Toetie must go and here’s whyJanuary 30, 2018
30 January 2018
Allister Coetzee’s tenure as Springbok coach has been marked by poor performances on the field, bizarre selections, poor excuses at post match press conferences and a dismal transformation record. He has stacked up one unwanted record after the other and is now blaming everyone except himself for the Boks’ underwhelming 2016 and 2017 seasons.
He has launched a scathing attack on SARU in a letter that was leaked over the past weekend and is refusing to vacate his position.
This despite the Boks only winning 11 out of 25 tests and Coetzee horribly failing to buy into SARU’s transformation strategy which states that 50% of the Springbok team should consist of black (Black African and Coloured) players by 2019. In 2017 only Tendai Mtawarira, Siya Kolisi, Elton Jantjies and wingers Courtnall Skosan, Raymond Rhule and Dillyn Leyds, were regular starters in the Bok team. Bongi Mbonambi, Trevor Nyakane, Oupa Mohoje, Uzair Cassiem and Rudy Paige were regular bench warmers and got very little game time.
Coetzee also took the exciting Cheslin Kolbe on the 2016 end of year tour to the UK and Europe and Kolbe, who was only available for the (non-test) match against the Barbarians, was not on the sheet when Coetzee announced his match day squad. Chiliboy Ralepelle also sat on the Bok bench for two whole tests without getting on the park at all.
And even when the man known as Toetie, had the opportunity to give in form players like Warrick Gelant well deserved test starts, he opted to bizarrely pick the Bulls fullback out of position on the left wing in place of Skosan. This all while Andries Coetzee started at fullback in every test in 2017 with performances varying from acceptable to mediocre.
I could go on and on if I wanted to.
When Coetzee was coach of the Stormers, he embraced transformation and gave fair opportunities to the likes of Kolbe, Juan de Jongh, Siya Kolisi, Nizaam Carr, Scarra Ntubeni, Sikhumbuzo Notshe and Kurt Coleman to name a few.
Toetie also failed miserably when he awarded Eben Etzebeth the captaincy after Warren Whiteley got injured. Siya Kolisi would have felt hard done by as he was Etzebeth’s captain at the Stormers, he was in the form of his life and Etzebeth had never really portrait any real leadership skills to justify his sudden elevation to the role of Bok captain. Also, Etzebeth plays at his best when he’s given free rein to “soften” the opposition up front and he doesn’t possess the charisma nor the media skills that Kolisi has.
Coetzee, who captained the non-racial SARU from scrumhalf between 1988 and 1991, has now come out and called a possible Rassie Erasmus takeover as Springbok coach as “not in line with SARU’s strategic transformation plan”. Whilst that statement may be true, Coetzee has dropped the ball too many times on that front to now use that as an excuse.
I remember how excited I was when Coetzee announced his first squad for the 2016 season and the very first name announced was that of Garth April. A player of colour who had a great Super Rugby season and who has good stepping, running, passing and kicking skills. A new era had dawned I thought, only to be disappointed week after week by mind boggling selections, defensive game plans and the same old poor excuses at post match conferences.
Allister Coetzee has won just 44% of tests in 2016 and 2017, he has failed to embrace transformation and those are enough reasons for him to be sacked as Bok coach.
Coetzee’s unwanted records in 2016 and 2017
• Lost to Ireland for the first time in South Africa
• First ever away defeat against Argentina 2016
• Biggest ever defeat to Ireland (38-3) in 2017
• The Boks lost to Italy for the first time ever in 2016
• Worst ever year in Springbok history – 4 wins from 12 Tests in 2016
• Most points ever conceded against New Zealand (57) in both 2016 and 2017
• Biggest margin of defeat in Springbok history – against New Zealand in 2017 (57-0)