Meyer’s Matfield conundrum

Comment on this story


SS_matfield210

INLSA

Victor Matfield

GAVIN RICH

It may have been dis- ingenuous to suggest there is a lock crisis or a complete leadership void, but for new Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer, the timing of the leak of his approach to Victor Matfield could not have been better.

With Schalk Burger, the man many consider the Bok skipper-elect, still battling his way back from injury, Fourie du Preez expressing a reluctance to lead the Boks even if he was asked, and Jaque Fourie announcing his commitments are now in Japan, it did make Meyer’s desire to get Matfield back onto the playing field more understandable.

And then there was the injury to Andries Bekker, to his lower back, where he’s had problems before. Another No 5 lock with Springbok experience, Alistair Hargreaves of the Sharks, then added further fuel to Meyer’s argument with the announcement that he would continue his career with English club Saracens at the conclusion of the current Super Rugby season.

It’s easy to just glibly write off Meyer’s concerns by pointing to the many young locks coming through, and there is no denying that Eben Etzebeth of the Stormers is a special player, and Juandre Kruger of the Bulls is showing a lot of promise. But the Stormers coaches were concerned enough about the prospect of sending the still green Etzebeth into the match against the Reds without Bekker alongside him, so you can understand if Meyer wishes to be conservative at an even higher level.

Young Bulls lock Flip van der Merwe has played for the Boks, but he hasn’t always convinced and has a tendency to give away some silly crucial penalties. Last year’s under-strength away leg of the Tri-Nations, of which Van der Merwe was a part, showed us the extent of the shortfall of experience in a Bok team that had been dominated for several years by the core of the group blooded by Jake White in 2004.

And when it comes to leaders, the cupboard isn’t as laden as South Africans think. Apart from Burger and Matfield, the other strong captaincy candidate would be the Cheetahs’ Adriaan Strauss, who Meyer is known to rate highly.

Make no mistake, Strauss doesn’t just have the captaincy attributes that are necessary, he is also an excellent hooker and would walk into the national teams of most other countries. But would Meyer be prepared to risk choosing a captain that plays the same position as Bismarck du Plessis? Then there is Chiliboy Ralepelle, also a potential captain for some time in this four-year cycle, who also plays the same position.

Jean de Villiers has been forwarded as a potential candidate but his suitability for the job is unrealistic if you consider how strongly Frans Steyn is likely to push him for his No12 jersey.

The best captain in the country – if you are looking just at leadership potential and ability to inspire those around him – is probably Luke Watson. But his EP Kings team are not playing Super Rugby.

If there is someone who should feel sore about Meyer’s approach to Matfield, it is Burger. He has had critics of his captaincy in the time he has led the Stormers, but ironically they’ve been similar to those levelled at Matfield – a tendency to eschew kickable penalties in favour of tap-kicks and other poor on-field decisions being among them.

And while it is true that Matfield led the Bok teams that scored notable wins – Dunedin in 2008, Twickenham 2010 – he was also the leader that was so tactically inept on the day they lost to Scotland at Murrayfield.

Meyer’s decision appears to have been made, however, and rumours of his approach to Matfield have been circulating since the start of the year.

It is now up to Matfield to decide whether to take a sabbatical from coaching and commentating – and in the end, it will probably come down to how badly he wants to get back onto a stage he bade farewell to at the last World Cup.


sign up
 
 

Comment Guidelines



  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

     

Newspaper Subscriptions
SalsaHoney
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 40.
View Profile
Foreverinhope
I'm a 48 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 56.
View Profile
HartjievanHoneydew
I'm a 21 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
Jimmyhgirl
I'm a 37 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
Angdt
I'm a 21 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 23 and 30.
View Profile
Loubelle
I'm a 50 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 55.
View Profile
JanieL
I'm a 24 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 32.
View Profile
Hopeful_dreamer
I'm a 37 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 33 and 45.
View Profile
Bienkie01
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 34 and 48.
View Profile
Bebe1000
I'm a 53 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 49 and 57.
View Profile
Lala8610
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 32.
View Profile
MistyLady
I'm a 36 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 34 and 45.
View Profile
LeilaM
I'm a 40 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
Doeksa
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 33 and 39.
View Profile
Gemima
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
CTBLONDE
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men and women between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
Judith78
I'm a 36 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 48.
View Profile
0044MJM
I'm a 49 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 48 and 61.
View Profile
Bastet_11
I'm a 43 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 48.
View Profile
Enkellopende
I'm a 42 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 43.
View Profile
Takingtime
I'm a 49 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 58.
View Profile
WandaLove
I'm a 19 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 22 and 26.
View Profile
RobzMolecule
I'm a 24 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 22 and 30.
View Profile
sonskyn27
I'm a 56 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
JULIET_001
I'm a 51 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 49 and 63.
View Profile
Mickey101
I'm a 25 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 30.
View Profile
Jenny84
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 33 and 40.
View Profile
Rosesandlace
I'm a 49 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 49 and 53.
View Profile
sexilexi17
I'm a 19 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 20 and 25.
View Profile
Smileawhile
I'm a 45 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 52.
View Profile
Sonskyn83
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
chloeeeee
I'm a 44 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 52.
View Profile
MTBGirl_11
I'm a 42 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
Warmsmilewarmheart
I'm a 47 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
Fire_and_Ice81
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
pikkewyn_123
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 36 and 40.
View Profile
FoXyLaDy444
I'm a 56 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 50 and 65.
View Profile
Teleporter1612
I'm a 48 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 43 and 100.
View Profile
GypseyTraveller
I'm a 54 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 49 and 58.
View Profile
MizLiz
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 40.
View Profile
Mo1979
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 43.
View Profile
Cathwhite
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
JayAnne
I'm a 56 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 56 and 70.
View Profile
AgentI
I'm a 39 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
L123
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 39.
View Profile
TuffLove
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
Moze008
I'm a 57 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 55 and 70.
View Profile
MissMoneypenny_13
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 42.
View Profile
Leigh1979
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 40.
View Profile
ShanJo
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 42.
View Profile
MissSM
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 39.
View Profile
Chriz_1985
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
Tiggs33dgb
I'm a 48 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 53.
View Profile
JillieB
I'm a 61 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 55 and 70.
View Profile
recently40
I'm a 40 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 58.
View Profile
sexyhair
I'm a 42 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
Rarefind
I'm a 55 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 52 and 63.
View Profile
Okidoki_63
I'm a 51 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 60.
View Profile
Smurfette
I'm a 36 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
BMull08
I'm a 19 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 19 and 30.
View Profile
Bassinchic
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men and women between the ages of 25 and 35.
View Profile
Jobaby10
I'm a 36 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 45.
View Profile
AbiApie
I'm a 19 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 18 and 20.
View Profile
Bluebell531
I'm a 46 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 60.
View Profile
khosyx
I'm a 20 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 21 and 30.
View Profile
sweets1987
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 42.
View Profile
optimistic_36
I'm a 37 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 46.
View Profile
Bianx24
I'm a 24 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 30.
View Profile
Lesel
I'm a 46 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
ContagiousLaughter
I'm a 41 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 36 and 44.
View Profile
klouise
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 31 and 39.
View Profile
JustChat76
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
Plattelandsenooi3
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 33 and 45.
View Profile
Caroline_
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 26 and 36.
View Profile
Kay_722
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 40.
View Profile
Artistixoxo
I'm a 23 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 23 and 28.
View Profile
HenrietteF
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 42.
View Profile
PowerPrincess
I'm a 41 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 47.
View Profile
SilverLiningM
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 36.
View Profile
Apple_853
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
BlondeBerry
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 40.
View Profile
nirina
I'm a 37 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
Persephone101
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
tigerlady28
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 22 and 34.
View Profile
LimitlessSoul
I'm a 45 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
your_wildest_dreams
I'm a 36 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
KW82
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 40.
View Profile
Dollie81
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 49.
View Profile
Liefieling86
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 32.
View Profile
Lilakii
I'm a 21 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 23 and 31.
View Profile
Blondie_434
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 28 and 43.
View Profile
EMT2014
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 40.
View Profile
Crispy990
I'm a 24 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 24 and 35.
View Profile
Butterfly_effect
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 36 and 48.
View Profile
Dee37
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 45.
View Profile
FaiRy9
I'm a 26 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 36.
View Profile
Blu
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 33.
View Profile
luvlie
I'm a 48 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 46 and 52.
View Profile
ClassicRocker
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 42 and 52.
View Profile
daniel101
I'm a 44 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 32 and 38.
View Profile
Natureboykie
I'm a 60 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 43 and 64.
View Profile
5star
I'm a 57 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
Dn212
I'm a 51 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 60.
View Profile
contour
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 34 and 39.
View Profile
captainkid
I'm a 55 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 47 and 56.
View Profile
lvebird53
I'm a 54 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 65.
View Profile
IanT
I'm a 48 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 48.
View Profile
OohCharles
I'm a 53 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Alachison
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
Rebelinbluejeans
I'm a 62 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 62.
View Profile
goldenhat
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 36 and 66.
View Profile
BossMorne
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
naughty_sporty
I'm a 41 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
pieterl
I'm a 59 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 62.
View Profile
Propriety
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
IrishBoy11
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 27 and 40.
View Profile
Gambino_Family
I'm a 59 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 42 and 70.
View Profile
Ons2alleen
I'm a 30 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 24 and 29.
View Profile
TheDuke_99
I'm a 36 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 42.
View Profile
CDolf
I'm a 30 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 33.
View Profile
TheRealMrRight
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 42.
View Profile
henisright
I'm a 50 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 37 and 53.
View Profile
6s6s6s
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Smartboy_102
I'm a 60 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 47 and 57.
View Profile
Banker009
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 34 and 46.
View Profile
FamilyMan72
I'm a 42 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 43.
View Profile
cccdovy
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 48 and 56.
View Profile
cknneth111
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 41 and 70.
View Profile
Lastgreatwhite
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
Officer_Gentleman
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 48.
View Profile
DaveB_791
I'm a 49 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
Firefox_771
I'm a 63 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 42 and 56.
View Profile
LovingSerenity
I'm a 38 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 24 and 45.
View Profile
Guardian_24
I'm a 41 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 37 and 43.
View Profile
Ironstein06
I'm a 36 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 37.
View Profile
stumpjumper
I'm a 54 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
DutchDelight_
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 46.
View Profile
philip_unplugged514
I'm a 62 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 68.
View Profile
breeze001
I'm a 49 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
karooboertjie15
I'm a 40 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 40.
View Profile
ekke_706
I'm a 50 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
George5911
I'm a 55 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 36 and 50.
View Profile
SingleNSearching60
I'm a 60 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 55 and 70.
View Profile
Ryno_56
I'm a 26 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 34.
View Profile
plodof
I'm a 58 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 55.
View Profile
gentlebutcrazy
I'm a 58 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 55.
View Profile
cornrlius205
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 50.
View Profile
ScottRanger1987
I'm a 27 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 30.
View Profile
Stand64
I'm a 50 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 36 and 55.
View Profile
kannieworrynie
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
rjscm
I'm a 48 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
Natural123
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
EensameWewenaar
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 50.
View Profile
Kitchenslave
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
matiekat
I'm a 66 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 68.
View Profile
dinnerfortwo
I'm a 54 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
Bruce_308
I'm a 47 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 41 and 70.
View Profile
TLS11
I'm a 53 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 57.
View Profile
Lonomor
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 35.
View Profile
umustbsomewhere
I'm a 61 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
TripleJ94
I'm a 20 year old man looking to meet men and women between the ages of 18 and 30.
View Profile
Kiwiana
I'm a 39 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 39.
View Profile
LiveLifeAlways
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 33 and 41.
View Profile
gavinzn
I'm a 57 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 57.
View Profile
brightday111
I'm a 55 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 48 and 59.
View Profile
Suidwester27
I'm a 53 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
charl1906
I'm a 57 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 49 and 53.
View Profile
KTM1190A
I'm a 59 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 58.
View Profile
Andy_Leo
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
MLACOME0147
I'm a 55 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 49 and 79.
View Profile
cloudhopper
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
tommy351
I'm a 61 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 48 and 59.
View Profile
versl_550
I'm a 55 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 60.
View Profile
Agent_K1
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 38 and 40.
View Profile
Cruisingoldie
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 50.
View Profile
wiedahunk
I'm a 57 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 70.
View Profile
JustCallMeBwana
I'm a 47 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 49.
View Profile
CL4ptp
I'm a 28 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 22 and 28.
View Profile
freddic1
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 47 and 55.
View Profile
DJStarglance
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
jacuwig
I'm a 25 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 20 and 25.
View Profile
Jurgy62
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 37 and 55.
View Profile
JPretoria
I'm a 38 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 40.
View Profile
Tall_fun
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
richy10
I'm a 57 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 49 and 70.
View Profile
TallDreamer
I'm a 37 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 38.
View Profile
WanderingShadow
I'm a 39 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Fred58
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
Coolfun
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 55.
View Profile
Denali
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 40.
View Profile
BENTLEY292
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
BobTheExtremeBuilder
I'm a 47 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 47.
View Profile
Fitwithhealth
I'm a 72 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 48 and 65.
View Profile
pinsnow
I'm a 55 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 65.
View Profile
Jericho2010
I'm a 41 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 49.
View Profile
koolstoof55
I'm a 59 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 63.
View Profile
sunset22
I'm a 50 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 57.
View Profile