Did we really slump this low as a nation, that we are satisfied with a draw against a Barbarian team now? Just when we thought we’ve seen it all good ol’ Allister Coetzee and the Springboks, surprise us yet again — leading us to type up yet another depressing post, about the poor state of South African rugby, and we have to wonder how much more of these do we have in us? Before we start to completely give up on covering South African rugby.
The Barbarians Embarrassed South Africa – Lucky To Escape
We don’t care if this was not recognized as an “official test”, we do not care if this was an “experimental team” used by Allister Coetzee – the fact is we expect a victory against a Barbarians team, made up mostly of has-beens and low key provincial players, each and every time the Springboks take to the field.
To those who say there shouldn’t be too much read into this match aka Rob Houwling from politically correct Sport24 we say open your bloody eye’s man there is plenty to be read into this embarrassing draw, which we will touch on in a second.
First, let us point out the Barbarians are a social invite team, spending more time in the pub then on the training field, if the Barbarians took this game slightly more serious, South Africa would never have been allowed to come back into the match (FACT!), so we WILL consider the draw a LOSS for South African rugby.
No Change – Same Old Story For South African Rugby
In short it was largely a case of same old, same old for the disgraced South African rugby team. Lack of ball control, no real sense of purpose or direction — attributed to a lack of a proper game plan by the South African coaching team, and of course being dominated (yet again) at the collision point and breakdowns! The latter all comes standard these days in a Springbok performance, well worth a DSTV premium subscription, won’t you say?
The collision and breakdown points are especially concerning for South African rugby supporters, if there are still any left? An area which has for decades been a traditional strength for South African rugby has quickly turned into a major weakness under the Allister Coetzee regime. The fact that South Africa has been losing the breakdown battle in each of their matches thus far under the Coetzee regime leads to opposition getting quick ball which allows them to outscore the Boks, or vice versa with South Africa getting slow ball.
But here is the thing folks, we all know the above, and it is nothing different than what has been said by us before. Even Allister Coetzee who rarely notices anything happening on a rugby field these days knows it, and preaches the same tune after every match to the media.”Ja, No okes – the collision and breakdown point, as well as, ball control was really disappointing and we will work hard on it.” Yet, we see regression rather than progression. So to avoid what has been repeated, we want to touch on a different aspect today, and that is the worrisome lack of depth in South African rugby.
The Lack of depth in South African rugby is worrisome
Allister Coetzee decided to select a rookie Springbok team mixed with (more than) a couple of familiar and experienced faces. The Barbarians mostly made up of second stringers and has-beens sorely exposed the worrisome lack of depth in South African rugby.
Remember when Jake White had a “second / B” springbok team which he sent to tour Australasia before the 07 world Cup (and they were actually competitive). Heyneke Meyer (say about the man what you want) but he also had a backup team which he employed with moderate success.
The reality now is South Africa is struggling to field an international team made up of 22 quality international players, let alone having a backup squad in place.
Having a quality backup team is so crucial for the success of a national team. Not only does it promote healthy competition within the squad, but it also allows players to slot seamlessly into position, being familiar with all the inns and outs of the national team’s game plan, should a player get injured. Coetzee has been in charge for a year now, and the fact that he has not managed to identify a core group of players to work with, building towards the Rugby World Cup in 2019, is not only worrisome it is downright unacceptable and some hard questions need to be asked whether Coetzee is fit to lead the Springboks from the coaches’ booth.
The Barbarians vs South Africa draw has sorely exposed the lack of depth within South African rugby, when just a few years ago, there was a long list of players, who were competing to fill positions (ESPECIALLY in the loose trio department), these days there is virtually NO competition for positions within the South African national side. Is Nizaam Car really the 2nd or 3rd best 8th man / backrower in South African rugby at the moment? If so, South African rugby is in an even bigger crisis than we have thought.
When the few remaining, quality, international players whom are currently still operating within South African Super Rugby franchises and the national team retires, or go to cash in overseas, South Africa will have to adopt a new rival opponent in the form of Italy. I.e. South African rugby will be in even bigger trouble.
While on the subject of South African players going to play rugby overseas, we would like to add, even though most of those players are still eligible for international selection, the vast majority of them are not of the same calibre and quality when they return to the national team.
SA vs Barbarians Draw Conclusion
We could go on for ages, but we have better things to do than spend our Sunday morning writing about a poor Springbok team, since quite frankly they don’t deserve it. Ultimately what the Barbarians South Africa draw has shown us is that for South African rugby, it boils down to:
- The current South African coaching staff is clearly not competent to lead the South African national side.
- There is a worrisome lack of depth within South African rugby
- South African players lacks both creativity and vision on attack, and is light years behind in the running rugby “revolution” which started 4 or so years ago (this again can be directly contributed towards the current South African coaching staff)
In conclusion, the largest ever win for England against South Africa is 53-3 South African supporters should prepare themselves for that record being shattered this coming weekend.
P.S Did you follow our betting tips for the South Africa vs Barbarians match and the New Zealand vs Ireland match? If you did you will be a few grand richer this morning, you are welcome!