McCaw: Only idiots don't adapt

2010-08-18 10:36

Brenden Nel - SuperSport

Johannesburg - All Blacks captain Richie McCaw took a swipe at his critics, including Springbok coach Peter de Villiers, by suggesting that any player who doesn’t adapt to a referee’s interpretation of the breakdown is “an idiot”.

VIDEO: All Blacks take a dip

McCaw has been widely singled out – as Bok lock Victor Matfield put it recently “getting away with murder” at the breakdown – with consistent suggestions that referees treat the All Blacks differently to their opposition when it comes to penalising offences.

World Cup winning former Australian coach Bob Dwyer added fuel to the fire this week when he released stats that show that the Springboks and Australians concede a yellow card every six penalties, as opposed to the All Blacks who concede a yellow every 43 penalties – seven times the number for their opposition.

Dwyer has clashed publicly with International Refereeing boss Paddy O’Brien, who is from New Zealand, and suggested that referees were lenient on All Black transgressions.

Despite the overwhelming stats, McCaw defended his side, saying he “disagreed completely” with the assumption that was being made.

“I don’t agree with you on that,” he shot back when presented with the statistics. “When you put stats like that out then I suppose you will come to a conclusion but in my view, it has never felt like that.

“When you get close to a yellow card, you need to get back and make sure you don’t give another penalty away. When you get a warning you have to be smart about it. All those stats do is to show that this is the case with us.”

McCaw then went further, firing the broadside at his critics.

“When you are there you have to adapt to the referees interpretations. That’s what frustrates me the most about this debate, is that players don’t learn the way the referee interprets the breakdown,” McCaw explained.

“You can moan about it all you like but if you’re not getting what you want then you’re an idiot. You need to change personally and for the team. Statistics doesn’t always tell the full picture.”

McCaw said he felt the interpretations had changed “a little” since the Super 14, but was happy that the breakdown was now “a fair contest again”.

“I think we were pinned a lot at the start of the Super 14 but it has come back to where it is a good contest. You have to have a change of habit and nobody has gotten away with anything in the Tri Nations. It is now a good contest and should a guy be isolated and another arrives on his feet, he has the rights.

“But if you do it right and protect your ball, then you have the opportunity to play with the ball in hand. Balance is the key here and I think the interpretations are good the way they are currently. I don’t have too many worries. You have to adapt to each referee because no ref is identical.”

However McCaw’s critics will respond by saying that is the crux of their argument after all – that the breakdown is now interpreted to suit McCaw and not the rest of the world.


  • TO EASY - 2010-08-18 10:41


  • Shawn - 2010-08-18 10:44

    So now rugby is about the way the ref see's things? what happened to rugby with one set of rules, and not what the ref feels like when he gets out of bed. Its a joke, The IRB are the idiots

  • UnoProblemo - 2010-08-18 10:50

    Interesting, How would you explain the fact that at the breakdown you are always off side and don't get penalised? How about the fact that you, sir are warned twice and then only do you get a yellow card wheras we are immediately sent off with no warning?

  • scipio - 2010-08-18 10:51

    Now it's a good contest cause your winning?? But when Francois Louw manhandled you on New lands it was an unfair contest? Richie Mcaw is the biggest chop in world rugby. Last year he won the IRB player of the year award while being injured for half the season. The IRB favors the all blacks and it's not just a conspiracy theory. Fourie du Preez and Brian O'driscoll were far better than Mcaw last year but yet again the IRB wanted to pick an All Black. When brussow Comes back we'll see how Mcaw whines about The Breakdowns being an unfair contest again. Mcaw = Fail

  • stefmeister - 2010-08-18 10:51

    Famous last words McCaw. I wouldn't be calling anyone idiots if I were you, it might just backfire next year, as early as tri-nations and quarter finals. Don't take it to your head either if you win Saturday. This game is purely academic, and we'll get our groove back. And when you get the short end of the stick, please don't cry like a cry baby pussy alright!? It's nice if you're on top of wave and easy to not acknowledge bad refereeing. remember the wheel always turns.

  • Baas Koos - 2010-08-18 10:55

    No Richie..... how many interpretations do you want then in the game and what is the use of rules....

  • kiwiruz - 2010-08-18 10:56

    SA is totally obsessed with making excuses why they are loosing. As the Headline to this article states "Only idiots don't adapt". Funny there were no complaints last year.

  • GW - 2010-08-18 10:58

    Well said Master Richie. If the law is to suit Master Richie then why has it taken the boks so long to play a different game to counter this. The boks play one dimensional and cant adapt to the law as they are very slow and very dumb. This report just shows how good Master Richie is and the All Black's are way ahead of the rest. Go All Black's

  • nick - 2010-08-18 10:59

    His comments are fair, S.A. are notorious for being slow to adapt their game

  • No Top Front Teeth Edams - 2010-08-18 11:01

    Die ou is duidelik. My fourth laaitjie, Warren, also thinks so.

  • AJ - 2010-08-18 11:02

    Problem is Richie, you're not adapting, you're just being allowed to get away with transgressions. A big difference. McCaw legacy: A very good player treated differently by refs - which is a shame.

  • Waka - 2010-08-18 11:03

    McCaw the best ever - what a legend ........

  • TOO GOOD - 2010-08-18 11:03

    "On your feet, lose your feet" Saffas aren't adapting to their "OWN RULES" hahahaha, standing tackles are legal, HEAD BUTTS- TIP TACKLES arn't. Either NZ are too fast or SA are too slow. hmmmmmm, cant wait for the next excuse!! Maybe SA should continue with SA ref's like the super 14, hahaha ----- cant wait for flippy to play. Stick to 7's BOETS because your obviously not good enough let alone a 15 man squad. SA cant handle speed, strength, tactics and most of all being THRASHED. LOL LOL LOL. By the way- your visa has expired, GOOD BYE. Do the decent thing and please close the door behind you when you leave. GOOD BYE

  • LDC - 2010-08-18 11:06

    ..the breakdown is now interpreted to suit McCaw... and Pocock,and Brussow (who are at least the equal of McCaw at contesting the breakdown)or any other fetcher. The fact that the last few SA coaches (Jake White PDv etc) refuse to play a propper openside except by accident is no fault of the rules. They have actually changed to allow a greater chance of ball retention by the attacking side while still allowing a contest for the ball. But if you don't play a specialist openside then obviously you are not going to be able to contest possession adequately at the breakdown compared to teams that do, any more than if you don't play someone who can kick straight, you won't score many drop goals. When Brussow comes back from injury I suspect things might improve for the boks...

  • Anti Stupid - 2010-08-18 11:07

    Please Richie is an ASS it is the rules we should follow and not the ref, in saying that every ref has a different interpretation of the breakdown and handle it differently and that is wrong as this make the ref biased, We must look at the rule book and abide by the rules, making statments like"When you are there you have to adapt to the referees interpretations" the ref is there to make sure the rule and the spirit of the game is played according to the rules, and should not be based on HIS INTERPRETATION OF THE RULES, YOU SUCK RICHIE

  • Anti Stupid - 2010-08-18 11:08

    Please Richie is an ASS it is the rules we should follow and not the ref, in saying that every ref has a different interpretation of the breakdown and handle it differently and that is wrong as this make the ref biased, We must look at the rule book and abide by the rules, making statments like"When you are there you have to adapt to the referees interpretations" the ref is there to make sure the rule and the spirit of the game is played according to the rules, and should not be based on HIS INTERPRETATION OF THE RULES, YOU SUCK RICHIE

  • Wellington maga rua - 2010-08-18 11:14

    spot on captain if the saffas are too thick and stupid to play according to how the ref plays the game then that shows they stupid and slow and as you said pure rugby "idiots", lets hope they keep their current captain and management team it surely suits us fine. Now you can expect another childish come back from the springbucks instead of just shutting up and getting on with the business on the field

  • nigel - 2010-08-18 11:16

    So now the cat is out of the bag, its not only SA thats complaining about Paddy O Brian, its now no secret that the All Blacks are treated differently to other teams by the IRB. Richie you can deny all you want buddy, but this schirade is over, you will have to watch your step, I dont like PdV but you have to admit, he has a point when he says NZ is treated differently to other teams. I blam the idiot O Brian.

  • Dam - 2010-08-18 11:17

    So Ritchie are trying to say that we are idiots if we don't cheat.

  • Ruffdog - 2010-08-18 11:18

    well put ...bunch of old men start thinking on your feet Bokka and maybe some leadership will help.

  • jr - 2010-08-18 11:19

    kiwirus. you are right we will adapt and you will ony have Austalia to play against.

  • Manie - 2010-08-18 11:20

    Typical NZ mentality - what McCaw is saying is breaking the rules is okay as long as you can get away with it. In the Super 14, the referees applied the rules more strictly and NZ struggled. In the Tri-Nations NZ shined against the Boks because of incompetent Irish referees and McCaw's lack of sportsmanship and integrity. PS: Kiwiruz, ironically your remark supports what everyone is saying - last year NZ came nowhere because the rules were applied, why would SA or the Ausies complain?

  • Jannas - 2010-08-18 11:23

    I thought rules are implemented and guidelines interpreted. If a rugby rule needs interpretation, then it is not properly developed and should be scrapped until it can be properly formulated. I wonder if it will work if I interpret the speeding limits by treating it as a guide for average speed?

  • Mark - 2010-08-18 11:25

    I agree with Richie. He must be the most brilliant manipulative rugby player in recent memory. He does get away with murder but he does it so well and does not get penalised. I have immense respect for him even if he may cheat from time to time. You are right Richie, Adapt or Die, I hope we will eventually adapt.

  • Garth - 2010-08-18 11:27

    Im sorry but he is just a lying cheat, the All Black coaching staff must have nothing left in the bag and thats why this year they came up with a breakdown disruption tactic that should only be interpreted by the refs as breaking the law.

  • Speedy - 2010-08-18 11:28

    All McCaw is proving is that he is a player that can think and adapt continuously. That is a trait that all players of any sport should aspire to! We have seen time and again that some of the Bok players continuously do the same thing they have just been warned for and ultimately end up with a yellow card. Yes, very often we have perception that counts against us. You just have to look at Bakkies' track record, everyone is so used to his so called "enforcer" tactics that he is almost guaranteed of a yellow card in every game he plays. It took a lot of introspection for Burger to change, but he has done it. Instead of pointing fingers at Richie, rather try and do what he does. Remember he has a great teacher in Fitzpatrick who was brilliant in playing the penalty game to the fullest and it was successful!

  • AB Supporter @ Bok Supporters - 2010-08-18 11:29

    Master Richie is the best. For many years now he has dominated world headlines as the best # 7 in the world. get over the fact that the boks are KAK. he is the best and its very hard for u dumb bok supporters to accept. Do u get the message HUH!!!

  • The Shark - 2010-08-18 11:31

    @Kiwiruz - If memory serves me right, there was quite a lot of complaining in 2007, about a certain 'forward' pass in a game against the french, in that world cup that the boks won. I just can't for the life of me remember who was complaining that day though, could you perhaps refresh my memory for me please?

  • sparky - 2010-08-18 11:32

    I am a die hard Springbok fan but i have to agree with certain statements that Richie has made.We are guilty of not listening to the warnings and not adapting our play! I do also think that Richie does get away with murder and this is not only from Paddy but other refs to.So the BIG question is how and why.No matter how much we moan and scream at the Ref, Richie is a oustanding player and captain.

  • Snot & Trane Idiot - 2010-08-18 11:37

    Mr McCaw, you say; “When you get close to a yellow card, you need to get back and make sure you don’t give another penalty away. When you get a warning you have to be smart about it. All those stats do is to show that this is the case with us.” Now go back and see how many times you were "smart" after Rolland warned you and even gave you a final warning. I put it to you that you were not smart at all, and neither was Rolland. In fact, both of you were beyond belief, and even the (non SA) commetators were openly amazed. The same applies to the Jamie Heaslip card. You were commiting a professional foul (whilst being warned about it), now how smart was that? Heaslip got upset, knee'd you twice, and got a card and 5 weeks for it. And you? You call it smart? We have got absolutely no clue as to why you are allowed to get away with your illegal play. What we do know, is that after Stuart Dickinson started to grow a spine and penalise you in the S14, you were nowhere. It is interesting to see that Stuart Dickinson is suddenly nowhere in the Tri-Nations. The SA refs, and later the other refs allowed much less "grey" area at the breakdown in the S14, but that didn't suit you, so suddenly there are "new interpretations" that suits you. The S14 had a lot of open play, and was quite attractive. The only thing that is "new", is that the AB's are allowed to hang around and do whatever they please at breakdowns. With Kaplan in charge, your team looked rather ordinary. You may think we are idiots Mr McCaw, but the evidence is piling up, and you WILL see your backside, somehow, and along with you, that Paddy, who also think that we are idiots. The "told you so" chants are going to ring around the world one of these fine days, and I'm not going to hold back. Your and O'Brien's conniving is going to bring the game in disrepute soon. Watch this space. Any idiot can see that. I am proud to be an Idiot in your eyes. A real Jaapie idiot. I know nothing. :-) Mr McCaw, I see the heat is building up. It will soon boil. Just keep on talking. Something is going to creak somewhere, and we, the Idiots will be lapping it up.

  • Baas-Ted - 2010-08-18 11:37

    Geez can't every player, coach, manager, and fan stop moaning and get on with the game !!!!

  • KINGRICHIE!!! - 2010-08-18 11:43

    If McCaw keeps playing the rest of this year the way hes been playing in the tri nations then he will be a nominee for the irb player of the year no doubt, the only other players that would warrant irb player of the year would be Pocock, Keiran Reid and Kevin Mealamu.

  • Jim - 2010-08-18 11:44

    Why does the entire world think that losing is spelt loosing?

  • Greg - 2010-08-18 11:46

    Richie McCaw is a very intelligent player and uses his brain when he plays. Maybe we must start doing the same.

  • Doos Richie - 2010-08-18 11:51

    South Africa 2 World Cup wins in 12 years. New Zealand 1 World Cup win in 23 years. Shame, Richie is going to be so bitter without a World Cup win next year.

  • Richard - 2010-08-18 11:55

    I find the comments by Richie McCaw strange because even the NZ commentator say that their are two laws 1 for Richie and 1 for the rest of the NZ players.If you have ever watcher their local competition this is a commen comment during the game that he gets away while the opposition can do the same this and conceed a penalty

  • Spartan - 2010-08-18 11:55

    I have to laugh @ some of these NZ comments (or are they ex-saffas that now support their new team) either way, we are becomming arrogant & cocky, aren't we. We may have one or 2 stupid players (Bakkies & co) but then Brad Thorn isnt exactly a genius either, is he. You can pretend that NZ is so cleaver & carry on about saffers that have moved to Browns Bay (only to get into Aus), but some of us have been to your neck of the woods & you can have your damp wooden houses, backward schools & lousy crappy salaries, & btw, its not like NZ isnt beeding skills to the UK & Aus is it.

  • Pietie007 - 2010-08-18 11:59

    McCaw is an idiot!!! What he is saying is that a ref can influence the outcome of any game... and thus the World Cup... Lets pray for 1 ref to blow according to the rules in next years World Cup!!! Bye Bye Blackies!! Yet another World Cup gone!! I am going to laugh my ass off.....

  • SARU - 2010-08-18 12:00

    We're keeping the best till last...... our next excuse will be!!!!!! How dare the New Zealanders THRASH US. Let's all wear arm bands, leave tri-nations, let's cheat amongst ourselves- I'm pretty sure Zimbabwe and Kenya will play tri- nations. Thanks SA, your right, let's look further afeild. DUMP SA, WE DON'T NEED THEM, the All Blacks are n0#1, in fact Australia's better than SA. As the fat lady sings "excuses are for LOSERS"

  • Ellmari - 2010-08-18 12:00

    I agree with Baas-Ted: Get over it and play the game! YOU GO RICHIE!

  • Fatsyboy - 2010-08-18 12:01

    Don,t worry guys. Remember the world cup isn't won in 2010. Ask the all All Baaaaalacks and Waaaaalabies!

  • Ryno - 2010-08-18 12:03

    So Richie you eventually admit that you're an idiot...You couldn't adapt to the S14 breakdown laws or the ref's interpretation thereof... what a chop. @Shawn: 100% mate. There shouldn't be an interpretation. It is either wrong or right.

  • Bok Supporter - 2010-08-18 12:05

    Richie is 100% right. The difference between the Kiwis and us is that they using their heads as well, and historically we have just used brawn. We need to instill a thinking culture in our rugby.

  • Pire - 2010-08-18 12:10

    @kiwiruz...Last year was another set of rules, and was suppose to give the game more flow. The wonderfull IRB then saw that every team kicked like crazy, and the whole point was they said to the refs to stick to the rules, no exceptions etc, like we saw in the super 14 this year. Then after the super 14 the refs slacked again. So the teams dont know whats going on cause they trained to play with certain rules and the ref dont blow the AB for not sticking to those rules. So I take it that u are one of the idiots Mcaw refered of the non-adaptors.

  • patrick - 2010-08-18 12:13

    Richie says .... “When you get close to a yellow card, you need to get back and make sure you don’t give another penalty away. When you get a warning you have to be smart about it. All those stats do is to show that this is the case with us.” What a load of Crud!! He got warned 5 times in one game..... what a contradicting hypocrit. As for the Ausies...... you have a go at the BOKS for calling the AB's cheats and tucking into the ref's....... But its ok for you guys to say now!! Just drop a bomb on the Australasian contenent and get rid of these chops!!

  • All Black fanatic - 2010-08-18 12:15

    @Garth - Sore loser buddy. the bokke spelers is DOM. have you ever played a rugby game in your life?

  • BOKSUPPORTER - 2010-08-18 12:16

    Cheers to that Richie! Can't agree with you more.

  • rayray - 2010-08-18 12:16

    @GREG is it his brian or maybe his Brien (O'Brien)

  • 2 ALL THE BOK FANS - 2010-08-18 12:18

    Hate the game not the player.All you SA fans must feel like Idiots with 0 point on the log hahahaha KAMATE!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • @Anti Stupid - 2010-08-18 12:18

    You Suck! You're an ass!!! Jealousy makes you nasty ......