“He picked up the ball and ran” William Webb Ellis it is said, invented a new game by simply doing just that. And over the years, Rugby Union has changed with the times. South Africa on the other hand has not.
In 2007, South Africa won the Rugby World Cup, by relying heavily on a forward based game, kick and chase by two deadly wingers and off course the reliable boot of Percy Montgomery. The IRB wanted to change and tweak the rules and did so the following year, still we continued on the same path. The rules has been changed a few times after that, fact is, we are still trying the same.
Saturday, we did fairly better then in Perth the previous week. But what was lacking was the poor judgement in tactical kicking, and also the poor goal kicking. They say this particular stadium is a very poor place for goal kicking, as seen in the World Cup, but I cannot fathom why Aaron Cruden, who also missed a few, could keep the score board ticking with his penalties. Field position, difficulty aside, it still does not make up for the fact that Morne Steyn had yet another shocker, and the coach’s inability to see the damage being done by playing not to our strengths but to that of the opposition.
Goosen made a bit of a difference, but everyone here knows that I would have given Lambie a run at flyhalf. He has so to say the same weapons at his disposal, and he also has the experience. Even at Fullback because Zane, once again missed a vitally important tackle.
Another thing that is worrying me is that Heyneke is now starting to stamp down HIS way of playing on players, most of them Sharks, that are not comfortable in playing this way. I have always believed, and was bought up on this principle, that size is just a matter of tackling right, and that intelligent rugby always triumphs over Direct route. In other words, it don’t matter how big or strong you are, you will fall when I tackle you because I will aim for your shins. And that running at a gap at pace gives me the option to either off load in the tackle or set up another phase.
When you look at a player like Ruan Pienaar, I do believe that he is a much better player then what we give him credit for. This game plan does not suite him. Hence the name of my topic, because I do believe that if these players are given the freedom to pick up the ball and run, that they will be much more effective. What does Heyneke do then?
I would say, throw the rule book out of the window and firstly pick Lambie and Goosen in the starting team. Do not give your favourites the chance to play themselves into contention again. Why can’t Keegan Daniel not be afforded that luxury?
For God’s Sake HM, let the players run