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3444 Topic: Evaluation of Performance of Centers
clevermike

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Evaluation of Performance of Centers
January 18, 2013, 16:20:05

There has been constant arguments about how well SA centers performed in the tests in 2012.   A girl for instance said that -

*   centers like Steyn and Taute was very good; and

*  De Villiers failed and was the reason for non-performance by the backline.

Others did not agree with the assessments made and that brought on the request for inputs so as to allow for the development of a model that could be used objectively to determine performance by centers.   The argument then was what are the functions of centers and what are they expected to do.   Here again there were major differences of opinion between contributors who expected certain requirements from centers and also A girl who claimed that present defensive strategies are so tight that what was expected from centers in the past is not applicable anymore - without being specific about what really is expected other than to refer to movement in the traffic - ie moves normally leading to crashballing.

The mattter was subsequently taken further and membes were requested to make specific inputs so as to faacilitate the development of an assessment model and some useful comments has been received - however, - despite specific requests to him  A girl did not submit any comments whatsoever.  

The following model has now been compiled and 7 categories have been determined as Key requirements for attacking center play:-

A    Running different lines to draw defenders and create space - not just straight at defenders

B    Passing ability (long and short passes, skip passes, hanging passes, timed passes - all aimed at creating gaps in the defence of opposition)

C    Off- loading ability in tackle situations

D    Ability to break the first line of defence when it is the best option 

E    Try assists or tries scored themselves - supporting play leading to tries

F    Kicks chips, grubbers to vary play 

G   Running in the traffic - crashballing - meters gained, quick ball retention and quick recycles

Category G represents the option used most frequently by SA centers and bearing that in mind the following point allocation:-

Categories A through to F    -      2 points per category

Category G                             -      8 points

The  point allocation is based on the actual on-field performances by the players concerned as per each category as listed.    Points are allocated strictly in accordance with what options players actually followed and how successful play turned out to be.   An assessment per category from A to F can be made as follows:-

 *   A player has not undertaken an activity or failed in tryingto do so    -      0 points

*   It has happened but only on rare occassions                                     -      1 Point

*   Activity done reasonably often with success                                      -      2 Points

Based on the actual performances of the indicated centers on the field of play in the 2012 tests - the results were as follows:-

Category         De Villiers    Steyn       Taute          De Jongh

    A                          1               0              0                    0

    B                          1               1              0                    0

    C                          0               0              0                    0

    D                          1               1              1                    1

    E                          2               0              0                    0

    F                          2               1              0                    0

   G                          6               6               6                    4

Based on the above the total points per player out of 20 are as follows:-

De Villiers               14 points

Steyn                        9 points

Taute                        7 points

De Jongh                  5 points

Based on the above model - only De Villiers made the grade - but not really on a convincing basis.   Steyn failed and will have to upgrade his game subbstantially to remain in contention for selection.   Taute failed - but wants to play at full back in future.

I also tried to do an evaluation of the relevant player performances in Super 15 - but for comparison purposes added Jordaan to the mix.   The actual outcome was as follows:-

Jordaan                    16 points

De Villiers                 14 points

Steyn                        10 points

Taute                        10 points

De Jongh                   7 points

In the case of Steyn and Tautte they played only 2 and 3 games respectively at center - more game time may have influenced the results significantly.   problem was they were not really stars in the games concerned .

Based on the above model the only two centers who actually meets requirements on Super 15 level is Jordaan and to a lesser extent De Villiers.

 


Saffex

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RE: Evaluation of Performance of Centers
January 18, 2013, 18:53:22

Mike this is just bull[removed] for all it represents is what you think of the centres. It has stuff all to do with reality.

Shock, shock - Frans and Taute find themselves below Jean and Jordaan - its a joke


clevermike

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Posts: 12961
RE: Evaluation of Performance of Centers
January 18, 2013, 19:28:39

A girl

It is tragically not a joke.   It is what the players actually produced in actual performances.   In some cases the centers only crashballed (ie running in traffic) - no off-loads, no passing - just plain nothing.   Steyn scored a charge-down try against the Argentinians - but neither he or Taute had anything ever to do with a try scored by the Springboks from backline play - De Villiers was involved in at least three tries scored by the Springboks.   

Steyn tried one grubber kick in all the games he played it and it hit th legs of an opposing player and caused majot problems for the Boks.   Taute tried no kicking at all.   Two defnesive kicks of Steyn and Taute landed us in serious trouble.   Neither of them successfully drew in any defenders and neither put any players into space in any games they played in.  
 

To be quite frank - Steyn in all the games he played in made one signifcant line break in the Dunedin test - but it led to nothing.

Problem is that Jordaan on Super level complied partially or in full with all the categories listed.   He scored tries himself and made other tries.   He drew in defenders and off-load balls, he ran at angles and created space - especially for the outside players.   He used grubber kicks as well.   He made line breaks and carried balls effectively in traffic - and you can see elements of it all in all the Super 15 ganes he played in.  As a player he is much speedier than Taute and a slippery customer to boot.   In the few super 15 games they played in Taute did more of the categories than Steyn did - but nowhere near as effectively as Jordaan operated in games he played in.

Be assured I watched the tests carefully and tried my utmost to be fair in the assessment.   I also expected that you would reject it - but thought i wanted to be really frank and 100% honest in what I deduced from the actual performances of the players themselves.   Basically you could only use actual performance in the games as a norm - nothing else. 

I obviously was disappointed by what I saw - but our backline play was largely disfunctional in 2012 and i hope it improves in 2013.   I stll think that Steyn can upgrade his performances - but since there is virtually no chance that Taute would get playing time as a center in Suer 15 - I canno foresee much of a change in his case.

To be quite frank I am disappointed in De Villiers as well - but the basis I used did give him more points than I myself thought he deserved or qualified for.   He was disappointing insofar as I am concerned. 


Saffex

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Posts: 9311
RE: Evaluation of Performance of Centers
January 18, 2013, 19:40:58

Well I was bored the other day and watched the Boks vs Oz test again and could not believe the crap that was written by people about Taute in his first test for the Boks.

 

Do me a favour and watch that test again and tell me exactly what you think Taute could have or should have done differently every time he got the ball?

 

When he got it he challenged the defence everytime with an inside step or swerve, creating second phase ball. He always got the ball in traffic, his defence was damn good and some twit on here, I think it was Boklogic, banged on about him not assisting with tries - well hello, nor did Jean for instance as they were not scored from structured play.

 

Just tell me exactly what Taute or any other centre in the world would have done differently with the ball he received in that test. Watching that test again reaffirmed my call for Taute as our Bok 13


clevermike

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RE: Evaluation of Performance of Centers
January 18, 2013, 20:01:11

A girl

Before I did the assessment I spent hours watching the tests to see for myself what the centers produced.   One of the tests was the OZ test.   Taute did very well in traffic and I gave him 6 out of 8 for that component.  However, he never scored significantly in any other category since he did not do what was required in most other categories as listed above.   He was consistent in doing what he did carrying balls in traffic in all the tests he played in - his real strong point being carrying of the ball in traffic leading to crashball situations..  For the rest he did not produce any of the plays that could be leading to effective attacking backline play.

He could have tried any or at least some of the issues raised as requirments.   He could have tried passing of the ball - he could have tried off-loads - he could have tried to run at an angle to draw defenders - especially since it was one open game with ample backline moves that created opportunities for players.   He was parochial and one-dimensional in his approach and all times he handled the ball it had one end result - a maul situation.

Let me assure you - yu do not wish to recognize it - but Taute's main problem was the lack of game time as a center since 2009.    If he played there more often than he did - it may have been a different story snd he could have been really more effective.   


Saffex

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Posts: 9311
RE: Evaluation of Performance of Centers
January 18, 2013, 23:08:10

No Mike he did not have the opportunity to do all those other things you mention for in reality.playing for the Bok side these days, the ball very seldom gets to a 13 down the line.

 

When it did Taute either attacked the defender with and inside step and set up second phase ball with the support players or he passed it out wide. There is nothing more he could have done with the ball. You cannot offload when you dont have a support runner running off you. So when he attacked and made the initial step he gained forward momentum and was taken down and in the process placed the ball to set up 2nd phase. Had he tried to offload in that situation, he would have lost possession as he had no-one to offload to.

 

You cant run an angle in traffic, that is only possible in space, Taute was never in space expect on one occassion when he past the ball, which is good for it would be wrong for him to try something everytime he got the ball. He had already attacked the defenders on a few occassions and then correctly chose to distribute when he did receive the ball in the space he was given.

 

There were not backline moves that created tries, Kirchner, Louw and Habana's tries had nothing to do with structured backline play. When Goosen nearly scored after his break, had he passed inside he would have set Taute up for an easy try for Taute was there in support.

 

Your summation of Taute's performance is completely wrong and therefore raises serious questions about your ability to [removed]yse a game. I am not being nasty here, I am being serious - you are asking a player to offload when there are no supporters to offload to or wanting a centre to run an angle in traffic or expecting him to try something every time he gets the ball in hand.

 

Sorry Mike, but I am not convinced you are up to the task of [removed]ysing centre play. Taute did everything expected of him given the limited opportunities he was given and he did it well, one-dimensional he certainly was not.


clevermike

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Posts: 12961
RE: Evaluation of Performance of Centers
January 18, 2013, 23:53:04

A girl

There was one thing that both Taute and Steyn is guilty of - they only play crashball - nothing really effective other than that.   You cannot tell me that he did not get good balls in the OZ test - but the ball all died with him - no other effort made at all by him.

If you want to see what an effective outside center can do - go and watch the Red - Sharks game and see what Jordaan did  prior to him scoring that try.   He ran outside of Pietersen ay spped and made about 15 meters before making an inside pass to Pietersen - who made a further 15 meters.   Pietersen off-loaded the ball to Daniel and the next pass back to Jordaan resulted in a try under the polls.

Taute could at least have tried to do the same type of variation in play - he never did and charged straight at his opponent and was tackled by the first opponent in front of him.   Taute is like Steyn relatively slow off the mark and need space to build up speed,   That space he can get at full back - not at center.   That is why Taute wants to concentrate at playing at full back.   Taute more than anybody else realize that he is not showing up well enough as a cebter to last in that position and he is fully justified in his request to play at 15, 

 

 

 

 


Saffex

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Posts: 9311
RE: Evaluation of Performance of Centers
January 19, 2013, 00:22:30

You know what Mike forget it, I cant be asked debating rugby with you for you are clueless. I have just at length explained to you that Taute did not just crash it up and your conclusion is that he did, [removed] me!!

 

Hell you even want me to compare a player at S15 level and against the useless Reds at that, against a player playing in a test match - heaven help us

 

I well and truely give up Mike, your rugby ignorance frustrates me beyond belief and short of being insulting, I think its best I throw in the towel.

 

 


mozart

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RE: Evaluation of Performance of Centers
January 19, 2013, 01:11:14

All Taute did was the slow inside step......and that was when he managed to catch the ball.


Saffex

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RE: Evaluation of Performance of Centers
January 19, 2013, 01:16:17

He dropped one ball dingbat

 

Unlike Jean who dropped one and passed one to nobody

 

And how does one step inside slowly old wise one?

 

 

 


mozart

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Posts: 8748
RE: Evaluation of Performance of Centers
January 19, 2013, 01:26:24

Look Jean took a high ball on his finger tips against NZ, carried it forward on those finger tips, brought it under control and put Habana away for a superb try. That's handling. So don't compare Jean with young butterfingers.

 

As for a slow step I can do it best by example. Taute is a slow step, fools nobody. De Jongh is a fast step....left Mvovo for dead.


Saffex

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Posts: 9311
RE: Evaluation of Performance of Centers
January 19, 2013, 01:35:48

I dont care what Jean did in another test, he dropped one against Oz and then proceeded to pass the ball to no-one - FACT. I have no issue with Jean he was a class act in his day, but his day is long gone and he should not be playing for the Boks anymore, just like Smit should not be.

 

As for a slow inside step what bull[removed]. Taute received the ball from Jean and stepped the first defender just like any other player would in traffic. Difference between Taute and wee de Jongh is that Taute was physical enough to carry forward momentum and set up second phase ball. Chances are wee de Jongh in traffic would have been posted backwards with interest. de Jongh had one mini break against minos Scotland then went hiding against England safe in the knowledge that if he hid, he would not be exposed.


mozart

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RE: Evaluation of Performance of Centers
January 19, 2013, 01:43:20

Taute could never score that CC winning try de Jongh did, in a 100 matches.....not explosive and elusive enough. But it's all moot now, he's a fullback. So he will be able to wind up to full pace before meeting the tackler and will probably plow through a few of them.


Saffex

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Posts: 9311
RE: Evaluation of Performance of Centers
January 19, 2013, 01:51:32

The only art in de Jonghs try was the angle of his run and his hand off of Daniel. The step was nothing given Mvovo was crossing at pace.

 

So are you saying Taute will never play 13 again???


clevermike

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Posts: 12961
RE: Evaluation of Performance of Centers
January 19, 2013, 02:58:51

A girl

When you are on the losing end of an argument - you always went into the type of thing you did earlier and start with personal attacks.   Taute was one-dimensional - inside step and carry ball in traffic and crashball - never making it more than 3 meters over the gain line.   Never passing the ball - never off-loading whilst being tackled.

And yes - he will never play at 13 again because of his performances thus far.  If he continues in present vein he will not last as a 13 at all - end of story.

I am surprised as to why De Jongh popped up here.  I did not refer to the try scored by him in the CC final - since what I did was to look at the two tests he played in against Scotland and Englans only.  He really was hopeless and the points indicated as such.

AS TO THE ISSUE OF JORDAAN - YOU REALLY WENT OFF THE RAILS THERE.   YOU APPARENTLY NEVER SAW WHAT I SAID CLEARLY AND THAT WAS THAT i COMPARED PERFORMANCES IN THAT CASE WITH WHAT STEYN AND TAUTE PRODUCED IN THE SUPER 15 GAMES THEY PLAYED IN.  I ADDED THAT IF THEY HAD MORE PLAYING TIME ON THAT LEVEL THEY MAY HAVE DONE BETTER IN THE RATINGS.   Apparently - when anybody compares Taute unfavouably with other players - you go ballistic - so please get back to reasonable discussion - and not make foolish statements that detracted from your argument by saying that I compared test match performances with Super 15 performances.   That would be idiotic and it NEVER happened.

And insofar as Jordaan is concerned - the issue was never to compare him to Taute on test level - but on Super series level and specifically to the three games he played at center in Apriil 2012 for the Lions.   The opposition was on the same level as those facing Jordaan - yet he did not perform as well as Jordaan did on Super 15 level,   And then Jordaan also made a major line break in the Super 15 final when his opposing center was SBW - so is he also a sh!t opponent?

 I really am not expecting a response from you on the latter issue at all - so we better leave it at that.


Saffex

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Posts: 9311
RE: Evaluation of Performance of Centers
January 20, 2013, 14:14:05

Mike dont insult me with your take on whether I am losing an argument are not, you would not know for as I have said, you clearly know stuff all, so please dont bore us with yor take on what constitutes a centre for its a load of rubbish.

 

If you dont like me calling someone stupid etc dont [removed]ing read my posts its that simple and dont ever tell me I am losing an argument when a complete idiot tells me that Taute's performance against Oz was one-dimensional - how bloody ignorant is that.

 

 

 

 


clevermike

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Posts: 12961
RE: Evaluation of Performance of Centers
January 20, 2013, 14:50:31

A girl

In a season of good-will lets leave out the insults.   I looked at that test to see what Taute did specifically in the Wallaby test- where there was a more than ordinary number of backline moves and Taute got the ball in good attacking situations as well.   

He ran straight at the opposition and was tackled with the ball resulting in maul situations - he even beat one tackler on one occassion and was tackled by a second defender.   Official stats indicated he made minimal progress over the gain line and did not try to off-load the ball ever - even with the full back and wings available.   The fact that the Springboks mostly manage to retain possession - there was only one penalty awarded to the Australians when Taute was hanging onto the ball after being tackled - count in favour of the team as a whole.   

Taute was not involved in any threatening backline move and in any move that led to the scoring of tries.   His defence in the said test was good - the rest of his performance (compared to other players on the field of play that day)  - can at best be described as average (that being a liberal description) and may border on inadequacy.

I think Taute will make a briliant full back - but never really succeed at center.   He is too slow off the mark and too one-dimensional to be a 13.  You will obviously contest the latter description - but I ask you with tears in my eyes - what did he do differently in the tests he played in other than to run in traffic - get tackled and crashballed without any attempted passes or off-loads?   He did it with every ball that came his way - and never tried anything else to try and create doubts in the minds of the opposition.  

  


Saffex

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 9311
RE: Evaluation of Performance of Centers
January 20, 2013, 16:18:44

Mike I am not interested in debating the art of centre play with you for you know stuff all and it bores me - I read the first few sentences of the above and chucked in the towel.

 

Only a complete idiot would say that Taute was one dimensional, but as a parting shot, given your rugby wisdom please enlighten us on what Taute should have done differently at the following points of the 1st half of that game:

 

1. Minute 1.50 - receives the ball in traffic, steps in gaining advantage in contact, setting up 2nd phase ball

 

2. Minute 8.30 - same as above, which results in penalty to Boks

 

3. Minute 11 - brave take of a high ball

 

4. Minute 12.40 - makes a good tackle

 

5. Around 13 min mark, executes a good switch pass 

 

6. Minute 15.40 - great tackle on Beales

 

7. Minute 24.35 - great support of Goosen break, had Goosen passed inside, Taute would have scored easy try as he had run into space

 

8. Minute 31.43  - receives ball in traffic and steps inside beating defender, setting up 2nd phase ball

 

9. The only other time Taute received the ball, he passed it out wide

 

Now in your wisdom, kindly indicate what Taute should have done differently at these points - I cant wait for your informed answers, given your expertise on modern day centre play  


clevermike

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 12961
RE: Evaluation of Performance of Centers
January 20, 2013, 16:43:16

You named nine examples and lets [removed]yze them _

*   Brave take of high ball - fine he is an excellent full back - it just prove my point.

*  Point 8 is meaningless - there was a number of support players and Goosen did not pass the ball - so nothing achieved.  

*   Two good tackles made - I always said his defence was good in the test

*   In fact four crashballs - one from the kick he fielded - nothing exceptional in such cases.

*   Made two passes - but did not make any significant passes or off-loads in tackle situations.

All the examples quoted indicated a very average performance - nothing to declare him as the best center on the field of play.   If Taute did something exceptional like trying to run at an angle or draw a defender and pass the ball to another player - I would say he did well. 

The above description clearly indicates that he had a vey average game and did very little to distinguish himself - in other words he played a very simple game withoiut much success for his team.   Thanks for the summary - it confirmed my opinion that he was average at best.  

 


Saffex

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 9311
RE: Evaluation of Performance of Centers
January 20, 2013, 16:47:28

Man you are thick, I said go watch those passages of play and tell me exactly what Taute should have done differently esepcially when he stepped and crashed as you put.

 

Dont just lie about the situation, provide a solution as to what Taute should have done differently - its on Youtube for all to see.

 

Stop speaking [removed], man up and answer the questions


Sharkbok

Status: Senior player
Posts: 3706
RE: Evaluation of Performance of Centers
January 20, 2013, 16:57:48

 A basic comparison of stats shows the All Blacks play more of a passing game-of which the centres make a significant contribution to-

These stats support how I interpreted the game when I watched both matches. 

-

Take 2 games played at the end of the year vs Scotland. 

Compare the All Black stats vs the Boks stats against the same opposition(Scotland)

You could say that it was a different game and therefore it is a different context. However NewZealand test and SuperXV teams typically have much higher passing stats, metres run and clean breaks. 

 

A major reason for this is the offloading ability of the centers, passing skills and ability to create space.

--It would take too long to go through each game this year to make a comparision by watching each game and recording the plays. 

However these stats are like comparing night and day. It is obvious that the AllBlacks are playing a more expansive game using passing skills, rather than over using crashball

 

 

1. Scotland vs The AllBlacks

Kick/pass/run
12 Kicks from hand 17
102 Passes 180
88 Runs 106
277 Metres run with ball 448
Attacking
50% Possession 50%
57% Territory 43%
3 Clean breaks 11
11 Defenders beaten 25
1 Offloads 15
73 from 81 (90.1%) Rucks won 74 from 77 (96.1%)
8 from 8 (100.0%) Mauls won 0 from 1 (0.0%)
15 Turnovers conceded 15

 

                                                                 Scotland      VS South Africa

Kick/pass/run
18 Kicks from hand 25
111 Passes 71
116 Runs 60
223 Metres run with ball 220
Attacking
63% Possession 37%
67% Territory 33%
2 Clean breaks 1
11 Defenders beaten 9
9 Offloads 5
90 from 94 (95.7%) Rucks won 49 from 52 (94.2%)
2 from 2 (100.0%) Mauls won 5 from 6 (83.3%)
15 Turnovers conceded 10

 


Sharkbok

Status: Senior player
Posts: 3706
RE: Evaluation of Performance of Centers
January 20, 2013, 17:01:11

 SouthAfrican Centre stats-

Pos   T/A Pts K/P/R MR CB DB OL TO Tack LO Pen Y/R
FB Kirchner 0/0 0 6/3/3 6 0 0 1 0 2/0 0/0 0 0/0
W Pietersen 0/0 0 0/1/2 1 0 0 0 0 3/0 0/0 0 0/0
C de Jongh 0/0 0 0/0/4 12 0 2 0 1 4/1 0/0 0 0/0
C de Villiers 0/0 0 0/0/6 16 0 3 0 0 12/0 0/0 0 0/

-

All Black Centre stats

Pos   T/A Pts K/P/R MR CB DB OL TO Tack LO Pen Y/R
FB Dagg 1/0 5 2/1/3 8 1 2 0 1 0/0 0/0 0 0/0
W Jane 1/0 5 0/7/8 43 0 0 3 0 3/0 0/0 0 0/0
C Smith 1/1 5 0/5/9 38 1 2 1 0 4/2 0/0 0 0/0
C Ellison 0/0 0 1/6/9 33 1 3 1 2 8/0 0/0 0 0/0

 

Key T/A Tries / Try Assists Pts Points scored
K/P/R Kick / Pass / Run MR Metres Run with ball
CB Clean Breaks DB Defenders Beaten OL OffLoads TO TurnOvers
Tack Tackles made / missed LO LineOuts won on throw / stolen on opp throw
Pen Penalties conceded Y/R Yellow / Red cards


Saffex

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 9311
RE: Evaluation of Performance of Centers
January 20, 2013, 17:11:20

Yep Shark the AB's play it as it should be played and therefore create more opportunities than other sides. Plus they have Carter at 10, the best 10 to have played the game - it must be heaven for a centre to play outside him.

 

Compare that to the Boks with bloody Morne at 10!!

 

The AB's aspire to keep the ball in hand, setting up phases, running great lines/angles, players always being in support and looking to breach the defence constructively and not conceding possession as we do with aimless kicks 


Sharkbok

Status: Senior player
Posts: 3706
RE: Evaluation of Performance of Centers
January 20, 2013, 17:16:20

 agreed, even when the All Black forwards get beaten, the AllBlacks can still have a decent amount of possesion because they dont kick it away aimlessly. 


Saffex

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Posts: 9311
RE: Evaluation of Performance of Centers
January 20, 2013, 18:33:31

 Conservative coaches and Morne Steyn have alot to answer for. Meyer needs to embrace a more attacking plan and move away from the likes of Pienaar at 9 and Morne at 10.

 

Simple solution is to restore Hougaard to his rightful position of 9 and play Goosen at 10. Players that have attacking instincts, with Goosen able to kick productively when required. The aimless kick and chace is just bull[removed] and out of touch


clevermike

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Posts: 12961
RE: Evaluation of Performance of Centers
January 20, 2013, 19:53:23

I basically agree with you about the issue of backline play.   It is always easy to blame Morne  - even in games where he did not play in.   The real answer is -

*  that we should get decent backline coaching - totally missing at present;

*  that the game plan be changed to allow for less aimless kicking and more positive backline play;

*  that we should select the right players with th ability to perform well in their best positions.

First of all - the Scotland Test was a bad example of how a team as a whole  should not play.   Meyer made the worst possible choices insofar as prop selection was concerned and they failed him badly - it really was an embarrasing mess.   The very next week Tonga beat the Scots playing better than the Springboks did.   It should teachh Meyer one lesson and that is to select players on merit - not on how well you know them or whether you have Bulls connections, etc

In the Scotland test Lambie played at flyhalf and it slipped out that he had to play according to strict instructions and he could not use his normal game.   De Villiers showed nothing and De Jongh might as well not have been on the field for all that he was worth.

When it comes to team selection - I actually have serious reservarions about three positions:-

    Scrumhalf and both centers

Scrumhalf

My own favourite for this position was always Hougaard - but he buggered up so badly last year that Meyer was forced to pick Pienaar ahead of him.   There were mainly three problems, namely -

  *    serious problems in reading of games;

  *    absent kicking ability - constant charge downs iro of defensive kicks;

  *    ineffective passing.

The main problem may have been psychological - an over-inflated belief in himself to the detriment of his team.

Hougaard has declared he wants to concentrate on playing at scrummie in future and he is undergoing specislist coaching and I hope he can cut out the deficiencies in his game 

Hopefull he would improve and would make the grade.   We should get a clearer idea about his performances during the Super 15 series.   I hope Hougaard makes the grade and cut out the bad elements that krept into his game.

Flyhalfs

We really have only two genuine candidates - namely Goosen and Lambie that will compete for selection at flyhalf.   Both are class acts and the Super 115 series will show us the way forward.

Center

All the centres that played for the Springboks in 2012 were sub-par and deficient.   Francois Steyn was slow and ponderous, De Villiers failed at 13 and was bad at 12.   Taute could at best be described as a full back that was temporarily moved to center and De Jongh really was a joke.

All the centers is to my mind under a cloud - De Villiers at 32 will probably not last long in the team.   Steyn should show drastic improvement before he can be seriously considered and Taute already declared that his sojourn a center is over and he wants to concentrate playing at full back.

If Steyn in Super 15 does not improve - he is to my mind not a candidate for selection at all.   So lets hope he shows some signs of life.  De Villiers in Super 15 was part of the "dead"  Stormers  backline.

I believe that based on the 2012 Super Series and the CC that there are only one center worth his salt and that is Jordaan.   I hope he continues performing - he really has major potential.

Of the younger crowd I would like to see how De Allende performs in Super 15 and would also say that Howard may come through as well.   For the rest we really have problems - there is a host of youngsters around - but most are not Springbok material.

I hope that Super 15 will show us which players should in fact be considered for selection

Wings

No problem

Full back

My first choice full back remains Taute and I am sure he will srtake his claim for selection in Super 15 this year.

 

 

  

 


Sharkbok

Status: Senior player
Posts: 3706
RE: Evaluation of Performance of Centers
January 21, 2013, 04:32:00

 Its a chicken and egg situation with our backline problems. 

Coachs and players are hesistant to often pass from the flyhalf to the inside center because it typically turns into a crash ball and often a penalty is given away for holding on.

Or it just becomes a slow recycle where half the team is pulled into the ruck to retain possesion, or even a turn over which is even worse.

- A skip pass to the outside center can be even worse in terms of being isolated in the tackle. 

-

Our center distributions and running lines are not upto international top standard so we do not pass down the backline and the game plan becomes to kick away aimlessly as a result

Or we do not pass the ball down the backline enough so our centres do not develop the skill set required.

Chicken and egg scenario of what came first- 

1. passing or passing skills.

This problem is self-perpetuating.

 

 

-

 


clevermike

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 12961
RE: Evaluation of Performance of Centers
January 21, 2013, 07:03:16

Sharkbok

You have summarized this problem very well.   Looking ta the stats for the Scotland game - we were poor insofar as passing of the ball is concerned.    In a game noted for more backline moves - Taute receied tha ball 5 times in the entire test (as listed by A girl) and he crashballed 3 times and passed the ball twice.  

To my mind the situation arose from three problems namely -

*   the game plan that does not allow for backline attacki play;

*   deficient coaching and skills development; and

*   the quality of our centers.

In the latter case - as mentioned earlier - the style of play and capacity is such that we might as well have loosies that would even make better centers than we have at present.  

It is noticeable that in Super 15 the Sharks was really the only team that played a more expansive game - whilst the Stormers did the exact opposite and the Bulls were just about 5% better than the Bulls.   I name these teams - since they were last year in the top six teams in Super 15 and the Sharks ended up in th final.   I would say the Sharks were the best all-round performing team in the SA Conference.   In their case they had very good attacking centers to use and they did use them.

In the first few games  they tried unsuccessfully to use Pietersen to play the same style as the Stormers and Bulls centers did - and the results were poor.  They then brought in Jordaan and they started to use the backline 10 times better than they did before and they kept on winning games to the very end of the competition- when they lost in the final.

I don't think we do not have players with the required skills capacity - the problem is deficient player identification and poor skills refinement.   Can that be overcome?   I believe it can be - but not with the present centers.   A girl reckon that Steyn and Taute were  our best centers this year - but they were not and what is worse - they basically played the same game - crashballing being the norm rather than the exception.  They really tried nothing creative at all.

That is why I believe that Spencer would make a huge difference to the Sharks this coming year.   He has Lambie that has all the required skills to work with - but his problem will be Francois Steyn.  If he can get on Super 15 level Steyn to up his game and play differently from what he did on international level - then he may change his playing style.   Will Spencer be successful in doing that - I frankly do not know, but have my doubts about it.    If Steyn continued his play as he did at present - it may have a result of nulliying the Sharks more expansive playing efforts - and they might forget about reputation and drop him from the team.   Be it as it may - we will see what happens in Super 15.

The position of the Stormers are also in doubt.   They were the worse team in the SA Conference insofar as the "dead" backline syndrome is concerned.   They try to fix it by importing Jantjjies - but the real problems remained.   De Villiers and De Jongh as a unit was a bad combination for a variety of reasons.   De Villiers was very good as a younger player - but I think he was coached out of his original playing style and nowadays only rarely showed the skills set required.   Those rare occurences made him a better 12 than Steyn was in 2012.   De Jongh is just not good enough at all.    He is really not up to Super 15 standard and what was noticeable was that on CC level when he and De Villiers were not around - the WP backline on the whole functioned better than when thy were present.    Is Jantjies going to change all that - I doubt it very much - and I think he may just be a further cog in the malfunctioning back line syndrome of the Stormers.

The Bulls buy centers like they have endless supplies of money and then kill their further development  The Bulls are in fact the graveyard of aspiring centers and Sadie and Engelbrecht are typical examples.   They bought Serfontein - and used him once on CC level - and he was not up tto standard.   I have high hopes for Serfontein, but is he going to survive in that environment?   

By the way I think  De Allende in the CC inal showed one element that Steyn never showed this year - namely to off-load balls in tackle situations and a capacity to run in traffic and not only crashballed.   That upped his creditability in my book considerably and he may just be the player we are looking for as a future no 12. 

Be it as it may - if the present scenario persist - we will never be the top rated team in the world - so some changes are essential.       The question remains - will those changes be made and different playing styles and capacity be introduced?


Saffex

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 9311
RE: Evaluation of Performance of Centers
January 21, 2013, 11:42:39

Mike catch a wake up, if Taute received the ball in traffic, ie players already in his face when he received it, what do you expect him to do huh?

 

What he did do, was instead of running straight into the guy as you keep incorrectly implying, he correctly stepped inside and beat the first defender, giving him the opportunity to place the ball and set up second phase ball - get your bloody facts straight instead of speaking [removed].

 

I am sick of reading your ignorant take on players actual performance


clevermike

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 12961
RE: Evaluation of Performance of Centers
January 21, 2013, 12:42:50

A girl

Sorry - but I do not agree.   If our center play was acceptable to you - you must be a lone voice on the Board.   There were serious problems with all the centers and they were showed up badly by other international centers.  

If I was to select centers from teams comprising the Championship (excluding the All Blacks) not one of the present centers of SA will even remotely be candidates for selection - they are just too poor. 

I hope to see some improvement and I also hope that Taute will  play as a full back in future and not as a center where he under-performed despite the points raised by you in respect of the Wallaby game - note that Sharkbok said he actually was the worst SA backline player on the field.  

I am not the lone voice on this issue - Taute is wasted at center and even himself said he wants to play at full back where he can and did perform better than at center.


Saffex

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 9311
RE: Evaluation of Performance of Centers
January 21, 2013, 12:59:43

Mike are you stupid?

 

Do me a favour, before you put fingers to keyboard in replying to this post, go and check the three times Taute takes the ball into contact in that first half and kindly explain what he should have done differently or better still, what any other 13 in the world would have done.

 

If you want to settle this, answer the question with a direct answer, not a pathetic generalisation. Its like dealing with a 3 year old.

 

Mike this is a challenge to you, prove me wrong by providing me with realistic alternatives to those three occasions Taute took the ball into contact after an initial inside step. Failing which I suggest you keep your ignorance to yourself as your poor responses and failure to provide various answers to questions I have directed at you is starting to irritate me no end.


clevermike

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 12961
RE: Evaluation of Performance of Centers
January 21, 2013, 18:21:26

A girl

I watched the full game again -and not with tinted glasses.   The result was the following:-

*   The first ball passed o Taute he knocked on.   I do not think it was a missed try-scoring opportunity as Mozart suggested.

*  The second ball he got he had about 2 - 3 meters space and he beat the first defender and got tackled by the second one.   Loose maul resulted.   Other than potentially off-loading the ball in the tackle he could do nothing more.

*   The third ball he received in space and made an inside pass rather too early.   He had ample opportunity to draw in defenders and try and create space - but passed the ball to a well-covered player and the opportunity died with him.  Ample time for a dribble kick as well.

*   The next time he crashballed - the first defender majing the tackle.

*   He did catch the high ball under pressure and made sure that the Springboks retained possession.

*    He made some good tackles - was good in defence.

*    Early in the second half he got the ball in space - ran about five meters and passed the ball outside - the receiver was well covered and ultimately the movement died down and the Springboks lost possession.   he basically passed the ball too early to really be effective - he could draw in defenders, could make a startegic kick or even take contact and off-loaded the ball in tackle situations.

* The last time Taute did receve the ball - he had only about two meters space and the first defender tackled him. In the rsulting maul he hung onto the ball and the Springboks was penalized

You ask me what Taute could have done differently and I have now answered you as such,    

There have been two major negatives in the knock-on and penalty he gave away.   There have been 4 very good tackles made.   There was minimal meter gains by Taute - the only significant one being in the second half as indicated. 

On the whole Taute had a very average ball-handling game and a good defensie game.   I would not say he was overall above average and he showed some limitations insofar as attacking play is concerned.   Definitely not the best backline player on the field - compared to other backline players he was in fact weakish. 

.


Saffex

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 9311
RE: Evaluation of Performance of Centers
January 21, 2013, 19:26:19

Um Mike you cant offload to a player if there is no player in support, hence he set up second phase.

 

So on the two occassions that Taute received the ball with a little space in hand you wanted him to grubber it or kick it - how pathetic and make sure you never entertain the idea of coaching.

 

Imagine having your outside centre kick as much as you wanted him to.

 

Fact is Taute did what was required of him in the situations presented to him. He received the ball 5 times, of which 3 times were in traffic and he stepped and set up second phase constructively. The other two times he distributed the ball down the line correctly. There is nothing more he could have done and no other 13 in the game could have done any better in the cir[removed]stances.

 

You have confirmed your rugby ignorance - kick ahead my arse, what a joke

 

 


clevermike

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 12961
RE: Evaluation of Performance of Centers
January 21, 2013, 21:29:39

A girl

This is rubbish - I gave examples of a number of options Taute could have taken (one of them was kicking a grubber kick - but he could have done any of the others with better effect) - but he chose in both cases the wrong option - passing to playerx that had no space and defenders virtually on top of them.

A clever center would have handled the situation differently and not merely make passes that had no real advantage - but then Taute had limited experience as a center and that probably caused the deficiency in  suitable option-taking.   The fact that he could have done differently in at least two cases - would have been done by any top class center.   Put Jordaan for instance in a similar position and a try under the post by him or one of the other players would have been automatic/ an absolute certainty.

Be is as it may - he was what I would say an average performer with no real outstanding plays that would take him above that category.   Good he definitely was not.  


Saffex

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 9311
RE: Evaluation of Performance of Centers
January 21, 2013, 22:57:33

Mike you are so ignorant about centre play its laughable and you keep confirming that with the crap you post.

 

Its not the job of a 13 to try something everytime he gets the ball especially a lad on debut, that would be called selfish. Bloody wake up man. He received the ball 5 times took contact 3 times and passed it twice. That is a good ratio and only a complete idiot would want him to have taken contact when he was in a position to give the ball to his wing, or worse as you suggest, kick the ball - how stupid are you?

 

You know nothing about centre play - FACT


clevermike

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 12961
RE: Evaluation of Performance of Centers
January 22, 2013, 04:30:47

A girl

I am ignorant about center play, but your are worse -  I am not prpared to accept sub-par decisionmaking and play,  whilst you are prepared to accept [removed] play - if the center is one of your favourites. 

You really are silly to defend poor play without questioning - unless it comes from one of your favourite players - then everything is good play by them - even if and when they bugger up badly.   I can give numerous examples of your pregudiced viewpooints - just think of -

*   Francois Hougaard was so bad in the place at scrummie - but according to you he never buggered up;

*   Morne Steyn was alays [removed] (I agree with you there) but according to you Jantjies in the Soweto test did well, that while his fellow plater ignoed him in the second half beause he made some real bugger-ups early on when he replaced  Goosen;

*   Francois Steyn was often enough not up to standard during the tests he played in and mae minimal impact on the games - yet according to you - he was good, whilst De Villiers who performed ten times better than the minimal efforts of Steyn - is denigrated by you.

*  Taute was the best center in the Wallaby test - what a joke. 

*   Habana is past it and must be replaced immediately.    

The above indicates how weird your ideas about backline play is and the players punted by you were the main reason  for the dead backline syndrome.  But then you and Rooinek are the only Board members with weird ideas on that issue - so I have seen enough to know what to expect from you as to norms and standards.  

You know nothing about good play in any position in the backline and will accept mediocrity as a norm  - FACT.


Saffex

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 9311
RE: Evaluation of Performance of Centers
January 22, 2013, 11:55:35

Mike your rugby ignorance shines bright, you confirmed that with your non [removed]ysis of Taute's performance against Oz - that was a complete joke.

 

You should rather listen and learn for the crap you come up with is laughable. Jean better than Frans - what a joke, Taute poor against Oz is insulting and proves ignorance, much like you lying about Habana.

 

Give it up Mike, you are starting to challenge Beenkop in the stupidity stakes


clevermike

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 12961
RE: Evaluation of Performance of Centers
January 22, 2013, 12:07:36

A girl

Crap - I never once said that Taute was poor against the Aussies - I said he was an average performer and definitely not the best center or backline player on the field that day.

Now lets get real - what did Steyn do in the two Super Series games and five tests he played i in 2012 to be rated anything higher than De Villiers?   The answer is zilch - he was in fact to some extent inadequate and if you don't believe that - go and study the stats in games.   No part in tries scored - no off-loads in tackle situations - no real reading of games - poor passing - crashballing 90% of the time - and his kicking game was a joke.   He was certainly out of form and slowed down - especially he was slow and ponderous off the mark.   That one needs a 40% uograding in playing capacity and notbeing played on reputation and you have to have new glasses if you missed out on games.

The joke is on you this time around - my friend.


Saffex

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 9311
RE: Evaluation of Performance of Centers
January 22, 2013, 12:20:56

Well Taute was certainly better than Jean that test who dropped balls, past to no-one and another certainty is that Taute was better than the Oz centres. Taute was also the best Bok 13 in 2012, for Jean was completely useless at 13 and de Jongh out of his depth.

 

Frans along with JP were our best backs against England and their player ratings confirmed this. If Frans socred a higher rating than the rest of the Bok backs other than JP - would this be because he was poor or average you bright spark?

 

Fact is Frans did a great job of imposing himself physically, his strength and presence was sorely missed in that 3rd Pom test. Frans is a class act, the only real world class centre we have at the moment, the rest are kids that still have to prove themselves. Frans's great break was the best I saw of a Bok centre in 2012.

 

Frans is about strength and physical presence - a massive prerequisite for modern test rugby. He has always had the skills, we saw that from day one and why he made it as a Bok at an early age. Your take on Frans is even worse than that on Taute - ignorance personified.

 

Our best centre combo for 2013 is Frans at 12 and Taute at 13. There are those that can challenge Taute at 13, but Frans at 12 is non negotiable


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