Boks to defend like Stormers

2010-08-11 13:32

Gavin Rich - SuperSport

Johannesburg - The recent defensive lapses on the away leg of the Tri-Nations have prompted Springbok coach Peter de Villiers to lean on the knowledge and know-how of the best defensive team in the recent Super 14.

Stormers and Western Province officials have confirmed that defence coach Jacques Nienaber has been drawn into the national training camp currently being conducted in Johannesburg ahead of the away leg of the Tri-Nations.

The Stormers boasted by far the best defensive record in the recent Super 14 season, conceding just 18 tries in 15 matches. WP, who are the Stormers in all but name, have continued that trend into the current domestic campaign. They top the Currie Cup log with the best for and against record in the competition by some distance.

The Springboks were the best defensive team in the world under previous coach Jake White and it was defence that they built their successful 2007 World Cup campaign around. The basic tenets of the White system were retained into last year’s British and Irish Lions series and Tri-Nations campaign, with the Boks’ massive defensive effort playing a big part in their successes.

However, this year the Bok defence has been porous, leaking 10 tries in three matches, and four apiece in the two matches against the All Blacks. Basic errors such as missed first time and one on one tackles have been at the heart of the malaise.

But there have also been suggestions that an adjustment to the defensive system might be required under the new law interpretations, which have played into the hands of the quick-tempo New Zealand and Australian approach.

The Stormers and WP both boasted their excellent defensive records under the current law interpretations, so clearly their coaching staff knows a thing or two about the business of defending. It is wise then that the Boks have called in Nienaber, who has learned the trade off Rassie Erasmus, the WP senior professional coach, with whom he has travelled a long road.

He started out working with the Cheetahs as a physio when Erasmus was a player, then was employed by Erasmus when he was coaching as a fitness adviser. He has subsequently become respected as the best defensive coach on the local circuit. He took the defensive coaching job on himself this season, but shared it with Brendan Venter in 2009.

It is unclear at this stage the extent that Nienaber will be involved with the Boks and WP sources say that he will be back with WP during the course of this week. WP play the Bulls on Saturday and it is understood that not everyone in the Province camp is happy with the possibility that some of their defensive secrets be exported.


  • 06 - 2010-08-11 12:09

    That's it!

  • ha ha - 2010-08-11 12:22

    ....defend like the Stormers... ...and win no cups.. ....Ha ha ha ha..!!! .....Maak die Bulle almal Bokke...!!

  • THE ALMIGHTY MAN - 2010-08-11 12:24

    you people dont get it...there is no team south africa can get togeather even if you get the 15 best whites in south africa in the springbuck colours that can compete with the Almighty All Blacks....Almighty All blacks 48-15 Spring Bucks at soccer city you wait and see....

  • kokkewiet - 2010-08-11 12:25

    So now Nienaber is the coach! wtf do we need dick en helium for? biggest problem in SA rugby is the coaching.

  • O sorry then! - 2010-08-11 12:28

    I’ve been carrying on about that for weeks but WTF do the public know. Just a pity he is still stuck with overrated players like Spies and underperformers like John Smit and Chilliboy. Now the BB supporters will complain again and cannot understand why their (lol) defensive coach isn’t involved seeing that they won the S14! OMG SA is a joke! Please don’t take the WP staff we need them!

  • Paul - 2010-08-11 12:33

    Why can't Div figure it out for himslef with the big salary he gets ? Bring Jake White back !!!

  • JSC - 2010-08-11 12:35

    Do not tell them anything. Please. What is wrong with the national coaching team if they cannot do their own planning and preparation. Then it is time to go.

  • Wp - 2010-08-11 12:39

    Just give Allister Coetzee the job and give all the Stormers players Green and Gold and let the Bulls sit at home and do nothing, as usual...... Go WP....

  • skywalker - 2010-08-11 12:40

    Defence wins the big one' long as Muir is backline coach the Boks will struggle...good idea bringing Nienaber in tho'....little too little too late..!

  • like nooit hey - 2010-08-11 12:42

    I used to be a fan of G Rich's writing, but he's become just another journo who finds every opportunity to devalue De Villiers achievements with 'J White's team'.....more pathetic journalism from sport24. SIGH

  • Gareth - 2010-08-11 12:45

    What does this say about the current coaching set-up? and dick muir in particular - the worst defensive record in super 15 history with the Lions? Glad though that PDivvy is humble enoug to realise that things are wrong and bring in people who can potentially fix those problems.

  • BALSAK(alias Blue Bul Hater) - 2010-08-11 12:48

    Peter and his Blue Bulls must admit, they learn from US(WEN PROVINSIE-WP). Blou Bulle moet besef, WP het ook goeie jare gehad, dit het gegaan en NOU kom dit terug. Hulle, die Bulle sal nie verewig die CB en die S14 trofee wen nie. Ons GOUE JARE is terug!!! WEN PROVINSIE (WP) groete!!!

  • polla - 2010-08-11 12:49

    So it's a fact now, the players are coaching themselves! DIV can't coach and has to rely on the old hands to help with coaching. That is also the reason why he will not leave them out of the team - otherwise who will do the coaching???? That is the reason why the BOKS were still on form after two years from the day Jake White left. The game has in the mean time changed guys - including the rules. At the end of the day, the Australian media is saying things about DIV what all true South Africans who have a passion for Rugby know, but do not dare to say in public, especially those ex-Rugby players who now are anchors for TV programmes! Speak up guys and dont be pussy footing around DIV!

  • Marco - 2010-08-11 12:53

    I am glad he joined the team. The question I have is what is Dick then still doing there? The same defensive lapses were apparent at the S14 Lions and only now that John Mitchell is there things are starting to improve.

  • Thank dog - 2010-08-11 12:55

    Still think it's more the players who are not up for the job. At the RWC we'll have FdP, Morne, JdV, JF, Habananana, JP and Frans with Hougaardt, Lambie, de Jongh, Mvovo, Mapoe and Aplon as back-up. Should be fine. Also, once Brussouw, Beast, Bismarck and Smith are back and on fire nobody will be able to stop us..........

  • Max - 2010-08-11 13:00

    Fantastic news, this is how SA rugby should progress, taking input from the best strategies and coaches from around the country to train the best players in the country.

  • Lefty - 2010-08-11 13:15

    May I remind all the Stomers fans , that 90% of the backline consist of the Stomers , balance Bulls Steyn and Kirchner . So where did the paterns go wrong ? Boks 10 tries against ??? Get real , do you really think at this late stage Nienaber is going to make a big change ? Get rid of Muir and PDV .

  • BB supporter - 2010-08-11 13:24

    @Balsak. Get of your high horse. Not all BB supporters fall in the stereotypes that you create. You will be amazed at all the WP fans also falling into the brandy drinking, poepol category. I can also see no Boks team with a representation without the Bulls and WP. If anyone thinks there should be none of either you are a fool. On the topic: I think that is the best thing our coaching staff could've done. We need all the rugby intellect in SA to be pushed into the Green & Gold. Be it BB, WP or even Griffons intellect. Go Bokke, BB and yes even WP.

  • clint - 2010-08-11 13:25

    So fire Gold and Muir and bring in real coaches. Why have these hanger's on in the set up? Why have Snor but we know why we have Snor.

  • Megabull - 2010-08-11 13:25

    @ balsak and the rest of the weerprobeer gang. you will never win the S14 cause its the S15 now. pick your bok team with non of the Bulls players and come play against the Bulls. I bet you anything the Bulls will win...... If the Bulls played the Tri Nat we would have won 2 of the 3 games. Its because of all the weerprobeer and guppy players in the Bok team that we are doing so bad. Every Bok dreams of playing for the Bulls

  • Mario - 2010-08-11 13:26

    @ BALSAK, Who would call himself BALSAK????? Can only be an Amiba. I doubt it if BALSAK will know what Amiba means!!!!! This is not about WP, Lions, Sharks or the Blue Bulls it`s about national pride!!!! let`s all support the BOKS!!!! you Amiba BALSAK !!!!!!

  • FINALLY - 2010-08-11 13:26


  • Ant - 2010-08-11 13:36

    Yet another assistant coach. Fire the useless head coach. He has no plan.

  • Mike - 2010-08-11 13:39

    Drop Habana and maybe they can do something positive. Why on earth do they keep on selecting Habana?????

  • @ha ha - 2010-08-11 13:40

    Die bulle is almal bokke.....dis hoekom die Bokke op hulle m@$r kry.

  • spindoc - 2010-08-11 13:41

    what did PDiv think he would get from Dick "I don't need a defensive coach " Muir......go figure!!

  • Hennie - 2010-08-11 13:42

    The bok coaching team must be replaced by the WP coaching team!!!!

  • Paul7 - 2010-08-11 13:48

    Next week Mondays excuse! The only reason we lost is cause PDV stole our defensive coach!

  • Mike@CapeT - 2010-08-11 13:58

    @ forgot about Meisiekind - the real weakness in the Bok backline. That makes it 50/50 (excluding the scrumhalf who could also be a Bull)!

  • Anti - 2010-08-11 14:03

    The biggest difference in the defensive systems of the Springboks & WP is that the Boks have Pierre (no tackles) Spies and Province have Duane (tekkle jou stukkend) Vermeulen!

  • stormbarians - 2010-08-11 14:07

    Die Bokke kry op hulle moer omdat daar te veel stormbarians en kwotas in die Protea span is, ...met 'n plooooka protea afrigter....

  • fraud - 2010-08-11 14:09

    @Paul...without Eddie Jones, there's no chance in HELL Jake White would've won the world cup. PDV too deserves to bring in whoever he feels will help him do a better job and get the results. I bet u didn't see that one coz your hatred of PDV has made u kinda stupid.

  • Observer - 2010-08-11 14:12

    Brilliant idea !!! wow !! Let's turn attack into defense , talk about the magical solution , how about rather making a plan to speed up and start retaining some ball and running rings around the opposition , attack not defend put the opposition on the back foot, defending brilliantly does not win games ! Already the defense mentality has set in..... attack .!!! We did not get hammered by the ab's and Aussies because of bad defense , wake up !!!

  • Jyweetmos - 2010-08-11 14:12


  • Swazi Green & Gold - 2010-08-11 14:14

    Probably will help, but honestly believe that part of WP defensive dominance in the S14 was due to their centre pairing... Sadly Olivier and Fourie just don't compliment each other, maybe the pairing of DeVilliers and DeJongh could be the boost they need. However, WP was also successful on defence because of their play in the tight-loose from players like Schalk, Louw, Vermuelen, Bekker, Liebenburg, etc. Boks need to kick it up a gear up front. Spies, Matfield, Smit, etc all look off the pace. And please don't play Januarie, with Smit being so bulky, it's like playing with four props. No wonder we got beaten to all the breakdowns.

  • Jan Hofmeyr - 2010-08-11 14:15

    At international level you should be expected to sort out defense before you lose three in a row. BASICS

  • Vito - 2010-08-11 14:18

    They should rather try to defend like highly paid professional and commited rugby players.

  • Stormer4LIFE - 2010-08-11 14:22

    @ha ha the bulls are kuk they had to cheat to beat the crusaders haha still more currie cups than you haha. Drop all the bulls put the Stormers in to win haha.

  • @Lefty - 2010-08-11 14:33

    Steyn, Olivier, Kirchner = 3 Bulls out of 7 positions = 43% Bulls (all in key defensive positions) + No tackles Pierre Spies (This boy really needs a full time defensive coach!)

  • @Paul - 2010-08-11 14:33

    Kinda reminds me of how mighty Jake asked for help from Eddie Jones. Funny that no one saw anything wrong with that.

  • keith - 2010-08-11 14:59

    Exactly right - Jake was screwing up and Jones saved his ass! The Boks under White may have had a good defense but they just could not score tries - enter Jones and the backline started to get some structure and shine. I'm just not sure that it is the Boks defensive line that is the problem - the problem is the players just are not committing themselves to the tackle.

  • Lefty@mike - 2010-08-11 15:26

    The scrumhalf a Bull ??? What game where you watching , it was that Fat January . Adding mr intercept Habannnaaaaaa and Jean De Villiers , come on , they all played kak !! Irrespect . As Naas would say . There was no game plan . My point is that PDV is out of his dept , he should never have played De Villiers out of place on the wing . And his arrogance not to pick Frans Steyn . A little bit to late , who are you going to play on cenre with Fourie suspended ? Butch James ? Another yellow in 5 min ? We have a major problem against the AB backline .

  • Cowboy - 2010-08-11 15:52

    Wil net graag by al die WP ondersteuners weet waar hulle die idee gekry het om die bok afrigtingspan te vervang met die WP afrigtingspan. Kan julle asb. vir my die bekers opnoem wat hierdie span gewen het? Gaan vra vir Frans Ludeke en Slaptjips en kom vertel ons wat julle gevind het. O, ja die Bulle gaan nooit weer die S14 wen nie, julle het dit dalk nog nie gehoor nie maar dit is volgende jaar die S15, ons gaan hom wen. Ons gee nie om as julle nog in die S14 wil speel nie, julle sal verseker hom wen want julle gaan die enigste span wees. Wonder ook waar hierdie goeie verdediging was in die S14 finaal, shame julle is die beste span ons wil net nie luister nie. Die bokke sal weer regkom, hierdie is normaal vir spanne om deur te gaan. Die afrigting is nie goed nie en daar is geen plan nie, maar ek is vol vertroue dat die spelers dit gaan verbeter. Hulle doen dit nog die heeltyd sedert Snoore aangestel is. Die spelers is almal net te goed om terug te sit en so te verloor. SA ondersteuners het die korste geheues in die wereld, ons kan net die laaste game onthou. Dit is egter ook waar dat jy so goed is soos jou laaste game, maar hulle gaan weer kook. Laaste woord vir die WP ondersteuners. Julle moet asb. nie ophou stront praat nie. Ek sit hier in die VSA en geniet julle sinneloosheid baie. Dit maak my lekker lag en maak my net weereens besef hoe onnosel julle is as dit by rugby kom. Was nog altyd so, die Bulle is boelies en julle is engeltjies. Al verloor julle was julle altyd die beste op die veld. Ek is bly dit het nog nie verander nie, so eat your heart out guys, die bekers is besig om op te hoop in Pretoria.

  • Mike@CapeT - 2010-08-11 15:52

    @ Lefty....put Januaries inclusion down to one of Div's brainfart's - he isn't even first choice for Province. I did say '......could be a Bull' Hougaard is a Bull...isn't he!? My back's: F Steyn - Aplon - de Jongh - de Villiers - Habana - M Steyn and Hougaard. Elementary, my dear - But let's watch Div stuff it up!

  • aeduplessis - 2010-08-11 16:00

    How come the Bok coaches does not know how to implement the new rule, it shows how bad they are, now need WP to help them out. Disgracefull to say the least!!!!!

  • mike - 2010-08-11 16:29

    Listen to all the Stormers go on about how great their coaching staff is, well since you haven't won anything and you have the best coaching staff it must be that your players are all useless. Fine with me if they drop all of them then...

  • ImpartialCanuck - 2010-08-11 17:38

    Can't believe how small minded some of these provincial comments are - you are surely supporting your Bok team? The worst tacklers in the past three TriNations games on the SA side have been Kirchner, Olivier and Spies - don't think Kirchner would make the Canadian side at Fullback!!

  • Mamba - 2010-08-11 19:50

    When I see comments like those from Cowboy, I get really depressed. Why is it that provincialism is such a big issue in our country, when the Boks should be the most important? I am a Stormers fan, but I support all South African teams when they play and I have no problem supporting a Springbok team with no Stormers players if that is the best for the country. In addition Cowboy, are you actually playing in the team? Comments like "we are going to win it again and what have you won" etc. etc. are pathetic. The Bulls players are playing, not you, so you have no claim to anything. What's wrong with Nienaber as defensive coach? Stop all your childish comments and provincial bias and support the team and the country, whichever Province the players and coach come from.

  • Far and Away - 2010-08-11 20:51

    Let us never become so small, that we do not respect and applaud something great. We all moan about political selections, and finally, an appointment based on merrit! Man, this guy came from nowhere, he worked his way up through the ranks of a small budget franchise, to where he is today, regarded as the best by his peers! He is under 40 years old, and can add great value to our team. Take a bow PDV.

  • ROB THE KIWI - 2010-08-12 01:53

    Good to see the Boks taking this Strategy of not letting any points purely defensive. Interesting how the Bok always look to play such an exciting brand of rugby not!! But the big Question is how are you going to score points my friends? Who is your attack coach? Who are your game breakers in the Backline? What is your plan A? ,and what is your plan B. meantime the All blacks look forward to almost a home crowd at Soweto with many of the coloured fans idolising the All Blacks. Im sure the kiwis wont disapoint them at all.