The Spammers have been SPAMMED, is back online!

Thursday, January 12, 2006


Super 14: Stormers captain needs to be man of strength

Sometimes you come across an article that is so accurate in it's summation that to attempt to add to it would be superfluous and vain.

I think that Stephen Nell, writing for the Cape Times and posted on the Independent Online site, , yesterday has perfectly summed up the dilemma faced by Kobus van der Merwe over the choice of Stormers captain.

Stephen Nell
January 11 2006 at 08:31AM

In an interview with British writer John Hopkins in 1980, Morné du Plessis said this about leadership: "The situation often forces a guy into leadership which he is not suited for.

Personally I don't have much belief in the born-leader syndrome. I am absolutely certain that good leaders are made."

Hopkins published the interview in his "British Lions 1980", a recount of the controversial tour of South Africa that made for some intriguing holiday reading. Many years have passed since the former Springbok captain dropped those pearls of wisdom, and it would be interesting to gauge his views now.

Some insight into Du Plessis's present-day thinking is to be found in his foreword of Corné Krige's autobiography, "The Right Place at the Wrong Time".

Du Plessis writes: "While he was largely the architect of his own success, he was, however, left at the mercy of circumstances and events not of his making, which shook this nation to its core."

Krige always led from the front on the field and he was a leader and professional par excellence for Western Province and the Stormers.

Some will argue that another captain might have done a better job with the Springboks under the strain of Kamp Staaldraad. There can also be little doubt that Krige was the wrong man for Northampton.

What is perfectly clear, however, is that any analysis of the Stormers and WP's performances of last year should include the effect of Krige's departure.

Former Stormers coach Gert Smal's struggle to come to terms with the loss of Krige and his faux pas of courting political controversy by appointing Neil de Kock as captain when it was clear that he would have to create game time for Bolla Conradie are events that the new management can learn from as they prepare for the inaugural Super 14.

The appointment of the right captain will be crucial.

Schalk Burger was handed the WP captaincy towards the end of last year's Currie Cup and there were clear signs that they were looking to him to do the job for the Stormers.

While Burger is an outstanding player, he lacks the eloquence that comes with experience and was not a strong motivational force in the Currie Cup. He should also be allowed to play with his natural gay abandon rather than be hamstrung with decision-making.

I would be surprised if Stormers coach Kobus van der Merwe opts for Burger. So who will it be then?

There is no obvious answer, though there are a number of factors that should be taken into account.

The captain should be a regular starter and consistent performer.

He should command respect and unconditional acceptance across racial and cultural boundaries among fellow professionals.

He has to be a good decision-maker and leader in the heat of battle.

The public must be able to relate to him.

He must be in tune with the franchise's positioning and marketing strategy, and have good relations with the media.

The Stormers have a number of candidates who meet some of the above criteria, but for every one I can find a counter.

Let's run through them:

Burger: An outstanding player, but disappointed as a leader in last year's Currie Cup.

Werner Greeff: Good spell as captain early in the Currie Cup, but injury-prone and not sure of a place in the starting line-up.

De Wet Barry: I have previously argued his case, but Marius Joubert has had a good break from the game and there is the real possibility of a return to his explosive form. Jean de Villiers has to start and if it's in his best position of centre, Barry could be in and out of the team.

De Kock: He commands enormous respect among the players, but Conradie and Paul Delport will also be pushing for game time.

Luke Watson: He's a strong leader with cross-cultural appeal and there is little chance of Springbok coach Jake White requesting that his game time be limited. However, he is weighed down by an inconspicuous start to his career in the Cape and still behind cultural architect Hendrik Gerber.

Schalk Brits: He oozes enthusiasm and potential, but has only just arrived and will be competing for the hooker berth with Springbok No 2 Hanyani Shimange. It's a ticking political bomb.

Joe van Niekerk: He's got the face and the charisma to give the Stormers a flamboyant front that they haven't had since the days of Bob Skinstad. However, he won't be available from the outset due to injury and is yet to produce his best form for WP and the Stormers.

De Villiers: He has a deep understanding of the game and is enormously popular, but part of the De Villiers package is the element of delightful mischief that he brings to the side. Province haven't had a man that exerts such an influence on team spirit since Charl Marais. Appointing him as captain could alter that and, as will be the case with Van Niekerk, White may want to regulate his game time.

Another factor the management should take cognisance of is that the Stormers were the best-supported Super 12 franchise. Much of that was down to the personalities and charisma of the leading players in their ranks.

For all their support, however, they are faced with a disillusioned fan base because of last year's disappointments. It should therefore be a serious consideration to appoint a flamboyant skipper.

Whatever route the Stormers management embark upon, there will be dissenting voices. The right man at a very trying time will have to be strong enough to rise above it all.

Brits, in spite of the obvious pitfalls, would be my choice. He offers a clean break from the past, and is both flamboyant and inspirational.

However, the risk factor in a year when the consequences of finishing as the bottom-placed South African franchise will be relegation makes it highly unlikely that Van der Merwe and Co are on the same wavelength.

The smart money will probably be on Barry and De Kock.

This article was originally published on page 12 of Cape Times on January 11, 2006
ras you bastard!!!!!!!!!

now you have opened a can of worms for every stormers supporter!

hell its difficult, i agree with the sentiment that it has to be a charismatic type of guy, but in brits you have someone that will surely spell doom for a guy like shimmie whom i rate!

in dewet you have the solid grafter almost like what krige had.

joe is missing from the first couple of games which will make it a difficult one.

and luke is not sure if he is a first choice player.

de kock proved he is not the man last year.

so who the hell!!!!!

my choice comes down to two guys.

pull a JW and say Joe is the man whether he plays or not!!!

or go for dewet and make do with the problems you might face later if marius hits top form.

personally, dewet is my man and if not him, joe, even if he will not play the first 2 or 3 games.

but thanks for screwing up my evening!!!!

Jou onnooslike donder!!!!

That's why I said I can't change his article, the man has it spot-on!!!!
I put up De Wet because if you run through the options, he is the likely choice.

He's sober, serious, commands respect, likely won't be overly called up and he LEADS FROM THE FRONT!
he chose brits!!!

but at least we are on the same page!
I don't care what Nathaniel says, De Wet will most probably be coach!

By the by, can't you find Dawn, we need her.
Sheesh....PA!!! Jou bugger!

See what you've done!

Now I'm calling De Wet the coach!

Excuse me all, Nathaniel will remain coach, De Wet as captain.

hell the blue bull guys on keo would have had a field day with that statement!!!!!!
okay i am signing off, i wanna keep some fo this till tomorrow!!

cheers ras.
fo = of (this is why i need to go to bed now)  


At least the Cats and Sharks don't have captaincy issues.

My personal choice would be DWB.

Fromthe last few games last year and the last few games of 2004 it apppears the WP boys are fixated on DWB at 12.

I agree with that assessment. JDV should not be playing 12. He should be at 13. This leaves Marius Joubert for the wing, which is where he started his career in any case.

In any event. even though WP didn't do well in the S12 last year, the one standout for me was DWB's captaincy. I especially recall the way he got into Stuart Dickenson's face in the game against the Highlanders. He really had old Dickheadson rattled, questioning his every decision.

I for one would think that DWB is first choice skipper and that the other centres in DWB and JDV must fight it out for position.

At the end of last year, WP were playing DWB at 12 and JDV at 13. In my view this is probably the best centre combo for WP at the moment, even with Marius Joubert back in the frame.

as you can see it is most stormers supporters' first choice.

but we have a bit of a problem at center in my view, an in form MJ is a tough choice to leave out of any team let alone the stormers.

i do think though that he will play of the bench for the first couple of games to ease him back into things which is the right thing to do, but if he hits good form, it will be a toughy.

watch out for jdv at 10!

the last 10 minutes in paris last year made a lot of people take notice.
Well like many other De Wet is my obvious choice. Unfortunately we all know that Moaner doesn't always goes for the obvious.  
JDV at 10

No No and a thousand times no.

So who will be doing the kicking then PA?

Grant at FB?

I am with you on that one. JdV is a no no at flyhalf. I am busy doing a follow up piece on PA's attcking thread. Either late this afternoon or tomorrow. There I will explain why and give some other comments.
Gentlemen, I am really enjoying this site. The comments are so much more informative and thought provoking that anything we have ever seen on keo.

Anyway, that being said, DavidS, I don't think the Sharks are all that set in the Captain department. With Smit only returning to training on March 5, give him a few weeks to get into match fitness, and we won't see him for probably half the comp. I do believe that they have an excellent leader in AJ, and with him being healthy this year, he would be my choice to captain the Sharks through the entire Super 14. I don't think it is good for the team to have someone just fill the shoes until Smit returns, I would rather see AJ get it for the entire comp. and have Smit return to top playing form without having the leadership burden.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?