We’ve all heard it; defence wins rugby matches. Simply, defence forces mistakes and mistakes leads to tries against you. Frankly, my opinion is: ’defence is just another expression of SA rugby’s obsession with safety first’.
Low risk rugby. Continue reading
If the Brumbies don’t win the S15 this year they will win it within the next two years. My prediction – they are going to do it this year.
White is a perfect match as a coach for Australian rugby -as I’ll explain in a moment- and my second prediction is, therefore, that he’ll be the next Australian national coach.
Jake is a set-piece and defensive structure man which is what Ozzie rugby struggles with due to their Ozzie league influence. Jake’s biggest problem as a Springbok coach was his inability to move beyond set piece and defence. Flair or fast pace phase-after-phase-running-rugby is as natural to Aussie rugby as set piece rugby is to South African rugby. Jake, therefore, doesn’t really need to worry about teaching Aussie players to run with the ball. Credit to him for not trying to coach that out of them. Continue reading
Making my Superbru picks, I thought the Crusaders might be a bit rusty after having had a bye in the previous round.
It panned out to be the case but let’s not take anything away from the Blues. It fascinates me how everything Graham Henry touch turns to gold –relatively speaking. Henry is of course the last coach able to gel this disjointed bunch into a cohesive unit. The Blues was a class above everyone else when they won the Super12 competition in 1996 and 1997 with Henry as coach. Continue reading
Expecting the worse I was reluctant to the point of rather snooze off in front of the TV when the Kings/Force match started at 6h00 this morning in New Zealand.
The first 10 minutes was not encouraging at all with the Kings hardly seeing the ball. On the brink of switching the TV off, the Kings scored -the first try of the match. Intrigued, I started to watch with more interest; what a delight it turned out to be. Continue reading
The Stormers/Bulls rugby match was just another agonising reminder for the thousands of South African rugby supporters that SA rugby is behind the ball game. It was a derby with as much traditional backdrop as one could find in the rugby world. The crowd was as a consequence emotionally charged with much expectation of being entertained with some exiting rugby.
The contrast to the Chiefs/Highlanders match however so stark that even the most ardent SA rugby supporter left the match -or walked away from his television set-with a poignant feeling of dissatisfaction. Continue reading
I was a WP fan all my life and enjoyed the type of rugby the Capetonions generally dished-up. In my heart of hearts I was happy for Province with their latest success run in the S15 (and CC last year).
However, I must admit that I felt a certain amount of satisfaction seeing them lose to the Sharks. This perverse sense of enjoyment in their defeat had nothing to do with the players or the coach but much to do with the over the top reaction/behaviour of some Stormers supporters.
Fact is the Stormers still have no trophies to show but are lauded as the ‘flagship’ by some. I would think that a title like that would require at least some real evidence of being champions not only with regard to trophies but also in the manner in which you play.
Flagship signifies being an example; being a showcase of best practice. Too be honest apart from having an excellent defensive system the Stormers was not by any stretch of my imagination a team that I would like to hold up as a showcase/example of SA rugby. Continue reading
Former All Blacks winger John Kirwan has been appointed as coach of the New Zealand Super Rugby franchise the Blues for 2013.
Pat Lam has been sacked after presiding over a horror season when the Auckland-based team managed just four wins from 16 games.
The Blues’ best finish under Lam’s guidance was fourth place last year. They finished seventh in 2010, and ninth the previous year.
Kirwan enjoyed an illustrious career on the wing for the All Blacks before moving to coaching which has seen him in charge of Italy and Japan in RWC campaigns. Continue reading
Two recent articles by Rob Houwing left me quite irked to say the least. In the first one he bragg about the strength of South African rugby with three sides reaching the play-offs of this year’s S15. He writes: “Whatever happens in the remaining three weekends of knockout fare in Super Rugby, South African rugby has affirmed its well-being by effectively having dominated the lion’s share of the 2012 competition.
…. this season is the first to be fairly obviously bossed by one nation … and that honour falls this country’s way as all of the overall log-winning Stormers plus Bulls and Sharks have made it through the six-team funnel.
…. at the end of it all South Africans were broadly entitled to a degree of smug satisfaction.”
In the second article he writes that history seems to indicate that the team that end on top of the log normally wins the competition. Sort of suggesting that the Stormers now fall in that category. Continue reading
In line with my thinking over the last couple of weeks Gregor Paul in today’s NZ Herald predicts that the Chiefs will be the S15 champions this year.
It’s bold prediction time – the Chiefs are going to be crowned Super Rugby champions. They might not win on Friday, but they are going to squeeze in as what the Australians would call the minor premiership winners and with home advantage in the knock-out rounds, they will, finally, win the title.
It actually might not even be that bold a prediction. The Chiefs have looked like potential champions for some time – from round two in fact. It’s just that their dubious history and wrongly held perceptions about their tight five prevented everyone from seeing it. Continue reading