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Rugby | Chat

Heyneke Meyer © Gallo Images

Q&A with Brenden Nel



Our senior rugby correspondent Brenden Nel joined us for a Q&A session on Tuesday.

He fielded questions around the Springboks, the Rugby Championship, the upcoming end of year tour, the Currie Cup, player management and upcoming youngsters.

Brenden tried answering as many questions as possible and you can see the questions and answers below. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the Q&A.


The question and answer session has closed.


Questions and answers
Craig Moses asked:
Hi Mr Nel,thanks for taking the time to answer our questions,my question maybe more of of a statement,I really dont see what all the fuss is around Goosen as the next big thing at flyhalf,I know his young and has alot to learn but his goal kicking ability was woeful in both matches he started,I think an inform Morne Steyn is certainly better option,your thoughts,thanks.
Brenden answered:
Craig, hi, Goosen is a great talent for a guy of his age and remember he did have a bruised heel which affected his kicking, so think that may a bit harsh. An in form Steyn is always an asset, but he needs to find form again. Also, remember you need a squad to win a world cup, so having 3 in form flyhalves is ideal.
Ryan Miller asked:
Hi Brendon.
I think we can be proud of both our performances against the All Blacks, we are a very young side after losing a lot of world class players that no side could replace. We competed well in both tests, but NZ were just more clinical which comes with experience. It won''t be long untill NZ lose the likes of Carter, McCaw, Woodcock etc, and that will be our chance to step up and dominate world rugby. You agree?
Brenden answered:
Ryan, I think we are on the right track, but whether HM will be given the time is another thing. We need to admit NZ are superior to us at the moment and we need to stick with the youngsters and get them experience. Only that way will we get a winning team. But yes, bar the second half defensive frailties, we were good v NZ
Emile asked:
Brenden hi,
Dont you think that blooding youngsters in the Championship was one of the better decisions Heyneke Meyer could have done for the future of our beloved sport.Think about it, next year we will also have our injured players back and with one or two key players back we could very well be contenders for the no one spot in world rugby. It hurts when we lose but you must see the big picture.
Brenden answered:
Emile, I don't think HM had much of a choice given the injuries etc, but yeah if we continue to back them, then we should reap the fruits as they gain experience. Plus we do get a lot of guys back next year.
JOE asked:
do you think its a good thing to let the boks play in the currie cup? the boys in the currie cup have played all season and nou they they have to make space for the boks,yes they will make a div but will they have enough time to fit in with the game plans with one game to go before play offs?
Brenden answered:
Joe, we've had examples in the past where it has and hasn't worked. I personally think they need the rest, but its hard to stop sides like the Bulls and Cheetahs, who may face relegation from using their top players
Achmat asked:
Wouldnt it have made more sense to slot Juan deJong into the midfield when Frans Steyn got ruled out. Instead of throwing a newbie(Taute, whom I rate quite highly), into a somewhat unfamiliar role. Juan is a great player, potent on attack & equally strong on defence & he''s played with Jean DeVilliers, who knows how many games in midfield. We lost the game because they exploited our defence, they had 2 channels to attack, both inside & outside Jean DV because he had in-experienced guys on either side of him against quite possibly the best 10, 12 & 13 combination in the world.
Brenden answered:
I have no problem with JDJ but that is a coach's preference and against a team like the All Blacks, the size differential is an issue. Jaco did well vs Australia and he will get better. I wouldnt have had a problem with JDJ starting, but can see the case for him as an impact player as well.
Ruaan Vorster asked:
Good day Brenden,

I feel that the Springboks did fairly well in the Rugby Championships considering the poor goal kicking display.

Do you think the problem lies with our kickers or perhaps the training technique of kicking coach Louis Koen.

Thanks,

Ruaan Vorster
Brenden answered:
Ruaan, Louis said he hasn't altered any kicker's style, but there is definitely something that is missing there. What it is I'm not sure, but we can't afford to leave so many points on the table again in a test match. Whatever the problem, Louis is under pressure and needs to find a solution.
Mark asked:
Brenden, the problem with SA rugby I think is 2-fold and I would like your opinion:
1)I still think the extent of our domestic system is too broard and we need to cut it back to 6 sides as it was in the early years. Having the additional sides only dilutes the competition - and if by saying that its a closely contest affair - thats exactly my point - the general std of our rugby at Currie Cup Level has dropped already.
2) SA Rugby Administration needs to get together and be non provincial about it - and put in place structures in order to keep our youngsters at home. Look how many NZ or Auz youngsters leave home for England or Europe so as not to be considered for national selection - very very few.

I am afraid that until the two items above are adequatley addressed - we have no hope. Our current Springbok side is probably equal to the 3rd team - if we had all our players still in SA to choose from. Please dont site finances/franchises/etc etc everything that Dawie Crawen prediticted would happen with Professional rugby - we have to get together as a country and sort the above out - its simple.

So - what do you think?
Cheers
Mark
SA Expat in Vietnam
Brenden answered:
Mark, the CC is already six sides but the absence of the Boks has watered the competition down a bit. But as per your second point, Not that many players leave home early and the Bok coach can still call them up if they do. But as SARU doesnt contract players but the provinces do, they have no say about how much they play, where or when. We need to sort that out first.
Gareth V asked:
How is it that post the game in Soweto, suddenly we are miles behind the All Blacks when we were leading at half time and had them on the ropes in New Zealand? Thought?
Brenden answered:
Gareth, I think it is because we threw everything at them, and they responded and won the game with ease. We need to acknowledge they are a great side, and were 16 points better than the Boks on the day.
John asked:
Do you think HM should be looking to bring a technical consultant with international experience on board part time? His support team are all inexperienced. I''m pretty sure he hired them at the Bulls & brought them across when he was appointed as Bok coach. I just think we are technically naive at this level. Eddy Jones did a great job for White and was able to give Jake another perspective. The Argies have taken on Henry.
Brenden answered:
John, not sure I agree with you and i guess it depends what you mean by international experience. But it is an option. However, would you call a forwards coach who has won three Super Rugby titles and four currie cups inexperienced? Or a defence coach who was part of the Bok management in 1999 World Cup and has coached at London Irish as well before joining the Bulls? They could always use an extra voice, but then it needs to be one that is there for the right reasons and one that will make a positive difference to the team.
Vuyo Dlamini asked:
Brendan,with regards to the end of year tour. What is the purpose of those games with regards to springbok rugby
Brenden answered:
Vuyo, a chance to blood new players and play in different conditions. Plus its a quid pro quo as they tour the Southern Hemisphere in June.
johan asked:
hi there. Firstly i want to tell HM that i support him all the way and respect the choises he makes regarding the sppringbok team. I would just really want to know why a brilliant player like gio aplon is not included in the springbok squad. He is a quality player with lots to offer especialy on the attack and hes defense is not to bad either for such a small guy. And also why pat lambie got so little game time throughout the rugby championships. Thanks.
Brenden answered:
Johan, Gio is primarily seen as a winger in the current setup, and not a fullback. He has struggled at times at Super Rugby level at 15, and if he competes against the current wingers, will need to be better, especially under the high ball than them. Plus, I guess this is the crux of the matter, his size also counts against him.
Reon asked:
Hi, only 2 quick questions. What do you think is the chanses of Paul Jordaan and Raymond Rhule of making the End of year Tour Springbok squad? 2nd) what do you predict the result will be between die Lions and Bulls this weekend with Boks coming back into the mix? Thanks a lot! Have a nice day!
Brenden answered:
Reon, both are excellent talents and should tour - if not now, then in the next year. But also remember while it is good to blood young talent, you need to bring them through alongside experience as well. They both are fine players and I'm sure we'll see them there sooner rather than later.
Moh asked:
Most rugby coaches have a 4 year plan in mind leading up to the next World Cup, and one would think that the captain would play a critical part of that plan. Do you think that Jean de Villiers would be good enough at RWC 2015 (aged 34 then)? I suspect another captaincy selection dilemma, as it was with John Smit.
Brenden answered:
Moh, Heyneke has been rather clear that jean is a short term captain but there arent really other captaincy options at this point. I think we should allow the coach to get through his tough first year before pressing that point home. Jean is good enough right now, and that's all that currently matters.
Neal Prinsloo asked:
Good Day Brendan, thanks for your time..

Judging from the performances of our Springboks over this year 2012, it has been difficult for our coach to get the results that we all want to see. It is obviously a very demanding post after all. My question is, judging from your perspective and knowledge of our beloved Boks over the years that you know, for the position of Bok Coach, was Heyneke Meyer the best choice for S.A. rugby? Or is that only a question to be answered as we get more and more game time and the results we want to see?

thanks!
Brenden answered:
Neal, I've worked with Heyneke since 1999, and know him well. I don't know a coach that is so driven and passionate about his job and feel while things havent gone our way, we need to give him some time. Of course, thats not to say I agree with all his decisions, but he has had a tough year.
anthony asked:
Hi Brenden,
My contention with South African rugby is that it stems from school level whereby they let loose educationalists on players. Would you ever have a history teacher coaching your son tennis or swimming? Why then do we treat our country''s 2nd most popular sport with such disrespect. They should have decent coaching at young age groups as well as developing a certain skill set necessary for the sport. Our junior players are totally underskilled and that translates into problems at senior level whereby it is too late to improve skill sets. I understand that in New Zealand the youngsters play touch rugby for many years before contact rugby. This allows even the forwards to develop the concept of finding space for the support runners. The game of rugby is all about the 14 other team members running into space, creating deception etc. We play the game that the ball carrier takes the ball up and the other 14 wait for something to open. Do it see the same problems ?
Regards
Anthony
Brenden answered:
Anthony that's an age old argument and its difficult, especially with the state of education, to change things around here. However, with many coaches at that level starting to get more professional it can only help.
mo asked:
Hi Brenden ,Why do you always seem to favour HM ? Ok, you know the guy and his probably a fantastic bloke, but you have a job to do. Rugby is a professional sport keep it that way. HM wants big and his favourites then we still have to read why you agree.Isreal Dagg an Correy Jane how much do they weight?? I suppose Taute had a good game??Some people will just never change.
Brenden answered:
Mo, now now, u ask a question and start answering it yourself? As I said above, I've worked with HM since 98/99 and know the way he thinks and the way he works. I also know that in the emotion of a test win/loss people have opinions and forget to look soberly at situations. I don't agree with everything he says, and he does believe in size. As for your remark about Taute, have a look at my match report from Saturday, and you'll see there was no praise from me for his defensive lapses. Lastly it is a bit unfair to compare a one-test player with two players who have 60 odd tests under their belt.
sulaiman asked:
Do you really think the bokke are so far behind NZ?reason for askin is bcoz we so inexperience and hav a new coach,I''m sure next year we wil be world be challenging them.
Can''t wait to read your thoughts
Brenden answered:
Sulaiman. I think there is a lot of truth to that argument and remember when I say that, I've also admitted we can match them on occasion, but not consistently. Our systems and in-fighting and provincialism don't help any Bok coach out, and to be consistently successful we have to change the mindset and put the Boks first.
James asked:
Is McCaw the greatest rugby player/captain ever? What is the key to his success? He doesn''t seem that physically gifted?
Brenden answered:
James, he is obviously a good leader, and has been blessed to play in an All Black team that has dominated. He is also extremely clever at playing situations and adapting to the ref. But the best ever? I doubt it, that's a big call, but he will certainly go down as one of the greats.
wynand asked:
Hello Bredon,i just want to ask why the springboks are not staying together until the UK tour. Because if the boks getting more injuries in the curry cup ,how will we get more continuity in our flow of our game?
Brenden answered:
Wynand I guess you have to pose that question to the provinces, who will say they pay the players salaries and therefore should have first right on them. As another example, look at how Plumtree bleated this weekend when fringe players werent released to the Currie Cup.
Stanton M asked:
Hey I heard a rumor that Freddy Michalak might be back with the sharks for the Super rugby:) is that true? And what''s up with SARU blocking the Kings from signing more overseas players? Australia allowed Rebels to do it.
Brenden answered:
Stanton. I havent heard the rumour but thats not saying it isnt true. As for the Kings, the Rebels only had two overseas players and thats all SARU are going to allow. Its a principle point, and remember weren't the Kings formed to give opportunities to black players from the eastern cape. They've hardly done that.
Quinton asked:
What makes the all blacks a top class team is the fact that they are so unbelievably skillfull in every department in the game very clever players!!!!
Brenden answered:
Quinton, right you are. And they are a settled side that have been together for years now.
mustapha asked:
why must hm try and make a quality scrumhalf a wing in hougard and we have so many guys that can play on the wing
Brenden answered:
Mustapha, I guess its an argument about where Hougi must play that has been going on for a while now. I see him as one of those gamebreakers that you simply want on the field, no matter what.
godfrey tshabalala asked:
Hi Brenden

After beeing outplayed on all department are there any positives that we can take from the all blacks game?
Brenden answered:
Godfrey, of course there are. Our forwards look good and can only grow in stature, while we blooded a few youngsters who can only improve.
Lourens asked:
Would it not have been better to play the same tight five that played and tamed the All Blacks in the forward play in New Zeeland at Soweto as well. That includes the locks.
Brenden answered:
Lourens, I think the coach decided to go on combinations there and after Andries Bekker's performance against Aus, it would have been harsh to drop him. Remember also the Boks lost 6 lineouts in Dunedin.
Doron asked:
Brenden hi.

Thanks for taking time to answer the questions. My question is this: Even though I don''t believe that the Bokke should have been expected to win the Chamionship tournament considering how young and inexperienced the side is and we are after all in a rebuild phase, the biggest concern seems that we are still a very one dimensional style of play and we don''t seem to be able to change the tactics depending on the situation or team we play. Does Heyneke have the ability to play a different style of rugby more so than the kick and chase? your thoughts thanks.
Brenden answered:
Doron, I don't quite agree with you. I think the Boks have shown a lot more width in their last few games than they did at the start, but old habits die hard. HM is on record as saying the Boks need to play the situation in front of them, and they can only improve with experience.
Jacques Swart asked:
Good day, thank you for taking the time. My question is a simple one. What do we need to do, to compete with the All Blacks? Our defensive line has more holes than a fishing net. We didn''t look scared against their attack, we looked non existant.
Brenden answered:
Jacques, We did what we needed to do in the first half. We put them under pressure, disrupted their game plan and for the most part, defended well. We slowed down their ball and played tactically. The big key is to do that for 80 minutes, which few teams get right.
John asked:
Hi Brenden,

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions.

Why do you think NZ manage to remain injury free relative to SA & Aus?

NZ do play just as much rugby. I think it''s a falacy that their players are rested more if you look at minutes played (apart from Carter & MacCaw who are rested and will be next year).

Do our guys train incorrectly?

Why doesn''t SA rugby get some fitness gurus to advise our trainers who clearly are getting it wrong?

I remember in about 9 years ago the Crusaders got Paul Chek in as a consultant. He, along with Charles Poliquin are considered world leaders when it comes to fitness and conditioning.

Sometimes training right is better than training hard. The ABs on Saturday clearly looked the fitter team.

Also why does NZ always seem to be ahead of us as far as coachig, innovating and training goes? Surely ther must be some good sport and rugby brains in SA?

Thanks
Brenden answered:
John. 1. They have control over how much their player play and have greater depth. Morne for instance played 139 games since 2009, which is ridiculous. I don't think we have the same depth they do have and our training is fine. Basil Carzils, the Bok fitness trainer has been around the world studying the latest techniques. As for being the fitter team, it is easy to look that way when you are on attack. The Boks were in the game but made errors on attack and lapses in defence, which has little to do with conditioning.
Tyrone Rankin asked:
Hi Brenden.
Two things , 1 , The Boks finished 3rd on the log in the Championship , do you think that is a good reflection on how we did ? And secondly what is stopping SARU from getting out top players to sign central contracts like the NZRU do with their players?? Surely this will be better for SA rugby because we can control the work load of our top players who at the moment are injured..
Thanks for your time
Brenden answered:
Tyrone, I think we let ourselves down at times and at others had a bit of bad luck - like kicking, otherwise we would have been second. 2. The provinces - try and take control away from them and see how they will react.
JP Rheeder asked:
Hi Brenden,

With the level of dominance that New Zealand had enjoyed for the better part of my Rugby watching career (20 years or so) I can''t help but feel that the All Black''s have turned rugby into a "one horse race" which is no longer fun to watch.

I really love the boks, but I think rugby is suffering, as no other big sport has had one team win 85%+ of their games for as long as NZ have (and continue to) do.

What then do you then advise me and others who share my view regarding this? Suck it up, hope for second place, or hope NZ drop one game in a blue moon? Find another sport to watch?

Thanks for your time.
Brenden answered:
I wouldnt get that pessimistic just yet. But the challenge is there and only if we approach it properly and put the right structures in place will we be able to challenge them consistently. They are extremely professional and have the depth, so unless we up our game (that being from planning to execution) we won't come close.
Malcolm asked:
Firstly i am not impress with HM. Elton was the inform flyhalve and still is,and the second choice flyhalve in the Springbok setup, during the England tour, suddenly Elton was dropped and Goosen who was out injured came back and became the second choice flyhalve for the Pumas second leg. For me that''s unexceptable. The same happen with Juan de Jongh, he brought in Jaco Taute who was injured ,into a vital position, and he was exposed on Saturday, three tries came through that channel and the All Blacks attacked that channel every time single time.Juan had never let the country down in any international game he played.Heyneke said he likes big players, but how can he bring in a specialist scrumhalve who is a small guy , in place of L. Mvovo who is a big guy. And one of the tries that was scored came through Hougaard who could''nt tackle the big wing of the ALL BLACKS.And dont tell me about the reason they lost was through inexperience , that is a load of bull. They are proffessionals and they are being paid alot of money.And that''s why i dont blame our coloured people for not supporting the Springboks.
Brenden answered:
Malcolm. Elton was the "in-form" flyhalf in a side that ended last on the log in Super Rugby. Goosen was always going to be the starting flyhalf if he was fit. Currie Cup rugby form is two levels below test rugby and Elton also struggled and didn't move the defensive line accordingly when Conrad Smith scored. Taute had a bad game, and my views on him and JDJ are above. As for Hougaard, he is a game breaker and was probably our best player at the World Cup on the wing. As for your statement on inexperience. Remember one thing, this All Black side is a settled side that has played together for the last eight years, give or take an individual or two. They have contintuity. We had the same with Jake's team which made the right decisions on the field because of experience. Currently we have six players that are still under21 in the squad. They are young and they will make mistakes. You can't expect every player to be the best in his position in the world in his first test.
jca asked:
The northern hemisphere can never move their season to the summer, it would take 6 unions and all the privately owned clubs. Southern hemisphere rugby comes down to one contract. So if we want a global season, Sanzar will have to move s15 toe start in January and currie cup and rugby champs to end in December. Is that possible?
Brenden answered:
JCA - anything is possible if the money is right.
Rosanne Fleming asked:
What do u think is Heyneke s plan for Lambie and at which position should he be playing ??
Brenden answered:
Rosanne, I think he needs to decide firstly what he is - a flyhalf or fullback. You can hardly blame the Bok coach when his own province keeps shifting him around. Lambie's time will come,and he is part of the squad. Remember to win a world cup you need a squad of 30.
Nkululeko Lupuwana asked:
Good afternoon Brendon, quick statement and question, HM knows his in a transitional period in SA rugby, where he has to bring in new players, we can see where he is going with the squad, however in stating that my question is, since he(HM) said 12 months is a long time for rugby, do you think next year by this time we will be close to NZ standards and if so, how are we going to go about doing that...? thanks
Brenden answered:
Nkululeko, I think next year we will be better, but there are few teams that are up to NZ standards. It is a lot more than just the Bok coach's team choices, there are bigger factors that need to change for that to happen.
Mario asked:
Hi Brendan

Nice of you to make yourself available. Why can''t we make use of New Zealand coaches in SA. our game is currently lacking ball skills and reading the game. John Mitchell has turned the lions into a formidable unit in a short space of time. we should get these guys at school level, varsity and u21 level. what do you think.
Brenden answered:
Mario, but we do - John Plumtree, John Mitchell and the new Kings coach Matt Sexton are all Kiwis. What you want in any sport/organisation is to develop your own talent. Not import the whole time or else your system can fail.
Dirk Rust asked:
Hi Brendon

Did everyone forget about Pat Lambie, seems like all the talk is about Goosen and Elton. I still belive Pat is the most telented player how do you feel and where will you play him?
Brenden answered:
Dirk, I don't think anyone has forgotten but I've been consistent in saying Pat must choose where he wants to play and then compete against the others. There are currently three flyhalves, so he has a lot of competition if he wants to play 10. I'd commit myself to 15 and look to force my way in from there.
warrie asked:
Now That Goosen is out, who will be wearing the NO.10 for the UK Tour
Brenden answered:
Good question, if you have the answer, help me out and buy me a lotto ticket...hehe. no just kidding, probably between Elton, Morne and Pat
romano asked:
what have u made of the ep kings progress this season and what do you think their chances are in the 2013 Super rugby series
Brenden answered:
I think they will struggle with the intensity and the long season, especially if they pick up a few injuries.
Oswin asked:
Hi Brenden

Hope you are well. I would like to ask, will supersport broadcast the last bledisloe cup match between the All Blacks and the Aussies on the 20th October, cause I saw that it is not on the fixtures of internationals on supersport.com

Thank You
Kind Regards
Brenden answered:
Oswin, I haven't checked but I'm sure they will. if you check with me on twitter (@brendennel) in the next few days I will have an answer for you.
Andries asked:
Who would be your captain if you were coach and Jean injured?
Brenden answered:
Andries. Tough question - Adriaan Strauss is the obvious one right now, but what happens if Bismarck is back? I like a forward captain, but there aren't too many standout candidates at the moment.
VicJ asked:
Should the coach not look at a more thinking fly half and try Pat Lambie during the UK tour?
Brenden answered:
Vic, are you saying that Goosen and Jantjies don't think on the field? I'd like to see Lambie get more of a run in the tour, in whatever position he wants to play in.
craig augustine asked:
Hi brenden , is the fact that the boks blow hot n cold lately a result of injuries to obviously key players n lack of experience or does the fault lie in our game plan? With the lions performance in the currie cup n the the bulls n wp lack of performance (regardless of the fact that boks had gone n injuries hit , cos injuries can happen during s15)does that nt warrant a review of how we chose our s15 participants ? Dnt u think a combination like the cats use to be will give all teams a fair chance n improve SA teams performance in s15 ? Do u think the bok should experiment @ the end of year tour n allow players time to gain experience ? Thanks
Brenden answered:
Craig, it definitely has to do with a lack of playing together, inexperience and some simple mistakes they have made. Also a lack of reading the situation and making the right calls, and that comes with time. As for the end of year tour, can you imagine if we say we will play the youngsters and lose, there will be an outcry. Its a tough one to balance.
Peter asked:
Brenden,Heineke seems to have an obsession with size.In any 50\50 selection(Kirshner v Lambie,Vermeulen v Daniel,Taute v De Jongh)the bigger guy gets the nod.In my opinion brawn will never beat brains and I am sure the All Blacks would never select sides this way. Please comment.
Brenden answered:
To win international rugby you have to win the collisions, and not one guy in the All Black backline - outside the halfbacks - is under 90kg. They are all big blokes with speed and power. Ideally what you would want is size and flair combined into one.
ashley asked:
Mr. Meyer
Thanks for affording me the oppertunity to put the following question to you.

When you took over as national coach, youve said that you would put certain structures into place. not a lot is known of what exactly these structures are about. can you give us a bit information about it? will it ensure that current weaknesses (handling, decision making etc) will be concentrated on?

thanks once again

Ashley
Brenden answered:
Ashley, unfortunately IHeyneke isnt answering the questions. But we will try and get him on again in future so that he can answer your questions.
Neal Prinsloo asked:
Hi Brenden, thanks for your time.

My question may not be on the lips of everyone cos everyone I''ve spoken to has blunted me. But anyway, over the games we''ve played this year, I''ve been keeping a close eye on Jean De Villiers and esspecially the number 12 and 13 channels in our backline and more often than not, there has been lapses in defense in those areas, and as a result it is my opinion that Jean De Villiers is not our answer in that space, or maybe our combination of 12 and 13 needs some work. I remember a distinct moment in Perth where JDV missed the tackle that led to Oz trouncing us in their own backyard where we should have brought home a win.

My question is then, do you think JDV is our man, and if so or if not, why?

thanks for your time!
Brenden answered:
Jean has struggled with form this season but I thought he was much better at 12 than at 13. Still, he will need to up his form to lead by example.
Heinrich asked:
The Blue Bulls are at the un accostomed bottom of the log...? Should the union be worried ? Because I remember earlier in the year we scouped up Almost all the young talent.. Jan Serfontuin ect...Why can''t they use them ?
Brenden answered:
Heinrich, I would always be worried, but I think you have to see it in perspective. There's a young coach (Pine), who has lost his forwards coach, defensive coach and conditioning coach, and who has lost half the players (10 in total). There are 22 players out either through selections, injuries etc and they are struggling. Having said that, some of the performances have been poor and needed to be better. Young players also need time to develop
Calvinator asked:
Hi Brendan.. There is a lot of talk about the ''BIG GAP'' between NZ and SA rugby at the moment.. However I don''t think it is as big as some are making it. The fact that we have had countless injuries to key players.. Bismarck, JP, Burger, Spies etc I feel it wouldve been a very close 1 - 2 finish between the two.. I am aware our SA rugby system has an effect on the Injuries, but let''s say we had no injuries. How ''BIG'' is the gap between NZ and SA? And how long untill we close it? Thanks PS: I regard your Views highly
Brenden answered:
Calvin - the big thing is that we expect more injuries next year as Super Rugby takes its toll. Injuries are always a part of the game, but my point is that our systems work against the Bok coach rather than help him. We have coaches who attack the Bok coach and provinces who actively undermine him. You never see that in New Zealand.
thys asked:
Is Deon Fourie leaving stormers?,and what do you think of Deon has an player,tnx
Brenden answered:
Thys, I have seen reports he will be heading to Toulon, but I've also heard a rumour he has decided against it. I will ask my colleague Gavin Rich, who covers the Stormers, to follow up on it.
Martin asked:
I was at the game on Saturday. The All Blacks scored a couple of tries that were realy suspect to me. It seems they employ a double backline system with a couple of forwards standing flat and the backline itself standing deep. When our backs defend their deeper backline moves they are to a certain extent blocked from doing so effectively by the All Black forwards standing flat. The delay in defence created by this system created a couple of overlaps from which they scored. Is this legal? It is not a complete block but our backline players need to run around these All Black forwards causing a delayed defence and changed defensive lines, creating more time and space for the All Black backs to create an overlap.
Brenden answered:
Martin, like all things in rugby, if the ref says its legal, then it is :)
Johann asked:
Hi Brenden, it is said that a man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams! I think all Springbok supporters dream of a team that beats everybody including the AB''s into the turf but the reality is that the NZRU is a far more professional outfit than SARU. Each professional rugby kiwi seems to have two job descriptions that they adhere to excellently. A generic job description with KPA such as how to protect the ball in contact, how to place the ball away from the defence, how to defend a mall low and effective, how to stay low to the ground when driving, how to read a defensive orientation of the opponents, how to use quile and step, dummy switch your way through a defense, how to recognise defensive weaknesses etc and a job specific job description per position including speed, skill needed strenght and fitness. Please tell me SARU has a similar professional, dynamic uniform and accurate job description that our players have to adhere to and that they are just lazy or the supporters may become old before their time!
Brenden answered:
Johann, I know Rassie is busy implementing these structures, but we are way behind the All Blacks in terms of this. Of course it does help when everyone in the country works towards the goal of making the national team great, which we dont have in SA.
Francois asked:
Hi Brenden,
I rate Willie Le Roux and I think he deserves a look at by Heyneke Meyer, specially for The November internationals. What is your thoughts on this. Thanks
Brenden answered:
Willie is a good player but needs to work on his defence, which has let him down, especially in Super Rugby.

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