Allister agonises as the SARU makes the ARU look good

Harry Jones Roar Guru

By Harry Jones, Harry Jones is a Roar Guru

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105 Have your say

    Breaking up gracefully with the Boks ain’t easy. Jake White took shattered Kamp Staaldraad survivors and won a World Cup, but he was exiled for being too proud.

    Nick Mallet won seventeen Tests on the trot, but was fired for suggesting lowering ticket prices could broaden support.

    Pieter de Villiers won a Tri-Nations title by beating the All Blacks three times in one season and took the Boks to world number one again, but is now considered lucky to bag the Zimbabwe job.

    Heyneke Meyer’s team came within two points of beating one of the best rugby teams in history in a World Cup semi-final, and now he organises high school festivals.

    Thus, the latest Bok coach departure drama has historical precedent. But Allister Coetzee has abysmal on-field results to use in his public biff with SARU.

    He was the first Bok coach to lose a Test at home to Ireland. His team lost twice to Wales, gave up 57 points to New Zealand twice (once, in Albany, without even registering a point in return), had the worst year in history (2016: eight losses), caught a 3-38 hiding to Ireland even after two years of team-building, and lost to Italy.

    Allister Coetzee South Africa Springboks Rugby Union 2016

    (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

    If White, Mallet, P-Div, and Meyer were trashed after winning top 1-2 status, why would ‘Toetie’ (or ‘Kootchie Koo’) be treated kindly?

    Coetzee has made a number of arguments as to why he is special; some of them even made in writing in a shocking 19-page missive to his employer.

    Toetie does not argue that his 44 per cent win ratio was really just a missed Elton Jantjies drop goal in Perth and a missed Jantjies penalty in Port Elizabeth away from meeting his (surprisingly low) 50 per cent win requirement. That might have been an interesting argument: the old draw-is-not-a-loss theory or “I can’t make the kick; Elton has to” approach.

    Presumably, Coetzee’s lawyers avoided any talk of win (or not-loss) ratios because they wish to claim he had no enforceable performance clause. Also, to make his other race-based conspiracy claims, it might have been awkward to cast Jantjies as the brown tool of white racists.

    Coetzee instead chooses to argue SARU really wanted a white coach, so they fired Meyer and hired him as a ‘ceremonial’ cover, but set him up to fail by providing fewer massages to players, less psychological therapy, allowing 257 Saffa pros to play overseas, and by giving him less support in general.

    His rant, extraordinary even by South African rugby drama standards, effectively ends any chance of any other national body hiring Kootchie Koo as a head coach. But he and his lawyers must believe that ship has already sailed. Thus, his letter is probably only for short-term gain.

    A payout, by revealing more proof of what must already be obvious: SARU is the worst administrative group in top tier rugby.

    The ARU looks like a smoothly-oiled super-machine compared to SARU. Just take ‘ARU’ and add ‘Silly’ to the front.

    SARU cannot even produce a signed version of the 50 per cent clause (and why was it only 50 per cent?).

    Their chief executive allegedly had off-the-record conversations with Coetzee that are now the fuel for Coetzee arguing SARU essentially replaced him with Rassie Erasmus before doing Coetzee’s review.

    And at this point, Eddie Jones has prepared more for the June tour than the Boks.

    England rugby union coach Eddie Jones

    (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara, File)

    Yet, as sloppy as SARU is and was, Coetzee’s excuses for only winning 11 Tests in two years are even sloppier.

    He explained 2016 by not having enough time to prepare, but he had the same time as Jones did with England and had better familiarity with his players, after coaching Western Province for seven years.

    He used the same excuse in 2017, because he was in limbo, but the Boks were unbeaten after the first six Tests, falling apart in the second half.

    To play the race card now is rich. Coetzee rejected P-Div’s plea to help the Stormers, and Coetzee picked marginal to poor Test-level players like Ruan Dreyer, Andries Coetzee, a series of non-eighthmen, Ross Cronjé, Jesse Kriel (poor at 13 in defence), in place of promising black Super Rugby stars like Lukhanyo Am, Warrick Gelant, Nizaam Carr, and Rudy Paige (not great, but worth a look, as Cronjé slowly crabbed the Bok attack into the doldrums).

    He also persisted with the Matador, Raymond Rhule (who missed more tackles than he attempted in Albany) when really good black options at wing abounded.

    Coetzee was the sole selector for two years. His game plans were on trial. He failed, dismally,

    Now he claims it was all a trap. If so, and it’s a trap which would have required strange race-motivated collusion by Jantjies, Rhule, Tendai Mtawarira, Cortnall Skosan, and Siya Kolisi, we now have a better idea why so many coaches had an easy time trapping Coetzee tactically.

    He was promoted two levels above his skill set.

    And the soap opera that is Bok coaching succession continues. Same as it ever was.

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    The Crowd Says (105)

    • Columnist

      February 2nd 2018 @ 3:15am
      Nicholas Bishop said | February 2nd 2018 @ 3:15am | ! Report

      Interesting, strong stuff H.

      I think two years is quite long enough for anyone to gauge whether you’ve a chance of success at the required level – and there is no excuse for a Springbok side to be routed, let alone nilled… ever, by anyone.

      If you ask the question, where would SA have gone with Coetzee at the helm in 2018? – it’s not easy to provide a positive answer.

      • February 2nd 2018 @ 8:39am
        Fionn said | February 2nd 2018 @ 8:39am | ! Report

        Lack of $$$ to pay out his contract might be the only reason. Hopefully they sort something out though and Rassie can steady the ship as South African rugby fans deserve better.

        Although that would be dark for the Wallabies as our record against Coetzee’ Boks stand at 1 win, 1 loss and 2 draws.

        • Roar Guru

          February 2nd 2018 @ 4:59pm
          Harry Jones said | February 2nd 2018 @ 4:59pm | ! Report

          The money is there, under someone’s mattress…

          • February 6th 2018 @ 5:14pm
            Superba said | February 6th 2018 @ 5:14pm | ! Report

            ….the mattress is in a Swiss hotel .

        • February 3rd 2018 @ 10:51pm
          Bakkies said | February 3rd 2018 @ 10:51pm | ! Report

          ‘Lack of $$$ to pay out his contract might be the only reason.’

          and performance clause to sack him without a payout.

      • Columnist

        February 2nd 2018 @ 8:55am
        Geoff Parkes said | February 2nd 2018 @ 8:55am | ! Report


        It seems cuw’s influence is spreading 🙂

        • February 2nd 2018 @ 9:19am
          Rugby Tragic said | February 2nd 2018 @ 9:19am | ! Report

          I think you read every word everyone has ever written Mr Parkes, and obviously with an impeccable memory…. *S*

          • February 2nd 2018 @ 9:51pm
            Cuw said | February 2nd 2018 @ 9:51pm | ! Report

            it was quite recent , i think last Monday – so its fresh in GP s mind.

        • February 2nd 2018 @ 10:52am
          Highlander said | February 2nd 2018 @ 10:52am | ! Report

          I would add, one does not ‘medal’ at the Olympics, nor ponder how one did in ‘the cook’ in reality shows ( my thanks to mrs highlander for the second)

          Can except language evolves, but really.

          • Roar Guru

            February 2nd 2018 @ 11:48am
            Derm McCrum said | February 2nd 2018 @ 11:48am | ! Report

            One can ‘except’ language evolves, accept if the person comenting on it makes a misstake in doing sow. 😉

            • Roar Rookie

              February 2nd 2018 @ 11:56am
              piru said | February 2nd 2018 @ 11:56am | ! Report

              Or perhaps expect?

            • February 2nd 2018 @ 12:09pm
              Highlander said | February 2nd 2018 @ 12:09pm | ! Report

              Haha oops

              • February 2nd 2018 @ 4:15pm
                MitchO said | February 2nd 2018 @ 4:15pm | ! Report

                to err is humin

            • February 2nd 2018 @ 9:52pm
              Cuw said | February 2nd 2018 @ 9:52pm | ! Report

              isnt a “SOW” a female pig? 😛

        • February 2nd 2018 @ 11:16am
          aussikiwi said | February 2nd 2018 @ 11:16am | ! Report

          After “medalling”, and even worse, “podiuming” it was downhill all the way.

        • Columnist

          February 2nd 2018 @ 6:38pm
          Nicholas Bishop said | February 2nd 2018 @ 6:38pm | ! Report

          But I don’t have a smartphone and send my comments as I walk along the high street Geoff (he pleads)… 😀

          • Columnist

            February 2nd 2018 @ 7:45pm
            Geoff Parkes said | February 2nd 2018 @ 7:45pm | ! Report

            Probably the best way to be too Nick!

        • February 2nd 2018 @ 9:49pm
          Cuw said | February 2nd 2018 @ 9:49pm | ! Report

          now u guys may want to check this one out, all in the name of language and accents ( Yorkshire in this case !)

          ” Simply LoveLeh Brotherhood ”

          OWC ( Open With Care) , NSFW (Not Suitable For Work) etc etc.

          the reason the site came to focus is becoz quite a few footy players have been mimicking its trademark.

          those in UK may have an idea ….. 🙂

        • February 3rd 2018 @ 2:30am
          ThugbyFan said | February 3rd 2018 @ 2:30am | ! Report

          When I was in San Francisco USA, my neighbour told me she had been “burgularised” and warned me to be careful. I politely asked her “had the police not caught the burgulariser?”.

          Poor lady never realised I was taking the P. 🙂

    • Roar Guru

      February 2nd 2018 @ 3:53am
      Kia Kaha said | February 2nd 2018 @ 3:53am | ! Report

      I kept wanting to see the Ha! icon at the top of the page but sadly even you, Harry, aren’t capable of making this stuff up.

      • Roar Guru

        February 2nd 2018 @ 6:03am
        Harry Jones said | February 2nd 2018 @ 6:03am | ! Report

        It’s farce, now

      • February 2nd 2018 @ 10:08pm
        Cuw said | February 2nd 2018 @ 10:08pm | ! Report

        @ Kia Kaha

        what is happening to ur centers ??

        SETA TAMANIVALU the latest to go to France – Bordeaux .

        Moala and Ngatai already signed up for Clearmont and Lyon.

        Bordeaux also signed Semi Semi Radradra from Toulon for next season – yummy 😀

    • Roar Guru

      February 2nd 2018 @ 3:59am
      Harry Jones said | February 2nd 2018 @ 3:59am | ! Report

      Yes, NB. I believe he knows it, deep down, but is so embarrassed he is not thinking well (or long term) in his approach. He could still land decently in Japan, but even that could be in jeopardy if he keeps lobbing nonsensical grenades into the public sphere.

      He had a load of talent to work with…

    • Roar Guru

      February 2nd 2018 @ 4:53am
      Machooka said | February 2nd 2018 @ 4:53am | ! Report

      Well expressed Harry… as there’s a simmering undertone of pure outrage here that you’ve managed to keep the lid on.

      I have no idea what Coetzee is on about with his allegations, conspiracies, except to say that they appear to be as far-fetched as far-fetched can be. And while his demise as coach of the Bok began before he probably started, in his eyes, he’s obviously clutching for straws in the position he’s now found himself in. To me he appears very proud which is to his detriment… sadly.

      And such as sad is your last para!

      • Roar Guru

        February 2nd 2018 @ 5:23am
        Harry Jones said | February 2nd 2018 @ 5:23am | ! Report


        The Greeks (of Athens, not Melbourne) talked about this…

        • Roar Guru

          February 2nd 2018 @ 5:49am
          Machooka said | February 2nd 2018 @ 5:49am | ! Report

          Nemesis! 🙂

    • Roar Guru

      February 2nd 2018 @ 5:07am
      Machpants said | February 2nd 2018 @ 5:07am | ! Report

      Coetzee has a point on the assistant part, having assistants with virtually no experience forced on him was awful. But that had been rectified over the last year.

      Both the SARU and RA are utter Muppets. Really they should become regional arms of the NZRU, that’ll sort them out 😉

      • Roar Guru

        February 2nd 2018 @ 8:23am
        Harry Jones said | February 2nd 2018 @ 8:23am | ! Report

        And yet, he accepted those conditions when he signed. He wanted the job too much…

    • February 2nd 2018 @ 6:26am
      mania said | February 2nd 2018 @ 6:26am | ! Report

      yet no mention of the more stringent quotas he had to work under

      • Roar Guru

        February 2nd 2018 @ 8:26am
        Harry Jones said | February 2nd 2018 @ 8:26am | ! Report

        Kootchie Koo started Andries Coetzee instead of Warrick Gelant (or switching Dillyn Leyds back) and never gave Lukhanyo Am a chance; persisting with no-pass Jesse Kriel. He also spurned Nizaam Carr, choosing to mix and match 8s. The team really could’ve/should’ve been “blacker.”

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