Rugby Championship

Div's World Cup advice for under-fire Rassie

2018-09-12 09:29
Peter de Villiers (Gallo)
Peter de Villiers (Gallo)

Cape Town - Who could ever forget the performance of Kiwi referee Bryce Lawrence during the 2011 World Cup quarter-final between the Springboks and Wallabies in Wellington? 

It was a match that, to this day, gets South African fans hot under the collar. 

The result stands and the Boks were defeated 11-9 to be eliminated from the tournament, but the general feeling was that Lawrence allowed a free-for-all at the breakdown as Aussie fetcher David Pocock got away with absolutely everything on the ground. 

For the Aussies, they found a way to win a match where they had been dominated. For the Boks, a referee had cost them a shot at World Cup glory. 

Had the Boks won that match, they would have had a crack against the All Blacks in the semi-finals.

Instead, they were on their way back home and Peter de Villiers would never coach the Boks again. 

De Villiers' journey with the national side between 2008 and 2011 was colourful, to say the least, but he still left with one of the best records against the All Blacks of any Bok coach. 

All these years later, De Villiers is still watching the developments of the Springboks with keen interest and while he is disappointed to have seen the decline in recent years, he is still trying to keep the faith ahead of next year's World Cup in Japan. 

He does, however, have some advice for current coach Rassie Erasmus and much of that has to do with being more consistent in team selection.

"You don’t want to become negative. There is always hope, but we need to put some things in place," De Villiers, currently the head coach of Zimbabwe, told Sport24 from Harare on Tuesday.

"Changing too much won’t do you any good. We need to build a core group, a core culture and a core method and then from there you can build a bigger base.

"All you’re doing now is creating fear of failure and players who will do everything in themselves not to lose, but nothing to win.

"The first thing that we should do is get a core of players who believe that they should be there and give them the right to play themselves out of the team."

Erasmus, who has come under fire following disappointing losses to Argentina and Australia, is expected to make at least three changes to his starting line-up for Saturday's Rugby Championship clash against the All Blacks.

Kick-off is at 09:35 (SA time).

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