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Perfecting the 4 day test

Unfortunately, I did not get to see any of the cricket as I spent the weekend on the West Coast without TV and cell reception. Heaven!

On my return on Sunday afternoon, I was greeted by a host of messages on my phone. One in particular from my colleague, Paul Kruger, read: “We may not have invented the game, but we seem to have perfected the 4 day test”.

Robin Peterson

Robbie Pieterson

What was particularly heartening is the impact Robbie Peterson made. Deservedly man of the match, the Protea spinner oozes a fighting spirit, a quality that is sometimes ignored when selecting international players. Call it what you like: spirit, courage or valour – he has the heart to keep trying, and everyone loves to see that in a member of our national squad.

Captain Smith has, with this latest victory, become the most successful skipper in the history of the game, with 49 wins. Congrats Biff! This, along with many other impressive statistics, has led to debate regarding the “greatness” of the team compared to other great ones from the past. The Bacher team who annihilated the Aussies, and the team under Clive Rice, are but two that come to mind.

Whether you agree or not, one thing cannot be disputed – they are pretty awesome at the moment!

With the series in the bag, it will be interesting to see Kirsten & Smith’s thinking regarding selection for the Centurion test. Morkel, I believe, will not play due to injury and an obvious replacement will be Kleinveldt.

Super 15
– By Paul Kruger

The Southern Kings face possibly the highest hurdle of any team ever to have entered the fray called Super rugby. Clouded in controversy (something which appears to be part and parcel of the Watsons), they will not have the luxury of time afforded to the Force and Rebels of Australia who were given an extensive window period to establish themselves. For the Kings it will most likely be a case of “Reg of Weg” come the end of the season. This is grossly unfair, and I expect another political manoeuvre or two, as the year progresses.

Die Cheetahs het werk gemaak van hul probleme. Michael Horak, wat onder andere liga rugby in Australië gespeel het, sowel as een toets vir Engeland, gaan hul probleme van verlede jaar op die verdediging probeer aanspreek. Met hul pak kan mens nie fout vind nie, en die agterlyn het al die talent om hoogs vermaaklike rugby te speel. Hul skedule vir die jaar is kwaai, veral wat die afskop betref. Hoewel die eerste wedstryd tuis is, speel hulle die volgende vyf oorsee, waarvan die eerste een teen die huidige kampioene is.

Verlede jaar is daar groot gewag gemaak van die leemte wat in Bulls geledere gelaat is met die vertrek van senior spelers. Vanjaar kan hulle ‘n Springbok begin 15-tal kies, met nog ‘n boel Bokke op die bank van die Bulle. Blikskottel!. Ondanks kennersmenings oor die Stormers en Sharks, verwag ek dat die Bulls die span gaan wees wat die res sal moet klop as hulle êrens wil kom.

Die eerste “toets” van my opinie sal sommer in die eerste week wees wanneer hulle die Stormers op Loftus pak. Hul tweede wedstryd is ook tuis, teen die Force, waarna hulle op ‘n moeilike toer vertrek, met die eerste twee opponente die Blues en Crusaders, onderskeidelik.

Ek is optimisties dat ons vier top spanne meer as goeie rekenskap van hulself sal gee. As ek na my hart luister, gaan geeneen van hulle oorsee hoef te reis vir die uitspeelwedstryde nie.

My kop herinner my aan twee aspekte, ja drie, wat jy nooit buite rekening kan laat nie:

  1. Die intensiteit van die Super 15
  2. Beserings aan sleutelspelers
  3. Die feit dat die bal nie rond is nie.

Maar dat ek uitsien hierna, is onbetwisbaar. Of my familie dieselfde voel, is wel onderhewig aan debat.

Mooi week, ou Grote.

 

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