In Jake’s defence …

Jake White has told Keo.co.za he was misrepresented after Monday’s press conference. The Bok coach says he never slammed the media.

Speaking to Keo.co.za on Tuesday morning White said all he did was answer a question about whether there was an overreaction to the Bok win against the World XV, in terms of condemnation and whether there was no an overreaction in euphoria on the basis of beating a Scotland side that was poor on the day.

“I said I felt there had been an overreaction on both counts. I said that the media influenced the public’s reactions and that more perspective was needed in assessing matches. I never denied we played badly against the World XV. I never denied it was a poor match, but I did say at the time that these things happen.

“I have also not said we are world beaters after beating Scotland. I said we played well but that there were areas that had to be better if we were to be successful against stronger teams.

“For goodness sake, the media voted me their media friendly personality a month ago and now I am accused of going on the attack against them. Had I not answered the question, it would probably have been recorded as me being ignorant.

“All I said was that there needed to be greater perspective when analysing the Bok performance. It is something I said in Durban after the Bok win and something I said in Durban before the win.

“I am annoyed at the manner in which the reporter presented the story. It was a misrepresentation of what went on. And I want to clarify that.”

White said he would be addressing the media about the issue prior to the team announcement on Wednesday.

White, in an interview with the Cape Times’s Stephen Nell also spoke openly about his thoughts on Cobus Visagie and the Ndungane twins.

On Visagie, White said:”Cobus was penalised a lot for scrumming illegally against us. We have a number of tighthead props in CJ van der Linde, Lawrence Sephaka, BJ Botha and Eddie Andrews. It’s interesting that nobody raved about how impressive Eddie was against Scotland.I have always said that the guy coming in has to be able to add more value than the incumbent.”

On the Ndungane twins, White said: “I had enough outside backs when I picked my squad. We agreed that they would be part of the SA Breweries high performance squad. They are both in systems where we know we can monitor them.

“There are 30 (black) players in the squad and consultants look at the individual ]aspects of each player. I get a report every month on what the players are up to. No-one complained when Frikkie Welsh was picked ahead of Akona Ndungane for the Bulls. Both Akona and Odwa lack a bit of pace. I am not just talking about holding your own at wing. I am talking about sheer pace.”

On criticism of transformation, White said: “It’s not a problem for me at all. I have picked black players in every position except flyhalf. It’s an issue that people above and below me will have to address. No-one can point fingers at the national set-up. We had five black players involved against Scotland and at one stage an all-black front row. Every guy with us is here on his merits.”