CAPE TOWN - Mark Keohane rates Gary Teichmann as among the elite international ambassadors of world rugby. Here are his weekly rants and raves:
1: Can those naysayers take a chill pill and acknowledge the good in Curwin Bosch, as opposed to what he defensively can’t do - or is perceived not to be able to do. Bosch, in his first start at fullback for the Sharks, was electric in everything he did on attack in the 42-5 win against the Lions.
Geez, he is such a good talent. A polite request to Sharks coach Robert du Preez: ‘Please just play this kid, be it at 15 or 10.’ He will never be the finished article at 22 years-old but just let us enjoy his remarkable talents in the interim.
2: Please stay fit for the World Cup Lukhanyo Am. Pretty please! Am is the best outside centre (No 13) in South African rugby. He was imposing and impossible to keep in check against the Lions. The Sharks midfielder broke the line twice, beat five defenders, advanced 80 metres with the ball on attack and completed a wonderful attacking night with a try. It was beautiful to watch.
3: Welshman Gareth Baber coaches Fiji’s Sevens team. Baber on Sunday oversaw a fifth successive Hong Kong Sevens title for the Fijians and the first thing he did was to dedicate the triumph to the victims of the Christchurch Mosque horror attack that killed 50 people.
Baber took over from Ben Ryan in 2016 and finally his Fijians are starting to show glimpses of that bygone era when the inspiration in Sevens was all Fijian. Talking of Ryan, he has to be the best coach in Sevens and it is a crime he is no longer involved.
Ryan transformed Fiji’s approach to 7s, adding discipline to the obvious natural talent.
1: The Stormers were a joke in Brisbane. I am sick and tired of hearing how positive each defeat is for the Cape-based franchise.
When they lost 24-9 to the Blues and failed to score a try, coach Robbie Fleck described the match as the team’s best of the year and said he wasn’t concerned about the lack of tries. Fleck, who in 12 matches in charge of the Stormers in New Zealand, never won, again looked to deflect the low of defeat against the Reds in Brisbane. Fleck will leave the Stormers at the end of the season after four years of failure. Nowhere in the world are coaches rewarded more for mediocrity than in South African Super Rugby. He should be gone now.
2: What the hell is going on at the Sharks? Why does a gentleman like Gary Teichmann want out of a union/franchise he served so brilliantly as a player, captain and now as a CEO? Teichmann is among the elite international ambassadors of world rugby.
He commands respect and influence. Yet, reports emerging from Durban would indicate that even the talisman Teich has had enough of the professional rugby scene in South Africa.
3: The Bulls’ implosion in the last 10 minutes against the Jaguares was disastrous for their play-off aspirations. It was also indicative of the soft mental side of too many South African players. Champion teams don’t lead by 10 points at home with 10 minutes to play and then fall apart through two yellow cards and the concession of 12 points.
Bulls coach Pote Human nailed it when he said South African players need to adopt the same mindset against international opposition that they do when playing local derbies. The fact that they can’t means they should not get paid this week.@mark_keohane