fast little loans
OK, the three-Test series is done and dusted and we can only wonder how Heyneke Meyer really feels about his team’s performance against England.
I’m sure that, deep down, he’ll be happy with the effort, considering he only had a week to prepare the team for the first Test and then also had to deal with some serious injury blows during the three weeks. Winning a series 2-0 and drawing the final Test is a very good showing, but Meyer, like the rest of South Africa, knows England should have gone down 3-0.
Anyway, Meyer has started his tenure well and there can only be an improvement from the Boks when the Rugby Championship comes around in a few weeks time. The core of the team is there and settled – read the front row, the midfield and the back three. Some tweaking though will have to be done in the second row, back row and at scrum-half and flyhalf – those are the areas that need attention.
Overall, there were good performances by some individuals and less satisfying ones by others. The one man who stood out in the three weeks was without question Jean de Villiers and I am extremely pleased he will lead the team for the remainder of the year.
De Villiers took over the Bok captaincy at a crucial stage of his Stormers team’s Super Rugby season, he had to deal with a new coach who he’d never worked with before and he had to move to outside centre to accommodate Frans Steyn at inside centre. Add to that the fact he had no one like John Smit, Victor Matfield, Fourie du Preez, Danie Rossouw, Bakkies Botha, Gürthro Steenkamp or Jaque Fourie to lean on for support and you realise just what a good job he did.
On another note, it was surprising but hardly unexpected to hear on Friday last week that Lions coach John Mitchell had been suspended by the union. There had been talk for some time of players being unhappy with Mitchell’s man management, but as the team’s “CEO” is he not required to be hard and tough on his men? And is it not he who was able to bring glory back to the union during the Currie Cup last year?
Some even feel Mitchell is being “punished” for criticising Saru for the whole debacle around the Southern Kings and Super Rugby participation next year.
Whatever the real reason for Mitchell being suspended, no one can take away the fact he’s a good coach who tried damn hard to make the Lions a force again. And he hardly had a star player in sight to work with. It’s a shame it has come to this. – The Star