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.