Rassie shifting focus to 2023, its a mistake

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Jan 07, 2022, 17:31

I for one are really happy that we won the world cup and we are back at being number 1, sort of. I don't think we would remain number 1 in any other year with this amount of losses. 

That said, Rassie is now speaking of  2023 as the next focus. 

What concerns me is that this is very objective. We did the same for the World Cup, not perfect but we got there in the end and then the same for the lions series. 

Everything in between doesn't seem to matter to Rassie. 

What I would like to see is to aim for a perfect year. Blood in new players and try to win all of our matches. Losing 5 matches is not acceptable, especially against Australia and England. 

I also  want us to stop thinking that we are world champions every time we draw or win against NZ. They are no longer they team the once were. 

Losses against other teams


So lets get our head  back at winning, bring the likes of Fassi and co back up to speed,  look for alternatives in key positions.

So for me the focus should be on 2022 and forget about the world cup in 2023

Jan 07, 2022, 18:02

Completely agree. The focus on the WC then becomes the excuse for any poor performance. The ABs go out there expecting to win every game, which is a big part of their success.

We start 2022 without any clear cut number one team in the world. We should be trying to seize the title.

Jan 07, 2022, 18:31

The focus should be on 2023 - ie 18 months from now.   In matches since 2018 the losing margins where  the Springboks lost matches were small and most could have gone either way.    Marginal losses under such circumstances is no nee for panic.   What is a need for panic would be when you start losing home matches against teams like Argentina and matches against teams like Japan and Italy   

However, there is a problem with some key positions.   Pollard lost form this year and Vermeulen was substandard in the games he played in compared to 2019.   We indeed have problems in some positions and that needs to be filled.   The Springboks needs to find more candidates for consideration at flyhalf and full back -  loosies are OK - but Mostert needs to be replaced at lock     The prop situation looks better with Ox  around  -  Nyakane is not up tos standard. 

On the whole the situation looks positive compared to the chaos in 2015 to 2017  and the amount of rebuilding of the team needed in 2022 will be less than what was needed in 2018     

Jan 07, 2022, 18:32

We have it, not clear cut, but we are the best of the lot by a small margin...and we'll be better this year...unless there's more Covid BS.

Jan 07, 2022, 19:18

We also need to layer all aspects of our Counter Attack and creative attack, to give us that extra edge besides our forward dominance. Seize the moment at game time and turn all those opportunities into points.

Jan 07, 2022, 21:12


Jan 07, 2022, 21:28

That was the DeStroyli philosophy…..building towards the WC. And then we went out in the QF

Jan 07, 2022, 21:39

It was definitely not  the Meyer approach.  he believed that any player from the 2007 WC squad and despite failing in 2011 and poor performances subsequently was good enough to play in the 2015 WC.  That approach let to the disastrous 2015 RC and ultimately the  Japan disaster..   In other words 2015 arrived and squad selection was in chaos.          

By the way there were many examples of failed coaches  where non-preparation for the WC both in the year leading up to the WC  and in the WC year was the norm.   Aside from Meyer therre is a string of other coaches who selected in he main participants from previous WC's or did not look for new talent and improved playing methods.   Just look at results of  WC finals and you will see that only one team won two WC's in a row and that was New Zealand in 2011 and 2015 - but there were reasons for that and those were not related to  the strengths of the  team - more with the rubbish they faced in the play-off's.



Jan 07, 2022, 23:13

Yes and England / Ireland / France will all be passed their peck by the time the next world cup comes round.

They have their timing all wrong.

Ireland will find this out when they go to NZ this year and realise that they are on a downward slope.

Jan 08, 2022, 00:42

The Bok starters against England included only 3 players, Mapimpi, Smith and Nche, who weren’t already Boks when Harrassmiss arrived. At the end of the 4th year since he signed on (time doesn’t stop for the chicken run) the man had hardly changed the team.

In the Semi against the ABs….the equivalent game for HM …..Willie, Kriel, Allende, Pollard, Lomp, Etzebeth and Malherbe were all Springboks introduced by HM.

For you to harp on HM not introducing new players when he introduced more than twice as many as Harrassmiss shows just how much you have missed.

Jan 08, 2022, 03:16

In dealing with rugby on site one has to bear in mind that there are also simpletons commenting on site.    Nobody is more of a simpleton on site than Mozart.   This thread and others indicate their is no real evaluation process  in place - only simple numbers are used without evaluation/.   

Lets go back to the situation when Erasmus took over rugby from Coetzee in 2018.   Erasmus ended up picking 4 players who were playing under Meyer in 1 or 2 matches and  some did not play for the Springboks for years - eg Frans Steyn (2012), as well as Vermeulen, Pollard and  Le Roux (2015).

Meyer was a serious flop in player identification for development and he was a disaster as a coach.   By 2015 he came very  near to destroying the playing talents of at least Pollard and   Le Roux  and  that was a problem as well.   Because they played a few games under Meyer and Coetzee do not prove that  they were  any good as test players.   The players were totally demoralized by the two idiot coaches involved and were going through the motions and without fundamental  upgrading would have been lost to Springbok rugby. 

The  fact si that saying players played minimal games under Meyer and Coetzee does not mean they ere any good and selectable.    Erasmus  had to find players that could beoe part of the seasoned Springboks that would deliver the WC  and some of the Springboks used by accident in 2015 because of the fact that Meyer's squad in 2015 included  8 players that were unplayable forced him to select players with very little experience to play in key games  and some of them did not cover themselves in glory. 

Be it as it may - how many players who were not regular Springboks played in the Welsh test in 2018 in Washington?    Fact is that the simple idiot does not look art substance at all - he has found some figures that he thinks support his idiocy and then makes out that is all that counts.             

Jan 08, 2022, 05:16

Just a very long winded way of admitting Harrassmiss has planted no trees. Pretty soon we are going to see the greats like Vermeulen and even Etzebeth leaving the contest. They have no replacements. No coach in our history has developed fewer new Boks than Harrassmiss

Jan 08, 2022, 08:47

Just when you tried to prove that Meyer is a better coach than Erasmus is  when the simpleton issue kicked in.   Sorry about Vermeulen - everybody believe  was not as good in 2021 as he was n 2019  the reality  issue kicked in as well.    Etzebeth has no problem - neither has the other players - also those you hate - but Vermeulen can fall off the boat in the next 18 months.   By the way by the time of the WK Vermeulen would eb 37 years of age and the older player  Matfield as a flop in 2015 at 38 years of age.   Brits  at 38 only played in the minor games against the minions and was in 2019 reasonably successful.   Brtis was not successful in any key game though.   

There is no logic in your case and there is no real poof of anything you spout on site.   With you BS reigns supreme - not only in the case of rugby - but also in the case of cricket and tennis.            

Jan 08, 2022, 18:00

The logic in my case is every Bok coach creates a cadre of new players…..Harrassmiss has given us Mapimpi, who is a good finisher but a hopeless defender….Kwagga Smith who was well known before he arrived and Nche. 

If a team of 15 players has an average 7 years in the Bok jersey, 2 players need to be added every year. Which means by now, after 4 years Harrassmiss should have 8 new starters. 

He has 3…..somewhere along the line we will pay the price. Maybe at the next WC.

Jan 08, 2022, 20:53

Average 7 years of what?  Of the players three never played for at least 2 years and one for 6 years,   They were basically backups for other players  and not really the standout players they became under Erasmus.   Meyer was a fanatically poor selector.    He picked players on reputation and not performance - remember  " I know what the player are capable of"  when eh lost all  the capabilities because they were way past their best.

It caught him up in the WC  in 2015 when 8 unplayable players were in the squad and they could not eb used in any test because of the early Japan disaster. caused y the golden oldies.   Meyer was so poor a coach he managed to coach natural tale out of players -eg Pollard and Willie.   

That was followed by 2 years of disaster under .Coetzee  - where selection was a lottery ticket disaster.   Players did play - some were used others not.   In the end because of Meyer and Coetzee the players were totally demoralized and  could not even beat  Italy.   

Be it as it may both Meyer was effectively fired by SARU and the same happened subsequently as coaches  by the Clubs they were supposed to coach/    A limitless budget did not help them in proper team selection and they nearly destroyed the two clubs they were supposed to coach.   Tour hero Meyer had no idea about rugby  and that was proven  when coaching the Springboks and subsequently Stade Francais.

By the time Erasmus took over he had to take the hand of each Springbok and helped him out of what he became under Meyer and Coetzee.   New strategies were developed in liaison with the /players  themselves and they took possession of the team functioning as a whole.    They demoralized players took a new lease of life and started to perform like world class players.   

Not a single rugby expert will call Erasmus an inadequate coach like you try to do.  But then you started before Erasmus assumed duty to attack him  for no real reason and it never stopped.    Erasmus took the Springbokls to the top of world rugby - both  Meyer and Coetzee  took them down massively - end of story.              

 By the way we paid the price for idiocy in 2011 an 2015 in ample quantity   Erasus canot o worse than the two idiot coaches did.                     

Jan 08, 2022, 21:50

Given, it is 18 months away- Rassie should focus on developing and peaking for this tournament. The key area is to improve the attack and score more tries with the backs, while retaining the defence and forward domination. The attack was good in some games, but more consistency is needed throughout the game, and in more games.

While some experimentation is needed, the Boks should be winning enough games to compete for the top spot in the IRB ratings. 

Any new players that want to make the 2023 World Cup will need to step up in the next 12 months. Rassie has most of his squad, but there are still depth issues in certain positions. 

Props look pretty much decided and unlikely to see new players come into the system before the World Cup. Starting positions will change, but it will be the same core of players - with backups like Thomas DuToit. 

Hookers, same. Marx is the best, but Bongi lost form in 2021. 
Dwebbi may get more games next year if the Bongi's form continues. 

Locks are decided, and it would be hard to push into this group, barring significant injuries.
Eztebth will start, 
Snyman seems injury prone, and even accident prone. He should be peaking for world cup, if he can overcome injuries. 

Loose forwards wont change much, but may need a backup number 8 for Vermeulen (not the creatine twins). A specialist fetcher on the bench would also be good, but Kolisi has improved in this area. Number 7 is likely Steph DuToit, but Kwagga is an interesting ongoing prospect. A smaller player - especially when he plays 7 or 8- but adds speed, and is becoming better at the breakdown. 

Scrumhalf : Faff is a certain starter barring injury. There is no second choice based on form if there is injury to Faff. 
Both Jantjies and Reinach are better off the bench than starting players. Jantjies has lost form, and better out of the matchday squad until he regains form. 

Flyhalf: Pollard is a certain starter, but Jantjies is better at getting his backline running. Pollard may cover inside center in the 2nd half. Goosen may get a run, but he is, unfortunately, injury-prone especially at higher levels of the game. 

Inside Center: Delande is in the form of his life. Playing for Munster, he will probably improve his play making ability. He is a certain starter. Esterhuizen is the most like for like replacement- and he may have improved in his time for Harlequins. 

Outside Center: AM is certain, but is he is injured the backup is Jessica Kriel- which is concerning. I would have rather tested Nkosi as a backup outside centre sooner than later, to be ready. 

Wings: Kolbe is a certain starter. Mapimpi's position is more open, with a few options. 

Fullback: No certain starter at this point. Willie Leroux is still solid, but his form was much better 3-5 years ago. Frans Steyn still has the brain, but is left in the body of a retired prop forward. 
It was a mistake to not give Fassi a run on the EOYT because he needs game time now to be considered as starting player for the World Cup. 

Jan 11, 2022, 01:39

Given the age and make up of the Bok squad I think they can afford to focus on the 2023 WC as the squad is a pretty settled one, with many of the shadow players proven test players

Squad depth means having a back up player for each position. Security means having a third option in each position.

The squad position and potential additions are clear cut in some positions and not so in others. This is how I see it:


Incumbent - Willie

Backups - Fassi and Gelant


Incumbents - Mapimpi and Kolbe

Backups - Nkosi

Options - Green , Penxe and Tambwe


Incumbents - de Allende and Am

Backups - Jessie Kriel, Esterhuizen, Serfontein and Janse v Rensburg


Incumbent - Pollard

Backups - Jantjies and Goosen


Incumbent - Faf

Backups - Reinach, Jantjies and Hendrikse

Utility back:



Incumbents - Malherbe, Kitshoff, Nyakane and Ox Nche

Backups - Thomas du Toit, Koch and Wilco Louw


Incumbents - Marx and Mbonambi

Backup - Dweba


Incumbents - Etzebeth and Lood

Backup - RG Snyman

Options - Jason Jenkins, Moerat , Ruben Schoeman, JD Schickerling and Ruben v Heerden


Incumbents - Vermeulen, PSDT and Kolisi

Backups - Kwagga, Wiese, JL du Preez and Dan du Preez and v Staaden Options - Jacques du Plessis, Evan Roos, Marcel Coetzee, Elrigh Louw and Tshituka

Jan 11, 2022, 04:29

There isn't an issue with back up players, the issue is to get experience into the younger players at international level prior to the WC. Seems easy enough but there isn't a lot of Test rugby leading into the WC

Jan 11, 2022, 13:33

What we need to do is stick with 90% of our incumbents and introduce some of the obvious young stars on a rotational basis.

We need to see the likes of Fassi, Gelant, Nkosi, Esterhuizen, Dweba, Thomas du Toit, Wilco Louw, Dweba, RG Snyman and the du Preez twins given more game time

The introduction of the likes of Green, Similane, Tshituka and Evan Roos etc would be a bonus to

Jan 12, 2022, 00:41

Would like to see Elrigh Louw, Evan Roos and Van Staaden given game time if the former two can make the squad.

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