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Halfway to Paradise

Carol King co-wrote a song with this title made famous by Billy Fury:

I want to be your lover
But your friend is all I’ve stayed
I’m only halfway to paradise
So near, yet so far away

This must be what both the Cheetahs and the Bulls are singing after being “White” washed by Jake and his troops on consecutive weekends.

My vriend, Daan, stuur Saterdag, na die wedstryd vir my die volgende SMS: “Na ‘n noodvergadering op Loftus, na die wedstryd, is daar besluit om Steve Hofmeyr se Blou Bul lied te vervang met “Pale toe, pale toe, nader na die pale toe”. Herhaal koor drie maal.

Vir my was die ander wedstryd, tussen die Crusaders en die Chiefs, een van die mees aanskoulike en opwindendste wedstryde van die jaar. Die feit dat hardlooprugby in ‘n halfeindstryd die oorwinning verseker het, maak dit dubbel so lekker.

The Artichokes did not even make it halfway to paradise in Sri Lanka. If they regard winning there for the first time in eleven years as an achievement, then I regret to say that, as far as one-day cricket is concerned, I might consider supporting the West-Indies. They capitulate more gracefully.

No Woman No Try

Alan Zondagh wrote a thought provoking article on the Supersport website titled “In defence of attack”.

At the conclusion of the regular Super Rugby season, the South African sides had notched up a combined total of 176 tries.

This was 13 less tries than their Australian adversaries and a significant 39 dot-downs fewer than their New Zealand counterparts.

Among the South African sides, the Bulls proved the most penetrative on attack – having scored 41 tries in total. While rugby followers often make too much of statistics, South African sides are clearly not as clinical on offence as their Australasian rivals.

In my opinion, the primary reason teams fail to attack effectively is owing to the fact that players are more often than not in unfavourable field positions on offence. I must, however, stress that this shortcoming is not reserved exclusively for South African sides.

Through my years of coaching and technical analysis, I have found that rugby players in general are lazy to re-position on attack. Usually, when a team is poorly positioned on attack, it stems from when they start playing from phase ball.

However, were teams to re-position timeously on offence, they would gain a significant advantage over the defenders.

Click here to read the full article.

Secret Plan to Kill Super Rugby

I was quite surprised when I read that NZ and Aus want to exclude the Japies from 2016 onwards and only play with themselves, in a manner of speaking. Are they going to nail each other in disciplinary hearings to the same extent they did our players?

I can understand that derbies there attract more spectators, but where does the big money come from? TV rights, if I am not mistaken, and without the SA teams, they will loose out financially, in my view.

A far better option was suggested by a reader in the comments column on News24 under this article: http://www.sport24.co.za/Rugby/Super15/Secret-plan-to-kill-Super-Rugby-20130727

Brendon Greeff sugests:

Two competitions; a premier Super 9 competition with 3 teams from each country, so e.g. next season, based on this seasons log standings, it would be the Bulls, Cheetahs and Stormers from SA, the Chiefs, Crusaders and Blues from NZ, and the Brumbies, Reds and Waratahs from Aus. Each team play each other once and then the top 4 teams play semi’s and then a final. 

Then a second  Pro 9 competition with 3 teams from each country, so, the Sharks, Kings and Lions from SA, the Hurricanes, Highlanders plus another team from NZ, and the Force, Rebels plus another team from Aus.

Whoever finishes 3rd in their respective national conference in the premier Super 9 competition has to play the top finisher in the national conference of the Pro 9 competition to see who plays in the Super 9 the following year. By having fewer games the players get more rest time and the result is fewer injuries and longer careers. All 3 nations also then develop greater depth and as supporters, we see higher quality rugby where more is at stake every weekend.

Maak vir my baie sin. Wat dink jy?

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