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2778 Topic: Players need to learn their trade
mozart

Status: Rugby Legend
Posts: 6531
Players need to learn their trade
October 23, 2012, 23:26:24

This year, like almost no other, we have had a bumper crop of newbies. And we have had lots of position changes. Almost none of these experiments have worked:

 

1) Hougaard, a roaring success on the wing, flopped at scrumhalf.

 

2) Francois Steyn had no discernable positive impact at 12.

 

3) A bunch of Bools like Potgieter, Juandre Kruger and Greyling showed they are way short of test standard.

 

4) Marcel Coetzee who became the incumbent briefly, was simply not physical enough to impact in the Rugby Championship.

 

5) Eben Etzebeth looked the part throughout. But truth to tell did little to further the Bok cause against Oz and NZ.

 

6) The two fatty centres JJ Engelbrecht and Taute proved to be woefully ill prepared for test centre play. JJ couldn't convince Meyer to even keep him in the squad.

 

7) Goosen looked incredibly jittery in his half against the ABs....his attempted tackle on Whitelock was feeble and he almost missed from right in front of the poles. He had one moment in his two debut appearances, a super break against Oz

 

8) Jantjies was weak defensively in his game against NZ and failed in his strong suit, goal kicking.

 

9) And poor Mvovo showed what I had had warned Dave about.....a fatal hesitancy against aggressive teams.

 

What succeeded? In a word nothing new. Louw was a success coming back. Habana regained form. Jean at 13 sparked things against Oz but was less effective against the ABs.

 

Why were things so abysmal? By the law of averages we would have expected more. But should we have? Not one of these situations, except perhaps Steyn to centre benefited from proper preparation. A guy like Taute should have had his debut at his better position, fullback. Others like Mvovo, Potgieter, Greyling and Kruger were already shown up in the S15.

 

It's a very sad record and a warning not to play youngsters before they have learned their trade. Guys like Jantjies and Taute couldn't even form a defensive line.....let alone deal with the AB backs.

 

Where were the equivalent AB shoot from the hip moves? Absent I'd say....just a few changes forced by injury. Test rugby like most things needs an apprenticeship.


Sharkbok

Status: Senior player
Posts: 2951
RE: Players need to learn their trade
October 23, 2012, 23:52:55

 Some valid assesments, others over critical. 

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1.Hougaard has played some really good games for the boks at scrumhalf, but this season has not been in great form. 

Even on the wing he has been average compared to his world cup form. Hougaard is a good scrum half behind a dominant pack but falls apart when his pack do not give him quick clean ball. Does have solid experience for the boks

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2.Francois Steyn has been one of the form backs this year. He did suffer playing outside Morne Steyn as with the rest of the backline. Usually just recieved hospital passes or telegraphed passes with little option but to crash ball. It is a pity that we did not get to see a Goosen/Frans Steyn axis to really get the backline going. Francois will come back next year refreshed and ready to go. It sounds like his ankle joints were well due an operation so that may improve his step abit and maybe will lose a bit of weight, 5-10 kg etc. Steyn is a world class player and when in form would probably walk into most test sides in the world. He made lots of tackles this year, and was often the top tackler with most succesful tackles for the boks. Also no spring Chicken as has been a bok since 2006

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3.Bulls- None or very few of the Bulls should be in the squad. Meyer has hopefully learnt that the Bulls of 2012 are not the same breed as those of the 2007-10. The current form of the Bulls will all their players available says it all. Serious rebuilding for the bulls

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4.Marcel Cotzee, was according to statistics and many pundits the form Super15 looseforward. Great achievement for his first Superxv. Won man of the match in his first or 2nd bok game. He did get dropped but it was more about combintations and needing a specialist opensider due to the poor performances at the ruck. One of the finds of the year, and unfortunate to have lost his starting position due to combinations and the need for a specialist opensider.

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5.Englebragh and Taute should never have been in the team to begin with. Far more deserving players. Engelbreak is being shippped off to the Southern Kings as I understand it. His current form does not warrant selection in the Curry Cup, let alone bok level. What has Taute actually done as an outside center? He is a fullback and was hopeless exposed against the All Blacks. 

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6. Goosen was exceptional against Australia creating space and time his outside backs unlike we have seen for many a year. Allmost got a try himself, a little more strength conditioning and he would have been over. In general does need to put some more bulk on. His other substitute games were also pleasing. When he came off against the All Blacks it was very noticeable. His tackle on Whitelock was a good tackle. However a flyhalf is usually lighter than a lock so momentum took Whitelock over. Not many flyhalfs would have stopped a lock so close to the line running at full space, especially one so young. Goosen looked the part and ideally he should have started a few tests against the likes of Italy and Scotland than just returning from injury and playing the form team in worldrugby

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7. Jantjies, did not much right or wrong. Just did very little against the All Blacks. Very noticeable that Goosen was no longer on the field. Not sure if he should be in the squad, but apart from Goosen and Lambie who else is their?

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8. Mvovo was hopeless, but I would not write him off. He has had good games for the boks, just none against the best teams

 

- Lambie. Should have been used at flyhalf when Goosen was injured, instead of Morne getting worse and worse and then rushing in the young Goosen 


clevermike

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 10318
RE: Players need to learn their trade
October 24, 2012, 05:52:37

Sharkbok

Mozart just don't like the younger crop of players.   He admitted previously that team renewal is necessary - but always criticzes the younger players.   In any major team renwal program there will be successes and there will be failures.

I at times criticized Meyer - sincehe over-looked the lurking danger signals and despite those selected those players on the bench for the Springbok team.   Take for instance Geyling and Werner Kruger - the top two penalty machines in Super 15 - as well as sub-standard props.    However, he had successes too - even though Mozart finds it hard to admit that.

The following players - still very young - have done well enough in tests  and really well in Super 15 and on CC level:-

*    Etzebeth - selected by a New Zealand panel as the best lock in Super 15.   At 20 a player that would in future develop as one of the best locks ever in rugby.

*    Coetzee -   The same panel selected Coetzee ahead of McCaw as flank for the top players team for 2012.   Mozart said he missed driving strength in play - but his defence is tops and he will definitely improve.

*    Goosen - I fully support your assessment.

Mozart also criticized with justification some of the older players - that really contributed to losses - but missed out others like Morne Steyn.  

In essence I do think that players like Hougaard and Francois Steyn did not perform up to expectation.    I was very disappointed in Hougaard this year - he showed some major flaws in reading of the game and there ws a noticeable decline in his passing and kicking game.    Maybe it is psychological - he may try to do too much personally.   After watching him during the tests I came to the conclusion that he is not a natural scrummie and that he is deficient in both his passing game and especially in his kicking game - the two key elements in scrummie play.   It may be possible that deficiencies that surfaced this year could be eliminated by coaching - but it is going to be very difficult to get all the rough edges smoothed out.   I believe that Reinach is a clever player that over the next year will push more and more for selection and he is in fact a threat to Hougaard's future selection as scrummie.

The jury is out on Francois Steyn.    You are right when you say he is ovver-weight - resulting in loss of speed.     However, in the tests he played outside a very poor flyhalf in Morne Steyn and that no dount had a detrimental affect on his prformances.    I think outside a better flyhalf he will do much better - what is evident is that he has a whole season of Super 15 ahead and that will show whether he is still up to iy.   In the meantime wifey should watch out for fatty food - allowing him to replace 8 kilos of fat - with a few  kilos of muscle..   LOL

The rest of the newbies failed to a major extent.    Engelbrecht was very poor - even on CC level and is apparently not on the books anymore.   I wpould make a difference between them on the basis of some having potentialfor improivement - with others with so many defects that improvement will almost be impossible to achieve.   

Players with serious deficiencies that would not be able to overcome same:-

   Greyling, Werner kruger. Juandre kruger, Potgieter, Engelbrecht  and Jantjies (the latter despite all the media hype)

Players with potential that may develop into very good test players:-

   Taute and Mvovo.     They are both very young and inexpreienced.    Mosy of their deficiencies can be ironed out and I would not write them off forthwith.    I believe that the ultimate development of Taute will result in him being moved to full back.    Mvovo  has the essential physical requirements as a wing - but is defective under a high ball and in some elements of defence.   Those can be ironed out through coachuing and gaining of experience.

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mozart

Status: Rugby Legend
Posts: 6531
RE: Players need to learn their trade
October 24, 2012, 06:21:34

Nonsense Mike. If Coetzee was so succesful, why was he dropped. Nor was Steyn worth a damn at centre. He hardly gained 2 metres a run.

 

Nor will Mvovo ever make it in tests. This guy is like Nokwe, just not as fast. Goosen was very nervous against the ABs....he could hardly get the ball over from dead in front. If I was a betting man I'd bet on Lambie. But Goosen, like Gaffie, has the physical attributes....does he, unlike Gaffie have the mental ones?

 

Etzebeth could become a world class lock, he wasn't there yet in the international season. But I don't think Coetzee has enough fire power....he is like a Leyton Hewitt in tennnis, hard working but playing with a pop gun. I also worry about Kitshoff who I had high hopes for, can he really scrum?

 

My analysis may not be warm and fuzzy. But it's realistic. Not one of the players I mentioned outplayed their immediate opponents in the Rugby Championship. All this wishful thinking wont change the facts.


clevermike

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 10318
RE: Players need to learn their trade
October 24, 2012, 07:28:57

Mozart

You are a bit too critical here.

In essence I do not have any problems with your assessment of Steyn and Hougaard - in fact what I said about them ties in with your asseement.    I added that they would have a lot to prove in the next Super series.

However, I do not agree with you about Etzebeth.   Even in the Soweto test he was way ahead of Retallick - his  opposite number in that test.   In fact the forwards on the whole stood up well against the All Blacks - the main failures were in the backline.  

Insofar s Coertzee is concerned - he was NOT dropped as implied by you - he was put on the bench.   Not entirely the same thing.   He obviously at 20 needs some skills development - but I still rate him as a top younster.    He will remain in the Springbok side for years to come.

Your assessment of Goosen is also hyper-critical.   When he came off the bench in Duunedin - he did make a marked difference to the backline and he was good  in the Aussie test.   After your remarks about him  earlier in respect of the Soweto test - I looked at the test twice to see whether your ciriticism was in fact justifed - and with due respect could not find evidence of poor play on his part.   I do conceed that Goosen missed two kicks at goal and that he might have been nervous - but one was a difficult kick and the second definitely noit straight in front of the posts as stated by you.   It was 10 meters out from the sideliine and h unfortunately  hit the goal post.  


He was only playing for 23 minutes and in your initial remarks you said he made a weak takle on Whitelock.   That really - with respect  -  was way off the mark.   At that stage he was injured and receiving treatment - he got up and tried to tackle Whitelock and despite the injuury managed to tackle him successfully - but not short enough to prevent the try.   Goosen did what virtually no other player with such a serious injury would even have tried to attempt - so I think you are off the mark with that one.   In any event - he and Lambie are our best two flyhalfs and both have ample capacity to improve.   Where I do agree is that he needs some physical development at this stage of his career and am sure he will get that as well.  Your assessment that he is like Gaffie Du Toit after playing in tests for 120 minutes is really way off the mark.

I do not entirely agree on the Mvovo issue too.   I think he made a mess in the Aussie test - but he is physoically much stronger than Nokwe was and I believe he does have some potential to improve - provided that he gats proper coaching.   He showed improvement in the CC semi-final in respect of the high ball issue and I think he could improve further.   I said I would not write him off forthwith and would really oinly form an opinion on that after the 2013 Super Series.   He may make the grade - or may not.   At this stage it really is unreasobale and unfair  to base an assessment on the 15 minutes he was on the field in the Aussie test in Sydney.


carpetmuncher

Status: Bok regular
Posts: 1390
RE: Players need to learn their trade
October 24, 2012, 08:42:44

to me the most ironic thing is that these younger players looked like other players in the super rugby comp but under meyers overcoached defensive style gameplan they looked very flat and disinterested. the next generation of players has all the skillset and potential to be as great or even greater than the previous generation of players but as moz said there needs to be specialist skills development and to me that needs to be taken one step futher in getting older players to coach position specific training and this more aimed towards our biggest problem area that is the backline.

 

there is a massive problem with spacial awareness and decision making and running into space all of which can be coached and learned. if one looks at the sharks and cheethas approach one can see how there backlines are way more productive and more skillfull than other unions backlines. they train that area and use that as part of there attackin platform as all modern teams do these days.

 

we always had and always will have great forwards. goosen and co has the potential to be the best but in that the support structures training and skills development needs to be there to take his potential to the next level. at the top level the diffrences between the top nations is very very small so one needs a develop all areas.

if one has a look at the type of coaches that are in place and are being appointed then one can see that we will be in effect be playing with one arm tied behind our back as the backline and players are not being coached correctly.

 

the boks need a proper backline/attacking coach and a skills coach. then everything will fall into place and the results will look after itself


clevermike

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 10318
RE: Players need to learn their trade
October 24, 2012, 10:26:39

Carpetmuncher

You have hit the nail on the head.   Our bacvkline coaching and defensive coaching is a joke and they need to get experts to handle that component of the game.  WE have probably the worst coaching support staff in the world if the following is taken into account:-

*    The attack coach is a forward coach;

*   The backline coach is a nonentity.

*   Have we got a defensive coach - if so the evidence of that is relly nnon-existent.

I am sarcastic about this one - but I do believe we need a bloke like Eddie Jones to get the backline opertional.   Campese would also do the trick.   Insofar as defence coaching is concerned - we relly can do with Nienanber.   Meyer will be wrong if he does not to change the coaching staff - end of story.


Jalapeno!

Status: Bok regular
Posts: 602
RE: Players need to learn their trade
October 24, 2012, 11:00:56

"My analysis may not be warm and fuzzy. But it's realistic."

 

No yr right Wigboy its not warm and fuzzy but its not realistic either. From what Ive seen yr rugby "analyses" (if u can call them that) are based on a combination of ignorance, provincial bias and a childish obsession with saying the opposite of Saffex at all times. 


carpetmuncher

Status: Bok regular
Posts: 1390
RE: Players need to learn their trade
October 24, 2012, 11:26:26

eddie jones campo ext does have that skills to get that area of our game right but there needs be a shift in the playing style and direction to make use of the backlines better. i would only suggest that these guys get a nation wide backline academy going and coaching specialist coaches and players to reach a higher level. that model needs to be used by all top flight unions. the net result wil be a bigger net of well rounded players at senior level and we will have a bigger pool of quality players to choose from. as you said mike our current setup where the uber useless van graan is our attacking coach just shows where the mental space is right now....

 

i have met with him in person and to be honest his rugby acumen and knowledge of attacking play is a complete joke. he cant even coach himself out of a paper bag.

 

SARU spends so much money on players they are not even looking at quality coaches for our attack nor backline. massive oversight that will come back to bite them on the ass.


mozart

Status: Rugby Legend
Posts: 6531
RE: Players need to learn their trade
October 24, 2012, 14:39:22

Retalick was the highest rated NZ tight forward in that test. These ratings are from two different sources, the only ones I could still find, but they square with my perceptions:

 

4-Brodie Retalick - 7/10
Previously unseen brutish defence, with one such tackle lucky to avoid scrutiny. Second cab off the rank for the lineout but otherwise another assured match.

Eben Etzebeth – 6.5/10

If looks could kill, we would have had a funeral today. Decent test match by Eben, not the physical force we have come accustomed to but still miles ahead of any other Springbok. The Force seems to be with this one.

 

Once again let's get the point. Etzebeth hasn't had a bad game in this Rugby Championship.......but has hardly had a Bakkies style dominating match either. He is young and looks like the one youngster in the new crop, guaranteed a stellar Bok career. I can't say that of Coetzee, Taute, JJ, Mvovo, Jantjies or even Goosen. They haven't demonstrated they belong. They may, but they haven't yet.


clevermike

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 10318
RE: Players need to learn their trade
October 24, 2012, 15:19:24

Mozart The initial ratings was Rertallick 7 and Etzebeth 3.5 All the Springbok forwards got less than 5. That made me think that the person who did the ratings got all wrong - since he did not get anywhere near the fact that the All Blacks forwards were not dominating at all. If they did - why all the penalties against them? I rather believe my own eyes - rather than some theoretical point scoring. I watched Retallick and in the whole test he did virtually nothing - weak in the line outs especially and he did no ball carrying and only made one good tackle. If that is 7 - then Etzebeth was 10.

 

I think we must all realize that Bakkies is PAST TENSE. It is always nice to make theoretical comparisons - but highly theoretical. Bakkies was always very good - but not entirely faultless too - and at times he even let us down by giving away penalties. In a good forward pack - every individual must contribute to domination - one player on his own cannot dominate.

 

In my comments above - I did indicate the players I think should be given more chances. By the way other than Etzebeth, Coetzee and Goosen - I only think Taute and Mvovo should be given further chances.

 

I understand that Engelbrecht is leaving the Bulls - he really was not up to standard - even on provincial level. Iantjies I think has so many negatives that I cannot see how he can ever make the grade.

 

I am 100% sure that Coetzee would be in the Springbok team - either starting or off the bench - for the next 8 years or so. Goosen has had way too little playing time to make any assessment at all - but he was very good on Super 15 level and I don't think he will fail on international level.

 

With respect - I do believe that during the short times Goosen was in the field - he had better performance than Steyn had this year - so I think he did well enough to take over from Steyn.

 

However the coming tour and the Super 15 will influence future selections..


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