Cheetahs vs Waratahs
The bigger threat for the Cheetahs tomorrow will not be their opponents, but over confidence after their stunning performance last week against the Highlanders. While some of the other teams are missing key players due to injury, the Free State side has stalwarts like Coenie Oosthuizen and Heinrich Brüssow back in the side, albeit on the bench. We know only too well what an impact these two can make. Super Sarel Pretorius will want to show his team mates from last year, what they are missing. I predict a cracker of a match, with the Cheetahs winning comfortably.
Kings vs Chiefs
Despite two courageous showings so far this season, I suspect that this will be a bridge too far for the local side. They have managed to achieve continuity in team selection, and will focus on better ball retention against a side renowned for pouncing on opposition mistakes. The Chiefs will be trying to make up for last weekend’s narrow defeat. The Chiefs are a great side to watch, and whatever your views on NZ rugby sides may be, (particularly because we are so blindly loyal to the Boks) this match will be no different.
Crusaders vs Bulls
Toe ek vanoggend die beginspan van die Crusaders so kyk, toe dink ek by myself: onoorwinlik. Hierdie span is saamgestel uit All Blacks. Dis moeilik om te glo hulle kon nog nie een wedstryd vanjaar wen nie. Goed, hulle is tradisionele stadige beginners, en dit is seker deel van die hoop wat die Bulle het: dat hulle Saterdag nog nie bygekom het nie. Tog is daar iets van die tradisie tussen die spanne van Suid-afrika en Nieu-Seeland wat veroorsaak dat hulle die beste uit mekaar bring. Die Bulle het dalk nie dieselfde hoeveelheid groot name nie, maar sonder die bal, sukkel dit maar om punte aan te teken. Dissipline, en goeie taktiese skopwerk, gaan kardinaal wees as die Bulle hierdie moeilike knoop wil deurhaak.
Sharks vs Brumbies
Changes to the Sharks side were certainly more circumspect than those made by John Kirwan last week, and will hopefully not impact on the team’s cohesion. Both replacements, McLeod and Ndungane, are vastly experienced, and Keegan Daniel, back as captain, must strengthen the side. It’s funny, but have you noticed how all the local media refers to their opponents as “Jake White’s Brumbies”? White has certainly not fallen for the accepted norm that it takes a new coach two to three years to start showing results. He did it in his first year, and plans to build on that foundation this year. White may know Sharks rugby well, but his team will be able to send out white plumes of smoke, unless the Sharks had some of their own Durban poison the night before.
And finally: How do you like this? I think it comes from a NZ rugby fan.
We all know the passion they have….many a Dutchman would gladly die for the jersey…the beloved Green and Gold……and woe betide anyone who would try to take the sacred Springbok off the Jersey and replace it with a Protea.!!!
But let’s have a closer look at the Jersey.
Note the logo “C C C”….made from 3 gold rings with a mountain view in each ring…making it a C.
The C C C stands for Canterbury Clothing Company…..the company who makes the Jersey…..in New Zealand of all places.
Have a closer look…..
It’s actually three gold rings with THREE KIWI BIRDS! – how cool is that….every Jersey has ONE Springbok on it…..and 3 kiwis on the front and normally 3 on the back.
To which my colleague Bobby Londt retorts: Virtually every international side also contains three ex South Africans. How cool is THAT?