Following the Springboks, and the quite dismal display they gave against the Poms, this will open up the board for more discussions and I am sure more questions then answers for Heyneke Meyer.
The English Media will once again go on a rant, and eventhough they lost the series 2-0, they will think back and ask themselves how they could have lost this series. Meyer’s first words about the series some months back was his worry of not having enough time with his players, with Super Rugby commitments etc etc, but I believe that the notion of time is a kak excuse if our counterparts have to live with the same dilemma.
Thus our coach went and picked a group of players, most of whom have played for the Springboks and represented our best chance of winning the series. But he did so, by also choosing to play players together who have represented their different unions in the same way. Hougaard/Steyn, Beast/Bismark/Jannie and Etzebeth/Juandre(b4 he went to the Bulls). There was nothing wrong with this notion, but he made the public cry fowl after leaving Pat Lambie to a bench role in the first Test.
The declining form of Morne Steyn has also come under the spotlight in recent weeks. And Saturday this was made worst, with Steyn giving another mediocre performance against a side that had a bit more bite then the previous weeks. But what made me even more befok is the fact that we had a further two penalties, well within his range and Jean took a gamble and opted for line out ball. This for me was a sign that they didn’t have the confidence in him to kick at the poles. Well I guess they didn’t see that Ruan Pienaar was on the park, and even though the public may feel that he melts under pressure, he is still a capable kicker, and one of the better kickers in the Heineken Cup, where his kicking exploits lead his team to the Final.
Meyer also had Jantjies, but I feel giving the kid 5 minutes was never going to be enough, and one little slip up might have blown his chance of ever representing his country again. Still I don’t get why the management opted to pick such a broad squad if a few questionable selections was made. Vermaak, Kirchner, Olivier and Pretorius should never have been in this squad, the latter hasn’t played a game since May 04, and still he gets the nod in front of CJ Stander whom I believe is a much better player(hence his move to Ireland). But we should also remember that by taking the Bulls coaches earlier in the year, and a lot of players from the unions, the Blue Bulls will make some decent money from their players not being there.
This leaves just more questions for Heyneke Meyer, and I believe that he should take his Pink Glasses off and look at the cold hard facts. Morne Steyn, yes a good player and decent kicker needs to either go back to school or be replaced and never looked at again. Goosen and Lambie is our future, and with experienced players around them could excel. Willem Alberts was missed, Marcel Coetzee was huge , as was Juandre and Eben. JP Petersen had some of his better games in a Bok Jersey, and Bryan Habana showed his class by not letting the team down. Jean De Villiers took well to the captaincy, and this was rewarded by him being the captain for the remainder of the year.
But I am sorry, but kicking only 12 out of 25 attempts(52%) is a very kak excuse to still be in the Bok Group. It’s time for the Blue and Pink glasses to come off and see the reality of the situation.
Thank the Heavens Meisiekind is heading to Japan.