Rank your Springbok coaches

Forum » Rugby » Rank your Springbok coaches

Apr 27, 2024, 13:54

There has been a raging debate over the years of who the best coach is and whether they are/were the right coach to lead the team. 

Would you even consider Nienaber as a coach given that he was the front man, but what we see from chasing the sun was that Rassie was doing all the talking to the players. Here is my order.

1. Rassie, Two world cups, a Rugby Championship and a Lions series. Not the smoothest 6 years with many doubts. It paid off. Still low win rate comparison to the top international teams. Farrell and Eddie were above 70% 

2. Mallet, this is a tricky one, but what a team he had. Shares the record for most consecutive wins, a Tri nations and a bronze in his only world cup. Lack of professional coaching caught up with him in how he played his players into the ground. 

3. Kitch Kristie, he only had about 12 games but gave the Boks hope in the most crucial and historical time in SA rugby. 

4. Jake White, doesn't do himself justice with his moaning and back stabbing games. He did put some decent players together and we saw how well Piet Helium did with that team that he put together. 

5. Meyer, again, lost to Japan, first coach to lose a test against Argentina at home. Were very predictable, but he had no squad after the De Villiers disaster. The same coached that Capped, Pollard, Kriel, Vermeulen, be it too late, LenRoux etc. Those players were the bed rock of Rassies team, and to think Kriel and Pollard is still around. So I have to credit him for blooding these youngsters. 

Worst coaches. 

1. Markgraaff, this guy had no clue what he was doing 

2. Coetzer, quota appointment, was under the wing of White and Rassie. We all know now that his success at the Stormers were thanks to Nienaber being the defensive coach and Rassie the director of rugby at province. This guy was so bad. Nearly 50 points dropped in a single match, losing to Italy. 

3. Rudolph Destroyly. Lamp staal draad trek. Man, this guy was bad. We did see the emergence of Burger, Se Villers and Jacque Fourie. World cup quarter final knock out

4. Piet Helium, this was a difficult one for me. Political appointment after white due to his connections to the Watson's. His first two years were okay. Or should we say it was actually coached by John Smit and Victor Matfield. Yes, he won a Tri Nations, beat the all blacks 3 times in one year and a Lions series. But his last two years was a disaster and the Boks got knocked out of the quarters. There were absolutely no team left after his tenure. 

5. McIntosh, deer in the head lights, another victim of provincialism and amateur administration. Was ahead of his time and legend at the saarks, but could get the Boks to gel with his Natal team. 

Honarable mentions to Harry Viljoen and Carel Du Plessis. Neither were great as both tried to revolutionise the bok game to be more expansion with ball in hand. Probably should have done it with the A team. 

Whose your best and worst 

Apr 27, 2024, 14:07

I definitely agree with your top 3.

Apr 27, 2024, 14:11

Think you're being harsh on Ian Mac who laid the foundation for our 1995 RWC winning team. Carel du Plessis and Ian Mac both deserve some credit for being the architects of what turned out to be great teams.

Harry Viljoen ahead fo Mac in the bottom 5. Started his tenure playing attacking running rugby and then when we lost one or two went ultra-conservative and added nothing.

Apr 27, 2024, 14:47

Taking a team from bronze losers in WC2003 to TN winners in 2004 and WC winners in 2007, leaving a team that beat the Lions in spite of Snor….. Jake White has been our best coach for 20 years, but sidelined politically. No bs, just rugby.

Apr 27, 2024, 16:14

Ja, we just had really poor rugby administrators and provincialism as the main culprit.

McIntosh, Du Plessis definitely suffered from nor getting the support and the administrators were quick to fire coaches. 

Then, you have Rassie who actually didn't have a good winning record at all in the first year. If it wasn't for the world cup, the boks wouldn't even be above 60%

Rassie likes to experiment and it is all about cup rugby for him. Not great ok us the fans 

Apr 27, 2024, 17:11

I rate coaches a followsa -

1     Erasmus

2     Du Plessis

3     Christie

4     Mallet

5    White

The rest of the coaches were not worth any rating whatsocver.  

 I rate Du Plessis high because he stopped 10 man rugby and develop the team that Mallett inherent from him.  He stopped the deadly 10 Man Rugby game drastically and Mallet used it until he had to find repavement players that he failed in.  .   .   

Apr 27, 2024, 17:16

Jake is no slouch when it comes to his Coaching abilities….he is proving that in the URC at the moment…but Rassie does focus more on WC glory but neglect’s the in between phases to the point that our win percentages go right down.

Apr 27, 2024, 17:20

That’s what I admire most about the All Blacks, they always come to win, no excuses. And they play real rugby, no gimmicks.

Apr 28, 2024, 02:57


If one rate the  Spring bok perfrmances in non-WC years then White would be rated even lower than Meyer and that take some doing .   My comments is based on performances in the Tri-Nations - disaster and that inlcluded 2005 and 2006 as well as 2007 befroe the WC.

White had the luck of a poxdocter in not being fired in 2006 and was only saved by the asct thast 2007 was a WC year,   Thatn statement is also supported that in the 2007 WC the Springboks did not play a single team rated higher than SA at the start of the WC.   

White was cliueless when it came to backline play and still is.   

White has a distiction that since hss Springbok coaching era ended White was with  one exception an emplyee whose contracts were not renewed after expiry - that should tell you something  about his  coaching.     

Apr 28, 2024, 07:02

I’m just glad you spelt rank properly.

Apr 28, 2024, 09:04

"I’m just glad you spelt rank properly."

Indeed. Thos would have been a very different thread if ou Maaik had started it.

Apr 28, 2024, 14:54

The 2005 Trinations disaster:

Jul 30, 2005 South Africa 22 - 16 AustraliaMatch packTableAug 6, 2005 South Africa 22 - 16 New ZealandMatch packTableAug 13, 2005 Australia 13 - 30 New ZealandMatch packTableAug 20, 2005 Australia 19 - 22 South AfricaMatch packTableAug 27, 2005 New Zealand 31 - 27 South AfricaMatch packTableSep 3, 2005 New Zealand 34 - 24 AustraliaMatch packTable.


The Boks and NZ both won 3 and lost one. The Boks actually won the points differential over NZ and led them until the last few minutes in the away game, which would have won the TN. Ultimately NZ won with bigger wins over Oz.


Some disaster.

Apr 28, 2024, 18:59

Please do us all a favour and include th e Trinations stats for 2006 and 2007 as well. 

H owever - that is a sde-isse.   The fact is White is not a coach with either the record - not the coaching ability - to ensure that he can qaulify for an exension of cntracts.   

*    In 2023 hite g ot miffed off becasue he did not get the Aussie coaching  job and breached his cntract with them.  He wated to be enar his family in Stellenbosch - but took up th e S harls coaching  job in 2014 - so the reason he gave was not true.   Since 2013 White oached in Tonga,, Mpntpellier and in Japan.  

*    White was told in no uncertai terms by the  Sh arks that at te end of 2014 he should resign of they will fire him.  

*     Montpellier - he was told that his 2 year contract with the Club would not be extended and he moved off to Japan from where he was recrutied by Rupert and Montsepe - the new owners of the Bulls - to come back to coach the Bulls - where hsi contract with them is  up renewal soon.    It s not clear whethe he will be retained - but I will not be surprised if he is not retained,     The two major owners (74,5%) appointed Britz to manage th eir rugby component and his report ill determine what happens to White   ,   .  .           .       

Apr 28, 2024, 23:03


1. Rassie
2. Rasnaber
3. Mallet
4. Chris Kristie
5, Jake White


1. Alister Coetzee
2. Snor Devilliers
3. Makraaf
4. Stick (2028 coach)
5. Heineke Meyer (A terrible selector, and stubborn)

Apr 28, 2024, 23:13

Jake the only Bok coach that never lost a WC match. As for 2006, that was the result of a coup attempt to depose White, which had a huge effect on player morale. White was forced to come back during a tour to defend himself.

But as for providing stats about 2006 and 2007, no need. You made the point 2005 was a disaster….after 1998 and  2009 it was our best performance against NZ.

And 2007 is irrelevant, the teams are focused on the WC not the TN in WC years.

Apr 29, 2024, 01:10


BS in buckets again.    In 2007 the opponents were -

Ranked 7          -          England
Ranked  13       -          Samoa
Ranked  19       -          Tonga
Ranked  18       -          USA

Ranked    9       -          Argentina

Ranked   10      -          Fiji

Ranked 7          -          England

The above made the route the easiest one ever in the History of the WC at the start of which S A was ranked 4.    Due to the total disaster of the Coetzee era - in 2019 South Africa was not n the Top 4 ranking  which meant that SA had to play the All Blacks (Ranked 1) in the Round Robin phase of the series,    After that loss  the Springboks under Erasmus made a clean sweep of all opponents and In the Quarterfinals played Japan (Ranked 10), Wales  (Ranked 6) and England (Ranked 3)

The 2023 Draw was even worse  -   with SA facing Ireland in the Round Robin Phase and thereafter France, England and New Zealand - in other words they played 4 higher ranked  teams  et still won the WC.    

Yet in 2019 the team was not focussed solely on the RWC Championship according  to yoru.  Yet they were the  first tem ever that won the Rugby Championship followed by teh  RWC win  - yet they won that series as well.   There is no logic in what you came up with.

So try again Mozart - your whole story stink of BS over facts.   There is no way the 2007 WC torunament is comparable with  the 2019 and 2023 tournaments.   Fact is of the four tounaments performances the 2007 was the worst performance of any Springbok team ever in a WC series where they won the tournament.   If the wins were to be ranked from a preformance record the ranking will be as follows:-

1     2019   RWC
2     2023   RWC
3     1995   RWC
4     2007   RWC   


Apr 29, 2024, 03:41

Well there is a more traditional way to rank the wins….points differentials. So here are the total results for the knockout games:





Now you could argue schedule was harder in 2023, but we scraped home on the boot of Handre Pollard. True 1995 had the hardest final, but we were playing at Fortress Ellis Park.

2019 and 2007 saw England as finalist, Bargie in the 2007 semis who beat Ireland, Scotland and France , who had themselves beaten NZ and clearly Fiji’s physicality in 2007 was a bigger challenge than Japan in 2019.

Also we lost in 2019 and 2023 pools against teams who were part of the so called harder schedule. Then in 2023 we played the team that beat the team we lost to in the final and won with the help of a red card. In 2019 we played a Pom team that played their final against NZ the week before.

Lots of factors which are hard to calculate….what’s easy is points differentials. And there is a 16 point per game points differential between 2007 and 2023. Were our opponents 16 points better, not if we take the red card into account. But there is the emotional component, which 1995 provided in spades,  so I rank them:

1. 1995

2. 2007

3. 2019

Lots  of distance

4. 2023.

Apr 29, 2024, 04:59

Rassie  1

Jake     2

Mallet  3

Kitch Christie 3

I'd rather forget about most of the rest.

Apr 29, 2024, 08:41

That indeed is anoter farce from Mozart.    BS flows all over.   In other words matches against the AB's, France Ireland and  England is now equated to matches against the USA, Tonga and Samoa.    Ever heard such BS from anybody before - this takes the cake.         

Apr 29, 2024, 09:04


1) Rassie

2) White

3) Christie

4) Mallet

5) Carel


1) Straeuli/Markgraf/Harry Viljoen/Snor/Coetzee

Apr 29, 2024, 12:50

White better than Rassie bwhaaahaaaa - joke of the year so far Moz

Mine would be:

1. Rassie

2. Mallett

3. Kitch

4. Ian Mac

5. Meyer

6. White

Ian Mac had a shit record but he had no say in his squad selection which would account for his record. He was a class coach - turned the Sharks into an amazing side

Meyer promised to much at the Bulls but failed as a test coach

Jake had two good years then his true colours shone bright. He was utterly useless leading up to the WC and was saved by Eddie Jones and a piss easy WC to win it. Jake never lost a WC match because he had fuck all to play against other than England. Hellooooo

Rassie is by some distance our best ever, Mallett was up there until he lost the plot. Kitch had a great run but by all accounts more of a manager and motivator than a tactician

Apr 29, 2024, 13:13

The facts speak for themselves… .2007 was our most dominant WC….1995 our most important one. 50 points vs 3. Case closed.

Apr 29, 2024, 13:28

Bullshit facts speak for themselves - two WC victories - nothing beats that

Jakes WC was the easiest ever - that’s a fact - he only had to play England - not a single other challenging side in the whole WC. Plus he had Eddie to save him

Those are the facts

Apr 29, 2024, 14:00

Nope the fact is 50>3.

So let’s look at the opposition, in context

Fiji 07 vs France 23……big difference, the Boks beat Fiji by 17 points. Fiji was good in 07 but nothing like France in 23, call it  30 points.

Argentina 07 vs England 23….the Bargies won the bronze medal by beating France a second time, beat Ireland, beat Scotland . ..clearly they were a much sterner challenge than England 2023, a basket case team.Call it Bargies by 5.

England 07 vs ABs 2023 ….probably the ABs by 10 points, but the red card was a 11 point negative. So England  by 1.

So we have :

50 -3=47-30+5+1=23.

Even adjusting for a much harder quarter the points differential is just too large, the 2007 WC was clearly a superior performance.

Apr 29, 2024, 14:15

Rassie invited Ruan "Swampie" Swiegers a Prop from the Pumas…he also captained the NWU Eagles at Varsity Cup, Pepsi Butelezi and Fassi to May alignment camp…do know this Guy Dave? Is he a LH or TH?

Apr 29, 2024, 14:39

He is a 25 year old tighthead - don’t really know him at all.

There are concerns that so many players will not be available for the early test matches because of provincial and club duty so he is casting his net wide

It’s why he is wanting Ox to have some time at TH

He should be looking at young Hanro Jacobs at the Sharks he is a good prospect and has a good few games under the belt for the Sharks now - I like him

Apr 29, 2024, 14:49

My mistake I see Jacobs is being included

Can’t find a link to the players invited though

Apr 29, 2024, 14:57

Well he reminds me bit of Balie Swart….watched a bit of him playing and he is a solid unit in the mold of Frans ….a lot of players won’t be available so we might see a very new team playing wales….the list of new players will be available later most probably….Supersport takes forever to update news.

Apr 29, 2024, 15:04

Yeah I read that Sampie is regarded as a scrumming machine

Apr 29, 2024, 15:11

Just by the way, what happened to all the sub Menu,s?? Like other sport and Beeno Biscuits Trumpet….I only see Rugby where you can post replies.

Apr 29, 2024, 15:50

I did a update on my phone and after that the Menu’s were gone….is others also experiencing this? Can someone answer pls.

Apr 29, 2024, 17:06

If you go to the home page and click on the icon above the white line in the right hand corner the other pages are there

Apr 29, 2024, 17:11

Actually I can’t get the other sections on my I-phone either. No problems on the I-pad.

Apr 29, 2024, 18:45

Well my Mum thought Carel du Plessis was rather nice ;) 

Apr 29, 2024, 19:43

That’s strange Moz as all is ok on my iPhone

Apr 29, 2024, 21:05

I am sure my new software Update caused it….thanks.

Apr 29, 2024, 21:15

Ruan Sampie Must have impressed Rassie a lot as he has no URC experience only currie cup…. So Fassi made it and very happy for Pepsi….his been knocking on the door for quite some time now….another player that is playing out of his skin is Tyrone Green…really don’t understand why he is not in the Bok set up already….does Rassie not rate the guy??

Apr 29, 2024, 21:26

Yeah Fassi and Pepsi deserve it

David Kriel needs the call up as well

Green is a must

I’d add Ben Jason Dixon, Reinhardt Ludwig, Ruan Vermaak, the Tsituka brothers, Gelant and Tambwe

Apr 29, 2024, 21:51

It's the coding of the website, Moz.

Best thing is to close the site completely, including the browser, and then open it from scratch.

That tends to work for me.

Apr 29, 2024, 22:37

Thanks Plum I’ll try that.

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