Let’s talk about squad management
Johan Ackermann at the Lions in Johannesburg generously gives the second choice player and sometimes the third or fourth choice player gametime right through the season.
The idea behind this has numerous reasons. 1. The team doesn’t become dependant on one player 2. Second, third , fourth choice players gain valuable experience and can step in whenever required. 3. Gametime gets shared among the players. That way helping to not overplay your first choice player and keep your second/third/fourth choice players matchfit. 4. All players in the squad feel like they are contributing, which helps with unity. 5. The Team/Squad becomes more important than the individual. 6. If a star player gets injured there is no need to try rush him back from injury as the second/third/fourth choice are familiar with your systems and are matchfit with a reasonable amount of gametime/experience behind them. 7. Other players in the squad get used to playing with the second choice player along with the first choice. 8. Giving your second/third/fourth choice players gametime you give them opportunity to improve. 9. By playing your second/third/fourth choice players you are developing your own players and won’t have to spend extra money recruiting players. 10. You are creating a rugby culture by fully using your squad. This is modern rugby.
South African teams tend to create a situation where they have players that they can’t do without, such as Duane Vermeulen. This situation is created by continually playing the same player and not giving his back-up any gametime. So when an injury suddenly occurs there is no one there to step in and replace him. Another effect that this has is that the star player get’s overplayed and get’s worn out. This is Domkrag rugby.
An injury to a star player becomes a crisis because it takes time for a replacement player to fit in but there is no time for this to happen. This is Domkrag rugby.
If you select the same player over and over because he is so good, you never get to look at your other options which might be even better. A case of all your eggs in one basket. This is Domkrag rugby.
Finding a place for a big strong player.
South Africans have always been impressed by big guys. Given the opportunity to pick the bigger player , South Africans will 99 times out of 100 pick the bigger guy.
This especially becomes a problem when this big guy lacks the technical ability for his position or lacks the discipline required for this level.
I’m talking about tight-head prop, most selections in this position seem to have more to do with how much the player can bench press than scrumming ability. This is Domkrag rugby.
I’m also talking about a player that consistently receives yellow cards, often costing his team the game but are selected to add beef to the pack. This is Domkrag rugby.
More in Part 6