Saru, WP set poor example

2007-07-23 10:02

Gary Boshoff

There were four things that happened this past week that left me dejected about the future of rugby and South African sport in general.

On Sunday I was greeted by a front page report in one of the Sunday papers that the 14 presidents of Saru's provincial affiliates will go to the 2007 IRB World Cup at Saru's expense.

I actually learnt about the possibility of this, months ago, but hoped that someone, perhaps one of the leaders, will show real leadership and cancel this unnecessary expense.

Frankly, the money can be put to much better use - a use that can facilitate the development and institution of more productive and accountable rugby structures than what the presidents' council presently offers.

I am dismayed that Saru has opted to spend its limited funds on individuals who will not be representing the organisation in any official capacity at the World Cup.

In the meantime rugby development and transformation programmes at many of the provinces represented by these presidents, will have to be content with leftovers.

I also watched the Blue Bulls v Western Province Currie Cup match on Saturday and was disappointed by the poor performance of the Western Province team under the leadership of Luke Watson.

Everyone expected WP to win this one - they had the most settled side and must have been motivated to do well after two successive defeats in the competition.

Poor example

Furthermore, they got two new coaches and in my estimation could only improve henceforth.

Great was my disappointment to witness the ill-discipline of the team, poor example set by their captain and the general lack of professionalism displayed by the team.

At some stage Watson was an inspirational leader, but on Saturday he was perhaps his team's biggest liability.

The lack of respect he showed towards the match officials and the unnecessary niggles that was brought into the match as a result, led to the degeneration of the game from a contest into a slinging match between the players.

If Luke is the future, WP need to revisit it urgently.

Staying with Western Province - it was also confirmed that Rassie Erasmus has been appointed as the new Stormers coach.

He apparently beat Gary Gold and Pieter de Villiers to the position.

I have to confess, for some reason I believed De Villiers would get the nod from the Stormers and WP Boards for this position.

My views that I hold on transformation are well-known and I have always argued that De Villiers is perhaps the best qualified black coach to coach a Super 14 team in South Africa.

I don't know - perhaps I believed he would be appointed because rugby in the Western Province is supposedly run by black people who have been campaigning for transformation and development all their lives.


I foolishly believed that they would eagerly seize this opportunity to fundamentally change the face of WP rugby.

How disappointing it must be for De Villiers, WP rugby and South African rugby in general.

Finally, I watched the SABC actuality programme Interface on Sunday evening.

It featured the Cape Town Mayor, Helen Zille and the controversial Bhutana Khompela on transformation in rugby.

The less said about this programme the better.

It was as poor a television programme as you could find.

All it did was confirm existing stereotypes and perceptions and did nothing to enlighten the viewer about the real issues facing rugby and the transformational challenge it is facing.

What was supposed to have been a weekend of celebration with the announcement of the Springbok squad for the sixth World Cup, left me dejected and depressed.

  • Gary Boshoff is a former Saru player and well-known rugby administrator.

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    • Juan - 2007-07-23 10:26

      Gary u really need counselling. I am even willing to send you at my own expense. Because reading your dribble week in and week out about transformation is like having a sore tooth that throbs all day and i wish i could just rip it out. Your columns are so racially slanted you should be embarrassed that race is the only yardstick you have to judge sports players and coaches.

    • niel - 2007-07-23 10:37

      Agree 100% with the the gravy train going to France. That's what you get when a professional sport is controlled by freeloading amatuers. Ditto for WP. Elected amatuer club reps running a professional sport.

    • The Ref - 2007-07-23 10:38

      Why're you hammering on about how poor WP was. I don't think I've seen anything/anybody as poor as the two refs on saterday night. Think province played a lot better, but they were hard done by the refs!

    • Dirk - 2007-07-23 10:41

      The only poor example here is you Gary for still wanting to put more money towards transformation, what do you guys want, the whole of the 2007/8 budget. Get real, so much money has been wasted on transformation, it should have been used to get a proper under 23 structure there so that the so called " lost" talent can developed even further and get them right for super 14 and CC, because they are definately not up to standard.

    • Dirk - 2007-07-23 10:46

      I believe that Luke is one of the best loose forwards there is, but he must stop playing "traffic" cop and show and shout what everybody must do and go back to what he was doing bets last season - FETCH THE BALL at the breakdowns. I agree that WP will only be playing better rugby and that the coaches must lay down the law this week and players not adhering must be made to pay for their indisipline. Note to Gary - get rid on Jantjes and play Aplon and find space for Brent.

    • ghert - 2007-07-23 10:53

      yawn yawn ! Enough with the issues and poor province! It's world cup year and the rest doesnt matter.

    • Honestly - 2007-07-23 10:54

      Well Gary, every article i seem to come across from you has to do with race. Are you at all bothered about the game in this country? NO, you are more worried about how many black players are on the field or the sidelines than anything else. You were probably left depressed because they didnt sack Jake and put De Villiers in now as coach...and then pick 10 players of color in the starting lineup. You are not concerned with our rugby, just politics....racisism at its ugliest.

    • biobot - 2007-07-23 10:54

      I am also depressed about Rassie leaving the Cheetahs. They were doing so well under him. And if Rassie decides to use Brent Russel at flyhalf, I might even be forced to start supporting the Stormers!

    • Johnny - 2007-07-23 11:04

      Gary, you sure your bad weekend was not caused by something else...? Don't know which WP/Bulls game you watched, but in my opinion the best game WP have played this season. Gary is certainly making a huge difference already and from here things can only get better. The niggles have always been part of WP/Bulls games and always will. Luke had a brilliant game. Sorry, but in this case, WP was cheated out of a victory by incompetent match officials. Open your eyes, mate!

    • tank - 2007-07-23 11:05

      gary, or whatever your name is.. i cant believe you wrote what you just did. between the three coaches up for selection, rassie is by far the most succesfull of the three. we are trying to turn province around. if you use your brain, then youll see that it was a clever bussines decision, because province cannot lose anymore money due to lack of perfomance of the team.YOU SHOULD CHOOSE THE BEST.NOT BECAUSE HES BLACK(COLOURED)Count your words next time before you end up with egg on your face.

    • Molly - 2007-07-23 11:09

      I was under the impression that De Villiers was going to be the next Springbok (Protea???) coach next year, I also thought that De Villiers said he wasn't going to apply for the Stormers position, I also thought you were punting De Villiers for the Springbok coach, surely taking the Stormers position would have left him out of the Springbok role.

    • lily-white - 2007-07-23 11:12

      Our Butana has made many racist remarks in the past but I fear that his remarks about there being only one non-white going to France (what about the 5 coloured guys as well as Akona selected on merit) may upset a few more people.As far as the "millions" that the players will be earning,I ask the question,how much will the (majority presumably black) Bafana-Bafana players earn by participating in the 2010 World Cup? I also reckon that Odwa Ndungane should have been selected instead of Willemse.

    • Mike - 2007-07-23 11:16

      Well Gary u said we are to celibrate the Boks team 4 the World Cup.Allu did was moan about other stuff.Why could u not talk about the team?U never even mentioned the selctions and gave us ur opion of the players ?I always enjoy ur thoughts on that.But ur losing focus on what u do best.Pls stick to rugby man.Thats why I read ur colum with such interest.

    • me - 2007-07-23 11:24

      The reason you are unhappy is because you only see colour like fat boy Khompela and now your struggle God Luke Watson is showing why he was not picked for the Boks and not because of some 3rd force in rugby, because he is not that great.Why dont you just sit back and enjoy the merits of game rather than the politics of color and you will remember why you love it again.

    • Stryder - 2007-07-23 11:25

      Gary your comment,"How disappointing it must be for De Villiers, WP rugby and South African rugby in general." Yet again confirms your racist heart. How can it be disapoinitng that arguably the best provincial coach in the country got the job. Oh of course he is white and afrikaans. Silly me.

    • Jason Marriott - 2007-07-23 11:28

      Hi, 30 South Africans picked for world cup... I would like to have seen Murry but only 30 places and Jake against all the odds I think has got it right. I wish our side the best of luck and regardless of what happens I'm sure they will make us proud. Lets stop talking about colour and start talking rugby. De Villiers should have got the Stormers job but he lost out to one of the best minds in rugby. My guess is Bulls (Meyer SA coach) or SA job will become available for De Villiers.

    • CTFS - 2007-07-23 11:29

      Gary Boshoff, I'm not sure which game you were watching, but I quite enjoyed the rugby dished up by province on Saturday. In fact, I'm willing to bet the majority of the fans left disappointed by the loss, but heartened by the manner in which they threw the ball around, playing rugby the "province way". Secondly, contrary to newspaper reports, Pieter De Villiers never applied for the position as Stormers head coach.

    • CTFS - 2007-07-23 11:31

      It's also one of the worse kept secrets in SA Rugby that Pieter De Villiers will be the next Springbok coach after the World Cup, so don't feel too depressed just yet.

    • Bok supporter - 2007-07-23 11:57

      Gatvol of ur views.I hope u get a transformed team.I will feel sorry for the black guys who deserve their spot and are world class,those selected for France,Habana, Ndungane, Willemse, JP, Conradie, Gunthro(wat an excellent bunch)who will play on a team that'll get thrashed.They don't deserve that.When u'r transformed team arrives and ur new emblem,u'll never see the presidents travel to the next world cup coz Saru won't be able to affod it. No ticket sales, no jersey sales...

    • Anon - 2007-07-23 11:57

      As I've said before, Mr Boshoff is not worthy of a columnist. Perhaps he is just jealous of not getting the nod to coach WP or perhaps the fact that he also missed out on going on a freebee to the RWC?

    • Sommernet - 2007-07-23 12:13

      Jou konstante gesanik raak nou net te veel.

    • Sean - 2007-07-23 12:16

      I know a good optometrist. He can really help with that eyesight problem of yours. (I have already passed his contact info onto to the TMO). I don't know what game you were watching (or if in typical Jouranlistic Style, you are just trying to stir) but province were the by far the superior team. The better team definatley lost on the day.

    • Andre - 2007-07-23 12:30

      I do not know if De Villiers is a good coach or not, he was very poor at the Valke and he is not too bad at under 21 level. I just do not think he has the credentials yet to be a Siper 14 coach or a Bok coach. Maybe a currie cup coach or vodacom cup coach?

    • Rugger Bugger - 2007-07-23 12:36

      Get over it Gary. The problems in SA rugby will never go away. Administrators ride the gravy train, lack of transformation, poor quality match officials, lack of a decent "system" or the willingness to cultivate a proper winning culture will be there for a long time to come. RWC 2007 will be another big disapointment because we just aren't good enough. Get used to it - or take up golf, darts or pool. You may derive more pleasure from that than from 'Bok rugby and its travails!

    • Leon - 2007-07-23 12:48

      You say watched the match between WP and Bulls but you don't mention the shocking TV ref decision and the absolute joke of Willie Roos's decisions at breakdown. I'm sorry but WP won that match in all aspects but was hard down by, by some really bad refree decisions. Finally how much change can you expect from a new coach in one and a bit weeks ?

    • Morne - 2007-07-23 12:55

      NOW can U see Gary why Jake NEVER wanted Luke is his Bokteam!!???How can there be discipline in a team when a spoilt brad is captain of a team!?? To be capt of any team u need to earn respect and the little respect there was for Luke is gone after a disappointing display by him.

    • Pierre - 2007-07-23 13:07

      Rassie is the best man for the job - he's proved it with the Freestate and the fact that the Springbok coaching staff value his inputs. Province played much better, but not good enough. Luke was fired up, but who wouldn't be against our arch enemies. The WP backline was inspirational with their running and commitment. Really good signs with which Rassie can do more. The Bok squad look very good and have 100% of my support. De villeirs will get his chance based on merit and not skin clour.

    • Charles - 2007-07-23 13:09

      Gary, it's time you woke up and realised where you are !!! You could not have been at Newlands or anywhere near a TV because you summed up the match at Newlands in the same way you keep taking pot shots at Jake & the Boks - blindly and stupidly. Support your national team !!!

    • Derek - 2007-07-23 13:12

      Province were pathetic on Saturday. Their lack of discipline cost them the match, with Luke leading the way shouting and waving at the officials whilst Steyn kicked the penalties and conversions. As far as the Stormers are concerned, I fail to see how Rassie is going to make it. At the Cheetahs he had two seasons of Currie Cup triumphs, yet very poor in the Super 14 (just above the Stromers on the log). So how is he going to do better with a team that last saw the Currie Cup in 2001?

    • tank - 2007-07-23 13:15

      how can you complain about picking the best coach when rassie is by far the best of the three!you said it, because he is not black enough! no disrespect to de villiers, but rassie is brilliant and to make such a statement just shows us your true colours.its because of people with your thinking that "transformation" in rugby will always leave a bitter taste in rugby fans' mouths. to turn province around you pick the best, not second stringers to make up the numbers of kwota targets.

    • Mike P - 2007-07-23 13:26

      Just imagine in a few years time rugby will be in the same boat as the government is now, asking Teachers and Nurses to come back to SA because your country needs you.

    • Andro Gagiano - 2007-07-23 13:29

      I totally agree with this! "Gary, you sure your bad weekend was not caused by something else...? Don't know which WP/Bulls game you watched, but in my opinion the best game WP have played this season. Gary is certainly making a huge difference already and from here things can only get better. The niggles have always been part of WP/Bulls games and always will. Luke had a brilliant game. Sorry, but in this case, WP was cheated out of a victory by incompetent match officials. Open your eyes, mate"

    • Athi - 2007-07-23 13:36

      As long as we don't have a black coach in the currie cup or super 14, the springboks will always be the All Whites. We do hv good black players, as we've seen in the past 10 yrs with our national u/19 and u/21 sides. Unfortunately, that's where the road ends for them, as they are deliberately denied opportunities to play currie cup and super 14. If they don't play in these competitions, how can the bok coach pick them?

    • X - 2007-07-23 13:37

      Why should it be disappointing that De Villiers didn't get the Stormers coaching job? Just because he's not white? Erasmus was obviously the better candidate. And WHY should rugby be transformed??! Just because the majority of people who watch and play it are WHITE?? Aff action is going to kill this country AND this sport..

    • Stoney - 2007-07-23 13:43

      may the Boks win till the final, so that the mighty All Blacks can humiliate them in the Worldcup final. And I hope Jake White selects his White (Jake White) players in the final. The AB still ows them for the corrupt 95 final as only SA can manupilate it.

    • BDW - 2007-07-23 13:52

      Please start being more positive about SA Rugby - if we can win the super 14, take a B side on tour and almost beat the Aussies and look in the best shape for a world cup since 1995, why must political issues be the focus in a potential world cup winning year. Bicker amongst yourselves next year, but this year get behind the green and gold no matter what.

    • Rugby Fan - 2007-07-23 13:57

      Your comments about Saturdays game show your total lack of knowledge when it comes to rugby or maybe you are blinded by all the white people on the team? Considering that they are second rate citizens and not worthy of Black South African support I am tired of your writing but read it anyway to see what crazy comments you will come up with? Surely news 24 is not paying you a cent for writing these articles because if they are they are paying way too much!!

    • KJ - 2007-07-23 13:59

      I agree with you Gary. I expected a whole lot more from province but they had a psyched up luny captain running around shouting at opponents and such school boy antics. As for de villiers - I cant agree more - no wonder NO transformation is taking place! And why Wynand"icanttackle" Olivier and not Wayne Julies? This frustrates us as supporters who would like to see transformation work. The same people who moan about it (administrators)are doing NOTHING about it!!

    • Peter Neill - 2007-07-23 14:01

      Gary, you just don't seem to get it! Development should have already taken place to create a larger pool of talent, from which the provincial or national coach can choose!! Stop confusing the roles of the elite coach. This country cannot afford mediocrity on the international stage! The Coach is there to help the team WIN!!!! It's NOT that Pieter De Villiers is not a good coach, It's simply that he would have the same problem as Rassie, if appointed coach! Loose your colour chip, PLEASE!

    • Andrew - 2007-07-23 14:04

      Some good points made in your article but absolute rubbish you wrote about the WP game.Some of the posters above said the best team on the day lost the game and I tend to agree with them.

    • jaco smith - 2007-07-23 14:07

      gary ... all you do is complaine , i have never read anything positive from you . you are obsessed with pieter de villiers , and the only good thing you say is when you say nothing at all . your a racist in the making as i have never read anthing from you where it wasn't race or color related , we will win this world cup and you will again say " if pieter were the coach .... " or " ... we need more black players" please realise it's 2007 (democracy) not 1987 . jacos

    • Zee - 2007-07-23 14:14

      Gary - I have to agree with the above readers that you are completely blind. I thought the game on Saturday was thrilling and of reasonable quality - perhaps if the refereeing were of the same standard you would have seen the highlights coming through. WP were robbed by a very poor team of refs, arguably the worst I've seen. Quit being so negative - nothing good will happen in SA Rugby with a stinky attitude such as the one you display is almost all your columns. Luke rox!

    • Hempies - 2007-07-23 14:54

      I don't know why people hammer on WP and transformation. Just because we don't field the players doesn't mean WP don't have the right structures in place. Just look how many non-white players are playing in the other Currie Cup teams. I really want to she how many non-white players would have played in the other teams if WP, Boland, EP and SWD didn't produce these players as 90% of the players are from the Cape!!!

    • Jack - 2007-07-23 15:06

      Luke Watson was never as good as he is being made out to be by certain circles on the fringes of rugby. It is unbelievable that the IRB player of the year for 2005 (Schalk Burger) had to be moved out of position to make room for this USELESS gloryboy. With that move alone WP deserves every hardship that has been coming their way.

    • Circus Master - 2007-07-23 15:17

      Ha ha ha!!! We have a clown in our midst...

    • Jack - 2007-07-23 15:36

      Saturday's game: everyone seems to be forgetting that the Bulls were playing without 17 top players. They fielded a 2nd string side in every sense of the word, and despite conceding 8 lineouts on their own throw, plus only having 45% possession, they won the game. Why? better captaincy, more maturity, particularly in defence. Never once did WP look like they could pull this one off. For those who felt that the WP backline played well - they were standing so deep they could have been in Durban!

    • Glenn - 2007-07-23 15:52

      I think stoney is stoned...

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