Oy vey… 40-7. A drubbing in any language. We’ve already skewered and quartered the squad last week – so what’s left for this week?
Hmm… oh yeah. Dick Muir and Gary Gold escaped a mention last week. So here goes.
I know very little about rugby – hence the reason I blog, instead of play or coach. But something stuck out to the untrained eye on Saturday. Almost every try scored by the All Blacks was preceded by a really awful Springbok kick. I really can’t understand the thinking. The Bok coaching staff have to realise that a new squad are going to struggle to form a cohesive defensive structure. So why the instruction to hoist the ball upfield aimlessly, right down the All Black back three’s throats and then dare them to run at you while your defensive structure is out of alignment? And if that wasn’t the instruction, if Morne Steyn just decided to wing it and ignore the coaching strategy, then why didn’t you send on the waterboy to bean him in the face for ignoring you?
What the hell? We at least expected some coaching from all of the staff SARFU have hired. Really Dick Muir? 33 missed tackles? Guess that’s your influence on the strategy of downplaying defense.
I’m not even angry at Deon Stegmann anymore – after all he isn’t picking himself to play. But how do the three coaches justify selecting a player whose understanding of the rules of rugby is like an 8-year old’s grasp on the plot of Inception after wandering in halfway through the movie? How do you select a player whose defence resembles the turnstiles at Ratanga Junction on the first day of summer holidays?
I’m a big boy now, I can handle loss. But it really gets up my nose when the coaching staff and players don’t seem to understand WHY they lost. I’ve gotten zero comfort from the fact that the three coaches seem to think that the reason for the scoreline was that they made too many turnovers. It’s not that simple guys. Your problems run much deeper.
Things are not looking great. Sure Jake White took 47 against the Aussies and went on to win the World Cup. But I’m not feeling that good about this time around. I’ve always been highly annoyed by coaches who trundle out the “judge me on my World Cup performance” line. It is so Rudolf Straeuli 2003. I’m still waiting to shove my lemon pie in Straeuli’s face – and I suspect I won’t get my turn. It’s not just that they lost. It’s how they lost. They played like they weren’t Boks. And I find it hard to believe that the players are solely to blame for that.