Monday, July 7, 2008

A crumbling empire?

I have a bad feeling, a very bad feeling. The Springbok display on Saturday was one of the most disjointed performances I have seen from the Boks in a pretty long time. Stuart Dickinson was terrible but that is no surprise. It never is when Stu is on the whistle.
What is of more concern is the terrible display. Saturday must be the worst kicking display I have ever seen from a Springbok side. Butch James was particularly bad. If your looking for the difference between the 2 teams, look no further than Butch and Dan Carter. Granted, Carter got excellent go-forward ball from his forwards but Butch was terrible.
I think the AB`s were MUCH better than us. Had the disallowed try stood, it would have been a better reflection of the game.
There was no cohesion between forwards and backs, no cohesion between the back 3, no cohesion between the loosetrio and no cohesion within the frontrow. All in all, a blueprint for disaster.

Delving deeper, we have to ask where the problems lie? Is it the new philosophy that Peter De Villiers is trying to instill? Is it the gameplan or lack thereof? Could it be the selections?
My view? It`s a combination of all the above. The players are still getting used to "playing the situation" and inevitably mistakes will creep in. I back the notion completely and do think it is the way forward but can our players adapt in the space of 3 tests? Well, Saturday proved the point.

I do hope Peter De Villiers gets it right. We really need him to. If he doesn`t, it might have serious repercussions for rugby in this country. Unfortunately politics play a major part in our sport and for the first black coach to be a failure will be a massive blow.

What can he do? Well firstly, stop talking to the media and start doing. The media has cost a lot of Bok Coaches their jobs. PDV is making silly comments at present and the media is having a field day.
Secondly, get the selections right. Bring back BJ at tighthead and consider Beast or Heinke Van Der Merwe at loosehead. Bring Monty in at 15, move Jantjes to the wing and bring in Frans Steyn at centre to partner Jean De Villiers.

Having said all of this though, I must be honest that I don`t see us coming back from our tour down under with a win. I predict a 0/3 record. The knives will be out for PDV and things are going to get really hairy.
I pray I`m wrong but I cannot see the Boks coming back with even one win.

So why the bad feeling? I have seen all of this before. 1995 we were crowned World Champions and it should have been the start of a wonderful period for Bok rugby. What transpired in 1996 was our first series loss on home soil to the All Blacks and a loss to the British Lions the year after.
Hence the bad feeling, I fear it may just be 1996 all over again.


Miller said...

Good point Bru. Hope you are wrong but somehow I doubt it. I still think we are going to lose on Saturday, even though my blood will always be green.

Francois said...

I agree Bru, the blood will always be green. Like I said, I hope I`m wrong....