No amount of champagne, cakes or booze-fuelled parties can mask the reality of the what the ANC has become.
Mostly sunny. Mild.
Jannie de Beer lands yet another drop kick (Getty Images)
Multimedia · User Galleries · News in Pictures
Send us your pictures · Send us your stories
Robert J. Traydon
This weekend’s titanic clash between the Springboks and All
Blacks resembled all-out war. Had there been no referee on the field, we would
surely have witnessed a bloody spectacle last seen in the days of Rome’s
And this got me thinking … why don’t we adopt proven warfare
strategy into South African rugby?
As a contrarian thinker, it’s my job to think outside the box
of popular opinion to identify opportunity, and looking at the game of rugby
union, there’s an indefensible weakness that is grossly underexploited … the lowly
This single tactic, carried out seamlessly as a sole
strategy, would render any opposition’s game plan embarrassingly obsolete. And,
as a cricket bowler watches his ball being smashed for a six, the rugby
opposition would time and time again, watch the ball sailing over their heads,
I often think back to the 1999 Rugby World Cup when Jannie
de Beer scored five drop goals against England in the quarter-finals (see the extraordinary video).
These 15 points were fundamental to the comprehensive thrashing that South
Africa gave England that day. Yes, the same strategy failed six days later against
Australia in the semi-finals, but this single failure should not preclude this
‘rapid-fire drop-kick strategy’ from further exploration.
I often hear people say, “but a drop-kick is very
difficult”. In my opinion, so is getting a golf ball onto the green in
regulation, but professional golfers do it on average 17 out of 18 times a
round. Why? Because golfers focus on one thing 100% of the time they train …
hitting a golf ball.
Poor old Jannie de Beer was expected not only to score the
odd drop goal, but also to pass, tackle, run, jump, kick up-and-unders, kick
into touch, help score tries, as well as a host of other ‘relatively insignificant’
tasks! He probably didn’t spend more than 10% of his total training time
practising drop kicks.
Imagine if Jannie had spent 100% of his time practising drop
kicks … like golfers practice striking a golf ball! For me it’s very simple, a
drop kick in professional rugby is ‘difficult’ because it’s not practised
enough. And, to show just how far ‘more-than-average’ practice can get you, one
need look no further than England’s Johnny Wilkinson, whose drop-goal technique
is unmatched (see another incredible
To take it one step further, imagine if the entire 15-man
team was configured and trained around this ‘rapid-fire drop-kick strategy’.
For instance, transform the scrum half, centres and wings into flanker-like wrecking
balls – huge, heavy, fast and preferably ugly – whose job description entails battering
the opposition’s defences. Basically, 14 brutal forwards and one kicker.
The sole job of the 14 forwards is to secure the ball,
retain possession, and move the ball into the ‘drop-kick’ zone. Once there,
execute a comprehensively trained drop-kick set piece with your dedicated
kicker. The kicker won’t miss because he’s perfected the art of catching the
ball and drop-kicking it through the posts, with time to spare.
The absolute beauty of this strategy, which exploits a
leverageable shortcoming in the rules, is that each time you score, the
opposition is sent back to the half-way line to immediately kick the ball away into
your possession. Once in hand, your 14 forwards use their brute force and
wrecking ball-style tactics to work the ball back into the drop kick zone to
score another drop goal.
Rugby die-hards might view this drop kick strategy as
‘treasonous’ in the beautiful game of running rugby, but I ask them this,
“would you prefer to give the All Blacks a hiding, or watch South Africa lose
while attempting to play ‘beautiful’ rugby?” The bravado associated with 5/7-point
tries is wonderfully overstated in the face of 3-point drop goals – it’s like a
wrestler taking on a sniper.
If South Africa adopts the drop goal as its core offensive
strategy, they would be bringing an automatic rifle to a wrestling match. Yes,
it’s a little unfair and it’s a little soft, but it’s 100% within the rules. And
let’s be honest, it’s not about how you fight, it’s whether you win … and the
boos of New Zealand supporters wouldn’t register against the roaring thunder of
victorious South Africans.
From a contrarian’s perspective, it’s a no-brainer. South
African Rugby’s bold adoption of this rapid-fire drop-kick strategy would give
the Springboks a legendary opportunity to rout all international opposition and
reign supreme for as long as foreign nations continue to wrestle in gun-fight
rugby matches … or, of course, until the rules are changed.
One thing is certain though, this strategy and its
window-period of execution would be written into the history books of rugby
- Robert J. Traydon is a BSc graduate of Engineering and the author
of ‘Wake-up Call: 2035’. He has travelled
to over 40 countries across six continents and worked in various business
spheres. His writing explores a wide range of current affairs from a uniquely
Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.
24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.
This Jeep is achingly fast in a straight line, but that's about it.
'We got married and 6 months later I wanted a divorce'
'Call me Harry'
He's once again made an appearance for his annual molt.
The great mathematician died at 101.
Here are 7 things you need to know.
A room with a (spectacular) view.
The couple will leave the family in March.
Cape Town CBDO'Dwyer PersonnelR6 500.00 - R7 000.00 Per Month
Western CapeOdwyer PersonnelR14 000.00 Per Month
R 2 495 000
Apartments / Flats
R 3 000 000
R 2 500 000
We subscribe to the Press Code.
You choose what you want
News24 on Android
Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.
Terms and Conditions
24.com Terms and Conditions - Updated April 2012
Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.
This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.