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Too close for comfort

This just about sums up everything South Africans, and the world, faced this weekend.

Merion makes mincemeat of the world’s best players

Justin Rose, winning by two shots after finishing at one over par, gave me great satisfaction for two reasons:

  1. He was born in Johannesburg and
  2. At long last we saw a fair contest between player and course.

The improvement in equipment resulted in player skills taking a back seat to technology. The fact that Tiger slumped to 13 over par does not mean that he was favoured by his choice of clubs – it just means that skill over the four rounds determined the outcome, not how far your equipment supplier was ahead of the rest.

A draw wins us a place in the semis

For once, the South African invented Lady Duckworth-Lewis smiled benignly on the Proteas. Who will ever forget the look on Brian McMillan’s face when he strolled back to the pitch, having to score something like 22 runs off one ball in one of our first World Cup tournaments in 1992?

Which of the other three semi-finalists would you pick if given the choice? My first option would have been England any way, despite the fact that they are the home team. Both India and Sri Lanka had a great tournament thus far, and with Swan unlikely to play for England, I would back our chances against them.

Scotland the Brave

We were all disappointed on Saturday, after the previous weekend’s excellent rugby match against Italy, expecting a rout of Scotland. Rather than be over critical of ourselves, we should commend the Scots for their brave play. If the result was different, I could think of two Scots who would be deserved men of the match – Alasdair Strokosch or Greig Laidlaw.

Ons lostrio was vir my ongebalanseerd, met net Kolisi wat die oog gevang het. Dit is maar die tweede keer in sy lewe wat sy pa hom sien speel, en watter wonderlike ondervinding moes dit nie gewees het nie.

Twee gesigsuitdrukkings wat my altyd sal bybly van Saterdag se toets: Bismarck du Plessis se vreugde toe hy uiteindelik weer op die veld draf in ‘n Boktrui, en Eben Etzebeth se gesig toe Jim Harrison hom in die gesig gestamp het. If looks could kill, Hamilton would not have made the yellow card chair, especially after flashing another fist at Etzebeth while heading there.

Sonder om nou soos ‘n Jannie Jammergat te klink: as Bakkies Botha, of selfs Eben Etzebeth, Hamilton se aksie uitgevoer het, kan ek julle wed, sou hulle aangekla word van “making contact with the facial area” of so iets. As jy mooi kyk, sal jy sien dat sy vingers nie ver van Etzebeth se oë was nie.

Heyneke sê week na week hoe Jean de Villiers hom as kaptein beïndruk. Dit mag so wees, maar net soos by die Stormers, kies hy op die verkeerde tyd die lynstaan opsie in plaas van die skop pale toe. Dit behoort aangespreek te word, veral waar jy byna 100% seker is dat jou skopper sal slaag.

For me, it was a good result, if only serving as a timely wake-up call before we play Samoa on Saturday.

Jong Bokkies teen Wallis

Vanaand net na ses is dit sulke tyd – ons teen Wallis in die een halfeindstryd.

Here too, I would rather face Wales than England or the Baby Blacks. It will be much more satisfactory, polishing either of these teams off in the final.

 

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