A very shrewd reader from chameleon country (where blue changes to pink overnight) recently expressed his appreciation for the unbiased writing in this column. He was of course brainwashing me, perhaps before the final Super 15 game on Saturday night.
I must admit that I was prepared for pink jerseys, maar die pienk broeke? Aikona, Ndungane, dit was darem te erg.
Stormers 20 – Bulls 17
I got the impression that Bulls supporters and players alike suffered from uncertainty about how the new jumpers would be accepted out there. Once the players forgot about this, it was the old mean machine in action, scoring ten points while having a player in the sin bin. Maybe they were hoping that the opposition would “Vanish”, if you catch my drift. If not, vra vir jou vrou wat is Vanish.
In the end, a hard fought game, with the melkbaarde in the Stormers side not turning the other cheek when faced by the likes of Dean Greyling, in particular. This was perhaps the strongest opposition the Bulls faced upfront this season, and one could sense a certain amount of frustration creeping in when the Cape Town side refused to give in.
The Bulls backline outplayed the Stormers, and the two tries scored against them must have hurt the side renowned for being the stingiest in this department in the competition. Still, the Stormers scored the points when it mattered, and won this excellent game of rugby.
Lions 13 – Crusaders 23
That last kick by Butch James would have been poetic justice for a side which seems to be boxing above its weight, but giving a good account of itself. The Crusaders described their performance as “average” and “inaccurate”, yet it was their ability to read a game, and adjust to the opposition, which again made the difference. I was very pleasantly surprised by the offload-passing skills of the Lions, particularly in support as a player broke away. By halftime, the Crusaders had worked out a counter, and simply smothered the Lions out of the game.
Brumbies 26 – Sharks 29
The last 5 minutes of this match really had me in a state conducive to heart problems as the Brumbies scored their last try and relentlessly held onto possession after the final kick-off. For once, the Sharks held them away from their line and deservedly won the match, albeit closer than it should have been.
I got the impression that the Sharks’ tackling, especially in the first 15 minutes, were seriously below standard. This is something that John Plumtree needs to look into. This is actually the time where you convince the opposition that passing is a far safer option than attack.
Hurricanes 38 – Cheetahs 47
Die span wat met 70% balbesit na dertig minute 21 punte agter is, moet iets besonders wees om dit om te keer en die wedstryd uiteindelik welverdiend te wen. Baie van die eer moet gaan aan die kaptein en afrigter wat hulle span op die spel, inplaas van die telbord, gefokus gehou het.
Die nuwe generasie aspirant Bokke maak my baie opgewonde. Vergeef my as ek net ’n paar uitlig: Eben Etzebeth en Siya Kolisi is maar twee voorbeelde van nuwelinge wat die bevordering nie net met gemak bemeester nie, maar daarin slaag om ouer hande te oorskadu. Elkeen van ons spanne het sulke spelers en as hulle saam met “ou” hande soos Vermeulen, Hougaard en Pietersen ingespan gaan word, sien ek nie watter plannetjies van die opposisie hulle van die volgende wêreldbeker gaan weghou nie.
I received a very funny article entitled Why rugby has backs. They clearly discriminate against backs, but it makes fun reading. Enjoy…