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|Volume 4, Week 4|
|Brilliant! Phew, what a week! The opening round of the Super 12 provided more upsets and surprises than a Tarantino movie but thankfully less bloodshed. The potential for violence it seems are more real in SA rugby politics as players or rather their association threatened strike action during the week due to a contract dispute. Imagine the bursts of speed and jinking when the ‘riot’ squad is called out to shoot rubber bullets at millionaires? Jake will be impressed!|
What impressed this humble writer was the Brumbies/Blues clash on Saturday morning. After a few too many shandies the night before, watching a Super 12 clash was very low on this revelers agenda but luckily the organizers took pity. The midmorning clash was a superb game of rugby and not even a Kylie special on M-TV could have forced the use of the ‘jump’ button to tear these eyes away from the game. The tries were something special and if there is one player in world rugby who possesses the ability to score at will given space it is Rupeni Caucaunibuca. He has to because his work rate is on par with John Daly’s training programme.
The superman antics of Stephen Larkham, who majestically jumped above Doug Howlett to collect a ‘speculative’ kick from Joe Roff was the other moment that made this game such a joy to behold. Two world cup finals, one gold medal and legendary status did nothing to detract this players' dedication and enthusiasm for the game. Also impressive was the low penalty count, the discipline of players (even though George Smith was sent off) and the general high quality for the very first game of the season. Referee Watson had quite a hand in making it the spectacle it was, he does have the ability to orchestrate great games.
Quick comment on the South African performances, the Stormers showed some good enterprise and their continuity and patience was very good thanks to a sterling forward performance. The Cats chucked it, but what a find is Ashwin Willemse, 120% is his minimum and for sheer guts and determination he is my player of the weekend.
The Sharks must be commended on a ‘mission impossible’ and poor old Rudi almost shed a tear after the game. Butch, well he is controversial – he niggled all game and probably got his just deserve with an old-fashioned ‘snotklap’. That he also got a yellow card was probably a culmination of over eagerness and an inability to channel his aggression at the opportune moment, and not from a dangerously late tackle. The tackle was handbags at ten paces, nothing in it.
As promised two weeks ago my predictions for the Super 12:
The coming weekend there are some interesting clashes and with a lot of the initiative with the visiting teams, a few more upsets can be expected. That is great for the competition and makes for compelling viewing in the weeks to come.
See you at the park!
|Visit http://www.rugbyforum.co.za/ for statistics, all the quotes and an archive of previous issues|
|The Super 12 kick off by Vinesh Naicker|
|Highlanders vs. Reds (39-8)|
The game kicked off in Invercargill, which is right at the bottom of the South Island. The weather has been shocking all week with wind and rain and the forecast was the same for Friday night. With this in mind, I knew there was no way in the world that the Reds were going to win as they go into hibernation in anything less than 20 degrees Celsius.
Overall, the performance of the Reds was very disappointing, despite all the hype about their new blood it seems pretty obvious that their new coach has as many ideas about how to use attacking ball as Straeuli did. Time and again the Reds took the ball up and into the tackle just somehow hoping that the gaps would open up. This may have worked a few years ago in the heyday of the Brumbies, but defences have improved so much in the last few years that you cannot rely on defences to make mistakes. The only real opportunities in attack are where you can match up against the defence one on one and the player has the skill to beat their man or create a gap for a team mate. The Reds demonstrated no creativity at all, their passing was slow and laboured and more often than not they just passed it straight through the back line for the winger to run it out.
They had all the ball they needed, with over 60% of possession and territory, but so often the Reds got themselves into a good position only to pass the ball behind the man or lose it somehow. Considering that these guys have spent more than a month practicing for the first game they were pretty bad.
The Highlanders were never in trouble and in the end cruised to victory without really being tested.
Cats vs. Stormers (23-28)
The first try of the game came as a direct result of blood bin replacement Nel Fouries kick being charged down. Taking three steps before unleashing a kick under pressure is not advisable, especially for a specialist flyhalf. The Stormers were not about to look a gift horse in the mouth and Badenhorst dotted down.
Fourie having learned nothing continued to take several steps before kicking the ball and the Cats would have been relieved when Pertorius came back from the blood bin.
The first try for the Cats came from a great pass by Juan Smit finding Pertorius in space, who in turn stepped his marker and put van Heerden under the posts.
One thing that really became obvious is that most of the backline players really struggle to pass the ball accurately over any sort of distances. You expect this from the forwards, but for the backs to really take advantage of space in both set piece and broken play quick accurate passing is vital.
Barry earned the first yellow card of the 2004 Super 12 building on his history of high tackles.
In the second half Chris Rossouw took on the line for the first time and put Barry though a gap for Paulse to beat two men and score the Stormers second try.
Crusaders vs. Waratahs (19-43)
Deans chose to field a team without Mehrtens or McCaw in the starting line up. Aaron Mauger, who would have to be rated as the third string flyhalf, started in that position, and spent most of his time kicking for territory.
The All Black players in the Crusaders team, who did make it on the field, seemed to carry on from their World Cup performance, and so did the Wallabies in the Waratahs team. This inevitably meant that the Waratahs managed to get their noses in front and the Crusaders started to panic playing more and more desperately with no signs of a Plan B.
In the second half the Waratahs were almost breaching the Crusaders defensive line at will. The final statistic of 30 missed tackles by the Crusaders to 9 by the Waratahs told the story.
It was 75 minutes into the game when the Crusaders scored their one and only try, to substitute McCaw. The Crusaders have traditionally been slow starters but this game was bad even by their standards.
The Waratahs got their deserved fourth try and bonus point in the 77th minute.
Chiefs vs. Hurricanes (19-7)
The Chiefs put on the early pressure but turned it over, for the Hurricanes to race down the field, and eventually score the first penalty try of the tournament, when Chiefs lock Dooley was penalised for pulling down a maul.
The Hurricanes continued to attack and the Chiefs defence, while managing to hold them out, was quite ragged. Not the offensive defence which has become the standard for a successful team in recent years.
A lot of movement in the first half mainly due to turnovers, but not a lot to show for it on the scoreboard, with the half time score 6-7 to the Hurricanes.
The Chiefs came out with a lot more purpose in the second half, intent on playing the game in the Hurricanes half. Territory and pressure told in the first 20 minutes with the Chiefs managing to get ahead due to two more successful penalty kicks.
Sione Lauaki who is going to be a stand out player for Auckland in the NPC, but who the Chiefs picked up in the draft, scored the Chiefs first try after being on the field for less than ten minutes.
The Chiefs went on to win, but the game was definitely not one of the running fluffy games that we have got used to, this was a dogfight similar to those that used to occur so frequently before the game became professional.
Brumbies vs. Blues (44-27)
First try of the game to Caucaunibuca, he got a lucky rebound from his chip kick ahead and then he burned Rathbone, purportedly the fastest player in the Brumbies team, to score a try 60 metres down the field.
However, the Blues arrogantly tried to run it out of their 22 instead of kicking for territory and the Brumbies justifiably punished them by scoring a 7 pointer and re-taking the lead.
A great try to start the second half for the Brumbies, Larkham leaping up above Howlett, who was moonlighting at fullback, to grab the ball and score.
The final nail in the coffin came when the Blues, seven points behind, tried to run it out from their goal line. Caucaunibuca ran 15 metres and threw a great pass to Giteau who ran it back the same 15 metres to score under the post and seal the game for the Brumbies.
Once again the All Black and Wallaby players carried on their form from the World Cup.
Bulls vs. Sharks (23-18)
The Sharks finished the first half ahead 23-8 primarily as a result of taking advantage of the aimless kicking from the Bulls. Time and again the Bulls clearance kicks failed to find the touchline and instead found a Sharks player who ran it back with interest.
The game opened up in the last ten minutes of the first half, the Bulls stung by the Sharks first try managed to put a number of phases together and score a try. They tried the same on the subsequent kick off but turned it over on halfway for the Sharks to counter attack and Russell to score.
Butch James was frenetic in defence, not always accurate but very enthusiastic, his efforts encouraging his team mates to up their tempo.
The Bulls started the second half with a great deal of purpose, camping in the Sharks half, but a number of small errors resulting in turnovers kept letting the pressure off.
The first try of the second half came from a mistake by the Sharks, just when it looked like the Bulls had butchered their glut of possession, the ball popped out of the side of a Sharks ruck for Hougaard to pick it up and score from 5 metres out.
The tide seemed to turn in the Sharks favour when Santon was yellow carded for terminal stupidity (and stomping someone).
James received a red card in the last three minutes, which seemed a bit harsh. His tackle was late but it didn’t seem to be high, the only other reason would be that he didn’t use his arms. The end result of a yellow or a red was the same anyway; he missed the end of the match.
The Sharks managed to hold on and win.
Overall a weekend of surprises with the favoured Blues, Crusaders and Bulls all going down.
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|Super 12 is here – no more sleeps! by Dave 'Dingo' Marshall|
|Those immortal words uttered by Chris ‘Buddha’ Handy during the opening game of last year’s Rugby World Cup held in Australia, apply just as strongly to the Super 12 which kicked off last Friday.|
Plenty of high quality rugby mixed in with plenty of monumental upsets. Of the four semi finalists in 2003 (Blues, Crusaders, Brumbies and Hurricanes) only the Brumbies managed a first up win. Super 12 rugby once again will be a big feature on the rugby calendar for the next 15 weeks. Buckle up your seat belts, tilt your seats back and enjoy the ride.
The Reds took on the Highlanders at Carisbrook, at ‘the House of pain’, and pain is what the Highlanders inflicted on the hapless Reds to the tune of 39-8. They scored 5 tries to 1 and the Reds were never really in the hunt in atrocious weather conditions. Chris Latham (or ‘the money man’ as Gavin Cowley likes to call him) played his heart out for the Reds in a losing cause. The Reds regroup to face the Reds at Ballymore this Saturday.
In other news relating to the reds, Steve Kefu has been cleared of doping allegations by the ARU. The ARU announced that no action would be taken against Kefu following his admission to taking a banned substance to treat the viral disorder, Bell’s Palsy that recently affected him. Fletcher Dyson returned home this week after an operation that fused two bones together in his neck as a result of a dislocation when a scrum collapsed at training last week. He has played 49 times for the Reds and 10 times for the Wallabies. Rugby Forum wishes him well in his recovery from this operation
At Canberra Stadium, a crowd of 22,255 people was treated to plenty of entertainment on and off the field. Pre match entertainment consisted of the mascot ‘Brumby Jack’ being deposited onto the field by HMAS Canberra helicopter as well as a parade of Harley Davidson motorcycles to really help ‘rev’ up the crowd. It must have helped not only rev up the crowd but the Brumbies as they come out to beat last year’s Super 12 premiers by the margin of 44-27 after being locked at 20 all at half time. The Brumbies scored 5 tries to 3 to take the extra bonus point and send the Blues away with no points at all.
Steve Larkham undoubtedly scored one of the most spectacular tries of the weekend by leaping over Doug Howlett, Superman style, to retrieve a kick in the Blues dead ball area and claim the try. In Aussie Rules terminology this type of catch is known as a ‘screamer’. Bernie Larkham is an amazing athlete and never fails to impress with his determination and commitment to the cause of winning rugby games. Matt Giteau also added his own special brand of panache by pulling off a huge swan dive when he scored the final try of the game when he intercepted a wayward Blues pass. South African fans would have had mixed feelings with Clyde Rathbone’s impressive debut on the left wing for the Brumbies.
Jade Stadium featured an encounter involving the Waratahs and the Crusaders. Last time the Waratahs were at Jade Stadium back in 2002, they were hammered by 96-12. If this was on their minds at all it didn’t show as the Waratahs came out with guns blazing. Entertainment seems to be the primary focus of stadiums for this year’s Super 12 as the Crusaders had a giant sword lined up in the middle of the field on the half way line as well as horses and plenty of dancers. The Waratahs were the team that put the Crusaders to the sword by defeating them 43-19. The Waratahs scored 5 tries to 1 and Mat Rogers excelled in his role as kicker by slotting 9 from 9 in windy conditions. Tim Donnelly had an outstanding game at fly half making it all the harder for Matt Burke to force his way back into the team. The Waratahs are renown for being fast starters and then fading towards the end of the season so it is a great start but not time to get carried away with predictions of a final four finish.
In the other 3 games the Stormers edged out the Cats away from home by 28-23, The Chiefs accounted for the Hurricanes 19-7 at home and the Bulls lost to the Sharks 23-18 at home. Loads of upsets with the only game that may not have been a surprise was the Highlanders victory over the Reds.
Until next week.
|The Cats have a front row so big the Stormers would have to play Tenzing Norgay at hooker to get over it. Ben Kimber on rugbyheaven |
With all respect to Arthrob Petersen (chairman of the selection committee) he wouldn't know the difference between a good coach and a bad one. Corne Krige
I feel it is my duty to highlight issues that other players are too scared to. Corne Krige
Only two of the World Cup squad of 30 players have contracts, we must be the only country in the world that finds itself in this position. Any player who is offered a three-year contract overseas should seriously consider it because it is the only sensible business decision to make. Corne Krige
They can call me whatever they bloody like, as long as they listen! Jake White to Stephen Nell in a Cape Times interview on the question what the players should call him.
Asking how important Woodward's involvement with British sport could be is a bit like asking how important Picasso was to art. Sue Campbell, chair of UK Sport
I take full responsibility. Rudi Joubert after the Bulls loss against the Sharks at Loftus
We look like we need a few games to get to the required level, while the other teams have hit the ground running. I'm not happy that I can pick a (Bok) 22 right now, he admitted. There hasn't been a player in the last two nights that has stood out convincingly. Jake White
Most Springboks receive around R750 000 a year from their province. Then Sarfu pays R30 000 a month to every player who plays in the Super 12. If you play in 11 tests in the year, you receive R825 000. We don't mind paying, but it has to be for achievement. Brian van Rooyen
When I spoke to him, he spoke to my family. I won't have it. Andre Watson's explanation after giving a penalty against the Blues' Ali Williams
Springboks will never again get full-time contracts. What for? The rugby they played was a disgrace to SARFU and the public. They will have to earn respect before they complain about money. Brian van Rooyen
Join the SARUGBY news and discussion group for the fastest sarugby news and the most intense debates around the South African game. Send a blank email to email@example.com
|Letters to the Editor|
Thanks for the forum. Always with the insightful news and view. Having just watched the first weekend of S12 as well as a couple of Six Nations and the highlights of the Sevens' in Los Angeles I am so pleased that the rugby season is back. Boy, I missed this.
My gripe for the week - Referees!!
Jonathan Kaplan is widely considered to be the top referee in the world and heads up a select group of South African referees that must be the envy of every rugby playing nation. Even if we cannot get our players to too many finals at least our referees are showing the way and handling the big games with aplomb and maturity.
Having said that, I believe that Mr. Kaplan's handling of the Bulls/Sharks game on Saturday was abysmal and some of the decisions made were unbelievable. A red card for Butch James was way out of line as any video review of the tackle will show that it may have been marginally late but was a lovely, perfectly legal tackle that was not dangerous in any way. Some of the other decisions were in the same mould and one can only surmise that the similarity of the players jerseys confused Mr. Kaplan as much as it confused the players.
Let us hope that this game was a momentary aberration and the Mr. Kaplan returns to his usual fair ways very soon.
The major worry from the weekend was the slow and ponderous style of play of both sides. There was no "snap" and no running onto the ball in empty space that is so necessary in these high level games. Etienne Botha gave the Sharks back line a torrid time and showed and wonderful consistent break. Watch this guy!! The only other players to impress were Brent Russell, Norman Jordaan and Frikkie Welsh while Luke Watson was great in the loose . All in all a good game but much needs to be done in order to beat the big guns.
The Sevens in Los Angeles was marred by what was the most incredibly bad refereeing decisions. Forward passes; a try scored by a player that had been sent off!!. These little decisions made a huge difference to the final outcome. New Zealand would not have been in the final for sure and South Africa may just have won their quarter final match. I hope the IRB does something soon!!
Keep up the good work
Your quotes section refers. Says our bumbling sports minister (and athlete personified) Ngconde Balfour: "We want a winning national team and competitive rugby in the Super 12 and Currie Cup. South Africans deserve nothing less and I am confident that SARFU will do everything possible to ensure this."
Rudolf Straeuli said it and it is so true - there are too many political agendas, and self-serving individuals. SA soccer is a scam run by mafia-types, and rugby doesn't seem much better either. Finally, if the government left sports alone, perhaps we might actually do better. Try to encourage transformation, and reward where necessary, instead of proscribing and punishing. Balfour is an idiot who talks about "Jacques who" and goes around slagging off everyone, creating a negative vibe. SA Sports needs to get out of the trough, and the porcine politicians feeding from it are sucking the marrow dry!
Here's to a good Super 12 for ALL SA teams, but especially the Sharks!
Sharks fan in Durbs
I can't believe, year after year, we don't start to realize the basics. A backline is a backline and forwards are forwards. Don't mix the two too much. Your team will 'backfire'. I firmly believe that there should be an increase of speed and decrease of contact when moving the ball from scrum to wing. Why do we always put have these bunch of forwards standing in the backline? And moooorrre important, why do they keep running back to the rucka and maul when they do get the ball. It is not effective, and it is not pretty to watch. I can't believe that we are so far into the professional era of rugby and still South African rugby is sticking with 'bumping into the opponents till a gap opens'. Its not gonna work on the international arena, 'cos if you look carefully at a rugby field the gaps are actually on the outside where the wings and 'outside' centres are. The art of rugby lies in chasing the ball to where it breaks down at the wing or centre. Then the ruck or maul can start another phase. Personally, if you ask me our guys are either too tired or lack the skills to effectively move the ball across the field. Or either they didn't learn enough tactical formations during the practice form their coaches. I see the Super 12 the same as last year (sad enough). I do see the Tri-Nations improving this year because I'm confident Jake White will have enough tactical ideas to improve our top Super 12 performers.
Well, I said I'll return to apologise if I was incorrect re the appointment of the new coach. well, I was wrong as I honestly thought that there will be no doubt that Chester would be appointed. Reasons there were a view in my view as one, he is black, two he is popular and three, he had success with the sevens. Based on that I thought there was no doubt but was I wrong? sorry Chester, you had my support rightly or wrongly? With Jake White I can truly say there is hope with his experience and fully support him as he stated that if he had to pick a Bok side going on last weekends SA Super 12 teams performances, he was doomed as none would have been picked?
The once Mighty Springbok is bleeding to death very slowly but surely and there is nobody to save her from death was my words last week but with Jake White it might change to: "The once Mighty Springbok is bleeding to death very slowly but surely and Jake White might just be the one to save her from death"
Bokbef*k in New Zealand
En al die lesers en ondersteuners van Rugby Forum. Mag 2004 'n vir ons almal 'n beter een wees, sportgewys, as 2003 en die jaar voor dit, en die jaar voor dit, en en.
Miskien moet ons die verwagtinge so bietjie afskaal en "play it by ear" vir die volgende jaar of wat, siende al die woelinge in die sport van ons ou reënboog-landjie. Ook is daar perdalks net meer vrede in die huis en die hond kan ook veiliger en rustiger sy lê kry by die baas se voete.
Miskien moet ons so ietwat van 'n wysiging aanbring aan sekere titels van persone en name van stadions. Dit sal dan meer in lyn wees met al die narstreke van spelers en rade, tot en met die ministerie. Wat van die minister van SPORTS..S..SSSS en die of daai SPORTS..S..SSSS Stadion. Beslis meer vanpas in die tyd wat ons nou beleef. Dink net, dan weet almal wat om te verwag, en kan ons met 'n oop gemoed en sonder "hangups" ons tyd en geld doelloos vermors op "vermaak" uit die laagste rakke. Natuurlik moet jy kwalifiseer deur 'n opperste smartvraat of 'n geskoolde, deurwinterde WF-(stoei)aanhanger te wees, om jouself oor te gee aan sulke vermaak(sports). Sorry, nie vir my nie, dankie.
Op 'n meer ernstige noot, dink ek dat ons almal weet dat ons sportspanne tot beter in staat is as wat aan ons opgedis word en net die tyd sal leer, gemeet aan die verlede, waarheen ons op pad is.
Die Super 12 is met ons en sterkte, baie sterkte manne en vroue, kinders en honde!
Ek het so pas die briewe van 'RF week 3' gelees. Môre word die eerste wedstryde van die 2004 Super-12 reeks gespeel. Nog nooit in my lang lewe het ek soveel nonsens gesien nie! Kan dit waar wees dat mens so negatief kan wees oor iets? Hoe is dit moontlik dat mense aan die begin van die seisoen, nog voordat 'n bal gesklop is, die publiek kan oproep om wedstryde, borge, borge se produkte te boikot? Dit is die tipe negatiwiteit wat maak dat mens wonder of die skrywer werklik in enigiets om hom belangstel.
Dit is tog 'n nuwe seisoen met nuwe uitdagings en moontlikhede, hoe kan mens nou staan en negatief wees? Ek wonder hoe voel die skrywer elke dag, as die vorige dag by die werk nie so suksesvol was nie. Is hy dan ook bereid om alles te boikot? Nie werk toe te gaan nie, die verskaffers te boikot, nie met sy vrou te praat nie, niemand te vertrou nie? Nee wat, daar is darem wragtig sekere perke. Goed, ek gee toe die vorige seisoen was 'n suksesvolle mislukking sover dit ons rugby aangaan. Maar soos die een skrywer sê, "it's history." Ons begin 'n nuwe blaaitjie en pak die dinge van vooraf aan. Maar as ons met sulke negatiwiteit moet begin, gaan daar beslis 'n klompie gesinsmoorde en selfmoorde gedurende hierdie seisoen plaasvind. Geen span is onoorwinlik nie. Enige van die 12 spanne kan op enige dag verloor en as dit per ongeluk die span is wat jy ondersteun, toughies vir daardie dag. Dit beteken mos nie die wêreld gaan dan vergaan nie. Onthou, om te val is nie 'n skande nie, om te bly lê as jy geval het is wel. Dus, moenie negatief begin omdat dinge in 2003 nie uitgewerk het nie, staan op en veg voort.
Om weddenskappe te neem teen die Suid-Afrikaanse spanne maak jou belaglik. Die Hollanders sê, "Wie zijn eigen nes bevuil, graaf zijn eigen erekuil." Of jy nou geld maak daaruit as ons spanne verloor, onthou net, jy bly 'n Suid-Afrikaner. Eintlik verloor jy dan dubbeld, want jy aanbid ook nog die geldgod ook.
Aan Chester, my mater, niemand glo jou verduideliking omtrent die ervaring wat jy wil gaan opdoen nie. Veronderstel nou jy het die afrigterspos gekry, sou jy dan gou 'n pakkie ervaring by die kafee op die hoek gaan koop het? Dit werk nie so nie, sorrie. Oor jou kan ons net sê, "Jy's geweeg en te lig bevind." Geen verklarings van jou kant sal ooit die saak kan verander nie. Dit het niks met jou velkleur of token coach te doen nie. Feit is, jy kan nie, klaar. Gaan doen maar eers die ervaring by die Katte op en wie weet, as Jake na sy 2 jaar dalk in die pad gesteek word (Wat ek betwyfel) kry jy 'n kans. Ek hoop dit troos jou.
Morné, iemand het jou ook probeer bykom. Staan op en sê jou sê. In die nuwe verbeterde Suid-Afrika het almal die reg om te praat as hulle iets wil sê. Ek dink werklik jy het iets te sê. Sê dit, asseblief. Hierdie geheimsinnigheid van alle besture en regerings in ons land maak dat mense hul eie afleidings maak en verkondig en dit steur net. Uit met die waarheid en laat die wat tenagekom voel dan die teendeel bewys in die openbaar. So sal ons die swere en absesse uitslag tot die laaste een toe.
Laastens, ek hoop en vertrou dat elke Suid-Afrikaanse rugby ondersteuner hierdie seisoen vierkantig agter rugby sal staan en mag ons spanne baie, baie goed vaar. Ja, daarmee bedoel ek WEN!
Ek lees nou ander dag dat ons nuwe Springbokafrigter (persoonlik verkies ek "coach", afrigter pas meer by diere) wil die spelers weer terugvat speelveld toe sodat hulle meer tyd in wedstrydsituasies (met teenstand) kan deurbring om hulle dan sodoende beter voor te berei vir die toetse wat voorlê. So by my kool, wie of wat het hom die ou wysheid laat insien of miskien moet ons die man krediet gee en op die skouer klop en Ereuka skree. Hier kom miskien 'n ding. Vra ek myself moedswillig af, is dit nie die ware ononderhandelbare wese en kern van wat nodig is om sukses te behaal in werk en spel nie, "hands-on experience" noem hulle dit, wie hulle ookal is.
Is dit nie perdalks die rede hoekom die outjies eers "vorm" begin kry en fiks raak na 11 Super 12 wedstryde en etlike toetse nie?
Niks, maar niks, lewer resultate soos die ware jakob nie, naamlik, as jy rugby wil speel dan oefen jy rugby, jy spring en skrum en hol en tackle dat die rook staan en die dinges wit sit. So-ook met krieket en atletiek en gholf, met enige disipline bly dit die groot eerste, tweede en derde waarheid. Die rugbyreëls en strategieë en motivering en al daai ander belangrike aspekte kan jy in die klaskamer leer en doen, maar gee vir die ware kryger die bal, 'n lappie groen aarde en die reuk van gesnyde gras, Wintergreen en skoen-polish en hy is onstuitbaar en hy sal 'n arm, 'n been en baie meer gee om die oorwinning te behaal, of at least sal die opposisie weet hulle was in 'n mini-oorlog betrokke. Geen sprake van boedel oorgee nie, never ever nie, jy gee alles tot die eindfluitjie blaas, die koeie huistoe kom en die kruik by die put stukkend val.
Gary Player sê nie verniet dat hoe harder hy geoefen het, hoe meer geluk het hy op die gholfbaan beleef. Ek is seker hy het nêrens anders en met niks anders as met sy gholfstokke en -balletjies op 'n gholfbaan geoefen nie.
Ja, gelukkig het ek verlede Saterdag nie te veel verwag nie, onthou ek het afgeskaal, en die spulletjie het my nie teleurgestel nie, en ek het presies gekry en beleef wat ek myself vooraf in my geestesoog voorgestel het. Die selle ou storie. Geen verrassings nie, geen highs of lows nie, rustig soos die hond en vrede met die wêreld. Ek moet darem bysê, ek raak ietwat kriewelrig oor die krieketmannetjies se mannewales daar doer onder in N.S. Smaak vir my hulle het vergeet hoe om met 'n wit klip te gooi. Geen lyn en lengte dissipline nie. Uitsprake soos wêreldoorheersing in krieket in die nabye toekoms is heel gepas as louter strooi en arrogansie deur eenvoudige basiese krieket van die sogenaamde onindrukwekkende Black Caps ontmasker.
Wel, dinge vir en in ons sportmal-landjie kan seker nie slegter nie, of kan dit?
Nou-ja manne, die nuwe seisoen is voor die deur, en ek verwag "fire-works". Van wie se kant, weet ek nie, maar ek glo die poppe gaan dans. Ek glo hier diep in my hart, dat as die ringkoppe vir Jake gaan los om sy
ding in belang van die spel te doen, is die tyd van wonderwerke nie verby nie.
En ja, daar is baie dinge wat nog krap oor wat agter toe deure en in die wandelgange gepraat word, en ons gaan nog lekker galbraak hier op RF, dis alles deel van die game. Realiteit is dat ons nou in 'n herstelfase is. Die eer en roem van Springbokrugby moet herstel word, en sommer gister al. Maar dit gaan nie oornag gebeur nie. Ons as liefhebbers van die spel moet die ouens 'n regverdige kans gee voor ons hulle begin oordeel en "fire". Kyk, as dit van ons manne afgehang het, sou 'n man nie vir 'n week in 'n senior pos gewees het nie.
Ek is positief........ al lyk en klink dit nie so nie. Daar is talent, sommer baie. Dit moet net ontgin word, en Jake het planne, dit weet ek. Kom ons tel ons koppe op, ons is platgeslaan, maar nog nie uitgetel nie. Wat het van Koos Carelse geword, ken hom nie so stil nie ! Geniet die rugby, dis hoekom ons lief is vir die game !
Genade, boys! Hou goeie moed. Glo my... niemand is vir ewig onder nie, net so min as wat iemand vir altyd bo kan wees. Soos die ou mense gesê het: Die wiel draai.
Vanjaar mag miskien te gou wees om te verwag dat die Bokke bo gaan eindig, maar hul beurt sal weer kom. En natuurlik ons beurt om te juig.
Intussen moet ons vasbyt en die Bokke bly steun. Die goeie dae sal weer kom.
COLIN VAN RENSBURG