Referees scrum down for the Laws

South Africa’s top referees scrummed against each and were given master classes from top coaches as part of a recently completed four-day training camp prior to the start of the 2012 rugby season.

Former Springbok prop Balie Swart had SA’s top whistlers packing down to demystify the intricacies of scrumming while Rassie Erasmus and Rudolph Straeuli took referees through examples of their pre-match analysis. They also put the match officials through the same training drills used by many of the teams.

“Feedback from those attending – and it included referees with Rugby World Cup experience – was that the pre-season camp was one of the best of its kind they had yet experienced,” said South African Rugby Union general manager of referees André Watson.

“In addition to the technical Law reviews and input from experienced coaches, they also underwent fitness testing, completed the updated BokSmart programme, participated in a motivational/self-analysis presentation and wrote the National Laws Exam.

“I’m confident that our Super and National Panel referees are now well prepared for the season and I’m personally looking forward to the first blast of the whistle on opening day.”

Material covered at the SA Referees’ Camp at Konka included the outcomes of a recent SANZAR workshop.

“We’re committed to ensuring uniform application of the Laws across all of the rugby competitions in which we officiate,” said Watson. “We met in Sydney with our SANZAR partners in the middle of January and agreed on protocols for the coming season.

“While there are no Law changes to be implemented, it was a platform to review the highs and lows of last year and agree on common expectations for the coming year.”

The so-called ‘Big Five’ – tackle, scrum, offside, ruck, and maul – remain the priority areas as in previous years but with additional emphasis on the following points:

Scrum

· Alignment – front rows must be in a position to interlock on engagement; there must be no touching of heads.

· Early engagement – both teams must start the engagement process simultaneously on the referee’s call.

· Engagement angles – front rows must push straight and parallel to the touchlines; loose-head props must not ‘walk’ the scrum around the tight-head.

· Binding – front rankers must bind on their opponent in the appropriate manner; no hands on the ground for support.

· Post-engagement infringements – illegal wheeling on purpose, so-called ‘whip wheeling’ and not pushing straight and parallel to the touchline are all actions to be penalised.

Tackle

· The tackler must release and clear away after the tackler.

· The tackler-assist must release in a clear and obvious manner before going for the ball.

· Arriving players must not go past the ball into an offside position and try to obstruct the opposition going for the ball.

· Players must respect the offside lines at the ruck and maul (the hindmost foot of their player in the ruck or maul).

· Arriving players not attempting to clean-out the opposition must demonstrate positive actions to stay on their feet.

· A player who uses correct technique but ends up off his feet after removing a threat is not penalised.

Assistant Referees at Vodacom Super Rugby level will also be called on to take a more involved approach to the game without becoming an interference or hindrance to the referee. This will involve greater monitoring of offside lines at the ruck and maul and infringements close to the touchline where the referee may be unsighted.

Issued by SARU Corporate Affairs

Referees scrum down for the Laws

South Africa’s top referees scrummed against each and were given master classes from top coaches as part of a recently completed four-day training camp prior to the start of the 2012 rugby season.

Former Springbok prop Balie Swart had SA’s top whistlers packing down to demystify the intricacies of scrumming while Rassie Erasmus and Rudolph Straeuli took referees through examples of their pre-match analysis. They also put the match officials through the same training drills used by many of the teams.

“Feedback from those attending – and it included referees with Rugby World Cup experience – was that the pre-season camp was one of the best of its kind they had yet experienced,” said South African Rugby Union general manager of referees André Watson.

“In addition to the technical Law reviews and input from experienced coaches, they also underwent fitness testing, completed the updated BokSmart programme, participated in a motivational/self-analysis presentation and wrote the National Laws Exam.

“I’m confident that our Super and National Panel referees are now well prepared for the season and I’m personally looking forward to the first blast of the whistle on opening day.”

Material covered at the SA Referees’ Camp at Konka included the outcomes of a recent SANZAR workshop.

“We’re committed to ensuring uniform application of the Laws across all of the rugby competitions in which we officiate,” said Watson. “We met in Sydney with our SANZAR partners in the middle of January and agreed on protocols for the coming season.

“While there are no Law changes to be implemented, it was a platform to review the highs and lows of last year and agree on common expectations for the coming year.”

The so-called ‘Big Five’ – tackle, scrum, offside, ruck, and maul – remain the priority areas as in previous years but with additional emphasis on the following points:

Scrum

· Alignment – front rows must be in a position to interlock on engagement; there must be no touching of heads.

· Early engagement – both teams must start the engagement process simultaneously on the referee’s call.

· Engagement angles – front rows must push straight and parallel to the touchlines; loose-head props must not ‘walk’ the scrum around the tight-head.

· Binding – front rankers must bind on their opponent in the appropriate manner; no hands on the ground for support.

· Post-engagement infringements – illegal wheeling on purpose, so-called ‘whip wheeling’ and not pushing straight and parallel to the touchline are all actions to be penalised.

Tackle

· The tackler must release and clear away after the tackler.

· The tackler-assist must release in a clear and obvious manner before going for the ball.

· Arriving players must not go past the ball into an offside position and try to obstruct the opposition going for the ball.

· Players must respect the offside lines at the ruck and maul (the hindmost foot of their player in the ruck or maul).

· Arriving players not attempting to clean-out the opposition must demonstrate positive actions to stay on their feet.

· A player who uses correct technique but ends up off his feet after removing a threat is not penalised.

Assistant Referees at Vodacom Super Rugby level will also be called on to take a more involved approach to the game without becoming an interference or hindrance to the referee. This will involve greater monitoring of offside lines at the ruck and maul and infringements close to the touchline where the referee may be unsighted.

Issued by SARU Corporate Affairs

Pure love Concert 14th Feb -Valentine’s Day

Bok Matfield on new Bok Coach Meyer

Victor Matfield’s dealings with the media have often been drenched in irony given his intrinsic intelligence and a world-weariness that will inevitably develop when a player has amasssed 110 caps for his country and an untold multitude for club, province and invitation team.

Earlier this week, he told reporters, tongue-in-cheek, that he would dust off his boots to make a comeback for the Boks now that his mentor, Heyneke Meyer, is coaching the Boks.

“Nah. It is not going to happen. It would not be the right call for me, even if it is Heyneke, and yes he is the best coach I have ever played under,” the 34-year-old said yesterday. “But I would not be surprised if he brings back some of the other Bulls guys that have ‘retired’”.

Matfield is talking about 30-year-old Fourie du Preez and 32-year-old Bakkies Botha, and maybe relative youngster Gurthro Steenkamp, all of whom are playing overseas.

“All I will say is that if Heyneke wants them, they will come back. I can assure you of that. He always gets his man,” said Matfield, who could well find himself employed as lineout consultant to the national team along with a bunch of the currrent Bulls management, namely forwards coach Johann van Graan, defence coach John McFarlane (the Englishman) and fitness coach Basil Carzis.

So what is it about Meyer as a coach that Matfield regards so highly.

“He can sell a dream to anybody. He really gets guys to believe in where he wants to take them and how he is going to get them there,” Matfield reflects. “He gets the best guys around him to assist and then expects nothing less that total committment from the players.

“How best could I put it … ? Okay, Heyneke knows that the recipe for failure is to try and keep everybody happy. He embraces the responsibility of making tough decisions. He won’t take crap from anybody. If you don’t buy into his vision, you are history. He drives the culture of the team incessantly, and if you waver from that, you are gone.”

Is he too conservative, too unflinching?

“No, because he thinks out of the box with the structures he puts in place at the start of each season. Players respect that the coach has done his homework on how the game will change from one season to the next,” Matfield says.

Some of the greatest Boks ever swear Meyer is the best

It was Theodore Rooseveldt who coined the phrase “talk softly but wield a big stick” to describe the USA’s foreign policy in the early 20th Century and it springs immediately to mind when you consider the coaching style of Heyneke Meyer, the composed, softly-spoken but fiercely competitive coach that on Friday succeeded the sometimes madcap and never dull Peter De Villiers as head of the Springboks.

Some of South Africa’s greatest Springboks – Fourie du Preez, Victor Matfield, Bryan Habana, Bakkies Both, Danie Rossouw – swear that Meyer is the best coach on the planet because of his calmness, meticulous planning but utter ruthlessness and conviction when making big decisions.

When he took over at the Bulls in 2002, he cut 12 disbelieving Springboks from the squad and the team lost 11 of its next 12 games before finding its feet and establishing a dynasty that harvested six Currie Cup titles in eight years and three Super 14 titles.

The reason he gave for culling all those Boks is heartening because it suggests that he will not make the same mistake that saw an ageing Bok team unable to defend the Webb Ellis Cup last year.

“I will not pick anybody who does not fit into the team culture. I had to do it again recently at the Bulls because some player became bigger than the union,” he explains. “It is something I am ruthless about. Players that think they are more important than the team must be replaced by newcomers who understand that paramount to me is an unmatched work ethic and the understanding that the team ALWAYS comes before the individual.”

Meyer, a sports psychology graduate from Tukkies as well as a qualified geography teacher, has a simple diagram that he shows to young players and whips out every now and again to nudge older players that need a wake-up call.

Victor Matfield explains: “Heyneke has these four quadrants he draws. The first one is where nobody pays you too much attention; the second is where you are starting to achieve success; the third is where you are winning everything but it is also where warning lights are flashing, because you don’t want to be in the fourth quadrant, where everybody is wealthy, content and interested only in personal gain.

“No player in a Heyneke team will be tolerated if he is in the fourth quadrant,” Matfield concludes.

Going back to 2002, Meyer was asked by the Blue Bulls Old Boys Assocision to resign; at the same time his father was undergoing heart surgery and his wife had been admitted to hospital for cancer treatment.

His wife pulled through, so did the Bulls … eventually and following his exit from the Leicester Tigers team he was coaching in 2008 – again for family reasons – he has had a period of blissfull existence behind the scenes at the Bulls as their Director of Rugby.

So why on earth plunge himself into arguably the most demanding job in rugby? Unfinished business after losing out to De Villiers in 2008?

“ Nothing like that,” he said yesterday. “The offer to coach the Boks came out of nowhere (when Gert Smal withdrew his application). “I was in a period of happy stability, and then suddenly was asked to coach the Boks. I never slept for a week but I kept asking myself, do I want to be on my death bed with regrets? If you are a coach you want to test yourself at the highest possible level, and I am a very proud South African, so really it was not a difficult choice in the end. I love the Bulls family, but ultimately coaching the Springboks is my calling and I would like to sum up the decision with this quote: “You live only once but if you do it right, once is enough.”

A criticism leveled at Meyer’s appointment is that he has not been a hands-on coach for three years, but anybody who knows his work ethic and passion for the game would be unperturbed.

“Look, I was disappointed, make no mistake, when I did not get the Springbok job in 2008 but I now know that it was not my time and that I am in a better position to coach the Boks in 2012 than I was back then,” he says.

“There are things Peter has done that I might not have at that stage, such as taking the game to the people, and I am grateful that I can now build on that. Peter has left a legacy that must be conserved.

“I am a wiser person than I was in 2008,” Meyer continued. “Every negative has its positive and me not getting the job gave me time to committ to my family while submerging myself in the game without having the pressure of having to win every Saturday.”

Meyer will have observed that the game has changed since he coached the Bulls to the Super 14 title in 2007, but he is not in the least bit bothered.

“It changes every six months – there is a new development and then it takes some time for a counter to be developed – but the basics stay the same and simplicity is always the best,” he says. “Currently the ball is longer in play, so you need fitter, more athletic players, but at the same time teams on defence are committing less players to the rucks and fanning out to stop attacks.

“So, yes, there are nuances all the time that you have to add or subtract from your game but the basics always remain,” the 44-year-old continues. “And, ultimately, your top echelon rugby games are less about elaborate game plans and more about the ability to absorb pressure, and you can’t do that if your basics are suspect. Conversely, have them rock solid and then you can add subtleties to your game that can make the difference between winning and losing.”

A million dollar question is put to Meyer: What did he make of the Boks’ quarter-final defeat to the Wallabies last October? What were his emotions as a rugby man, with no coach’s cap on his head?

“To be honest I did not see it,” he admits. “I was in the USA talking to gridiron scouts about their criteria for identifying and nurturing young talent.

“‘I also visited the West Point Military Academy where I interviewed soldiers and leaders who have been on the frontline in Iraq and Afghanistan to see how they deal with the huge mental pressure associated with being in battle situations. Like I said, It’s mental toughness that will win you the close games and that’s what I want to define my players.”

To that end, Meyer says he has carefully followed the current Springboks to identify those who have whar it takes.

“It is not easy for me, this job, because I am all about long-term planning and putting structures in place for long-term goals, but this has to be balanced with needing short term-results.

“What I will say is that I will get the players with the righ character in place, I will not cheapen the jersey with easy caps, providing each player understands that I am primarily about work ethic and team ethos.”

by Mike Greenaway
www.iol.co.za

Select 2012 Grammy Nominations

Album Of The Year:
21 — Adele
Wasting Light — Foo Fighters (-pictured below)
Born This Way — Lady Gaga
Doo-Wops & Hooligans — Bruno Mars
Loud — Rihanna

Record Of The Year:
“Rolling In The Deep” — Adele
“Holocene” — Bon Iver
“Grenade” — Bruno Mars
“The Cave” — Mumford & Sons
“Firework” — Katy Perry

Best New Artist:
The Band Perry
Bon Iver
J. Cole
Nicki Minaj
Skrillex

Song Of The Year:
“All Of The Lights” — Jeff Bhasker, Malik Jones, Warren Trotter & Kanye West, songwriters (Kanye West, Rihanna, Kid Cudi & Fergie)
“The Cave” — Ted Dwane, Ben Lovett, Marcus Mumford & Country Winston, songwriters (Mumford & Sons)
“Grenade” — Brody Brown, Claude Kelly, Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine, Bruno Mars & Andrew Wyatt, songwriters (Bruno Mars)
“Holocene” — Justin Vernon, songwriter (Bon Iver)
“Rolling In The Deep” — Adele Adkins & Paul Epworth, songwriters (Adele)

Best Pop Solo Performance:
“Someone Like You” — Adele
“Yoü And I” — Lady Gaga
“Grenade” — Bruno Mars
“Firework” — Katy Perry
“F***in’ Perfect” — Pink

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance:
“Body And Soul” — Tony Bennett & Amy Winehouse
“Dearest” — The Black Keys
“Paradise” — Coldplay
“Pumped Up Kicks” — Foster The People
“Moves Like Jagger” — Maroon 5 & Christina Aguilera

Best Rock Performance:
“Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall” — Coldplay
“Down By The Water” — The Decemberists
“Walk” — Foo Fighters
“The Cave” — Mumford & Sons
“Lotus Flower” — Radiohead

Best Traditional R&B Performance:
“Sometimes I Cry” — Eric Benét
“Fool For You” — Cee Lo Green & Melanie Fiona
“Radio Message” — R. Kelly
“Good Man” — Raphael Saadiq
“Surrender” — Betty Wright & The Roots

Best R&B Album:
F.A.M.E. — Chris Brown
Second Chance — El DeBarge
Love Letter — R. Kelly
Pieces Of Me — Ledisi
Kelly — Kelly Price

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration:
“Party” — Beyoncé & André 3000
“I’m On One” — DJ Khaled, Drake, Rick Ross & Lil Wayne
“I Need A Doctor” — Dr. Dre, Eminem & Skylar Grey
“What’s My Name?” — Rihanna & Drake
“Motivation” — Kelly Rowland & Lil Wayne

What an interesting J&B Met field this year!

What an interesting J&B Met field this year!
The wonder filly IGUGU from the esteemed MICHAEL DE KOCK yard would no doubt have been a PENALTY KICK if not for a setback or two en route to Cape Town a few weeks back, so she HAS NOT had the greatest prep for the race, yet remains a FIRM favourite, with the bookies and public.
If she’s anywhere near her best however, she WON’T BE BEATEN!

Looking past her, THE APACHE looks a serious threat. An express finisher, he should take to the Kenilworth track like a duck to water, and WILL be in the final shake-up.

Vaughn Marshall’s ultra-consistent TALES OF BRAVERY ran an impossible race in the Queen’s Plate, coming from the clouds to 3rd and looks a SHOE-IN for a place, but has drawn badly.

The best outsider is BEACH BEAUTY, who at the weights could see the fillies finish 1-2 in the race. She was 50/1 at one stage, but is now 12/1 and a BIG threat!

Queen’s Plate winner GIMMETHEGREENLIGHT is a classy 3yr old who will have to prove this trip is his chop – but will be running at them at the finish, and has a chance.

THESE, are the chief protagonists, in my humble opinion…

%d bloggers like this: