RE: Time for AC to pack it in
April 01, 2013, 02:55:45
One can never be sure why Coetzee does certain things - especially insofar as player performances are concerned. Take for instance the case of Jantjies. Any student of rugby would have identified the real deficiencies of Jantjies by studying what happened really over a two year period on Super 15 level - instead of falling for the newspaper hype on Jantjies. Jantjies always did have the deficiencies that became glaringly obvious during his first five games for the Stormers. He always was a player -
* who panicked knocking on and even drop balls when under pressure;
* who could in rare instance make plays that resulted in scoring of tries, but far more often really inhibited the attacking skills by poor on-field decisions; and
* whose defensive abilities were seriously deficient.
He showed all the deficiencies listed above glaringly in all the games he played in this year despite two flash in the pan instances in the Brumbies game.
The problem is that Coetzee pressed the Stormers Board relentlessly to get Jantjies on Board and they gave the latter one of the most expensive player contracts signed by them with players rumoured to be at least R2,5 million for the Super 15 season only.
One can find some excuses insofar as the Taute issue is concerned. Taute performed very well at full back for the Lions and was really a player that could make line breaks when entering the line from full back or making individual runs. He saw him as acleverer and faster player than he ended up now. Pehaps the tendency to believe that he should bulk up to be seriously considered for higher selection let to a drop in speed and he bcame a crashballer in th first games he played for the Stormers. His kicking game also deteriorated and he tended in recnet games to be erratiic - he did not kick balls into touch when he should have and kicked them out when he should not have. Be it s it may - the Jantjies goal kicking collapse forced Coetzee to play Pietersen at full back and Taute really had no chance to correct the kicking problems - since he came off the bench and made some serious errors in regard to especially his kicking game.
Despite their high ranking on thhe log of the Super 15 over the past two years the Stormers backline attacking capacity was seriously defective. I really think that Coetzee never even thought where the real problems were and he consequently thought that by bringing in Jantjies those problems would be eliminated. Howevr, the real problem was center play and specialy with De Jongh who showed no real clout ever in attacking play. By adding Jantjies into the mix it lead to even further deficiencies in the De Jongh performances in the past two games.
The Storemers is now a complete disaster insofar as backline performances are concerned. They have the full back situation covered well enough - Taute is a reasonable full back and match practice would have eliminated a lot of rough edges. Pietersen is a good enough player to make a positive contribution to games he played in - nothing rarely spectacular, but really positive.
The serious injuries to Habana and Van den Heever has destroyed the capacity of the Stormers to field top wings. They are now down to just Aplon on the wing and will soon be forced into playing Pietersen on the wing or finding an alternative wing from Vodacom level. The situation could also be to play Howard on the wing - but he is better at 13 than on the wing. JP du Plessis is apparently injured because he has not played during the past two months and there was no indication when he would play again. Be it as it may both Howard and Du Plessis could cover the 13 or wing positions.
The center situation is equally critical - especially as De Jongh brings nothing positive to the game. He is relatively solid on defence when he is not out of position where he should have been in th first instance - but with a powder-puff attacking abilities. The have only two frontline centers in De Allende and De Villiers - but Coetzee is married to the idea of De Jongh at center and that would never work properly - something that would always inhibit performances of the Stormers backline.
It is at flyhalf that the position is really critical. Jantjies is a complete misfit and the Stormers made a serious mistake in allowing Catrakilis to sign up with the Kings. That left them with Grant - also out with a serious injury. They are ow down to Coleman (really a colourless performer), Van Aswegen (extremely injury prone - whose performances cannot be evaluated properly because of the injury problems) and Swiel - the ball sense kid. Swiel has vanishd into thin air - recnt reports indicated that he wants to furhter career in the UK - but I am not sure where he is. I would suggest that the Stormers put in Van Aswegen in the Starting line-up and put Swiel on the bench and bring him on slowly to take over within say the next month or so.
However, Coetzee is unlikely to admit he was wrong in brining Jantjies into the squad and will persist with him come hell or high water. My forecast is that unless drastic actions are taken - the Stormers this year will struggle to get higher than 8th on the log - likely lower.
I think that Coetzee may find himself on a slippry slope if that happens - so he better do something and not be influenced by his personal attachment to certain players and especially to Earl Silky Hands Jantjies and Juan Scything Defence De Jongh.