After a brief break due to an undisclosed injury, the sport freak is making a much anticipated return.
Today we would like to touch on the attitude of some players in the national team which, we believe, is one of the primary factors contributing to the unacceptable performance by the disgraced South African national team.
Damien De Allende A Self Righteous Prick
As was widely reported this week Damien De Allende got involved a twitter spat with a fan, who rightfully, criticized his play, while Morne Steyn (where did he come from?) said he is getting tired of criticism from fans. Let us pause here for a moment and reflect on these statements.
The Springbok backline is well…none existent and slightly less entertaining then a late night infomercial. The poor backline performance can be contributed towards a number of factors, while we have already touch on the shocking appointment of backline coach, Mzwandile Stick, we would like to zoom in on Damien De Allende, another key culprit!
De Allende (currently) plays inside centre for the Springboks, a key position which links up with the flyhalf and the outside backs. For a backline to function successfully a talented outside centre is of vital importance.
The question needs to be asked, what does De Allende contribute towards the Springbok backline? The answer? Nothing. De Allende is a player who possesses no natural instinct for the game, he has no vision and he certainly does not possess the ability to draw in defenders to setup the outside backs.
This is a player who, is as one dimensional as a freight train. In the few instances where the Springboks actually manage to get the ball past the flyhalf De Allende kills all momentum, with the ball tucked in under one arm; trying to bulldoze over defenders, failing more often than not. (The only time De Allende passes is…when he passes out at the bar.)
Springbok management may just as well select a prop forward at inside centre, if the backline’s game plan Is to run crash balls from inside centre.
While as a general rule of thumb we do not like to criticize players at the Sport Freak, we believe in this case it is warranted. We are enraged about De Allende’s Twitter statement.
Instead of De Allende taking note on the public outcry regarding his style of play, he decided to retaliate to a fan who voiced his (valid) concern, in a disgusting manner saying, “sit on your coach and enjoy your life while doing nothing.”
Is De Allende above criticism? is this a player who is so naïve that he believes 99% of the Springbok supporters are wrong to criticize his style of play? And just perhaps…is the reason for De Allende remaining safely tucked away at inside centre, despite a string of poor performance, because he fulfills a quota requirement?
Morne Steyn “Above” Criticism
In a previous post we wrote about the flyhalf position which has been plaguing South African rugby for years. The curse continues and it seems that South African flyhalfs are made from porcelain, with 1st choice flyhalfs Patrick Lambie and Handre Pollard continuously being plagued by injuries. Elton Jantjies has clearly been unable to make the step up to international level (read more here), so Morne Steyn got dragged out of the wilderness back into the test arena.
While Morne has been a good servant to South Africa rugby, 4 or 5 years back. Ever since that faithful day in Dunedin in 2012 where Steyn’s goal kicking essentially robbed South Africa of a victory on New-Zealand soil, his game went on a downward spiral and Steyn (rightfully) came under immense criticism.
It is worrying how out of touch with reality players like De Allende and Steyn is. In case Morne Steyn does not know what his role in the team is we will remind him.
Steyn’s primary role in the Springbok team is to make accurate kicks, and knock over his penalties and conversion, since…well he does not offer much else to the team except for his boot. Yet Morne Steyn missed 2-penalties and a drop goal in the Argentinean loss in Salta.
Essentially Steyn screwed up, he did not do his job properly, and the public has every right to criticize him for that, yet according to Steyn the public should not criticize him for failing to do his job.
While we have respected Morne and often defended him, we lost all respect for him, when he made the above comment. Clearly this is a person who has never worked an honest day in his life and thinks he should be above criticism, well Morne the reality is you have failed to do your job! Judging by your statement (and attitude) we would go out on a limb and say that the only reason you accepted the Springbok call up is for personal gain, else you would have realized the need to develop a young new generation flyhalf.
In conclusion we would like to state (and remind) Springbok players, that they are ambassadors of South African rugby, while there are certainly humble players who do their absolute best to serve South African rugby, it seems that Steyn and De Allende have a chip ob their shoulder and consider themselves “above the public” and immune to criticism.
Well here is a bit of news for you, you are average players, arguably below average some would say. We encourage all our readers and the sport freak community to share this post, in the hope that it gets read by De Allende and Steyn which would hopefully bring them back to earth.
Do you agree that there seems to be an attitude problem inside the Springbok camp, do you think De Allende and Steyn should remain in the squad? As always drop us a comment below.
UPDATE: 04 September
Politics, poor coaching & player management plays a huge role in how these players perform. De Allende should never have started at centre to begin with. He is a wing and that’s where he made a name for himself, he can be a great wing providing he gets managed properly.
As we stated in the post “as general rule of thumb we do not like to criticize players at the Sport Freak” You could go through the 100 or so posts on this blog and you wont find a single post which attacks players unfairly.
Now with that being said De Allende is part of a losing team, a team which has brought disgrace to the once proud Springbok history, and in all fairness he has been playing poorly, not contributing and doing his part. He is a professional athlete and part of the very lucrative package is to deal with fans. We feel the way in which De Allande responded suggests that he thinks he is “above or better” than the person who pointed out some of the flaws in his game.
A proper response would have been “I noted your concern, and I am trying my best to rectify it thank you for your support” He should have taken it on the chin, Yet he decided to become personal responding in a trashy, unprofessional manner (which says a lot about his character), and that was the inspiration behind this post.