Heyneke taking “ugly” too far?

November 25, 2012 in International, Rugby, Springboks

It was a tough year for the Springboks. Something that the results of 7 wins from 12 can confirm.  The 7 wins include 3 wins over England, 1 win over Australia, 1 win over Argentina and a win against each of Ireland and Scotland.

Having drawn the third test against an injury depleted England side in June, flying over now with our own spate of injuries and unsatisfactory Rugby Championship results, I’ll admit, I didn’t think we’d win even 1 match on tour.  But the Springboks pulled it through and comes home with a clean slate on the tour of the UK.  I’d guess congratulations is in order.

But none of the wins, save for the win against Australia at Loftus, was really something to get excited about.  Uninspiring backline play with a lack of oomph! and creative skills was an earmark of this year’s campaign.

But a win is a win, be that by 1 point or by 20.  In fact, the win results this year averages on a scoreline of 24-14. What Heyneke Meyer said earlier this year is that he’d rather take an ugly win over a pretty loss.

Considering the way the Springboks were playing this season though, focussing on forward dominance with the forwards hogging more than half the ball between them and the scrumhalf, is Heyneke not perhaps taking this “ugly win” thing a bit too far?

15 responses to Heyneke taking “ugly” too far?

  1. Please explain to me – I thought that Heynecke was only appointed long after the world cup so how did he changed

  2. Three injuries in the week preceding an important test (like all tests) and the custom built team a la BB can’t get going.3 such excuses in the season and we have another mediocre year.NZ players seem to be more skilled, disciplined and intelligent, even when their looks suggests otherwise………

  3. Why are we always in a building or development fase and the AB are not? Surely they also have a player turnover at the end of each season????

    • I think this year in particular we were hit hard with retiring and injured players who were regular starters in the Bok squad, much more than New Zealand. They did lose experience in players like Ali Williams, Brad Thorne and SBW, but nearly as much as we did.The players that ;layed for them this year played nearly double the amount of time the Springboks did during last year’s world cup, and that’s taking into account the two playoffs we missed.

  4. I agree with you! I was actually depressed from watching the boks win! The New Zealand vs Wales game was the rugby I was longing to see.

  5. Patience, lad! Heyneke is building us a champion team almost from scratch and these things take time. Judge him after two or even 3 years! The exciting backline play will come!

    • Sorry, no can do. He will be judged on every game. It is his own doing, he himself set it up when he said He only knows one kind of Rugby, and that’s winning Rugby. He himself said he is only here to win, and not here to build. If he said fromt he onset that he needs time to build his side and coach the players, then one could do as you suggest, but I am merely judging Meyer on his own yard stick.

  6. Positives (which HM clearly focused on):
    - Defense foundation is starting to be good
    - Forwards have the things under control in the front
    - Lineouts work well with very few own ones lost and quite a bit won from the opponent.

    Things that are ok:sh (for the most part):
    - Kicking for poles (except when Morne should’ve been just rested)
    - Scrums, except against England and Argentina
    - Discipline, for the most parts ok

    Things that needs improvement:
    - Attacking play as a team, which will without a doubt be the next focus.

    And the attack is a team focus; we saw quite a many good line break attempts but England turned things over because the support wasn’t quick enough. But as said, foundation must be built first which is the defense and forward play. And now there is a good foundation to build on – so lets focus on the positives!

  7. I could handle it if we lost a game or two, but showed some improvement. The problem is we beat three weakish NH teams by very narrow margins, and none of the three teams really played briliant rugby. This is worrying for SA. We have so many tallented backs in the country, but they are not being used at all except in defence. Sooner or later we are going to find ourselves behind in a game and need to score tries, and all the backs will have forgotten how to… I think too much emphasis is being placed on the world cup, and not enough on the three years between. Why is it that SA coaches are willing to settle for being second best, as long as there is a chance that we’ll win the WC? Shouldn’t we rather first concentrate of being number one in the world and then the WC will take care of itself!

    • Funny thing is, when HM started, he created the impression that his concern is for the entire period up to the world cup, to play Winning Rugby. And ever since the RC, he seemed to have changed his tune again to focussing on the world cup. Agree with your comment!

  8. We have to start somewhere and @lst there will be much needed depth nxt year and still more players to prove their quality in the centre positions,scrumhalf,tighthead but we now know that we have fullbacks yet to be selected and need to improve the quality of our right winger behind JP as we only have left wingers

    • I would have liked to see Taute and Mvovo given some opportunity at FB and wing though. And Taute also adds that extra distance with the boot, something that is sorely lacking in the side with F Steyn not there.

  9. Considering that the Boks only lost 3 matches this year (joint 3rd best since 1992) giving HM a success rate of 66.67% it is probably unfair to him to complain too much.

    All of us would have enjoyed it if we played more attractive rugby but if we did it whilst losing the criticism would have been harsher.

    I think, overall, the positives outweigh the negatives.

    • Ja, strictly speaking the stats look OK. But if we look at how we drew and against whom we drew, it is a bit of a disappointment. But winning all 3 in the UK, against my expectations, is probably deserving of the benefit of the doubt towards HM. Although I still don’t like the forwards hogging the ball the entire game.

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