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Reversal of Fortunes

The reality of test rugby was very evident on Saturday when Australia sneaked from behind to level the series against the B & I Lions. How ironic that a missed kick, at the death, lost the game again, but this time to the other side. At least Halfpenny did not unceremoniously end up on his behind like Beale. I have not quite worked out how I feel about James Horwill crying after the game – have you ever thought it possible to see an Aussie captain and lock bawling? Perhaps one should see it as a sign of the immense pride they have in wearing that jersey, and the relief of having drawn the series. Next Saturday will be a game not to be missed, despite both captains possibly missing the decider.

Super 15 Countdown

The Super 15 also had its share of surprises, none more so than the Cheetahs losing to the Stormers. Apart from appearing to be shell-shocked, the Free Staters somehow thought a Gary Owen approach, with the occasional grubber kick, could win the day. This is in such stark contrast to how they played this year, I am sure they felt more than a little lost. All credit to the Cape side though. They played with an intensity which belies their position on the log.

Die Bulle is verseker van die nommer een posisie in die SA Konferensie, maar sal wil seker maak dat hulle minstens tweede eindig vir die uitspeelrondtes. Die ouens wat derde eindig het beslis ‘n agterstand wanneer dit kom by tuiswedstryde in die uitklopfase van die kompetisie.

Die Haaie het baie karakter getoon in hul oorwinning oor die Blues, te midde van die struwelinge rondom John Plumtree (Foto bo) se afdanking. Van Plumtree gepraat: hy mag dalk die geveg verloor het, maar sy afskeidstoespraak het van hom ‘n wenner ten opsigte van goeie maniere gemaak. Hy het geen verwyte geslinger, of persoonlik geraak nie, net sy hartseer oor die feit dat hy na 20 jaar, as speler en afrigter, nie langer betrokke gaan wees nie.

The Rule of Law

Hoekom wil die Internasionale Rugbyraad sy beampte se beslissing oor James Horwill heropen? Ons almal weet van gevalle waar daar verkeerd beslis is, maar dit is nooit aan ‘n kyk-weer onderwerp nie, tensy die speler ge-appeleer het. Tipies van ons nasie, was my eerste gedagte dat dit dalk ‘n samesweringsteorie is – hulle wou hom uit die finale toets teen die Leeus hê, en het daarom ingegryp. Nou nie soos die Samoaan vir Adriaan Strauss “ingegryp” het nie, maar amper.

Then there is also the case of Kyle Brown at the Sevens RWC. The following media release was issued after the appeal:

“Brown appeared before Appeal Officer Tim Gresson (New Zealand). Having reviewed the case and considered all the evidence, Mr Gresson was not persuaded that the Judicial Officer had erred in finding that Kyle Brown had committed an act of Foul Play on the basis that in attempting to tackle Scotland #2 high on the shoulder he should have been aware of the inherent risk of contacting the face, eye area and ultimately, eye, as occurred,” an IRB release said.

“However, the Appeal Officer did consider that the offence was low-end reckless conduct and therefore determined the original minimum ordinary sanction of six matches was disproportionate. He applied the exceptional circumstances provision to reduce the sanction further from the Judicial Officer’s six-match suspension (from a 12-week entry point) to two matches, noting that there had been contact with a vulnerable part of the body, being the eye, as a result of the reckless tackle, which necessitated an appropriate sanction.”

“…he should have been aware of the inherent risk of contacting the face, eye area and ultimately, eye, as occurred.” What about the “unintended” smash and grab on Strauss, also on a vulnerable part of the body? How does that differ from what is said about Brown? Or was it merely a case that their official was wrong, but they could not admit this? Why was a New Zealand official asked to officiate in the appeal, when his country’s side was a possible opponent of the Blitzbokke?

This whole mess reminds me a wacky definition I once came across:

Testiculating: Waving your arms around and talking total bollocks.

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