2011 was not a great year for South African rugby. Our domestic teams were dramatically inferior in Super Rugby and the Boks looked out of sorts in both the Tri-Nations and the World Cup. South African rugby clearly has fundamental errors and a grassroots effort to completely revamp the current structure is desperately needed.
First and foremost, enough of this whole "Ek is groot en Afrikaans! (I am big and Afrikaans!) I can run through a brick wall because I'm so big and Afrikaans! Let me pick the ball from the ruck and run straight at the defense because I'm so big and Afrikaans!" thing. Seriously, this is absolutely butchering the very foundation of South African competitiveness on the international stage! Oh please dear God can this primitive mentality stop! Clever back-line rugby IS the way forward!
Second, coaches need to start picking on form and not reputation. Spies, Habana, Pietersen and a few others don't deserve to be in the Bok set-up, nevermind the starting VX. In fact, now that van den Heever is heading for the Cape, I'm not so sure Habs even deserves to be in the Stormers' starting XV either. Actually, allow me to correct that, Habana DEFINITELY does not deserve to be in the Stormers' starting XV. When someone has a long poor streak, drop them and give a youngster a chance. I'm sick and tired of this whole "experience is key" crap. I'm not dismissing experience completely, but you can't keep a total liability in the team just because of a few more caps to their credit. Form selections are vital.
Third, a positive gameplay attitude. Returning a kick with another kick is not a positive attitude. If your opponents miss touch or up-and-under to you, RUN IT BACK! The only kicks you should be doing in todays game is under pressure by your own try-line, or to attempt a nice territory gain. Kicking aimlessly and hoisting up-and-unders/box-kicks has been pivotal in South African rugby's poor results.
When playing with the backs, pass-and-run-dead-straight won't get you anywhere, unless you're against the Rebels defence (sorry Rebels fans). Get the clever back-line moves going, watch the Reds or the Crusaders 2011 tapes. Take note from the Genia/Cooper partnership.
The Boks need to pick a coach that will adhere to all the above. IMO, the best thing that could happen for the Boks is if John Mitchell gets selected as coach, but we all know this won't be the case. If Alistair Coetzee gets the job, which he most likely will, it will just show how the men in charge don't give a shit about the quality of South African rugby. And ignorant South Africans will continue to financially support these fat cats by flocking to the stadiums, buying Springbok merchandise and spending hours glued to the television watching the games, even though the people in charge couldn't give a damn about you or the quality of rugby in this country. I sincerely hope that they prove me wrong.