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The players, teams , issues involved with the Rugby World Cup 2015

What is Domkrag rugby? Part 6


Let’s talk about respecting your opponents

In November South Africa embarked on a end of year tour to the Northern Hemisphere. A four test tour playing Ireland, England, Italy and Wales. Before the start of the tour the Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said that they would be targeting the game against the English at Twickenham as the Springboks hardest match. Even though Ireland were the current 6 nations champions and ranked higher than England in the World Rankings.


Wales celebrate their victory over the Springboks in Cardiff 2014

As it turned out the only match that the Springboks looked good in was the one against England, the Springboks lost to Ireland and Wales. This is Domkrag rugby

In the 2015 Rugby Championship South Africa lost to Argentina for the first time in history going down 37-25 in Durban. Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer swore blind that the Springboks were not complacent going into this test. A week later now having the correct motivation the Springboks beat Argentina 26-12  in Beunos Aires. This is Domkrag rugby.

epa04877484 Argentina team that won the Springboks celebrates during the Castle Lager Rugby Championship match between Springboks v Argentina at Kingspark Stadium in Durban, South Africa, August 08, 2015. EPA/Gerhard Duraan This image is intended for Editorial use (e.g. news articles). Any commercial use (e.g. ad campaigns) requires additional clearance. Contact: for more information

Argentina team that beat the Springboks celebrates during the Castle Lager Rugby Championship match between Springboks v Argentina at Kingspark Stadium in Durban, South Africa, August 08, 2015.

In the last 20 years losses to the likes of Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Argentina have been all to frequent throw in a couple of drubbings dished out by Australia and England and the once proud record of South African rugby has forever been tainted. With South Africans blaming the referee, the weather, the timing of the match, the fact that the rest of the world is against them or they miss their mommy. This is Domkrag rugby.

If you can’t give other teams the respect they deserve, then why not respect the history of the Bok top, every complacent performance is a let down and a disrespect for all the players that wore the top in the past. Stop talking up this rivalry with New Zealand and start concentrating on beating all teams.


Jean de Villiers and Tendai Mtawarira proudly wear the new Springbok top for the 2015 RWC

From schoolboy level, growing up in South Africa, I was taught to kick for the corners and try keep the opposition pinned back in their half. The root of the divide between Modern rugby and Domkrag rugby begins at schoolboy level. The intent of modern rugby is to play ideal rugby and score tries whereas the intent of Domkrag rugby is to not allow the opposition to play. The one is positive and the other is negative.

Domkrag rugby is so embedded in SA rugby culture that it is very hard to see it changing especially when most South Africans think Domkrag rugby is a fantasy. These are the same people that think New Zealand plays no differently to South Africa.


10 thoughts on “What is Domkrag rugby? Part 6

  1. I laughed at the way the writer uses the phrase “losses to the likes of Ireland, Wales , Scotland and Argentina.” Even the writer can’t fully escape the inherent ingrained arrogance of South African rugby that is quite distasteful really.


    • Dylan, you’re right but I am talking about expectation and maintaining a standard that we have grown use to. It may sound arrogant but losing to these teams is pointing toward us not staying ahead of the chasing pack.


      • So let me get this right. What you’re saying is this. Losing to England or France isn’t a sign of ‘not staying ahead of the chasing pack’ but losing to ‘these teams’ (your phrase) Ireland or Wales is? So England and France are some sort of higher division? In the last ten years, Wales have won the most 6 nations (4 times), France and Ireland both 3 times and England, guess what, have only won it once! But the time locked SA mindset still only sees England or France as competition but not Ireland or Wales. Ireland have won four of the last six meetings with SA. They have won the 6 nations two years in a row. I remember watching Nick Mallet and the rest of the panel last year in advance of the autumn internationals on TV and they completely ignored Ireland and Wales and only talked about the England game. So
        South Africa needs to wake up. The world has moved on while you were asleep at the wheel.


      • Dylan you have made an excellent point. Yes I myself have been guilty of this mindset and havn’t been quick to move with the times.


  2. As an australian living in South Africa, I totally understand what you are getting at. South Africans just don’t get modern rugby but think they do. The Springboks can have the best backline in the world, but it is absolutely no use to them because they have no idea how to use it properly.


  3. Sorry, when I said last ten years I was looking at 2005 – 2015 which is eleven years of course! Another interesting statistic that might surprise South African’s who only think of England as worthy competitors. in the entire existence of the six nations from 2000, shortly after the professional era had begin I the Northern Hemisphere, who do you think has won most between England and Ireland? Wrong. It’s Ireland, on e of the ‘these teams’ category identified by our esteemed scribe here.


  4. Pingback: ‘Domkrag’ has a good chance of winning RWC 2015 | at the ground

  5. Pingback: ‘Modern rugby’ coaches, 10th place Harry Viljoen | at the ground

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