Things Heyneke Meyer believes

In light of Heyneke’s decision to defend his game plan against Argentina, we thought it appropriate to highlight some other controversial beliefs held by the current Bok coach.

  • When plan “A” isn’t working, you don’t need a plan “B”.  Do plan “A” again.  But this time try harder.
  • Players don’t need to run into space.  Ideally they should run straight at opposition players and collapse in a heap the moment anyone touches them.
  • The science on evolution isn’t “all in” yet.
  • It is not necessary to secure the ball at a break down.   One should pick players based on bicep measurements rather than ability on the floor.
  • Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs is “kinda overrated”.
  • Climate change is just a hoax.
  • The Boks played well in parts against Argentina.
  • Morne Steyn isn’t out of form.
  • Brussouw isn’t “all that”.
  • Zane “the Crazy Train” Kirchner is a better option at fullback than both Gio Aplon and the Lambo.

Ahhh, Heyneke.  Looks like the honeymoon is over.  Can you feel those screws turning yet?

Heyneke Meyer has the “Morne Steyn” disease

Looks like Heyneke Meyer has succumbed to the Bok coach disease of irrational loyalty to players.  This week on the interview circuit all was revealed on the DSTV tragicomedy referred to as Boots ‘n All.

As the only guest in studio not willing to kiss anyone in a bok blazer’s ass and in his “speaking truth to power” mode, Nick Mallet called out Heyneke on the continued selection of Morne Steyn at flyhalf  despite his lack of form.  Morne is in the team to kick goals, since he doesn’t exactly give you anything else.  And he isn’t exactly kicking goals is he?

Hearing Heyneke defend his selection was painful.  He mumbled something about Morne’s form not actually being that bad and that if you switched to Afrikaans commentary during the game he actually plays quite well.

This kind of irrational disease seems to overcome South African’s in positions of power.  It also has its counter in the insane refusal to pick a player who is clearly better than “coach’s favourite”.   Is the Heyneke Meyer – Morne Steyn clouded thinking going to be up there amongst the following:

  • John “Colonel Gadaffi” Smit’s stranglehold over the De Villiers coaching tenure.
  • Jake White and “the fetcher” debacle, circa 2004, 2005 and 2006.
  • Tiaan Strauss  not being selected against the touring Kiwis in post-isolation South Africa.
  • The ANC insisting that Julius Malema “wasn’t a complete shit”, at least until he turned his idiot hose onto Jacob Zuma that is.
  • Nick Mallet and the Gary Teichmann.
  • Bryan Habana and all of his coaches during 2008 to 2011.
  • Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn not beating the shit out of Jar Jar Binks in every scene in which they appear together.

Perhaps Pat Lambie needs to start showing up to coaching sessions wearing his Morne Steyn mask.  Is that what it is going to take?  Or a miracle cure for Johan Goosen?

Morne Steyn looking pretty confident now that he has that compromising photo of Heyneke Meyer with his “Sex in the City” box set.

Don’t panic just yet: Zane is only in the squad not the starting line up

Okay, new coaches get to pick players with whom they are comfortable.  I get that.  But come on… Zane Kirchner?   When PdV picked Sideshow Bob Kirchner for the British Lions series in 2009 I was willing to put it down to the mad ramblings of an insane man – after all it was a dead rubber.

  • No Heinrich “God’s gift to rugby” Brussouw?
  • Wynand Olivier and JJ Engelbrecht (WTF is all I will say to this)
  • No Gio Aplon
  • Jano Vermaak

If we end up coughing up this series to the English there are going to be some seriously pissed off Stormers and Sharks fans in this country.  He could make this all okay by admitting he did it just to upset the Cape Town media cartel and that he will actually be picking Lambo at full back and that JJ Engelbrecht is nothing more than an alternative spelling for Heinrich Brussouw.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCCyvAwbbso?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

Heyneke.  I wanted you to be Bok coach, but not like this…

Julius Malema – a contender for Bok coach?

With the news that Nick Mallet’s contract to coach Italy will not be renewed after the World Cup, it is only natural to begin the piñata bashing festival known as the debate over and selection process of picking the new Bok coach.

So here are some early thoughts on names that are sure to be thrown into the hat for speculation:

Heyneke Meyer

Heyneke is certainly due his turn. After starting with a Bulls team that began as the laughing stock of the Super rugby tournament (they went winless for an entire season) he turned the franchise’s fortunes around to the point of becoming the first Saffer coach to lift the Super Rugby trophy. In 2007 under his guidance the Bulls played a brand of rugby more akin to the kind of force of nature you see in movies about Mayan apocalypses. His reward? In true SA rugby style the man with buckets of coaching talent got shafted and left for colder shores up north. Despite his credentials I fear if he does get picked we may see a return of Liefling and a strategy built on two principles – eff em up front and non-stop drop kicks.

Allister Coetzee

Certainly the cuddliest coaching option out there. I can see a whole range of stuffed toys made in Coetzee’s likeness selling like hot-cakes at the local Engen. A solid candidate but until his WP/Stormers team actually lift silverware questions around delivery in big games will remain. Unfortunately winning a world cup as an assistant coach doesn’t get you over the finish line.

John Mitchell

With possibly the angriest looking face he is certainly physically qualified to be a test rugby coach. Although he started off well with coaching the Lions, the Ellis Park shambles that has been the Lions 2011 Super 15 season so far must have seriously dented his chances. SA Rugby’s love affair with anything Ozzie or Kiwi since Eddie Jones’ stint with the Boks might count in his favour.

Jake White

Impressive coaching record (who among us can wear a World Cup winner’s medal out on a first date?), but famously burned some bridges with top brass at SA Rugby. Taking up a position at the Brumbies most likely puts him out of the running. Those Aussie dollars have strengthened mightily since the financial crisis began.

Nick Mallett

Given that Nick will be out of a job post-World Cup he could be in theory be in the running. I suspect neither party will be keen on renewing the tortured marriage given that he has given the middle finger to South African rugby administrators not once, but twice – first as a player during the bad old days than as a coach by criticizing the ticketing prices for games.

Julius Malema

With South African politicians penchant for turning the bok team into a way of dividing rather than uniting the nation what better way for the clowns who call themselves administrators to upset the conservatives? Hell, they could really score some points here with a “political appointment”. After he succeeds in shutting down Twitter he can always move on to trying to shut down those pesky Aussie rugby blogs.

The end of influence for Heyneke Meyer

The sun has set on the empire of the Blue Bulls.  The Bulls 26-21 loss to the Force in Perth not only puts to an end the hopes of a 2011 Super 15 title but also foreshadowed the end of an era when the Bulls played smart powerful rugby.

Worse than the prospect of being able to rest in July while other teams are bashing the hell out of each other is the prospect that this is the end of the Heyneke Meyer influence.  There was a brainlessness to the Bulls play that went against everything that Heyneke had taught these young bucks when they were still wearing plastic studs to the training ground.

I am pretty sure that, to take a football example, with the structures put in place by Alex Ferguson, without any football coaching experience even I could coach Manchester United to a few wins in the first couple of games of my tenure. But eventually even the greatest coaches find that the structures they put in place need to be rebuilt. I have suspected for a while that a large portion of the Frans Ludeke’s success at the Bulls was based on inheriting structures put in place by Heyneke Meyer and being able to rely on the seniority of players like Fourie Du Preez, Victor Matfield and Danie Roussouw to carry this on.  Ludeke, for all intents and purposes, was standing on the shoulders of a giant.

Perhaps the Bulls loss this weekend exposed Ludeke as the coat-tail rider of the rugby coaching world?

The evidence that all the brains have left Pretoria was on display in the final minutes of the game against the force.  The Bulls were down 23-18 with ten minutes to go and were pounding the opposition 22m line when the ref awarded a penalty to the Bulls.  Anyone who has ever taken a passing interest in rugby (from the under 10 primary school kid, to the girlfriend showing a renewed interest in rugby, to the hardcore drinking enthusiast at the Boer and Brit pub), absolutely anyone with a rudimentary grasp of the game will tell you that with Morne Steyn in your side and with ten minutes to go, a five point margin is best overtaken by slotting two penalties.

Go for posts you morons. You. Have. Morne. Steyn. In. Your. Team.

What do they do?  The Bulls take the quick tap with all of the hubris of an invading American army only to knock the ball on in the first tackle.

Heyneke Meyer - the Bond villain of SA rugby who coached the Bulls across space and time from his undersea lair deep in the Pacific Ocean.

Eishhhh Heyneke.  Your influence and your dream of a Bulls empire is over.