possible must be done to extend Brendan Venter’s Springbok consultancy - at
least until the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
efforts hopefully are also ongoing to ensure Rassie Erasmus' return from
Munster to oversee South Africa’s national rugby set-up, including the
coach Allister Coetzee is going nowhere and every effort must be made to help
Coetzee navigate the challenge of seeing out his national contract.
clearly has embraced the support of Venter. The results were obvious in the
first Test win against France. Venter was introduced to the Boks to work on the
‘exit strategy’ and also ‘defence’.
the good doctor’s role extends a structured ‘two areas’ operational brief and
he already has added considerable rugby intellectual capital to the Springboks,
who looked a different team to the one that stumbled through 2016.
has to take credit for identifying Venter and then for allowing him to do his thing.
The same approach, in relation to Erasmus, would further strengthen Springbok
and South African rugby.
African rugby’s problem has never been in the production of raw playing talent;
it’s been the cultivation and nurturing of good coaches.
has proved his ability time and again whenever called in to help fix a problem.
He is one of world rugby’s most sought after ‘Mr Fixit’s’, but I believe in
this instance his services are needed beyond the short term.
is currently contracted to the Italian Rugby Federation until the end of the
2019 Rugby World Cup, but Italy are in the same World Cup pool as South Africa.
Venter has publicly stated he would again never coach against the Springboks
after helping Italy to a historic win against the Boks in 2016.
role therefore becomes very limited within the Italian structures and I can’t
see the Italians finding value in having access to his coaching acumen, but not
really having access because of his refusal to contribute to potential future
success against South Africa.
has shown intent to want to be involved with the Springboks and hopefully there
will be confirmation post the French series that he will add more substance to
the resurgence of the Springboks. Venter is needed if the Boks are to close the
gap on the All Blacks and finish the year closer to second in the world than
their current fifth.
took just one Test win to improve the Boks’ world ranking from seventh to
fifth but, given France’s slide down the rankings, it would take just one
defeat in Durban for a reversal.
Boks won’t lose in Durban. I am confident they’ll win the series 3-0 and have
been consistent in writing that for the past month.
expected the Boks to win 13 points-plus in Pretoria, but I expected a more disjointed performance. The Boks were better
than most would have imagined. They were disciplined and expressive and played
with calm. They looked well organised, especially on defence and at restarts,
and they had the confidence to attack the on-field situation.
hand in all of this was obvious, but don’t be too dismissive of Coetzee’s
influence. He remains the head coach and he would have contributed to how he
wanted the team to play and he determined the impact of Venter and the two
specialist assistants in Johann van Graan and Franco Smith.
deserves as much applause as the rest of the coaching group.
key is now to keep this group together and allow them to develop and learn from
the tougher challenges.
will be better in Durban because coach Guy Noves will have the option to select
the nine players involved in the Top 14 final. Noves will also have a better
idea of the strength of the new look Boks.
Durban match will be the toughest in the series. It is the one France would
have targeted and the Boks will have to be even more clinical and disciplined
to get the win.
have no doubt the Boks will be even better. Pretoria’s display would have given
the players greater confidence and fuelled faith in the coaching staff.
win was significant because it was primarily achieved with local based players.
It showed the Boks can win with the best of the talent picked from Super Rugby
and it gives Coetzee a platform from which to build.
in Pretoria, were poor and they would have taken a beating playing away from
home against New Zealand, Ireland, England, Australia and probably Wales and
Boks did nothing out of the ordinary in hammering France in Pretoria but they
weren’t ordinary in the manner of victory.
is much to cheer in the way the Boks played because that was more telling than
a final result that never was in doubt.
will be dangerously different but the result will thankfully be the same.
Mark Keohane is a Cape-Town based award-winning rugby specialist and former Springbok Communications Manager. Follow him on Twitter
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Previous Mark Keohane columns on Sport24:
Coetzee's Lions-laden Bok side can't lose!
Expect a different looking Bok starting XV!
Fear not, Boks will whitewash France 3-0!
Hey Allister, load the Boks with Lions!
The RWC 2019 gods have smiled on the Boks!
Unleash Curwin Bosch on the French!
YES, an overseas-based SA team would beat the Boks, but...
The next Springbok skipper has to be...
Super Rugby cull good for SA rugby
Clap, clap ... Venter's appointment should be applauded
South African rugby NEEDS to host RWC 2023
Why SA can't have 6 Super Rugby teams
Super 12 glory is now Super 18 gory
No winner is SARU's half-cocked overseas policy
Keeping Coetzee sadly no April Fools' joke
Mediocrity must fall!
Overseas based SA players are no traitors!
Sick Boks need more than a new doctorJoost earned more than a minute's silence