SARU: War declared on SA

2010-08-01 22:30

Rudolph Lake and Henry Cloete

Johannesburg and Cape Town – The SANZAR hearing of Springbok coach Peter de Villiers is a “declaration of war by Australia and New Zealand against South Africa”.

That is the view of South African rugby bosses, who are rallying behind the beleaguered coach. They have questioned the Aussies and Kiwis’ motives.

“We are right behind Peter and will defend him to the hilt,” said SARU president Oregan Hoskins.

Hoskins confirmed that De Villiers had promised in an “informal discussion” in which he and his assistant coaches had to report back about the Springboks’ pathetic Tri-Nations campaign that he would not make anymore controversial remarks about referees.

De Villiers will shortly have to appear in a SANZAR hearing about comments made on Australian television after the Boks’ two recent defeats against the All Blacks.

Meanwhile, former Springbok team psychologist Henning Gericke has said that there are strong indications that all is not well in the camp of the current Bok squad. Gericke worked on the World Cup-winning management team of 2007.

The leaders in the team are possibly too soft on one another and the players in the squad, he suggested. The balance of power may have swung to the players.

That can be among the explanations for South Africa’s poor performances in this year’s Tri-Nations. The team’s poor discipline, in particular, points to problems.

“Does that mean the players have too much freedom? They will have to be tough on one another. John Smit is a great leader, but he will have to step up. He’s not standing out at the moment. If you’re not there psychologically, you will get results like these,” said Gericke.

“What Peter did really well was to empower the players. But it’s a very fine line ... Only the squad will know, but it’s quite possible that the balance swung too much to the players. Peter will have to show mental toughness and address the issue.”

He believes the fact that De Villiers is hammering on refereeing errors shows that the focus of the team is not on the right areas.

De Villiers had to explain his selections and game plan to the country’s rugby bosses on Thursday.

Rapport’s sources indicate that his assistant coaches – Dick Muir and Gary Gold – were facing possible dismissal.

However, rugby bosses denied that De Villiers had shifted the blame to his assistant coaches.

Reliable sources indicated that De Villiers had admitted that he, as well as Muir and Gold, had made mistakes.

He asked to be able to speak to them to “iron out small problems” before sackings are considered.

The rugby bosses agreed and afterwards expressed their satisfaction about a “straight, honest and fruitful” chat.

De Villiers and the Boks are facing an official assessment by SARU’s technical committee this week.

Sport24 understands that Golden Lions president Kevin de Klerk will be used to head up the assessment.


  • Steve - 2010-08-01 18:40

    DIV must learn to shut his mouth

  • YesYes - 2010-08-01 18:47

    What i dont understand is when they pick a Bok team they delect good players from various provinces and thenexpect the, to play well. Is it not simple enough to take the whole South African Super 14 winning team and play theam as the Boks. They are used to playing together as a team and played well. Its not rocket science

  • Sean - 2010-08-01 18:51

    Rugby has become a circus and fans are starting to lose interest in the game because of it.

  • scud - 2010-08-01 18:52

    Every time he opens his mouth he puts both feet in. He may well be a good coach but he really doea come across as a fool.

  • Vic J - 2010-08-01 18:52

    PdV has been a embarressment to S.A as a whole and should have the balls to quit now while we still have a chance of picking up the peices for the world cup. Treat him as you treated Jake

  • divyes - 2010-08-01 18:55

    Keep it up Div. Tell it like it is. All those mealymouthed behind-the-scenes 'rugby' bosses looking after the big money is everything that is wrong with rugby now for years.

  • clint - 2010-08-01 18:57

    I would imagine that the majority of SA rugby supporters are once again embarrassed by this. Oregan, as if PDV opening his mouth isn't bad enough, now you jump on the bandwagon. He accused people of cheating, can you not understand this or is this the way men of the same hue band together. You are not fooling anyone with this, Div must explain why he said what he did and show proof. Otherwise action must be taken against him. Div, Hoskins and the rest need to shut their mouths.

  • Jaco W - 2010-08-01 18:57

    From bad to worse. SARU is being nothing but childish and just incredibly stupid to take on our Sanzar partners in order to defend one of the biggest embarrassments our country has ever produced: PdV. Whatever was left of our integrity, has just evaporated.

  • Sedick - 2010-08-01 18:57

    Div was wrong to make those comments. He basically accused the referees, SANZAR and IRB of unethical corrupt practices. He should face censure, and it is wrong for SARU to make the statements that they are making. What is it about us SAs that must always bring the word "war", "kill", etc into every part of our lives. The war against Apartheid is long over. No wonder we are faced with violence on a daily basis when our leaders always make statements including violence. AND, Div must learn to shut up!!!!!!!!!!

  • Fred - 2010-08-01 19:04

    Please, an attack on Div is not an attack on South Africa. I warrant a guess that most of us would actually like to see the back of Div and Oregan.

  • Nice One - 2010-08-01 19:06

    I believe that statement to be true . . . the player are not confident in their coach. You can see it on the field. Its the little bit of leadership from senior player carrying them through the games, otherwise we would have fallen to peaces long ago..... that aussie chap said it best. Why would guys like Matfield & Smit listen to a clown like DIV. Sinple awnser is they are not - and we are going to battle come the home leg. If you can play as a team - you shouldn'e play at all. that includes management. GET A NEW COUCH. NOT BECAUSE HE IS BAD< BUT BECAUSE THE PLAYER ARE BETTER THE HIM !!!!

  • Morneg - 2010-08-01 19:07

    Looking at the way the Lions have played the past season , I think Kevin is the last person we need to assess anything but his union.

  • JimB - 2010-08-01 19:12

    Div is in a difficult position - which to be fair he put himself in when he accepted the appointment as coach. As he just does not have the credentials to be an International coach - everyone is aware of this, both then and now. The boks will not improve under his stewardship - they will remain the 2nd /3rd best team in the world, but decline in terms of standards, and game plan. Its up to SARU - but if this was my business, and rugby is a business, as well as a sport) then i would be looking to the M.D. and if he cant bring the results that are budgeted for - i would then be considering my options to change the management team, starting with the 'M.D.'

  • Really? - 2010-08-01 19:23

    Send him back to the circus before he misses his act...don't forget his pantaloons & false mustache...

  • sean - 2010-08-01 19:23

    That clown must just not sat anything !! Saru is also a big joke !!

  • Kevin - 2010-08-01 19:23

    SARU and Div are a disgrace to SA Rugby!

  • Clive - 2010-08-01 19:24

    PdeV cannot make outrageous statements and not expect some repercussions, even if there is an element of truth in what he says - and I'm not suggesting there is. There are proper channels to go through. Is he aiming to become an ANC politician when he quits rugby? He is always being "misquoted" or "misinterpreted".

  • at steve - 2010-08-01 19:28

    No you must learn to shut your mouth.I am fully behind De Villiers and SARU.IRB,new zealamd and australia have a huge problem against the bokke.Mark my words they can ban 10 players for all i care we will go to new zealand and win the world cup.All this talk of the all blacks looking good is totally pathetic they always peak too early and oh boy we no they do buckle underpressure

  • Pitch - 2010-08-01 19:29

    I agree with Steve... He was handed the dream team by Jake he can't keep relying on old fathful

  • COSMOS - 2010-08-01 19:30

    Div is an excellent uniting figure for S.A rugby there is no better coach than him. Very soon we will have more players coming from Soweto to represent this rainbow nation. SARU must defend him from these British descedents of Aussies and Kiwis!

  • Burgiesburnin - 2010-08-01 19:34

    The Boks, the SA administrators as well as South African rugby supporters need to get over this complex that they have. The world is not against you, you just think that it is. A spear tackle is a spear tackle is a spear tackle. It does not change when a Bok players tries to injure someone with it. Grow up and play rugby, you are becoming a joke.

  • Nic - 2010-08-01 19:35

    This victim-struggle "the whole world is against us" mentality is pathetic! Yes, we have had dodgy calls against us, but a great leader would never focus on it...DIV you are a small miserable excuse of a man that likes to lay the blame on others when you have failed. John “Malva pudding on legs” Smit is beyond over the hill, yet he is still selected, Januarie is not in the top 6 scrum halves in the country either... Beyond that we have no fetcher; at each break down we seem to allow the opposition to play and do their thing...there is NO contesting for the for the back line, a bunch of blind one-legged Moroccan midgets would have more creative ideas on how to run a rugby ball. Stop giving our team an excuse as to why they are allowed to play without discipline and why they do not have to play with intensity and passion...

  • DG - 2010-08-01 19:36

    Oh dear... it gets more and more embarrassing, so glad I'm not a Bok supporter!!

  • Van der merwe - 2010-08-01 19:47

    Hey guyz lets not be racial about this, leave PDV alone let SARU sort this mess. all they need ryt now is our suppport. Bok forever no matter what.

  • cat - 2010-08-01 19:50

    Don't be so hard on DIV He has done a great job thus far. I don't trust the Aussie and Kiwis. They are so threatened by us and this is pschological warfare going into the World Cup. Stick together guys and lets support each other. All SAs are the good guys. NZ and Oz are the enermy. Bring home the cup next year. That's all that matters.

  • Silence is Golden - 2010-08-01 19:53

    Div will never learn. He always seems to put his foot in it!! Hoskin selected him, and is now paying the price. He is now also being dragged into the limelight. The sooner SARU tell Div to shut his mouth once and for all, the better for South African rugby!

  • JB - 2010-08-01 19:59

    Another ASA saga. How can administration bodies and governance in South Africa be so pathetic? No gumption, no sense of right and wrong...just want to pick a fight with anybody who DARES to question their dodgy administration, no matter how clear it is to all sane minds what a mess up they have made. Ugh. Seriously. Its becoming more disheartening by the second. If this is what the new South Africa is, give me back the old one any time.

  • cat - 2010-08-01 20:01

    This is psychological warefare before the World Cup. The Aussies and Kiwis are our enemies - not DIV or any of our players who are all wonderful. Support the Springboks. We've proved before that we can bring home the cup - we can do it again. Lets not make a big thing of this. Focus on next year and lets stand together and support our coaches and players.

  • Shauno - 2010-08-01 20:08

    It's amazes me, they'll stand behind a coach that is losing. But didn't have the decency to stand behind a World Cup Winning coach. Jake was pulled in every chance SARU got to drill him about his performance. DIV the ride on the team HE built is now over. Must admit, took you longer to stuff it up than what I thought it would take you.

  • leon - 2010-08-01 20:14

    Div, the world hates apartheid and affirmative action. Stop the excuses.... you belong elseware !!!

  • Rob - 2010-08-01 20:23

    I'm not a great fan of PdV, but we must support our national coach - I think that us Saffas are inclined to "break ranks" too quickly on these sort of things. I believe that we should arm ourselves with FACTS before we say things about ref's eg what % of a referee's attention is being directed at a side? (one can analyse the ref's commentary to see that) - I'm NOT saying that it's happening, but if a ref is preoccupied with "watching" the one side, that side will surely get the "rough end of the stick" and have the majority of "marginal calls" going against them! I must add that there's no way that the Boks deserved to win any one of their last 3 Tri-Nations' matches - they looked truly "out of sorts". However that "fact" (their below-par performance) should not, in my opinion, cloud the issue of the consistancy and quality of refereeing!

  • Rob - 2010-08-01 20:24

    I'm not a great fan of PdV, but we must support our national coach - I think that us Saffas are inclined to "break ranks" too quickly on these sort of things. I believe that we should arm ourselves with FACTS before we say things about ref's eg what % of a referee's attention is being directed at a side? (one can analyse the ref's commentary to see that) - I'm NOT saying that it's happening, but if a ref is preoccupied with "watching" the one side, that side will surely get the "rough end of the stick" and have the majority of "marginal calls" going against them! I must add that there's no way that the Boks deserved to win any one of their last 3 Tri-Nations' matches - they looked truly "out of sorts". However that "fact" (their below-par performance) should not, in my opinion, cloud the issue of the consistancy and quality of refereeing!

  • Ash - 2010-08-01 20:26

    This is starting to sound like the american WWF - What a joke

  • Robert - 2010-08-01 20:28

    And Allister Coetzee wasn't good enough for the job!!! Now the test begins PdV.....

  • Double6 - 2010-08-01 20:29

    I personally dont believe that De villiers is in the right position. He should never have been selected in the first place... Everyone I speak to has NEVER ever heard of him before? Essentially, it's our players that make the coach look good! Now that the coach is making bad changes to the side, we have hit rock bottom. The natural flow of the team is gone. There is NO PLACE in SA rugby for politicians and for commitee's that appoint people based on their colour and not experience.

  • denis - 2010-08-01 20:32

    We should not undersell ourselves in the SANZAR equation. If I understand correctly SA provides by far the largest share of the television revenue which keeps the competition going (someone correct me if I am wrong). Without us Australia and NZ would just be left playing with each other and maybe some of their island colonies. PdV may be an idiot, but he is no worse than at least 2 of his predecessors, and he is OUR idiot, so we should support him. What really worries me is that SARU think that the president of the worst S14 franchise, who can barely pass wind competently let alone win anything, is somehow suitable to assess the Bok coaching setup.

  • Safwat Oliver - 2010-08-01 20:32

    we need to cool down and make the changes

  • Borrie - 2010-08-01 20:38

    Div must shut his mouth or SANZAR will shut it for him. Hoskins will defend Div to save his own bacon. Ultimately next year will tell whether Div can stand in the shoes of White and still claim that he deserves the same salary.

  • The Original Beast - 2010-08-01 20:39

    The Comments by "YesYes" are true. Just because Jake White picked most of his team from the Sharks and the Bulls in 2007, when they were both in the Super 14 final, doesn necessary mean that it will work again this time. Players have to be selected on a game plan. Sometimes good players have to be left out, because he doesnt fit the coaches game plan. Saying that, There are some brilliant players in the Cheetahs, Sharks and Griquas. But doubt they will eve get the chance to don the green and gold because they never make a final. Furthermore, SARU is being a bit pathetic standing up fot PDivvy. What are they trying to prove? That we the Banana Republuc, who support ppl who dont think before they speak?

  • greg - 2010-08-01 20:40

    It amazes me that two weeks ago there was 100% agreement on a sport24 blog that the refs were against the Boks. Now that Div has echoed exactly what hundreds of bloggers supported all the bloggers oppose him. Make up your minds whether you disagreed with what Div said or you just don't like him as a person.

  • Steadfast - 2010-08-01 20:40

    The cracks are showing now due to underqualified administrators and coach. With these huge salaries they earn we can get decent rugby knowledgable people on board to make us proud again. Hoskins and vice presindent please leave and take old Snor with you. You are an embaresment to South African rugby.

  • Brian - 2010-08-01 20:48

    We all know that PdV was an affirmative action selection. It was stated in as many words at the time. We also know how Jake White was treated by SARU. We also know how successful affirmative action/cadre appointments have made 282 municipalities to a learge extent dysfunctional let alone SAA, SABC, Transnet, Eskom, Health Dept., Education Dept., SAPS the defence force and the list goes on. So what if rugby becomes one more????

  • james - 2010-08-01 20:51

    looking at the weekend match, I suggest PdV and his team sit down with the refs who know what is going on with the new rules. The AB's jumped in and started to play te rules their way and the refs just took theit lead. they speed the game up and sorry our slow forwards cannpt cope with the new pace. so adapt or die, PdV must shut his face and start to plan and thing about the game. It is clear that he has no clue how to solve the problem and now he blames everyone els.

  • Charle - 2010-08-01 20:56

    The IRB should bow its head in shame they are scandalise they think they are bigger than game, they are trying to make a point, it reminds me of an old man pub style mafia, they have something against South Africa Paddy O’Brian should resigned all he think about is New Zealand winning the world cup................ please could some start a face-book campaign for this muppet to resigned we need neutral people doing this system. New Zealand will never win the world cup!!! One simple reason the always get Sheppard buy the IRB Refs but when it’s come to the world cup there no hiding place. Don’t get me wrong New Zealand played well but not brilliant……. South Africa will beat them in South Africa and then the world cup bring it on!!!!

  • South African - 2010-08-01 21:03

    My concern is that DIV has a tendency to not think before making outrageous statments to the press - a sign of not thinking clearly under pressure. Is this a measure of what he says to his players

  • LS - 2010-08-01 21:06

    The Springbok managment were insulted by Cannon's remarks but find it acceptable to accuse the referees of cheeting, What PDV said not only implicates the SANZAR but the integrity of IRB referees as well. What a joke the Springboks have become, they have turned into a bunch on whiners. They always feel they have the short end of the stick. Look at the results, they hammered three times in a row. Do they expect everything to be handed to them on a platter ? This is the real world, it is about time they get to grips with that. Loosers will always find someone else to blame for their short commings and that is what the Springboks are becomming.

  • So What? - 2010-08-01 21:07

    Blah Blah Blah - lost all intereste now in the Boks - could not care less if they win or loose or what they do from now on. To be associated with people or a team whose leaders 'declare war' over a coach who cannot keep his mouth shut, never mind has no idea of rugby at international level, just goes against my grain. From now on will watch all games where the Boks do not figure. Bunch of whimps!

  • Gert - 2010-08-01 21:12

    Assistant coaches faces dissmissal - wahahahahahahahah. Then they should make De Villiers an assistant coach ti then.

  • Ash - 2010-08-01 21:13

    Div is taking lessons from malema - 1st lesson (how to dig a hole for yourself) 2nd lesson(mess up and blame the whites)

  • All Blacks. - 2010-08-01 21:13

    Piet helium must get his mouth shut,and should be brought to order.He is an embarrassment to world rugby. If Saru wants to stand by his side,then they are just as big a clown as he is.