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Springbok History

My colleague, Deon du Toit, recently sent me a link to a site called Springbok Rugby Hall of Fame. I found it incredibly interesting. For example: if you and your mates differ on the final score of the match between England and South Africa at Twickenham on 25 November 2006, you can not only verify that we won 25 – 14, but also see who was in the team, and that André Pretorius slotted one conversion, two penalties and four (yes, four!) drop goals.

Arme Engeland.

Super 15 Review – Round 15

I am actually a little reluctant to make any predictions after my dismal performance on Superbru last week. My only consolation is that I was not alone in expecting at least two SA sides to win.

Chiefs/Bulls

The biggest test for the boys from Pretoria will be whether they are able to recover from the shock defeat last week. The notorious “second match of the tour”, coupled with a fierce opponent playing at home, does load the odds against the Bulls, but there is positive news, too. They should dominate at the line-outs, where the Chiefs are without their top three locks. Key to whether the Bulls will be able to outscore their opponents is the protection of Pollard to give him a little more space and time than was the case against the Blues last week. The return to the starting line-up of Deon Stegmann and Jacques du Plessis should help in this regard.

Reds/Sharks

Hierdie een kan die Sharks wragtag nie verloor nie, maak nie saak wie die skeidsregter is nie. Die Reds loop oor van selfvertroue na verlede week se weghol-oorwinning teen die gedugte Rebels. As mens na die res van hul vertonings in die reeks kyk, herinner dit my aan wat iemand eendag vir my gesê het, na ek ‘n langerige sethou gesink het vir ‘n voëltjie: “Selfs ‘n blinde hoender pik soms ‘n mielie raak.” Die ondervinding van Willem Alberts en Beast behoort ook in die Sharks se guns te tel.

Cheetahs/Lions

The outcome of the local Derby in Bloemfontein should be a foregone conclusion, except for the fact that one cannot predict which Cheetahs side will pitch up on the day. The changes in the coaching staff could have either a positive or negative impact – only time will tell which. The big test for the Lions will be whether they can play the full eighty minutes, rather than catch-up rugby in the last forty, which is what they have been doing for most of the season.

Stormers/Rebels

Die besoekers is na my mening die verrassingspakket van die seisoen, gegewe hul vertonings in voorafgaande jare. Die groot nederlaag verlede naweek, en vlugflouheid, is waarskynlik twee van die sterkste faktore wat teen hulle tel, maar verskeie weg-oorwinnings hierdie seisoen, onder andere teen die Crusaders en die Brumbies, dui aan dat hulle die onwaarskynlike (soms) kan vermag. Die Stormers, daarenteen, sal hopelik nie toelaat dat die loslootjie verlede week hul momentum beduiwel nie. Mens vertrou eintlik dat hulle baie tyd spandeer het aan hul lynstaanprobleme, veral wat die ingooie betref. Die Rebels is statisties ook nie sterk in hierdie departement nie, wat sal help om die nodige selfvertroue terug te wen.

Maar wie is ek nou om te praat? Soms wens ek dat Superbru soos die Lotto was waar jy sommer net “random picks” kan maak. Ten minste hoef ek dan nie myself te blameer as ek weer so sleg vaar nie.

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