Is Allister Coetzee the worst Springbok coach in history?

Harry Jones Roar Guru

By Harry Jones, Harry Jones is a Roar Guru

123 Have your say

    No Sprinboks coach has had a worse record with as many Test matches (22) as Allister Coetzee.

    No-one has shown such an ability to be blown away without any semblance of an effective adjustment to game plan or attitude during oranges.

    Nobody has allowed 114 points to be scored by an opponent in consecutive matches (the All Blacks in Durban in 2016; in Albany, this year).

    Never has a Springbok coach made more excuses, had more assistance, been given more chances (even after going winless in Europe, including in Italy).

    No South African rugby follower has ever listened to a less penitent coach after these horror losses.

    On each occasion, whether after losing to Argentina or being crushed by Ireland, Coetzee sounds bloodless, clueless, and spineless.

    Allister Coetzee South Africa Springboks Rugby Union 2016

    (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

    He begged for a reprieve in 2017 citing a lack of time, assistance, and support; and in return, in 2017, flush with all the aid he pleaded for, gave us record defeats.

    He cannot blame the exigencies of the quota (50 per cent by 2019 of the team cannot be white), because ‘self-deportation’ of white players has spiked, and Test-quality black players are slowly increasing.

    Most importantly, he selected Andries Coetzee at fullback, Jesse Kriel at outside centre, and Ross Cronje at scrumhalf after their unsuitability to Test rugby (in Kriel’s case, at that particular position) was clearly proved (Warrick Gelant, Lukhanyo Am, Lionel Mapoe, and Rudy Paige all were worth a shot, given 0-57 and 3-38 scorelines).

    Stubbornly sticking with Elton Jantjies as his form and confidence slipped farther and farther into mediocrity, and vacillating between a kick-chase and ball-in-hand 1-3-3-1 pod attack, Coetzee never seemed to use his bench with any acumen.

    Cape Town was a player’s revolt. Dublin was Coetzee’s insistence on his “way”.

    Timing be damned. Send him home. Pay him. Trust me, there’s money to do it. Move on.

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    The Crowd Says (123)

    • Roar Guru

      November 14th 2017 @ 7:46am
      Machooka said | November 14th 2017 @ 7:46am | ! Report


      • Roar Guru

        November 14th 2017 @ 8:28pm
        Harry Jones said | November 14th 2017 @ 8:28pm | ! Report


      • November 14th 2017 @ 9:24pm
        Ex force fan said | November 14th 2017 @ 9:24pm | ! Report

        No he is the most transformed coach. A true representative of what South Africa has become. A country where merit is not the prime criteria for selection. Transformation should never be implemented at the cost of merit.

        • Roar Guru

          November 15th 2017 @ 5:41am
          Harry Jones said | November 15th 2017 @ 5:41am | ! Report

          It’s like if you tell your son: go to a foreign land and find the prettiest girl to marry, but also check if she’s nice.

          He knows which factor is the real issue.

          Transformation plays the same silly game.

          Skin colour trumps all; even if the player is really from Ghana (Rhule) and is favoured over a man (Combrinck) whose descendants arrived in the Cape in 1652.

    • November 14th 2017 @ 7:49am
      Fionn said | November 14th 2017 @ 7:49am | ! Report

      • Roar Guru

        November 14th 2017 @ 9:38am
        PeterK said | November 14th 2017 @ 9:38am | ! Report

        If this happens then I expect the replacement will be either the worst or 2nd worst coach the boks have ever had.

        It will be another political appointment not a merit based one.

        • November 14th 2017 @ 11:30am
          Fionn said | November 14th 2017 @ 11:30am | ! Report

          I reckon the SARU administrators are now fearing for their own jobs. Hopefully they try to get Jake White back.

          • Roar Guru

            November 14th 2017 @ 11:34am
            PeterK said | November 14th 2017 @ 11:34am | ! Report

            IMO The head coach will be black for a while to come.

            They key though is to have the best assistant coaches regardless of race forced onto him.

            • Roar Guru

              November 14th 2017 @ 8:31pm
              Harry Jones said | November 14th 2017 @ 8:31pm | ! Report

              The embarrassment of huge losses might create a window of opportunity for less race-based thinking (only re coaches).

              • November 14th 2017 @ 10:39pm
                hopalong said | November 14th 2017 @ 10:39pm | ! Report

                We will beat the French through a mixture of shame and adrenalin,and everybody will
                tell us what a good coach he is.

          • November 14th 2017 @ 3:36pm
            Cuw said | November 14th 2017 @ 3:36pm | ! Report

            i think more than the coaching aspect , it is his selections that seem bizarre.

            for eg. just now he has replaced the injured prop with Thor !!!!

            and the English press says Rohan JVR has signed up with Sale Sharks !!

            few days ago Nic Mallett questioned his selection policy – highlighting the selection of a “white scrum half” on the wing , when there are enuf colored wings .

            • November 14th 2017 @ 4:43pm
              Bakkies said | November 14th 2017 @ 4:43pm | ! Report

              Janse van Rensburg has been confirmed with Sale for a 3 month stint

              • Roar Guru

                November 14th 2017 @ 10:09pm
                Harry Jones said | November 14th 2017 @ 10:09pm | ! Report


                Not sure Rohan is as great as his fans do, but jeez he was in better form than DdeA!!!!

                DdeA cost us a precious win against NZ, and then was the worst Bok in Dublin (hard to achieve).

              • November 16th 2017 @ 12:16pm
                Pete Douglas said | November 16th 2017 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

                Harry, longtime lurker, but just now a Roar’er. I’ve watched the Boks since 1970. If there were ever 2 backs, couple years ago at least, that were deadset in the springbok tradition of say John Gainsford and the likes of Gerry Germushuys, it was van Rensburg and Combrinck. Even taking transformation quota’s Into consideration, why the Bok selectors would chose the fullbacks, centres and half’s they’ve picked instead of filling the white “quota” with quality and potential defies belief. That little blond bloke at half back against Ireland cannot be the best in his position in The Republic. His technical flaws in the basics of pivoting and ball prep for box kicking and passing off the ground hurt my eyes

              • November 14th 2017 @ 10:24pm
                Fionn said | November 14th 2017 @ 10:24pm | ! Report

                Who is the best 13 in South Africa? Would a 12. Serfontein, 13. Steyn combo be doable, or 12. Steyn, 13. Someone?

              • Roar Guru

                November 15th 2017 @ 8:26am
                Harry Jones said | November 15th 2017 @ 8:26am | ! Report


                I wanted to see 12 Serfontein 13 Am

                Vorster is v good, too

                But Frans Steyn is better than both and can play 10 or 12 or 13 or 15

              • November 15th 2017 @ 8:38am
                Fionn said | November 15th 2017 @ 8:38am | ! Report

                I think you need one of the centres to be a distributor. At the moment your centres just will not pass the ball.

                Who is Am?

              • Roar Guru

                November 15th 2017 @ 11:18am
                Harry Jones said | November 15th 2017 @ 11:18am | ! Report

                Lukhanyo Am, of the Sharks.

                He won 10 turnovers in SR.

              • November 15th 2017 @ 3:37pm
                Cuw said | November 15th 2017 @ 3:37pm | ! Report

                no Harry – Frans Steyn is not good at 10.

                Montpelier have struggled with Steyn at 10 while Cruden was injured.

                i even watched the match and it was clear to see he could not get them going.

                a team that has Doumolin , Nandolo , Nangusa , Mogg / Fall in the backs.

                but as centers Steyn and Serf combination is the one Montpelier are sticking to right now.

            • Roar Guru

              November 14th 2017 @ 8:33pm
              Harry Jones said | November 14th 2017 @ 8:33pm | ! Report

              Cuw, we lost a flank, so he added a lock, and lost a prop, so he added an 8 (after not having a real 8 all of RC).

              • November 14th 2017 @ 10:23pm
                Fionn said | November 14th 2017 @ 10:23pm | ! Report

                Uzair Cassiem and Francois Louw…. 😛

          • November 18th 2017 @ 2:55pm
            Kane said | November 18th 2017 @ 2:55pm | ! Report

            Bring back Mitchell!

      • Roar Guru

        November 14th 2017 @ 8:29pm
        Harry Jones said | November 14th 2017 @ 8:29pm | ! Report

        We read the same things last November.

        But it’s true that Rassie Erasmus’ arrival gives SARU an option.

        • November 14th 2017 @ 10:25pm
          Fionn said | November 14th 2017 @ 10:25pm | ! Report

          Reading and listening to Jake White’s interviews over the last few months it has seemed to me that he has been trying to set himself up as an alternative Bok coach if Coetzee loses his job.

          Imagine how different the 2008-11 period could have been if White had been rehired after 07, Harry? :/

          • Roar Guru

            November 15th 2017 @ 5:42am
            Harry Jones said | November 15th 2017 @ 5:42am | ! Report

            I would have loved it!

            But maybe Ackers could have been our guy since 2015…

    • November 14th 2017 @ 8:22am
      RT said | November 14th 2017 @ 8:22am | ! Report

      Harry, I know I’m not South African and thus can’t truly understand how your rugby works but the whole quota system thing seems very strange and anti rugby to me. I can’t fathom a more racist policy. You must have a team 50% non white. If any other country said you must have a team 50% non any colour they would be pariahs and teams would refuse to play them. By all means integrate but my understanding of rugby is you pick the best no matter colour, race or creed. I’m happy to have someone educate me on this but if i were a young white South African player i’d Be leaving my country to get a fair crack somewhere else.

      • November 14th 2017 @ 10:54am
        Blue said | November 14th 2017 @ 10:54am | ! Report

        What is currently going on has a whole lot more to do with incompetence than it has with quotas.

      • November 14th 2017 @ 11:35am
        ShaghaiDoc said | November 14th 2017 @ 11:35am | ! Report

        Surely a quota system is against RSA law that rules out racially based teams like the Maori All Blacks?

        • Roar Guru

          November 14th 2017 @ 8:53pm
          Harry Jones said | November 14th 2017 @ 8:53pm | ! Report

          It actually is, but guess who controls the courts? And guess what happens to people who question the long term wisdom of a shrinking cap on white players? They are tarred as racist. Even though the most consistent position (PFP/DA) from 1961-2017 would be to oppose any racial component to selection.

      • November 14th 2017 @ 4:31pm
        DavSA said | November 14th 2017 @ 4:31pm | ! Report

        RT we dont understand how it works either.

      • Roar Guru

        November 14th 2017 @ 4:55pm
        Charging Rhino said | November 14th 2017 @ 4:55pm | ! Report

        RT someone from another country needs to start the protest/ lobbying to not play SA teams (that are picked on racial discrimination policies).
        May as well be you to kick it off mate? 😉

        It happened in the 80’s when SA teams were in isolation due to their racial discrimination selection criteria. Today is slightly different as all races can be selected, but individuals are still discriminated against because they have the wrong skin colour to fulfil the quota policy.
        It’s no wonder so many cricket and rugby players have headed overseas.

      • Roar Guru

        November 14th 2017 @ 8:34pm
        Harry Jones said | November 14th 2017 @ 8:34pm | ! Report

        Yes, and WR just blessed it, by possibly granting SA the RWC. The ANC will love the “then and now” pics. But I’m not sure they’ll love being a minnow.

    • November 14th 2017 @ 8:28am
      Galatzo said | November 14th 2017 @ 8:28am | ! Report

      If Alister is the worst Eddie must be the best. This from today’s Guardian – “An ugly 21-8 triumph against the Pumas made it 201 wins in 21 Tests under Jones.”

      • Roar Guru

        November 14th 2017 @ 8:35pm
        Harry Jones said | November 14th 2017 @ 8:35pm | ! Report

        Eddie Jones should’ve succeeded Coetzee as Stormer coach!

    • Roar Guru

      November 14th 2017 @ 8:47am
      PeterK said | November 14th 2017 @ 8:47am | ! Report

      I would say the worst coach of any tier 1 team in the professional era

      • Roar Guru

        November 14th 2017 @ 8:36pm
        Harry Jones said | November 14th 2017 @ 8:36pm | ! Report

        Ouch. Probably right. Stubborn, nice, and devoid of passion or plan.

    • November 14th 2017 @ 9:06am
      Charl said | November 14th 2017 @ 9:06am | ! Report

      Yes. Yes he is.

      • Roar Guru

        November 14th 2017 @ 8:37pm
        Harry Jones said | November 14th 2017 @ 8:37pm | ! Report


        Now I expect huge losses

        I expect it!!!