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Vernon you beauty!

An empathic 9 wicket win within three days is not an everyday experience in New Zealand – but that is exactly what the Proteas did! They lead the series 1 – nil with one game to play.

Vernon Philander
Vernon Philander

Vernon Philander once again proved his quality by achieving his best career figures of 6 for 44 in the 2nd innings of the test as well as his 5th five wicket hall in only his 6th test match – that leaves his career stats at an amazing 45 wickets at an average of 13 runs per wicket!

To be fair, all the bowlers did really well – and it would be unfair to call it a one man show as all chipped in with wickets. Steyn proved instrumental in the collapse in the first innings, and Kallis and Morkel provided vital breakthrough’s when partnerships threatened. Tahir also played his part with a few good wickets.

On a wicket that were a bit more bowler friendly than expected, Protea stalwart, AB de Villiers played a valuable part to absorb a lot of pressure to form important partnerships with Mark Boucher and Morne Morkel to make this win possible. That said, the batting was the weaker element of the test series so far for the Proteas and an area that I imagine we would see a marked improvement of for the next test.

Let’s enjoy the win. On Thursday I will preview the final test.

In other news:

100th Ton for Tendulkar: Finally the “Little Master” has achieved the unthinkable we all hoped he would – Congratulations Sachin!
Yuvraj back to normal in couple of months – Doctors: Yuvraj Singh’s medical team is “fairly confident” there will not be a recurrence of the cancer he was diagnosed with.

Super 15 Review – by Paul

The Stormers must have been wary of the Blues, given that the visitors beat the Bulls in their first match on tour. Sometime during the match on Friday night, one of the commentators said that it looked as if the Blues suffered from delayed jet lag. If they did, it was induced by a fantastic power performance by the Stormers pack, and a much improved backline. Even Habana appeared to be regaining his old form, and learning some new tricks.

The Sharks had their fans in a panic before rallying to beat the Reds in awful conditions. This says much about the character of the side – they did not look for excuses, they simply put their heads down and did the job. Marcell Coetzee continues to impress week after week and was my man of the match in this game.

Nadat hulle al soveel keer die Aspoestertjiekaart gedeel is, kom die Cheetahs vorendag met waarskynlik die drie van die kompetisie tot dusver en plaas hulself aan die wenkant van ‘n naelskraapse uitslag. Soos die Sharks, en die Stormers, gaan hulle geweldig baat vind by hierdie vertonings op die moeilike pad wat voorlê.

Willie le Roux se geel kaart, en die van Digby Ioane, het my rooi laat sien.

Daar kan by niemand wat dit gesien het, enige twyfel wees dat die duikslag op Marcell Coetzee ‘n boorvat (spear tackle) was nie. Indien daar enige twyfel was, het die skuldige uitdrukking op Ioane se gesig dit verdryf.

Willie le Roux het reeds vroeër in die wedstryd ‘n onderskep drie vir die Cheetahs gedruk. Ek het nie die voorval self gesien nie, maar gegrond op wat ek gelees het, moes daar hoogstens ‘n strafskop toegeken word. Dalk moet ons bly wees dit was nie ‘n geel kaart en ‘n strafdrie nie.

One of our readers, himself a referee, provided the following information regarding instructions to referees to help stamp out foul play. I asked Alex Bax for his views on the red card given to Francois Hougaard, and this is his response:

I could not remember the details of this tackle so I tried to phone Craig Joubert to get it from the horse’s mouth, however he is overseas now, so I phoned Ruben Rossouw who was his assistant ref/touch judge on the day and this is what he told me about the incident.

Firstly, we all agree that it was a red card, some do debate the yellow card, but we are now even more adamant than ever that a big effort must be made to get rid of this tip/spear tackle from the game, as it is just too dangerous.

Secondly, what has changed from last year to this where, if the tackler turned the tackled player onto his head and speared him into the ground, this would be a red card and if the tackler let him drop on his side to the ground (without the spear) that this would be a yellow – this has now changed to also a red card. Every effort must be made by the tackler to bring the tackled player down safely.

Lastly, when such a tackle takes place the referee must now first start with a red card assumption and not the yellow as before, i.e.; not “this is for sure a yellow or should I go for red” but rather “it’s a red, do I have a good reason to bring it down to yellow”.

This is such a dangerous tackle the sooner the players get the idea that it must never be done the better, you will be shocked at how fast school boys adapt any aspect of the game, good or bad into the very next weekend games when the see their heroes do it on the TV.

I hope that this is of some value, keep well
Kind regards
Alex.

Jonathan Kaplan
Jonathan Kaplan

Based on this, Jonathan Kaplan was wrong in awarding only a yellow card, albeit on the advice of his assistant referee.

Cup of my Fathers

And finally: Well done Wales on winning the Six Nations, unbowed and unbeaten. When the crowd of near 75 000 sang Land of my fathers, I was in tears. This is the closest Wales has been to the days of the legendary Gareth Edwards, Phil Bennet and the now late Merwyn Davies. Their next goal? To win regularly against SA, the All Blacks and Australia.

Hier kom ‘n ding!

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