The Bounce
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What should Allister Coetzee do right now?


Some jobs are tougher than others. The Bok coaching job for example. No matter who you are, no matter how well you have done in the position, you will get thrown out on your arse and anger a great majority of the South African rugby public.

Since readmission in 1992, you can take your pick really. Gavin Rich's book on the Springbok coaches of recent years backs up the sentiments of my opening paragraph brilliantly.

So what lies ahead for Allister Coetzee then? As the most recent of failed coaches, his record over the past two seasons makes him a genuine candidate for the rough treatment associated with the end of a Bok coaching stint.

Despite being able to always pick the team he supposedly thinks is the best, with the help of a coaching staff he deems more than competent, he cannot lead his team to beating a second string Welsh team. Or winning very much at all really.

The man is so woefully out of his league, that his only response is that he is looking for positives in every game. He is a coach that talks about how well his team 'practices', and how proud he is of his players putting in 'a great effort' on the field on matchdays.

Back in high school I was captain of the 3rd XV. Our coach was never there as he was planning an overseas cricket tour at the time. So at 17 years of age I was also the coach, and I was always impressed that the team somehow practiced well, and positively thrilled when they somehow put in 'a great effort' on the field on the Saturday.

Though my story is cute, for the same take outs to apply to the Springbok team is nothing short of embarrassing. This is the highest level of South African rugby, and 'trying hard' is something that is deemed praise worthy ?!?

This alone should lead to a coach being fired. Never has mediocrity had such a happy home in the Springbok setup, and long will it for as long as Allister Coetzee is there. But I don't need to tell you this, the reality of his tenure gets enough airtime everytime guys in a green and gold jersey run onto a field.

What I do think is worth discussing is what the beleaguered and somewhat inept coach should do from here. 

He rather forthrightly declared that he signed a contract until 2019, and is determined to see it through. Probably like he is determined to pick Andries Coetzee to play every minute possible at fullback for the same period.

Obviously neither of those things will happen, nor should they. So instead of holding on for dear life and trying to act resolute infront of the media, Allister Coetzee should grow a pair and head back to Japan.

If certain rumours are to believed, there (strangely) appears to be interest out east from a club team that is willing to take him. No mess, no fuss, and certainly less stress, Coetzee could get a good couple of seasons over there, and maybe even then pick up another international side after the World Cup. Or even consult to one during the tournament as people tend to think knowledge of local conditions means something in sport.

He can tell SARU and the South African public that this hasn't worked out as he hoped and leave on his own terms. No walking on egg shells for December waiting to see if SARU is going to trash him like everyone before him in the role.

The sooner he moves on, the sooner he can forget about this whole thing. He can enjoy ife again, and focus on more constructive things than 'looking for positives' in train wrecks.

He may still believe he can turn things around for the Boks, and that the addition of Rassie Erasmus to the SA Rugby fold will be a boost for this concern. But much like a bad movie, if the first half is dreadful, the chances of things turning around from there are slim to none.

If other rumours are to be believed that he won't get a cushy pay out if fired because he failed to reach his stipulated win percentage this season, then there is even more reason to say sayonara.

Such a move may even restore some sort of social standing for a man that the South African rugby public has essentially given up on now*.


We are talking about someone who is as bold as a paper weight though. A man so averse to risk that he fielded his 'strongest possible' team against the 13th ranked team in the world.

Coetzee will stay where he is and just accept whatever fate befalls him. He knows he is out of his depth, and that he is offering very little when it comes to taking this team forward. But he will cling on to the very end.

An end which will hopefully happen sooner rather than later.


*I appreciate that Allister Coetzee is just one man in the deeper problem that is SA Rugby. He is however a man out of his depth, and continues to prove this more and more with each game. The BlitzBoks show what can be done with talent, a different game all together with far less politics, but they are a constant reminder that this current Bok team is a leaderless mess where the only thing being perfected is mediocrity. 

Tags: allister coetzee, bok coach, new bok coach, springbok rugby, springbok coaches


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