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Boks Wilt the Flower of Scotland

Perhaps it was more a case of deflowering Scotland, given the half century in points the Boks piled up on Saturday.

Most of the reports after the match focused on the excellent team performance, and the likes of Pollard and De Jager shining on the international scene.

Perhaps a lot more credit should go to the coach, who orchestrated this outcome.

I am busy reading Marco Botha’s book “Baanbrekers” (the English version is called “Coach”) which starts off with how Heyneke Meyer took over a despondent Bulls team and ended up with probably one of the most professional unions in modern rugby.

After selling his vision to the board, he proceeded to instil a culture of excellence by ensuring that all the teams of the union adopted the same coaching practices and style of play. This made it easy for a youngster to be promoted to the senior side and fit in without any problems.

He also set the standard when it comes to identifying and buying talented young players (Pollard being the latest example) rather than rely on home-grown products only. Part of the plan is to make these youngsters feel so at home and welcome that they would not want to leave if they received a better offer.

Extending this plan to the national set-up is of course far more difficult. Whereas coaches in the Bulls set-up would start at junior level and get promoted, provided they proved their worth, he now has to rely on voluntary cooperation from the other franchises. These guys have their own battles for survival, and agreeing to adopt a strategy which would suit the national coach may be the end of their provincial aspirations.

Add to the mix a rugby board that has to consider political issues when it comes to rugby matters, and you have an almost unsolvable problem.

If Jake White had not been so outspoken on his differences with the rugby establishment, he may well have enjoyed a second four-year stint with the Boks. Meyer appears to be the kind of guy who will not fall into this trap.

Lastly, I must express some frustration at the expectation that Meyer must suddenly pick more ethnic black players. If Saru had done its job and created these players at junior level, he would be able to do so.

Jy kan nie ‘n perske ryp druk nie – dit mag dalk sag lyk, maar gaan onsmaaklik wees, en nog die eter, nog die perske, gaan enige baat vind daarby.

Die teenoorgestelde gaan gebeur.

Proteas in Sri Lanka

The single biggest talking point about the tour is not the star batting line-up of the islanders, but rather the heat and humidity we can expect.

The fact that this will hamper the Proteas is evident from our record there. We only managed two wins in sixteen ODIs, and two out of ten test matches played in Sri Lanka.

The fact that we only play two tests during this tour will mean a cautious approach in the first test. You do not want a situation where you have to win the second one for a draw, having lost the first. Should the Proteas manage to win the test series, they will move to the top of the world rankings, as Australia only play test cricket again in October.

Hopefully the players are rested and well prepared for a gruelling sauna series.

The matter of three different captains for the three versions of the game bothers me. We were spoilt, having a strong leader in Graeme Smith, and must perhaps expect this to be a way of establishing who the head honcho should be through trial and error. In my view, this shows a lack of resolve by the administrators, rather than what they term a “horses for courses” approach.

This is not racing – this is cricket, one of the few sports where we can still hold our heads high. Strong leadership will bolster the team; weakness may sow seeds of doubt, not only in the captains, but also the players.

Amla has proved his worth in all three forms of the game, and should head the side. AB is far surer of his place in the side than Faf du Plessis, but has not really convinced as captain so far.

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