Every week we give readers of BOKzine the opportunity to ask questions of South African rugby personalities. Simply sign up for our weekly fan newsletter, BOKzine, by clicking here!
Your Question: Hi Ricardo. I have been watching the Boks closely since the England Test series and I have just one question: Why is Peter Grant not in the squad? During the Super Rugby, he was the best all-round flyhalf. I have nothing against Morne, but Peter has more to offer the team. From what I can see, Heynecke wants to play Bulls type rugby and we all know where they ended up in Super Rugby. - Wayne Mostert
Ricardo answers: Hi Wayne. I can’t really comment on team selection as it falls outside my job description. Peter is a great flyhalf, as you say, but from my point of view I don’t think he kicks well enough out of hand. However, the fact that he plays in Japan makes it very difficult for us to select him, like it does Ryan Kankowski, for instance.
Your Question: Good day, Coach all the best for the upcoming tour, take nothing away from Morne Steyn, brilliant player, but I think we not only need a kicking fly-half but also a fierce defender, the All Blacks and Ausies will expliot this, play Jantjis in the second half and see the difference. What is your opinion on this? - Nick Filander
Ricardo answers: Thanks for the question Nick. Morne is working very hard on all the aspects of his game. He will probably be the first to admit that he is not playing to the standards he set for himself, but he is experienced and I know he will bounce back (as he did at Newlands recently). Jantjies is also a great player, but like I said to Wayne in the first question, team selection is not my job, I trust the coach and the selectors in that regard.
Your Question: Hi My question is this, i my opinion will playing Pat Lambie at full back not give you more options in terms of game plan. his all round play is for me better than Zane who yes is good under the high ball but lacks creativity with ball in hand. Then one more question would it not work better to put Jean De villiers back at 12 and move Frans to 13. - Iain Coetzee
Ricardo answers: Iain, we do view Pat as a fullback, but he is a versatile player that can fill in at flyhalf if needed. Zane is very solid under the high ball and has one of the best boots in the country. Regarding the centres – they are both brilliant and can play any role required of them.
Your Question: 1) Why picking attacking & exiting backline players & then play 10men/stampkar rugby. 2) Why not selecting Elton Jantjies & Gio Aplon for the away games? These are match winners & you need them....,, Please let me understand your thoughts about that. once a bok, always a bok - Martin van As
Ricardo answers: Thanks for the support Martin. Again, team selection is up to the coach and the selectors, but these players have all featured for us this year and we know what they can do. I’m sure they are both working very hard at getting back into the squad.
Your Question: How is it possible to justify replacing one of the great wings of modern rugby (Habana), with a scrumhalf (Hougaard), in a crucial game? What message is being sent to all the wings who might aspire to playing for the springboks? Why has Lambie not been used in The Championship thusfar - is he injured? – FR Miller
Ricardo answers: Actually Habana is still in and Hougaard came in for Mvovo. Lambie is not injured and in making his substitutions in the Tests, he was perhaps a bit unlucky not to get on, but he will be ready and firing if needed, I’m sure of that.
Your Question: morne sits way too deep in the backline which cuts out our attacking options and forces him to kick (you can't win without the ball) or makes it impossible to get over the advantage line. why do you insist on him doing this? alos when is the likes of aplon, de jongh, goosen going to feature? we need creativity! - Jarryd
Ricardo answers: Creativity is great Jarryd, but basics come first. Morne only plays deep when it’s needed and if we have the ball in the right situation in the right position on the field, he will play flatter and swing it. Regarding Aplon, De Jongh and Goosen – two of them are on tour with us (Johan is on the bench on Saturday), while Gio played part of the England series and as I’ve mentioned in an earlier question, they will get their chance when the opportunity arises.
Your Question: Why is a player with the flair and talent of Frans Steyn used for one thing only and that is to crush the ball over the advantage line. That clearly speaks of no creativity when it comes to coaching or lack of a game plan. - Gerrit Volschenk
Ricardo answers: At this stage Gerrit, we’ve not really had enough situations for Frans to show his real mettle. It will come, and then he’ll wreak havoc, I’m sure of it.
Your Question: I need to understand what the logic is behind the persistence of FH at 9.Can you pls explain?RP is a much better 9,yet coaches continue(for the last 5 tests)to play FH while the alternative is an obvious better choice? His decision making is better(kick? run? pass? pass to a forward or back?),service to the backline is crisp and the ball is distributed quicker.Why do you continue with this? – Roderique
Ricardo answers: Roderique, I’m assuming you sent your question last week already, because by now you would’ve seen he’s at 11 this week with Ruan at 9. Hope you like this change to the team.
Your Question: 1)Why can we not play wide like the all blacks? 2) When the chiefs played against the sharks, the chief were always in the faces of the sharks, can their not be a way to be constant in the faces of the Aussies, like the game of the bulls and WP on Saturday? - wynand Bezuidenhout
Ricardo answers: If you look at the game against Argentina in Mendoza again Wynand, you’ll see that we used the wide channel on a number of occasions. However, you can only play where your opponents “allow” you to play and if they spread out wide on the defence, we have to keep it tight. If they drop players back, we’ll play closer to the gain line and if they leave gaps at the back, we’ll attack that.
Your Question: Ricardo, what is your job exactly, given that the Boks never execute a set move from a set piece, the wings are passed the ball only 2 or 3 times per game and no one changes the angle when running at the line? – Alan
Ricardo answers: Alan, we would like to execute from set piece, but it’s not always that easy. Like I said to Wynand in the previous question, we have to play where there is space and it’s never in the same place. Defences are so good these days, you get very little opportunity to “shine”, but what we try and coach is for the players to read the situation and then react in the correct manner, be it taking the ball up, swinging it wide or kicking.
Your Question: Why don't we use angle runners or switch the angle of our runners when on attack, more frequently? – Zas van Eeden
Ricardo answers: When we can, we will do that Zas. See my answers above for a better explanation.
Your Question: Why do we insist on over-complicating the game plan? If not yet knowing the 'structures' is the reason the Boks couldn't beat Argentina, then why not play to a simpler game plan that suits the players? And are we going to see some tries being scored, or are we in for another 4 years of disappointment? - Hendrik