2017 Ruggas Coach of the Year - Sean Erasmus
Criteria - We are looking for the best coach at schoolboy rugby level taking into account his team's success as well as the "means" he has to perform.
Sean was appointed as Paarl Boishaai's 1stXV Head Coach in 2014 and it did not take him long to mould Boishaai into the most successful team in the school's history during 2015, 2016 and 2017 ending all 3 years as the no 1 1stXV team in South Africa.
In 2016 Sean was appointed as the Head Coach for the South African "A" u/18 team and in 2017 assistant coach for the SA Schools Team. In 15 years he has gradually climbed the ladder in coaching circles and it is acknowledged as one of the best schoolboy rugby has to offer.
"I believe the person needs to be coached before being coached in rugby. Good boys make good rugby players. I prefer surrounding me with people that share my own values and care about the players. Combining these values with hard work, technical knowledge and commitment ensure a happy team playing for each other with the will and pride to perform."
Tjaart van der Walt
Monument High School in Krugersdorp welcomed in November last year their new coach, Tjaart van der Walt. Tjaart is a provincial coach involved in provincial schools structures, serves on Saru's schools' coaching panel and also coached a number of Virseker Beeld champion's teams.
Everybody expected Monnas and Tjaart to struggle in 2017 as the 1stXV was deemed as not the best crop if compared to recent history and although Tjaart was highly regarded as a coach it was felt that he would at least need a season to settle down and win the acceptance of his “new” ideas.
Making a few minor changes to the Monnas successful game plan and winning the trust of the players resulted in Monnas finishing the season number 3 in the country, playing 21 games and only lose against Eldoraigne, without several key players and Boland Landbou at the Wildeklawer Festival, winning the Tuks series and VirSeker Macro competition.
Mzeke Nkosi is the King Edward VII (KES) head coach having taken over at the beginning of 2017, after having been an assistant coach for three seasons (2014-2016) prior to this season. He has climbed the ranks at King Edward VII School, from prep school u13 to high school 1st team. The 2017 season was very successful for the REDS under his guidance having played 16 games winning 15 and losing 1.
He is a young, enthusiastic and knowledgeable coach and his hard work has seen him become the assistant coach for the Golden Lions Craven Week team (“finalist” in 2016 & “Winners” in 2017) as well the assistant coach for the SA Schools teams in 2016 and 2017.
His philosophy is based on equipping players with the necessary skills to play an attractive brand of rugby that yields positive results. His objective is also to use to rugby to impact young impressionable boys so that they can make a career out of the game or get an education through it at tertiary level.
Rugby is Rudi’s one great love and he is very passionate about the sport. He was fortunate to play SA Schools Rugby in 1999 and was chosen to play SA U19 the following year.
Rudi has had the opportunity to coach a range of teams. He has been coaching the KZN Academy team since 2009. In 2013 he was the assistant coach of the Sharks U21 team and he has been coaching the Collegians U20 team for some time. Before arriving at Pretoria Boys High in 2017 Rudi was the assistant coach, since 2003 and head coach, since 2014 of Glenwood 1stXV coach.
Under Rudi’s guidance, the 1stXV of Pretoria Boys High increased their rankings point in the Ruggas.co.za rankings with a massive 8.48 points eventually ending the season at number 27. This made Pretoria Boys High 1stXV the team that improved the most of all the top 50 teams in the country and Pretoria have again an Engish team that is respected.
Divan started coaching at Stellenberg Hoërskool in 2006 and was appointed as 1stXV coach in 2014. Divan sees himself as a lifelong student of rugby and his passion and love for rugby as well as the boys makes him a vital part of Stellenberg's strive to become the best.
Divan believes that in order to become the best you must play the best. And this dream came true during 2016 when Stellenberg was invited to the Noord/Suid and Wildeklawe tournaments. He sees the lessons learnt during 2016 as vital to the team's success in 2017. In 2017 Stellenberg kept on the pressure on the WP to promote it to the Premier A league.
Divan's combines willingness to listen to and learn from other coaches or players with proper planning, physical conditioning, technical knowledge, hard work, discipline and passion to ensure that his team is ready to compete and win every match played.
Scott Mathie is the current Rugby Coaching Co-ordinator of the Durban High School since January 2015. He took over as 1st XV coach in 2016. 2017 season saw again an improvement from DHS 1stXV with victories against Michaelhouse, Jeppe, Kearsney, Maritzburg College and Glenwood ending the season with 17 games played and 11 won.
Scott’s rugby philosophy is focused heavily on moving the ball into space. Continuity is key, and possession is vital. Winning is paramount but only in the pursuit of winning in this particular way. His teams seek to use as much width as possible and are encouraged to attack space whenever and wherever it presents itself.
High intensity short sessions are generally associated with his training sessions, with a strong focus on skills and decision-making. Breakdown work also takes on an increased focus and has been helped massively by the schools emphasis on Sevens rugby. Vibe is a crucial component of ensuring the sessions are full of energy and a lot of thought goes into creating a fresh and enjoyable rugby program.
Jaco Dames started his coaching career at Hoërskool Overkruin, helping them win 2 Beeld trophy’s during that time, after which he coached at TUT winning four titles in a row, two years as the u/19 coach and two years as U/21 coach. While at TUT he was also involved at the TUT Varsity Cup team. Jaco was appointed Director of Rugby of the Tecnico Rugby Club in Lisbon, Portugal in 2010. He started out at the club facing relegation from the first division 2010, to ranked 3rd in the 1st division 3 years later.
Jaco returned in 2014 to South Africa and was appointed Director of Rugby at Diamantveld Hoêrskool in 2016. This is where Jaco was noticed by schoolboy rugby fans when under his guidance Diamantveld Hoêrskool, with 150 rugby playing boys was ranked by all schoolboy rugby rankings as one of the top 20 1stXV teams in the country. He also won 3 out of 4 games at Wildeklawer during 2016 and 2017.
Jaco was one of the coaches of the Griquas Craven Week team in 2017 which ended the week unbeaten, one of only three teams to achieve that. His Cravenweek stats for Griquas is 5/6 games.
Oloff Berg was appointed Sports Organizer at Boland Landbou in June 2011 and took over as Head Coach of the First Rugby Team in June 2012. In between his commitments to Boland Landbou he also coached the unbeaten WP Grant Khomo-week teams from 2012 until 2014. He was the Head Coach in 2013 & 2014.
Oloff believes that a good rugby coach must have a sound knowledge of the game, must always be willing to learn about the game, but most importantly a good coach must have a huge work ethic. He also makes time to get to know his players and his relationship with his players has always been one of his strengths and a big reason for his success.
For Oloff it is a massive honour to work, live and coach rugby at Boland Landbouskool. Boland Landbou and with so many excellent schools in the Western Cape and especially in Paarl, Boland Landbou with only 350 boys does really punch above their weight year after year.
Griffy Griffiths came through the Dale Junior age rugby ranks to play in more than 50 Dale First XV Caps matches between 1991 to 1993. He was the captain of the unbeaten Dale side of 1993 who beat amongst others Grey College 26-7 in Bloemfontein.
He started coaching the junior teams at Dale Junior School where his success saw him promoted swiftly to coaching the Dale First XV and has been involved with the coaching the Border Schools Craven Week teams as well ever since. In an era where schools are always looking for younger and better coaches, Griffy Griffiths is one schoolboy rugby coach who survived the test of time.
Griffy has the ability to take raw talent and transform them into a team of achievers that will even surprise themselves. Griffy is not a coach who works himself in a frenzy next to the rugby pitch spitting, yelling and stomping, during matches. He is a Coach with just a firm stare who has inspired an entire school for over two decades as a player and a coach.
Mr Andy Royle was appointed as the new Director of Rugby at St Andrew’s College in 2015. Mr Royle has considerable experience, both overseas in Ireland where he coached Muskerry Rugby Football Club, and more recently at the University of the Witwatersrand where he was the Head Coach. Under Mr Royle’s astute coaching Wits won the Varsity Shield for two years in a row and then were promoted to the Varsity Cup.
He is well qualified as a coach with a SARU Level 3 qualification, a Golden Lions Level 3 qualification, and he has also been part of the International Rugby Academy High-Performance Course in New Zealand.
Mr Royle in charge of the 1stXV of St Andrew’s College has steered his team to the undisputed no 1 1stXV of the Eastern Cape unbeaten in the Eastern Cape only losing 2 from 17 matches this year.