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Malfunctioning Sports Stars

Finally the penny dropped – the senior Proteas are so exhausted by the time they get around to playing for their country that they cannot perform.

Or, should I say, someone finally had the guts to admit what most of us knew all along?

Not that the cricket players are the only culprits – it was evident in the test series against Ireland as well that senior rugby players were just too exhausted after a long season to perform at the level we know they are capable of.

A number of fans blamed the coaches for the lacklustre performance of the teams. I would like them to explain to me how they would have handled things differently, given how overplayed many of the senior players were.

On Naas’s other hand, I think that the Proteas coach must be living on borrowed time. My learned colleague makes the point that few coaches have the abundance of talent available that Russell Domingo has. Our decline in rankings in all three formats of the game, despite the number of players in the top 10 rankings in the world, is surely an indication that all is not well.

Perhaps the problem stems from a lack of backbone at the top.

The so-called investigation into the problems in cricket by a committee just faded into the sunset. Apparently it will now be reconstituted in a new form, but what will happen, should it make recommendations?

My prediction is that there will be a few changes which will be applied in a watered-down format and achieve nothing. The administrators will sit back, comfortable in the knowledge that they did something and a new committee will need to be appointed a year or two down the line to investigate why the problems remained unresolved.

I have a lot of empathy with the players who must make the most of their limited time at the top. Unfortunately it has now become the norm to use these opportunities while at their prime, rather than towards the end of their careers.

Bobby points to the English cricket side who is gaining in confidence, and rankings, week by week. Their top players are discouraged to play in the IPL, and have to fulfil certain home obligations before being allowed to play elsewhere.

The performance of a number of Lions players in the series against Ireland proves another point. All of them were stay-at-home lads, and they won the series for us, against the odds.

Until we address the issue of battle-weary troops in the national side, we will have to be satisfied with inferior performances by star-studded sides.

The Muirfield Alternative

The story of the week, apart from England losing to Iceland in the Euro Cup, must go to the golf club in Scotland who recently voted against allowing ladies to become members. In response to this, the R & A informed them that they will no longer be considered for presentation of the Open.

In May, 64% of the members voted in favour of allowing ladies, but a two thirds majority was required. Now they are having a re-vote and, no doubt, the outcome will be vastly different.

Or will it? The Scots can be a stubborn lot if they choose.

Wat mis hulle nie?

Dalk is die meisies in Skotland net nie so mooi soos dié in Suid-Afrika nie.

Eendag is daar ‘n kompetisie in Moorreesburg met ‘n “shotgun start”. Almal begin gelyk speel van al die bowwe af. Die probleem is dat almal dan gelyk klaar maak, en moet tou staan vir die storte na die tyd.

Een slim ou besluit toe hy gaan sommer by die dames se geriewe stort.

Net toe hy op pad terug is, kom daar drie van die vroue lede ingestap.

Hy druk toe maar die klein handdoekie oor sy gesig en stap rustig na die mans se kleedkamers toe.

“Dankie tog dis nie my man nie”, sê die eerste dame.

“Dit is beslis nie jou man nie”, beaam die tweede.

Die derde een is nog meer beslis. “Daai ou is nie eers lid van die klub nie.”

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5 Responses to Malfunctioning Sports Stars

  1. Peter Dembitzer 30 June 2016 at 1:26 pm #

    For all our talent we have far too many mentally weak sportsmen who cannot perform in adversity. The real greats are the Kohli’s and Amla’s ( to name a couple) who thrive on a challenge. The list of players in this country who fail , everytime there is a crisis, could fill a book.

    • Paul Kruger 30 June 2016 at 3:02 pm #

      I think what Graham Henry said about the Boks also apply to the Proteas. The pride in the jersey is gone.

  2. John Finlayson 30 June 2016 at 2:42 pm #

    Talking rugby, apart from the Vermuelen and Louw what other players were battle weary? Kitsof certainly wasn’t. The AB’s had played the same number of Super Rugby matches as the South Africans and they certainly were not battle weary neither were the Aussies. Lets stop making excuses for the players about being battle weary. If anything it was the teams that came from the UK on the incoming tours then it should have been them that were battle weary. The bottom line is that somewhere down the line there is a lack of the fire in the belly of most of the South African players. Check the faces of the teams when the National anthems are being played, There is no passion in the SA Sides compared to their opponents. Gone are the days when you saw tears on the cheeks of the Boks as the Anthem was played. Now they just mouth the words. The only players that came anywhere near passion for the Test on the field were the Lions. players.

    • Paul Kruger 30 June 2016 at 3:01 pm #

      This comment from Graham Henry in a NZ newspaper recently sums up what you also say:
      “What was alarming for me in the Bok loss to the Irish was the total lack of passion and commitment for the jersey,” Henry wrote.
      “In my time as All Black coach we played against Bok teams that we knew didn’t have the talent and skills of us, but by g.., you knew you were in for an absolute war. That fire and pride seems to be dying slowly and I am struggling to understand why. A once feared opponent and now they are struggling to compete with top tier nations…”

  3. Gerhard Bezuidenhout 30 June 2016 at 3:09 pm #

    And then there is Adriaan Strauss – left out from the group to play the Argentines – because he needs a rest after prep and playing the Irish squad. WTF@#$?
    The more these guys go to gym and are physio-treated, mentally treated and have to recover in oxygen tanks (nogal) from injuries to their over exercised bulging muscles, the more they become (like) handle with care porcelain items.

    All too often we hear from commentators: “hy’t homself beseer in die vorige wedstryd”. I believe they DO injure themselves. Just watch the dummies who stupidly throw themselves into the opposition (example former flanker Brussow: Cheetahs) while more often than not, the remaining backs stand clear and eagerly await the ball to attack with an expectation to outperform the opposition.