Super Rugby – Conclusions from week fifteen
June 4, 2012 in Uncategorized
First of all: Happy Bitrhday to me.
Second of all: Congratulations to the Stormers for pulling off a very surprising victory.
To be honest, I only watched the Bulls/Stormers match this weekend so most of my conclusions will be drawn from what I saw in that perticular match.
The biggest revelation for me during that match was Jean de Villiers. Not only did he play a superb game, but he managed do rally his troops in a way only John Smit managed to do. He was given a rag tag team to charge the Loftus gates with and he did a fine job.
This leaves Allistair Coetzee with a bit of a conundrum. What will he do when Schalk returns. I never really rated Schalk as a captain. I have always felt that, when the chips are down, he always tried to do too much by himself. Some may see it leading by example, but I saw it as a lack of trust in his team mates. I have seen too many promising backline moves come undone just because the incredible Schalk decided to take on three defenders by himself rather than letting the centre next to him do something with the ball.
The Stormers have lacked that killer ability for quite a lot of seasons ow and they never really managed to put a team to the sword when they had the oppertunity. On Saturday, though, that all changed abd it all came down to whatever Jean de Villiers did or say to his troops.
Speaking of captaincy. I was very surpised not to hear Fourie du Preez’s name called out when the Bok group was announced. He really looked like the obvious choice. In my opinion, the position as captain of the national side agianst the English now lies between Spies, Strauss and De Villiers. If Saturday’s match is anything to go by, Jean will win this race hands down.
He has more experience than the other two, he has captained the Boks on a few occaisions already (THAT win against the All Black in Dunedin, 2008 comes to mind) and on Saturday he showed his true ability as a captain. He definately will have the respect of every member in the Bok team and he should make a fine leader.
By losing against the Stormers on Saturday, the Bulls made this competition a lot harder than it should have been. They now face a very steep uphill batlle to stay in te playoff race and even then they’ll have a hard time winning at every other venue than Loftus when the bussines end of the competition starts.
Lastly, the announcement of the Springbok group. Heyneke again infuriated the rest of the country by selecting 13 Bulls players and only three Stormers. There’s no de Jongh and no Kolisi. Heinrich Brussouw is another surprising ommision. The inclusions of JJ Engelbrecht and Jaques Potgieter must have raised a few eyebrows.
I am of the believe that, no matter how much I want the Boks to win, there’s nobody who wants them to win more than the coach. It’s his jib that’s on the line and it’s he who must make the calls in order to achieve his goals. These are choices that he must feel comfortable with.
Meyer have been tracking the progress af Potgieter and Englebracht for some time now and he saw something in these two players that we are yet to see. He also trusts that gut feeling his enough that he is willing to put his job on the line while hoping far the to suceed.
I know that most of you are not happy with these selections. I know how you feel because I sometimes felt that some of the Bulls’ players did not get the recognition from the national coach that they deserved, but I want to urge you to reserve judgement at least till the end of the English tour.
Meyer has the credentials of a quality coach and I don’t think that he would have selected a group of players that he does not feel comfortable with. Let’s wait and see what Saturday has in store.