The Roar
The Roar


Roar Pro

Joined September 2014







Former player, coach and opinionator.



Roar Pro
Roar Pro

Japan must join the Six Nations

Before rugby union’s governing body gets callouses patting themselves on the back, World Rugby’s council and executive committee need to swiftly get down to work and hone in on one of its strategic goals: maximise commercial values and increase the financial sustainability of international rugby.

Roar Pro
Roar Pro

A new Louw

There’s a lot of blame to go around the South African Springbok side that ‘played’ against the Argentinan Pumas, but certain players are more notable than others. Francois Louw takes the ‘prize’ because he single-handedly missed two try-saving tackles.

Nice read Harry.
‘There is no other place I know that is so heavy with atmosphere, so strangely and darkly impregnated with that stuff of life that bears the authentic stamp of South-Africa.’ — Herman Charles Bosman in Marico Revisited.

'When you think they're done they rise up': Why Boks can shock the All Blacks

When I coached, and what I was always taught from day one, is that the FH orchestrates the attack. I reckon to do this, he needs to have great vision of the field and his weapons are passing, kicking and running. I’d rather go to war with a FH who has all three skills.

Springboks selections: Are we missing the bigger picture?

My error – appreciate the correction.

How the Springboks can overcome the All Blacks – and not just this year

SA Rugby Franchises are run like collective farms in the old Soviet Union – asking players and management to work as hard as they can for little in return and provide the state as much as possible – AKA the Unions and SARU. And as was the case in the Soviet Union, the system is breaking down. Enter free-markets and you get innovative ideas from business owners who are incentivized to grow their investment. One just needs to look at Saracens (and there are many other examples) and you can see the difference. Ownership worked with its local Council to renovate the local stadium in 2012. The club secured an 8 million Pound 6-year sponsorship deal with Allianz, hence Alliaz Stadium. Saracens generates additional cash from renting the facility out for special events. The club invests in high school rugby, has a robust marketing arm and a broad commercial partnership base. One can either continue to look negatively at the current South African rugby business model and lay it waste for any future growth, or step up and make a business out of it.

Japan must join the Six Nations

Would seem that way, but post-apartheid, the Boks have beaten the ABs only 36% of the time. Various SARU regulations over these years have prevented coaches selecting players who had elected to earn their keep overseas. While this is no longer the case, a much needed cash infusion is needed in SA Rugby to build a next-generation squad that can compete annually and that means beating the ABs more than 36% of the time.

Japan must join the Six Nations

Enjoyed the read Harry. For Rassie to be in a position to build a Bok squad on par with the ABs, SARU will need to be ‘reinvented’. SA rugby talent will continue to go north to earn their keep. Hansen has the luxury of building continuity; not so for this SA coach.

Springbok report card: How does Rassie rank?

…and may this not last nine long winters.

BBBBB in Wellington: Bok Belief Battered But Beautiful

Nice prose Harry; a test for the ages and great you were able to be a part of history to chronologize it for us all in technicolor.

BBBBB in Wellington: Bok Belief Battered But Beautiful

Corne – agree; it’s complicated, but your article and mine start a conversation. SARU needs to be privatized with owners of the Super Rugby Franchises given a seat on its board. With regards to the poor financial condition of many of the Super Rugby Franchises (not all), that’s my point: Financial opportunity is most rewarded when investors with vision can execute. Neither of us will document the exact blueprint for SA Rugby’s future, but we all agree it needs a makeover on a significant scale. To say that this is unattainable is to shut the door to any change. I hope that’s not the case.

South Africa's rugby future: now or never

It’s time for SARU to privatize and negotiate with SANZAR about shopping both the Currie Cup and Super Rugby franchises to local investors, or overseas ones. Let investors with deep pockets negotiate their TV rights and infuse capital into building economical and viable winning sides. For example, the owners of the Stormers also have rights to Western Province. This will help stem the tide of players heading to Europe for foreign currency. It’s not perfect, but it’s a heck of a lot better than the current situation where SARU and the unions are run by corruptible idiots with no sense on how to market a winning product and pay their players. Limiting the number of professional players is simply a band-aid on severed femoral artery.

Why I am considering handing in my notice to the SARU

Harry – if color is in question, the preference has to be Willemse at FH over Jantjies. It would take the act of one brilliant conjurer to re-write Jantjies’ test match stats. This is a player whose been given more second chances than Jacob Zuma could have ever wished for.

Play with the cards you're dealt

My 2 cents worth here is on Willie le Roux. He was way out of position on England’s first try in the 1st test and not much better on defense in the 2nd. He’s really a shell of his old self, in terms of when he first came onto the Bok side. I think Rassie would do well to drop him and Allende and see what Robert du Preez can do at FB and Jan Serfontein at center.

By the numbers: How South Africa won the skirmishes and thus, the war

Well written and thought through. My only 2 cents worth to add to all this is that the decline of the Springbok side can really be traced back to 2009, the last time they won what was then the Tri-Nations. No imminent quota system hung over the team back then; rather it was a strange culture where the players, particularly the ‘veterans’ ruled the roost, vs. the coach. Years later the joke became a reality: In order for an up and coming Bok player to earn his colours, his targeted replacement would first have to be injured, retire or die. Not much has changed.

A Black bridge too far

Here’s what justifies ‘failure’ as a head coach: AC still started with Jantjies in Salta despite the fact Jantjies had, in the most clearest of ways, demonstrated his inability to play the FH position consistently at international level. AC then doubled down and put Steyn on the bench – a failed strategy. He also still went with Strauss despite the absolute evidence he has lost his way. Take this stat: Strauss has played both tests in this Championship series this year – so a full 160 minutes. Over the course of these matches he has carried the ball 8 times and made 6 meters – let me say that again: 6 METERS over 180 minutes. You could put Strauss on a beachfront promenade and only maybe then could he improve his distance. His counterpart on the ABs, Dan Coles, has played 147 minutes (mostly with bruised ribs) against a stronger opponent and carried 19 times, made 80 meters and scored a try. Should I also mention he beat 9 defenders and made 3 offloads while Strauss made zero in those categories? This is clearly a coach with no direction.

Springboks display failed game plan of a failed coach

Get a life man. Cosatu is the least of the Boks’ problems. HM’s record is the current #1 problem. The ABs have won 10 of the last 11 tests against the Boks since 2010. HM has won a single test in 7 outings against the ABs. Beating the All Blacks is, by every measure, is the benchmark of a top performing international team.

My love letter to the Springboks

Each year it’s the same verse; the same commentaries – like working to find the right letters on a diminished scrabble board. The Boks’ board has ‘letters’ such as Steyn, Matfield, Bakkies and Jannie du Plessis. The All Blacks board is playing with letters like Brodie Retallick, Ben Franks and Cruden. Dan Carter? They can afford to even discard that letter. The point is that the ABs have been bringing up tremendous young talent and slotting them into the side over time – they’ve been doing this for years. And the powers that be at SARU? They wait until guys like Matfield and Bakkies retire and then it’s a mad scramble and that’s a little too late.

What went wrong for the Springboks in Salta?