Confusion in Bok Administration runs deep
The 2016 season for the Springboks has been a horror story. While Allister Coetzee has been the poster child of hopelessness in south African rugby he has bore the pressure that also needs to be directed at the South African rugby administration.
It has been common knowledge to anyone with a rugby brain that the South African Rugby Union (SARU) played a huge part in the worst season for the Springboks ever. It contributed to a whole lot of problems and while it was gravely silent whilst the Boks amassed defeat after defeat it would make sense now why it never bothered to raise its head. As now important decisions have to be made for the future and problems are being encountered it becomes evident how far troubles lie deep in SARU.
As much as Coetzee has been futile he did not hire himself. SARU needs to take the responsibility of having brought an inadequate coach into an already fragile system. The same inadequate Coetzee had a list of names thrown at him and he had to embrace them as part of his coaching staff. After appointing said coach they even made it hard to get rid of him. It was grossly demoralising to hear that Coetzee’s contract did not include a performance clause to terminate it. This means that they could let him go about breaking all the wrong records and he’d have no fear of him being chucked out of the rugby system without receiving a big fat payoff. With its finances operating in the red, SARU was never particularly at liberty to execute such a blunder. Axing Coetzee should not have been a matter of rocket science but now he faces a multi million rand payout if SARU really needs to take him off the top job.
The bok administration has shown how ineffectual they are with no set succession plan. When you look at the New Zealand system you can get a picture of who is in line to get the top job. It is never a random name picked out of a hat like what most would expect to be happening with SARU. Look at the current coach of the All Blacks. Steve Hansen was an assistant to Graham Henry from as long back as the 2007 Rugby World Cup. When Henry left in 2011 after winning the World Cup there was never much to think of. Steve Hansen took over and there was no transitional drop, no excuses of a coach trying to create his own blueprint to success and no brand new team throwing away previous players. The fact that Hansen was so in synch with the existing system meant that it was as if Graham Henry never left. Vigorous continuation is one the reasons why the All Blacks have always been ahead of South Africa
There has been talk of a New Zealand coach being brought in to rectify the fiasco of 2016. Suppose by some miracle SARU do manage to pull that trick off so what then after that? Will they expect a brisk return to form? If that looks to be taking time then what? It waits for the coach to do things his way? There needs to be a set plan on how coaches will be handled. Pick the best man for the job, give him what he needs and then get out of the way. Maybe when SARU sets off to adopt this approach we can start seeing better results.