WP need to stop the rot

Sport24 columnist Tank Lanning (File)
Hands up those who know the Currie Cup fixtures for this weekend! Right, no need for a deodorant sponsor there, then? Can’t sleep due to the excitement? Thought not …

That is what you get when you make Super Rugby longer than a tapeworm, turn the Tri-Nations into the Four Nations, and try and squeeze the once proud Currie Cup between the two …

So the Currie Cup is the new Vodacom Cup, and it becomes the perfect time to experiment with new players and game plans, perhaps with a view to entertaining the crowds by scoring tries … Surely?

Not down in the Western Cape …

"We want to do well in the Currie Cup, but the management team sees it as the first phase towards next year's Super Rugby competition," said Allister Coetzee.

"We won 14 out of 17 matches in the Super series - and that shows that there's not much wrong. There will be one or two small changes, but we don't need to change a lot," he said.

This after failing to secure a single four-try bonus point win and scoring the fewest tries of all the teams? Don’t need to change a lot? What planet are they from?

And if they are going to use the conference trophies of the last 2 years as proof of how well they are doing, then they are in a deeper hole than I thought.

Defence might get you through the league stages of Super Rugby, but unlike Test rugby, history has proven that you actually need to score tries to win the play off matches. So based on their inability to do this, there was no way they were going to win a playoff match, even at home as log leaders. And while the Sharks played really well, to not beat a side that had travelled to Brisbane to win a quarter final the week before, in front of 50 000 adoring fans, borders on the criminal!

Besides that, what has happened to the proud WP tradition that used to see the Cape side playing open, attacking, attractive rugby? With all the talent that comes out of the schools (Paarl Gym top the national rankings), universities (Maties and Ikeys dominate Varsity Cup), clubs (Hammies won Club champs recently) and the institutes, this province should not only be dominating, but leading the way by doing so through improving player skills and scoring tries!

Throw in the much talked about boardroom politics that saw Rassie Erasmus depart the union saying that he was spending more time fighting the politics than he was on rugby, and sees the coaches having to defend their teams to the blazer brigade, based not on skill level but ethnicity and the club they play for, and it becomes apparent that a rot has developed that needs a strong dose of antibiotics!

They are yet to fill the post of High Performance Manager, which means the role - surely vital in a pro era - remains shared among the coaches and administration. This saw Allister Coetzee - who remains at the helm during the Currie Cup, unlike in some other provinces where an up and coming coach takes the reigns - explaining Duane Vermeulen’s Post-it filled contract to his new agent this week instead of preparing the team for the Sharks game on Saturday.

Bryan Habana, Juan de Jongh, Gio Aplon, Jean de Villiers, JP du Plessis, Marcel Brache, Danie Poolman, Joe Pietersen … And you can’t score tries? No man, pull the other one, it’s got bells on it!

Tank is a former Western Province tighthead prop who now heads up Tankman Media, and sprouts forth on all things rugby on the Front Row Grunt

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Herman Steytler 2012-08-10 10:06:20 AM
The management lost their brains along with their front teeth...
blou.johnny 2012-08-10 10:09:10 AM
...get rid of Management and Alister Coetzee... ..the sooner the better... ....11 year jokers....!
Jahendel Daniels 2012-08-10 10:12:00 AM
ANSWER TO UR QUESTION...AC
Dawie Boudewijn 2012-08-10 10:23:52 AM
Well said and explained Tank - well done on the article. Now do me one more favour - inbox this to AC and WP Rugby and see which one of them can actually read and learn at the same time !!! GO WP !!!
Skinfaxi 2012-08-10 10:24:20 AM
Nicely written article. Thanks Tank.
Erik Carstens 2012-08-10 10:36:54 AM
Back to good old running, try scoring rugby is what I say...
Theunis Botha 2012-08-10 10:37:34 AM
T'will be like the Sharks returning to finish it's leftovers from two weeks ago.The prime cuts have already been taken.
AndreS 2012-08-10 10:39:57 AM
Thanks Tank. Good one. As a big Stormers/WP/Bok supporter I agree. We are sick of this rugby. Give us tries. Give us excitement. Give us a new coaching staff. Give us a better front row. Give us an administration that can keep local talent. At the moment things are just not right. We are never going to win anything if it stays this way.
Willie Van Graan 2012-08-10 10:48:39 AM
Kyk wie is in beheer, hulle het almal groter geraak as WP rugby. Boikot die bliksems!!!!!! Allister en sy span afrigters weet bittermin van rugby.
adrian.caley.71 2012-08-10 11:06:11 AM
I fully agree with you Tank. As a die hard Province supporter for the past 45 years and having played all my rugby in CT (Hammies) I get very upset with the way they have let their traditional running play go in favour of defense. Defense is important but you must score tries to win matches, and to pull the crowds. Stormers lost the semi final because they have forgotten how to score tries and there were lots of opportunities to do so against the Sharks in the last 20 mins when the Sharks were tired. Bring back the old Prooooovince.