Saru must fire Bok coach, now!


We could say the following in euphemisms, with kid gloves, if you like, but what the heck, let us just say it as it really is: Springbok coach Allister Coeztee must be fired by the South African Union the moment this Springbok team concludes an utterly miserable year that could conceivably include a loss to Italy (don’t joke), and then an almost certain loss to Wales in the tour finale in Cardiff.

It really is as bad as that. Rugby critics and luminaries have been saying this since June. Coetzee and his coaching staff are out of their depth, and the issue is that the team gets worse each week, not better. This is quite possibly the worst Springbok coaching staff in 120 years of Test rugby.

Coetzee heads a side that does not know how it is expected to play. Some of Coetzee’s selections are simply nonsensical, and the reality is that after 10 Tests in charge Coetzee simply cannot continue as captain of a ship that is going backwards.

There is no discernible game plan with an eye on the future. It is about picking a team each week that will do damage limitations.

A loose trio against England at the weekend comprising Willem Alberts, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Warren Whiteley? To be fair, that was about trying stop the England pack from bullying the Boks at the breakdown.

But where was an openside flank to slow down the England ball and win turnovers for the Boks? Yes, there are injuries in the position, but heck this is about winning Test matches and I would have flown in Heinrich Brussouw from Outer Mongolia (or wherever he is ...).

Coetzee must go now! There are still three years to the Word Cup in Japan. That is enough time for a coach like Johan Ackermann to come in and straighten out the mess, identify a game plan, pick appropriate players, and get the Boks on track.

The England victory over the Boks illustrates the point about how quickly a coach can make an impact.

Less than a year ago they were the laughing stock of their country. They had had a very nice man in Stuart Lancaster as coach, but he could not instil a hard edge in the England team and they failed to make the last eight of their own World Cup. England were a joke.

Less than a year later, England have won 10 games in a row under the feisty Eddie Jones. They are unbeaten under him and have climbed to No 2 in the world rankings.

The Springboks, under the smiling Toetie, have fallen apart. This year they have lost six out of 10 Tests and conceded a staggering 31 tries.

How can this be? It is a disgrace that the Boks have conceded 31 tries in 2016. Well coached?

If you were the Italy rugby team, would you not be licking your lips for a giant-slaying act? In over a 100 years, no Italian player has ever truly believed his team had a chance of beating the almighty Springboks. Quite right.

Well, every single Italian player will believe that on Saturday in Florence they have a concrete chance of at last beating one of the game’s great giants.

How can it come to this? If you are a Bok fan and you are not worried ... you should be.

It is as simple as this. Allister Coetzee and his coaching staff are close to useless. They must be fired en masse asap so that the new staff have a full three years to coach the Boks back to glory.

The Mercury

Original source: Saru must fire Bok coach, now!