Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
2 minute read
13 Nov 2017
7:08 am

Bok coach living on borrowed time, say analysts

Rudolph Jacobs

The humbling 38-3 loss in Dublin on Saturday means the Boks have now lost 11 Tests out of 22.

Allister Coetzee's Springbok future is hanging by a thread. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile/Gallo Images.

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee is on borrowed time.

That was the general impression from pundits as calls for his head grew after yet another record defeat – this time at the hands of Ireland.

The humbling 38-3 loss in Dublin on Saturday – their biggest against the Irish – means the Boks have now lost 11 Tests out of 22 in the almost 18 months since Coetzee took over the position Heyneke Meyer left vacant after the World Cup.

And the nightmare might even get worse as the Boks are yet to take on France, Italy and Wales over the next three weeks on their European Tour.

What made the four tries to nil victory even sweeter for Ireland was the fact that an independant report recommended South Africa as the preferred host for the 2023 Rugby World Cup, which left a better taste in the month for Ireland and France, the two other candidates.

The final vote takes place on Wednesday. Former Bok Braam van Straaten was reluctant to call for Coetzee’s head, but conceded that the coaching set-up needs to be looked at as soon as possible.

“It can’t be easy for Allister. People on the outside may think he has an easy job but let me assure you, he hasn’t,” Van Straaten told The Citizen yesterday. “The rest of the tour will become even more difficult. I have always said that you are born with ability, but talent can be coached,” he said in reference to the belief that the current squad is lacking in world-class talent.

Van Straaten believes the recent close defeat against the All Blacks in Cape Town gave South Africans a misguided perception of the true abilities of the Springboks.

It actually just sugar-coated the cracks in the weak Bok gameplan, he said. “They were actually very poor on the day [against the All Blacks] and created hope for the nation, who then believed we were better that we really were,” he added.

Former Bok skipper Corne Krige was optimistic that the Boks could still turn their tour around against the French in Paris, but admitted it will be a tall order.

“It comes down to Saru and whether they will stick with Allister, but rugby is amazing in the sense that one good win can turn everything around,” said Krige yesterday.

“I don’t want to criticise them too much because I know what they are going through. I have been there and it’s not a happy place to be,” said the 2003 World Cup captain.

“The opposing teams will see that uncertainty and doubt and will view that as areas they can exploit.” Former Springbok flyhalf Naas Botha took swipe at the coaching staff for not taking ownership. “Somewhere, somebody needs to analyse the situation, determine what’s wrong and change it” said Botha.

Springbok player ratings: Call an ambulance for the backline!

For more sport your way, follow The Citizen on Facebook and Twitter.