Outside Evaluation

Cape Times (South Africa), May 8, 2007 | Go to article overview

Outside Evaluation


BYLINE: ASHFAK MOHAMED

ALTHOUGH the Stormers will be subjected to a full evaluation from a professional outside company after another dismal Super 14 campaign, Kobus van der Merwe is likely to hold on to his job as Western Province coach for this year's Currie Cup.

This emerged from an interview yesterday with Stormers chairman Patty Kuhn, who also serves on the WP executive. He confirmed that the evaluation would include Van der Merwe, his entire management team and the players.

Despite the Stormers improving only one position on the Super 14 log, from 11th in 2006 to 10th this season, Kuhn said Van der Merwe could expect to guide WP through the Currie Cup competition.

"I don't think the situation is that bad (for him not to be in charge).

"The Super 14 is now history. We have to look to the future, and the Currie Cup is next. We must do well in that competition and take it from there.

"But, having said that, there were lots of mistakes made and we can't continue repeating them next year."

What Kuhn failed to mention was that the Stormers had faced a similar situation last year. They were pathetic in 2006, winning only four games to fill the lowly 11th spot.

An evaluation was carried out by the Stormers board, after which WP director of rugby Nick Mallett recommended that Van der Merwe be fired. The board rejected that recommendation, and the coach was given a stay of execution for the Currie Cup, in which WP reached the semi-finals.

Now yet again the Stormers have under-achieved. Van der Merwe argues that his team have improved this season, winning two more matches and moving up one spot on the log. The reality is that it is not good enough.

Mallett's role in this sorry tale has also not received the necessary attention. He appointed Van der Merwe and Vodacom Cup coach Gary Gold, but has not taken responsibility for those actions.

Although Mallett's powers were cut this season after Van der Merwe had complained of "interference" last year, the director of rugby is ultimately responsible for the professional sides. His status and role within the structures should definitely come under greater scrutiny. …

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