In this post I am going to reflect personally on the Allister Coetzee reign and how it deeply affected me not only as a Springbok supporter and as a rugby fan – but as a blogger.
In this post I am going to be purposefully histrionic about what I have gone through the last 2 years under Allister Coetzee.
So humour me because I am sad and damaged.
Anyone who knows me well will know that rugby is one of my great passions in life. I have threatened many times to get a Western Province or Springbok tattoo, I will watch the Western Force vs the Rebels on a Sunday afternoon – just because it’s a rugby match – and I have even been known put the SA anthem from the 2007 Rugby World Cup final on repeat (you know the one when Jp Pietersen has a tear in his eye) at braais I host.
But I digress.
The point is that i am very invested in the product of rugby in this country.
You can go back on the blog and you will see that I was always wary of the appointment of Allister Coetzee and while I was glad to see the back of some of Heyneke’s favourites (all coaches have them) – I maintained that the 2016 Springbok season was going to be ‘interesting’.
You are a sports fan so I don’t need to tell you how 2016 went.
Then 2017 came around and Coetzee somehow managed to hang on to his job and again I was optimistic. This time we kicked things off against a pathetic French side, we had shored up in the coaching department and we were wiser.
Surely things would go better?
They didn’t as I watched us humiliate ourselves against the All Blacks, Irish and a rank average Australian side.
Unfortunately, while I know few of you care, as a dedicated rugby man – the last 2 years have had an impact on me.
Just a disclaimer before I jump into how it affected me; I blame Allister Coetzee for 90% of what went wrong over the last 2 years. Selections, (lack of) strategy, leadership, conditioning, etc, etc are all issues within his control. Plus, I find his failure to accept blame to be a weak leadership trait – and we can’t be having that.
Now that that’s out of the way, back to the list:
1. I stopped watching rugby. The first issue is also the biggest. In the past, Springbok rugby matches were the nexus around which I built all social events well in advance. Under Allister however, I found myself going to restaurants and bars that didn’t even have TVs and I didn’t care.
2. I willed the opposition to win. I am not proud to admit it but towards the end, I was hoping that we’d lose. I hoped that the Italians beat us (again), that the All Black pounded us (again) and that we could arrange a friendly against Namibia so that they could run us close. All with the hope that it would bring about change.
3. I stopped writing. I have really battled to find the motivation to write and since rugby is my primary topic – I feel relieved about the change. There are only so many ways you can say, “AC must go.”
The good news is obviously that Allister Coetzee is gone. That plus, we’ve lured the big gun coach and (potential) big gun captain (Duane Vermeulen) to our shores so things should immediately start to look up.
Also, you are reading a post from me so it looks to me like the healing has already started.
What’s your thoughts? How are you feeling? How has Allister Coetzee affected you and your Springbok loyalty? Hit us with a comment below or a tweet @leftbacks.