Oh Flower of Scotland

Click here for some background music while you read this.

Much as I love Scotland and its people, I pray fervently that the answer to the question “When will we see your likes again?” will not be answered on Saturday. This does not mean that I will not be very emotional, as always, when they sing this lovely song.

The Moonstone panel picked a Springbok side for Saturday before Heyneke’s announcement yesterday. We managed to get the backline right, as well as the loose forwards, but, of course, Matfield’s injury upset our little tight five applecart.

Waar ons wel met die afrigter verskil het, was ten opsigte van die voorry. Ons het Malherbe, Strauss en Beast gekies, hoewel verskeie van ons eerder vir Nyakane in die plek van Beast wou sien. Die gevoel by die meerderheid was dat hy ‘n groter verskil as impakspeler sal maak as Mtawarira.

Die wedstryd is eintlik ‘n mini-eindstryd. As ons nie wen nie, is dit waarskynlik die end van die pad vir ons. Ons moet egter nie vergeet van die baie belangrike twee ligapunte wat ons teen Japan gekry het, ondanks die verloor nie. Dalk, net dalk, gaan dit vorentoe help.

Team selection aside, my biggest concern is the mental approach of the Springboks. Og Mandino’s words come to mind: “I will not allow yesterday’s success to lull me into today’s complacency, for this is the great foundation of failure.”

The win over Samoa should not lull us into the same false sense of security that we had before losing to Japan. I certainly hope that we will not have to rely on a blast from the coach at halftime to get us going, but will play to win handsomely from the kickoff. Catch-up rugby is just not an option.

Ons kan in die tweede helfte drieë druk. Kry net eers genoeg punte op die telbord.

I have no doubt that the captain will be instructed to take every opportunity to score points. Pollard’s kicking accuracy, both to the poles and tactically, will have to be at the required level, or we could be facing a tough day. Fortunately, Lambie off the bench can make a difference if there are problems.

This applies to the rest of the reserves as well.

Hopefully, the Scots will be singing this part of their famous song after the match:

The hills are bare now
And autumn leaves lie thick and still
O’er land that is lost now
Which those so dearly held…

Tough Decision

I was facing a problem deciding who to support this week-end: Bafana Bafana or the Bokke?

So I took out my yellow Bafana Bafana shirt…

Then I took out my green and gold Bokke shirt…

I still could not decide.

Suddenly I had a brainwave.

I cut both shirts in half, length-wise and sewed the two halves together.


Now I have one shirt to support both, and proudly displayed across the front it reads:


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