Jake White’s Montpellier bounced back from their comprehensive loss away from home to Glasgow Warriors last week by beating fellow French team Toulouse in their final European Rugby Champions Pool 4 match on Sunday. Montpellier won a closely contested match by the narrowest of margins with a final score of 27 / 26 in their favour.
This victory for Montpellier meant that Saracens qualified for the last eight of the Cup in spite of losing their last Pool 1 match against pool winners Clermont Auvergne. The score in that match Clermont Auvergne 18 / 6 Saracens.
The 5 pool winners along with the 3 best second placed team advanced and Saracens made it through as the last qualifying with the lowest amount of points from their 6 matches (17). Had Toulouse won they would have qualified as Pool 4 winners along with Bath who won their Pool 4 match against Glasgow Warriors. Toulouse also ended the pool stage on 17 points but Saracens got through via a superior points difference, +14 versus Toulouse’s +2.
World Cup winning coach Jake White has revealed that he has been asked by Montpellier president Mohed Altrad to remain on as coach of the French Top 14 side.
White, former Director of Rugby at the Sharks, was brought in to replace Fabien Galthie who was suspended on 29 December after a string of defeats.
“The president wants me to stay,” White said in an interview in l’Equipe and Midi Libre newspapers.
Stormers flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis is the latest player linked to a move abroad, with French club Montpellier reportedly his destination. (Also see Update below)
Montpellier, currently coached by World Cup-winning former Springbok mentor Jake White, has been linked to a host of South African players – including the Du Plessis brothers Jannie and Bismarck.
Montpellier also secured the services of Wallaby scrumhalf Nic White, who will join them next season and be reunited with his former club coach White.
According to the French media the 24-year-old Brumbies No 9, White, has – along with Catrakilis – signed a 2-year contract with the option of extending it by a further year.
Jerry Yanuyanutawa says the Warriors will face a highly motivated Montpellier team in Sunday’s European Rugby Champions Cup match at Scotstoun.
The French side have lost all four of their Cup matches so far, but those defeats were sustained while Fabien Galthie was in charge. Galthie was replaced by Jake White at the end of last month, and the South African put down his marker by guiding them to a 16-12 victory over European champions Toulon in his very first game.
Jerry’s knowledge of the coach is based on their season together with the ACT Brumbies in Australia and he is convinced that White is a formidable and inspirational character.
Former Springbok coach Jake White’s second week in the Top 14 was the polar opposite to his winning debut.
A week after beating defending French and Europeans champions Toulon on home soil, White’s star-studded Montpellier team were brought back down to earth with a bump as they lost to 20 / 13 to minnows Oyonnax, who only avoided relegation last season on point difference.
Just a few days into his stint in France, White was forced to issue an official apology after saying he was happy to play against heavyweights Toulon because “playing in Montauban, in a field in front of five people and a dog… does not interest me.”
Following Saturday’s result, Oyonnax winger Silvère Tian – who scored two tries in the win at the Stade Charles Mathon – didn’t mince his words when celebrating, suggesting that White will be a little humbler with his comments in the future.
Montpellier’s new coach, Jake White, arrested a nine-match slide for his French club by using his tried and tested method – going back to basics.
The South African, a former World Cup-winning Springbok coach, got off to a winning start as the Top 14 strugglers beat European and French champions Toulon 16-12 at the weekend.
White was brought in as a consultant to replace the suspended Fabien Galthie in an aim to stem the tide of losses in European and domestic action.
Club President Mohed Altrad, who caused so much controversy when he called Galthie a failure, was full of praise for White.
He has fought the behemoths at the South African Rugby Union, he won a World Cup, lifted the Brumbies from no-hopers to Super Rugby finalists and even stuck his head into the hornets’ nest that was the Golden Lions Rugby Union a few years ago.
Yet, Jake White believes his six-month consultancy stint with struggling French club Montpellier Hérault may just be the biggest and toughest challenge of his career.
Having arrived on the shores of the Mediterranean at the weekend, White and fellow South African Shaun Sowerby were unveiled on Tuesday as the men who would have to lift the club from the doldrums.
White will just be in a consultancy role – with head coach Fabien Galthie still in the picture, despite being ‘suspended’ for a couple of weeks – Sowerby was appointed as the club’s new forwards coach.
South Africa’s 2007 Rugby World Cup winning coach Jake White is set to be named manager of Top 14 side Montpellier on Thursday.
The 51-year-old – a two-time IRB World Coach of the Year – has signed a six month contract according to a well-informed source.
His appointment will place almost unbearable pressure on head coach Fabien Galthie as White will be the former France captain’s superior.
Galthie, who has been seen as a potential successor to present France coach Philippe Saint-Andre should he step down after next year’s World Cup, has seen his position at the club weakened with a seven match losing run dating back to October 11 which only ended in their game last Saturday with a narrow win over Toulouse.
They are presently in sixth place, the last position for the post-season play-offs, 11 points off leaders and defending champions Toulon.
Japan coach Eddie Jones says former Springbok coach Jake White is the ideal candidate to take over as Wallabies mentor should Ewen McKenzie be sacked.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald website, speculation is growing that McKenzie could be fired within weeks.
This comes despite the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) chief executive Bill Pulver publicly backing McKenzie as the man to take the Wallabies to next year’s World Cup in England and Wales.
Tonga have added former Springboks coach Jake White to their backroom staff for the year-end tour to Asia and Europe.
White will serve as a technical advisor to head coach Mana Otai when Tonga plays Georgia, the United States and Scotland next month it was reported by TVNZ.
“Through some mutual acquaintances we got in touch with Jake and he was extremely keen to come on board,” Tonga high performance manager Peter Harding told ONE News.
Jake White could make a quick return to rugby coaching with Japan coach Eddie Jones keen to secure his services with the Brave Blossoms.
It was announced yesterday that White would be parting ways with the Sharks after a single season in Durban.
White and Jones worked together with South Africa during the successful 2007 World Cup campaign when the Australian helped the squad in a consulting role.
And the roles could be reversed this time, with Jones in charge of Japan, and eager to bring in White although he admits the South African will be in high demand.
“He is going to do some consultancy, I just don’t know where,” Jones told Kyodo News.
The sudden departure of Jake White as Sharks director of rugby has led to informed sources confirming there was growing discord between White and his back-room staff as well as with the players.
While White may not technically have been “fired” by the board of the Sharks, it is believed he was no longer heading a harmonious environment.
It is understood that Gary Gold, the former Springbok assistant coach under Peter de Villiers, could be the front runner to replace White as the Super Rugby coach, while former All Blacks coach John Mitchell could also be in the running.
The loss of some stalwarts to overseas clubs since the end of the Super Rugby season is making life tough for the young coaches who are going it alone for the first time at the helm of the Cell C Sharks in this Absa Currie Cup season.
Director of rugby Jake White has opted to take a back seat and not have any involvement with the Sharks senior team in the domestic season so that he can focus on the development of the players in the age-group teams as well as give head coach Brad MacLeod-Henderson and his assistants Sean Everitt and Paul Anthony the chance to experience the pressure that comes with being in charge
Niemand wil dit hard sê nie, maar almal weet dit: Suid-Afrikaanse rugby is in die #2%$.
Vir diegene wat onlangs uit ’n diep slaap uit ontwaak het, hier is die feite: Net een Suid-Afrikaanse span kon dit tot in ’n Super Rugby semi-finaal maak. En daar het hulle ook in die pomp geduik. Die ander klomp – die Bulle, Stormers, Leeus en Cheetahs het redelik swak gedoen.
Hoe kan ’n land soos Suid-Afrika, wat meer spelers as Nieu-Seeland en Australië saam het, so sleg uit die bus uit bliksem?
Om daardie vraag te beantwoord, moet ons teruggaan tot ons terugkeer tot internasionale rugby in 1992.
Dan sal ons sien dat ons intussen nooit pasaangeërs was nie. Nie met taktiek nie en nie met afrigting nie.
The question to be asked is: How does Heyneke Meyer compare with South Africa’s most successful coaches?
For this exercise, I decided to take two former coaches – the World Cup-winner, Jake White and Nick Mallett, who is currently the co-holder of the record for most consecutive Test victories – to draw a comparison with Meyer’s first two years in the hotseat.
The cold statistics will tell us only part of the story, but it is certainly important that we take them into account – or at least use it as a starting point.
When the scholars trawl through history and attempt to unearth the origins of a Waratahs premiership, they may settle on two names.
Michael Cheika and Israel Folau? No? Okay, what about Kurtley Beale, or Nathan Grey?
All those will feature, certainly.
But in the timeline but they’d have to go back further and head 287km south to Canberra.
There they’d find the names Jake White and Ita Vaea, and a moment-in-time conversation between the new Brumbies coach and a kid with six starts called Michael Hooper.
The year was 2011 and Hooper had been at the Brumbies for two seasons; serving as back-up to the legendary George Smith in his debut year.
While it’s perhaps unfair to label Jake White a ‘Tactical Neanderthal’, a well-known Kiwi scribe had a point when he commented on the lack of spark from South African rugby teams in the 15-man code.
New Zealand Herald national newspaper sports columnist, Chris Rattue, earlier this week criticised his compatriots for being less than gracious losers after they lost the Sevens final at the Commonwealth Games to South Africa.
Cell C Sharks CEO John Smit says Director of Rugby Jake White won’t be actively involved with the union’s Currie Cup side.
White coached the Sharks’ Super Rugby side, but their Currie Cup team will be coached by Brad MacLeod-Henderson, with Paul Anthony and Sean Everitt as assistants.
Smith told the Sharks’ official website that White will be focusing on other areas at the union during the Currie Cup.
Sorry, it doesn’t cut it for me to hear people state upon their crushing exit on Saturday from Super Rugby 2014: “Well done Sharks, at least you got to the Semis.”
If they are simply putting it in the context of their superior performance in relation to the other South African sides, my retort is “big deal”.
This was a year, after all, when the collective SA challenge was lamentably disappointing and our teams hogged the basement terrain on the overall table.
They’re 10,966 kilometres from home and massive outsiders for Saturday night’s Super Rugby semi-final, but Sharks coach Jake White thinks conditions could play into his side’s hands.
The Durban-based team know if they want any chance of stunning the Crusaders for the second time this season, they need to stick to their strengths.
On a cold Christchurch night, the Sharks will be aiming to retain possession, build up pressure and utilise their dominant scrum and rolling maul.
The long kicking games of fullback SP Marais and backline general Francois Steyn will also be integral as they seek to play the game in the right areas of the field.
Is Jake White trying to get his excuses in early should his Shark team lose against the Crusaders on Saturday?
If his tactics against the last placed SA conference side, the Cheetahs, hadn’t backfire and the Sharks were victorious, they would have had the week off and played the semi final at home.
Would he have complained about the format then?
When his Bok team won the 2007 World Cup they did so without having to face either the All Blacks or the Wallabies. White never complained about the format being skewed did he? No, he benefitted and rightly so, the rules are the rules.
The real Beast roaming around the Super Rugby rugby fields, is Sharks captain Bismarck du Plessis.
The bloke next to him at loosehead prop, Tendai Mtawarira, is dubbed “the Beast” who provokes rumbling shows of affection from supporters when he heads off on a run.
His impact, though, is cosmetic compared with Du Plessis.
The return of Pat Lambie and the arrival of Charl McLeod onto the field in the final 20 minutes of Highlanders game coincided with ‘some of the best rugby’ for the Sharks.
The Sharks late fightback after they twice came from behind in the second half to see off the stubborn Highlanders 31-27 has secured them a semifinal date with the Crusaders.
White was clearly happy with the entire team, but in particular with his reserve halfback pairing.
They say in sports you have to lose a grand final before you win one. That is the prospect, anyway, facing the ACT Brumbies as they go into a successive Super Rugby finals campaign on Saturday night.
The team they play, the Chiefs, defeated them in the 2013 grand final at Hamilton. It took the All Blacks 24 years to understand that finals rugby is an entirely different ball game from pool-round rugby. After the All Blacks lost in the quarter-finals to France in the 2007 Rugby World Cup, the coaching staff did some deep thinking into how to play finals rugby.
What they discovered is that they needed to have total clarity on how to play each specific final. And they had to have contingency plans for coping with unforeseeable events. The best contingency plan is to score enough points before trouble arrives, as it did for the Brumbies in the last 20 minutes of their final against the Chiefs.
Where the Brumbies need clarity in their qualifying final is knowing whether to play “Jakeball” or “Macqueenball”.
The Cell C Sharks will play in their 14th Vodacom Super Rugby knock-out match when they host the Highlanders in the second Qualifier for 2014 at Growthpoint Kings Park in Durban on Saturday afternoon.
The newly-crowned South African Conference champions are one of the most successful teams in the history of the competition when it comes to reaching the playoff rounds, although they are yet to take the trophy back to Durban.
The Sharks are without doubt the most successful team in the history of the competition never to have won the title.
Sharks boss Jake White believes Saturday’s play-off encounter with the Highlanders will be much more like Test match than a Super Rugby showcase.
As a result he believes that the experience of his seasoned Springboks will be a key factor in the knock-out stages of the competition.
“The bottom line is there are no bonus points to worry about in a knock-out game, you just have to win, it doesn’t matter how,”White told a media briefing in Durban on Thursday.
“It means you can’t take too many risks.”
Cell C Sharks director of rugby Jake White has admitted that there was a big temptation to start against the Highlanders with Pat Lambie, but in the end decided against it for fear of disrupting what worked for his side against the Stormers last week.
According to the supersport.com website, speaking a few hours after announcing a match day squad that included Lambie on the bench as back-up to starting flyhalf Frans Steyn, White said he was hoping that the Springbok will get a chance to play in the second half of the Vodacom Super Rugby play-off and thus be ready to start a possible semifinal.
Sharks boss Jake White would like his side to use their performance against the Stormers at Newlands as a template for how to approach the play-offs.
Michael de Vries
Although his side may have fallen one try and 11 points short of their ultimate target on Saturday, White was understandably pleased with the ‘finals rugby’ his side played against a Stormers team that has recently found their best form of the season.
After a deflating defeat to the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein last week, White called on his best team to get them some momentum before the play-offs and they did just that in a game that had his stamp all over it.
The Stormers had the majority of possession but couldn’t make it count in the face of a committed defensive effort from the Sharks who pounced on some late counter-attacking opportunities to run away with the game in the end.
Winning the 2007 Rugby World Cup was a momentous occasion for Springboks but it has done little for the development of the way rugby is played in South Africa.
I believe that the so-called ‘Jake White template’ has been detrimental to South African rugby on a number of levels.
Let me start by saying that I can’t fault White’s tactics in 2007. Given the weapons at his disposal, the approach he adopted was spot on. The efficacy of this approach (when correctly executed) is not in question. My aim here is rather point to the consequences of the mindset that in has become enrooted in SA rugby because of it’s (limited) success.
What concerns me is that the territory-based and defence-orientated approach employed back then has been widely adopted in the Republic and in many quarters is still held up as a blueprint for future success.
From a coaching perspective, it’s not difficult to see why this methodology is popular. Giant men imposing themselves with hard, straight running and big hits have always been the hallmarks of the South African style.
Do the business in Bloemfontein on Saturday night … then warm up the Sunday morning coffee smartly and become temporary Highlanders enthusiasts for 80 minutes.
Those ought to be key items on the Sharks’ to-do list this weekend as Super Rugby 2014 enters its penultimate round of ordinary-season play.
Director of rugby Jake White will be aware of the potential hazard of putting the cart before the horse, and drum into his charges that victory against the Cheetahs in a domestic derby is very much the main target.
But if they manage that, their attention will undoubtedly turn pretty smartly to a Sunday morning cracker (in SA time-zone terms, at 08:05) between the log-leading Waratahs and New Zealand-based playoffs challengers the Highlanders in Sydney.
Jake White has hinted at a bold strategy to rest his returning Springboks with the Sharks having sewn up the South African conference and guaranteed some play-off rugby already.
The Sharks have an unassailable hold on the South African Conference and cannot finish the tournament any lower than third.
However, the plan is to finish in the top two and earn a direct route to a home semifinal without having to play a qualifying knock-out match.
White has indicated that if they are to really be competitive when it matters, it may require some tactical selection policies.
The Cell C Sharks players not in the Springbok camp all returned to Kings Park this week as they start preparing for the final stages of the Super Rugby tournament, Sharks website editor Michael Marnewick reports.
In two weeks’ time, they will resume duty against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein, followed by their final pool match, against the Stormers in Cape Town. The knockout stages follow with the Sharks already guaranteed a place in the top three, having already secured the South African Conference.
The players have had a mixed programme over the June break, alternating rest with gym work and field training to balance the needs to break from the game, without losing strength and fitness.
It seems the Sharks supporters in general are taking serious exception to recent critisism in the media and here on Rugby-Talk, against suggestions that Jake White has overplayed a lot of the Sharks’ Springbok players and candidates.
We are even experiencing a silent boycot by some of the regular Sharks contributors here on Rugby-Talk, for us daring to speak out in the comments against the lack of national interests by Jake White and the Sharks… not that it has negatively impacted on Rugby-Talk at all in any form or by any means.
Friends, this is not a “Hit Out” against the Sharks, this is a worrying trend, which is showing true results at present!
This morning, I had the fortune of meeting and speaking to one of our regular Sharks supporters’ Father-In-Laws, here in my office… so Sharkie_Forever, you have a grand old Father-In-Law, a singular gentleman, even though he also supports the Sharks.
The older gentleman is also in agreement that Jake White is overplaying some of the players, so there you have it, the wisdom of the older generation!
In SA Rugby media circles, there are probably not a more fervant Sharks media man than Rob Howing, the Sport24 reporter, so I thought that adding an article penned by Rob, is probably apt in the circumstances!
So, here goes:
On Rugby-Talk recently, debate in the comments sections between Sharks supporters and other South African supporters often turned and revolved around Jake White’s management or mismanagement of his core players and around the players who will have to do duty for the national side, the Springboks.
The argument often used by Sharks supporters were that the June Internationals are less important, against weakened sides and that Jake White needed to do exactly like he did, play his players week after week and arguably into the ground.
Players like Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Willem Albers and more pertinetly Francois Steyn have looked increasingly jaded and this past weekend’s Sharks loss against the Stormers was a stark reminder of the situation.
One of the regular journalists I share the Press Box at Loftus Versfeld with, Brenden Nel, of SuperSport, penned an interesting article on this same matter. I think he nails this one on the head, here is what he says:
Cell C Sharks coach Jake White agreed that the last gasp defeat to the DHL Stormers in the final Vodacom Super Rugby match before the June break was a massive blow to his team, but he refused at the post-match press conference to let the disappointment cloud his perspective.
“Look, if you had asked me at the start of the competition if I would buy a situation where we would be going into the June break at the top of the log by two points with two matches for us to play, I would happily have brought that,” said White.