Meyer's Tinted Glasses
October 30, 2012, 11:52:38
Much has been alluded to about Meyer's selection of Bulls Players this year and an analysis of the players selected by him from the Bulls side needs a real hard look at:-
First of all there are those players who was originally selected against the POMS and early games in the Championship. These included the following:-
* Olivier - was average in the games he played for the Springboks - went out of the picture after leaving for Japan - really not up to standard anymore;
* Spies - average at Super 15 and plays about 10 minutes per game - built like Tanrzan and played like Jane - not up to standard and out on account of injury;
* Potgieter - average on Super 15 level and did nothing in the tests - not up to standard and out as a result of injury;
* Werner Kruger - a serious problem case on Super 15 level as to giving away penalties - bad flop when he came on from the bench in tests. Very bad choice
* Greyling -a serious problem case on Super 15 level as to giving away penalties - disastrous flop when he came on from the bench in Dunedin test. Atrocious choice
Of the above selections Olivier was probably the best one - but Meyer did not need him any further since Francois Steyn was involved. But for their injuries Spies and Potgieter wouldstill have been in the squad.
FOUR CHOICES WHERE PERFORMANCE AND MERIT MENT NOTHING AT ALL - the only reason was there Bulls Contract.
Now lets look at the present squad and see what the position is in their case:-
Arno Botha (Vodacom Blue Bulls, 0)
Francois Hougaard (Vodacom Blue Bulls, 24)
Zane Kirchner (Vodacom Blue Bulls, 21)
Juandré Kruger (Vodacom Blue Bulls, 5)
Chiliboy Ralepelle (Vodacom Blue Bulls, 21)
Morné Steyn (Vodacom Blue Bulls, 41)
Flip van der Merwe (Vodacom Blue Bulls, 20)
Jano Vermaak (Vodacom Blue Bulls, 0)
* Botha - a very promising youngster probably taken along as a tourist - will not be playing. At this stage not really a merit selection - but potentially a future selection. However, he will have no chance when Spies comes back to make any future squad. Selection not really fair insofar as Botha is concerned.
* Hougaard - Basically a very strong player - but he showed deficiencies in scrummie play this year when he in fact he had problems in both his reading of games, his passing game and especially his kicking game. With the obvious problems in scrummie play he was moved to wing after Meyer said famously that he would coach his problems out of him. He flopped badly on the wing and his game in the CC final was in fact very poor. That being said he remains in the squad - not really an ideal solution to sorting out his problems.
* Zane Kirchner - a very average full back. Even though there are better full backs around - Meyer sticks to him like glue. Not really in the team on merit espeailly if his deficiencies in positional play ad defence are borne in mind.
* Juandre Kruger - Very average in the tests he played in - poor in line-outs and driving play. Lost his cool in the CC semi-final. There are better locks around - but he still gets the nod. Really not a merit selection.
* Ralepelle - After months on the injury list and after showing nothing in the CC semi-fianl - he is suddenly in the Springbok squad - really not a merit selection at all.
* Morne Steyn - Atrocious fom on both Super Series level and in tests. Played a very average game in CC semi. Another of Meyer's favourites with no real merit to be in the team.
* Van der Merwe - an average lock that has played well in Dunedin - probably the best of all the Bulls selections
* Jano Vermaak - was out of rugby for a while because he was always on the bench - shown nothing when he played on CC level - not a seletion on merit.
Looking at the above and with due regard to the performance of the Bulls this year, as well as the performances of the listed players, there seems to be -
* only one Bulls player that can really be regarded as a merit selection - and that is Van der Merwe; and
* there are potentially two players - Hougaard and Kirchner - that with a stretch can be back-up players on the bench for the Springboks.
The rest are really below par and not worthy to be in the squad on merit. That being so - the question is why are they in the squad? It seems to me that Meyer first look at the Bulls players when he select a squad - and if there are absolutely nothing available - he would then consider Sharks players - all selected on merit to be fair. The latter (merit selection) is a norm for all players bar those from the Bulls. The whole slection issue seems to be cock-eyed at best.