RE: Naas Botha has a shocker
November 05, 2012, 08:11:10
Whether we like it or not - the backline decline in fact started in the 1980's. Before that the key play was a 15 man-game in which the backline play was dominated by WP - the 10 man game by the Bulls. The Bull's game plan got the upper hand in the late 1980's and with rare interuptions continued from then up to today.
After 1992 all coaches were (where they did play rugby on higher level) - forward players - bar the five months Carl Du Plessis was coach. I can remember Du Plessis said that the tryscoring record of the Springboks was abysmal and he started trying to correct it. Before that process could be completed, Du Plessis was fired and since then was only interrupted when White called in Eddie Jones to help out in 2007.
This is really where Meyer lost the ball completely. Instead of grabbing the opportunity to get real coaching done -
* he kept on playing disfunctional backline performers like Morne Steyn and now De Jongh;
* appointed a nonentity as backline coach; and
* a forward as attack coach.
It is evident that there are backline players with massive abilities - such as Pietersen and Habana - but the problems developed through selection of useles attacking players inside of them that should never have been anywhere near the national team, as well as abysmal coaching coupled to player development. Unless those issues are addressed comprehensively - we will never ever see a decent Springbok backline.