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Incredible Lions comeback to beat Hurricanes and reach Super Rugby final

Well, last year they did play in the NZ conference and were lying first on the log right up until the very last league game against the Jaguars which they sacrificed by playing their second stringers and so gave up the home final to the Hurricanes.

8 Months, 2 Weeks ago

Waisake Naholo and RG Snyman both banned after red cards for shoulders

That difference in suspensions is ridiculous! How can they consider Naholo's a low-entry point?

11 Months, 1 Day ago

Super Rugby 2017 - Round 12 Highlights

It was a pretty awful game. It was mostly just defence, defence, defence.

11 Months, 6 Days ago

Springboks put policy in place to prevent losing players to overseas

Except we have just lost Cobus Reinach because they were to incompetent to even reach out to him before he signed with Northampton.

1 Year, 1 Month ago

Barbarians team to face Springboks features hungry South Africans

Why all Southern Hemisphere? I thought the point of the BaaBaas was to have people from all over the globe? Especially when its a SH nation they are playing against.

1 Year, 5 Months ago

All Blacks too strong for error-ridden Springbok challenge in Christchurch

No worries. Its a pretty salient point in South Africa.

The funny thing is, although Coetzee showed his hand early on that he was buying into the whole transformation thing. He has actually, in many ways, acted like Meyer did. I think his teams have been even less representative.

He has also done the same thing to Paige as Meyer did as well as doing it to Mbonambi; ie only giving them 5 min off the bench if at all. But he hasn't been blasted for it.

1 Year, 6 Months ago

All Blacks too strong for error-ridden Springbok challenge in Christchurch

Of course he digs himself an even bigger hole when he doesn't give Rudy Paige much game time in the 'sure win' against the USA or the dead rubber playoff against Argentina. Again he is pilloried by government, the public and even SARU for his 'racism' (even though many a white player has seen the same treatment).

The result is a coach who pretty much looks like he has had a nervous breakdown and resigns over the hopelessness of the situation.

SARU doesn't immediately look for or appoint a new coach, even though Allister Coetzee is the obvious choice. Instead they wait until April, only a couple weeks before the first test.

The ministry of sport and SARU make it clear that he must achieve a 50% black player representation by 2019 and because the Boks had not been doing well in that regard the sports minister bans them (along with other federations) from bidding for international tournaments.

So with this clear and obvious target (although still unwritten) he goes about selecting his backroom staff. He chooses Matthew Proudfoot as his forwards coach (he was in the same position with Coetzee at the Stormers) but then goes and chooses Mzwandile Stick as his backline coach. Now Stick was a good Sevens player but was yet untested at the top levels. He had served a stint as EP Kings U19 head coach in 2015 (and won the U19 Currie Cup) and was in his 3rd month of top flight coaching as the EP Kings Super Rugby sides backline coach. I think we can all agree that that team wasn't a model of success.

Not to mention the fact that there is absolutely zero hand over between him and Meyer. One day Meyer is out with his staff and the next day Coetzee is in with all his staff. No one knows how anything had been done in the past. There is also a massive list of players injured, out of form, retired or left for overseas.

That is where we are now.

1 Year, 6 Months ago

All Blacks too strong for error-ridden Springbok challenge in Christchurch

However as 2013 came around the calls for a more expansive gameplay and the selection of players such as Le Roux and Goosen became greater and more deafening.

To his credit he relented and the selection of those two players (to the detriment of Kirchner & Morne Steyn) brought a wave of fresh air into Bok rugby. We saw pretty immediate results and we brought a really nice brand of rugby to the for. Meyer was actually coming out of his shell (of conservatism) and we were doing well. However, when it came to the All Blacks we were still unable to crack them at that game (although we came very close under some dubious refereeing) but the SA supporters still heaped huge amount of pressure on him because of it and it obviously got to him. He began retreating back into his shell.

It still worked against most of our rivals but the ABs kept beating us and he kept retreating, to the point he was bring back the likes of Bakkies, Matfield, du Preez and Smith. And of course at the same time he wasn't allowing young talent to be properly mentored. (As an example Lambie was at the time the youngest Bok to reach 50 caps but most of them were as a substitute and only for about 5 mins a game).

Then comes the WC and all the associated politics (which had of course been brewing for some time) Meyer and the rest of the team get pilloried in the press, by the public, government and even trade unions. A court case is even put together to try prevent them from leaving. Its an absolutely toxic environment. Meyer is forced to pick a certain number of black players for his squad which leads to one noticeably selection. That of the uncapped Rudy Paige.

Of course we all know what happens next. We lose to Japan, and sin of sins, Meyer didn't put Siya Kolisi on to the field until right near the end of the game. This is yet again bandied about SA as an example of Meyer's 'intense racisim'.

1 Year, 6 Months ago

All Blacks too strong for error-ridden Springbok challenge in Christchurch

There are a number of reasons why the Boks are performing as they are. Chief among those reasons are the good old South African combination of short-terminism and politics (particularly of the racial variety).

Its been the common theme in SA rugby since the game turned pro but the latest slump really has it's roots in 2007. What happened then? We won the World Cup under Jake White and so he was summarily fired for incredibly spurious reasons (aka politics) much the same as Nick Mallet was fired at the height of the Boks power in the late 90's.

Good old Peter de Villiers gets appointed (very much a political choice when much better candidates had put their name forward). He does well with a WC winning team that is still relatively intact and young but he did little to nothing to try and ensure younger players were brought through the ranks. We also had the whole John Smit & Bismark issue and eventually we bowed out of the 2011 WC (although I'm sure everyone would agree it was a rather dubious exit).

After 2011 the backbone of the team over the last 8 years retired or went overseas: Smit, Matfield, Bakkies, Juan Smith, du Preez, Fourie, Brussow, Steyn, Pienaar etc.

Heyneke Meyer gets appointed as coach (4 years late) and is left with the job of laying a new ground work (something he was rather good at). But as always he is only given a 4 year contract and a mandate to win a WC. So he is only thinking short term.

2012 was a decent year for a coach starting somewhat from the beginning. He did well bringing back Frans Steyn and had seemed to have found himself some good forwards to build as a base although it was very much based around his Bulls template and not the 'new' rugby that was being played by the likes of the ABs.

He also made a fundamental mistake by opening the gates to the selection of players plying their trade overseas.

1 Year, 6 Months ago

All Blacks too strong for error-ridden Springbok challenge in Christchurch

Coetzee dropped Le Roux and Pietersen, they weren't unavailable.

1 Year, 6 Months ago