Report Card: Mr. Peter De Villiers: June 2009

Sanjay DevaCorrespondent IJuly 1, 2009

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 29: Coach Peter de Villiers attends the South Africa press conference at the Sun Square Hotel in Fourways on June 29, 2009 in Johannesburg, South Africa.  (Photo by Duif du Toit/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Dear Mr. and Mrs. de Villiers,

Please find attached a report card card for Peter for the period June 2009.

We have found Peter to be a very diligent, hard-working member o the Springboks, but regret to inform you that he has not built on the efforts of last year. In fact, he has regressed and areas of concern have not improved at all. In fact, we are concerned he is not the man for the job and would be better off looking for employment else where.

Please find his marks as follows (graded from A-F):

Team selection: D
Coaching: D
Tactical appreciation: E
Media communication: F

Overall: E

His team selection was graded a D, because as he missed some blindingly easy selections such as Zane Kirchner for fullback, or any specialist fullback for that matter, by and large he picked a squad that represented South Africa's best players.

The lack of a specialist fetcher was also a glaring omission, but Peter fixed that up just before the first test against the British and Irish Lions. Meanwhile there were some questionable selections such as Ricky Januarie and Odwa Ndungane.

As far as physical activity goes, Peter's coaching can only be described as erratic at best. He has taken a world champion side that has been strengthened with some new players and they have exhibited nothing but fluctuating performances.

A great win in Dunedin last year, was then followed up with a poor performance in Dunedin. A great win at Ellis park, and then an average tour with a bad game against Scotland, but the sublime against England.

There appears to be no plan, no structure and no consistency. Where is this "total rugby" that Peter keeps mentioning?

He has had long enough to stamp his mark on the Springboks, but all we are getting is an underperforming side that struggles to maintain its standards from one week to the next. Heyneke Meyer may be conservative, but at least we would get something we can build on one week to the next with him.

Tactical appreciation gets an E. He almost cost us the game in the first test match with the Lions. Peter must learn never to take your captain of the field until the game is certain of being won, and taking off the world's best scrumhalf and your dominant fetcher flank is very silly.

The mass substitutions certainly changed the game and Peter should take full responsibility.

In the second test he also made some blunders but got there in the end. He almost left it too late to bring on Morne Steyn, Jacque Fourie and Heinrich Brussow, but they manage to make a difference in the short time they were allowed on. Could use some help in this area, and we recommend some extra tutoring with a mentor such as Jake White.

Media communication is a disaster. Peter is now known as the village idiot. He should think about what he says before he speaks. The Springbok coach should be respected and humble. Peter is neither.

I am not sure what he reads at home, but his metaphors are confusing and the laughing stock of the world. He cannot answer a question simply and plainly, preferring to give us indirect responses that don't make sense.

Peter shows great loyalty but is often blinded by this and refuses to accept the facts. His defending of Schalk Burger was a disgrace to South Africa and an insult to the British. Whilst he has obviously had some bad experiences with mechanics and should refrain from making racist remarks in public!

One can only imagine how he communicates with the team, and what they think of him!

Lastly, Peter mixes with the wrong crowd too. He is usually found with Dick Muir who is a bad influence (he ha not won any major titles, and his rugby philosophy has not proven to be successful) and Gary Gold who has also not proven his ability at the top level. A better mix of friends would be a better influence on Pieter.

I fear for Peter's sustainability as Springbok coach. If he doesn't buck his ideas up fast and produce some decent results I am afraid we will have no option but to let him go permanently...

Yours sincerely
Sanjay Deva
(on behalf of South African rugby)