Columnists 30.11.2016 02:36 pm

There is less bang in the Coetzee buck

AFP/File / Marty Melville<br />Springboks coach Allister Coetzee.

AFP/File / Marty Melville
Springboks coach Allister Coetzee.

I hope for Allister Coetzee’s sake his tough talk since the weekend is purely for financial gain.

If not, then I’m worried about the prospect of him staying on as Springbok coach. I would guess that somewhere in the legal fine print of his four-year contract, it states that if his bosses decides to terminate his employment agreement, he will have to be paid a settlement which is probably worth close to the balance of the remaining time left on the contract.

But if he decides to walk the plank himself – as most Bok fans are expecting him to do – then it will make sense that the settlement will be far less than in the case of getting fired. You can’t blame him for being so defiant if this is the reason behind his refusal to fall on his own sword, as this is the professional era and you need to look after your pocket.

He is definitely trying to buy more time, but whether it is to get a bigger handshake or actually drag himself into a second season at the helm, he needs to stop saying silly things if he wants to keep his few remaining backers.

Suddenly, after the embarrassment of losing eight of his 12 Tests, he admits he should have selected more Lions way back in June when he started out and Joburg’s Pride were the only shining light in SA rugby. But the problem is, he didn’t give us any indication of his admiration for the high-flying Lions at the time.

He was too busy blaming Super Rugby, too busy whining about his lack of time to prepare the team and too busy selecting Francois Louw ahead of Jaco Kriel, Frans Malherbe ahead of Julian Redelinghuys, Damian de Allende ahead of Rohan Janse van Rensburg and Lwazi Mvovo ahead of Ruan Combrinck. And then he had the audacity to tell us that Redelinghuys performs well as a replacement because of the hard yards Malherbe puts in during the first 60 minutes.

And that Janse van Rensburg didn’t bring anything more to the party than De Allende did. Saying these things hack people off. And then backtracking on your own words and selecting a guy like Janse van Rensburg hacks them off even more. Or what about saying he’s not the only one to blame for the poor season? Last time I checked he was in charge of selecting the team and implementing the game plan, so who can be more accountable for the team than he? His seven assistants and the baggage handler? And then the worst to come out of his pity party was comparing himself to Jake White, saying the World Cup-winning coach also went through a tough time in 2006.

He is absolutely correct in identifying an apple, but mustn’t compare it with an orange. Jake turned post-Kamp Staaldraad sorrow into delight by winning the Tri-Nations the next year, and came within an inch of repeating the feat in 2005. The rugby bosses knew what Jake was capable of during his wobble in 2006. What exactly is Allister capable of besides your 33% winning rate?

Besides passing the buck, I should add. If you can’t show us the money, then shut up.

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