Leonard Cohen’s song of the same name contains the following lines:

“Baby I’ve been here before/I’ve seen this room and I walked this floor”

The question is: in which room, and on what floor, will the Springboks be, come Saturday in  Soweto?

The luxury of picking an unchanged side, and one which dominated the previous week, is rare. That is, if you are not an All Black selector. A side as short on experience as the Boks can hardly call it continuity, but building on the confidence acquired last week, is better than starting with new combinations.

Carlos Spencer believes the Kiwis will demolish us. They will play without any pressure, having already won the inaugural Rugby Championship, and this will allow them to play an expansive game. To do that, they need the ball in hand.  And there is such a thing as being over confident, of course.

If our loose forwards can achieve the same success as the last time these two sides met, they may just find the boot on the other foot, again. If we expect them not to have worked out counters to how Louw and Vermeulen neutralised McCaw and company on the ground, we are indeed naive.

Heyneke Meyer

Heyneke Meyer

Talking of boots: Heyneke is well aware of the importance of kicks. He realises that it is virtually impossible to beat the All Blacks with tries only. It appears that Johan Goosen will start as kicker, provided his Achilles heel does not bother him. This week, Pienaar also spent a lot of time working on his goal kicking. I certainly hope Lambie did too, with all the time he had on hand these last few weeks. Who knows? He may just get a run-on.

Cohen’s song also contains these lines, which I adapted ever so subtly:

“I did my best, it wasn’t much/I couldn’t feel, so I tried to (kick for) touch”

Our kicking options were much beter last week, and Pienaar assumed a Fourie du Preez role, which took a lot of pressure off Goosen. Expect much of the same this week.

It will be tough, but one of the two sides will be singing with Cohen on Saturday:

“…love is not a victory march/It’s a cold and it’s a very broken hallelujah”

Now that the tune is spinning around in your head, click here to listen to the man live as we count the minutes to the big game:

Lollipop cricket & the ECB
 – By Bobby Londt

Although we didn’t expect too much going into the tournament, except perhaps for fleeting moments during the opening rounds, we thought we could possibly win this one. Once again, we were sent packing and all that is cricket is rubbish – we are uncompromising supporters!

Well – let’s be honest – it’s “lollipop cricket”. Although entertaining, it mostly favours the lucky. It’s still fun though, and we do love to win! The fact remains that this year’s ICC T20 World Cup is hosted in Sri Lanka, and realistically the chances of a non-Asian side winning it, are slim. The key to Australia’s performance to date has been a sublime Shane Watson. For the West Indies it was Gayle. The other 2 contenders, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, relied more on team performances than individuals.

Personally, I hope the West Indies wins. The team I dread winning is Pakistan. In my opinion, they will make terrible champions in terms of respect for the game and the opposition.  They have hogged the headlines for the last 6 years for all the wrong reasons!

In other news, I note that the English Cricket Board and Kevin Pietersen have come to an agreement to “reintegrate” the batsman into the team. How do they come up with this? First is it was the term “provocative texts….” What does that mean? And now “reintegrate”? They (the ECB) are past masters in finding new ways to make absolute fools of themselves.

This just provides proof again for all SA based cricketers considering a move abroad – the grass is in fact greener on the other side due to all the manure involved!

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