Kitch Christie, who coached a ragtag Bok team in the mid 1990s will always be remembered as a legend in Springbok history. He was the only modern Bok coach to retire undefeated, he maintained a 100% win record which included the 1995 World Cup. This tale of an encounter between a young Stormers coach and the sage Kitch Christie, comes to us from Chuang Tzu, who famously coached the Wu Wei sevens rugby team under the Chou dynasty.
Allister Coetzee spoke to Kitch Christie saying “I have a big tree, which people call useless. Its trunk is so knotted, no carpenter could work on it, while its branches are too twisted to use a square or a compass upon. So although it is close to the road, no carpenter would look at it. Now Kitch your words are like this, too big and no use, therefore everyone ignores them.”
Kitch Christie replied, “Allister, have you never seen a wild cat or a weasel?. It lies there crouching and waiting, east and west it leaps out not afraid of going high or low, until it is caught in a trap and dies in a net. Yet again there is the yak, vast like a cloud in heaven. It is big, but cannot use this fact to catch rats. Now you Allister, have a large tree and don’t know how to use it, so why not plant it in the middle of nowhere, where you can go to wander or fall asleep under its shade? No axe under heaven will attack it, nor shorten its days, for something useless will never be disturbed.”
Theres a lesson in there somewhere for the Stormers this weekend.