RE: Saffex Springbok Backline for 2013
January 17, 2013, 08:35:49
You lot should not argue with Saffex. He has the backline picked on a basis of some vague ideas about class - without any idea about performance. He also insist on playing players in positions where they are not really playing normally.
* Lambie can play at full back - but he is a better flyhalf than a full back. Because of class (?) all other players are automatically excluded from consideration as a full back - even those that out-performs Lambie in that position.
* Taute was over a two year period the best SA Super 15 full back. However in the Under 20 WC he played at center and then had to wait more than 2 years before as a result of injurie he was moved to that position in April 2012. Made no impression at all at center - whether for the Lions or the Springboks. He then decided that he wants to play at full back in future - no wonder if his excellent performances as a full back is borne in mind. But Saffex wants him at center - even though he showed nothing at center and was out-performed massively by a player like Jordaan.
* After playing for two years in France - Francois Steyn came back and played 2 games on Super Series level and then five tests for the Springboks. He crashballed continuously and made no impression at all. He made virtually no clean line breaks - never drew in defenders - never off-loaded balls effecively in tackle situations - and made one contribution of note during all those games, namely a charge down try against the Argentinians. His non-performance and minimal contribution to effective backline play - that was seriously absent in tests this year - counts for nothing in Saffex's book. In the meantime Steyn is over-weight at 110 kgs and he is slow off the mark when carrying balls. There are at present serious deficiencies in his game - which could be corrected if he really upgrade his performances considerably.
* Hougaard - I think he developed an inflated self-opinion of his abilities and went sour seriously in 2012 - so much so that Meyer (always a Blue Bulls preference selector) lost paience with him and left him out altogether for selection as test scrummie. His kicking game was atrocious and his passing game not much better. All that went straight past Saffex - all is forgiven, because Hougaard has class (?).
Because all the centers of the Boks in 2012 under-performed - Saffex invented a new role for centers. Under no circumstances can it be expected from centers to make line breaks - they cannot draw in defenders and create space for other players - they need not off-load balls in tackle situations to allow for movss to continue - and they need not have aa hand in creating conditions for other players to score tries or score tries themselves. It sounds weird - and I believe forms the basis for 10 man rugby - with no role other than defence for the outside players.
If we select players on form in their best positions showed over an extended period - the following should be the Springbok backline:-
* Taute - with Kirchner and Ludick in the mix
* Wings - Habana and JP Pietersen
* Centers - De Villiers and Jordaan - with Steyn and De Allende as potential candidates based on future performances.
* Goosen or Lambie
* Pienaar - but Hougaard if he starts playing rugby again and Reinach for the future.
The utlimae norm will have to be performances in Super 15 this year and there may be changes to the center and scrummie selections as a result. Playing players on the basis of so-called class - without regard to performances is lunacy. Lets explain it further - a player showing class in 2010 must be in the team permamantly - even though a new player came in in 2012 and shows more class then the previous one did. On that basis a player needs only a few good games and he becomes the automatic choice for selection for the next five years. What a joke!!!
Continuous and proven performance should be the key to selection - nothing else. .