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3105 Topic: Brave Hearts
mozart

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 8729
Brave Hearts
November 25, 2012, 00:25:21

This was a difficult tour up north. Schalk, the Beast, Bismarck, Bekker, Habana and Fransie all unavailable. The dismissal of Morne Steyn, the man who scored most Bok points since 2009. An unsuccesful 4N  campaign ending with a poor second half against the ABs at home. Discontent about the playing style and many of the selections.......all falling on the shoulders of one of the most inexperienced Bok teams.

 

But Meyer made a number of great choices well into the year. Bringing back Steenkamp, switching Hougaard to the wing and giving 9 to Pienaar, choosing Lambie ahead of Jantjies, assembling a power back row including the NH based Louw.  These choices were all important in our unbeaten NH tour.

 

And Jean was reduced to a grafter much of the tour....but he played it hard and defended like a Trojan. He also made a number of brave calls that led to points. I thought he became a larger figure as the year went along.

 

We come through these games with guts....anyone of them could have been lost. But the Boks had two weapons, a superb lineout and a very tough game at the breakdown. And today an old virtue....Lambie made all his kicks. If he missed one we might have lost. Guts all the way, if not the beautiful game we all would like to see.

 

Some players have emerged and some have emerged again. JP looked the most potent back on the park today....he and Habana are really superb. Jean still had the legs to make a great from behind tackle. He probably has another year left in him. Lambie hasn't fully made the case....but he is looking good against other young test flyhalves.

 

Etzebeth has emerged as a fixture. Kruger as an able back up to Bekker at number 5. Strauss was not so ebullient today, but there is no doubt he is test class.

 

And our loosies did splendidly on this tour and today....from Albert's fine lineout steal to Louw's hard grafting. And especially today Vermeulen joined the party with power running and some nice 8th man touches.

 

We are still looking for a multi dimensional fullback, a 13 who provides more, and a typical South African scrummie....ie world class. Fairly soon I fear, we will also be looking for a new tighthead....as Jannie deals with the work load.

 

But make no mistake, this team has learned to win close matches. That's a core aspect of a winning team. We are in much better shape than we were before the tour.....all the aesthetics can be added in due course.


Denny

Status: Bok regular
Posts: 1735
RE: Brave Hearts
November 25, 2012, 00:49:46

You're not wrong in your single word description of this team....guts. They know how to gut out a win, they know how to win clutch games and in the process they're are developing a winning culture. And yes, the Boks are in far better shape than at the start of the year, with a young developing team at his disposal HM can approach the years ahead with confidence.


mozart

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 8729
RE: Brave Hearts
November 25, 2012, 03:52:42

Meyer deserves a lot of credit for holding things together. He also doesn't blame his players when things go wrong. Probably one of the most decent, serious, coaches in the game. A team can build around his values.


clevermike

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 12938
RE: Brave Hearts
November 25, 2012, 15:20:22

Mozart

I agree in essence with much of what you wrote here.  However, there are a few issues that I do not agree with. 

Meyer made a farce of selections for the past tour.   He selected players to go on tour not intending to use them and left ugly gaps that could not be filled - espoecially in respect of the no 13 position.   He also made bad choices like the hopeless Van der Linde and to a slifhtly lesser extent Steenkamp.   Whether you like it or not - he was below par in the Scotland test and with a great maybe average in the English test.   Not at all a good prospect in future.

I think on the whole Meyer did reasonably well during 2012 - but for serious misjudgements as to selection of players.   He started off badly and through a period of time he brought in virtually the whole Bulls team into the squad.   That team was not the top SA team in the Super Series - neither in the CC.   The players that he ultimately dropped from the squad - even Morne Steyn - were all under-achievers and should not have been kepr for so long.   He refused to use Lambie - until the latest series. 

Maybe Meyer would learn to select players on form and not reputation.   We will see what happens if he really consider the performances in the Super 15 series next year - or contnue to make some poor selections that he did this year. 

  


mozart

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 8729
RE: Brave Hearts
November 25, 2012, 16:44:38

He selected many S15 form players Mvovo, Goosen, Taute, Potgieter, Daniels, Greyling, Coetzee. Those players either got hurt in Goosen's case or proved inadequate. In my view he selected too many of these players, when there were indications eg in Mvovo's case, that they were not test material.

 

It's about getting a winning core together and sticking with them. Meyer is doing that.


clevermike

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 12938
RE: Brave Hearts
November 26, 2012, 04:05:50

Mozart

Your list of younger players as mentioned does not include Etzebeth - so I assume you would have included him.

I differ fromn you insofar as form players from Syper 15 he selected.   Greyling was definitely not a form player - he was a penalty machine giving away more penalties like the good samaritan - just study the stats and you would find out.   He was definitely poor in scrummaging - so that selection definitely had nothing to do with form.   

Meyer also selected the mediocre De Jongh that showeed zero form in Super 15  this year .

Of the players mentioned by you I think Greyling, De Jongh  and Potgieter were  definitely inadquate.   Daniels is really a top class Super Series player - but unable to be effective on test level,   The  jury is out in the case of Mvovo  - I think he may have the capacity to develop further. 

Taute to my mind remains a good option at full back - not at center where he clearly was out of depth.

The real success stories were Etzebeth, Coetzee and Goosen.

Where I do agree with you is the fact that in selecting of new players on test level - a fairly high percetage of players will not make the grade on higher level - so Meyer will make mistakes in the process - it is only human.   That is the reason why the process of objective evaluation is of paramount impotance and selection should be made with due regard to all facets of play.


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