Is Erasmus a worthy coach of the Springboks?

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Nov 04, 2019, 16:03

Read the following from News24 and see what really is the case:-

"The Springbok class of 2019 - the champions of the world - will be remembered forever. 

Makazole Mapimpi crossing the line after THAT no-look pass from Lukhanyo Am, Cheslin Kolbe side-stepping his way over to put the game to bed and Siyamthanda Kolisi becoming the first black Springbok captain to lift the Webb Ellis Cup are all captured moments that will become as iconic as Joel Stransky's winning drop goal in 1995. 

The stars aligned for the Boks and in the hours leading up to kick-off on Saturday, there was a feeling that something special was about to unfold. 

Now, less than two years after an Allister Coetzee era that was plagued by a series of embarrassing losses, the Boks sit on top of the world once more.

There was not one poor individual performance on Saturday, with all 23 Boks elevating their levels when it mattered most.

England, from beginning to end, were outplayed thanks to the most clinical of displays from their superior opposition.

The players, rightly so, leave as legends. 

The captain of the ship, however, and the man who orchestrated this simply stunning Bok revival is Johan 'Rassie' Erasmus. 

Has there ever been a more impactful Springbok coach? 

Erasmus was handed a broken team and a World Cup draw that saw the Boks pooled alongside the All Blacks because of how far they had fallen under Coetzee. 

Yet, never once did Erasmus bite at an opportunity to take a stab at Coetzee or the work that he had done. From the very beginning, Erasmus was positive about the game in this country and how it was going to recover. 

Anybody who has worked closely to Erasmus will tell you that, tactically, he is brilliant. He understands the game's modern trends, but he is also battle-hardened enough to know that sometimes what it takes to win a rugby match is rolled-up sleeves and good old-fashioned hard work. 

Erasmus knew quickly that if the Boks were going to challenge for a World Cup title, they would have to revert to their traditional powers and that is what they did. 

There is always a want for running rugby from the public, and while Erasmus' Boks provided that in doses over 2018 and 2019, they relied heavily on forward strength at set piece, an overall physicality and accurate kicking to get the job done in Japan. 

In the final, however, Erasmus sprung a surprise that some have described as a tactical masterclass.

The Boks were expected to kick and chase all game, but they were happy to move the ball through the hands and got rewarded for that throughout. 

The Boks are now World Cup champions, Rugby Championship champions, ranked No 1 in the world and they snapped up the Team of the Year prize at the World Rugby awards on Sunday too. 

Erasmus, naturally, went home with Coach of the Year. 

His comprehensive understanding of the game and tactical nous aside, it is Erasmus' man-management and his conduct off the field that have stood out. 

He has always been open about his policies on transformation and the need for this Bok side to be representative of the county. He embraced that, and everybody involved in the Bok set-up was on the same page. 

The end result was a starting XV on Saturday that included five black Africans and seven total players of colour and, most importantly, there can be no conversations around players being picked because of the colour of the skin.

Every single member of this Bok squad was chosen on merit. They have proved as much by winning the World Cup, and that process was facilitated by Erasmus and his willingness to give players opportunities

Erasmus acknowledged at the World Cup that he was naive when he made Kolisi Bok captain back in 2018. He did not know the significance of the decision at the time - a bold revelation from a head coach. 

It was, however, absolutely the correct call. 

Kolisi doesn't command the respect of his peers, but he has earned it. He is a selfless leader and this country's politicians could learn a lot from him.

The private conversations of him being a 'quota captain' took place in some dark corners of the country ... make no mistake about that. 

In Erasmus, though, Kolisi had a man who backed him for all of the right reasons and absolutely none of them had anything to do with race. 

Together, Kolisi and Erasmus have provided a glimpse of what this country can be.

Erasmus will now step down as head coach and slip into his role as Director of Rugby. He insists that he will remain very hands-on with the national side, and that is good news. 

The Boks are primed to get stronger in the years to come and there is a real opportunity to be world rugby's dominant force. 

Erasmus, a South African hero, is key to all those plans."


Nov 04, 2019, 20:33

Kolsi is a man of goodwill and South Africa can be very thankful for that.

Personally i don't think he is captain material and it appears that Duane was more of the captain.

Anyhow no harm doe in the end.

Nov 04, 2019, 20:51

Maaik, the gameplan was the same...we always run when it's on. Against Wales we botched a few chances, but we looked well when we attacked...on Saturday everything just worked for us and we made far less errors than essence the same gameplan with a bit of variation, but still the same plan...the execution was just better....kicking included. 

Nov 04, 2019, 22:59

That sounds like Houwing.

Nov 05, 2019, 02:09

The Final was said to be the Bok's new running gameplan. We had 43 backline runs to the 38 against Wales. We kicked significantly more against wales, but closer to what we were kicking against the rest of the opposition we faced. If anything, the Japan game was the one where the backs had the most ball and fewest in the hands of the forwards. 

I'd say there were structural changes against England, very tight units of 3, usually connected by Pollard and/or Willie. It was very scripted, the most scripted game of our campaign. Far from a free-flowing attacking game. 

I'd be interested in anyone else identifying where there were departures from our normal approach. There was nothing here that we hadn't seen before. Comparing this to the All Black test at Ellis Park last year reveals many similarities, though there was a much greater emphasis on running through 13 and playing off of him. This was more conservative. Not necessarily a bad thing, but not what some are promoting. 

Nov 05, 2019, 02:22

It’s simple really - without looking at the stats which reveal so little, one could see from the outset that the Boks wanted to move the ball when the opportunity presented itself.

That was not the case against Wales. The default against Wales was to kick it and stick to a rigid game plan

In the final we looked to play what was in front of us. There was more freedom to express.

Nov 05, 2019, 02:26

There was no freedom. These were heavily structured, more structured than Wales in fact. The least structured attacking game was the Japan test. The final was heavily scripted. 

Nov 05, 2019, 02:30

Oh what utter crap. The final was not more structured than the semi.

That aside the main difference was that against Wales the primary execution was the kick while in the final kicking was secondary

Nov 05, 2019, 02:35

Always two units of three, unless players too caught up in preceding play. First receiver a pod runner, sometimes played out the back to Pollard/Willie. Pollard out to the next unit. We run. The same structure over and over again. Against Wales we were also heavily scripted, only with more kicks. Different emphasis. We played no free-flowing off-the-cuff heads-up rugby in either game. The Boks are not built like that. We are at our worst, committing more handling errors when we act off script, even against the minnows! 

Nov 05, 2019, 02:41

Both teams made more kicks in the Boks/Wales semi, than in the final where both teams kept the ball in hand more. 

This was part of Rassies master plan- and England prepared all week to get box kicks. 

Nov 05, 2019, 02:50

Bullshit given the pressure of the final we almost played the perfect game.

We bullied England into submission opening up enough space to score two brilliant tries in the last 10

There was none of that against Wales, we stuck rigidly to the plan.

In the final right from the start you could see Faf and Pollard wanted to shift it wide if there was an opportunity to do so.

Therein lies the difference. The world and England were expecting a repeat of the Welsh script and Rassie was brave and savvy enough to change it.

Therein lies the masterclass - Rassie proved to us all he was world class.

The performances this year gave us a taste of what Rassie could deliver, the WC final cemented his credentials as world class. Simply brilliant - I’m sold on Rassie. He is a breath of fresh air. I can’t recall a better Bok coach in my time - up there with Kitch

Nov 05, 2019, 05:29

Look what is clear is that he anti Erasmus campaign by Mozart and AO is persisting,   Now suddenly the report came from Houwing - so it must be discredited,   The second issue is that I referred to a master game plan  developed by Erasmus and mentioned by Swys de Bruin on TV which contained basically the same issues as mentioned in the above report. 

Fact is there is a sound game plan - but the players has much more freedom to use their natural talent than they ever had under previous coaches - who either had no real game plans and if they had implemented same with total disregard to individuality and talents of players.

AO is a total fool not to see how the team jointly enjoy the games they are playing in and hat the players bought into the game plan themselves.  - if everything is scripted like he claimed, the team would not play as they did in the WC.  There was nothing like that in the previous WC where the Meyer game plan was not evident and was so limited with the backline totally malfunctioning.

What the acknowledged idiot never realized with his POD rubbish statement is that he does not understand the concept of variations in play being an integral part of a comprehensive game plan.   Please also note that the master game plan  was accepted by the team as a whole and when team selections are made it is based on the ability to perform in line with the broad outline required from players in implementing.   That is why players like Esterhuizen fell of the bus and why players like Mostert faded out of the starting line-up and only brought in when the game was already won.   The early injury of De Jager got Mostert on the field - but in a way had a limited impact in the game since the other players covered for Mostert physical deficiency.

Draad is right there were too many implementation mistakes made in the Wales game - which were ironed out in the Final.   

The thing is that Erasmus was in charge for only 18 months and in that period developed a master plan and implemented it better than White did in 2007 after 4 years in charge and Meyer had no plan in 2015.   In this regard it is interesting to look at the basic situation as to the final.  In 2007 the English team was insignificant  and really consisting of players well past their prime and yet the Springboks in the 2007 final never used the backline properly,   In 2019 England was for a week the no 1 rated team in the world and recognized as a serious competitor for the trophy - a much stronger team than England fielded in 2007.  In the 2019 final all fifteen players and the bench players played a role in a comprehensive winning performance. - in 2007 it was not the case.   For the first time ever the Springboks scored tries in the WC final. 

Personally I am with Dave in this case.   We at last have a rugby genius as a coach - not the duds we struggled with for many years.   Erasmus is  by some distance a better coach than White was and it is high time that he receives proper credit on site for what he has achieved and  not the BS idiots like AO comes up with.   


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