvincing wins against England, with the 3rd Test against England ending in a 14 / 14 draw. He ended the 2012 season with a 58% win record. His best supporters point out that with the 2 draws he recorded, the losing percentage is a fairer assessment of his first year. The half-full glass group will point out that he only lost 3 games for a 25% losing percentage. Seeing it this way makes his debut year a reasonably good one.
What would we want from him in 2013?
The 2013 season consists of 3 different tournaments or segments. The Incoming tours starting in less than 2 weeks, the Rugby Championship and the End of Year tour.
The first part consists of a brand new mini tournament hosted in South Africa between South Africa, Italy, Samoa and Scotland. In the first two matches South Africa play Italy and Scotland. South Africa will play the best of the 3 in their last game. What type of result would be acceptable here? I recon a clean sweep is non negotiable and most supporters would agree with me.
The Rugby Championship:
In 2012 the Springboks ended 3rd with only 2 wins and a draw against Argentina. The Bokke lost twice to our arch rivals, New Zealand, and once against Australia. In 2013 South Africa starts with a home game against Argentina and then go on tour to play Argentina, Australia and New Zealand and end with two home games versus Australia and New Zealand. There is a lot of room for improvement on last year’s performance, but all South Africans expect a series win.
End of Year Tour:
So, what will constitute a successful 2013 campaign for Heynecke Meyer?
If he could swing the two drawn games of 2012 to wins, he will immediately have that elusive 75% win ratio. But that would leave him still with 3 losses out of 4 against the real enemy, Australia and New Zealand. I would say the absolute minimum acceptable situation would be to win 10 out of 12 Tests in 2013. That means he will have to win two games vs the ANZAC opponents. Winning 10 Tests would give him a healthy 83.3% win ratio. But that might still leave him without the Rugby Championship title.
Heyneke will most probably have an easy first part to the season and the only criticism might be his game plan and tactics… and of course his squad and team selections.