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Rampant Lions Seal Series

Watching the final game of this closely fought series, I finally worked out how the Lions clothing works. Scotland and Ireland combine to make op the socks, England contribute the white shorts, and Wales the red jersey.

This was confirmed by the contribution the Welsh players made, and particular Leigh Halfpenny, who was named Man of the Series. His accuracy with the boot forced James Horwill to opt for the line-out, rather than kick at goal in an effort to stay in touch.

Robbie Deans made a couple of selection errors in my opinion, the most noticeable being his preference for Kurtley Beale ahead of Jesse Mogg. When the latter came on as replacement wing, he made more of an impact than Beale did in the whole series.

Another interesting aspect of the match was how the Lions won the aerial battle against the Aussies whom I always regarded as the best in the world in fielding their own up and unders. With this important aspect of their attack blunted, it was left to Genia to take matters in his own hands, but the necessary support was often lacking.

Despite the big score margin yesterday, it was a fiercely contested series, and a good advert for the game of rugby.

What Heyneke Meyer hopefully learnt from yesterday’s match, is that the Aussies are vulnerable in the scrums. This is where they lost the match yesterday.

Cheetahs 34 – Blues 13
Nogal gelukkige dertien vir die Blues, moet ek byvoeg. Die Cheetahs het oornag ontwaak uit hul winterslaap en die tipe rugby opgedis wat hulle tot nuwe hoogtes in die kompetisie gevoer het. Hulle was wel nog vakerig aan die begin, maar soos die wedstryd gevorder het, het die Cheetahs hul wurggreep al hoe meer versterk. Boom Prinsloo en Super Sarel het die finale spykers in die Blues se doodskis  getimmer. Hoewel ‘n ekstra bonuspunt welkom sou wees, is die Cheetahs verseker van ‘n plek in die finale ses – iets wat min kenners aan die begin van die seisoen  sou voorspel het. Hoewel die Stormers en Sharks waarskynlik teleurgesteld was met die uitslag, is daar geen twyfel dat die Vrystaters hul plek deur en deur verdien het nie.

Stormers 24 – Kings 12
My notas wat ek Saterdag tydens die wedstryd gemaak het, is baie bondig – no comment. In retrospek moet ek byvoeg dat die Kings se hegte verdediging en fisieke spel dit nie nie maklik maak om weghol rugby teen hulle te speel nie. Daar was net een werklike groot telling teen hulle hierdie seisoen. Dit is veel beter as wat die Rebels of die Western Force van hulle eerste twee of drie seisoene kan sê.

Bulls 20 – Sharks 19
The run-on team for the Sharks contained some interesting, but highly effective changes, which nearly helped them pull off a surprise win against the top outfit in the country. Butch James made a marked difference at flyhalf for 72 minutes, and arguably lost the match for his team in one moment of madness. At the risk of raising blood pressures in KZN to heart attack level, I am convinced that leaving Keagan Daniel out of the starting line-up, made all the difference against a side as physical as the Bulls.

Die Bulle se dissipline en geduld is beloon met ‘n naelskraapse, maar welverdiende oorwinning. Dit bevestig ook waarom hulle vandag bo-aan die ranglys verskyn, ondanks ‘n seisoen waar beserings hulle waarskynlik sou kon laat dink dat dit geregverdig is om nie te goed te eindig nie. Mens moet ook nie die reuse bydrae van ‘n vars Morné Steyn vergeet nie. Die Bokke sal net so bly wees oor sy huidge spelpeil.

Nog een hekkie wag vir die Bulle– die ou aartsvyand, die Stormers.

Use it!
If there is one thing that really irritates me, it is this new rule of the referee shouting “Use it!” and then giving the side in possession five seconds to play the ball. Have you ever seen them reversing possession for such an infringement?

It reminds me of the member of a certain religious sect who would knock on doors, wanting to convert people to his convictions.

On this particular day, this guy knocks on a door, expecting the normal rebuff, but instead, gets invited inside, offered a cup of tea, and asked to sit in the owners favourite chair.

“Well,” said the host, “Now that we are both comfortable – what was it you wanted to share with me?”

“Damned if I know. I never got this far before.”

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