It is well known that the Springboks had their worst year ever in 2016, and it’s not looking to be getting any better.
Allister Coetzee had the year of nightmares for Rugby coaches and any Rugby fan alike as he took South Africa to only 4 wins all year, which in Springbok eyes is unacceptable. Coetzee was expected to pick up where Meyer left off, but did not reach such expectations as his squad seemed to crumble before his very eyes.
The Springboks’ year is said to be down to; “There was no leadership, and the players obviously didn’t listen or respect what the coaching staff were trying to say, because there was no passion and intensity in their play.” as former ‘boks coach Nick Mallett stated on Planet Rugby. Although this could be down to players not adapting to Coetzee’s coaching style; it seems to fall a lot deeper than that, as it seems Coetzee has not gone into the job with the correct intentions or frame of mind, meaning players will not see it fit to listen to him and his staff.
Mallett further went on to state that; “There was real confusion over what style of rugby they were trying to play…”. This in professional Rugby should not arise at all, it shows poor work of Allister’s behalf, as if a coach is not asserting their tactical views and controlling the team, what are they there for? At the end of the day he is the coach, and his players should be doing what he tells them.
It is arguable that Coetzee was thrown in head first; not being able to pick his own assistants, but this is going to be changed ahead of this years campaign, as the SARU are allowing him to choose his own assistants, which should bring some better Rugby to the Springboks as Coetzee and his assistants will gel better than the make shift team he was given last year. Although, Coetzee will be ‘lucky to keep his job’ as Mallett stated, as many coaches in the Springbok scene have been and passed down to being sacked, and they had drastically better records than him!
Why don’t they just get rid of him? Well, with his contract having a termination clause of R13m it is not really an option, as they would be paying just over 4 times what Coetzee made this year in his appalling show with South Africa, just so they can get someone else in, and that’s without the price of a new coach! So, it seems like they are trying to cover up the cracks until there is another option, but how will Coetzee’s second shot as it turn out?
Who thinks Coetzee will be able to pull it off and get the Springboks back to their winning ways?