Jaco Van Der Merwe

By Jaco Van Der Merwe

Head of Motoring

From Springboks to Smurfs without an oath

Blessed with the luxury of a second television in my household, I gave up on the offer to watch the new Smurfs movie with my two little princesses on Saturday.

I watched the Springboks in isolation knowing that the two sets of innocent little ears would at least be safe from the usual profanities that accompany my rugby viewing in these testing times. But it turns out no walls are thick enough to lock out my verbal outbursts warranted by such a dismal performance.

I wish I could say it left me speechless, but unfortunately if was just too bad for this trap to be kept shut. As I sat there cursing Elton Jantjies for not finding touch, Lood de Jager for his terrible workrate, makeshift No 8 Francois Louw for not being able to control a ball at the back of a scrum the Boks were actually winning, Siya Kolisi thinking he is as gifted as Sonny Bill Williams by not having to look to whom he passes the ball to, Ross Cronje lifting the ball up to the sky every time he is going to clear behind his pack, Damian de Allende for being his utter crappy self and Courtnall Skosan looking like a clueless dwarf, it hit me … how many other players are there actually that will help the Boks turn their fortunes around?

In the current squad, not many I’m afraid. And there won’t be any point in replacing any given player with someone else if he is going to be required to slot into the same game plan – or complete lack thereof most pundits are telling us.

The only one who can change that is the coach and even if Allister Coetzee gets the chop, it is only going to be after the tour. That means another three Tests and the very realistic possibility of another three defeats. One man can only take so much pain and that is why I openly declare not to watch another Bok Test this year.

When the lads run out in Paris on Saturday evening, there will only be my one television switched on in my house and it will be showing the Smurfs movie. And nestled between my little darlings, I don’t mind watching it for the 17th time. Not one little bit.

Here’s why: The evil Gargamel is a much better villain than Coetzee. Having a tame vulture on your shoulder you can send to kill Smurfs is so much easier to sell than telling the world that De Allende is “world-class player”.

Papa Smurf is a more inspired leader than Eben Etzebeth. Clumsy Smurf fumbles less than half of the Bok backline. Smurfette’s hairstyle is much easier on the eye than what is going on on Jantjies’ head. It will be 80 minutes of guaranteed entertainment, as little blue creatures falling over one another will be much more fun than French players wearing blue falling over the Bok tryline.

My beer stock doesn’t have to take such a big knock. I’m guaranteed of a happy ending. And the best part is, I do not have to swear once.

Read more on these topics

Sport columnists Springboks

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits