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Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Rugby Personalities: Question and Answer with Pieter Muller

Following on from our article on Springbok great, Pieter Muller, the current Director of Rugby - Doncaster Rugby Football Club, we were flooded with interest and questions. Pieter has very kindly agreed to participate in an exclusive Rugga World Question and Answer session based on the questions you submitted!

This is the first in what we hope will be many interviews with past Springbok legends, enjoy it!

Question 1: Pieter, what game in particular sticks out in your memory over your career?

The Tri-nations game in Durban in 1998, when we came from behind at half time and beat the All Blacks, 24-23, and winning the Tri- nations.

Question 2: Who did you prefer playing outside you at 13, and why?

I've been fortunate to have played with many great centres but I'd say Andre Snyman. We worked well together as a combination. We played the same type of game except Andre had a bit more pace. He's a good runner in attack and solid in defence.

Question 3: Who was the best flyhalf you played with?

There is only one "The Lem" AKA Henry Honiball.

Question 4: Japie Mulder is now coaching at the Bulldogs, would you ever consider coaching in SA in the future?

Yes, one day, but it's important to get experience at a lower level of rugby first and slowly work your way up.

Question 5: Why did you choose to start your coaching career in the UK?

It's important to experience different cultures, playing styles and players.

Was it because you had an opportunity or did you believe the training would be better?

I think a bit of both, but I think the training/coaching has moved on a lot since England won the World Cup and there is much to be gained from the experience.

Question 6: What did you think of playing rugby league in Australia? Do you still follow league?

A new Challenge ... I really enjoyed it. Yes, I still follow it. There are always things you can pick up in League and utilise in Union. It's a cross-pollination of ideas and experiences.

Question 7: The Boks have based their success over the last two years purely on defense. Is this style of rugby sustainable and is it really that difficult to counter? Seeing that the French basically nullified the rush defense by playing from deep with quick ball.

I think the success has to do with the consistency of selection but yes defence does play a big part in the game today. The problem with a rush defence is that if one person is one step in front or behind you will be exposed. You have to adapt your defence pattern according to which team you are playing.

Question 8: Pieter, which coach did the most for your rugby, and which Bok coach did you enjoy playing with most and why?

Ian MacIntosh, he is a legend! Also Nick Mallet. Mac just had a feel for the game and knew how to get the best out of his players.

Question 9: Realistically Pieter, and in your honest opinion, can Jake and this team bring home the world cup? Where do you see them lack or areas they need to work on to do this?

We can! Up front we can compete with anyone but we lack game breakers in the backline. We lack a flyhalf and inside centre.

Question 10: Who was your toughest opponent?

Frank Bunce, Tim Horan

Question 11: Do you still braai and potjie in the UK???

Still have the odd braai but still enjoy the Biltong.

Question 12: Which Super 14 team do you support?

Two Teams- Sharks because I played there but the Central Cheetahs- I want Rassie to do well.

Once again, with grateful thanks to Pieter for taking the time out to chat with his fans.

Pieter Muller Fact File:

Full names: Pieter Gysbert
Date of birth: 5 May 1969
Place of birth: Bloemfontein, South Africa
School: Grey College, Bloemfontein
Initial province: Sharks
Physical: 1.87m, 100.7kg
Current age: 36

Test summary: Tests: 33 Tries: 3
First Test: 15 Aug 1992 Age:23 Inside Centre against New Zealand at Ellispark, Johannesburg
Last Test: 4 Nov 1999 Age:30 Inside Centre against New Zealand at Millenium Stadium (Cardiff Arms Park), Cardiff
Interesting Fast Fact:

Pieter's first and last games were against New Zealand.
Thank you very much Pieter. Much appreciated!

You've proved now once and for all that us fans are also very knowledgeable - a lot of us are also saying that our biggest problems are at Flyhalf and Inside Centre.

Just by the way, you will encounter a guy called RobDylan on this site. He is probably going to ask for your autograph and will worship the soil you walk on just because you mentioned the Sharks! Be careful!

He probably wont even realise you mentioned the Cheetahs as well!

robd will print this out and frame it.

yeah thanks pieter, it is great to know what goes on in the heads of rugby players/coaches, many thanks we hope to chat to you again.

brilliant stuff ras, i thoroughly enjoyed this one!
great,love it

nice to hear from the great players
Thank you Pieter and thank you Ras for setting this up.  
My pleasure guys, all credit to Pieter.

Damn, a backline of Lem at 10, Pieter at 12 and Japie at 13 is a hard unit alright!

Same with Pieter and Andre before Andre both his ankles.

Don't know if you guys have seen recent footage of Andre, he still looks hard as nails.

Isn't it a shame that Pieter missed out on so much for 4 years due to that broken neck and Andre missed out on so much due to his broken ankles.
Henry (Die Lem) Honiball!
A story that reached me was of how before a test ever player was asked to say something. Some (James Small?) had a lot to say.
When it came to Die Lem, he reportedly just said:
"Ag, kom ons draf net op en tekkel die kak uit hulle uit!"
("Lets just go and tackle the shit out of them!")

This is great stuff - short, to the point, easy to read!
Dankie, Pieter!

And Ras - let's do it again please!
How cool is this!!

Great to hear from Pieter, I wondered what happened to him.

Maybe Pieter will come home one day.

Well done, ouens.

Horan and Bunce, memories.

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Welcome to Ruggaworld.
Now that is customer service!  
Ja we need to counter the KF where we can!!:-D  
My fave player  
Man, this guy was made of iron!

It follows - Muller, Barry etc. rock hard.

Weird though, we had a creative 12 in Michael du Plessis before it became fashionable.

Willie du Plessis, wasn't he a rock hard 12?
Goie artikel manne.Keo en sy clowns sal nooit so n artikel kan doen nie want hulle het n slegte reputasie.Hierdie site het moerse goeie artikels deur gewone mense,nie eers journo's nie.Rasputin is jy Chopper Charlie?
Sorry to detract from a legends thread but GO BOETA!!!GO GIBBS!!!!!  
Wow - I see I have developed quite a reputation here. Pieter Muller remains a true great - a real Bok legend, unlike that Fleck tosser. I really enjoyed this. Ras - why not track down the Lem himself next. I'm sure a ton of people would be interested in what he has to say.

BTW, what does one have to do to qualify for a address?

just give knadas a lot of shit and we might organise something
Well - I can try set a record for posting in the most foreign languages...  
Semper in excretum sumus sed alta variat...  
Ok RobD

You win

As soon as the new site is up, we will be able to make you guys an offer for ruggaworld email accounts.


One of the offers will be that you generate R10 000 per month in advertising income. :)
oh yes i wanted to mention.

davids, seeing that pieter also believes we do not have a quality inside center or game breaker, dont you think that settles our argument about JDV and where he should play???

R10k a month? What do you typically charge for a banner ad?  
This is a novel idea that is going to take off. Well done its nice to keep track of passed heroes. Hope you get the same response from all the old players.  
He's one person PA

A very knowledgable intelligent and bright person but just one person.

Nice try.

Pieter thanks for the superb piece


mail me please.
mondi - as good as done!  
Born & Bred inda states

Initial province- Sharks-Kak man he played for Free State FIRST, with his boet & Brendan- who was an import from DavidS's valley. Then he was lured to Durbs with a shytehaus full of money- alongside with Lem Andre- that was even before they were the "Sharks".

Go Piet- hope they appoint you to coach the premiership team that will play the Boks in Bloem.

Glad to see you rooting for Rassie- we are all hoping in Bloem- can get used to regular success :-)

Hey Robd

Sucking up to the Mondi Mauler hey ;-)
He he. At least the Cats are good somewhere... The Sharks are equally kak on paper and on the field at the moment ;)  

No wonder you are asking for positive articles. You are slamming them yourself. :-))
donner - it's what I like to call a pre-emptive strike, he he.

Seriously, though, I have no reason to suspect the Sharks will do any worse this year than either of the Cats or the Stormers. Both will struggle without a flyhalf. We potentially have 5 very capable ones in James, Brown, Russell, Montgomery and Pienaar. Our tight 5 looks stronger than the Cats (and much stronger than the Stormers) and our loosies should hold their own with Farani and Venter in the picture. Our 3/4's are lacking in experience, which I would say is the biggest worry at the moment.
And of course Straulli Robd.  

The Sharks are going to amaze some people this year. I sincerely hope those people are all from the Western Cape.
aldo - the more I think about it, the less worried I am about Mr Potato Head being there. I mean, how much harm can he actually do? It's not like he's coaching the side...

Davids - amen to that, bro!
Oh and it would make me particularly happy if they're from across the Jukskei  
well - we klapped them at Loftus last year...  
Okay okay groot bekke. You klapped us, all fair!


I don't really think Potatohead is so bad, he did take you guys to a semi. I also think that the Sharks are gonna surprise a lot of people. I don't think they'll get relegated.


You just leave us on this side of the jukskei alone. No need to start a war now! By the way, I was in your valley over the weekend. I helped my friend move from Kempton to PTA. We stopped at the East Rand Mall, never seen so many mags in my life!!!


The Sharks are going to amaze some people this year. I sincerely hope those people are all from the Western Cape.

That nasty DavidS

But funny...

Aldo that's classy. I'm not classy enough for that place.

I hang out at Festival Mall in the heart of K-ton.


I know I'm stirring

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