Two weeks ago it was reported in the media that Bob Skinstad, ex-Springbok Rugby player, said that Heyneke Meyer is a dictator. Skinstad has since put the record straight and made clear what he had said and what he had implied. However today www.supersport.com and various Sunday papers reported on Meyer’s so called “Life and Death” speech. Here is a couple extracts from that speech/interview:
” Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer admitted that he may have made a mistake in letting Morne Steyn retain the kicking duties despite succeeding with just one out of five shots at goal in South Africa’s 21-11 defeat in their Rugby Championship clash against New Zealand in Dunedin on Saturday.
“Sitting here afterwards it is easy to make calls but it is a life and death situation for me and maybe I made the wrong call but Morne usually comes back and kicks well,” Meyer told a news conference after the match.
Springbok captain Jean de Villiers said that the decision to replace Morne Steyn as the designated kicker had been discussed at half-time but the decision was made to give the flyhalf one more chance.”
These extracts from News24's artcile:
Now looking at the article in total and these extracts one thing becomes very apparent, Meyer doesn’t allow the players to make decisions of their own on the field. If this was indeed the case Jean de Villiers could and would most probably have replaced Steyn as goal kicker after his second miss. With Ruan Pienaar and Frans Steyn both on the field and capable of kicking at goal it just makes sense to give them a go with Steyn struggling.
It is clear that jean first had to discuss this with Meyer and the staff before a decision was taken to give Morne another chance. A choice that Meyer claims was his. This in itself shows that Meyer has no confidence in his players ability to make decisions and play the game as they see it. Secondly the players dare not stray from the game plan and instructions given to them before kick-off. Many will argue and defend Meyer, but if this wasn’t the case why was Morne not replaced as kicker after his second miss?
Look at it this way: if there was a strong wind blowing like the one Friday night in Potchefstroom, it can be explained. Forsyth-Barr Stadium however had the roof closed which means no wind factor. Unlike Frans Steyn, who missed 2 kicks, and Johan Goosen’s one miss, Morne didn’t have a kick longer than 50 metres. That Morne is not on form must now be clear to Meyer and it is time to give him a rest. With that give the players a basic game plan, but also to choice to play what they see and feel on the field.
Back to my question: “Is Meyer a dictator or not?” Well Bob Skinstad might not have said it, but I have come to the conclusion: Meyer is not a dictator, but he certainly is not big letting people think for themselves either.
This is just my view…………..
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