Rating of coaches since 1994

Forum » Rugby » Rating of coaches since 1994

Mar 22, 2020, 14:04

The fact is that we have had a variety of coaches since 1995 and numreopus evaluation opf performance  have been tried before and I am going to classify them  on th following basis:-

*    The congenial PR type;

*     The Kamp Staaldraad type

*     The knowledge deficient coaches

*     The real professionals

The congenial type 

This  type of coach has a very good relationship with the SARU as employer, the general  public and above all with the players.   The players will walk through a wall for them .   They have the one element that is somewhat  lacking in some  elements of the game for instance in respect  of  knowledge of the team and of discipline within the team,  

In this category we have the following:-

*   Ian Mc

*   Keith Christie

*   Carel du Plessis

*   Viljoen

The four coaches  had a mixed bag as far as their ratings are concerned:-

*   Christie stood out because of the 1995 World Cup victory.    Unfortunately he ccould not proceed with coaching the team for longer because of cancer.   The indications are that he ahs had nop real deficiencies as a coach.    RATING  “B”


*    Ian  Mac  had huge success with the Sharks, but ended up being rather indifferent  on Springbok level – probably  because he  had no say in team selection and had to coach players from different provinces with different playing cultures.   RATING “D”

*     Du Plessis in his outlook was years ahead of the SA coaches of the time – since he believed in that two  rarities in SA Rugby, namely the usage of the 15 man game plan and the scoring of tries.  The new approach initially caused problems with the  players ability to implement and as a result there were initial losses in tests.   For instance in the Lions tour the Springboks lost the forst test by a narrow margin.   In the second test they scored 3 tries – but even though conversions would have been fairly easy – all three conversions failed,   However, in the end the Springboks beat the Lions by the biggest margin ever in Lions tours of SA and ended up beating the Aussies by 63-22 in the test match in Pretoria.     Du Plessis was very good in identifying players and Mallett used the same squad to add another  15 wins by the Springboks over the next 18 months.   RATING C

*     Viljoen  was totally deficient when it came to discipline in the team and  his selections were very  questionable.     RATING G

The Kamp Staaldraad Type 

These type of coaches  had an autocratic militaristic and school masterly approach towards  coaching.   They are known for poor relationship with SARU as their  employer,  and they in the end caused the players to dislike them.   They have a huge opinion of themselves as coaches – only they know what is right and what is wrong in playing of the game of rugby.  In general they are successful for a short while after taking over as coaches, but then the team  performances go south. 


I called them Kamp Staaldraad coaches  because they showed that characteristic in their approach


*    Straueli                      -    100%  - Kamp Staaldraad type

*    White                        -       80% -  Kamp Staaldraad type

*    Mallett                       -      60% -   Kamp Staaldraad type


He was known for the Kamp Staaldraad  episode and his team election and prformns were poor, The 2003 WC series was a disaster because of his coaching inadequacies and deficient selections.  RATING H


It is obviously necessary  to look at White/s career as test coach obviously inclusive of te WC vioctory in 2007 and what happened subsequently.   White as a coach had a very limited game plan in which for instance backline usage was extremely limited,    As Dave said his plan worked wonders in his first to years as a coach - ie in 2004 and 2005,   However, the game plan was easily countered and by 2006 White ran out of ideas as to coaching and the Springbok performances went south,  , 

White then realized that something was amiss with his coaching and in 2007 he arranged  for the appointment of Eddie Jones to improve the situation,   It was not and one of the Springbok backline players of the time said that Jones advised them on backline play that they never learned from any SA coach before, 

After being Springbok coach - White coached the Brumbies in  2012 and 2013.  They were remarkably successful in those two years after being in the doldrums in 2011,    In that time the Brumbies had Larkham as the backline coach and due to the team playing a fifteen man game success followed,  However, White like previously with SARU, had a poor relationship with  Australian Rugby and when he was not appointed as Aussie Head Coach he exploded and breached his contract with the Brumbies,

As to Dalton's statement under a different posting on the issue, there was confirmation that relationships may be sour between White and team members who played in 2007 in the WC.  John Smit as CEO of Sharks Rugby admitted in a subsequent statement that he made a huge mistake in firing Plumtree, but lets leave that for what happened in 2014 in the case of the Sharks,   White was appointed by the Sharks with the support of Smit - but the relationship soured afterwards,   It became so bad that White was effectively fired by the Sharks after his first year as a coach,    In that year there was disunity within the team between a few adherents in the team totally loyal to White and the majority of the squad members.   The players gave the Sharks two alternatives, namely -

*    if White is retained as coach they will not sign any contract extensions with the Sharks; but

*    if White is released from his contract they will resign their contracts/ 

In fact none of players whose contracts came up for renewal was prepared to sign the renewal  contracts if White remains as coach,   

White had a similar problem in his relationship with the owner of Montpellier,   He insisted on the team fielding a host of SA and Australian players - while neglecting local players - with a negative effect on public support for the team.   His contract was not renewed after the second year and White went off to Japan.  

On the whole it is clear that White had a poor relationship with his employers at SARU and Australian Rugby, but also a negative  relationship with most of the players he was coaching.  

Taking into account the full coaching career of White in the period 2004 to date I have rated White lower than most would have done,   RATING  E,


Mallett  inherited a very good squad from Du Plessis and used them very ell for the next 18 months,  The problem came about  when he had to start replacing some of the players and that showed that he was in fact deficient when it came to player identification,  There was a breakdown  in his relationship with the players  - especially bearing in mind the Teichmann issue,   Years later he admitted he made a mistake.

There were a negative in that his relationship with both SARU and the players deteriorated over time, but his knowledge of the game can never be questioned.   RATING D

 The knowledge deficient coaches

Here it is easy to identify the coaches involved –

*    Meyer  was  totally deficient in team selection.   He had  a  minimal knowledge  of game plan usage and consistent application and a seriously defective knowledge about backline play.   He was not a good coach as a result.    His inefficiency was emphasized  by the way he was dealt with iro the Stade  Francais coaching.    RATING  F

*     Markgraaff was a coach for a few months but  fre because of a racist outburst,  Rating H 

*     Coetzee was a total disaster n teams election and had no idea of the game.  He failed bnadly as Stormers coach and failed as Springbok coach.   RATING G

*     De Villiers was  an a a coach and  should never have been appointed.  Rating H.

The real Professionals

We all know that Dr Danie Craven is regarded as the Father of Rugby in South Africa,  His image of rugby was worldwide regarded as the top expert in rugby knowledge and rugby development in the World – not only in SA,   

I asked a  respected ex-Springbok who were coached by Dr Craven while playing for the Maties about how he rated Erasmus he  said there is only one word  to describe Erasmus as Springbok coach and that word is "brilliant".   His selections were brilliant, his relationship with the players is "brilliant" and the way he inspires players to always produce their best in games is "brilliant".

Of all coaches this ex-Springbok came across in his career and studied coaches subsequent to his retirement he rated Craven and Erasmus as equals  and the rest  since 2000 were all not in the same category,   RATING  A.

Rating of SA coaches

So how successful were the SA coaches based on the above rating system:-

*    Rating   A     -   Erasmus

*    Rating   B     -   Christie

*    Rating   C     -   Du Plessis

*    Rating   D     -   Ian Mac, Mallett

*    Rating   E     -   White

*    Rating   F     -    Meyer

*    Rating   G     -   Viljoen, Coetzee

*    Rating   H     -   Straueli, Markgraaff, De Villiers,    


Mar 22, 2020, 14:34

The worst two were Alister Coetzee and DeVilliers. Both had "other" coaches in the team that did any real coaching. 

Correct Ratings:

Excellent - Rassie. 

Good- Mallet, Christie

Acceptable- White, Ian Mac

Shit - Meyer, Duplessis. 

Really shit: Straulie, Makraaf, Vijoen

Utter Shit: Alister Coetzee and DeVilliers

Mar 22, 2020, 15:20

Mallett used the squad selected by Du Plessis for 18 months and inclusive of his 15 man game plan for 18 months and collapsed afterwards when he could not identify player replacements  when that became necessary,  

The difference is that Du Plessis had a visionary game plan totally absent from, most of the listed  coaches and some of them are lucky not be to listed lower.  

Mar 22, 2020, 16:07

Snorre was better than he gets credit for...he spoke like an idiot, but the Boks were well coached in 2009...and don't tell me the players, Dick or Gary did the coaching...somehow Snorre managed to create some sort of perfect storm in 2009...

Mar 22, 2020, 16:15

Agreed.....Peeper told us the Lions’ coach Ian McGeechan was going to totally outthink Snor.  But Snor was waiting  in the weeds. I’d forgotten about that chapter in the Peeper prediction series.

In truth though....like the 2019 WC final.....that series was won in large part by the Beast.

Mar 22, 2020, 16:31

Snorre was fired as a school coach, and then by Zimbabwe. He was exposed at much lower levels of the game to be hopeless. 

And no Devilliers is a fool, he does not just talk like one- he is one. Dick Muir was the coach- the same Dick Muir that should have won the SuperXV in 2007.  

His 2008 Boks we're like headless chickens. Many of the players auto-biographies confirmed that Snor was a quota with no clue. Even Beast said Snor was useless- but eventually removed this from his autobiography to avoid being sued by the ANC. 

Snor took a back seat in 2009 and the game plan was a mix of the players and a bit from the assistant coaches. 

Snor inherited perhaps the best Springbok pack of all time all in their prime, along with Fourie Dupreez who had an excellent tactical game such as pinpoint kicking. The lineout was so good, all the Boks had to do was win the territory game.

Mallet had arguably the worst playing pool in Bok history after the 1999 world cup when the best players retired or became so injury prone. (E.g Honnibal, Teichman retired, and Skinstad became very injury prone).  (Braam Van Straaten, Louis Koen, Jorrie Muller and some other losers were some of the form players in 2000) 

Carel Duplessis had potential but he should have worked his way up the ranks. Mallet took the improving team of Duplessis - and turned them into the best team in the world for 17 consecutive tests. 

Meyer had around 1.5 good years as Bok coach in 2013- to mid-2014. His first year and last year were both pathetic. Meyer's saga at Stade De Francias proved he is a stubborn fool that does not want to adapt and learn. His idea has always been there should be one game plan. Plan B is to make plan A work. Meyer has gone down in history as the biggest disaster ever. The largest club budget in history gets to choose his own management team and playing squad. 

Yet he was useless. The moment he left, the team starts to actually win some games...

Mar 22, 2020, 16:53


One player does not win the WC - a team effort did,   Watching the games again I think that Beast was lucky not to be red-carded in the Wales match and that would have ensured a Welsh victory    That said - the fact is that the scrumming of the Springboks were exceptional in the WC, but to give only Beast credit for that is just about ignorant.     

Mar 22, 2020, 16:57

Mallet is the coach that had no plan B.....he beat the Poms with Jannie de Beer, but had no alternative when the Aussies were alert to the tactic.

That was the WC we should have won.....beat the Aussies and we could have choked the life out of France in the final.

And prior to the WC his 99 record was 1won/4 lost against first tier opponents.

Mar 22, 2020, 17:12

Mallet won the 1998 Tri-nations against the top 2 teams in world rugby. His Bok team was also undefeated for 17 consecutive test matches, so hard to see how his record could be won 1 out of 4 against top opposition. 


Would anyone in the world employee Heineke Meyer in 2020? 

The worst team selector with a one dimensional Bulls game plan. The Stade Francais owner must feel like a fool now. They are about to be relegated from the first division after spending the largest budget in club history to build a team... 

Some of these players may even be able to terminate their contracts on the basis that they are no longer a first division team. Although that may be the one shining light as a means to get rid of the dolts recruited by Meyer. They need to purge the team and start again with no links to Meyer. The person that drove the team bus, and Meyers "translator" should all be fired. 

Mar 22, 2020, 18:17

If Snôr is the total idiot he looks like on TV, how did he become Bok coach...I get the BEE angle, but come one, it's not that bad...and if that's true, Dick Muir is a rugby genius...I like him, but he's not that good. I really think that we got lucky with a "magic potion recipe " in 2009. Everything just fell into place...and we were well prepared for the 2011 RWC, but Rassie had a hand in it too, but so did Snôrre.

And if Snôrre was indeed the idiot he looks to be, why did Matfield join him investing in Boland...they were partners of sorts?

Mar 22, 2020, 18:52

I would say in the ratings above  A, B and C represented Excellent  to Good.   D is a 60:40 rating  and  E is passable at 50:50.    F,G and H are failures. 

Mar 22, 2020, 20:49

We also had Matfield in 2009.

Mar 22, 2020, 20:56

Another thread solely to talk about Meyer. 

Top 3 Bok coaches: Jake, Mallet and Meyer.

It's that simple. 

The rest didn't implement anything sophisticated or advanced enough to bee considered tactically or technically advanced enough to maintain parity with their peers. 

Mar 23, 2020, 01:46


Idiocy like yours would always ruin a discussion like this where logic is required,    The three coaches you mention introduced nothing new and taking into account what they produced is very average to very poor records.   

Meyer was and remains a total failure as a coach and anyone who  does not understand that must have a session with a shrink,     In any event he was one of the failed coaches and concise reasons were given why he failed - much less was written about him than was the case with some other coaches,  Furthermore I tried to find reliable info of the game plan of Meyer you alleged in the past existed and found zero proof of it - so another make-belief invention of yours.     

Read carefully what Mozart wrote about Mallett and what was the actual situation as to White's HR failure.   


Mar 23, 2020, 13:40

Meyer no longer has any credibility as a coach. Willie Leroux was his backline coach who made the game plan on the field.

Meyers fiasco at Stade Francais will go down in history as the most expensive disaster ever. 
Stade Francais sit comfortably at the bottom of the French league and will be relegated.
Never has so much been spent for so much crap...

Meyer had plan A which is very limited. Plan B is just to make plan A work. Useless.

Mar 23, 2020, 14:21

The problem with AO is that he built up a skyscraper in his mind as  to game plans and rate the, according to his mystical beliefs.   He would do very well financially to write books on rugby in line with the Indiana Jones movies - since his rugby ideas are jut as fictional as those movies are.

I any event he could start off with a book called "HEYNEKE MEYER AND THE MISSPENT MILLIONS OF STADE FRANCAIS",


Mar 23, 2020, 16:05

In order







the rest were just shit

Mar 23, 2020, 17:48

1. Mac

2. Erasmus

3. Christie

The rest I do not rate as top coaches.

Mar 23, 2020, 18:05

AJH that's my take as well.

But it's really an impossible thing to prove and most would argue against that, but that's fair enough.

Mar 23, 2020, 18:17

These SA coaching records tend to be influenced by whether NZ is in a strong phase or not. NZ was in a weaker phase from 1998 all the way through 2009. They won none of the three WCs .

Then from 2010 through 2016 the ABs were in their most dominant period since the WCs started. They won every RC and every WC.

After 2016 they started to slip, perhaps most obvious in their two losses to Ireland.

HM had the misfortune to coach in one the ABs strongest periods...Erasmus in perhaps the weakest phase we have seen. Their rugby wasn’t that different, but Erasmus had the better defensive regime.

Mar 23, 2020, 18:55

What's interesting is that the Boks under Meyer were 2nd in attack stats throughout his reign. He had the longest period of positive results where only NZ could beat the Boks. Multiple sweeps of the NH on tour.

Under Rassie, the Boks have moved away from the trends in the game. They are bottom in attack stats in the RC and don't compare well with the 6N sides either. Attack output changed markedly after the 2015 season, but Meyer's Boks were already ahead of the curve with modern attack structures that hadn't manifested itself in NH rugby until after 2015. Rassie's Boks don't compare well with the output of the 2014-2015 Boks, even though defence is weaker now than ever before. Attack is on top. The numbers have dropped alarmingly after 2017.

Rassie has taken the Bok game backwards, not forwards. Just as he did to the Stormers. It's the exact same blueprint.

Mallet was great until defence evolved. He tried to imitate the fast ruck speed of the Brumbies and it was a mess. Our players were all of a sudden left way behind the rest of the world in terms of preparation, conditioning, tactics and skills. Mallett had his faults, but he was one part of a bigger problem: SA rugby as a whole did not get to grips with professionalism until around the 2010 mark. 

Mar 23, 2020, 18:56

There is no such thing as a weaker AB side

I’d argue that the current crop of NZ players are as good as ever.

It does not come better than 9.Smith 10. Barrett

15. Smith

4. Retallick 5. Whitelock

2. Coles

7. Savea 8. Read

That’s one hell of a core

Mar 23, 2020, 18:58

Meyer is crap, case closed.  Many clubs or countries in the world would love to have Rassie as a coach. No sensible person would want Meyer as a coach. He was useless at Stade Francais. 

Mar 23, 2020, 19:20

Nick Mallet made a drastic mistake when he axed Gary Teichmann and made a youthful Bobby Skinstad a substitute.

Even Bobby's dad (Dr Alvin Skinstad) said so at the time that he too young for that promotion and he was not ready for that.

Dr Skinstad was our GP at the time.

Mar 23, 2020, 19:46


Name me just one trophy of significance the Springboks won when coached by Meyer.   So Erasmus took the Springboks backwards by winning both the Rugby Championship and the Webb-Ellis Trophies?   How come the Springboks backline players scored more tries in 2019 than the team as a whole scored in 2015?

As to the rest of the why Meyer,  Morne and Alberts sent packing by Stade Francais?   If a coach failed as badly as Meyer did at Stade Francais how the hell can he be a test level coach?   The owner of the Club gave Morne a fortune to contract players and what did he get.  Morne back from Brive - where he was supposed to go was his most dismal effort.  

After that fiasco nobody in the world will appoint Meyer as a coach again.  All your manipulation of facts would not change that,   He was definitely a failure as Springbok coach anyway.   


Apr 04, 2020, 14:54

Back to the top with this thread - just to show how poor AO's rugby knowledge really is.   By the way I have changed Meyer's rating from F to G was too generous to him.   Here are my final ratings:-  

Rating of SA coaches

So how successful were the SA coaches based on the above rating system:-

*    Rating   A     -   Erasmus

*    Rating   B     -   Christie

*    Rating   C     -   Du Plessis

*    Rating   D     -   Ian Mac, Mallett

*    Rating   E     -   White

*    Rating   F     -   None

*    Rating   G     -   Viljoen, Meyer, Coetzee

*    Rating   H     -   Straueli, Markgraaff, De Villiers

Erasmus is a class of its own -  Christie was coach for a very short time, bit was successful - Du Plessis had a vision about rugby years ahead of other coaches and set up the squad and trained them which was taken over by Mallet and used for 18 months - Ian Mac and Mallet has the technical knowledge to be acceptable coaches - White had a mixed record as Springbok coach (in 2006 the team was poor) and he and to get Jones to save his bacon in the WC but on the whole was  an acceptable coach,    

The other six coaches range from disastrously poor to total BS,   No wonder Springbok rugby suffered  badly over the last 29 years,   Of the 11 coaches - 6 were outright failures as coaches, ,                 

You need to Log in to reply.
Back to top