Keep Habana, Pietersen out of centre: iLIVE
Where have all the backline coaches gone?
That's my reaction to the news that wings Bryan Habana and JP Pietersen are being tried out at centre for their respective sides.
It's as if we learnt nothing from the folly of playing John Smit at hooker and prop. The essential attribute of a wing is pace, whereas for a centre it is catching and passing, followed closely by the ability to tackle your opposite number head on. Therefore, as good as they are on the wing, neither Habana nor Pietersen are centres, as they are not good handlers, and prefer to tackle from the side. Neither of them pass the ball with both hands, off the correct foot or by turning their shoulder towards the receiver.
Centres are not wings, or fullbacks, or flyhalfs and vice versa. We ruined the international careers of Brent Russell and Ruan Pienaar by playing them in different positions, and are close to doing the same with Gio Aplon and Pat Lambie. It is symptomatic of the fact that virtually all of our provincial coaches were forwards in their playing days, and the seeming death of backline coaches.
Rather than blame the referee, we should lament the fact that we lost the World Cup because of a forward pass in the backline.