Time to boot Div?

2010-07-19 09:35

Wellington - Chris Rattue, the New Zealand Herald sports writer who made himself very unpopular in South Africa when he referred to Johannesburg during the Soccer World Cup as a "hell-hole", has now come out in defence of the Springboks following their 31-17 defeat against the All Blacks in Wellington on Saturday.

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In his column in the NZ Herald, Rattue pointed out Sky TV started coverage of the clash by getting referee Alain Rolland's nationality wrong - putting the French colours alongside the Irishman's name.

"Sounds French so must be French - a mistake a few of us have been close to making with Rolland over the years," he wrote.

"Rolland was French by suspicion, which is the sort of justice he meted out to Danie Rossouw, the Springbok lock, a few minutes later.

"The sinbinning of Rossouw was diabolical, the distorting of a major international sporting contest on scant evidence.

"You'll see more dangerous pushing and shoving in the pie queue. In fact, the pies themselves are probably more dangerous.

"Rossouw used a hand to flick Richie McCaw, who was sitting on the ground, around the temple and perhaps a little close to the eyes for comfort. What ensued was the letting off of early Test match steam, a bit of push and shove with no damage done.

"McCaw swiped at Rossouw with his forearm. Rossouw responded by shoving a gentle knee in McCaw's direction.

"Replay of the event shows the knee was not even close to making contact with McCaw's head or body, only McCaw's arm.

"The All Blacks were clearly superior, on speed alone, and thoroughly deserved their second-Test victory, although the lineout reverted to a shambles and they made a fair few mistakes.

"What can't be ignored, though, is that the All Blacks were given a significant leg up, scoring 10 points while Rossouw was sitting down.

"Rossouw would have been a big part of the Springboks' early plans to tie up possession and turn the forward battle into trench warfare. He made their first significant tackle, smashing Owen Franks backwards.

"Moreover, we, the paying public, not to mention the Springboks, deserved an honest contest, and not one altered by a ridiculous yellow card. The All Blacks also deserved to have their victory scored in the fairest of conditions.

"Rolland clearly stated that the yellow card was for kicking, but Rossouw did not use his boot, and did not make any significant contact with his knee.

"So far in the two Tri-Nations games, we have seen a headbutt go unpunished, along with a spear tackle from Jean de Villiers and a shoulder charge from Rene Ranger - actions that can seriously hurt the victims.

"Yet Bakkies Botha has been sent to the sin-bin for killing the ball, while the All Blacks were able to do this only under threat and without serious sanction in Wellington. Rossouw received a yellow for a bit of child's play that endangered no one.

"Rugby is getting this seriously wrong. No other sport dismisses players - and thus alters the contest - with such an off-hand attitude.

"The victory was badly tainted, and needlessly so. We all got robbed, he wrote.

Rattue also believes South Africa's Rugby World Cup prospects will be best served by a Tri-Nations disaster that allows them the perfect excuse to axe the Lippy Looney, coach Peter de Villiers.

"Age may be starting to catch up with a couple of Springboks, notably their legendary leader John Smit. The problem is, Smit - by quiet account - actually runs the Springbok team along with veteran lineout ace Victor Matfield with input from the assistant coaches.

"Smit hasn't been as prominent around the field as we've come to expect, and the Springboks have an outstanding alternative in the injured Bismarck du Plessis along with Gary Botha.

"The jury will also start to scratch the chin about Matfield's all-round contribution, especially with ball in hand and in the physical confrontations.

"As for playing Jean de Villiers on the wing - utter madness from de Villiers ... or should that be Smit.

"Peter de Villiers has been a train-driver coach, able to sit back and push a few buttons as his juggernaut powers along.

"With rule changes and advancing years catching up with the Boks, he now has serious coaching and selecting to do. He isn't up to it and was completely outplayed by a resurgent, grinning Graham Henry.

"De Villiers was a political appointment - the administration acknowledged as much about a man with no senior coaching CV.

"If South African rugby had foresight and real desperation, it would realise the game is up, the joke is over, and give de Villiers the boot, and quick," he concluded.


  • tsiko - 2010-07-19 09:44

    This is the most fair piece of commentary wrtitten by any scribe on Saturday's test and the coaching of the Boks.

  • Who cares? - 2010-07-19 09:46

    And we care what this twat thinks because?

  • Mark - 2010-07-19 09:46

    Excellent article with great insights into the game on saturday. Interesting that everybody seems to think that Januarie is a useless scrummie and Jean de Villiers is not a wing but somehow the management team seems not to get with it. I've read elsewhere that it's actually John Smit and Matfield running the show at the Boks and not the coach. I agree that Smit and Matfield are getting slow and old. Maybe they should retire and start coaching the Boks and let our affirmative action coach go back to coaching school boy rugby and build himself up like most coaches do.

  • nigel - 2010-07-19 09:48

    while I agree with most of what this Rautte guy says, I certainly dont appreciate him mouthing off about Johannesburg during the WC, what an ass...I suggest he minds his own business & not bother to interfer in our affairs. Stay in Wellington or whichever little kak village you are from.

  • Neil - 2010-07-19 09:48

    This Rattue guy actually knows what he is talking about ..... all fair points , the only thing I would say is that John Smit needs some time after having a years tighthead bulking and training to get back to hooker play ..... and the pure fact that PdV refuses to play the best full back in the world ( Frans Steyn ) makes it a immediate boot to our coach .... Springbok rugby is bigger than his ego , Frans has an ego aswell but he wins us games!!

  • Gus - 2010-07-19 09:49

    Div may not have the flair of speaking given to him, but the man has done one heck of a job. His won a Lions series, the tri-nations and now with 2 losses that plonker from NZ is calling him to be axed?..stick to writing to the NZ people..leave coaching to the coaches..As for the referees, they should really allow citing commitees for these blokes, there has been so horrible decisions and some really horrible decisions...I hope that the referees get some kind of sanction for there play..maybe send the Irish ref with the french name back to school boy rugby til after the world cup in 2015 maybe Stuart Dickenson should join him...anyway the Boks really need to up their game...

  • Mic - 2010-07-19 09:52

    HAHA ja nee hulle se n nuwe besim vee altyd skooner!! eish skop hom onder die gat!!!

  • TracerZA - 2010-07-19 09:53

    geez Chris, you p*ssed me off with comments about SA recently, but I have to say, WELL SAID. You've redeemed yourself and I forgive you for your incorrect assertions about SA ;-)

  • Divsupporter - 2010-07-19 09:54

    there they go they always had it in for him because he is black ,Div is here to stay (let me tell you). you will never overcome us viva Div

  • TC - 2010-07-19 09:54

    It is true that, while the All Black and other teams started to rebuild their teams after the previous RWC, the Springbok team remained largely the legacy of Jake White. Because of 'political correctness' this fact was chosen to be ignored in the media. Jakes' legecay is now wering off...

  • Reality - 2010-07-19 09:58

    The truth as it should be told...

  • Hanna - 2010-07-19 09:58

    Yes please ......boot Div and Captain John Smith he is worth nothing to the boks

  • RAmpies - 2010-07-19 10:00

    Could not agree more, Pieter and John must be evacutated from that team, their days is over

  • Basil - 2010-07-19 10:02

    Unfortuntely Chris Rattue is quite right. We have a coach who cannot adapt. We are playing last year's game and the New Zealanders and Australia are wise to it. Added to the fact that the referees we have had only look one way. What about the shoulder charge on Kirschner by Ranger - nothing happened. It is time that the refs were judged on their performances as much as the players and get dropped from the panel if they make stupid mistakes. Unfortunately I don't hold out much hopw for the Boks in Australia if the scores in New Zealand are anything to go by - eight tries to two. We are almost assuredly out of this years tri-nations. Let's start building for the world cup next year by using this tri-nations to experiment with a decent coach

  • Keelvol - 2010-07-19 10:02

    SA have the best team around. We have better players than new zealand in every position. Yet NZ made us look like a primary school team. The coach MUST be at least part of the problem. FIRE HIM NOW AND REBUILD BEFORE 2011!!!!

  • lovethegame - 2010-07-19 10:04

    Second that

  • candi - 2010-07-19 10:05

    why must the kiwi's clan always interfere with our team, whether they playing a good or bad game. remember you fools, we, the whole sa is waiting to see the kiwi's get nailed in sa, watch out!

  • div must go - 2010-07-19 10:05

    Great articale. I agree, get rid of Div and get in someone who knows what he's doing.

  • Cynful - 2010-07-19 10:06

    I agree totally! Since de Villiers has taken over the team I no longer support the Boks! He is purely a political pawn. The way Jake White was treated was below disgusting. At least with Jake the guys oulled through when they had to, then along comes SAs biggest clown!! What an embarrasment when he opens his mouth. Where did he ever feature in rugby? I am a Shark supporter, but, John Smit, it's time for you to hang up your boots, boet. You are overweight and really don't mean much on the field any more. As for Victor Matfield, he should also retire. Why oh why was Bakkies included in the team again??? He should be banned from rugby forever. We should be training the younger guys to take over and not always rely on the old guys who are no longer fit enough to go through an entire game and are stricken with injuries!

  • Juan @ wing....Madness - 2010-07-19 10:07

    Brilliant Article! Summarized everything that all SAl rugby supporters know, but never say in media. Can you become our next coach....please...

  • Nick Armstrong - 2010-07-19 10:07

    Ahhhhh - finally - an honest article from a New Zealand scribe... Most important note - the Boks were consciously CHEATED by the bias of the referee... Whether it's a 1 point loss - or 25 points - when faced with such bias - and the consequent effect it has on the team's moral out on the pitch - it becomes nigh impossible to win the Test... Boks are cheated out of a possible Test victory again... Thing is - what will the limp-wristed nerds at SARU do...??? Lodge a formal objection against Rolland?? Nope - they will do nothing.........and the consequence of such inaction in the face of cheating - is spectator/player frustration - and fans tackling the ref... Remember the "Let's get those japies..." e-mail in 1999??? Same again now folks - the ogre of bias against SA has risen again... I can take a defeat - no problem - it's a part of sport - but NOT by being cheated... Again and again (just like through the 90's and early 2000's) - the Boks are cheated... Yes - it is a jealousy thing. We - SA/Mzansi - is the greatest rugby nation on Earth - despite the cheating vermin. The Boks must break Richie McCaw's neck at the bottom of a ruck at Soccer City... Revenge! The officials won't penalise him - so take the vermin out!

  • Dale - 2010-07-19 10:07

    Get rid of PDV, he is completely out of his depth where international rugby is concerned.

  • Cynful - 2010-07-19 10:08

    I agree totally! Since de Villiers has taken over the team I no longer support the Boks! He is purely a political pawn. The way Jake White was treated was below disgusting. At least with Jake the guys oulled through when they had to, then along comes SAs biggest clown!! What an embarrasment when he opens his mouth. Where did he ever feature in rugby? I am a Shark supporter, but, John Smit, it's time for you to hang up your boots, boet. You are overweight and really don't mean much on the field any more. As for Victor Matfield, he should also retire. Why oh why was Bakkies included in the team again??? He should be banned from rugby forever. We should be training the younger guys to take over and not always rely on the old guys who are no longer fit enough to go through an entire game and are stricken with injuries!

  • bok4life - 2010-07-19 10:09

    I honestly fell asleep while reading this article but i read the first and last bits! I agree with the last statement that he was a political appointment and he is out of his depth! i mean look at his recent choices!! Also i think he has been riding on Jake White's success for far too long and has got credit for really doing nothing at all!! and NO not because of the recent losses but lets be honest here!! anyone care to add or disagree..??

  • Chris - 2010-07-19 10:10

    JHB is a hell hole, he got that right ass well

  • Madness - 2010-07-19 10:11

    We all new right from the beginning of times that Snorre de Villiers is an imposter. But this is what happens when you bring politics into sport. About the team? Smit - Out, Spies - Out, January - (useless) a definite Out, Olivier (ag siestog) a definite Out, Jean de Villiers - Out.

  • Finally - 2010-07-19 10:11

    I couldn't agree more.

  • Gwen - 2010-07-19 10:12

    I don't agree at all, the Springboks will bounce back - just watch and all this guy is trying to do is cause upset in our team, sorry Dude it aint gonna work. With any luck we will have a Ref who actually knows the rugby rules and then you will see an entirely different game. I do have one request for our coach though - please put Pienaar in the opening team and give Januarie the boot....he is never at the breakdowns - he simply can't keep up. Other than that - Go Bokke!!!!!

  • Collin - 2010-07-19 10:13

    The writer should wait till the All Blacks win the world cup,

  • Chris G - 2010-07-19 10:13

    I would never agree with sacking a coach so close to a world cup, but after that PDV has got to get the boot.

  • jubs - 2010-07-19 10:13

    Please get rid of Devilliers...he is a joke, a complete lottery. Even with his record no other international team would ever be interested in his services. He has the most amazing players at his disposal and is getting it terribly wrong. Januarie (and Chilliboy) is his latest quota addition since Rose and personally also think as good as Smits Captaincy maybe you also need your captain to be able to play rugby properly...hes too old now sadly. JDV at wing is a joke...each position has people suited to it thats the beauty of rugby yet hes defeating the whole idea behind this by playing him out of position.

  • Mike@CapeT - 2010-07-19 10:14

    Totally agree....Div is not the right man and should be replaced with urgency. Last years successes were in spite of him, not because of him! Alistair Coetzee is the right man to take over. Unfortunately, that is not good for the Stormers and WP. My last word on the subject - 'Get rid of the bumbling idiot!'.

  • PB616 - 2010-07-19 10:14

    More like lock him in a BOOT and drive him into the Cold atlantic..He was driving the train of Jake White's success

  • bugger - 2010-07-19 10:14

    I couldn't agree more (the part about PDiv). The guy is an ANC token coach and is slowly sliding the Springboks into a quota composed punchbag!! This guy's been a disgrace from the start even openly declaring his support for the ANC (where's the tact in that). Surely a coach shouldn't publically divulge his political allegances especially when he knows that most of the team he coaches probably doesn't vote for the party he choses to vote for. He has no coaching credentitials worth getting excited about and is totally out of his league. Dumb this dooshbag please - ASAP!!

  • dickson - 2010-07-19 10:15

    Jake White was a good coach - no doubt. Peter de Villiers has proved himself as a good coach too. Give the man a break. Give hime a chance to redeem himself. It is unfair to call for his neck after a poor run in an overall very succesful time as Springbok coach.

  • William Shakespeare - 2010-07-19 10:15

    Why don't we have sports writers like that in South Africa?

  • RSA.Ridder - 2010-07-19 10:15

    Finally someone with the guts to say what needs to be said about Peter "I-love-myself" De Villiers. The infrastructure, as with all BEE appointments, that was handed to him is starting to crumble under his reign! Heineke Meyer is the coach we need as he was the actual first choice by the panel if it hadn't been for the BEE intervention/blunder! Government got the Springbok emblem moved after a 100 years plus of tradition, thus got what they wanted so give us a proper coach for the Springboks!

  • Gabba1wp - 2010-07-19 10:15

    Chris who???? Peter De Villiers must have said something something to offend this guy. Some of his comments is fair especially about team selection and referee inconsistency but otherwise he talking a load of bull. Peter De Villiers has inheritted a champion team but has taken it a step further. We are a great team and having said that I know that we are capable of doing much better than the last two weekends. I have seen it in the way we play. PDV is a brilliant coach and have done brilliantly thus far. We in S.A. believes in him and know that he will pull the side through this phase. Jake White has also been given the liberty to experiment with his side he has made mistakes as well. I am sure that the AB's would love for PDV to be fired as they know it would be their best chance to win the RWC next year.

  • Chris - 2010-07-19 10:16

    Pieter had a winning team (Jakes Team) that he just had to man the steering for. Now the pressure is on and the wheels are starting to fall off, lets give him a chance and see if he rises to the occasion but dont keep your hopes up!

  • RugbyKing - 2010-07-19 10:17

    A bit harsh but some comments are true, I bet you any South African couch coach (aka supporter) will be able to sect a better team than divvy.Jean is not a wing, Ricky is a prop, and please pick combination, e.g Fourie and Jean in the centers. Francois Louw also seems out of his depth against the AB, similar to Wynand, We need Juan Smith back and Brusssow. Our Bence is very weak, brings nothing in regards to impact. GET STEYN

  • Jacques - 2010-07-19 10:17

    De Villiers has not contributed much to Bok rugby. After JW's departure; anybody - even a bum from the streets - could have won with the players he had. We need a rugby brain, someone to get rid of the dead weight, someone like JW, Nick Mallet or Allistair Coetsee. Buy Snorre a razor and send him on his way, he has managed to turn a team of world champions into a team of world chumps..... Same team - more or less - different coach = world cup winners in 2011

  • Spartan - 2010-07-19 10:18

    Yes, it is..we can tollerate the fool if we are winning, but when we start losing embarrasingly, we cant have a clown shouting his mouth off to the media tarnishing our image.

  • Paul JRH - 2010-07-19 10:19

    Div is one dimensional. Heineke Meyer, Rassie Erasmus or Jake White has better skills. I agree, Div's appointment has been political and he is loosing momentum fast, as Jake White's influence fades away. Many of the moves that the Boks did in the last few matches were Bulls moves and very predictable, like the forwards driving into the ground (behind the advantage line) and eventually loosing possesion forward. The kicking away of little possesion is also utterly stupid. It works for the Bulls but not the Boks. Please go Pieter?!

  • Lefty - 2010-07-19 10:19

    Fact is and it seems snorre does not listern , you dont pick players out of place !!! Jean De Villiers is not a wing he is a centre , snorres arrogance by not picking Frans Steyn . Is John Smit becoming a passenger ?? Or should he come on as a impact player . We are missing tackles and dont get to the breakdown . We looked tired and again outplayed .

  • Peter Schmeter - 2010-07-19 10:20

    We need Jake White back !!!

  • Proudly_SA - 2010-07-19 10:20

    There we go again. Foreigners wanting to dictate what South Africa should do. Leave Div alone. How is he expected to try experiment and come with a new young team if he's not allowed to loose any games. This Chris guy should be commenting on the All Blacks that always choke at the World Cup, not The Springboks. Political selection or NOT, we're with you Div, make us proud.

  • This is SA mate! - 2010-07-19 10:21

    Although I agree with the sacking of de Villiers these people will never understand what the REAL political situation in SA is. Just for interest sake why NZ didn’t got rid of Henry after his earlier poor performance at the 2007WC and at the 2009 Tri-Nations? The Boks will be back but I agree there are some serious decisions regarding players and staff to be made to have any chance to successfully defend the World Cup.

  • ricky - 2010-07-19 10:21

    Can't see how a dwarf with a big moustache and little or no experience in rugby at the highest level can serve to inspire a team such as the Springboks. A political puppet shoved down the throats of the South Afican rugby fraternity by the ANC is a recepe for disaster. The disaster already started to seep through in the end-of-year tour last year. If this carries on the Springboks will only become another Bafana Bafana with only players of colour. Choose coaches with credentials - time for the ANC to butt out of sport!!

  • Anti - 2010-07-19 10:22

    What a moron! First he acknowledges that the ref ruined the contest, then he suggests that SA should fire their most successful coach ever because of it. I wonder what this dude said when Jake White's team was getting hammered 49-0 against a mediocre Australian team?

  • To all Awful South African All Black Supportes - 2010-07-19 10:23

    Remember 2007 there was so much crying and blaming the ref, so get off your high horses