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5358 Topic: What worthy youngster hasn't had a chance?
mozart

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Posts: 7900
What worthy youngster hasn't had a chance?
June 28, 2013, 03:00:45

 Let's see.....in the last year we have elevated Willie, Taute, Serfontein, JJ, Goosen, Jantjies, Coenie, Adriaanse, Etzebeth, Kolisi, Coetzee, Greyling, Botha, van Zyl....a few I probably missed....and a few like Steph who would be there but for injury. So in these anguished calls for young players, who has been left out? Lappies at 24, who else.....Rhule?

 

Guess what guys, those two aren't going to be fixture Boks. Nor are Taute, Jantjies, Adriaanse, Kolisi, or  Coetzee. 

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That leaves established success Eben Etzebeth. Possible successes......Willie, Serfontein, JJ, Coenie and Goosen if his body holds up. All that in two years!

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What does that tell us? Establishment Boks are rare....we pick up maybe 2 a year. They last for 6 or so years. So our Bok team in a healthy state may have 10 veteran Boks, 2 new establishment Boks and 3 fine players who are there for a brief period. 

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So why all this focus on the new guys. It's far more important that the 10 establishment Boks are developed to their best potential. New guys will get their chances, as they have in the last few years....the winners will be obvious. This is not like finding a great new wine....the selection process is pretty transparent.

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Far from being behind the 8 ball. I think we are introducing more youngsters than Oz or NZ at this point.....possibly a mistake.

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Just for reference. Against Italy we started with 4 new Boks...Vermaak ( a name I missed), Botha, JJ and Willie. NZ last week against France had zero players who weren't capped in 2012. Oz had three Folau.....who in his right mind wouldn't pick him, Mowen and Lealifano.-

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The truth is the Lions also have far older players than the Boks....with 4 guys O Driscoll (34). Phillips (30), Adam Jones (32) and O Connell (33) up in their thirties in the team fielded last week. The Boks have two at 30....Habana and Jannie and Jean the old man at 32.

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We are worrying about the wrong problem. The issue is not that youngsters aren't getting chances.....the issue is, not enough of them are doing well enough to cement their places.


clevermike

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Posts: 12017
RE: What worthy youngster hasn't had a chance?
June 28, 2013, 08:37:18
Mozart

Rugby in SA has a two-edged problem, namely -

* how to ensure that players are not retained in the Springbok team beyond what is called their sell by dates due to reduction in competence due to age and other factors; and

* how and when to introduce younger players into the system.

The period 2008 to 1011 was a period of minimal change - with a result that by the start of 2012 there was a huge vacuum that needed to be filled. The situation is in fact that the vacuum has not been addressed in full and to say there are 10 established players in the team is putting it at too high a figure. To start off - without the new players brought in - in fact there were this June alone 12 such players introduced out of the total of 22 players utilized - of those only Engelbrecht came from the bench for 15 minutes in 2012 - we were left with 10 other more senior players. Of those established 10 players there are at least 4 players or possibly 5 that have deficiencies that may take them out of the sport over the next two years and who will have to be replaced. So the team has about 5 established senior players that are really there to last to about 2015 who can be regarded as established players from the 10 players mentioned.

Of the June 2013 new players one can accept that seven will be longer term prospects - leaving the team with say 12 players who are really long term prospects. A number of players that would have played in June were injured - eg Vermeulen and Goosen and then there are the absentees like Pietersen that would be back in 2015. For the rest the situation is that a further 8 to 9 players will have to be introduced in the team between now and by the time the 2015 WC comes up.

The total team is made up of 23 players - not only the starting line up of 15 players - hence my comments about the so called 9 players. If the present five established players are to be replaced due to declining performances and some of the newbies are not going to make the grade - then even more new players will be required by 2015.

So lets accept there are really only 10 players to be regarded as established players by the end of this year through both the present Springboks and the newbies - it means that there can be substantial changes made to the team set up between now and 2015 - since some of the newbies will not make the grade. I can see a core group by next year of 15 players - leaving further 8 up in the air positions even by the end of next year.

The following 15 players I would say would be established Springboks by the end of 2014:-

Le Roux, Habana, Engelbrecht, Serfontein, Lambie, Pietersen, Vermeulen. Louw, Botha, Etzebeth, Strauss, Bismarck Du Plessis, Oosthuizen - with a further as questionable cases (eg De Villiers and Beast).

The 10 other players can come out of the present squad or even outside of the present squad and could include any of the following:-

Already capped: Nyakane, Kolisi, Coetzee, Hougaard

Squad players : Mvovo, Van Zyl, Labuschagne, Du Toit,

Outside present squad : Francois Steyn, Hougaard, Malherbe, De Jager, Reinach,

Some of the above players are duplications insofar as positions are concerned and may fall off as well and some has serious deficiencies that take them out of contention by the end of next year. The names not mentioned are really not longer term prospects or there are better players around. So the rest of this year we will see some substantial further changes this year - same as in 2014.

We will by 2015 have a relatively young core of players in place - with a relatively low average age - which may limit the changes in subsequent years - but on average still 3 or 4 changes per year can be foreseen to ensure that we have 23 players in match day squads.

ed.


bluebok

Status: Bok regular
Posts: 1149
RE: What worthy youngster hasn't had a chance?
June 28, 2013, 09:20:37
I tend to agree with Mike here. Pieter the Clown made no advances with young players in his four years as coach. The only changes he made to the squad were forced by injuries to one of Jake White's left overs. Seeing as though it was his senior players making all the calls, they would obviously not exclude themselves from the team. We therefore had zero development for four years, and when all the old boys retired, moved on etc, Meyer had to fast track young player development. Probably why last years Bok results were not the best.


clevermike

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Posts: 12017
RE: What worthy youngster hasn't had a chance?
June 28, 2013, 12:41:39
Bluebok

What you wrote is really true. However the so-called experienced players Meyer inherited showed very poor form in the tests last year. One only has to look at Kirchner, De Jongh, Francois Steyn, Morne Steyn, Hougaard and Spies to realize what a poisoned chalice Meyer in fact inherited. During the course of last year Meyer had to drop some of the players because of poor performances from the team and some were also injured - so he ended up with a very small core of reliable senior players. I would in fact said that the only really effective players he inherited from De Villiers were in fact the following:-

Habana, Pietersen, De Villiers, Bekker, Beast and the Du Plessis Brothers.

Even some of the above few experienced players were from time to time injured reducing the core even further. I am leaving out Alberts - he is nowadays very injury-prone and being 29 years this year is likely to be well past it next year. His pace is down to less than that of the props - so I do not think he would make it as a loosie past this year.

Meyer's only fault is - he stuck too long with the under-performers he inherited. It was the latter - even more so than the newbies - who casued the poor results of last year.

Be it as it may - we will see a lot of new faces between now and 2015 - and some of the present holy cows will also be gone. Despite what Saffex shout ad scream about - I cannot see players like Francois Steyn and Hougaard making the grade unless there is a massive improvement in their performances compared to what they delivered over the past year. There ay be some names I left out that coud come through - but nobody can really forecast what is going to happen.


CleanCut

Status: Bok regular
Posts: 1725
RE: What worthy youngster hasn't had a chance?
June 28, 2013, 12:50:46

First of all … great thread!!! Enjoyed reading it.

 

Mike, does that mean you’ve now changed your mind regarding Meyer?

 

He’s had to put a lot of work in and this is after all only his 2nd season at the helm.

 

So far so good.

 

A few tweaks here and there and we should be a real force again.

 

Can’t wait for the RC. Oz will be smoking and the All Blacks will be their usual tough self.

 

To add my bit to the threads title … JACQUES ENGELBRECHT.

 

JACQUES ENGELBRECHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 


clevermike

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 12017
RE: What worthy youngster hasn't had a chance?
June 28, 2013, 13:39:18
Cleancut

Thinks look a bit better than last year. However, there are still some things about Meyer that bothers me - such as his persistence with Spies and Kruger, as well as the fact that he was forced into selecting Le Roux - the latter was not really his first choice at full back - that could have been done better.

There are other players - which he still has in his squad that could come back and bite us and their still are some selections as well - so we have to wait and see how things develop. The real test would be the RC - so I am prepared to wait and then indicate whether I think Meyer is getting better in oe area where he was defective in the namely player selection.


Saffex

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Posts: 8555
RE: What worthy youngster hasn't had a chance?
June 28, 2013, 14:02:40
Moz, I'm struggling to see how you can say Coetzee, Taute and Kolisi are not going to make it as Boks. Kolisi and Coetzee are already in the picture, Taute would have been but for his injury.

Lets face it Meyer picks the old boys. The youngsters cant cement their places when he selects the likes of Kirchner, Jean, Morne, Pienaar, Jannie, Juandre Kruger, Louw, Alberts and Spies ahead of them.

Meyer shows far too much faith in these players, some of whom were never real stars. The youngsters we have are better and they should be invested in. The Lions are made up of older players, but lets face it Oz with their youngsters were the better side but for the horrific run of injuries and 5 missed kicks at goal.

Our Bok side is made up of too many has beens or never beens like de Jongh, Basson, Jean, Morne, Pienaar, Jannie, Kruger, Alberts and Spies........we will never challenge Oz and NZ while we hang on to this lot, for the simple reason that they are not the best in their respective positions any longer - some of whom never were.

The only older players that merit inclusion moving forward are Habana, JP, Frans, Beast, Bismark, Strauss, Chiliboy, Louw and Brussouw.......that's 9 players who should form the core, giving us experience. Around these we have Willie, JJ, Serfontein, Goosen, Lambie, Hougaard, Coenie, Etzebeth, Steph du Toit, Kolisi, Coetzee, Vermeulen and Botha who have or will get a good taste of test rugby and certainly look the part.

Add the likes of Taute, v/d Heever, Rhule, de Allende, Jantjies, v/Zyl, Reinach, Kitshoff, Nkanyane, Malherbe, de Jager, Willemse, Labascagne, Elstadt and v/d Walt and depth is our friend.

This is where Bok rugby should be - its not.............Basson, de Jongh, Morne, Kruger and Spies paint the real picture


mozart

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 7900
RE: What worthy youngster hasn't had a chance?
June 28, 2013, 14:48:12
It's certainly true that our 2009 team was the best TN performer since 98. But that team peaked in 2009, declining all the way through RWC11. The challenge PdV faced was that guys like Matfield were declining, but still the best in RSA....maybe in the world. So you live with the decline, but perhaps this was a case where a few well targeted youngsters could have injected some energy.

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What can't be denied is we had a clumping of talent in 2004/2005 which squeezed out new players for a long time. This team's last hurrah in 2011 left Meyer with a big rebuilding task.....much like Oz after the great team of 99 faded in 2003.

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The magnitude of the phenomenon is apparent if you look for newbies in our 2011 RWC team against Oz. There were exactly two....Brussouw and Lambie. The model suggests there should have been 8 (two a year). So Heyneke started with a deficit of 6 players. Tough sledding!


clevermike

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Posts: 12017
RE: What worthy youngster hasn't had a chance?
June 28, 2013, 14:55:35
Saffex

I agree in essence with you - with a proviso that there should be no holy cows in the team - if they under-perform they should be gone. I agree with you about Taute also - I think that he should be our back-up full back if he get his act together and get decent playing time. We in fact need two players per position to cater for injuries, etc.

Although I do not think that De Villiers would last until 2015 - his performance at this stage does not justify his replacement - so for the time being I think that he will be around. Where I disagree with you completely is Louw - he is a class act and way better than our other loosies bar Botha. The other players that Meyer should actually look at - are De Jager, Stander, Elstadt and De Allende. He should get them into the RC squad and see what they can produce in training. The sooner he gets rid of the useless and low-contributors - the better.

Mozart would no doubt not agree with the issue and insist that players like Morne Steyn, De Jongh, Alberts and most of the other below par-performers remain in the squad because they are experienced - even when their performances are sub-par.


mozart

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Posts: 7900
RE: What worthy youngster hasn't had a chance?
June 28, 2013, 21:58:09

Taute was hopeless before he got hurt.....Oom Maaik. But I do remember you picking him as your Bok 15, insisting again and again he was Bok ready. Later on you tried to pretend you had picked Willie, but unfortunately I was able to find your Taute picks. You have to laugh.


oimatey

Status: Bok regular
Posts: 1204
RE: What worthy youngster hasn't had a chance?
June 28, 2013, 23:16:06

 Moz - referring to your original post - very well put and well written . You're exactly right that Meyer has introduced more young talent this year with meaningful game time than either NZ or AUS.

 

Main complaints against Meyer were that he doesn't bring in new players and discourages backline play. This year thus far he has disproven both and lived up to his promises before the season started to play a more expansive game. His detractors will say that many of the changes were injury and public pressure enforced, but there will always be an excuse to minimize his efforts if one has already made up his mind about someone and unwilling to be humble, objective and change perspective.

 

It is unfortunate that so many want to quickly discount the experienced players in the Bok side. Experience is a quality that cannot be underestimated. The intensity and pressure of Test matches is unlike anything else and the new players have to be surrounded by the more experienced so they can learn to manage their emotions and not be overcome by the moment. For instance JDV - he has given up nothing performance-wise to merit calls for him to move on and the leadership he displayed during the last three Tests was remarkable. His reaction to the high tackle incident showed what truly separates class acts from the everyday. For new guys like JJ, JS, LeRoux, Botha to be around someone like that ensures that type of legacy will continue and we'll get further from the "Bakkies" stereotype.

 

In NZ Hansen is being lauded as building his side with young players, but his approach has been slow and methodical almost tedious compared to Meyers this year. Only in the 3rd test did some new caps show up and mostly on the bench. He also included several out-of-form players (nonu, dagg etc). Yet the public there seems to understand and accept that he has a plan and there is a process involved in building a championship side which does not include wholesale changes and recognizes the importance of experienced players. I would venture that Meyer also has a plan and a process in mind and needs to be given the time and patience to work it out. Surely every fan should give the coach of their team a large measure of benefit of the doubt and focus on the positive elements as well rather than always harping on what they don't like? 

 

 


Saffex

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RE: What worthy youngster hasn't had a chance?
June 28, 2013, 23:50:44

Nonsense, Taute was our best test 13 last year certainly better than Jean and de Jongh. He had little time with the Stormers, hardly enough to measure him by. The lad is a class act and like JJ will prove all his detractors wrong


mozart

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 7900
RE: What worthy youngster hasn't had a chance?
June 29, 2013, 00:17:25
Matey the point you make about Jean's reaction to the high tackle is so true. He could easily have done a Hollywood and tried to milk the situation...instead he showed maturity and class. He has been excellent so far this year....making those who call for his early dismissal eat the crow they deserve.


oimatey

Status: Bok regular
Posts: 1204
RE: What worthy youngster hasn't had a chance?
June 29, 2013, 00:33:57

Taute deserves more time to be evaluated before a judgment is made. Has the tools and potential to be very good. Not sure fullback is the right role for him, but he is bound to play there with Pietersen departing

 

 


clevermike

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 12017
RE: What worthy youngster hasn't had a chance?
June 29, 2013, 01:12:37
`Mozart

As you might have noticed - I differ from Saffex about De Villiers and Louw - and although I support in principle possible involvement of Taute - there are serious proviso's attachéd to his inclusion. He cannot be much worse than to be better than Kirchner.

I do NOT agree with Saffex about Taute being the best 13 in the Springbok team of 2012. He was a hell of a lot better than De Jongh - who was a disaster in the Murrayfield and Twickenham tests - but definitely not better than De Villiers who played in half the tests at 13. All said he is to my mind NOT a center and should not be utilized in that position.

I still think that the selections are not really finalized. There are some of the newer players in the squad which really did not make the grade in 2013 in Super 15 and those include Coetzee and Kolisi. Kolisi did quite well in the Scotland tests in certain aspects of the game - such as three noticeable ball carries and acceptable tackle count - but he is a limited player that was very average in Super 15 and produced nothing of note in the Samoa test - matter of fact he was really non-descript in that game. I initially thought that Coetzee would up his performances in Super 15 this year - and it did not happen. He was poor in some Super 15 games and had a very poor Scotland test in the absence of Louw.

Unless there is a marked improvement in their performances - they together with a longer list of experienced under-performers should should also not be in the test squad at all. always said that players should perform on the required high level to be retained in the Springbok squad. irrespective whether they are experienced or no.


mozart

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 7900
RE: What worthy youngster hasn't had a chance?
June 29, 2013, 01:28:14
Well Matey the only option would be centre, but Taute himself has indicated he wants to play 15....and his run at 13 which started quite nicely against Oz, turned pear shaped against NZ. Here's a view from the Pundits:

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Jaco Taute – 4/10 For some reason people praise his defensive ability but after careful consideration I found him wanting. He was flat footed and slipped more tackles than the Brazilian mud wrestling champ. I expect more from my Springbok outside centre.

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And then there was this:

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"Centre Jaco Taute failed to find touch from a pressure situation on his goalline and the New Zealanders countered with precision".

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Later he missed Dagg for a try and contributed to yet another try by hanging back when NZ had an overlap.

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Face it Taute was pretty poor in that game and on the YE tour. Granted he also looked inept playing at 15 for the Stormers, but it seems to me he is more likely to succeed if speed off the mark, agility and quick thinking can be minimised. As you may gather, I don't particularly rate him.


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