If I played in the midfield for the Stormers, I probably would have handed in my transfer request by now.
Coach Robbie Fleck’s game plan simply doesn’t allow for his centres to catch the shine.
I find it weird, seeing that he was one of the last flashy midfielders this country has produced.
As it stands, inside centre Damian de Allende is copping a lot of flak from fans who believe he is not the right man to wear the No.12 hooped jersey.
Admittedly, Doogz hasn’t been playing the best rugby of his career over the past few seasons.
He has been used as a battering ram both at domestic and international level.
I still remember the early De Allende days - he was a big centre with crafty feet that had the ability to delight fans with the ball in hand.
Nowadays you can hear the aahs whenever he touches the ball.
Now I’m not defending Damian here, but you have to feel for the guy.
On Saturday against the Hurricanes, the Stormers’ midfield hardly got any decent ball.
Whenever there was an opportunity to attack, flyhalf Jean-Luc du Plessis either launched an aimless kick, or the forwards were the first receivers off the flyhalf.
When De Allende had a rare opportunity to produce magic with the ball in hand, the Stormers were penalised when Bongi Mbonambi ran an obstructive line.
Here is my gripe; the current South African tactics are killing our midfielders.
Now back when I started playing rugby as an 11-year-old inside centre, I was taught to run from deep.
When we lined up for a scrum, I was told to use the corner flag behind me and the flyhalf’s pocket as my southern cross.
That allowed me to attack from the deep and hit the line with pace from the midfield.
I watched De Allende closely this past weekend.
And hitting the line with speed is definitely not something he is told to do.
Instead, he lines up almost in front of his flyhalf - as flat as possible - just to set up yet another phase.
If not him, then the forwards were used to bash it up from set plays.
Now I know rugby has changed over the years and that you don’t want to isolate your ball carriers, but we are killing our midfielders big time.
The “attacking kicks” the Stormers use - I see it as a way to give possession to the opponents - starve our midfielders of ball even more.
Therefore I believe it’s Fleck that is either getting his tactics or team selection wrong.
If you want to play that sort of game, he shouldn’t start with Du Plessis at 10.
He is the sort of flyhalf that will make a midfielder - that’s running from deep - look good.
He likes the expansive game.
The same goes for scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies - they both like to jigga with the ball.
And then the coach instructs them to play a kicking game.
Naturally, they are going to fall short.
Another guy that fell short in the defeat to the Canes was SP Marais.
He missed two tackles that led to tries for the Canes and perhaps Fleckie needs to look at his wing selection as well.
In order to play this kicking tactic, Marais is probably a better choice than Seabelo Senatla or any other speedster out there. But if you play with a halfback pairing that likes to run the ball, you have to adjust the rest of your selection - you simply can’t have your cake and eat it.
Going forward, tough decisions have to be made at the Western Province base.
Do they want to play a conservative game or do they want to excite the Newlands faithful?
It’s a decision I reckon they have to make pretty soon, because as a player - especially if you’re a midfielder - I can’t see anyone sticking around to be used as an extra loose-forward.
The message is clear to the coaching staff; either pick your team on the tactics you want to employ or employ the tactics after you’ve chosen your team.
If it’s the former, then I’m afraid Joshua Stander will have to come in at No.10 for the Stormers.
If it’s the latter, they need Damian Willemse at fullback with Dillyn Leyds taking the place of Marais on the wing and they also need to put an end to the pointless kicking game.
Up front, the Stormers are doing well and they should continue with what they are doing.
It’s the backline that are giving me sleepless nights at the moment.
With the game becoming more and more ingewikkeld by the day, I believe it's time to go back to the basics. And that starts with bringing back the enjoyment.
So let’s fix it Fleckie