RE: A few lessons from the CC final video
November 23, 2012, 09:29:11
I relly have no answer here about the selection of any player at 13. Meyer fouled up in his original squad selection and in fact included Tauite as a full back - wih virtually his only center combination being De Villiers and De Jongh. There was in the original squad selection no allowance whatsoever for the playing of any other combination.
When it came to the Irish test for some reason or another Meyer veered from his original choice and instead of playing De Jongh at 13 - he played Taute. That change from the original squad selection of Taute as a full back clearly did not work out - and in the Scottish test he went to the De Villiers - De Jongh combination - the selffsame combination that contributed in a major way to the poor backline performances in Super 15 by the Stormes backline.
The latter combination really did not work in the Scottish test as well. Some people blame Lambie and De Villiers for the deficiencies in both games - others also include Taute and De Jongh into the problem scenario. In retrospect I think that Meyer's original squad selection was the major problem that is coming back to haunt him. He included a number of players he never really intended to use in the squad - instead of providing cover for the center combination - should things not work out.
Be it as it may - Meyer has left himself no alternative but to play the center combination of De Villiers and De Jongh in the test on Saturday. I also think that there is NO other possibility - but to use De Jongh at 13. I said all along that was a poor choice - since he did not show anything much during the past year and in fact showed certain negative tendencies in the games he played in throughout the year. Those included -
* a tendency to knock on balls in contact situations;
* being in reality ineffective to attack the gain line himself;
* being easily tackled by the opposing players;
* not protecting the ball in tackle situations - thus losing the ball in mauls or giving penalties away;
* having a quetionalble passing game and an inability to off-load balls effectively in tackle situations.
One or more of the above happened in every game he played in this year - often enough repeatedly.. Giving him space in games - like happened in the Melbourne Rebels game and the CC Final is dangerous - but for him to create space is an impossibility. However in most games he was ineffective and average to poor in a actual performance. His better attributes include open-field defence - but that is not the core of discussion here. It goes about the instruction of Meyer to Lambie to make sure that the backline play more attacking rugby.
Saffex's main argument relates to size - fact is I believe that size can be off-set by clever play and a better reading of the game and by effective usage of a wider vision contributing to an effective passing and off-loading situation. However, there can be no argument that part of the limitations as mentioned above - can be blamed on his size - since he lacks in capacity to use other mechanisms effectively to off-set the size problem.
I did not say I am blaming De Jongh for potential losing of the test - what I did emphasize is that he would be a negative factor in the attacking game Meyer now wants Lambie to play. My view on losing the game goes much wider than De Jongh. I have said all along that we have an advantage or is on par iwith the POMS n five positions amongst the forwards and a serious disadvantage in especially two. The latter centers around Steenkamp and Kruger. You have to have a full 8 man pack to get an advantage - and that is seriously absent in this case.
The backline has been largely disfunctional throughout the year and has in fact being weakened substantially on this tour. The two issues mentioned are the min reasons why I say we do not have much of a chance in the game on Saturday. .