for quality writing

Ken Borland

Smit to Roos: Stay close to the line without overstepping it

Posted on December 07, 2022 by Ken

Former Springbok World Cup winning captain John Smit has advised fiery Stormers eighthman Evan Roos to find a way to keep his passion on the field, but stay close to the line without overstepping it when it comes to ill-discipline.

Roos, who made his Springbok debut against Wales this year, was yellow-carded last weekend for an off-the-ball tussle, that saw him lean his elbow on his opposite number’s neck, in the 52nd minute of the Stormers’ win over Edinburgh.  It came at a bad time when the Stormers were under pressure, and it allowed the Scottish team to close the gap to 13-17.

Overseas critics have accused the 22-year-old of being unnecessarily confrontational, some calling his play dangerous and thuggish.

“Evan is a player who is really driven internally and he needs to find a way to control that emotion,” Smit said when asked at a Vodacom United Rugby Championship media call how he would handle a player like Roos if he were captain.

“Players get away with absolutely nothing these days, the most aggressive thing you’ll see on a field now is someone grabbing a collar and looking angry.

“Eben Etzebeth does it very well, controlling his passion right up to the end point of not getting in trouble. Evan needs to somehow know how to bottle that passion, and you don’t want to temper his enthusiasm.

“He just needs to be told though that losing control won’t just cost him but the team too. I would tell him that the angrier he gets, the more the team’s ability to succeed is diminished,” Smit said.

Smit of course had arguably rugby’s hardest ever enforcer to rely on to lay down the law in Bakkies Botha. But sometimes it took all of Smit’s considerable leadership wisdom to keep the legendary lock on the field.

“I had a few players in the Springbok team who sometimes suffered from over-stimulation!” Smit laughed. “Take Bakkies. Whenever I wanted to try gee up the team in the changeroom, I would wait for Bakkies to go to the toilet or get his knee strapped, otherwise my team talk would make him a bit over-zealous in the first five minutes! And that would be to our detriment.”

Leave a Reply

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Thought of the Day

    Philemon 1:7 – “Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.”

    “Every disciple of Jesus has a capacity for love. The most effective way to serve the Master is to share his love with others. Love can comfort, save the lost, and offer hope to those who need it. It can break down barriers, build bridges, establish relationships and heal wounds.” – A Shelter From The Storm, Solly Ozrovech

    If there’s a frustrating vacuum in your spiritual life and you fervently desire to serve the Lord but don’t know how you’re meant to do that, then start by loving others in his name.


↑ Top