You are browsing the archive for heyneke meyer.

Meyer Cheapening Bok jersey?

September 4, 2014 in Rugby, Rugby Championship

Bok FanWith 31 new test caps in 29 tests since his tennure started, one has to start wondering if Meyer knows what he is doing.

It’s become concerning to me that the number of debutants under Meyer seems to be increasing virtually with every match, yet, we keep on hearing people say he sticks with too many old players.

Factually, I cannot agree too much with the latter sentiment. The only “old” players in terms of age is Victor Matfield and Jean de Villiers, whilst, to be honest, there is not too much we can replace them with at this stage. Perhaps too late even if one looks into the preparations for the World Cup next year.

Perhaps the sentiment should rather be that Meyer is sticking with too many players who are not performing well, instead of looking at age but then we can also say that he doesn’t stick long enough with new players before he tries someone else…

Some people have expressed concern that there are too few new players coming through, and that Meyer is not identifying new talent. The former sentiment is totally untrue. Under Heyneke Meyer, as of today, 31 Springboks have made their debut. Between the 31 players, they average 6.8 caps per player since debut, while Eben Etzebeth is the most capped at 25 test caps. If Warren Whitely runs out onto the park on Saturday, he would become debutant number 32.

But somehow when we look at the current squad at the Rugby Championship, which is around 30 players big, we seem unable to recognise those 32 debutants.

That is because several of them have come and gone. Only 9 of those 31 debutants are in Saturday’s squad, while a further 3 players are in the extended squad. So, 12 out of the 31 debutants are still playing . And that is why one would never tell that 31 players have made their debuts under Heyneke Meyer. Twenty players (consider this 3 players short of a full match day squad) have dropped off.

For more and the complete list of players and how New Zealand stack up, visit SportChat.co.za

 

Lambie is the best flyhalf in the country

February 17, 2014 in Rugby, Super Rugby

No golden eggs for this Goose! Just laying!

No golden eggs for this Goose! Just laying!

The Lions upset the Cheetahs and the Sharks put the Bulls to bed. Yes folks, that was the first round of Super Rugby 2014 and my,how short was it? Almost as short as Tjokkie Norris’….uhm….oh wait, this is a family site…

 

So looking back over the past weekend, here’s a few things we can take away and look forward to (and not to) for the coming marathon of week in and week out Rugby. Yes ladies, your husbands are now officially back to the couch  on Saturdays and to the local pub on Friday evenings. Oh don’t complain so much, ladies, we moved the entire SuperRugby schedule a day forward so we could be with you on Valentines day!  Be grateful.

So here’s what we learned (and confirmed) ?

  • Welcome back to a much slimmer and fitter looking Frans Steyn.  Jean de Villiers suddenly has competition on inside centre.  He was solid on defense, carried well and cleaned up some spills nicely.  Also, that deft little kick for Odwa’s try was brilliant! Something he must have picked up in France.
  • Goosen is a walking injury. Ok we already knew that, but what we learned about Goosen is that he is not ready for SuperRugby. Nothing wrong with the boy’s style of play and talent, but his body is just not up to the challenge.  Take a year off totally and condition your body properly. But it’s like these coaches, they play the guys 4 weeks before they are recovered then stuff them up for life. I shouldn’t dare say it, but hell, I hope Goosen isn’t a story of what could have been had he not got a career ending injury.

Read more on SportChat.co.za

Lambie to warm bench again

June 5, 2013 in Rugby, Springboks

It was only last year when one of the most talented Rugby players in South Africa was benched for all but 55 minutes of the entire Rugby Championship tournament.  An out of form Morne Steyn was given ample opportunity, in fact, 291 minutes during the Rugby Championship tests to regain his form, to no avail, and it was up to Lambie to take his chances during the Northern Hemisphere tour, when Steyn was rested, and Goosen was injured.

Zane Kirchner was preferred ahead of Lambie at full back.  The reasons for this is still unclear, but some have said that in 2012 Lambie didn’t play enough at flyhalf to warrant flyhalf selection, while some suggested he is actually a flyhalf therefore Meyer does not want to play him at full back.

Read the rest of this entry →

Bok new captain?

June 4, 2013 in Rugby, Springboks

A little bit of a connundrum faces Heyneke Meyer as he may be forced to select Jean de Villiers’ replacement captain and centre a bit earlier than he would have hoped.  De Villiers is currently nursing a tight hamstring, and may not be ready for the first test against Italy.

It wouldn’t be something that Meyer has not been thinking about. If he at all knows, like we all do, that Jean’s likelihood of captaining the Boks through the 2015 World Cup is very slim, due to his tendency to get injured pre and during the tournament as proven since 2003, he would have already identified his captain for the 2015 World Cup, or at least have some idea.

It seems to be a two horse race actually, and we once again might sit with what many people struggled to accept when John Smit was captain.  A leader in the side ahead of the perceived better player.  I won’t open the can of worms on John Smit vs Bismarck du Plessis again, but looking at the options available right now to Meyer, it seems to stir up a very similar brew as with the previous,legendary Bok skipper. Read the rest of this entry →

Showdown in Bloem!

May 30, 2013 in Rugby, Rugby Championship, Springboks, Super Rugby

ebvserfAn epic battle awaits us this weekend as the two top form South African teams take each other on in Bloemfontein this Saturday.

It will be a battle for top honors in the SA Conference, as the winner of this match will most likely walk away with the top position in the SA log, getting apart from the much forgettable Conference Trophy, a most probably home semi final.

But it is not just the two teams that will battle each other for the SA Conference.  There are also a few mouthwatering personal battles to be fought in lieu of the Springbok side to take on Scotland, Italy and Samoa in June. Players who hope to impress Heyneke Meyer enough to get the nod ahead of their counterpart in the other team. Read the rest of this entry →

Dear Heyneke

May 20, 2013 in Rugby, Springboks

Dear Heyneke

You know when you were named as the chosen one for the Springbok Rugby Coach job, I was very happy. Ja, I felt sorry for ou Divvy, but he was the maker of his own destiny, like Morgan Mandela said in that Invictus Movie.

So, last year, when you started picking Bulls players like Jaques Potgieter and JJ Engelbrecht, and gave them Springbok caps ahead of players who have shown their worth in the past and were much better in their positions, I started wondering what’s in your head. Are you a zombie?  Then we see poor Lambie on the bench every single game, while Zane Kirchner keeps running on as full back. I wondered, is Heyneke the only one who sees value in NikNaks other than Simba?

Last year ended pretty okayish for you, with some nice wins in the Northern Hemisphere. But now, we are in a new year, and as much as we love beating the Brits, we love nothing more than beating the All Blacks and the Aussies. We hate nothing more than losing to Argentina or some other third tier side.  We want you to win. Like that song goes, We wanna win. Read the rest of this entry →

MO(m)Bela Stadium to Rock!

April 10, 2013 in International, Rugby, Springboks

MOB 2013 is only 2 months away.  “2 months is still long!” You say, but when you consider accommodation to be arranged and tickets to be purchased to have the best possible seats in the house, 2 months is not alot of time at all! Heyneke Meyer has already started with his preliminary training squad, a squad on which I am sure you all have lots to say…

Be that as it may, coming to the MOB is going to be about much more than watching Stampkar rugby by Heyneke’s boys.  It your chance to meet some fellow bloggers, or if you don’t blog, to meet some sports lovers.  Its your chance to be part of a historic event which is the first time ever that Nelspruit will host a Rugby Test Match, and not just one, but two! Read the rest of this entry →

The Goose with the egg shell legs…

March 19, 2013 in Rugby, Rugby Championship, Springboks, Super Rugby

 

No golden eggs for this Goose! Just laying!

The Springboks and Cheetahs have been dealt a severe blow with the latest injury to Johan Goosen and one has to wonder whether this incredible talent will ever reach his potential.  Having only started Super Rugby last season, he sat out most of the season with a shoulder injury. He then got injured again ruling him out of the Springboks end of year tour and now, the latest injury, will again see him sidelined for at least 6 months while some reports say the whole year! This is a severe blow for the Cheetahs and for the Springboks, and our three horse race has been cut down to two with the leading horse eating dust!

The most worried man though would be Heyneke Meyer.  With Morne Steyn going to France at the end of the season, he is running short on options at securing his flyhalf for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.  Yes, it is still two years away, but with Goosen out this year and Morne in France when the 2014 Rugby Championship is being played, there really is only one name remaining in this race, and that is Patrick Lambie.

Not everyone’s favorite, but who else?  If I was Heyneke, it would be an easy call to make right now.  Patrick Lambie will be my flyhalf this year and next year and the year of the World Cup.  He will be my man around which I plan my game.  Yes, Goosen may well be ready when the time comes, but do you build your game plan around someone who might be ready and who is more on the sideline at the moment than on the field?  And Morne Steyn, with him playing in France, he will most definitely not be available for the Rugby Championship which is the premier tournament for the Springboks.  I guess Heyneke’s job has just been made much easier by process of elimination.

It is terrible for the Springboks though and for Goosen, as he was the favorite to take up the Bok 10 jersey according to the poll, and one has to wonder who will be Lambie’s backup at 10 going into the next few seasons.  Aside from Elton Jantjies, who’s form has been questionable this season so far, who else can step up when Lambie (touch wood) happens to get injured? Catrakilis? Frans Steyn? A miracle return by Liefling?

The Bok number 10 spot is suddenly under threat and in an area where South Africa for once had some options, suddenly there is only one. And boys like Handre Pollard may find themselves in the frame much sooner than they thought…

The battle for number 8 is on!

March 11, 2013 in International, Rugby, Springboks, Super Rugby

With Pierre Spies’ performance this past weekend against the Blues, Heyneke Meyer will have taken note and may even be having a wry grin on his face.  Spies’ performances over the past few years were short of satisfactory, and along with his hand injury last year, allowed for Duane Vermeulen to step up and take his place in the Springbok camp.

Many viewers will regard Spies as the better player, but it is often the non-flashy players who are doing the hard graft around the park and goes unnoticed because they do not rely on open space to ply their trade as does Pierre Spies. Read the rest of this entry →

New Zealand teams running the most, but SA Flyhalves get the most ball?

March 5, 2013 in Rugby, Super Rugby

 

Week 2 (or is it week 3? these Aussies always just have to confuse everything!) has come and gone and already some teams are being touted as this year’s champions, and others are being written off.  It’s still early days, chaps, so let’s not jump to conclusions too soon, or make any rash decisions.

Lot’s of focus on the Stormers, which I can get because they have been South Africa’s premier team in the Super 15 and as they say, high trees and a certain south easter, does make for some spectacular viewing. 

Last week I asked the readers to vote for their stand out performance of the week in the weekly race to the Bok number 10.  As it stands, despite having a bit of an “off” day against the Chiefs, Johan Goosen is still in the lead on the votes with Lambie in second spot.  Morne Steyn, whilst he will still be around during the Rugby Championship (he is only leaving after the Currie Cup) is backing up the rear.  To me, Morne Steyn was again very accurate with the boot and actually ran a few times with the ball in hand, one of those runs leading to a try and one out of every 4 passes went to the wing.  Lambie on the other hand was a bit stuck in an arm wrestle, and while he did miss a couple, he had a few nice runs and 1 in 3 passes went to the wing.  Goosen was a bit unfortunate to run into a very strong Chiefs side.  He missed several of his kicks (all but 1 in fact), but he remained the go-to guy for the Cheetahs, hoping he would create something for them each time he touches the ball. His defense was a bit shoddy and some of his passes were poor.  All in all, considering zero missed tackles and surviving the onslaught of the Stormers, I pick Lambie as my pick of the weekend.  Who was your top flyhalf this past weekend? Read the rest of this entry →

Springbok Flyhalve: A 3 Horse race!

February 25, 2013 in Rugby, Springboks, Super Rugby

Well well! What a weekend of Super Rugby! Apart from the dull encounter up North in Bulls country and the snooze inducing encounter down under in Brisbane, this weekend’s “kick off” of the Super Rugby season really provided some much needed quenching of thirsts accross continents!

One thing is for sure, and that is the South African teams have a lot of work to do to match the intensity and raw speed of the New Zealand teams.  In Australia, only one team really stand out and that’s the Brumbies.  Sorry Quade, either go back to boxing, or get Genia back on your inside. Frankly, you are perhaps better at boxing than at Rugby without him!

And how about those Kings, hey? Love them or hate them, for me (with egg in my face) they earned a certain amount of respect for the way they played and kudo’s to the supporters filling a stadium, where Ellis Park would most probably have been as quiet as a….well, come to think of it, is there anything as quiet as Ellis Park right now? I still believe the venue is at the root of the Lions troubles…and perhaps a lesson to be learnt by some that perhaps encapsulating the festive vibes from what the 2010 Soccer World Cup stadiums provided may in fact assist with the longevity of the unions. Traditions unfortunately do not fill the pockets nor pay the bills. Feet do.  And pardon the little stab, Luke supporters, but what does he do on the field while someone like that Jacques Engelbrecht chappie is warming the bench? Does he still think he is a quota player or what? Read the rest of this entry →

Boerseun is Back!

January 31, 2013 in Rugby, Super Rugby

At last! We can see some Rugby again!

Ja, ok. Last year we saw way too much rugby.  But to go “cold turkey” for nearly three months is just agonising to say the least, and neither the Heineken Cup, Top 14 or Aviva Premiership can fill the void that’s been left.

It’s not SupeRugby yet.  But it’s almost as good. It could have been better though.  If the Bulls were playing the Stormers and the Ceetahs were playing the Sharks, the rivalry between the sides alone would have been worth the admission price.  But I will take the Bulls vs Lions and the Cheetahs vs Stormers any day of the week over Bordoux vs Northampton on a lily white pitch of snow.

Read the rest of this entry →

Highs and lows of 2012 ~ in pictures

December 12, 2012 in Cricket, Currie Cup, International, International, London 2012, Other sports, Rugby, Rugby Championship, Springboks, Super Rugby

As we come to the final few weeks of the year, and with absolutely buggerall to watch anymore, except for some Heineken Cup, where you can see old Southern Hemisphere has-beens in action against the best of Europe, it’s perhaps a time to reflect on the year which is past…a year that flew by quicker than Rickie Ponting’s last test innings…

Read the rest of this entry →

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?

Springbok’s forward approach smothering the game?

November 20, 2012 in International, Rugby, Springboks

 

20 more phases then Ruan will pass the ball to us….

Heyneke Meyer has done very little this year to confirm the belief the Springbok supporters had in him, when he was announced to take over from Peter de Villiers as Springbok coach.

The record shows that to date, the Springboks won 6 matches from the 11 tests to date, a success rate of 54.5%.  It seems quite average, in fact, poor, for someone who stated publicly that he believes in only one kind of Rugby: Winning Rugby. Read the rest of this entry →