On Sunday morning I could not make up my mind about which song best summed up my situation: Bad liver and a broken heart by Tom Waits, or Sunday morning coming down by Kris Kristofferson.
Well, I got a bad liver and a broken heart/Yeah, I drunk me a river since you tore me apart/
And I don’t have a drinking problem/ Except when I can’t get a drink
Well I woke up Sunday morning/With no way to hold my head that didn’t hurt…
Not that one needed alcohol to suffer these symptoms after watching all the rugby from Friday to Saturday night late.
There are many theories to explain why the Pumas came so close to victory after the heavy defeat but a week ago. Many of these are plausible, many merely critical without suggesting a remedy.
My first thought is that one is only able to play as well as you are allowed by the opponents. There really was no comparison between the two Argentine sides playing the last two weeks. Despite injury problems, they played with a ferocity which is seldom seen, and difficult to counter. The sightings for eye gouging and biting bear testimony to this.
Ruan Pienaar followed up one of his best games in the Bok jersey with one of his worst. He was slow in passing and his kicks, the reason for his selection ahead of Jano Vermaak, were poor. Granted, there was a lot of pressure on him. Possibly, with better protection from the forwards, he would have been able to get the ball away a lot quicker, but if you think this will happen against Australia and the All Blacks, then please ask Father Christmas for an early Christmas box or two when next you chat to him.
Mention was made of Bjorn Basson’s deficiencies on defence before the match, and it transpired to be prophetic. Most wings would have scored the try he did, but there were a number of defensive lapses which should not have been made. Finding an alternative in the current squad is also difficult, except if you move Willie le Roux to the wing and play Lambie or Kirchner at fullback. The awesome talent on the wing available to the Aussies and the Kiwis will require a deadly tackler in Basson’s place.
Willie le Roux, too, appeared unsafe under the high ball on a few occasions, making me wonder if he was not a little intimidated by the tough Argentinians. Even the forwards appeared a little awed by the onslaught, except Duane Vermeulen who just relished the conditions.
Fortunately, we have two weeks to recover before we play the Wallabies at the Suncorpe stadium in Brisbane. The applause you hear in the background is my liver celebrating at the prospect of recovery.
In the words of Bob Dylan: It’s all over now Baby Blue – until 7 September.
The Aussies put up a better fight away from home, compared to last week but it was not enough. If the eulogies sung by some of the most prominent rugby writers in the country are a reflection of the rugby side, they are bound for a rude awakening. Read this:
Gregor Paul writes in the NZ Herald:
In case anyone didn’t know before, they presumably do now, the All Blacks can play rugby.
They are the rugby equivalent of the great Dutch football team of the 1970s, seemingly full of genius ploys when really, their whole game is about supreme execution of the basics.
Australia, greatly improved technically and emotionally as they promised, couldn’t really do much more than chase shadows and secretly admire what was coming at them. If they are smart, they will view it as one of the great nights of their rugby education: they had, after all, the best view of how this game should be played. The rest of the world would love to have the flow and rhythm of the All Blacks – to be able to turn loose ball into seven points as if they are some sporting derivative of Midas.
Dis nou windgat, al is dit waar.
Die gesegde in gholf dat elke hou ten minste een persoon bly maak, het die naweek seker ook vir die onderskeie ondersteuners gegeld.
Vrystaat sal nie gelukkig wees omdat hulle tuis verloor het nie. Die Sharks het baie karakter getoon om terug te veg, en hul paasvervangers het ‘n groot impak gehad.
Die WP se wedstryd teen Griekwas was amper ‘n voorskou wat later die aand sou kom – harde veld, nog harder rugby, vinnige drie binne minute na die afskop. Taaier kon dit nie wees nie, en die WP kan goed voel dat hulle hierdie haas uit die hoed getrek het. Griekwas, eweneens, het weer getoon dat hulle nie te versmaai is, net omdat hulle nie soveel groot name soos die res het nie. Om die waarheid te sê, hulle het dieselfde pak WP voorspelers wat die Cheetahs die vorige week gas gegee het, ‘n skrumles geleer, en dit sonder hul top stut.
Om in 30 minute 42 onbeantwoorde punte aan te teken teen die Bulle, en dit op Loftus, is iets wat Johan Ackerman (foto) se Leeus nog lank gaan koester. Ek onthou van my dae in daardie geweste hoe ongewild “verraaiers” of joiners of oorlopers begroet is op die veld waar hulle voorheen helde was. Willie Wepener het darem gelukkig al genoeg slae gekry dat hy nie emosioneel raak oor so iets nie. Die Leeus se opwindende spelpatroon was net een te veel vir die Bulle, wat, hoe langer die wedstryd geduur het, al meer begin lyk het of hulle aan bomskok ly.
Hoe gaan jou ideale span teen die Aussies lyk?
Praat gerus saam.