RE: Cab we change our Minds about Players?
January 17, 2013, 21:32:24
Mike the only way this works is to give credit when credit is due. De Jongh deserved praise after the CC final, but his test performances after that never followed through. Taute was good defensively against Oz, but absolutely atrocious against NZ.
I don't get why that's so hard to say. Does it some how reduce one's status as a rugby analyst? There are players I think are test contributors.....that move the game forward. But if they play poorly, no amount of dissembling will change that.
On the other hand, there is no need to buy into the hype.....eg that Luke Watson was great, or that Skinstad was just a show pony. This kind of thing is put out there all the time. Examples are: Watson, Hougaard at scrumhalf, Pienaar as flyhalf, Russell as flyhalf, Daniel as a test player, Werner Kruger, Greyling, Deon Carstens as test props, Jantjies as a test player, Flip Flop, Jacques Potgieter.....etc, etc.
Massive hype surrounded all this stuff. But to clear thinkers who observed these players in tight games, their failure at test level was predictable.
But even in these cases one has to maintain flexibility. If Hougaard solves his step and pass problems and uses his brain more effectively, he could become a test scrummie. I'm just not betting on it.....and the golden rule is.....it has to be demonstrated on the field of play.