Look at the whole picture, Mr Mallet

May 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

For past few seasons, every time a player leaves the country or someone gets injured after playing his 30th game in a row, the words central contracting and All Blacks are being flung around at studio and braaivleis vuur discussions around the country.

Nick Mallet is the latest expert to voice his opinion. (http://www.sport24.co.za/Rugby/Springboks/Mallett-Pay-Boks-more-20130509)

Although I agree with Mallet that a lighter playing load and a better paycheck might convince the top players to stick around for a while, I don’t agree with him on where those funds should come from. His suggestion that SARU should stop funding the smaller unions will be the death of rugby in this country.

At the moment, you can watch a rugby match anywhere in the country and you can be sure that there would be sufficient medical personnel available, the coaches are trained in a manner that enables them to put the safety of the players first and the match is handled by a referee that is registered at his provincial union, who is Boksmart certified and has the support of a regional referees union that meets regularly to discuss the laws of the game and help train new referees.

At least this is how things are being run at Griquas right now.

When a match is being played in Rietfontein, 300km from Upington close to the Namibiam border, Boksmart dictates that the match must be handled by accredited officials in a safe environment. This means that the referee as well as the coaches must be able to recognize a potential life threatening situation on field and act accordingly. The field of play must also adhere to certain safety standards and the correct medical equipment must be on hand and handled by medically trained staff to prevent neck and spinal injuries.

The clubs in these areas do not have access to the necessary funds to provide this. The referee alone must travel all the way from Upington, a 600km round trip, just to handle the match. Where will this money come from?

At the moment, when I am asked to travel to Kenhardt to ref a rugby match, I just submit a form to the Griquas Rugby Union and my travel allowance is paid into my account a day later, SARU supplied them with the full medical equipment neccesary and the medic is paid by Griquas as well. Game on!

Now, I know if these people are as passionate about rugby as they make us believe, the game would be played no matter what equipment is available or whoever handles the match. But at least now the game can go on in an environment that’s safe and nobody gets killed.

Regarding the Vodacom Cup, I was in Kimberley once when they beat the Bulls in the Vodacom Cup final and believe me, to these folks it did matter. The reason why we don’t see people at these stadiums is because we are spoiled with top notch rugby from all over the world on our tv sets, so why go out and watch Upington play Kimberley police or even Griquas play the Leopards? That’s the situation, and it won’t change.

We are a country with that delivers some of the best players and by far the best referees in the world. We are also a country that needs to deal with a difficult geographical profile. So far we have managed to deal with this situation as is proven by two World Cup victories out of five attempts. We are doing well.

Regarding the players leaving the country, we seem to have that one covered by only selecting overseas based players that really makes a difference a la Francois Louw. We also have an excellent conveyor belt of talent thanks to SARU giving back to rugby at ground level.

We are fine. Unlike New Zealand that has to milk the All Black brand for all that it’s worth just so their union can break even and Australia that has to compete with three other sporting codes.

Cheers

Bloues

14 responses to Look at the whole picture, Mr Mallet

  1. Nice one Bloues!

  2. Good post! And valid points

  3. Some of the players that might never have been Boks if the small unions didn’t exist:

    Schalk Burger (jnr) – Boland
    Derick Hougaard – Boland
    Gaffie du Toit – Boland
    Juan de Jongh – Boland
    Mark Andrews – Border
    Brent Russell – Border
    Bandise Maku – Border
    Rob Kempson – Border
    Akona Ndungane – Border
    Keegan Daniel – Border
    Lwazi Mvovo – Border
    Ryan Kankowski – Eastern Province
    Luke Watson – Eastern Province
    De Wet Ras – E-Free State
    Toks van der Linde – E-Free State
    Wynand Claassen – E-Transvaal
    Lawrence Sephaka – E-Transvaal
    Ockie Oosthuizen – E-Transvaal
    Conrad Jantjes – Falcons
    Victor Matfield – Far North
    Jean Deysel – Griffons
    Arno Botha – Limpopo
    Duane Vermeulen – Mpumalanga
    Willie du Plessis – NEC
    Michael du Plessis – NEC
    Os du Randt – NEC
    Burger Geldenhuys – N-Free State
    Gert Smal – N-Free State
    JP Pietersen – Pumas
    Francois Pienaar – SE-Transvaal
    Bakkies Botha – SE-Tvl/E-Tvl
    Johan Heunis – SWD
    Pedrie Wannenburg – SWD
    Zane Kirchner – SWD
    JC Janse van Rensburg – SWD
    Stefan Terblanche – SWD
    Meyer Bosman – SWD
    Werner Kruger – Valke
    Robert du Preez – W-Transvaal

    • I missed these:

      Hennie le Roux EP
      Jacques Potgieter – EP
      JJ Engelbrecht – EP
      Nick Mallett – EP
      Danie Gerber – EP
      Garth Wright – EP
      Dewald Potgieter – EP

  4. Nice post Bloues. Agree fully, cuting off the fudning to the smaller unions will be to the detriment of SA Rugby, and the rich will only get richer and the poor poorer. And then like Baylion stated, some of the likes of those names will never be seen. I am sure though that if they allocate funds more equitably, they will be able to lure top players back. But we know its not all about the money, its about longevity, the foreign country experience and the lifestyle. Unfortunately I do not believe there is very much we can do to stop the outflow of players.

    A guy like Habana, for example, has served his country well and I totally support his departure. Pretty much can be said for JP too, he’s played two world cups already, and although both of them still are the best wings in this country, I totally support their move overseas.

    Guys like Juandre Kruger, however, who are still so young and have had a few Springbok caps and have bright futures, I cannot understand why they want to go. There must be reasons beyond finances.

  5. I respect Nick alot and what he has done for rugby in SA and across the globe, but sometimes he runs his mouth from, i would say, an elitist rugby standpoint, without thinking of the broader picture. If we wanna look at the ENTIRE story why these relative young players are leaving, then we would also need to look at the socio-economic circumstances of this country as well, but let us leave that debate for another platform. The fact we have such a broad spectrum of needs and people, like bloues is referring to in his experiences, the top rugby needs to generate more money and not be bankrolling other countries, especially other countries which have only first world problems to deal with. We need to move where the real big money is, and we all know where that is. SARU needs the balls to move on.

    • powa said on May 10, 2013

      Rugby is professional now and players are going to get the best “Job” that they can. Some after the buck while others are home bodies. Mostly they want job satisfaction like anybody else. I would encourage my son to study overseas and play rugby there and to experience 1st world standards if he can. But, I would hope that he would come back home eventually.

  6. powa said on May 10, 2013

    Great post. Central contracting is the way to go for super rugby and national but the rest must be supported without change.

  7. Phil said on May 10, 2013

    Bloues, ek is beryd om in Noord Kaap te kom ref. Sal julle my reis koste vanaf Kaapstad betaal?

  8. Phil said on May 10, 2013

    Was besig om jou been te trek. Wou weet presies hoe ver ‘n ou moet reis voordat hulle aikona se.

    • Het aangeneem dis bietjie tong in die kies…

      Dis belaglik hoe ver ons partykeer moet ry, maar ons dring nogals daarop aan om self die wedstryde op Upington te hanteer.

      Twee weke terug wou Duineveld ‘n ref uit Kimberley uit kry om die Classic Clash tussen Duineveld en Upington te blaas aangesien die druk op ‘n plaaslike ref te groot is.

      Ons voorsitter se toe dat ons nie vir iemand uit Kimberley gaan terugstaan nie, hulle moet iemand hoër op kry.

      Toe kom blaas Jonathan Kaplan die game…

      • So, in antwoord op jou vraag, as jou naam Jonathan Kaplan (Of Jason Jafta wat verlede jaar die interskole geblaas het) is, dan sal ons jou betaal.

  9. Agreed!!!! Good post! I have found Mallet to be very negative lately!!

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