You are browsing the archive for Heyneke Meyer.

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by Baylion

Heyneke Meyer’s Dream Team

September 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

In an attemptto read what’s in Heyneke Meyer’s mind I have compiled a Meyer Dream Team, the team he would like to have if all players were fit and available. I left out older players like Bakkies, Victor and FdP as they would only have served as short term solutions.

Dream Team:
(first choice backups in brackets)

15 Zane Kirchner (Jaco Taute)

It is clear that Meyer sees Kirchner as his first choice fullback and from his remarks he wants Taute in the squad.

14 JP Pietersen (Vacant)
11 Bryan Habana (Vacant)

His selection of Engelbrecht initially indicated that JJ will become the first choice backup but then he was dropped after 10 minutes game time against Argentina so it’s difficult to say whether he is still in the picture. Whether Mvovo or Basson (or someone else) fits the bill for HM I’m not sure and Hougaard will provide the cover for the moment.

13 Jean de Villiers(Vacant)
12 Frans Steyn (Vacant)

At the moment there doesn’t seem to be a first choice backup for either centre positions. One thing is certain, it’s not Juan de Jongh. However, Jaco Taute can provide cover if needed.

10 Morne Steyn (Johan Goosen)

HM made it clear early on that he was waiting for Goosen to be fit and his treatment of Lambie and Jantjies confirms that Morne and Goosen will be his preferred flyhalves.

9 Francois Hougaard (Ruan Pienaar)

Hougaard’s move to the wing is probably only temporary. Jano Vermaak’s remaining presence in the squad after six tests without being in the match 22 dirties the water a bit and it is unclear how he fits in with Meyer’s plans. At the moment no other scrumhalf seems to come close to selection.

8 Pierre Spies (Ryan Kankowski)

Meyer seems to prefer a more traditional number eight and Duane Vermeulen is probably second backup after Kankowski.

7 Willem Alberts (Marcell Coetzee)
6 Schalk Burger (Vacant)

HM has made it clear that he doesn’t believe in a fetcher at flank and once Bismarck is fit Flo will probably be dropped while Brussouw doesn’t seem to be in the frame. Kolisi might work himself into contention, especially if Schalk’s injuries continue to preclude him.

5 Andries Bekker (Juandre Kruger)
4 Eben Etzebeth

Andries Bekker and Eben Etzebeth is clearly his preferred choice but Bekker’s back problems may rule him out of future selections. The preferred backups are Juandre Kruger and Flip van der Merwe with no other locks really in the picture.

3 Jannie du Plessis
2 Bismarck du Plessis (Adriaan Strauss)
1 Beast Mtawarira (Coenie Oosthuizen)

The front row speaks for itself and the backups too. With a second prop on the bench from 2013 the need for one prop to cover both sides falls away and we’ll probably see both Coenie and Pat there

The team:

15 Zane Kirchner
14 JP Pietersen
11 Bryan Habana
13 Jean de Villiers
12 Frans Steyn
10 Morne Steyn
9 Francois Hougaard
8 Pierre Spies
7 Willem Alberts
6 Schalk Burger
5 Andries Bekker
4 Eben Etzebeth
3 Jannie du Plessis
2 Bismarck du Plessis
1 Beast Mtawarira

16 Adriaan Strauss
17 Coenie Oosthuizen
18 Juandre Kruger
19 Ryan Kankowski
20 Ruan Pienaar
21 Johan Goosen
22 Jaco Taute

Also rans:

I have left out youngsters like Steven Kitshoff, Frans Malherbe, etc. as they don’t seem to be in HM’s vision yet but could come in contention during 2013.

Chiliboy Ralepelle
Pat Cilliers
Dean Greyling
Flip van der Merwe
Jacues Potgieter
Duane Vermeulen
Jano Vermaak
Juan de Jongh
Pat Lambie
Wynand Olivier
JJ Engelbrecht
Lwazi Mvovo
Bjorn Basson

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by Baylion

In defence of Heyneke Meyer

September 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

Since Heyneke Meyer announced his first Bok squad he has been under fire for selecting Blue Bulls, has-beens, out-of-form players and personal favourites and for not selecting fan favourites and fetching flankers as well as for playing an ugly game. And the criticism he has copped hasn’t been totally unwarranted.

With five tests completed Meyer has been forced to backtrack on some of his ideas and, through injury or circumstance, reduce his Blue Bulls contingent, has-beens and never-beens and replace them with more suitable or popular candidates. Sometimes it is like pulling hen’s teeth but he has made some changes, albeit reluctantly.

One thing that has struck me is that, while he has largely stuck to his guns and made minimal unforced changes, he has incrementally moved away from his original ideas, squad and game plan.

After the England series he posted Werner Kruger back to the Blue Bulls and brought in Pat Cilliers, a more versatile prop, and Dean Greyling hasn’t sniffed a bench since.

He has openly discounted the value of a fetcher but then he had Bismarck in the team to do the dirty work and, in all fairness, South Africa’s limited contingent specialist fetching flankers were mostly out injured. After attempting to play Argentina without anyone fetching he pulled in Flo even though he has had limited game time and no time at all with the Boks and will only feature on the bench.

A lot has been said about Pierre Spies and whether he deserves his spot but South Africa has few traditional number eights who can provide variety. Most of our number eights are retreaded blindside flanks who play the barnstorming game. With Kankowski off to Japan and Daniel not really making it, who was left? Although Duane Vermeulen doesn’t play a much different game to the other loosies in the squad he isn’t quite the storm trooper so he was brought in.

I’m still trying to figure out why he kicked JJ Engelbrecht to the curb after being in the squad for five tests and getting only 10 minutes on the park.

So slowly Heyneke Meyer has made changes but one thing that hasn’t changed yet is his reluctance to select smaller players.

With both Elton Jantjies and Pat Lambie riding the pine in various tests he has yet to replace Morne Steyn in a test but that will change now that he drafted a bigger replacement into the team in the form of Goosen.

While he has Juan de Jongh in his squad he has yet to selected for a match. Meyer will play without a specialist midfielder on the bench rather than select de Jongh.

The only time Pat Lambie got game time was when Kirchner was injured and since then he has been warming the bench. And the only time Gio Aplon got into the team was when both Kirchner and Lambie was injured.

And one can only feel sorry for Jano Vermaak, he is going into his sixth test watching the game from the plastic seats and the only time he has worn his Bok jersey was at home in front of the mirror. Kinda reminds me of the Transvaal hooker of yesteryear, when reserve were only for injury replacement, who spent more than 100 matches on the bench without getting a game.

The way I see it is that Heyneke Meyer has some players earmarked that he wants in his squad, some of them not available as yet, and in the meantime he will make slight changes to his squad and his team while waiting for players to become available as was the case with Johan Goosen and even Andries Bekker.

So, maybe Heyneke Meyer has a plan that he isn’t sharing with the rest of us yet

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by Baylion

Heyneke Meyer’s Vision

August 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

It’s not Heyneke Meyer’s lack of vision that concerns me, on the contrary, it is his vision that disturbs me.

On the one hand he claims that it’s about coaching, not picking but then immediately contradicts himself with his actions. His “bigger is better” approach to selecting players and the cavalier way that he discards players whom he cannot coach into playing to his “structures and game plans” must be a matter of concern.

With the music blaring from the Johan Goosen Bandwagon, the indecent haste with which he pulled Johan Goosen into the squad over the objections about his match fitness from his provincial coach sends a clear message to any aspirant Bok flyhalf – the position is filled, don’t bother to apply. Morne Steyn and Johan Goosen will be the Bok flyhalves under Heyneke Meyer, provided he can “coach” all the creativity and individualism out of Goosen and turn him into a Morne Steyn clone. And provided the injury-prone Goosen remains fit – Steyn never seems to get injured.

From the way he is treating Pat Lambie I can only assume he’s waiting for his “real” fullback backup (Jaco Taute maybe?) to get over his injuries before he is rushed into the Bok squad to be “coached” into a Kirchner clone and Lambie is discarded too.

I’m not a Keegan Daniel fan but I cannot help feeling sorry for him and I think against the Wallabies his mobility could have been utilised rather than another slow ball-carrying storm trooper. However, he was never going to be a long term Heyneke Meyer selection, he just doesn’t have the physical attributes to fit Meyer’s vision of the Super Bok and his game doesn’t fit into Meyer’s “structures and game plans”.

While the Blue Bulls contingent in the Bok is deminishing with every squad selection the replacements generally fit into the “bigger is better” mould:

Keegan Daniel
HEIGHT     188 cm
WEIGHT     100 Kg

Duane Vermeulen
HEIGHT     193 cm
WEIGHT     108 Kg

Francois Louw
HEIGHT     190 cm
WEIGHT     114 Kg

In selecting Juan de Jongh (smaller) to replace JJ Engelbrecht (bigger) he goes against his whole “bigger is better” philosophy and one can only wonder what his blue eyed boy did to be discarded after being in the squad for five tests and only 10 minutes on the park.

It’s with interest that I note that not a single player who started in Mendoza against Argentina on that fateful day lost his place in the Bok squad, which tells us something about where Meyer is trying to take the Boks.