Div can improve on Jake
Peter de Villiers and Jake White (Gallo Images)
Pretoria – The signs are there … but Springbok supporters should hope the team’s coach, Peter de Villiers, does not follow in the footsteps of his predecessor this year.
The statistics of De Villiers and Jake White currently look very similar, but with three games left in this year’s Tri-Nations, De Villiers can still improve on White’s performances.
Both coaches achieved a winning percentage of 69,23% (13 played and nine won) in their first year and were successful in their second year as coaches with a winning percentage of 66,67% (12 played and eight won).
Whereas De Villiers has had a success ratio of 57% in his third year, White achieved only 41%. The Springboks won only five out of 12 Tests in 2006.
With three Tests against the All Blacks and Australia coming up and a Grand Slam tour later this year, the chances are slim that De Villiers will fare as badly as White.
An analysis of the two coaches’ careers at the highest level also shows interesting statistics on the claims that De Villiers is achieving success with “White’s team”.
White only had four of the 38 Springboks that became internationals under him in his starting line-up for the World Cup final in 2007. They were JP Pietersen, Frans Steyn, Bryan Habana and Fourie du Preez.
Eleven of the players were therefore not White’s “products”.
For his part, De Villiers had three of the 24 new Springboks under him in his starting line-up for Saturday’s Test in Brisbane. They were Zane Kirchner, Gio Aplon and Morné Steyn.
Seven of the Brisbane team became Boks under White. They are Habana, Wynand Olivier, Ruan Pienaar, Pierre Spies, Ryan Kankowski, BJ Botha and Gurthrö Steenkamp.
Statistics show that both coaches did well on transformation.
Sixteen of White’s 38 new Springboks were players of colour (42%) , while 11 of De Villiers’s 24 (46%) fall into that category.
Both coaches have won the Tri-Nations once, but are otherwise not performing well in the competition.
White’s team won seven out of 17 Tri-Nations games, while De Villiers boasts seven wins from 15.
With the World Cup being played in New Zealand next year, one also has to examine the coaching records there:
The Springboks never won there in four years under White and the average score against them was 18-31.
However, the 2007 team was without 20 senior Boks.
De Viliers’s team has played in New Zealand five times and won twice, with an average score of 20-28.
White’s four defeats in New Zealand included three scores of 30 or more points against the Boks. In 2005 the Boks lost 27-31, in 2006 the score was 17-35 and in 2007 it was 6-33.
De Villiers’s defeats in 2007 were almost similar: 12-32 and 17-31, with the score 8-19 in the 2008 Wellington defeat. Players that became Boks under White:
Henno Mentz, Fourie du Preez, Jacques Cronjé, Eddie Andrews, Gerrie Britz, Hanyani Shimange, Tim Dlulane, Solly Tyibilika, Gurthrö Steenkamp, Michael Claassens, Bryan Habana, Jongi Nokwe*, Tonderai Chavhanga, Ricky Januarie, Gary Botha, Meyer Bosman, Wynand Olivier, Johan Muller, Akona Ndungane, JP Pietersen, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Pierre Spies, BJ Botha, Ruan Pienaar, Bevin Fortuin, Jaco Pretorius, Frans Steyn, Kabamba Floors, Waylon Murray, Luke Watson, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Peter Grant, Heinke van der Merwe, Ryan Kankowski, Wian du Preez*, Barend Pieterse*, Tiaan Liebenberg*.
(* did not play in tests).Players that became Boks under De Villiers:
Andries Bekker, Brian Mujati, Tendai Mtawarira, Odwa Ndungane, Schalk Brits, Adriaan Strauss, Heinrich Brüssow, Earl Rose*, Morné Steyn, Zane Kirchner, Heini Adams*, Juan de Jongh, Francois Hougaard, Riaan Viljoen*, Alistair Hargreaves, Ashley Johnson*, Bandise Maku, Dewald Potgieter, Davon Raubenheimer*, Jean Deysel, Gio Aplon, Bjorn Basson, Francois Louw, Flip van der Merwe.
(* did not play in tests).