Smit takes swipe at media

2010-08-23 16:52

Brenden Nel  - SuperSport

Johannesburg - Springbok captain John Smit took a broad swipe at the media on Monday, saying a number of so-called conspiracy theories about the team were being “made up” by the press.

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Smit was talking to 702 morning show host John Robbie when he was asked about the problems in the camp. The Boks slumped to their fourth consecutive defeat in this year’s Tri-Nations on Saturday, losing to the All Blacks and raising massive question-marks about this team’s ability to defend their World Cup crown in New Zealand in a year’s time.

“I think all these conspiracy theories are stories that have been made up by people who write about us. They just can’t understand that we can lose a game of rugby with the team that we have,” Smit told 702.

“As an eternal optimist I look at it as a pat on the back as to what we should be achieving and what we are not achieving. I can ramble on about ructions in the team, the split in the coaching team or that I was supposed to retire after the game on Saturday, the stories can go on and on.

“The guys who write don’t know enough about this team and they have to start thinking about these things. The reality is that the team love each other, they are like a family. When I ran out onto the field on Saturday there were six or seven guys who have played more than 50 tests with me. These guys have been there when my kids were born. We really are a tight unit.

Smit indicated the criticism of his team would force them to close ranks, and they could now only look to each other to get the Springboks back onto a winning road.

“You must remember as well that when we lose, it is far more difficult to speak out of the camp. The unit becomes tighter. We have to stick together. As far as the conspiracy theories go, I can tell you we’re hating life at the moment,” Smit continued.

“If you think back to when last a Springbok team lost four in a row, and it was in 2006. We have only ourselves to get out of this, and we now have two more opportunities and we want to win the Mandela Cup. That is what we will be focusing on.

““The conspiracy theories will go on and on. After my press conference on Friday I had to answer off the record whether there would be 101 caps. This weekend will see Victor get his milestone but the two of us will be so relieved when this is over and we can get on with the rugby.”

Smit’s fitness has been the subject of debate as on Saturday he was clearly off the pace once again, and missed the crucial tackle that allowed the All Blacks to win the game. He remains, however, a massive cog in the team management and his influence has consistently been a positive on the side.


  • UK Bok supporter - 2010-08-23 17:03

    Well, personally I think a hooker going after the worlds strongest centre is not the best tactic. Good on him for trying to stop him, but should our centres have been there? or loosies even?

  • Jannas - 2010-08-23 17:15

    It looks like PdV’s lip flapping is contagious, or is he taking the lead from the ANC by taking broad swipes at the media? Mr Smit, you are one of the main problems.

  • Chris - 2010-08-23 17:15

    I guess John also thinks that there were more than one camera on him "adding a little more than 10 pounds", images of him running was also played in slow motion to make him look slower than he actually is. Give me a break John, you've been a great servant of Springbok rugby but there is no way that you can realistically expect to still be is the world cup squad next year. Learn from Chester and retire before you are also remembered as a player who kept on playing for too long.

  • MONSTER - 2010-08-23 17:16

    Smit must retire, and this is NO conspiracy theory!!!

  • Steven Grobler - 2010-08-23 17:20

    John Smit we love you, 100 test and still counting ! Your a ledgend that will never be forgotten ! Hard luck that your team has lost four in a row, let just make sure that we win all the games in the world cup next year. I am still proud of our rugby team and our captin, coach. Please ensure that you beat the english in Decemenr as i can afford to have them beat us.

  • Oubaassehonne - 2010-08-23 17:22

    Ja, whatever Mr Smit. One thing that is however not a theory is your fitness, tackling skills, speed arriving at rucks and mauls and lineout throwing skills.

  • The Original Beast - 2010-08-23 17:30

    Good point UK. Our Backline were on attack mode, and when the ball turned over to the All Blacks our backline were still on attack mode.

  • cj - 2010-08-23 17:34

    JS has played an enormous role in the success of the Boks over the last decade, and will go down in history as a Bok great, no question. I am a big fan of the man. However, with great respect, he seems to be losing the plot a bit. It doesn't help that the Boks love each other, they have deteriorated badly in the space of a season. In addition, the Super 14 teams gave them a great platform for the Tri-nations and there is just no excuse for the loss on home soil on Saturday in front of 90 000 fans. If they could not win then, how are they going to beat the AB's anywhere unless something radical happens ? John's comments give no inkling that he understands this. His leadership has been great but I think the importance of a captain is being over estimated a bit. No captain can turn a bad team into winners, the most important ingredient is still correct team selections, good coaching,etc. Choose the best players first, there are plenty of guys that can captain the side. I have also reserved my judgment on Peter Div, but after Saturday it is clear to me that he is lacking in judgement on team selections, substituting, etc.

  • Nick - 2010-08-23 17:38

    Smit take your buddies that have played 50 or more tests with you and go and have a braai together - we need to pick a team that is the best in the country not one picked for emotional reasons.

  • Deonic - 2010-08-23 17:38

    I have to agree with John that the printed media are making up stories. It happened on the recent trip Down-under again. Some media made up stories about discontent etc that could not be backed up by anything substantial.

  • mike - 2010-08-23 17:41

    Well JdV was nowhere on saturday so smit probably had a better chance. Makes you wonder what WO and JdJ would do in the midfield since JdJ defensive performance proved that maybe Jaque was the issue overseas!

  • PietPress - 2010-08-23 17:43

    How about we appoint a coach to teach them basic discipline - and that’s no conspiracy theory either.

  • Zion Pay - 2010-08-23 17:49

    Where has this guy been hiding? His coach Peter DE Villiers was one of the main manne connected to and concocted the conspiracy theories. Here we have the true food for thought and contempt by the Ozzies and NZ may be rife. We remain the laughing stock of the rugby world.

  • old boy - 2010-08-23 17:53

    Why not select a captain who is a sure selection, and then see if JS still makes the side? Who Knows! Well done though JS, great record, but maybe it is time to see if you are there for your ability as captain, or as a player!

  • willem - 2010-08-23 17:59

    Something terrible is wrong. Habana did not do his job and allowed two tries. Smit is blaming the media. de Villiers is slow and inactive (the centre, not the coach) and White wants his job back. I have no advice. The only solution is one big game against the Aussies.

  • slg - 2010-08-23 17:59

    It's sad the players are being turned on. It's not them, it's obviously the coaching. These players won the Super 14 hands-down. I'm not saying turn on the coaches. Just have them resign. They're out of their depths. John Smit is a fine leader and should not be sacrificed because the wrong coaches were appointed.

  • Wouter - 2010-08-23 18:02

    Still toooooooo old for this level. Retire, and start reading news papers at home!

  • R-E-S-P-E-C-T - 2010-08-23 18:03

    You can't blame a loss on one missed tackle. Enough said. Maybe John is heading towards the end of his career, but at least show the man some respect for what they have achieved as a team. All you bloggers who think you have the right to make derogatory comments (while cowering behind your keyboards) should be ahsamed of yourselves. If you have a criticism at least the decency to make an intelligent, respectful remark.

  • Gavin - 2010-08-23 18:06

    When the boks shine, everybody is happy - you guys are a bunch of hypocrites !

  • BP - 2010-08-23 18:06

    It does not help to play with 12 and 13 on 70% because they hurt. Habanna was also not calling the numbers nor staying in line on the D. There was suppose to be a back on back with the forewards there as a backup ~ like what they did the whole game!! 12 vs 2....9 out of 10 a ordinary back would beat a good prop / hooker....not even talking about Nanu. Take the + out of the game!! Look how good was the tackling in general. On our ball the tempo was lifted!! I believe we have something to look foreward to this saterday at loftus>>>>

  • Gooch - 2010-08-23 18:12

    South Africans don't like to give credit to the opposition do you. All we ever hear about is how you lost the game because of this mistake or that error or this ref. It's not just the supporters, it is the team and coaches as well. The All Blacks made errors too. Nonu is a great player. He excels at breaking the line and that is why he is in the team. You can't simply blame a missed tackle. You got beaten by the No.1 team in the world in the last 3 minutes. Your TEAM could not match them this year. This is sport. Be a little gracious in defeat and acknowledge the better team.

  • Johan - 2010-08-23 18:12

    John is a respected captain but is no longer the no.1 hooker in the country (for the past two years). He is to slow and unfit and not strong enough to play prop, it's time to step down.

  • Burger - 2010-08-23 18:13

    John Smit's comments might very well be true, but makes no difference to the fact that he is past his best. If he thinks losing the match by missing a sitter tackle is hard to live down, imagine living down being blamed for losing the WC in 2011, because that is exactly what will happen if people start looking for scapegoats. he was the best for a long time, and i honour him for his service to SA rugby, but he needs to take up a position as advisor to Piet Planne and can as such still be part of WC 2011. Just ask Bobby how it's done.

  • Kobus - 2010-08-23 18:14

    Hey everyone, Am I the only one that questions the last try. It does not matter that much as the Boks were beaten in the last 5 minutes, but Dagg touched the dead ball line at the same time as grounding the ball, which would still give the AB's their point and the cup, but it still is not a try.

  • Megan - 2010-08-23 18:22

    John you are an amazing asset to SA rugby!!! We love you! 100 tests is outstanding! you have done us proud!!!! All you negative ones out there - why dont you don a pair of boots and do it yourself! idiots! The bokke deserve respect - they worked bloody hard..they are having a tough enough time as it is without your rubbish comments!

  • Frustrated fan - 2010-08-23 18:23

    What was John Smit doing in the backline in the first place trying to tackle a centre that is way faster than him? Nonu saw Smit in front of him and decided to have a go, his pace and power proved too much for Smit to hold on and we all know what happened next. But this is typical of the All Blacks, they always leave it late.

  • gcr - 2010-08-23 18:25

    The boks lost the game as soon as Jaun Smit came off the field - he and Burger were cutting down that backline. Spies I am afraid is a spent force over these last 4 matches - needs to stick to selling insurance. De Jongh played a blinder and must stay in the team. They shoulds have taken Pietersen off - he was injured in the first half - move Hougaard to wing and brought Janurie on - you can't win matches with people who can't defend like Pietersen - he got nowhere Dagg - but under normal circumstances he would have hauled him in

  • Dan - 2010-08-23 18:30

    The team love each other, like a family unit, and obviously have healthy appetites - so why is winning so important?

  • Share Holder - 2010-08-23 18:44

    Last year was a record year. Indicators this year were promising. The company is however experiencing a dramatic slump. The executive board refuses to budge dispite letting the company & share holders down. Fresh ideas wait in the wings but those in power want their bonuses and pay packages promised for 2011. Makes one think doesn't it.

  • Dave - 2010-08-23 18:46

    Make the guys perform for their jerseys. Remove non performers and BE blue eyed boys. Get fresh legs and young enthuastic HUNGRY men. Look at Hougard - what a performance!!! Let the young blood in. How the heck(with all due respect to Ricky) can he be on bench when you look at who we have as no 9's in this country? Also JdV(wing) and Habana not performing. Aplon cant kick for a full back And who goes for posts if Morne gets injured? Also too much emotion and hand pointing by staff in their cubicle. They are emotionally hijacked. Get the job done with brains and guts.

  • Natashia - 2010-08-23 18:48

    Conspiracy theories? Give me a break! The trademark of a great leader is knowing when to exit. JS, it is your time as a player now. You have had a good career, but it is time to step aside. It is wrong to put your own needs/interest infront of national- and the interest of the team. Save us more embarrasment and say goodbuy.

  • In fact - 2010-08-23 18:54

    Last I checked, playing for the Springboks means playing for your COUNTRY, that includes me, Frikkie that was too drunk to even see the game, it even includes the Blou Nul supporters. You're not out there playing for your so-called family, it is not about you, it's about your country and every person that proudly calls himself a South African. Maybe that's why you keep losing, because you're too selfish to realize the Bok jersey is bigger than you and your bra's. Ask Doc Craven which one lasts longer, the player, the coach or the jersey? It's the pride of a nation that you're wiping your @rse with, not those big headed cowardly worms disgracing South Africa.

  • KlopKlop - 2010-08-23 19:08

    John Smit is to hard on himself regarding one tackle. He has been consistently good for 100 tests, and will surely be around for a couple more. The team is better with him in it. We need him at the World Cup next year. Now is the time to manage, not panick! go Bokke

  • WHAT THE BLOODY HELL - 2010-08-23 19:13

    Fair enough. The Boks havnt been performing to the level they always have, however, what had happened is tough. Please leave the players alone...Habana and Smit are not the only people in the TEAM....For some of you big mouths, please do let me know when you will be playing in the team so that I can critic you and we will probably see how badly some of you will do with the biggest mouths. And for some of you who always wants to bring race into sport - GET THE HELL OVER YOURSELVES cause Rugby aint a white sport just like soccer isnt a black sport. Why when we do well, we can unite as a nation and when things go bad then it becomes the coach and this is something that happens in soccer as well. When Jake White was coaching, the Boks lost a fair amount of games as well and I didnt see the media go all at it...Perhaps the mindsets of the players should also damn change. I feel the media is to blame with many of the perceptions they create in some of you idiots heads cause you are stupid enough to be as gullable....LEAVE Peter DV alone please...I dont think any coach would be happy to loose and on purposely place their team in a compromising situation. The players consider themselves as professionals - so they need to up the ante...

  • Gooch - 2010-08-23 19:15

    @Kobus - Sorry pal, he landed before the dead ball line, but I do think he was taking a chance celebrating before he scored. I hate seeing players do that.

  • William Shakespeare - 2010-08-23 19:23

    Somebody needs to whisper in John Smit's ear that it's better to walk than to be pushed. He missed a golden opportunity to announce his resignation. From now on it's all downhill for this great ambassador of the game, as they like to say.

  • Ajay - 2010-08-23 19:32

    I think maybe he should resign the captaincy at the end of the 3N and give it to Burger or Matfield but I would still love to see him in the squad for next year if Bismarck gets 1st choice no 2 jersey which he should do on form and if fit. What an ambassador for SA and what and achievement to get 100 caps for the Bokke though and he is a great captain who has done something none of us have ever even come close to and needs to be given the respect for that by everyone.You wouldnt say so from this thread though. Remember Ibanez or Gregan near the end of their careers? They still had loads of experience that made up for the lack of a bit of pace and it counted heavily in their teams favour that they were there in tight matches when those 100 plus caps of experience means the right calls are made at the right times. Why the Bokke couldnt just hang onto the ball instead of kicking it away with 1 and a half minutes to go is down to inexperience alone. Smits plan was to get Steyn into a position to take a snap drop but inexperience gave the ball back to them for us to start tackling again. Game over

  • Diek - 2010-08-23 19:42

    May I say congrats to John but please hear the rest of it.............learn from the sucess of the run-up to the previous RWC. Keep the experieced and let them rest, Dr. Tim Noakes's recommendation is that of a renowned profesional and yes, with RWC experience. Blood some young guys, show guts and change the whole team

  • SA Bok supporter - 2010-08-23 20:05

    Why is everybody critisizing John Smit for being in a position where loosies and centres should have been....when morne steyn kicked two bad kicks....and we had to defend when whe shouldve been on the attack. Stop blaming one player when it takes 15 to play the game...And then there was the ref that missed two forwarded passes of the AB both leading to two tries.

  • ChrisD - 2010-08-23 20:08

    I cannot believe how short sited the nation is and how full they are to critise a team when it does not go our way. Unfortuntely guys, its your supports failing you not undertsanding that this is a competive sport and there will be days that we will loose against a better team. Regroup and you be ok. I still believe in you no matter what these as%%% is saying about you. O, they as usual will call for the heads of the captain and the coash.

  • BradMan4RSA - 2010-08-23 20:11

    JS the nation shared in Ur disappointment. No voices after we screamed hold onto the ball, do not KICK!!! with a few min to spare. Bud, I am no expert ONLY proudly to be SA. So the reality is win/loose we need a faster + experience team when we play ABs. Some of the lads not suited that make up the squad. We enjoyed the game anyways THANKS!!! Lets BRAAI that Wallabies. GO BOKS GO!!!

  • Michael - 2010-08-23 20:24

    You SA supporters are real w****ers. Exactly 4 years ago you called for Jake White and the teams heads. One year later you hailed them heroes for winning the World Cup a 2nd time. Stop moaning about crap and support your team and coaching staff.

  • Suurpoep - 2010-08-23 20:38

    Bismarck was briliant Saturday !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Calm Down - 2010-08-23 21:08

    We struggled a year before 2007 W/C and went on to win. I reckon the AB's are peaking too soon. Also, the Boks are missing a number of players that will help make them a force of note like Beast, du Preez, Kankowski, Steyn, Bekker, Bismarck, Jacques Fourie - already 7 not to mention an array of speedsters and fulbacks to choose from. There is time to blood these new players and prevent burn-out to the stalwarts to ensure the Boks peak at the right time. Fans tend to panick and demand knee-jerk reactions from the selectors and coach. I have no doubt that common sense will prevail in the end. If not, the present coach will go down as the most stubborn and stupid one in the history of SA Rugby and I don't think he would want that. Support (the positive) is always better than the wining (negative). Have a little Faith!

  • Robert - 2010-08-23 21:45

    Smit you are like Mugabe... You just wont leave!!!

  • Cire - 2010-08-23 21:50

    When it comes to conspiracy theories, its hard to beat the ones enspoused by the Bok camp.

  • freshlyground - 2010-08-23 21:51

    The AB's are playing the wrong style of rugby for next years RWC. Let them play this style at their peril. The Springboks should not fall into the trap of trying to copy their style. As in every final the game is going to be ugly boring and not for the spectators. Graham Henry and his team will not be able to adjust to RWC style rugby as was seen in the his previous attempt.

  • Missed - 2010-08-23 22:05

    ...and he missed again.

  • JJ Black - 2010-08-23 23:46

    Gentlemen, what a win for the Ab's on haloed RSA soil:) We were lucky and we know it. One mistake, one missed tackle, and the game was lost. Then all the bitching and moaning, bad mouthing the captain and team that so conviningly kicked the AB's but twelve months ago? What short memories you buggers have! WTF you spinless mutha f*%kers! Get behind your team, give them the support, respect they need and deserve. We all know there are only two world class sides in this world, it's such a shame that some of your lekker Bokke fans don't know it.. Take care folks good luck against the Wobblies:)

  • Karsten - 2010-08-23 23:58

    Barney you legend, the game of rugby would be poorer without having had you. To all the sceptics, in 2006 you wanted his head and in 2007 you were all crawling up hiss @ss. THE BOKS DON'T NEED PLASTIC SUPPORTERS. Support our boys in Green & Gold!