Dis werklik ‘n geval van gryp na strooihalms as mens opgewonde wil raak oor Jake White en Craig Joubert se deelname aan die Super 15 finaal in Hamilton, Nieu-Seeland. Daar was kommentators wat gevoel het dat Joubert die Brumbies met moord laat wegkom het teen die Bulls, en een berig het selfs genoem dat die Aussies baie vertroud is met Joubert se manier van blaas. Ek dink dis ‘n groot pluimpie vir Craig, en wens hom sterkte toe.
Jake White is waarskynlik ‘n profeet wat nie genoeg geëer word in sy eie land nie. Ek vermoed die Aussies is al klaar spyt dat hulle hom nie gekies het as nasionale afrigter nie. Ek verstaan die motivering – Robbie Deans was ‘n Kiwi, en om hom te vervang met ‘n Saffer sou glad nie aanvaarbaar wees vir die meeste Aussie ondersteuners nie. Ek is maar ook bly hieroor. Die laaste ding wat ons nodig het is om ‘n Aussie span onder White te moet aanvat.
Wat die finaal betref: die Sharks het verlede jaar basies dieselfde paadjie geloop as wat die Brumbies vanjaar moet doen. Almal het hul nederlaag in die eindstryd gelate aanvaar. In Engels lui die gesegde: A bridge too far. Nou wonder ek of dit nie ook in hul onderbewussyn was voor die finaal nie?
As White dit reg kry om sy span Saterdag te laat wen, sal min mense, myself ingesluit, kan twyfel daaroor dat hy die beste SA afrigter ooit is.
If my reading between the lines is correct, there is something brewing which could make these playoffs of little consequence as far as the future of both teams in a Super Rugby competition is concerned. Kevin de Klerk hinted at it, and Cheeky Watson is surprisingly quiet for a man who appears to be on the brink of seeing his side lose their Super status after just one year.
It is in fact the future of these two sides which played a major role in the proposed new structure of the Super Series. Australia and New Zealand, it seems, are keen to play one another in a series of round robin matches, after which the winners will graciously take on and annihilate the winner of the orphan series, played between South African Teams and one South American side.
If there are three people sitting around the table to vote, and two are agreed, then the other has little chance of getting his wish fulfilled. This has been the situation in this tripartite from the word go, and will never change.
It is time to move on.
John Plumtree will attest to the view that things can change overnight, and not always for the worst. From being dumped, more than a little unceremoniously, by the Sharks, he is now on his way to coach the Irish forwards. Plumtree spent 5 years coaching Wellington, before taking over at the Sharks in 2008.
Hats off to the man who says he bears no grudges. We wish him well in his new position, except when his side faces ours.
One Jake White in sheep’s clothing is enough for me, thank you.
Picture: Chad Le Clos
Chad Le Clos made history when he became the first non-European or American swimmer to win a World Championship gold medal in the 200 metres butterfly last night in Barcelona.
The man, who beat Michael Phelps to gold in the same event in London in 2012, produced a powerful last lap Wednesday after it looked as if he was fading against the challenge of Pawel Korzeniowski, who holds the fastest time of the year.