Why reward Meyer's mess?

19 August 2015 - 02:09 By Peter de Villiers

We all know that Handré Pollard is Heyneke Meyer's first-choice flyhalf with the World Cup on the horizon, but on Saturday in Buenos Aires the difference was noticeable when Pat Lambie started at pivot. Lambie, who has a cool head, read the game situation well, kept the scoreboard ticking over and instilled confidence in his teammates.Furthermore, the 24-year-old took control and created a platform for the other players to play off after the team got the ball through the forwards. He really put his hand up in the win over Argentina and my hope is that Meyer will reward that effort.But I have my doubts.I believe Meyer missed a trick by not including Elton Jantjies on the bench. Jantjies, who has only two Test caps, was the best South African flyhalf through Super rugby and his talent is being laid to waste.His ability to control the gain line is worth its weight in gold for the team, and his capacity to read the situation makes him a valuable asset.Elton also boasts the ability to generate considerable confusion in the minds of opposition defences.With the time he has at his disposal, he creates space for his runners, but one of his greatest assets is his work rate.He gets the ball in hand twice as often as other flyhalves do, which is testament to his confidence and psychological strength.I would play Jantjies at flyhalf and shift Lambie to inside centre - that would prove a potent combination - but I don't know what is in Meyer's mind.Having failed to even make the reserve bench at the weekend, it seems Jantjies is completely out of contention and will have to settle for carrying tackle bags.The shape South African rugby is in - with all the technical appointments that have been made over the past four years and the accompanying transformation policy - leaves a number of unanswered questions.Do the people in charge of our rugby have enough knowledge about the game to keep us ahead?By allegedly offering Meyer a new four-year term, it appears the SA Rugby Union does not want to be a world leader. It signed a contract with a man who has taken our rugby into the gutters.Former Saru captain and current vice-rector at Stellenbosch University Julian Smith made a brilliant observation when he wrote about the non-existence of process in appointing the Springbok coach.Now, four years later, the assessment process leaves a lot to be desired.Though Meyer must be doing something right in the eyes of his board of directors, what exactly is it that outweighs all other key performance indicators?Being rewarded for not performing certainly calls the whole system into question.The decision-makers in SA Rugby should be asking: what is our long-term goal, are we on track and how will we reach our intended target?In my book, what you can measure, you can improve. Furthermore, how you reach your destiny plays an essential part in the impact on and difference you make in the lives of others.

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