Div's opened a can of worms

2010-09-09 10:06

JJ Harmse

Talk about a week in rugby!

This time last week we were still encouraged by the Springboks and the way they played at Loftus Versfeld. Now we know it was just a mirage.

This time last week we heard a lot of talk from our national coach, this time he is nowhere to be found and heard. But that is a good thing...

Rugby needs some good news right now and at the moment, good news and Peter de Villiers do not go hand and hand.

He has certainly overstepped the mark with his Bees Roux comments and although Roux is innocent until proven guilty and we have all the facts on the table, comments attributed to De Villiers have now opened the door for rugby’s enemies to come charging in.

Suddenly our sports minister is alive again, revived by De Villiers. Damn, we almost forgot about the reverend Arnold, but here he is back to guide us with his wisdom and style.

Another who did not need to have their cage rattled was the portfolio committee on sport, but guess what? Divvie woke them as well!
Nice one Peter and thanks for that.

At least minister Stofile had some sound advice for De Villiers, suggesting that he should get a spokesperson who can protect him from those perceived moments of insanity.

But wait; do the Springboks not have a media communications department? Yes they have, but certainly they don’t seem to have the influence on De Villiers that they need to.

De Villiers does not show progress on that front and whether he has been coached or not, he is certainly not listening to that advice.

What to do about that?

Well that certainly is SA Rugby’s problem and I can only add to Stofile’s advice. Get a spokesperson, but maybe another one, as the incumbent is clearly not getting the right result!

It could have been a lot worse of course. Can you imagine De Villiers’s press conferences being televised live on SABC as well as, or instead of, on SuperSport?

Only a privileged million or so who have access to the pay channel’s rugby programming have been exposed to the coach’s verbal puzzles.

Can you imagine how the millions watching SABC's sports channels would react if they were able to watch a live press conference with De Villiers going off about whatever subject?

The thing is, the Boks, according to De Villiers, are not keen on those who are ‘against’ them and they will revert back to the laager. The problem, it seems to me, is that they are in the laager already.

Media access to the team has been restricted, with promised players not showing up at press conferences, no distinction been made between the various media outlets and their needs (but for rights holders SuperSport) and certain players being kept away from media.

The All Blacks have, every time they play a Test, a ‘coffee and muffin’ session on the Thursday before the match where the whole starting XV are available for an hour to talk to the media. No All Black player can leave before the hour is over, even if no one seems to be interested to talk to him.

The Boks promise two or three players for their Thursday press conference and at times only one shows up.

So yes, the laager is well established already and De Villiers, who promised to take the team to the people, is not delivering on that one.

Training sessions have been moved without proper notice in the past, half of them are at exclusive private schools and many are ‘closed’ sessions.

SA Rugby’s alignment with pay TV also takes away the possible exposure of millions of people to the team.

But then, maybe it is easier to fool some people some of the time than it is to fool all the people all the time?

Congratulations to New Zealand for winning the Tri-Nations this year. They certainly played the best rugby of all three teams, managed to get the right players peaking at the right time, and as it happened with good homework, often got the rub of the green as well.

With the devastating earthquakes on the South Island rattling the psyche of the New Zealand people, at least the All Blacks will provide some solace, although not much. Well done guys, you deserved this one!

Read JJ every Sunday in Rapport.

Disclaimer: Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.


  • T Burger - 2010-09-09 10:36

    Well written. About 'Helium Peter" nisckname in NZ. It is unfortunate we ended up with a reasonably unknown Peter de Villiers (in the end unfair to himself) whilst we had other more presentable people fitting the full requirement of a Springbok Rugby Coach. Sometimes the SARU decision makers has to rise above their boardroom politics and give us a coach that will pass the International Media Test, with the right team they can cover each others weaknesses. most of us White, Coloured, Indian and Black are good positive followers but need more of that from those representing us in the boardroom.

  • Patriot - 2010-09-09 10:40

    Now that those who "hate" rugby have had their say, just watch how those who "love" rugby are going to call for Div's head for his comments .

  • AA iso merit - 2010-09-09 10:41

    ...the can of worms was already opened when AA PDV got the job, instead of merit candidate Heyneke Meyer...

  • Andre - 2010-09-09 11:12

    about time

  • hasie - 2010-09-09 11:16

    Kyk wat die verskil is tussen die Bokke en NZ, NZ hou teepartytjie die Dinsdag voor 'n wedstryd, die Bokke hou dit sommer voor 'n wedstryd, kyk na die groot tafel met eetgoed wat elke keer gewys word, g'n wonder hulle verloor al hulle wedstryde nie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • colin - 2010-09-09 11:48

    No matter what PDV achieve he will never win - a B&I series win, TN3 win last year was not even enough to encourage the you no who rugby public to warm up to PDV - the fact is even if PDV win next years WC he will still not get the recognition he deserves - I feel obligated to voice my support for him as I believe he is being treated unfairly by the rugby community - last year the MEDIA claimed that it was senior players who coach the team (without any credible proof) when they performed - this year all the blame falls on one man - I am 100% Bok supporter win or lose - VIVA Bokke VIVA PDV.

  • PMS - 2010-09-09 11:58

    Sorry to say but PDV is just plain stupid and an embarrassment. His comments, team choices and game substitutions prove that. Give us someone who's next brain cell is not going to be lonely, be he black, brown, yellow, pink or white, skin does not matter, brain matter does. The sponsors and advertisers that pay bigtime to be 'only' shown on the pay channels are going to start pulling out if the paying viewers start switching off. Perhaps we should vote with our remotes.

  • jacobus - 2010-09-09 12:06


  • GVA - 2010-09-09 12:12

    So our esteemed minister of sport Makhenkesi Stofile is quick to point out that PDV is not capable of speaking for himself and needs a spokesman. But as far as his coaching abilities, nothing said. So if I am to understand its fine to have a coach that can’t speak for himself coaching our National Rugby team? No wonder our players run around like headless chickens on the field NOBODY UNDERSTANDS WHAT THEY SUPPOSE TO DO!!!!!

  • Gabba - 2010-09-09 12:36

    Ai ai ai JJ Harmse....And you don't mind emphasising on it hey. Heynecke maybe deserved the job on merit yes but that was merit afforded to him. PDV was given the job as merit has not been afforded to him due to lack of opportunities. Have a look at his track record and you would see that he had success with all his teams in a very short space of time. Something Heynecke cannot boast about. PDV is still the best man for the job!!!!!!!!!

  • colin - 2010-09-09 12:38

    It is stupid for PDV to stand behind Bees but CSA and Ali Bacher stood behind Ntini during his rape trail - what is the difference - the only sector of society who criticized the move of Ali and CSA was women groups - rape is as bad as murder - please explain.

  • MACK DIE BLOUE - 2010-09-09 13:19

    waar kan n man uitvind wie GARY GOLD regtig is ?EK praat van sy "credintial',waar het hy geswot ,gespeel ens ,buiten London Irish en PROVINCE ?n tipe van cv oor die man ?

  • Staalburgher - 2010-09-09 13:20

    @Colin, you are just sticking your head in the sand. You are confusing loyalty with denial. We won the B&IL series due to lucky injuries that made crucial team changes Divvy refused to make himself. He over plays players because the squad has dead weight and he cannot give the top performers more down time. Last year's rule interpretations played right into our traditional strengths. Situation has changed, and whereas the provincial coaches adapted, Divvy has dithered and squandered opportunities.

  • bj - 2010-09-09 13:36

    @gabba - according to your argument your phrasing should have been "Peter de Villiers is still the best affirmative action man for the job!!!!!" (Although even that is arguable) Just a pity this is taking place in a world where this country should be competing on international stages with their best man for the job - selected without the shackles imposed by those who still suffer inferiority complexes 20 years down the line - when most capable people seem to be doing perfectly well without the entitlements-for-ever crutch programme - yea - some bastards are even upsetting your programme by getting into the springbok team on merit. . . .

  • @Gabba - 2010-09-09 14:19

    I am not convinced that PdV's credentials are that impressive to be warranted a crack at international level. What I would like to ask is what opportunities has he been awarded over Heyneke Meyer? I am not a supporter of Meyer, and do not think that he is the best man for the SA job, either now, or at the time of PdV's appointment. I want to know why Allister Coetzee was not appointed? To me, it is pathetic. Right credentials, experience at the highest level, proven track record, and rightly so - colour on his side. He also has done much better than Rassie at WP, which wasn't hard to do!!!

  • Gavin - 2010-09-09 14:48

    PDiv you should do the honourable thing and resign or do the dishonourable thing and try and stay.

  • Nic - 2010-09-09 16:50

    @Gabba - Lol, Seeing as you know so much about Divvy's CV tell me what did he achieve at the Falcons where he was a coach. Further, his record with the Springboks is worse than his predecessor Jake and we went down from a 4-2 try ratio to 3-2. Our winning margins have also decreased. :)

  • mountaingoat - 2010-09-10 07:08

    JJ is 'n rasis

  • Rod - 2010-09-10 07:50

    PDV Should never accepted the job to coach the boks in the first place.Give it back to the Harmses. The same people who asked the colourds wearing there AB jerseys where they live. This is their answer.

  • me2 - 2010-09-10 09:41

    JJ don't you have other sport stories to write about except Pdiv..or are you looking for sensation again...get a life ..The tri-nations were lost when breker Bakkies gave away a yellow card head butting Cowan....does it ring a bell...Nz went in the lead 10-0..and again when Fourie speartackled a player and the yellow card of Danie..i believe those were crucial yellow cards and well deserved...Pdivvie did not tell the players to headbutt and give spear JJ it is time that you look for another career, because obviously you are running out of sport stories..

  • ralph - 2010-09-10 12:49

    P DIVr has put a great team together for Saturdays game I do believe Saturday game plan is a winner . Oh wait the boks are not playing on Saturday great atleast P DIV cannot lose again what a great relief. On Boots and all last night he did not know who is in our Pool for the world cup its Samoa not Tonga what an egg .

  • Alfred - 2010-09-19 08:17

    JJ, I dont think you should be calling for Divvies head. If Divvie leaves then perhaps people will realise you have nothing else to write about. Dont you have any other opinion or anything else to say?

  • Benny - 2010-09-19 09:22

    @Hasie, as jy Dinsdag opdaag om by die AB's aan te sluit vir tee en koek gaan jy bitterlik teleurgesteld word ou maat. Hulle hou Donderdae party.

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