taking time to adjust

June 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

Words like”stutter” and “uninspiring” have been used to describe the performance of the Springboks yesterday but, i might retort with we only got to play the game for 35 minutes.

For the first fifty-four minutes of the game the referee was blowing us off the park. I attribute this to the Springboks not adapting to a more northern hemisphere like refereeing style and failure by the people assigned to the breakdown to actually compete for the ball. All it took was the referee to start penalising the Scottish infringements at the breakdown for us to score twenty-four unanswered points.

In the first half we were waiting for the referee to blow the whistle on the infringing scotts instead of protecting our own quick ball. Once we had adapted to how the ref was blowing the game we easily dispatched our opponents and if you think we made that score line in only thirty-four minutes. I think it’s pretty impressive, almost like the all blacks sometimes do. remember last year when they eked out a victory against us in New Zealand and how after we dominated the game at soccer city in most aspects still they found a way to crack our defense and the scoreboard looked like a drubbing?

Hats off to the rightful man of the match Siya Kolisi! I hope this is the start of a great career. Personally i have always felt that he is a better loose forward than Marcel Coetzee but clearly most of the rugby world disagreed including the national coach. And Happy Birthday too!

No One Will Remember

May 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

So the June international window is fast upon us and the national teams will take the field again. We will don our national colours for a few weeks and press pause on SR.

It has been a year of referee criticism, but instead of the criticism being heard it has been dismissed as unacceptable behaviour. Teams have been fined and individuals asked to apologise. The inconsistency of the referee rulings and citing commission citations is notable but not the point i am working towards. As early as the Stormers’ first match crucial calls went against them. Remember the Chilliboy try? And even SANZAR deciding to fine them instead of looking to the mitigating factors is an indictment of this season. You just need to read the match reports to see the undertone. After every game they mention that even had the referee decisions been better the Stormers’ play is what failed them(I am paraphrasing). So surely they, the decisions, had an impact. The fine speaks volumes to how the referee decisions going against them impacted on player belief.

Very tight games have been won and lost by the referee’s whistle and while the winning teams are mute on the subject and the fans of these teams are saying how easy it is to blame the ref when things are going your teams way and even the referee board themselves have admitted to referee errors.

This is not the first tournament where the final result was determined by poor officiating, but i truly hope it will be the last.

Because as much as we make a noise about it, as much as we shout and scream and potest, the resounding truth rings true: at the end of the season after the champions are crowned no one will even look back and think of the bad decisions that influenced the season.

 

The Boiling Point Proves Costly

May 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

I posted earlier this year that I felt the referee really didn’t call the game fair for one particular match. I was not happy with the officiating of Mr. Craig Joubert in the Crusaders match.

i do think the frustration of the 50/50 calls not going your way can build. but the game which led to the fine was blantantly unfair. Mr Franks threw a punch which actually connected with a Stormers player in that match. i recall just last season Jebb Sinclair was given a red card for that particular infringement. clearly inconsistency is a part of the game but if you can remember the hurricanes game he was a repetitive offender and didn’t even get a yellow card all match.

So, being a little peeved at the officiating could have been and perhaps should have been expected, but the only person on the field who can speak to the referee is the captain. I see way too many instances of players appealing to the ref for a call. The one try by the cheetahs against the sharks when they simply thought they had an advantage and the try would be disallowed instead of the  players playing to the whistle is a prime example.

I would just like to see the South African teams start playing to their potential. The referee’s calls could have been beneficial for the Stormers had they gone their way and call going against you can halt momentum, but there is one pivotal problem for the Stormers this year and that is their inability to finish opportunities they create and they have created far more than any referee could influence and that is the only thing they should be focusing on. Using their opportunities to put points on the board.

What I would like the Stormers to remember is how they overcame the poor officiating in the Currie Cup Final to win the trophy anyway.

worst fears realised

April 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

Athough I am not surprised that the Stormers lost. I was hoping against hope they would show their class, sadly a few costly decisions and poor finishing proved costly, and in the end the team with more resolve and eagerness to take the four points took them. I mean how do you let your scrum be bullied in the last play of the game? The thought had to be keep it steady get it to the 8th man and hold it until you hear the hooter and then kick it out…

I do, however, think that winning is a habit and a culture that must be cultivated and encouraged. The only acceptable result is a win. Something Lions players have not had for a while but you can’t blame the few lions players in the team for the second half walkabout.

The Stormers seem to start really well but the second halves of each game so far this year, even the ones that they won in the end, were poor by comparison. Let’s not forget the crusaders game where the Stormers were leading for the first twenty minutes before they watched the game get taken from them.

But there you have it. Play off mode is beginning to become the Stormers reality.

On the other hand we see the Sharks learning how to grind out wins in tough circumstances and still play the expansive games in the “give-aways” so to speak. They ran in enough points against a poor rebels side to show their ability to finish. No one can knock the sharks attack because they couldn’t score against the crusaders it was really tough to break their defensive lines.

Hats off to the kings for the draw. It’s a pity they couldn’t  pull off the upset of the season with a win. While the Brumbies still look dangerous they expose their lack of experience by underestimating the opposition. Clearly they have not learned from last year.

So far this year a pattern has emerged with teams losing a match quickly following with another loss and vice versa with few exceptions. The cheetahs must get an award for most improved team over the past three seasons they have gradually worked on their game and are starting to come together in a big way. The most recent additions have been their defense and ability to close out close games. That is twice this year against the Stormers.

The bulls pick up the bye and from what a little birdie told me lose a head coach. While rumors are unconfirmed I am pretty sure many a Bull supporter will silently rejoice in the resignation of Mr. Ludeke, as many a Bull supporter has attributed the lack of success of the Bulls over the past few seasons to him. Although from an outsider looking in he has got two super rugby titles while Mr. Meyer only has one. Although I am pretty sure an injection of an original strategy may be the best thing for the Bulls. Whilst the Bulls game-plan has been effective it requires a very high skill level and a very particular type of team to execute correctly.

The first tests are two months away and many an injury headache faces Mr. Meyer for selection of his squad.

While selections should always be made in order to execute a particular game-plan and also in a horses for courses manner i believe South Africans would truly like to see the Bok squad of last year for the most part get some game time and prove form before selected for the national team even if the June test window is against supposed lesser opposition. The likes of Alberts, Etzebeth and many others have not been able to really get into their stride this year.

I do not think that a team can only be picked on form I think experience should count for something, as mental toughness in pressure situations cannot be coached, these attributes can only be attained in the fiery cauldron of test match rugby.

Here is hoping for a stronger showing of the South African teams in the cross conference battles and in so much also a stronger showing of the Bokke in the Rugby Championship(I wish they had thought of a better name although I honestly can’t)

maybe it’s bad form but i am so nonplussed

March 31, 2013 in Uncategorized

well i know it is bad form to blame the ref for a loss and i’m sure we can find plenty of reasons why the stormers lost last night and if you want those reasons there are ample other articles whic you can go and read….

i just want to go on record to say that i do not rate C. Joubert as the best referee in the game. it is not the first time he has made some really bad call negatively affecting a Stormers result infact it is even against the same opposition.

can anyone tell me the rulebook definition of a ruck? i thought it is supposed to be when two or more players are bound over the ball. not one player lying on top of the ball while the arriving player is tring to wrest it free. so then how can the referee blow a penalty for hands in the ruck when there wasn’t a ruck.

did anyone other than me see the blatant way the crusaders obstructed play while retiring. the run up my marshal which ultimately led to todd’s try was obstructed my numerous crusaders players. go and check the footage if you don’t believe me. any way i can’t write here the crusaders are cheaters(although i would love to) i can only say that they are perfecting the art of making the illegal legal.

that’s my take on the game. i really felt that the referee let the crusaders get away with a lot and let the stormers get away with nothing.

i can’t see how you can try to prove impartiallity by being twice as tough on south african teams. there are probably more examples but i don’t think i could rewatch that game to find them.

now that the rant is over i must admit that the stormers played far less than their best rugby for the full eighty. had they played at their best for the full eighty instead of in patches we may have found ourselves on the winning side and we were in it until after the hooter.

i couldn’t disagree with you more Tank

March 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

i love the rolling maul and i love watching my team try to stop it.

the suspense of watching a rolling maul build up steam is gripping. watching your team stop it dead it satisfying. and watching a team setup a run into space ala ‘saders is intense.

i do beleive that the defensive side of the maul is not policed well enough. based on what i watched on boots and all when saru ref head said that you can’t have a third go after the ref says use it twice, but the maul is not legalised obstruction it is a loose scrum.

players have to push against each other for territory and control of the ball. it is a fair contest and i would love to see better execution in defense of the maul to prove my point and better policing of it.

have to wonder

March 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

what is going through Henecke Meyer’s mind. right now the teams are only starting to find their form. players are out injured(again) and new ones are putting their hands up.

you look at the superwrap bok barometer and super rugby teams of the week i sadly do not see enough of SA players in the latter list.

another problem we face is a door the HM opened when he showed our players that he will select them even if they play for other countries so players like J,kruger  are moving north and so is B.habanna.

i can’t say i blame them the life expectancy of a super rugby player is very short and the pay is not as high relatively to the more mundane and less taxing careers in the northern hemisphere. even the all blacks with their policy of having to play in NZ to be eligible isn’t swaying players any longer. i think when SANZAR revisit SuperRugby in 2015 they will have to rethink a lot!

it has ben discussed ad nauseum regarding what is now wrong with the comp so i will not digress to much farther on that tack.

but back to HM. he is expected to win every game. not because SA say so but because he said he wants to win every game. so you look at the priorities of each team and you can at once recognise that the SA franchises place their financial state and thier super rugby ambitions above any other. SARU seems pretty much content to the lightning until it gets shocked into having to do someting and our beloved boks being watered down by a competition that handicaps all the parties involved.

lots of talent no rotational policies. i think the bulls have the right idea. rotate your players keep them fresh give them game time. enrich your reserves. each team should have thre bok calibur players in each position and rotate them to keep the team fresh and encourage player longevity.

looking at the reserves the HM has to choose from i think he will come up short in a few very key positions. but others are promising. i think he is spoilt for choice at flyhalf. at loose forward he can take a horses for courses approach as well. locks are in rich supply but not the no.5 lock. scrumhalves again is an area of concern while there may be a few who look promising no one is standing out and being a competetitor for joost or fourie. a few of my contemporaries would say that our number three stock are also Dr. Duplessis and no other back-up. although the front row requirements baffle me very much so i won’t dwell very long there. full back is another postion where a dagg competitior or even a mogg. we have mr conservative Kirchener, the underrated mr peterson, the far far overrated mr ludik. i like the idea of the last option. maybe taute will show his worth and be a contender. he is kick out of hand is abissmal. on numerous occasions when he kicks he concedes points.

i do not envy the man i just wish him every success.

just a random conspiracy theory

March 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

last year the new zealanders began the season by lauding the blues as their favorites. they received alot of all blacks into their squad and it was logical to assume they would do really well. this year the same can be said about the Highlanders and again they are the bottom of the log.

my theory is a policy of resting their internationals to allow for them to be fresh for international duty whilst giving young, up and coming players a chance to prove their abilities for the other franchises.

just a thought please comment. love tio hear yours

player exodus

January 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

i am not a nay sayer and i really hate to be critical in a negative light. that having been said i feel it pertinent to highlight Juandre’ Kruger’s choice to play in france. while it is clear f. louw was a revelation in the fetcher role throughout the season and having heinko in the scrums against the irish was helpful too. but come on people and come on sportsman we need to develop a local brand of rugby that is unbeatable and i think if you don’t play in south africa you should be allowed to play in the green and gold.

ruan pienaar was another player who played above average and forced me to admit that he was the better scrummie of the season when placed against vermaak and hougaardt.

but i watch super rugby and i’ve struggled to watch a full eighty of the northern hemiphere rugby. it is slow and often dominated by the kicking tee and referee. that being said it is where the next world cup will be held.

so back to the point at hand. here we have one of the two prospects for the RWC2015 leaving SA to ply his trade overseas, not able to attend workshops because of the fact that overseas clubs do not have to abide by SARU edicts or policies. and the seasons are so congested what whith SR and the inbound test window and then there is the championship to think about…

i saw a headline the other day about Dan carter being offered obscene amounts of money to play in europe but the beauty of NZRU is if you don’t play in NZ you can’t be an all black. so as long as DC wants to wear the black and white he will never take the big money.

in the end we are not NZ we are RSA but i think that to be the best in the world our internal competition for position needs to be played out on our soil.

the way SR goes and the international window and RC and the out bound tour are there is space for a lot of players to get exposure. what SARU need to put in place is a system of compulsory rotation. if they don’t i fully expect the players union to insist on it. it’s tough and the body can only take so much before it goes bust. i think the reason why these players are leaving for the north is the slower softer competition and the money but the slower softer competition is a serious problem when it comes to taking the step up.

just my humble opinion and i am not the coach. 100% bokke behind the team until the end!!!!

never too much for a fan

November 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

I enjoyed every momemnt of this year’s southern hemishere season so much so that i barely recognise that it has been all year until i look at the calendar and think three months before SR starts.

there have been the arguements that there is just too much rugby and that the fans are all rugby’ed out but i can’t say that i feel that way at all.

on the other hand the players are a different story. i really feel like for a team to be successful in this era of rugby from feb to dec we will grow depth we never thought imaginable. team will need four players in each position that can seamlessly replace each other and a rotational policy will be essential for the longevity of players. just think if we as Springboks could choose any number of players and regardless they would be world beaters.

of course this would require some form of common sense and as i’ve heard it said “common sense is not all that common”, in all likelyhood is going to take sometime. i want to wach a rugby match every weekend of southern hemisphere intesity for 52 weeks of every year.