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Quo Vadis SA Rugby

Paul se perspektief
Dan Retief concluded his blog overview of the previous rugby season with the following comment:
What an indictment John Mitchell’s resurrection of the Lions is of his immediate predecessor at Coca-Cola Park and of other local coaches.

To take the Lions from where they were, with an outfit of patched-up veterans, outcasts and raw youngsters, to Currie Cup glory speaks volumes for strict, competent and astute coaching.

The Lions played the best, most adventurous, rugby in the competition and Mitchell’s success sends a clarion message to the administrators of SARU as they ponder the appointment of a successor to Peter de Villiers.

Not only do we need an injection of innovative thinking around the management of the national team but we need to take a long hard look at our competition structure, stop being led by the nose by the pay television channels and the worthies of the Australian and NZ Rugby Unions, and put in place a system that works for the Springboks.

As I said in my Sunday Times column we need to be thinking “Mission Twickenham” and how to ensure that the Boks become consistently the No1 side in the world and win the World Cup back in London in 2015.

Several recent incidents provide pointers to where we are heading this year.

Rassie Erasmus

I do not for one minute believe that Rassie resigned at WP to pursue business interests, or because he has achieved his goals at this franchise.

My prediction is that a more permanent relationship with Springbok rugby is on the cards. John Smit, as part of the Saracens training group, indicated that the new coach had already been appointed. This could perhaps be a clue to Rassie’s sudden decision.

Concerning SA Rugby in 2012 and beyond, I agree with Dan Retief’s views above. One has to always bear politics in mind, though, when speculating about SA sport. An international athlete who took part in the sports indaba last year shared with me how excited everybody was about the progress made. At the end of day one, the Minister even announced the abolition of quotas, only to retract his statement the following day after the politicians had had a look at proceedings.

Nogtans glo ek dat mense soos Jurie Roux, Kevjn de Klerk en hul geesgenote dieselfde kopskuiwe teweeg kan bring as wat Mitchell by die Lions gedoen het. Die rugby-regering het uiteindelik van ‘n klomp dryfhout ontslae geraak en belê in “solid oaks”, of moet dit lees “okes”?

Proteas dismantle Sri Lanka – by Bobby
An empathic win for the Proteas which would not have helped the Sri Lanka cause as they seem to spiral uncontrollably into a depression of bad results! There is obviously some major disruption and unhappiness in their camp but don’t feel too sorry for them though, they have inflicted similar results on Zimbabwe in the past!

Man of the Match: Morne Morkel

It was refreshing to see a less predictable approach brought along by new coach Kirsten and new captain De Villiers. Although not new to cricket strategy, the move to open with Morkel proved a very good one. It’s not uncommon to use the main strike bowler as the 1st change bowler, South Africa used this in the past with Allan Donald and the Aussies with Brett Lee, both legend fast bowlers!

My only concern is Biff, (Graeme Smith), I think his value to support AB in the beginning part of his captaining career is invaluable but unlike Boucher’s position in the test squad there are a few players knocking on the door for selection with great force, in particular Colin Ingram and Richard Levi!

There are four remaining ODI’s and I hope the Proteas get tested – but so far I must admit this one day squad seems to have something which might just add that bit of spice required to dominate the one day scene.

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