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Proteas wilt under lights & Lions at last!

The much anticipated “grand final” failed to deliver the expected high scoring spectacle I think we all wished for! It did however provide for a close game, deservedly won by the world number one side. Australia recovered from an early onslaught from Amla & Kallis and gradually squeezed the Proteas into a humble score of 222, twenty or thirty runs short on where they would have wanted to be.

Master finisher: Michael Hussey

The Proteas however fought bravely but Shane Watson’s brilliant 49 gained the necessary momentum and Michael Hussey, who is a master finisher, applied his craft superbly and proved too strong! Although Hussey played well, and by his own admission surprised by the “man of the series” award, I do feel Jacques Kallis was unjustly overlooked for the award! 

Kirsten played the series loss down by confirming the importance of the top order spending time at the crease before the tests but I still wonder why are we playing the Aussies in October? Especially after a layoff of 6 months of no cricket for the Proteas? It seems to be poor planning and preparation by Cricket South Africa.

South Africa currently boast 4 players at the top of the rankings in world cricket  – Amla being the best ODI batsmen (AB de Villiers is 2nd), Morne Morkel the best ODI bowler. Jacques Kallis the best test batsmen and Steyn the best test bowler. Especially at home, no one should be touching the Proteas – never mind winning a series!

We have the tests to look forward too, and the return of Jacques Rudolph!

Lions at Last

If the cliché “fairy tale” ever applied to a rugby match, then Saturday’s final would certainly qualify from a Lions perspective. At the risk of rubbing Sharks fans up the wrong way, their dream turned into a nightmare.

Lions coach:
 John Mitchell

One could be mistaken for thinking that the home team was the one with a vast amount of experience in finals. They were just so remarkably calm and composed. When the referee (again) blundered and allowed the Willem Alberts try to bring the Sharks within range of the Lions, I waited to see if they would crack under pressure. Instead, they cracked the whip and scored within minutes to regain their commanding lead.

The Sharks were not humiliated – they were merely outplayed by a very determined, well coached side.

I really hope that John Mitchell stays in SA for quite a while longer, although he must be on a number of buyers shortlist after what he achieved in Johannesburg. I thought that having the girl friends, wives and children join them on the the victory lap was a special touch.

A rugby journalist friend posted his under-25 Springbok backline on Facebook this morning. What would yours look like? Please post below.

Sport spot:Nou dat al die groot rugby vir eers agter die rug is, sien Ou Manie uit na die nuwe “silly season”. Nee, nie die  luister na Bony M se kersliedjies terwyl jy keer vir jou wallet nie; eerder die koop van spelers tussen provinsiale spanne.

Die Sharks koop Cheetahs, die Cheetahs koop Griekwas en die Bulle koop die laaste paar ordentlike WP spelers wat nie reeds in Affies of Waterkloof is nie.

En die WP? Hulle koop vleuels by die Bulle, gedagtig aan die sukses van hul vorige veldtog toe Habana geskuif het. Laasgenoemde se nuwe kontrak laat ou Manie dink aan sangers soos Joshua Kadison wie se tweede album, na die eerste topverkoper, binne twee maande in die bargain bins beskikbaar was.

Mens sou dink die feit dat hulle voorry in Brokstukke oor die veld versprei was in die semi-finaal en in die meeste ander wedstryde waar die opposisie ’n goeie vaste vyf had, sou die wyses anders laat besin het. Ook die flop van Sirelli Kakvangelavuki en “Big Party” Joe van Niekerk se suidwaartse verskuiwing moes lig verskaf, maar nee, hulle tas steeds in die duister. WP koop nog ’n vleuel, sodat hy ook nie kan driee druk nie, want hy kry nie die bal nie.

Ou Manie wil vir hulle die “voordeel van die vertwyfeling” gee deur te dink dat hulle dieselfde slenter as die Franse in die Wereldbeker wil uithaal om die opposisie ’n rot voor die oë te draai, maar dan moet die plan darem tot uitvoer kan kom voor almal wat deel is van die komplot, dood is, of woon in Rassie se aftree-oord vir verskietende sterre.

Nag ou grote.

Paul Kruger

 

 

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