Sacking BOK Coach Coetzee would be like putting an elastoplast on an amputation.

It is as simple as this. If the South African Rugby Union was listed on the stock exchange, the Board of Directors would be fired. The investors would have looked at the plunging stock, the disappearing dividends, and heads would roll.

There is no sentiment in business. Not when there is cold cash involved and expectant investors.

Are we taking it too far in saying that the Springboks are far more than sport and a business and that the Saru Board should fall on its sword?

Of course not. And when we are talking about a brand as internationally famous as the Springboks, the economic impact of a brand in free-fall becomes more complicated.

There are the direct stakeholders, the title sponsors and a whole bunch of supporting financial contributors that have their name attached to the Boks but, perhaps even more importantly, there is the countless multitude of “silent investors” that are the supporters.

The folk who buy (and burn!) the supporters jerseys and pay large sums to watch their team in stadiums around the world.

Springbok matches are watched by South Africans in virtually every city in the world. I have found a pub to watch a Springbok match in Bangkok and New York, others will have found a live screening in a startling array of arenas across the globe.

The Boks are big business. Those green and gold jerseys surface all around the world when the Boks play.

But what if more immediate supporters, those in South Africa, just stopped going to watch the Boks get humiliated …. again?

It is not debatable that the Boks are at their lowest ever ebb. Yes, they have lost a number of matches in a season before, such as in 1965 when there were seven losses and just one win (which was against the All Blacks) but that has been against top class opposition.

This year, the scale of the losses has been horrible, and how on earth can a Springbok team possibly lose to a very poor Italy team?

The easy target is Allister Coetzee and yes, he has been proved terribly out of his depth, but I feel sympathy for him and my sentiment is that the buck should stop with the Board that appointed him in the first place.

Allister was never going to be a success. And especially with the backroom staff that he was (mostly) given. I have nothing against Mzwandile Stick but how can he come from absolutely nowhere to coach the backline of the Boks? We know that it is because the coaching staff of Heyneke Meyer was seen to be too white.

Why on earth not continue with Ricardo Loubscher, one of Heyneke Meyer’s assistants who had spent four years with the Boks and is highly regarded? He would have been a merit appointment and offered continuity.

This is just one point among many that critics could make.

The bottom line is do not blame Coetzee for the blunders he has made this season, blame those who appointed him.

The stakeholders should be targeting the South African Rugby Union, not the hapless Coetzee. He did not appoint himself and he is surely doing his best.

But he was set up to fail by an amateurish Saru Board who did no forward planning – have they ever given that the Bok coaching staff changes entirely every post-World Cup year? – and appointed Coetzee almost by default. The suspicion is that nobody else could be found to take the job and the lateness of Coetzee’s appointment this year confirms that Saru were squirming ever since the end of the 2015 World Cup when they made it untenable for Meyer to continue.

Meyer did not want to leave. Yes he lost to Japan but in the end the Boks came third at the World Cup and almost beat the All Blacks in the semi-finals (18-20).

What would be soothing for the army of Springbok supporters worldwide (who can only voice their dissatisfaction on social media) is if the financial muscle that sponsors the Boks got together and read the Riot Act to the real culprits that are sinking South African rugby.

Sacking Coetzee, with no change among the green-blazered denizens of the Saru boardroom, would be like putting an elastoplast on an amputation.

BY Mike Greenaway

ENDS

BOK COACH MUST DO THE HONORABLE THING AND RESIGN

We could say the following in euphemisms, with kid gloves, if you like, but what the heck let us just say it like it really is: Springbok coach Allister Coeztee (AC ) must be fired by the South African Union the moment this Springbok team concludes an utterly miserable year that could conceivably have included with a loss to Italy (don’t joke), and then an almost certain loss to Wales in the tour finale in Cardiff.

It really is as bad and as serious as that. Rugby critics and luminaries have been saying this since June. Coetzee and his coaching staff are out of their depth and the issue is that the team gets worse each week, not better. This is quite possibly the worst ever Springbok coaching staff in 120 years of Test rugby in this country.

caption AC with OTC at Heart ( the short bloke in the middle ) with ran from 9-10am on Sat Morning

Coetzee heads a side that does not know how it is expected to play. Some of Coetzee’s selections are simply nonsensical, and the reality is that after 10 Tests in charge Coetzee simply CANNOT continue as captain of a ship that is going backwards.

There is no discernible game plan with an eye on the future. It is about picking a team each week that will do damage limitations.

A loose trio against England at the weekend comprising Willem Alberts, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Warren Whiteley? To be fair, that was about trying stop the England pack from bullying the Boks at the breakdown. But where was an openside flank to slow down the England ball and win turnovers for the Boks? Yes, there injuries in the position but heck this is about winning Test matches and I would have flown in Heinrich Brussow from Outer Mongolia (or wherever the heck he is …).

Coetzee must go now! There are still three years to the Word Cup in Japan. That is enough time for a coach like Johan Ackermann to come in and straighten out the mess, identify a game plan, pick appropriate players, and get the Boks on track.

The England victory over the Boks illustrates the point about how quickly a coach can make n impact. Less than a year ago they were the laughing stock of their country. They had had a very nice man in Stuart Lancaster as coach but he could not instil a hard edge in the England team and they failed to make the last eight of their own World Cup. England was a joke.
Less than a year later, England have won 11 games in a row under a feisty, fiery bomb-waiting-to-go-off Australian in Eddie Jones.

There is no more Mr Nice Guy. He picked as his first captain a hooker that had been regularly in the judiciary dock for dirty play, including biting. His point was that England would no longer back down from anybody. England are unbeaten under Jones and have climbed to No 2 on the world rankings

The Springboks, under the smiling Toetie, have fallen apart since losing by two points to the All Blacks in the 2015 World Cup semi-finals and well beating Argentina to the bronze medal (all under coach Heyneke Meyer).

In 2016 the Boks have lost six out of 10 Tests and conceded a staggering 31 tries.

How can this be? It is a disgrace that the Boks have conceded 31 tries in 2016. Well coached ….????!!!!

I am sick of hearing about the shock losses to Japan, Argentina and Ireland, as well as the whippings by the All Blacks in Christchurch and Durban.

Let me put this to you. If you were the Italy rugby team, and you obviously had seen the form of the Boks in 2016, would you not be licking your slips and slapping yourself together for a giant-slaying act? Would you not be seeing this match in Florence on Saturday as your World Cup final?

In over a 100 years, no Italian player has ever truly believed his team had a chance of beating the almighty Springboks. Quite right. Well I can tell you that every single Italian player will be believe that on Saturday in Florence they have a concrete chance of at last beating one of the game’s great giants.

Again, how can it come to this? How can it be possible that Italy will truly believe they can beat the Springboks, and if you are a Bok fan and are not worried … well you should be.

It is as simple as this. Allister Coetzee and his coaching staff are close to useless. They must be fired en masse asap so that the new staff have a full three years to coach the Boks back to glory.

by Mike Greenaway

Who will be the new Springbok rugby coach ?

It would seem there is no chance of the South African Rugby Union (Saru) making an impetuous appointment of the new Springbok coach and there are gathering reports that the governing body will go so far as to make an interim appointment until they have found the right man to take the Boks to the next World Cup.

Rassie Erasmus, the enigmatic former Cheetahs coach and current Saru High Performance General Manager, is hotly tipped to fulfill a caretaker role for the June series against touring Ireland.

Saru are tight-lipped on the conjecture and have said that while the matter of Springbok coach is on the agenda for their Council meeting in March, there will be “no comment on the Springbok coaching position until there is an appointment,” a Saru spokesman said yesterday.

The shortlist of candidates for the job is, to be facetious, rather short, and it might well have shortened even further if news out of Japan is to be believed regarding Allister Coetzee, who for so long has been the front-runner for the position vacated by Heyneke Meyer.

The former Stormers coach has been reported as saying he would “definitely be returning to the Kobe Kobelco Steelers next year”, although this could also be taken with a pinch of salt. If Coetzee is offered the Bok coach job, he could do an “Eddie Jones” and take advantage of an inevitable out clause in his contract with the Steelers regarding an offer to coach an international team.

Coetzee in white T Shirt -with OTC team on Heart 104.9fm..airs every Saturday from 9-10am

Another name bandied about is that of John Plumtree, the former Sharks coach and former Ireland assistant coach who is now second-in-charge at the Hurricanes, last year’s beaten Super Rugby finalists.

Plumtree has always said that he wanted to end his coaching days in Wellington, the New Zealand capital city that he often referred to as “home.” It would take a lot to lure him away from Wellington but Plumtree some time ago also told The Mercury that the Springbok coaching position would appeal to him.

Erasmus, meanwhile, has often stated that he does not want to return to the spotlight of a high-profile coaching job. But as a Saru employee, he might well be coerced into an interim Bok coach role for a three-Test home series.

Saru, it has to be said, are to be commended for not rushing into an appointment. Bok supporters want a winning team and it is imperative that Saru get it right. Time is on their side. Rugby World Cup Japan is just under four years away.

By Mike Greenaway

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