RE: You can't send a boy to do a mans job
October 07, 2012, 15:38:20
All people seems to go into a doom and gloom mood after yesterday. I don't think the situation is as bad as it is given out to be. Granted there was some very weak spots that need to eb attended to. Even though the Springboks was leading in the first half and had both territorial and possession advantage - I realized early on that the game was lost.
In essence the real rot set in when Goosen was replaced by Jantjies late in the first half. Jantjies is very, very poor and a horrible selection to boot. He should never have been in the squad.
In essence I also do not buy into the forwards fitness story. There was no indication that the possession issue slipped subtantially in the second half of the game. What was evident throughout was that the All Blacks made better ise of the balls they got.
What became more evident in the last few minites of the first half was that there is glaring inefficiencies in the Springbok team with regard to defence and in ine particular case in relieving kicks that was not out. Those deficiencies were eprtomized in the main by four Springbok backline players - namrly Taute, Jantjies, Kirchner and Hougaard. Although Taute gets the blame - Jantjies was equally bad - he hung back and did not go forward to even attempt to make tackles, Kichner's strong point is definitely not defence and so is Hougaard - especially in the Wallaby game - but also yesterday. Talking of Hougaard - I can clearly remember how yesterday and against the Wallabies he was tossed around like a rag doll when he tried to make an attack. In that he reminded ,me strongly of another misfit De Jongh.
There is a concerted attack on Goosen and some even wish for Morne Steyn to get back into the team. That would really take us back completely. Yesterday the Springboks have territorial and possession advantage - a thing that never happened in the Morne era. He kicked away the balls and constantly handed over possession to the opposition. Aside from the fact that he cannot link up in any form with the rest of the backline - his kicking game deserted him completely and he is no investment for the future.
I would despite all rg criticism still retain Goosen as the starting flyhalf - but send Jantjies packing. As a backup we can still use Lambie. Inasmuch as that is concerned - I would initially pick Lambie as full back and would put Willie le Roux on the bench to take up the full back position if Goosen or Lambie have to be replaced.
Insofat as the wings is concerned - I would have Habana and Pietersen on the wing, The back up player should be Rhule - he is a relevation in the CC and is going to fo places in future.
The problem comes with the center combnation. It is obvious that De Villiers should be replaced at soome time in the future and there is uncertainty as to whether Francois Steyn would meet requirements. I do believe that it would be wrong to completely eliminate Taute at this early stage. What Taute should do in fact is to go to the Stormers - where he will get proper defence coaching. There are other candidates that could be looked at carefully - players such as Jordaan and even Howard. I think that the 2013 Super series will separate the wheat from the chaff and will indicate who the players are to fo further in the center combination. There is no way that players like De Jongh should even be a remote consideration though. Be it as it may - the center combination is a key element to development of a good backline in future
I have dealt with the flyhalf issue already. However, we have a major problem in the scrum half area. We only have one international standard scrummie - depite all the negative comments about the performance of Pienaar yesterday. Hougard is not a realistic choice at all - he is not a natural scrummie and yesterday he would have been a disaster worse than Taute wasl. I only hope that the 2013 series indicates which of the ftanchise scrummies could be taken forward for future selection as scrumhalves.
Amongst the forwards only minimal changes are necessary, Bismarck du Plessis will be back next year and that would mean that we have a top class player in that position. I would not move Oosthuizen to tighthead - and would seriously consider back up by Kitshoff and Malherbe. Here again I would look what next years Siper 15 produces.
Amongst the locks I would definitely forget about Flip van der Merwe and rather look at Elstadt, but the Super 15 next year will indicate more on the issue as well.
In essence there is nothing wtong with two-thirds of the team - but some changes should be made, especially in the backline in the center and full back positions.
I believe Meyer's attitude on the issue is 100% correct. It is no use to expect miracles from a team that is being developed with players being completely new to the national rugby environment. Meyer will make changes - some will be successful, others not. Let him continue with development of players and the team as the best way forward.