Thank goodness this is the final Super Rugby round for a few weeks. I was about to declare myself injured after all these matches which started more than three months ago.
The break will no doubt give most of the walking wounded time to get back on their feet, apart from those joining the national side. I take my hat off to the Bulls for giving Matfield a break this weekend. He will play an important role in the Springbok side and, apart from weariness, the danger of an injury in a position where we are already heavily understaffed, could have been a catastrophe.
The SA Stakes this weekend
When the Superbru reminder hits my inbox on a Wednesday, my stomach turns – there have been so many upsets and unlikely results that I am also considering retiring hurt from this one.
The Lions host the Bulls, and the logical conclusion must be a win for the visitors. The Lions have just returned, and apart from jet lag, also face a side motivated to make the playoffs. The fact that one must not lose sight of is the intense rivalry between these which started in the nineties when players like Uli Schmidt did the unthinkable and crossed the Jukskei river to join the aartsvyand. There is no love lost between these two sides, or their supporters.
The Sharks may also not have it easy on returning home after a wonderful tour. Apart from the energy sapping match against the Crusaders and jet lag, their opponents have turned around dramatically and are currently the best attacking side from our shores. I suspect that the Jake White factor will make the difference in the end, but it will be a close call.
Last night, on my way home from the airport, I passed a grey Audi with the strange number plate: JAMAHU* WP.
Later, it struck me. It was possibly Allister Coetzee’s response to a question about whether his side would win the Currie Cup this year.
I came across the following interesting snippet on the Supersport webpage:
Adriaan Strauss’ tip tackle is not only a problem for the Springboks – it has also hit him in the pocket.
With the Boks earning close to R100 000 per test match nowadays, the three-week ban sees Strauss lose up to R300 000 because of the censure – a big hit in anyone’s book.
Given that Sanzar’s latest rulings show that contact with the eyes (Ed O’Donaghue) is not worth a ban, that an elbow to the face (Chris King on Warren Whiteley) is worth one week and that a spear tackle (Adriaan Strauss), punch in a scrum (Flip van der Merwe) and stomp on the face (Jean Deysel) are all worth the same (three weeks), we wonder how long it is before these issues become monetary ones and are challenged by lawyers?
After all, if there is no consistency and losses become greater, surely someone will test the waters at some stage?
I believe that the official in the Strauss case added two weeks to the sentence to discourage other players, then halved the sentence for good past behaviour, remorse etc. As the man says, consistency is important, but at least they are that when the perpetrator is South African.
Wat my herinner aan die ou dame wat elke Saterdag opgesluit is vir “dronk op straat”. Maandae beboet die magistraat haar een pond, en volgende Saterdag is dit weer sulke tyd.
Een dag vervies sy haar en snou die magistraat toe: “Een pond? Een pond? Djou bek staan al soos een pond.
Toe beboet hy haar vir minagting van die hof.