The Bounce
Doing it for the fans

Boks: Damned if they do, damned if they don't.


The Springboks have two games left, and again (said like a true optimist) two more chances to finish the year positively.

They managed a win against a lacklustre French team over the weekend, but just like in the Irish match, they looked mostly clueless in a variety of departments.

What can be done to 'finish the year on a high' then?

In short, and after much consideration, I have the following answer for you.


This Bok team is just such a directionless mess right now, and every time the coach opens his mouth we are reminded of this.

His latest pearl of wisdom from the painfully narrow one point win over a truly dreadful French team was how impressed he was with the team's 'character'.

Character? Two years in charge of a team and 'character' is all they have. Character is something you praise desperate people for. As in South Africans show great character to try and stay positive under the leadership of Jacob Zuma.

Defensive prowess, attacking dynamism, superb reading of the game... These are things good teams tak about. The Boks though, well they have character...

So what's going to happen against Italy? Well more of the above sadly as a slab of wood can't suddenly become a piano.

Only this week this whole sitation becomes a little bit more frustrating. Malcom Marx and Eben Etzebeth are injury doubts after picking up knocks against the French. Then Siya Kolisi returns home to be with his wife while they welcome their new child.

At this stage of the year this should be totally okay, the Boks have a full squad on tour, and there is some talent that needs game time.

Coetzee won't see it like this though, and is so risk averse and ball'less that these players being unavailable probably saw him contemplate calling up John Smit, Kobus Wiese and Francois Pienaar to replace his precious senior players.

But let's just say he has no choice but to play his fringe players, what sort of a setup are these guys coming into in order to show what they are capable of?

Even if a player has all the talent in the world, all they will be allowed to do is 'show character' as this so-called Bok gameplan continues to stifle talent.

Ever wondered why SA players thrive when they head on over to the overseas clubs? Because none of those clubs focus on showing bloody character. They look to play proper rugby, and our boys come up trumps in this regard.

So it makes no difference whom Allister Coetzee picks. The starting 15 will be on the field trying not to lose, then the replacements will come on when one of the starting players looks close to death. Coetzee still hasn't grasped that rugby is a 23 man game nowadays, and while other teams kick on late in the game by using their substitutes, Coetzee is still just looking for 'character' from his starting players.

I fell asleep during the French game on Saturday night. Not because I was really drunk or because I had a long day. I was simply bored. Bored of watching a team with no plan, no excitement, and no hope.

Perhaps I should have shown greater character to stay awake. Perhaps I'm just literally too tired of all of this now.


For more on the current state of SA Rugby, click here to read about the aftermath of the #2023 Rugby World Cup bid loss.

Tags: springboks, allister coetzee, bok team, sa rugby, duane vermeulen, siya kolisi


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