Where does Coetzee rank?

Mon, 09 Jan 2017 12:47
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OPINION: Jan de Koning takes a look at the post-isolation Springbok coaches to see where incumbent Allister Coetzee ranks.

Coetzee's future as coach of South Africa's national team remains uncertain.

Despite still having three years remaining on his contract, some 'pundits' suggest that the South African Rugby Union would be willing to cough up the reported ZAR13-million to buy him out.

That is in stark contrast to the suggestion that pressure from the government will force SARU to retain the services of Coetzee through to the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

I have already said enough about the 'merits' of Coetzee as Bok coach and expressed my views on his backroom staff.

It will be some time before we know if Coetzee is here to stay or of he will be shown the door.

That is why I thought I would compare Coetzee with the first year in charge of all the post-isolation coaches - from John Williams in 1992 through to last year's disastrous campaign.

While Coetzee lost an unprecedented eight Tests in one calendar year, he is still some way off the worst losing streak in Bok history - seven defeats between July 1964 to August 1965.

Those were dark days also and saw the coaching position change hands three times.

It was also a different era, of amateurism and favouritism.

So it is best to compare Coetzee with coaches from the 'modern' era - the later years of shamateurism and the first two decades of professionalism.

In a country where winning is everything and losing are simply unacceptable, Coetzee is just one spot away from rock bottom.

Yes, only Williams (20 percent - 1992) has a worse winning percentage than the current Bok coach (33.3 percent).

Top of the list is two coaches with 100 percent records - Kitch Christie (the 1995 World Cup winner) and Nick Mallett (who won an unprecedented 16 successive Tests before losing to England in November 1998.

It is not an exact science, but comparing the 12 post-isolation coaches makes for some interesting reading.

There is a 13th post-isolation Bok coach. Gerrie Sonnekus was appointed to replace John Williams in 1993, but stepped down before actually taking charge of a Test.

Post-isolation Springbok coaches' first year (ranked from best to worst):

1. Kitch Christie (October 1994 to September 1995)
Played 12
Won 12 (100 percent)

Versus Tier One countries
Played three
Won three (100 percent)

1. Nick Mallett (August 1997 to July 1998)
Played eight
Won eight (100 percent)

Versus Tier One Countries
Played eight
Won eight (100 percent)

3. Peter de Villiers (2008)
Played 13
Won nine (69.2 percent)
Lost four (30.8 percent)

Versus Tier One countries
Played seven
Won three (42.9 percent)
Lost four (57.1 percent)

3. Jake White (2004)
Played 13
Won nine (69.2 percent)
Lost four (30.8 percent)

Versus Tier One countries
Played five
Won two (40 percent)
Lost three (60 percent)

5. Andre Markgraaff (1996)
Played 13
Won eight (61.5 percent)
Lost five (38.5 percent)

Versus Tier One countries
Played nine
Won four (44.4 percent)
Lost five (55.6 percent)

6. Heyneke Meyer (2012)
Played 12
Won seven (58.3 percent)
Lost three (25 percent)
Drew two (16.7 percent)

Versus Tier One countries
Played eight
Won four (50 percent)
Lost three (37.5 percent)
Drew one (12.5 percent)

7. Harry Viljoen (November 2000 to October 2001)
Played 11
Won six (54.5 percent)
Lost four (36.4 percent)
Drew one (9.1 percent)

Versus Tier One countries
Played 7
Won two (28.6 percent)
Lost four (57.1 percent)
Drew one (14.3 percent)

8. Rudolph Straeuli (July 2001 to June 2002)
Played 11
Won five (45.5 percent)
Lost six (54.5 percent)

Versus Tier One countries
Played six
Won one (16.7 percent)
Lost five (83.3 percent)

9. Ian McIntosh (June 1993 to May 1994)
Played seven
Won three (42.9 percent)
Lost three (42.9 percent)
Drew one (14.3 percent)

Versus Tier One countries
Played five
Won one (20 percent)
Lost three (60 percent)
Drew one (20 percent)

10. Carel du Plessis (January 1997 to July 1997)
Played eight
Won three (37.5 percent)
Lost five (62.5 percent)

Versus Tier One Countries
Played seven
Won two (28.6 percent)
Lost five (71.4 percent)

11. Allister Coetzee (2016)
Played 12
Won four (33.3 percent)
Lost eight (66.7 percent)

Versus Tier One countries
Played five
Won one (20 percent)
Lost four (80 percent)

12. John Williams (1992)
Played five
Won one (20 percent)
Lost four (80 percent)

Versus Tier One countries
Played five
Won one (20 percent)
Lost four (80 percent)

By Jan de Koning
@king365ed
@rugby365com

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