Krige: All Blacks are smarter

2010-08-19 22:30

Stephen Nell

Cape Town – The All Blacks are simply playing smarter rugby than their opponents and are not being favoured by referees.

That is the view of former Springbok captain Corné Krige, who was speaking at a breakfast fundraiser in Hout Bay for Alan Zondagh’s Rugby Performance Centre in Riebeek-West on Thursday.

“You have to cheat if you are an openside flank. That is why you are in the team. If you can’t do it properly and get away with it, you won’t be picked,” said Krige.

Statistics published from this year’s Tri-Nations show that South Africa get a yellow card for every six penalties, Australia one for every seven penalties, and New Zealand one for 43 penalties.

“I think one should look at it differently. If the All Blacks are getting away with murder, they are doing it right,” said Krige.

“My job as openside flank was to disrupt my opponents and slow the ball. If the guys did not sort me out and the referee did not penalise me, I kept at it. That was my job. My fingers are looking so bad today because of opponents breaking them from me holding on to the ball at the rucks. That’s rugby.”

Krige described All Black captain Richie McCaw as an “incredible player”.

“People say Richie cheats, but for me he’s an incredible player because his job as an openside flank is to play on the edge. If he cheats and the referee does not catch him out, he has had a great game as far as I’m concerned because that is what an openside flank does. You have to be able to cheat well.”

Krige says South Africa should also not make the mistake of responding to provocation.

“New Zealand play intelligently. They are more subtle than us. We’re not dumb, but make blatant errors that are seen by referees.

“Bakkies Botha should have waited until later in the match after Jimmy Cowan had pulled his jersey because he would have got the opportunity to put in a big tackle or get him in a ruck. However, Bakkies wanted to react immediately.”

Botha was suspended for nine weeks for his headbutt on the All Black scrumhalf.

Krige still believes Botha can be of huge value for South Africa in next year’s World Cup in New Zealand.

“Maybe it’s also because I headbutted someone that I have sympathy for him,” said Krige.

“If Bakkies is managed well, he is the hard man of South African rugby. The public and media enjoy that, but Bakkies took it to another level and has now been caught one time too many.

“But let me tell you: If Bakkies is fit and plays the ball and not the man, he has to be at the World Cup. You’ll struggle to find a better lock.”

Krige believes Bok coach Peter de Villiers should be stronger in his management of Botha.

“I don’t think someone took Bakkies aside and told him how things work and that he’s not irreplaceable. He’s an incredible player and belongs in any Bok team if he’s managed well.”

Krige also believes it’s a mistake to criticise referees in public.

“Guess what happens in the next match then?”


  • Mike@CapeT - 2010-08-19 23:17

    Krige is missing the point! '.....if the referee DID NOT PENALISE me, I kept going'.....and so he should. The point is, the AB's ARE being penalised....and getting away without being yellow carded....43 times to every 6 that the Boks are penalised. What that is showing is that the refs are far more lenient with the yellow card on the AB's.

  • rugbyfan - 2010-08-19 23:22

    Has-been alert! Why do you quote this guy? He's to this day the worst Bok captain and was a disgrace in that jersey.

  • Kiwi Boy - 2010-08-19 23:50

    Mike@CapeT- Give it a f#$cking break now man!!!!!!!!! Thanks for that Corne, we might see a stop to all the whinging now. Let's get some rugby going!!!!!

  • - 2010-08-19 23:52

    good on ya Krige. Its good to see a player of his stature not whinging and being realistic with his comments. "the all blacks simply played smarter" couldnt have said it any better.

  • Jon - 2010-08-20 00:13

    You don't earn a yellow card unless you do something really bad, and the ABs cleverly make their infringements look too inoffensive for a card. That's exactly the "clever" Krige is talking about. It seems that even the Bok fans are just too stupid to understand this -- hence the pitiful bleating and whining about "refs pick on us" and "it's all so unfair" boo hoo hoo... Grow a chin, cry-babies!

  • ROB THE KIWI - 2010-08-20 00:23

    At last a Springbok with Honesty who admitted doing what Richie does so well .Play to the absoulte edge. Yes we are smarter no doubt about it. Great to see him Acknowledge Mccaw as an Incredible player which we all know he is .Even those challenged of Intellect who like to comment on these boards deep down know RICHIE IS THE MAN!!. Looking forward to Saturday I will be the first to congratulate you if you fluke a win. Guess what I wont whinge and moan like spolit children either if we lose!!

  • @Mike@CapeT - 2010-08-20 01:33

    oh give it up man. You guys just can't accept an All Black (oops I think we should change the name of our team so the saffas don't keep treating us this way) team beat you a couple of games this Year. Who is the team that gets penalised the most?

  • jazz - 2010-08-20 01:51

    Who gave this under achieving captain the right to talk, lets face it guys like Krige are a bit jelous of the modern Bok team that has a winning do you justify the refs being so biased the stats dont lie them again....

  • mike - 2010-08-20 02:11

    That face says it all, duh!

  • T.max - 2010-08-20 02:45

    hi boks are always the best team. at the moment they just having bad day as for new zealand they always cry whether it be rugby or politices. i am from fiji and who made Mr.Brien head of referees he was the one who cause fiji the 1999 game against france. In fIJI 95% of people hate all blacks. in the pacific ziwis fear fiji

  • SA are muppets - 2010-08-20 03:18

    If even your players and ex players don't agree with your conspiracy theories then your argument is dead in the water. Enjoy the hiding on Saturday whingers from a better side.

  • An intelligent bokke - 2010-08-20 03:45

    Finally, an intelligent bokke who understands the game. Thank god his school of thought hasnt rubbed off on SARU. you need to push things to the edge, within the boundaries of the law, loopholes and all

  • MattO - 2010-08-20 03:54

    ...or that the AB's are getting penalised for different types of offences. eg. not the blatent dangerous acts that the Boks have committed.

  • Hannes from Perth - 2010-08-20 04:43

    @Mike. I agree with Krige with the exception that I do not believe it is the players "job" to sort out unpunished offenses. Breaking fingers is not part of rugby and should never have been! The problem are the quality and inconsistency in referee's decisions and the lack of transparency on what happens behind the scene. Instead of the head-in-the-sand our referees-do-not-make mistakes approach that the IRR is currently taking, why not make referee evaluations public and show the public what the impact on a referee's rating is if he/she made several mistakes in key games. In most rucks, scrums and line-outs there are several punishable offenses, therefore do the IRR set guidelines on what referees needs to concentrate on during particular tests. Referees are also evaluated by their peers and experiences referees and referee coaches. If the public knew the guidelines, can see the reports and the impact on a referee's rating they will develop a much better understanding of what makes or breaks a good referee. In my experience most spectators (and especially famous commentators) do not know the rules of the game or have at least an outdated view of the rules. Players like McCaw are respected by referees because they know the rules better than most referees.

  • Goddo - 2010-08-20 04:57

    Well said Corne. This shows that you played at the highest level and understand what it takes to perform at that level. It is time that the Boks' management wake up and smell the roses.If things go wrong make plans and play within what the rules are allowing, The Boks are not inferior to the ABs they are simply not playing with their heads.

  • brinjal - 2010-08-20 05:39

    @ Mike@CapeT. +100% spot on.

  • Ted - 2010-08-20 05:49

    Straight talk from Krige, you have to give him the nod for that. He was a great player and great captain and I do respect his opinion. However, breaking a law of the game and getting pinned for it is one thing, admitting to cheating as a game plan?.. I have to stop there and think for a minute. I would like to think as individuals the players think "I am going to go to the edge of that legal line and work it, and if I get in trouble too often I am letting my team down". That's good. A coach training a team, as a unit, to go over the line as a rule and take cards as collateral damage, that is just cinical rugby with intent to illegally spoil your opponent's advance and scoring opportunities and hope the ref think the importance of an international event is more important than doing the right thing (i.e. send half the team off the pitch) and does not serve the ultimate & initial purpose of the game: sport, honour, true test, pride, life lessons for kids... those words don't gel with today's professional code if all they are doing is "anything it takes to win a game". You are mistaking sport with war. ------- If I want to see a true test of two teams, how different would the game be (and how different the result and victor will be) if both teams play with the intent to play according to the rules, versus what we are seeing now is the true reality? I guess I am just too naïve.

  • @Mike - 2010-08-20 06:23

    Firstly mike why you direct your comment at CapeT, I dont see a a single comment here. Also you are qouting one section of what he said and thereby you make your point. It is you who dont GET it. I agree with what he said but I also agree that 1 card for every 43 pen is stupid. But then again, Corne did not say that, heck he may not even have know when he made his speech. So wake up.

  • Bok supporter - 2010-08-20 06:23

    .....who cares what this overrated hasbeen says......

  • Brad - 2010-08-20 06:28

    The stats on penalties don't tell the truth because they do not take foul play into consideration.

  • gregster - 2010-08-20 06:43

    Firstly, this is coming from a guy who never once played smart rugby.NOT ONCE. Tough guy, sure. But rugby smart.-NO. Mike @CT is spot on. If they werent getting penalised, we could say "smart side", but they are being penalised, -just not yellowed!!! Walks like a duck, quacks like a duck.......

  • Stellenbosched - 2010-08-20 06:46

    Totally agree with you Mike. Krige should rather help all decent rugby followers to get rid of the cancer called Paddy O Brien. This sort of attitude just makes it that much harder, as suddenly the NZers feel they are completely right and Bok supporters are paranoid. Thanks Krige. Nice one for your Kiwi mates.

  • Gary - 2010-08-20 06:51

    Dont stress people, the AB always peak the year before a world cup then they bomb out.

  • Lionel - 2010-08-20 07:07

    Cannot agree more that the All Blacks are smarter rugby players. No matter how good Krige rates Bakkies (Thug) Botha, he will always be a high risk yellow and red card liablity to the Boks. Opponents know he has a short fuse and will continue to get under his skin.

  • NO MORE BOK supporter - 2010-08-20 07:12

    Corné Krige you 100% correct ... FIRE Peter de Villiers because he is not a real coach for the BOKKE, at the same time, please drop John Smit as a player ... what a stupid bok player, not even fit to play, why is he in the team ... to make 100 caps?????

  • ajg - 2010-08-20 07:13

    it is typical of south african rugby. if they loose they allways want to blame the refs. just accept the fact that they played bad rugby and with a coach under performing and is just not good enough at the highest level. he the coach just takes things for granted the he has the best players on the pitch and cam win every game they play. the coach have been spoilt by jake white and the provincial coaches in handing him good quality players. he has not developed any star player as national coach. he should stop looking for excuses and do you job properly. that what he gets paid for

  • Nic - 2010-08-20 07:19

    @Mike - Good point.

  • Barry - 2010-08-20 07:22

    Krige was useless then and just as stupid now, look at his stats as captin, oooooh well there are none?

  • MM - 2010-08-20 07:37

    Wow, what a nice example you set for our kids...."cheat and you will get everywhere". Lets now encourage ball tampering in cricket and feigning fouls to get penalties in football. Seriously is this your advice???

  • Frans - 2010-08-20 07:44

    People like Bob Dwyer must surely live in La La Land. Well said Corne.

  • Natal#1 - 2010-08-20 07:52

    Stats are only as good as you want them to be... You could turn the stats around and say that although they do get penalised they are disciplined enough not to play dirty (like bakkies thug botha) and push it into yellow card territory.

  • Snotklap - 2010-08-20 07:53

    Should've gone to Specsavers.

  • Natal#1 - 2010-08-20 07:55

    Hairstyle? Is that what you call it, I was under the impression he cuts it himself when he is having an ADD session.

  • @All the babies - 2010-08-20 08:03

    This is to all you morons that complain about the stats. The last time I checked the All Blacks are not headbutting and eye gouging their opponents!! And these offences weren't even yellow carded, why aren't you complaining about that? Oh yes it was SA that did that so it is not a problem!! The thing I dislike about SA supporters is that as long as SA is winning then all is wonderful, but as soon as they start losing then everything is to blame!! Just face the fact that you can't win them all and there will always be calls that go against all teams (eg. fwd pass in the RWC semi-final which cost NZ the game against France).

  • Burtfred - 2010-08-20 08:03

    Corne, you are talking a bunch of bullshit. It is not the job of open side flanker to cheat. And no, Bakkies should never have head butted anyone, not early in the game or later on as you suggest.If it is necessary for flankers to "cheat" in order to be effective, then the rules of the game are wrong. When your opponents constantly cheat and the ref lets them get away with it, you might want to consider headbutting the ref to wake him up. Richie Mc Caw is a cheat, George Smith is a cheat, just as you were in your playing days, Corne. Your style of play spoils the game for the most importatant participants, the spectators.

  • Burtfred - 2010-08-20 08:04

    Corne, you are talking a bunch of bullshit. It is not the job of open side flanker to cheat. And no, Bakkies should never have head butted anyone, not early in the game or later on as you suggest.If it is necessary for flankers to "cheat" in order to be effective, then the rules of the game are wrong. When your opponents constantly cheat and the ref lets them get away with it, you might want to consider headbutting the ref to wake him up. Richie Mc Caw is a cheat, George Smith is a cheat, just as you were in your playing days, Corne. Your style of play spoils the game for the most importatant participants, the spectators.

  • Andrew - 2010-08-20 08:11

    Krige is missing the point completely. Yes you role as an openside flanker is to get away with. Getting 43 penalties to one yellow card is that you did NOT get away with it at all but penalised. The issue is why so few YELLOW cards when compared to RSA and Aus???

  • colin - 2010-08-20 08:11

    Mr Krige being warned 3 times by the ref with no Yellow card - this is clear bias - MaCaw gets 3 final warning with nor yellow but the Boks get immediate yellows. That is why the AB yellow card cont is so low the do not do it right instead the refs allow them to do it wrong.

  • colin - 2010-08-20 08:13

    The All Blacks aka All Cheat.

  • @Rob The Kiwi - 2010-08-20 08:24

    hahaha. Look, i agree with you about Richie being a great player and the all blacks playing a better, smarter game than the Boks are at the moment... but PUHLEASE... The whinging and whining like spoilt children out of New Zealand is STILL echoing from your last World Cup effort... and guess what? you DID get screwed by the ref in that game. So of all nations, we'd think you'd understand. I guess your memory is conveniently short. Until next year, i suppose. Better keep that shoe handy, cos when it fits again, you're gonna haveta wear it.

  • IZ IT - 2010-08-20 08:27


  • @saffas - 2010-08-20 08:28

    What's up with this holier than thou attitude aye???? You've got to be having a laugh why demand absolute integrity or else when you don't have an ounce of integrity running through your veins. If you don't know what I mean check the history books. Slating players, teams, refs, countries. Do you seriously think the rest of the world is going to take you seriously/ I think not.

  • just saying - 2010-08-20 08:31

    i always loved corne's hard-edged and committed approach...what can never be erased, however is the double head-butt at twickenham followed by a 50-odd point hiding which obliterated of that value in a few short seconds. we all know rugby is a confrontational game, but the idea of 'cheating'....

  • just saying - 2010-08-20 08:34

    if it'ssaying its ok to cheat can i fudge my tax returns too? there is a difference between 'operating within the law' and 'cheating'. this distinction should have been made clear a long time ago.

  • Dirikie - 2010-08-20 08:36

    The point is they aren't headbutting, kicking (...well barely) or lifting the legs of players in tackles. I hate to say it but although some of those cards were touch and go decisions, only BJ's yellow can be described as totally unfair. We need to be smarter and play the game like we did in the S14. It will help if we can keep 15 on the pitch for at least 20 minutes so we don't have to back paddle from the get go. I hate that we are playing so poorly!!!

  • Spartan - 2010-08-20 08:40

    You know, im really tired of people saying the All Brats are smarter & know how to push their luck, the fact remains that the IRB is ALLOWING them to do so, they are systematically planning such an outcome, its a conspiracy, yes I said it, because when its premeditated & co-ordinated then its a conspiracy. If McCheat & "has been" Henry know they can get away with murder & plan this, well this is the end of Rugby League as we know it. It doesn't matter if they have adapted to their preferential treatment well, its not right, nor is it good for Rugby. End of story!!!

  • Angus - 2010-08-20 08:45

    How many of you, who make negative comments, have ever played Loose forward or even forward? You clearly have no idea what you are talking about. Save the immature, he's so dumb or useles etc. comments for your ignorant friends ie shut up unless you have a knowledgeable comment to make. Its clear that you clowns only ever get to provide your uninformed opinion on the net where you can't be stopped.

  • Michael Bowery - 2010-08-20 08:56

    The All Blacks are playing smarter rugby for only one reason - A MUCH MUCH SMARTER COACH.

  • Emile - 2010-08-20 09:20

    I agree with Krige, but he is totally missing the point about the preferential treatment the All Blacks received. The problem is" They got caught 43 times before every yeallow card. The Boks were caught 6 times and the Aussies 7 times before they received yellow cards. That is where the unfair treatment part come into it. Would really love to hear Paddy O' Briens' explanation this time.

  • cry-baby - 2010-08-20 09:21

    CORNE KRIGE = KAMP STAALDRAAD CRY-BABY... ...pooooofter...