All Blacks assistant coach speaks about Success

On Tuesday in the leafy suburb of Newlands assistant coach Ian Foster rolled into the press conference bang on time at 12h30 and proceeded to hold court for 20 mins in an engaging conversation, even having to navigate the proverbial silly question that always rears its head be it a visiting rugby team or music star “Please have you got some words for all you Cape Fans “ – cringe.

This writer went the more cerebral route and took a leaf out of the management books and asked the question about Success and how ,success can be a bad teacher.

Ian’s answer was short and crisp yet rather telling in that you measure success with results ( the world looks at success as a win or loss ) and you could even break a game down into sections as well .”The previous week we had a successful 1st half against Argentina yet the 2nd half was not as crisp.

“How successfully did we play ? Can we get better? -Yes we can. and that is what drives us.” remarked Ian Foster

Their is no complacency in what we want to do -We want to put on an 80 min performance ”

Ominous warning indeed even after the 57 nil demolition of the Boks in Albany a few weeks back.

“It was a special game,but we did not perform the week after that .”

“What happens in the past is poor indicator for future performances.” This test on Saturday will be special ,in fact all test matches against the Boks are special test matches .

“The Boks bring out the best in us for sure .SA vs All Blacks you have to be 100% otherwise you feel it.”

After Ian spoke Dane Coles and Sam Whitelock discussed forward play and getting the body and time clock ready for the week.

Not too much on the field running around is key this week and today Wednesday is the day off for the team .The All Blacks name their team on Thursday morning.

Personal reflections on Day 1 of the build up to Saturday 7th October -Springboks vs All Blacks

What a remarkable day on two sides of the Peninsula with the Springboks and All Blacks in town

-In the centre of town at 12h30 sharp the ever efficient Bok media officer rolled in the Bok coach old Alistair Coetzee .He looked pensive and proceeded to discuss how he thought the Boks did well on Saturday in their 27 all draw .

His body language spoke of a man under pressure and even the attempted odd piece of humour seemed to fall flat .

The Cape media are well known for asking the odd probing question with one member of the media gang asking is the Bok Coach a dead man walking? and what did he make of one of his team members outbursts on twitter .

I have never engaged with Brendan Venter ( he seems a nice enough bloke ) but being media savy I am not so sure.

His tweets got taken out of context and surely he could have put out a lovely comprehensive media release regarding the pros and cons of the Boks development instead of trying to debate the drawn match in 140 characters .

The meet and greet latter that afternoon at the Cape Town stadium also only had a few 100 people ,which is a shame ,because the players are decent men ,under a huge amount of scrutiny and the coach is not exactly putting out the most coherent or positive message .

I got told by one of my media colleagues from Durban the Boks will lose on Saturday ,It is only the margin that is in question and one can’t argue with that statement .

The Boks dont seem to have blooded enough players and given the bench players a good enough run and players who where in the frame like Curwin Bosch earlier in the season are now sitting twiddling their thumbs while other players namely Pollard come back into the team on reputation only having been out injured for a while.

BUT …Across town in the leafy suburb of Newlands the All Blacks rode into town like rock stars ( a 5 star hotel no less ) ..it helps when you have real currency at your disposal and they proceeded to turn on the charm offensive .

Steve Hansen spoke in glowing terms about the challenge on Saturday and how they love playing the Boks and he also spoke about the thinking of bringing some players over earlier, namely stars Sam Cane ,Ryan Cotty and Sam Whitelock et al, who could be seen sunning themselves on Camps Bay and visiting Mynt cafe over the weekend .

The challenge the coach remarked is to keep the top players fresh for the end of year tour of the Northern Hemisphere .Sam Cane was then rolled out to the media and again spoke of the challenge that lies ahead on Saturday .The pressure will surely rise during the week ,but I have no doubt the All Blacks want to build on the 57 nil demolition they did in Albany over the Boks two weeks ago

The stakes are high as the South African rugby public are an unforgiving lot and they want to see the Boks improve .

The last time the All Blacks played at Newlands was 2008 ,I was still at BMG Records , and now in 2017 some 9 years latter I get to go see the test match with my wife and daughter who is 17 and wonder if the Boks will take it up the nought again . They did in 2008 the score was 19 nil .

Steve Hansen knows what to do to get the rock stars to click .If they put on an 80 min display the score could get ugly.

Lets see what the fox has up his sleeve prior to selecting the team ,but he has all the aces and the joker to play with. Who will deal the first hand, Blacks or Boks.

Springboks v France in 2017 Johannesburg some pics

Pics from third and final Test of the Castle Lager Incoming Series against France at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg, won by 37-15 by South Africa and the series 3 nil

pic from SA Rugby

team pic below by Lee Warren /Gallo Images

and all the other pics are from SA Rugby

Squad of 31 ushers in new era of Springbok rugby

Allister Coetzee has named a new-look Springbok squad, including nine uncapped players, for the Castle Lager Incoming Series against Ireland, featuring three Tests in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth.

The uncapped players who have forced their way into the Springbok squad are Garth April (flyhalf), Ruan Combrinck (wing), Faf de Klerk (scrumhalf), Nic Groom (scrumhalf), Steven Kitshoff (prop), Jaco Kriel (flank), Bongi Mbonambi (hooker), Sikhumbuzo Notshe (flank) and Scarra Ntubeni (hooker).

Coetzee picked 17 forwards and 14 backs to report for duty on Sunday afternoon for the start of a two week-long preparation camp in Stellenbosch and Cape Town. The squad will gather in Stellenbosch for the first week, before they break for two days and then reassemble on Sunday 5 June in Cape Town.

Coetzee said he was excited and looking forward to start working with his squad.

“The announcement of the squad, while hugely challenging, is a highlight of my career and a result of a lot of hard work and a huge amount of planning since my appointment,” said Coetzee.

“The selection of this squad was based on rewarding form and exposing young and upcoming local players to the Springboks, which is why priority was given to locally based players. We have many experienced players still available for selection, but we just felt that the time was right to look at the next generation.

“Our depth was obviously tested in certain positions, but this also created opportunities for new players, who have found their feet at Vodacom Super Rugby level, and to make the step up to the Springboks.

“I was appointed to win Test matches and I believe we have picked the best possible, available squad to do that. During my recent visits to the various franchises, I witnessed an unbelievable desire and passion from our players to play for South Africa, which was really heartening.

“We will now start with our preparations in earnest in Stellenbosch so that we can be ready for Ireland in Cape Town in two weeks’ time.”

Coetzee did not name a team captain and said he wanted to work with the squad before making a decision in the week of the first Test.

“We have a number of captaincy candidates to consider and I will announce the name of the captain when we name the team to face Ireland in Cape Town in a few days’ time,” said the Bok coach.

Several players were not available for selection for the Springbok or SA ‘A’ squads because of injuries or Springbok Sevens commitments. They are JC Janse van Rensburg, Sti Sithole, Marcell Coetzee, CJ Velleman, Chris Cloete, Schalk Burger, Thembelani Bholi, Cobus Reinach, Jano Vermaak, Elgar Watts, Robert du Preez, Kurt Coleman, Handré Pollard, Harold Vorster, Cornal Hendricks, Andries Coetzee, Dillyn Leyds, Jaco van der Walt (all injuries or illness), as well as Francois Hougaard, Bryan Habana, Juan de Jongh, Seabelo Senatla, Cheslin Kolbe, Warrick Gelant and Siviwe Soyizwapi (all Springbok Sevens).

Furthermore, experienced scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar informed Coetzee that he is not available for selection for the June Tests.

“We were considering all the players on this list carefully but they are unfortunately not available. We’ve also had good discussions with Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell and I support them fully in their preparations for the Olympic Games in August even though some of those players were real contenders for inclusion in the Springbok squad,” said Coetzee.

Coetzee added that that four players not included in the Springboks’ match-23 for the first two Tests, will be released to the SA ‘A’ squad for their matches against the England Saxons.

The three Tests between the Springboks and Ireland will take place on 11 June at DHL Newlands in Cape Town, on 18 June at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg and on 25 June at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

The Springbok squad for the Castle Lager Incoming Series (alphabetical order):

Name Position Franchise/Club Test Caps
1 Garth April Flyhalf Cell C Sharks 0
2 Ruan Combrinck Wing Emirates Lions 0
3 Damian de Allende Centre DHL Stormers 13
4 Lood de Jager Lock Toyota Cheetahs 19
5 Faf de Klerk Scrumhalf Emirates Lions 0
6 Pieter-Steph du Toit Lock DHL Stormers 8
7 Eben Etzebeth Lock DHL Stormers 44
8 Nic Groom Scrumhalf DHL Stormers 0
9 Elton Jantjies Flyhalf Emirates Lions 2
10 Steven Kitshoff Prop Bordeaux (France) 0
11 Siya Kolisi Flank DHL Stormers 13
12 Jaco Kriel Flank Emirates Lions 0
13 Jesse Kriel Centre Vodacom Bulls 11
14 Patrick Lambie Flyhalf Cell C Sharks 50
15 Willie le Roux Fullback Cell C Sharks 34
16 Francois Louw Flank Bath (England) 43
17 Frans Malherbe Prop DHL Stormers 12
18 Lionel Mapoe Centre Emirates Lions 1
19 Bongi Mbonambi Hooker DHL Stormers 0
20 Tendai Mtawarira Prop Cell C Sharks 75
21 Lwazi Mvovo Wing Cell C Sharks 15
22 Sikhumbuzo Notshe Flank DHL Stormers 0
23 Scarra Ntubeni Hooker DHL Stormers 0
24 Trevor Nyakane Prop Vodacom Bulls 23
25 Rudy Paige Scrumhalf Vodacom Bulls 2
26 JP Pietersen Wing Cell C Sharks 66
27 Julian Redelinghuys Prop Emirates Lions 2
28 Jan Serfontein Centre Vodacom Bulls 26
29 Adriaan Strauss Hooker Vodacom Bulls 54
30 Duane Vermeulen No 8 Toulon (France) 35
31 Warren Whiteley No 8 Emirates Lions 3

Issued by SA Rugby Corporate Affairs

Not an April fools joke -Bok coach to be hopefully unveiled on 1 April

IN what is apparently not an April Fool’s joke, SA Rugby will announce the new Springbok coach on April 1 following a meeting of the general council on that date, with the issue of Springbok coach top of the agenda.

Yesterday the national governing body released a statement confirming that they have identified a successor to Heyneke Meyer and it is now a case of the council ratifying the choice.

It will almost certainly be Allister Coetzee, the assistant to Jake White between 2004 and 2007, the year the Boks won the Rugby World Cup in Paris. Coetzee was overlooked for the job in 2008, with Peter de Villiers a controversial choice. Coetzee went on to coach the Stormers until last year when he was pretty much given the elbow after failing to add an attacking edge to a Stormers side that ultimately stagnated in Super Rugby under his coaching.

Coetzee, now coaching in Japan, has said that he is available and hungry to coach the Boks.

(Pic -Coetzee with OTC team on Heart 104.9fm every Sat 9-10am}

But it is possible, but unlikely, that Coetzee might have been pipped by outsider Rassie Erasmus, the former Springbok flank, Cheetahs coach, and current Saru High Performance manager.

Nothing is ever clear when Erasmus is concerned and there have been conflicting reports in the media about his availability for the job. At one stage it seemed fait accompli that Erasmus would at least be caretaker coach of the Boks for the June series against touring Ireland, only for him to then say he was unavailable. But then last week Rapport newspaper quoted a Saru source as saying Erasmus had already started planning for Ireland …

Whether it is Coetzee or Erasmus, SA Rugby has made their choice.

“The high performance committee examined a list of potential coaches and identified their preferred candidate against a set of pre-determined criteria,” SA Rugby president Oregan Hoskins commented,” probably in response to growing media criticism that SA Rugby is vacillating on vital issues.

Indeed, South African rugby has been besmirched with controversy this year, notably the alleged tussle between Hoskins and his CEO, Jurie Roux.

“In broad terms we were looking for someone with a proven track record at an elite level, someone who would embrace the objectives of our strategic transformation plan, and someone who would understand the public demands of the job and what that entails,” SA Rugby said.

And that just about precludes Erasmus, who has just two years as coach of the Cheetahs in his coaching CV.

“The executive council accepted the high performance committee’s recommendation some time ago and the preferred candidate’s name will now be set before the general council.”

by Mike Greenaway

Looks a wonderful read Dan Carter -My Story

Looking forward to reading the book
Just bought it on Kindle..

Christmas 2015 sorted

NO PAY FOR NO PLAY FOR ERRANT SHARKS RUGBY PLAYERS

Sharks players that are suspended from rugby because of foul play will now be docked their wages.

This was the no-nonsense resolution passed at a meeting of the Board of the Sharks Directors at Kings Park yesterday.

The notorious disciplinary record of the Sharks in Super Rugby this year – three red cards and three yellows – was high on the agenda and the Board has shown firm leadership in clamping down on the issue by warning the players that they will be hit where it hurts most if they irresponsibly transgress – in their pockets.

Chairman of the Board Stephen Saad told The Mercury that the Board agree fully with the public that the reckless behaviour of some of the players is intolerable. Saad went further and said that the suspensions given to the players by organising body SANZAR is not enough.

“We have decided that going forward there must be a policy of ‘no pay for no play’ should a player be suspended for foul play,” said Saad, who is one of the country’s leading captains of industry with his pharmaceutical company, Aspen.

Saad said this would be a prerequisite in future player contracts at the Sharks and that the current players would be “asked” to have the clause accepted into their contracts.

“The Sharks Board agree that red cards and dirty play cannot be condoned and it is unacceptable that this behaviour be associated with the Sharks brand,” Saad said. “We endorse the executive management’s suggestion that the current censure (suspension from playing) is inadequate and can confirm that further sanction on the players has been taken over and above that served from SANZAR.

“To this end we consulted legal counsel with regarding ‘no play-no pay’ for red cards,” he continued. “We feel this new censure is appropriate and will have the necessary teeth.”

The Sharks have lost senior players in Bismarck du Plessis (four weeks for a kick to the head), Frans Steyn (five weeks for a tip tackle) and Jean Deysel (seven weeks for a knee to the head) plus have had three other sinbinned.’

Jean Deysel sent off during the Crusaders game in Durban on Easter Saturday

As it stands, the suspended players are on full pay. It is known that senior Springbok can earn up to R500 000 a month from provincial and national contracts, a fortune however you look at it but particularly if he is idle at home because of a reckless act on the field.

It is not going to happen again at the Sharks.

The three afore-mentioned players are part of the seven-man player leadership group and all have captained the team, and with another member of the group, Patrick Lambie, injured for six weeks, the impact of the suspensions has surely been keenly felt by the squad and the coaching staff, who count on the support of the leadership group.

But it was not all doom and gloom at the meeting. Saad said the good news was that there has been a financial recovery over the last year or so under CEO John Smit.

“At the KZNRU AGM the consolidated accounts showed a financial turnaround of nearly R22 million in a single year,” he said. “The largest part of this turnaround can be attributed to the Sharks’ financial improvements. John has not only managed his expenses well and implemented the needed governance but has been instrumental in driving the sponsorship revenue.

“This was sorely needed to underpin the investment we need to make in our squad to help impact the future strength of Sharks rugby.”

The Sharks face a must-win game against the Bulls at Kings Park on Saturday. They have slipped to ninth on the overall standings and have lost their last two games.

“On the rugby front the Board recognises that we are not where we would like to be but need to acknowledge that John and his team in less than two years have won a Currie Cup, been in a Currie Cup semi-final with a very young squad and topped the SA Conference in Super Rugby last year for the first time.”

by Mike Greenaway

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