I still cannot believe I read in this morning’s The Times an article by Brendan Venter, a so-called analyst, who wrote a whole column on Springbok flyhalves and did not mention Pat Lambie! Suddenly Morne Steyn, a useful player but no game-breaker, is the flavour of the month and the player to lead us to victory on Saturday against the Wallabies. What has Venter been smoking?
Now I read, Elton Jantjies is the future of flyhalf play in this country. That may be proved true in the long term, but, at present, the erratic displays of form by Jantjies are unacceptable at test level. He can break but can he link? He can kick the tactical chip, but can he do it off his right foot? No. He can tackle but is he always sound on defence? No. He can kick penalties at goal but is he accurate enough? No. Can he read a game? I don’t think so. My conclusion? Talent is not enough. It has to be applied. Consistently!
Now I notice, Allister Coetzee and the underprepared coaches around him have suddenly discovered the importance of tactical kicking. Now there’s a thing. After how many matches, only now have they thought – thinking has not been the head coach’s strong suit – perhaps, just perhaps, if shuffling the ball along the backline, bringing in the fullback and blindside wing occasionally are not working, how about using the grubber or perfectly-placed chip ala Barrett. That it’s taken them this long is criminally negligent. Who are the backline coaches? What do they know? How do they think?
My answers to the last two questions are libellous so I won’t use them but readers can draw their own conclusions. What sort of salary are these incompetents being paid? For what? When our three-quarters pass near perfectly to both left and right, I’ll begin to accord them some respect. There has been improvement but do they ever, I mean ever, practise the offload by backs and all forwards? Of course not. The evidence is simply not there.
When Goosen runs down the left side of the field, you know at once he can’t kick accurately infield because he has no left foot; same applies to Jantjies on the other side. I despair. If coaches, at any level, do not start with the details, the basic skills, game plans mean nothing.