The Boks: Today and Tomorrow
September 16, 2012 in Uncategorized
The Bok forwards performed well for 51 minutes until Dean “Brainfart” Greyling came on to single handedly destroyed all their hard work. The Bok pack, bar Greyling, performed well but we had the same old dross dished up by the backs.
And why did the pack perform well? So, what was different, apart from the players showing a bit more commitment?
Backtracking on his previous stance of “no need for a fetcher” Heyeneke Meyere selected a specialist open side flanker giving the looseforwards a bit more balance. Fetchers tend to be penalty machines as they live on the edge but apart from their value in securing turnover ball their presence prevents the opposition from having a free go at the ball and with Bismarck out the Boks was in serious need of one.
A proper lock combo
In the combination of Juandre and Flip the Boks had a lock pair who did the job that locks are supposed to do. Locks aren’t blindside flanks or eighthmen and neither are they centres or wings, locks are supposed to work in the lineouts, scrums, mauls and rucks. In Bekker, and even Etzebeth, we have locks who do not always focus on the primary tasks of locks and it doesn’t help if they run all over the field (or sit on top of the mauls) when they are supposed to do the hard graft.
At the back
The impotence of the backs to do anything constructive with the good possession they got must have been very frustrating for the forwards. And our backs have been ineffective in their use of possession and territory and that’s where the HM Gameplan falls apart.
With Heyneke Meyer still regarding Morne Steyn as a great flyhalf, even without his goal kicking, unfortunately I cannot see much changing at the back. Meyer will continue to hope that Morne’s goal kicking comes right, and if it doesn’t we might see Ruan Pienaar taking over the kicking duties a bit sooner or even seeing Goosen coming on at half time.
Heyneke Meyer will have us believe that the Bok forwards’ good performance was due to “The Gameplan” but it was not. Control of possession and territory is not a gameplan, how you use that possession and territory that’s a gameplan and as long as the Boks employ a gameplan that primarily suits one player they will struggle to make the best of their possession and territory.
Yes, they will win some games when Morne’s kicking is on song but that doesn’t mean the gameplan works. We have better flyhalves who are also accurate goal kickers, flyhalves who can play a more versatile game but unfortunately the only two flyhalves whom Meyer has in his vision are Steyn and Goosen with Steyn being his first choice at the moment.
From the 2009 EOYT the Boks have only won 17 from 33 tests (54.44%) and only three from seven in 2012 (57.14%). It cannot be a good thing for the Boks to be so dependent on the performance of a single player. In fact, the Boks are currently struggling because of this dependence on Morne Steyn.
Compare this to the All Blacks who have a world class flyhalf in Dan Carter but they are not solely dependent on his performance to win. They have a number of alternative flyhalves with Cruden currently the first choice backup. This type of depth applies to virtually every position in the All Black lineup.
For the Boks to become a real force again they need to become less dependent on any one player in any of the positions. It is vital to build depth and that suitable backup players be given opportunities to gain experience.