Heyneke hits back at Jake

2012-09-01 20:11

Springbok head coach says he knows what he is doing

Heyneke Meyer has flat-batted former Boks coach Jake White’s criticism of his coaching style in a calm and dignified manner.

This week, Beeld newspaper reported that White, now coach of Australian Super Rugby franchise the Brumbies, said Meyer’s coaching style is not one that could take the Springboks forward.

If Meyer’s Bok side was put under pressure, they would revert to the Bulls’ kick-and-chase tactic, White was quoted as saying.

White is known for criticising Springbok coaches and Meyer’s predecessor, Peter de Villiers, was always in his firing line.

Meyer said yesterday: “I won’t say that I am surprised. There will always be criticism. I will definitely learn from it when it is due.

“The guys that have been criticising have done a great job and it will be an honour to lead in their footsteps.”

Meyer, speaking at a press briefing after a Springbok training session in Johannesburg, credited White’s role in South African rugby but said he had plans mapped out and that inviting consultants or requesting help would be premature at this stage.

“Jake has done great things for rugby and he is a quality coach.

“I just want to do what’s best for the country and for the players and I know we are on the right track,” said Meyer, former Bulls coach.

The Nelspruit-born Meyer said most of the world’s top rugby sides, whether it be provincial or international, share the same basic tactics, but the difference lay with personnel and execution.

He cited New Zealand’s Sonny-Bill Williams as an example of a player who brings an exciting attacking element to a team.

Meyer faces the toughest test of his unbeaten run on Saturday when his charges clash with The Wallabies (Australia) at the Patersons Stadium in Perth.

“There is total romanticising of game-plans around the world and 80% of all game-plans around the world are the same,” he said.

“Most tries in Super Rugby came from broken play and turnover ball. It is not about kicking or not kicking. If you look at the top teams, the Brumbies kicked the most and everyone harped on about continuity.

“New Zealand kicked the most in the (2011) World Cup and won it. So did the Stormers and they topped the (Super Rugby) log.”

On Thursday, Springbok captain Jean de Villiers backed Meyer’s methods, saying that there was no dictator in the team and everyone had a buy-in.

The centre player has transcended both the White and Peter de Villiers eras.

“It is (White’s) opinion and we definitely do not feel like that.

It is a new coach trying to get a message across and game-plan that he feels fits this team,” said the 31-year-old speedster.

“It is also my job to relay that to the team. We are all grown-ups and we will stand for what we believe in and if we disagree, we will voice our opinion.”


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