Big Vic in the firing line

Keo.co.za brings you Victor Matfield on the best lock he has ever played against, his coaching ambitions and the best chirp he’s ever heard.

Who is the best lock you have ever played against?
by Storm Voort

That’s a tough one but I’ll have to say Ali Williams. He’s so athletic and has an aggressive streak that every lock needs. It gets him in trouble sometimes but his value to the team is priceless.

Vic, rugby is a game of spirals. Are you in agreement that the Bulls have started their descent into a downward spiral?
by Isigidi

This season will be the toughest the Bulls have faced in a while. I do however think they’ll cope because Heyneke Meyer has left the structures in place to ensure success for a long time. The Bulls have the best young players in the country so the future looks bright. Frans Ludeke is a good coach and I’m sure he’ll do really well at the Bulls. For me he’ll fit in at the Bulls better than what he did at the Lions. When recruiting, they [the Bulls] first look at a man’s character before credentials and Frans is solid in that area. I worked with him for a month before I left and was really impressed.

Hi Victor, you are known for your ability to decipher the opposition’s lineout calls. Is this something you can teach someone or do you think it is a talent (IQ) you have been blessed with?
by Dumb Supporter

A bit of both but it’s something you can learn. I spend a lot of time doing video work, just analysing everything about the opposition lineout. Often I’m looking for trigger movements that will give me an idea of where the ball is heading. Then sometimes towards the end of matches I watch a tired prop ’cause he’ll give the clues I need without even thinking about it.

Victor, I think Daniel Vickerman would have been an excellent third lock to have had in the Bok-setup along with you and Bakkies. How do you rate this ex-Saffer?
by Dumb Supporter

I think he’s the best lineout jumper in the world on his own ball and is amazing at stealing or disrupting the opposition’s. He’s a really intelligent, thinking lock that I definitely rate highly

Please can you explain to the Sharks fans what it feels like to hold a S14 trophy aloft. For that matter, ANY trophy would do for them…
by bluebarb

You should ask them what it feels like to give it away so late in the game. Man, when that last passage of play was going on I just had a feeling it was going to be our day. Holding up the trophy was amazing and only our World Cup win ranks above that as the single greatest moment of my career. It was the culmination of years of hard work. One season we lost 11 games in the tournament and to come from that to a tournament win … unbelievable

What is the square root of 47?
by bluebarb

That’s a trick question right? 47 Has no square root.

Big Vic, whats the best chirp you ever heard on a rugby field?
by Kietzphat

Last season we were playing the Lions and halfway through the first half one of their locks asked Bakkies: “Hey when are they going to substitute you?” as Bakkies was always taken off about 10 minutes into the second half. He replied: “Nah, today I’m playing the whole match. They usually give me a full 80 minutes against the minnow teams.” Classic!

Matfield of Hatfield, what are the referees like in the NH ? Do you battle or not?
by BlueBlood

Last weekend I was almost sent off for remonstrating with the ref about a poor decision he had made. It’s difficult to comment because refs in the French second division aren’t the best the country has to offer. They tend to be a bit pedantic where southern hemisphere refs tend to let the game flow a lot more.

Hey Vic, the new laws: What is your feeling about the new laws and how will it affect you, other traditional locks and the development of youngsters? Rugby, for me, is a game for all shapes and sizes. Do you think that rugby will now develop into a game for only athletic freaks that will leave the chubby chap to play computer games and the large heavy locks to become only useful as “bouncers” at the club?
by 4teen

I really hope not, but I have a big fear that the ELVs will force coaches to select smaller, more athletic locks and props. The beauty of rugby is that it’s a game for the big fat guys, the rangy thin okes and the flyers in the backline. It’s a game everybody can enjoy irrespective of your shape or size. You don’t want to see a situation where all forwards look the same, that would make for a very boring spectacle.

Victor, do you think you will want to become involved in coaching when your playing career ends? If not, what will you be doing?
by Dumb Supporter

Definitely, I’ve always said to the guys that that’s where I see my future. I really enjoy the analysing and planning involved in preparing for matches so it’s the logical step. I don’t want to think that far ahead, though, because I still want to play for another four or so years. But yes, I’d definitely be keen on coaching.