Venter to stay on as defence consultant to Boks
Springbok coach Allister Coetzee says defence consultant Brendan Venter will be staying with the team.
While some of the credit can be given to Venter in light of the Boks' 35-12 third test win against France at Ellis Park in the process of whitewashing the disinterested tourists‚ Coetzee has to get the majority of the plaudits.
In the event of success or failure‚ the buck stops with him and with his record looking pretty decent at seven wins from 15 matches‚ the Boks may not be the finished product but are certainly on the upward trajectory.
“It's not about just Brendan‚ it's about the buy-in from the whole coaching staff. There was buy in from Franco Smith and from Johann van Graan to understand defensive lineouts and Matt Proudfoot from scrums. Brendan is staying on as a consultant‚” Coetzee said.
Such was the improved defensive attitude‚ they kept the French tryless and only conceded four five-pointers across the three matches.
The miserly manner in which the Boks squeezed the French said a lot about how they want to approach this year. The dynamic All Blacks and the unpredictable Argentineans will ask different questions in August but Coetzee knows his team is heading in the right direction.
“The biggest thing about defence is about what you can't coach‚ like getting up on feet‚ chasing and keep tackling and that's what we see in this team. We started out as we planned this year and preparation time was there this year. We could put things in place and what we did in Plettenberg Bay was massive‚” Coetzee said.
“It's difficult to prepare a week before a test match. Players come from different provinces and it difficult to get a culture going when you don't spend time with the players. The players are big pals and the common goal was to set the record straight because the players are flippen good. The motivation was intrinsic and came from within.” Springbok captain Warren Whiteley's groin injury that kept him out of the match was a concern for Coetzee even though he's now Lions property for the next four weeks.
Coetzee explained Whiteley had the groin strain managed through the four weeks but it gave in on Friday morning.
With the Lions priming themselves for an assault on the Super Rugby summit in the quest for a path to a home final‚ they may have to do it without their captain.
“At this point in time‚ we will be assessed on Monday and I think with the consultation with the Lions’ medical team‚ a decision will be taken. Whiteley's injury has been managed throughout the campaign. We gave him as much time‚ until Thursday to train and then he landed awkwardly in a lineout session. He went to a scan and there was a little tear. In this case‚ it was a no-brainer to keep him out of the team‚” Coetzee said.
“Even though he didn't play‚ it was never a big disruption for us and for the way the team coped under pressure under Eben was good and the players knew who was taking over when Warren was injured and they will know who will be the captain when Eben is unavailable.”