Kobus: “I have always been decisive”

Stormers coach Kobus van der Merwe remains emphatic that his decision-making has been consistent and decisive this season.

Keo.co.za has been critical of Van der Merwe’s communication and decision-making with regards to the confusion around De Wet Barry’s demotion as captain for Saturday’s Vodacom Super 14 match against the Chiefs.

Van der Merwe, when speaking to the website from New Zealand, said: “I accept criticism of our performance, especially the last one against the Blues. De Wet’s discipline was unacceptable and there was no doubt in my mind he had to be fined and punished. I made the decision to drop him for Saturday’s match because I could not condone a senior player showing this kind of ill-discipline. I discussed my decision with Nick (Mallett), who is in New Zealand with the team. He agreed it was the right call.

“This was communicated to the player. At no stage did I communicate to the player or the squad that De Wet was dropped for the rest of the campaign. Keo.co.za reported that this was the case on the basis of what Anthony MacKaiser our media liaison had told the website.

“I have discussed the situation with Anthony and he confirms he did tell the website it was a permanent decision, but acknowledges it was his interpretation of the situation. It was a genuine mistake on his behalf and the breakdown in communication was born out of his assumption and the subsequent reporting. I have no issue with the report as our media liaison incorreclty interpreted a situation. The issue has been dealt with internally. But I believe it is neccesary to counter the accusation that I have been indecisive in my decision-making.”

Van der Merwe added that it was inaccurate to criticise a lack of decisiveness on his part.

“I have no problem with the criticism based on the information that was supplied, but I do want to put the record straight because it leads to a perception that I have been indecisive in my decision-making. This has never been the case.

“Earlier in the season when Shimmie missed training he was disciplined and dropped. When Marius Joubert arrived back late from the Karoo he was disciplined and fined. (He was not yet fit to play so couldn’t be dropped). And now De Wet and Shimmie have been dealt with because of ill-discipline on the field. I consider the matter dealt with and hopefully the players will respond to the challenge of the Chiefs and the challenge that ill-discipline will not be tolerated.”