<p style="margin: 0px 0px 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 12px; color: #666666; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 16.796875px;">If a man calls himself a clown, who are we to disagree, argues disgruntled Bok supporter Peter Church.
If something happens, there is always some idiot who says he knew it was going to happen. Today I will be that idiot.
When Peter de Villiers was appointed coach of the Springboks in January 2008, I predicted it would take about 18 months before the coaching discipline installed into the team by World Cup winning coach Jake White would run dry.
Call me a liar for falling one month short of my prediction, but when our holders of the William Webb Ellis Trophy boarded the plane for Auckland in July I put £150 (my grocery bill for 3 months) on them not beating the All Blacks even once in their entire Tri Nations campaign. I knew my hard earned cash was safe, because I knew a coach-less team would lose the discipline they need to beat the savvy All Blacks under IRB Player of the Year Richie McCaw.
When I shared a table at Bok captain John Smit’s Bobby Bear fundraising event in London on 1 December last year with one of the most prominent senior Bok players, I asked him about the new coach. “He’s great. He trusts us. He brought freedom into the camp. We basically do what we like.”
That was, off course, the wrong answer. Springbok rugby players should be treated like schoolboys, because that – in essence – is what they are: Egocentric, Creatine and testosterone filled, but extremely talented, boys who should be guided – even slapped – towards a disciplined unit. Nobody can have any doubt that the Springboks have more individual talent than any other team in world rugby at the moment. If this is not true, how could South African teams have made such a whitewash of the Super 14?
We are losing and have no hope in even a lukewarm hell to win next year’s World Cup under a coach who:
* Allows the same players to give away penalties for the same offences game after game;
* Cannot coach his players to adopt their game plan when necessary;
* Has an inability to adapt to rule changes;
* Cannot teach his players not to lose control in the tackle resulting in turnover ball;
* Cannot coach his players not to kick away ball possession;
* Has no ability to teach his backline how to create space in attacking play;
* Show no evidence whatsoever that his players are supremely fit;
* Has no idea when and how to bring on fresh legs from the bench;
* Cannot coach his best wingers not to shoot in from their defensive lines;
* Cannot install basic discipline on and off the field; and