Editors Note


Volume 3, Week 43

Editors Note

Brilliant!      Phew, what a year of rugby! There were shenanigans, headaches, joy and sorrow aplenty, so much so that the average fan can be forgiven for being fed up or ‘gatvol’ with rugby. And for many it is not over yet, South African rugby is going through more turbulence than a Cessna enveloped in a cumulonimbus and all indications are that the year will end in thunder. 

2003 was all about the World Cup, everything every coach and player said or did was aimed at the magical six weeks in October/November – promises were made, experiments were conducted and more BS floated than during a used car salesmen conference. Alas, the year and the World Cup is over and the sifting begins, blame is apportioned and scapegoats branded so that all can start again for the next cycle of 4 years.

On the point of cycles, the New Zealand Rugby Union is on the right track as far as this humble observer is concerned with the way forward in their rugby. They also seem to be that one step ahead of SA, not only on the field of play but in their coaching and administration. The NZRU is proposing a system whereby the All Black manager is in control of the team and the coaches report to him, kind of the England under Woodward scenario. They also appoint the coaches/manager for 4 years with a review a fter every World Cup, this makes a lot of sense as very little attention nowadays is brought to results in between the RWC’s, winning the World Cup is the Holy Grail and in most instances the biggest money spinner for players and unions alike.

That is New Zealand, funny that there have been no proposed changes for England and Australia… South Africa on the other hand is going through one of their worst crises of modern times. The game is in disrepute with daily reports of unhappy (mostly so called ‘quota’) players and talks of court actions regarding the now infamous ‘Kamp Staaldraad’. The hierarchy and their method of appointment are archaic to say the least and there is no honour and responsibility for actions. How on earth can any pre sident/chairman/CEO of this 'banana' organization continue in good faith after the most disastrous period in the long and proud history of Springbok rugby? 

As for the coach, Rudolf Straeuli has the worst record of any Springbok coach, yet expect to retain a job clearly above his station and abilities. The supporters are up to their eyeballs in frustration and anger with no reason to expect change or an upswing in their team’s fortunes. Yes, Springbok supporters may ask too much of their team however they will be the first to admit and admire a Springbok team who plays to its ability and if it loses against a better team then so be it. Realism has alre ady set in however Springbok supporters should not accept mediocrity because of mismanagement at all levels of the game.

Enough about rugby politics that affect more wasted man hours at many companies around this country than the rear of Kylie, if there is some bean counter or actuary reading this, it will be a worthwhile exercise to determine the cost to economy of the bad Springbok showings and the resulting crap and politics of the current state of play. The mind will boggle.

This is the final issue of the year, and after the above diatribe, readers will agree that the year has been too long and the rest is well needed! RF will be back in the New Year, refreshed and with renewed vigour for the Super 12. After playing some golf with two of the game’s budding superstars over the weekend, I can say that the future Springboks are motivated, confident and not afraid of the task ahead. What they need or rather, what is essential to their and Springbok success is the guidance of an experienced and more than above average coach.

Thank you readers for your wonderful letters, the regulars Storm, Koos, Colin, Frans, Chris, Marius and many more for sharing your thoughts and ideas. Also to Tom Marcellus, who through work pressure had to call a halt to his column; Des Organ, whose love of the game saw him travel all the way to Australia; Vinesh Naicker, who always presents a fresh and different point of view from NZ – thanks gentlemen, you are the guys that make RF tick.

That is enough, before this gets out of hand a la Oscar and my mother comes into it. Have a brilliant festive season and keep the faith in the jersey, whatever one you support, as that is the one thing that remains the same.



Visit www.rugbyforum.co.za for statistics, all the quotes and an archive of previous issues

Our World is not in Union by Desmond Organ
In the last several days I began to read a book on professional rugby written by an expatriate South African called Duncan MCrae. Quite a heavy read if you are not the perennial fan of Southern Hemisphere rugby and the historical facts associated with it. The key is that you have to be a fan of the game to understand some of the hidden messages and innuendoes. I myself found it compelling to read of the trials and tribulations of the game in South Africa and it is slightly ironic that we are in a s imilar situation at the end of 2003.

The year began as typically most have in South Africa in the last decade, plenty of optimism and a blind belief that things can only get better. The seasonal optimism soon gave way to the rhetoric of we told you so, but in the midst of all the despair with the Super 12 and the Tri–Nations there was some good news. That good news came in the form of the continued success of some of the feeder teams that sit below the all failing Springboks.

From a Rugby Forum perspective we have reached and moved forward from our century of publications and made our presence felt in some small way at the World Cup in Australia. It was a unique opportunity for us to experience some of the glory and also some of the realities of the modern version of the game. The reporters from all four corners of the globe were there in every shape and form. From the free sandwich guzzlers to the less polite versions of English correspondents, the flamboyant French cu lture is not just limited to the players as I was to find out after they had destroyed the Scots.

I posed a simple question; What do you think of the way they played the game tonight? A polite response was all that I got, but it had all the trappings of French flair.

“ We played quite well; but I would like us to use a little bit more creativity and erase those handling errors”.

Real words of wisdom if you consider the manner in which the French were eliminated from the competition. 

The downside of the whole experience was the way in which the Springboks were to both enter and leave the competition. I say this simply because I had the pleasure of being at the inaugural “Bok Town” experience in Perth. This was the highlight of my trip as I was able to mingle with fellow countrymen and feel a collective sense of pride, despite the racial scandal of several weeks earlier.
Unfortunately the predictable exit from the tournament has in true South African tradition been followed up by yet another series of scandals. Scandals which appear to be symptoms of a far greater problem of ineffective leadership.

If leadership is the problem then there has to be some kind of corrective action to change the way that the game is managed. Simply electing new leaders without a key resolve to change the way the game is being run is not going to change anything. The transformation mathematicians have had their say as far as representation is concerned and now it is time for them to put their words into action and deliver more than just a Rainbow Nation.

One simply gets the feeling that there is a cancer that pervades the game in South Africa, which only goes into periods or remission every several years. It is in these periods of remission that we forget about our own greedy guzzlers at every level of the game from the press to the executives who seem to gorge themselves at the expense of the supporter. If that is all we can look forward to in the future then there is every reason to have fear in the words that were spoken by a less than convinced English fan in Perth.

“Come on England, it is only the Africans.”

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When we came into the airport it was something very special. It's starting to sink in, what we've actually done - it's a massive credit to Martin and the team for what they've done.      Clive Woodward

The proposals were accepted. Nothing changed from what we proposed to what happened at the camp. They all knew what was going to happen, including Rian Oberholzer, Songezo Nayo, Bok coach Rudolf Straeuli and team manager Gideon Sam.     Springbok training camp master, Adriaan Heijns 

The coach has a contract until 2005 and we have a duty to give him a chance.      Rian Oberholzer

Mike was looking around the field and realised he didn't know anybody.     John Connolly on replacing Mike Catt with Mike Tindall after their RWC time away.

In many ways sitting here in New Zealand it was almost like my employers didn't support me in these situations. John Mitchell

I don't think we were out-thought and outcoached, We had our particular way we wanted to play and we just weren't able to execute. It was just a bad day at the office. It was just like waking up from a bad nightmare. John Mitchell on the AB's loss to Aus

Straeuli kept telling us that we should judge him on the World Cup. The World Cup has now come and gone and it was a mess. If he was a decent man he would resign now for the good of our rugby.      Keith Andrews

Scottish Rugby Union chief executive Bill Watson was sacked on Monday as the first step in an attempt to overhaul the game in Scotland.           Sapa-AFP report on www.iol.co.za 

In the interests of accuracy and to slice through all the hype and sensation, I would like to point out that the South African National Defence Force does not train its people naked, neither, to the best of my knowledge, do any other military organisations. Hard training, yes. Deprivation training, perhaps. But naked, definitely not! Conditions in the field are not generally kind to the naked human form.      SA Defence Force, Chief of Defence Corporate Communication, Major General Mohato Mofokeng on "Kamp Staaldraad"

On the basis of what he has done, Mitchell's overall results so far are second to none in the modern era.   Zinzan Brooke

Negotiations have begun between SA Rugby and Rudolf for him to stand down. I can't provide finer details of the talks, but discussions are definitely taking place.          SA rugby "source"

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Letters to the Editor
Hi Lucas

Thanks for a great news letter - my favourite read of the week. I really enjoy the editorial as well as the letters from the readers - I can sense the grief, despair and frustration in the words of my fellow Bok supporters! Okes - I feel your pain..!! In a sense, when the AB's knocked us out, it was like a mercy bullet to end the pain - as an avid Bok supporter, I felt relieved that I could finally enjoy watching the rest of the RWC objectively and not have to worry about the countless knock-ons; tur novers lost; the lack of intellect displayed by our team on the field. Where are the days when our centres and wings could gracefully slice open the opposition back line defences? Or off-load in the tackle before hitting the deck? Watching the Aussies and the English re-cycle possession countless times; change the tempo of the game at will; test the opposition defence with probing runs; attack with a strong run from anywhere across the full width of the park - it was magical stuff - no rugby textbook could preach what these guys were doing in front of our eyes, on the telly - absolute Rugby Nirvana!!! Hats off to England and to a youthful Aussie team who made the old buggers really work for their supper.

The next few weeks are going to be extremely important for rugby in SA - I would say that the next few weeks will determine whether or not SA will ever be a factor again in the world's game. Please can you keep the newsletter running, until at least the end of the SARFU elections. Many Bok supporters are going to watch this with interest, and it will be great to stay in touch with you until the whole election process is over. 

I look forward to a new future for Bok rugby, a new year, a new season, and again in hope that we will somehow perform better in the Super 12 than we have before.

Grant B.

Hi Lucas

Staaldraad Too Late

Thanks again for all your and the other writers for their stories. It has been a long and tiring year for SA and NZ rugby with little or no reward.

I would like to make an observation with regard to this army style boot camp the Boks went on.

It should have happened years ago. Nothing can bring individuals with their own agendas, ( provincialism, racism) together than suffering and hardship together. 

It has been practiced for hundreds of years to bind teams together. whether in war or in sport the team bonds and they fight for each other with their lives.

Had this happened two years ago, Cronje would have still been there, showering and sharing a cabin with a comrade, a team mate and not a colour.

May this crap subside and the focus get back to making a team the world respects again.

Seasons greetings to you and all the rugby lovers out there.

Till the next RWC watch this country.

James Sleigh

Hi Lucas

Die Maties\WP Debakel

Baie dankie vir die rubriek waar ‘n mens kan uiting aan jou gevoelens kan gee. Ek lees in die koerante dat WP rugby nie meer uit die Maties spelers kan kies nie. Ek gee nie om oor die area waar die die Maties gelee is nie, al wat ek weet is dat dit vir al vir ‘n leeftyd die hoofvoedingsbron van die WP rugby span was. Ek twyfel baie oor die mense wat in beheer is van sulke sake se denkvermoe. Hulle vergeet dat die ander sport soorte in Stellenbosch met die uitsluitsel van krieket, amateur sporte i s. Ons sit alreeds met ‘n Bokafrigter wat lyk asof hy gestrem is in die skeppende denke kant, dan moet ons nog sit met imbasile wat Stellenbosch uit die WP area haal. Hulle vergeet dat daar miljoene rande bestee is aan die Nuweland rugbystadion, wat gaan leegloop algaande die WP span slegter vertoon. Hulle vergeet dat rugby die grootste “money spinner” sport in SA is. My broer, my bron van ‘n seisoenkaartjie het besluit om nie weer sy seisoen kaartjies vir Nuweland te koop nie asgevolg van die Stormer s se patetiese Super12 en die WP se dom onnosel foute wat hulle in die Curriebeker aanhoudend gemaak het. Ek eis om te dink oor die tipe van rugby wat ons nou gaan sien nadat die WP ‘n baie kleiner groep spelers het om uit te kies.

Ek hoop dat die WP Rugby Unie die hofsaak wen “and that sanity will prevail”.

Marius Stegmann

Hi Lucas


Wêreldbeker se dinge is verby, maar ek wil tog vir ons buurland sê dat hulle nie so swartgallig moet word nie. Wanneer laas het die Bokke 'n wegwedstryd gewen teen een van die vyf grotes? Lanklaas sou jy sê. Nou hoekom verwag ons ondersteuners dan dat so 'n onervare span nou ewe skielik in die eindstryd moet speel? Daardeur wil ek nie sê dat daar nie foute gemaak is nie. 

Een van die foute is dat die spelers net soveel verdien vir 'n wen as vir 'n verloor. Nog 'n fout is dat te veel spelers gekies was om die boktrui oor sy kop te trek. Dit is nie meer 'n kuns om 'n bok te word nie. "Ek het dit nie verwag nie"-uitlatings wanneer die span aangekondig word spreek boekdele.

Ons skryf baie doelwitte in die werk. Nou wonder ek wat is SARFU se doelwitte vir 2004? Het hulle 'n Meesterplan? Of is dit krisis bestuur op sy beste.
Kom ek probeer. 
Doelwit no 1: 
Een super 12 span van SA speel in die finaal en die ander drie doen hul bes.
1. Verskuif die grense sodat die Lions (ook geografies) by die ander "Transvaal" spanne inskakel.
2. Gee die nuwe bulspan 'n naam (iets soos VP Bulls "Vaalpensbulle" sodat al die Transvalers ondersteuners verenig kan word. Spelers hoef dan nie Bloemfontein toe te trek vir 'n tuiswedstryd nie.)
3. Stel die afrigter van die Curriebekerkampioene aan as die afrigter van die VP Bulls.
4. Laat die "runner-up" Curriebekerkampioenspan die eerste keuse hê om oortollige spelers te leen. (Indien die span van buite die ou Transvaal is. Dis nou om die tweede span van SA Super 12 sterker te maak.)
5. Betaal die Trans Oranje (Kaas en Wyn SA Super 12) om te verloor teen die VP Bulls en te wen teen die diep suide se spanne (Otago, ens.) - sommer 'n moerse bedrag, aangesien hulle nie van die rykste is nie, maar tog elke jaar goeie rugby speel.

Doelwit no 2:
Die Bokke wen hul tuiswedstryde teen alle besoekende spanne.
1. Kies 30 manne en staan by hulle - hoofsaaklik uit die VP Bulls 
"Assumption:" Hulle het in die super 12 finaal gespeel.
'n "Killer Assumption" is 'n veronderstelling wat jou hele doelwit in die wiele kan ry. Dan skrap jy daardie doelwit of jy maak dit haalbaar. (Wen helfte van tuiswedstryde)
Dit sal nou interessant wees as die lesers van Rugby Forum die aksiestappe kan voltooi. Dalk nog 'n paar doelwitte kan formuleer en so 'n Meesterplan kan skryf.
En gee dit dan tog vir Boots & All dat hulle dit kan verkondig en iemand moet ook seker maak dat SARFU so 'n Meesterplan in sy besit het (en 'n goeie laerskoolonderwyser moet dit tog asseblief vir hulle gaan verduidelik.)

Baie dankie Lucas vir jou "Brilliant!" Rugby Forum en mag die FS Cheetahs weer goeie rugby en -spelers lewer!

Bertie Liebenberg

Hi Lucas

Wie en Wat is 'n Afrigter?

Net om my siening van meeste afrigters in S.A. (trainer) teenoor "coaches" wêreldwyd, te staaf en na aanleiding van die berugte "kamp Staaldraad", haal ek graag aan uit 'n artikel wat ek vandag ontvang het. Dit lees as volg:


How Coaching can help YOU

Why are Tiger Woods, Mohamed Ali, Penny Haynes and Franscois Pienaar all successful sports people? How did the brilliant confidence of Richard Branson, Neil Armstrong and Bill Gates take shape and help them to become the household names they are today? They were all either mentored or coached. 

Coaching is a one-on-one interaction between coach and client to achieve insight, accountability, motivation, focus and clarity of purpose to achieve your goals. 

Coaching is a powerful strategy to achieve personal and professional excellence, which includes 'Co-creating a Higher Quality of Life' for yourself and those around you.


Superior or exceptional performance is imperative for success in today's competitive environment. In life we expect to win! In the hands of a Professional Coach, you will learn how to use your talents, time, energy and self-motivation to make the critical difference


· Co-create a Higher Quality of Life
· Achieve Crystal Clarity of Purpose
· Provide greater Work/Life balance - and have some fun
· Improve your relationships
· Improve personal and professional performance
· Identify and conquer your self-limiting beliefs
· Increase your self esteem
· Develop greater insight into yourself and others
· Increase your problem solving abilities
· Develop coping strategies for change
· Sharpen your Leadership skills
· Strengthen Management/Staff Performance
· Develop better strategies to manage People, Resources, Skills and Time
· Identify and develop inherent resources to achieve your goals

Actors, performers & Athletes speak of a good Coach as someone possessing the abilities to push them to the edge of creative envelope, bringing out greatness that was untapped, potential that emerges as unparalleled skill.

The intent is to be this kind of Coach!

Enige persoon wat hom enigsins met afrigting van watter aard wil bemoei, sal nie sukses smaak as hy nie toegerus is met bogenoemde as belangrikste deel van sy denkwyse en mondering nie.

Terloops, onsuksesvolle "trainers" is volop in hierdie land, neem maar net ons Sprinbokke se rekord die afgelope klompie jare as voorbeeld. Miskien dink die lot hulle is besig om diere (sprinbokke) af te rig en verklaar dit dalk die rede vir hul dwaling. Tyd dat ons wakker word!

Gee groot asseblieftog vir ons 'n COACH, asseblieftoggies, Kersvader!

Koos Carelse

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