It was not difficult, finding a song for you to listen to as you read this article.
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s It’s a long time coming (to the dawn) is certainly apt for the occasion.
The quality of rugby displayed in Saturday’s Currie Cup final should give those of us who started despairing about our national side’s performance, quite a lift.
John Plumtree says he cannot put his finger on what the Sharks did wrong, and I must agree. Maybe it is just a case of WP playing a notch or two above what the home team expected. In the first 20 minutes of the game, and again in the first ten minutes of the second half, the game went according to script. Lambie showed his class by notching six out six in extremely difficult kicking conditions. After 73 minutes, there were only 12 handling errors, despite the weather. This is quality with a capital Q.
What stood out for me in the game, was the mental toughness of the young Province side. A lesser side, would have allowed the poor refereeing decisions to unsettle them, but not this lot. When the Sharks put pressure on them, they simply reverted to their tried and tested defensive pattern, and it worked like a charm. Habana’s tackle on JP Pietersen was but one example of a side refusing to believe that they were not supposed to win. Juan de Jongh’s tackling, too, stood out. He smothered a number of promising counter attacks with his first time deadly tackling. In my book, he was the outstanding back of the day.
I think the Sharks relied on their scrum to win the game, but lost it due to the Province dominance in the lineouts. At one stage, the home side had only won 3 of the 9 lineouts on their own throw. Perhaps the importance of scrums, as opposed to lineouts, needs to be reconsidered? A lineout just provides so many options, compared to a set scrum.
The last time that a home team lost a Currie Cup final was in 2005, when the Cheetahs taught the Bulls supporters how to put the cork back in a champagne bottle.
For Province, it’s been a long time coming – 11 years, in fact. But how sweet was that!
Bok Squad for Europe tour
My neighbour Bobby and I differ on a thing or two at times. Today, it was about the exclusion of Deon Fourie in the touring party. I do not think that he can do more than what he did on Saturday, specifically, and during the whole season, in general. Added to his playing ability, is his leadership skills, a vital element in a touring squad containing many youngsters. Heyneke made the right choice when he picked Flo Louw out of the blue, and I think Schalk Brits is an equally good rabbit from the hat.
Bobby argues that Fourie played as a loose forward the whole year, not as hooker, which is a solid argument. I just think that Fourie offers so much more variety, although, not having seen Schalk Brits play for a few seasons, it does not mean that he lacks extra skills.
En hy het mos darem sy rugby in die WP geleer, of hoe?
Laastens, deel ek graag my kommentaar op Facebook na Saterdag se wedstryd:
Toe Dawid vir Goliat aanvat, had hy net ‘n slingervel (sien, hy was mos besny). Toe kom Goliat met sy volle wapenrusting, en kry op sy m.m.m.m.m moses. Nou dink ek, so by myself: Die Sharks had dalk nie hul volle wapenrusting ingepak nie, hoewel dit ‘n home game was. Ai, my Disa is vol in die blom vanaand. Province!
Net ingeval julle gewonder het waar my lojaliteit lê.