What comes first the kid or the rugby?

This question is often a lot easier to answer than the chicken and egg one.

It’s a follow-on of the old debate we have here every so often about recruitment and how far a high school is willing to go to secure the services of a good rugby player from another high school.

The rugby.
From past experience I know that when one strips it down, when a high school offers a promising rugby player older than grade-8 level, a sports scholarship, the primary reason is to boost that school’s rugby. Yeah other things may have been factored into the equation but the added value towards achieving better results on the field of play is the deal sealer.

The kid.
I’ve also learned that when it comes to a promising rugby player acquired by one high school from another, judge each case individually. The surfacy things tend to look the same and lead to the same opinions on the matter but when you drill down into the finer, often not for public consumption aspects that play key roles in transfers, sometimes it can cause shifts in views.

Anyway I came across this recent recruitment which involved a rugby player from a very decent rugby (and academic) school in the Cape who was recruited by another school over 1600km away. It just seems crazy. The extent to which a school will go to acquire a player of quality and again asks about the ethical responsibility of the school’s decision makers to act in a manner that puts the kid ahead of the rugby at all times. Long story short, I found out about this move because after spending less than a week at his new school, the boy was back at his old stomping ground in the Cape. Things obviously didn’t work out ±1600km from home or this old school improved on the new deal he had, who knows for sure.

53 Comments

  1. Altyd die seun eerste, rugby moet gesien word as n tool om die seun te ontwikkel en te verbeter as daar nie balans is nie gaan daai seun sukkel as hy net rugby is

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  2. Beet, you did not have to ask the question! It goes without saying that it must be the boy and the boy’s academics.
    The beauty is that any kid can go back if he is not happy – which happened in this case. In fact it should happen in all cases.
    But even if the kid is recruited for rugby, the school must do everything n its power to ensure that the academics don’t play second fiddle. When schools get this right, everybody wins.

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  3. @boerboel: Stier,ek bedoel Boerboel,so gepraat van afstand,jyt baie te se as jy 1500 km ver is.Fokus liewer op julle probleme daar,nou nou gly jul weer op die piesangskil.

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  4. Beet, very few will say rugby comes first. Easy, and correct answer is; the kid. Unfortunately practice and examples show otherwise. As rugby is a teamsport, coaches use the principle of; “we are doing it for the team and a greater good!” to drive behaviour. Yes, personal sacrifice is an important element in life and an important value. But then I have most recent also seen discrimination from coaches because the player dared to speak their mind or voice their opinion (players having very good reason). Unfortunately conformity also plays a huge role and is used by schools and coaches to drive (and manage) behaviour. “Suck up” and “conforming” behaviour brings you far. This is not good for development and education, and I would say that critical thinking is. This comment is on a more focussed level, but illustrates the impact of performance driven behaviour, by coaches and schools.

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  5. What a ton of kuk!!!!! Where ever has anybody asked how the Music, Chess or Debating team did in 2017. The question is all about the Rugby Results. Schools and teachers feel nothing for the kids they recruit for their rugby teams. As long as they get them that’s all that counts. Then their job is done. The welfare of these recruited kids are never considered. Any schools star player requests to be excluded from the team on Saturday as he has a full day of extra Math’s Core and see the reaction.

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  6. Beet, I find it interesting that you used a different example to the more serious one, namely the one at Boishaai where a boy was taken out of Garsies at the end of the third quarter of grade 11 and then did not pass grade 12 in Boishaai, thereby breaking a perfect academic record.
    Now, was the kid put first, or the school’s rugby. :oops:
    @boerboel: And Boerboel, this is the issue “en die probleem waarvan @Grizzly: praat. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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  7. @Bush: Now you may have a point there. I would think most schools’ recruiters only think of the rugby – but there is the minority where the kid comes first.
    I know at Garsies we took some kids in with a 40% average in grade 8, but passed matric with more than 50% in grade 12.

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  8. @Djou: and maybe your example speaks to the kid being spoonfed in the north and not being able to adjust to taking responsibility in South. I want to use an example of leading a horse to water, but should probably be sensitive to political interpretation. Would a bear be affronted if called a horse? Personally, I would not. You see, no matter what I am called, I know who I am. Teach them to fish, sir, teach them to fish!

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  9. @Djou: Since you brought it up again…So you reckon it was Boishaai’s fault? an academic institution with a pretty good academic record .. That they did not care?…That they did not spend hours upon hours of extra tuition?…No my friend..you have no clue what you are talking about…It was never about a record to upkeep, rather about an unwilling individual ***…and please, don’t tell me he would have passed in Garsies, did he not repeat a year there previously?

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  10. @Bush: Hallo Bossie!
    My two cents worth. This young man have a huge attitude problem. That is the problem. Not the two schools involved but the individual. Have first had experience of this after a game.

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  11. @Riempies: Lekker Riempies, how is your dog? Still drilling cricket holes in your garden? Then this support my thread that it’s rugby first kid second. If that boy came with all the baggage they should have left him at the other school. Send my love to the family 😘😘😘😘😘

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  12. @Bush: Dog good. Now trying to eat the tortoise. Little blue each bugger.
    Yes agree. But have to say I was shocked with his attitude. Same that side. See soon. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

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  13. @Bush: Why would they not take him?..He is a good sportsman and they have a great academic track record…there was perhaps a chance they could help him while both benefit..and he moved back to Paarl…they did not actively recruit him.

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  14. @BoishaaiPa: So we agree then – it was about the rugby and not about the boy!
    This is the point we are discussing here.
    Put differently, had he not been recruited, HJS would have lost a number of rugby matches last year.
    There was another option though – HJS could have held him back in grade 11 with no progression to grade 12. It would have increased the chances of passing grade 12 in 2018.

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  15. @Djou: No, I disagree with you..It was never just about the rugby. One swallow doth not make a summer..sure, he had impact on some games, but I don’t think that he was the crucial difference between wins and losses and that we would have lost games without him. Someone else would have stepped up and played that role…no player in any team has that much influence. Secondly, he was already turning 19 in 2017 and could not be held back another year. The bottom line is that there was just no will to succeed academically.

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  16. @BoishaaiPa: Well, let’s agree to disagree – because to me it is clear that it was just about the rugby, because if you know a kid will not make it academically, why go ahead with the recruitment?
    I can make a number of other arguments, but will leave it there.
    So, let’s move on! The rugby is almost upon us! 8))

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  17. @Djou: Ok..my last point..you just don’t give up on someone because of his track record, perhaps it was seen in that light and there was real believe that they can help…they did have the record of proven success…and perhaps the difference also lies in the fact that they were asked to accommodate him and did not recruit him outright!

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  18. @Djou: The rugby is indeed almost upon us…The water situation in the Eastern Cape is not that great either!..Dams are around 30% and with their rainy season coming to an end and ours still to start, we might end up having more water in the Western Cape than they have come April!..Garsies will have to cart their own water down there as well!

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  19. @BoishaaiPa: @Djou: Gents,
    I have huge respect for the positive contribution that both of you have made on this blog. Your are both very passionate and knowledgeable about SBR. I want to share my knowledge about the Abner issue, based on what I was told.

    Abner was very happy with Garsfontein as a school. He did not want leave. He was however offered a contract by WP that left him with no choice but to leave. Taken into account a bad experience record with the bulls it made sense that he returned back to the cape. He is a brilliant rugby player. Some of the best tries I have seen in SBR was scored by himself or he was involved. There is no question that he made a huge difference to the HJS side. Simply because he is Abner, a brilliant rugby player.

    It is my understanding that HJS did not approach him, he asked Garsies to help him with a choice of school. Would he have passed if he stayed at Garsies? Who knows. I do believe that the best solution would have been for to him finish his schooling at Garsies and then play rugby for WP. How may games did he play for WP last year as o/19 ?

    I will always think of him as a Garsie and wish him all the best. May he reach his full potential. I know that Garsies do not ” buy” stars and discard them. We are a community school that care.

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  20. @Wonder: I agree that he should have stayed and finished at Garsies..there is no debate about that. However, circumstances did not allow for that to happen and the rest is history. To blame HJS for the results is however also not correct in my book. I wish him all the best for the future.

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  21. Wherever he comes from and wherever he goes, he will have to realise that success requires commitment and hard work. These play a lesser role at school, because of the many support systems (spoons and crutches) that literally propel those that show talent. The school system unfortunately also has a lot sympathy for poor behaviour, in some cases. Primarily because they need the talent to perform and secondly, because you don’t have lot of time to rehabilitate. In the big wide world, you are kicked out fairly quickly. OR maybe not! Moving to contracted players – it seems the unions stick with them, regardless. It can be seen in performance. Believe that Mitchell has broken that behaviour pattern at bulls. He rewards performance and loyalty! I do not like the Bulls, or their setup, but believe they are going to be a force to respect (and maybe even fear).
    Back to the boy – attitude is everything!

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  22. @BoishaaiPa: @Wonder: Agree with both of you.
    I just hope this will be a lesson for agents and unions – although I don’t have a lot of confidence in my hope as they proved to be unscrupulous, only looking out for themselves. So, if it is agent driven, this puts the onus on the school to do the right thing, namely doing what is best for the boy.
    But, if it is a union driven move, the union should take responsibility for the academic record, although as I said, I don’t have confidence in them.

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  23. @Djou: I believe the agent and WP rugby perpetrated an injustice against Abner. I believe HJS is not an average academic school ( :wink: ), but to remove him from an environment that he was comfortable in, with class mates and teachers than knew him, must have influenced his academic performance. And the HJS rugby calender was obviously much busier than the Garsies one. I feel sorry for him, as his talent alone will not guarantee a successful rugby career and without a Gr 12 he might fall through the cracks quickly in the game of life.

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  24. @Djou: ek het die selfde vraag gevra op n ander thead, wat us die unie se rol hier in, en wat doen hulle, indien hulle enigsins iets doen omtrent die situasie….

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  25. @Rainier: spyker op die kop, ek persoonlik dink dat wp rugby die grootste sondaar in hierdie hele debakel is, ek hoop regtig hulle maak n plan om te help sodat hy nog n kans kan kry om sy matriek suksesvol te voltooi…. Sterkte aan hom ek hoop regtig dat hierdie besigheid sinvol opgelos kan word

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  26. @Buddy: Lekker Buddy, I thought in the new year you would have a different jersey. Don’t braai on Sunday’s I rest. Braaied Lekker yesterday and watched SA lose the final test. At least my curry was hotter than AB’s Bat.

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  27. Yeah Mate spend the day getting the Old Merc ready for all the fixtures in Gauteng this year and then went for supper at the Whale 🐳

    Still the best spot in Toti 🍻

    2 , 3 House 😂👊🏻

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  28. it should be a 50 – 50 situation. i also believe that if a boy does not pull his weight academically then he should not be allowed to play in the higher teams. if he is serious about his rugby he will apply himself. you will always get boys dopp a few grades ans still get to play 1st team rugby in grade 9, 10 and 11…so maybe some schools see it as a 80 – 20 in favour of Rugby.

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  29. i know this maybe of the topic but I just went through an old 87 Paarl Gym year book that I found. I noticed that Pieter Rossouw was not in any rugby photos, from U19A, B or C nor was he in any U16 Rugby photos. Does this mean that he did not make the grade for higher level school rugby? He was however U19A Cricket, Boalnd Cricket & Skaak. I believe he was in STD 9 (grade 11) but then surly he would have played at least for the C team? He was after all a springbok. Could be good inspiration for youngsters who believe that 1st team & craven week is the only way to go pro. On the other side there is a cool team photo of the sub A rugby featuring Jean de Villiers and his brother (captain) Andre Louis de Villiers. Would this make them twins?

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  30. Like I have said many times, it’s best for any kid to be able to visit his home on weekends. Sometimes it’s not possible but in most cases it is, especially kids that are close to city’s. There is a boy from PE that started last year at Boishaai with no bursary, he had a bursary with Grey PE but he wanted to go to Boishaai. His parents are now moving to Paarl for the remainder of his schooling to be part of his life. Any school in my opinion should be very careful when it comes to scouting and moving kids far from their home.

    Just remember the house rules don’t allow us to name the kids.

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  31. @Falcon22: Ek gaan jou maar in Afrikaans antwoord, want na twee sinne in engels het ek ‘n helse sooibrand :wink: Nou net met Pieter gepraat, hy het 1987 0/16 B gespeel, en 1988 0/19 C en D.

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  32. @guts-and-glory: thanks for the info clears it all up. he must of been one heck of a cricketer to be in the U19A and Boland team at 16…. just goes to show that you don’t have to play 1st and 2nd team to make it into the pro ranks. cant help thinking though shouldn’t good coaches at school level be able to identify great talent such as Pieter? i’m sure some boys would have their dreams of playing pro rugby shattered not getting into the 1st or 2nd team, knowing that they were good enough. :-|

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  33. @Stier: Last year his son did not play rugby, he is a good hockey player, a ballplayer with a lot of BMT. Tyd vir ‘n rennie😜

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  34. Ek vra nou die dag vir ‘n ou van die Woesrand wie was eerste die hoender of die eier. Sê hy vir my, “nee hel, ek het nie eers geweet hulle het gedice nie.”

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