We certainly had some lively discussion on Monday’s blog. In particular, Morné Steyn’s performance came under the spotlight. There were some great chirps:
Tony: Although I really like Jean De Villiers, he needs his butt kicked for foregoing goal-kicks AGAIN.
Brian: If Jean needs his butt kicked then the job of kicking it obviously cannot be left to Morne!
This week we return to semi-normality, with the Super-15 resuming, and look at the weekend’s line-up and team selections. We also ponder on supporter loyalty, and the thought mentioned in an article that rugby may one day surpass soccer as the country’s national sport of choice.
At the end of the first session, before the break for the tests, I was of the opinion that it would be detrimental to the Sharks to have their bye after the tests. With my brilliant insight in hindsight, the break for their players who played in all three tests against England could not have come at a better time.
Stormers/Lions at Newlands
If one looks at the log, predicting the outcome of this game would be a no-brainer. Add to the mix the coach catastrophe at the Lions, and it looks worse for them. They also have the ghost of relegation in favour of the Eastern Cape Kings franchise haunting them. Why then do I have this nagging doubt in my mind? Possibly, mainly because of the decimation of the Stormers at loose forward, and the pride of the Lions (pun intended). As a Stormers supporter, I will be very relieved if they can pull this one off, even if they do not score 4 tries – for once.
Bulls/Cheetahs at Loftus
The Bulls want to get back on the winning path, preferably scoring 5 points on the log, and the Cheetahs will be out to prove that they are no push-overs. The Cheetahs have bled some tries at times, and their style of play may lead to this again, but this should be the SA match of the weekend. For most of us, the main focus will be on Morné Steyn’s kicking, both tactical and at goal. Whether this is a true measure of his ability, is another question. Shaping up in your franchise is one thing. Doing it in national colours, where the pressure is higher, is another. The same applies to Pierre Spies, who is accused of fading away when his team does not dominate.
Soccer vs. Rugby as our national sport
Stephen Nell wrote a fascinating article on this subject in Die Burger this morning. I was, regrettably, unable to find a link to the article for you.
In essence, he says that a winning culture draws more and more people. He singles out the Bulls, in particular, for taking rugby to traditional soccer supporters, and winning them over. I think we have all seen the increase in rugby regalia worn by people one would normally associate with soccer, and none so more than that of the Bulls.
Given the pathetic display by our national soccer side in comparison to the Springboks, one could almost begin to think that government officials found it easier to try and pull the Boks down to soccer’s level than kick butt to utilise the incredible unification powers of sport in nation building.
Just like in politics, a side can only last so long without delivering. Soccer could find its own support base seriously eroded unless they get it right soon.
I am trying very hard to become more of an all-rounder as far as being a sports supporter is concerned. Last night, I wrapped myself in a blanket in front of a roaring fireplace to learn to appreciate “the beautiful game”. What better game than the EuroCup semi-final between Spain and Portugal?
Did I say semi-final? Semi-funeral sounds a lot closer. I managed to stay awake for a whole 20 minutes before nodding off, only to wake up every now and then when the ball reached Ronaldo. The crowd would erupt in expectation, only to see him display his ambitions of becoming an astronout by launching the ball skywards, rather than in the general direction of the goal. Eventually, I had to Google the result this morning.
Nee, wat, gee dan eerder vir my Aplon deur ’n gaping, of Coenie Oosthuizen wat die Duitswes wals om ’n teenstander doen, as dié droewige treurmare.
Vanoggend had ek ’n appeltjie te skil met my vrou. Sy het my gisteraand, na die sokker, twee keer laat val op pad bed toe. Ek moes haar toe ernstig daarop wys dat ek nie dekking het vir sportbeserings nie.
Geniet die winter, ou Grote. Dis mos biltongtyd. Met so ’n ietsie, ja. Met ietsie. Sonder ys.
PK the DJ