This weekend was a particularly frustrating one for the females in my family who were obliged to watch PVR recordings of shows that clashed with my sporting obligations on the box. Thank you for allowing me to use you, our readers, as an excuse for this.
For many, the highlight was the performance of the Springboks against Samoa. I suspect that we were all a little concerned after their showing the previous weekend, but the right selection in most positions proved that we have the players, and replacements, to look forward to the Championship series with confidence. Numbers eight and nine were not convincing, and after enough opportunity, a change is called for here.
Die feit dat James So’oialo, wat vir Adriaan Strauss as’t ware aan die groot klok wou ophang, ongestraf daarmee weggekom het, verbaas my eintlik nie meer nie.
“Judicial Officer, His Honour Judge Jeff Blackett (RFU), decided that the contact was accidental and dismissed the citing. Blackett said: “If I am to uphold this citing, I must conclude that the player has lied to me.” Sjoe. Wie sal nou dit van ‘n rugbyspeler dink?
Dat ‘n reeksmisdadiger soos Alesana Tuilagi met net twee weke weggekom het na sy hoogvat op die Bokkaptein, is net nog weer ‘n bewys van hoe inkonsekwent die reëls toegepas word.
In the bigger picture, careful management of our key players in the run-up to the test series, will be critical. Players like Jannie du Plessis and Jean de Villiers need a decent break, and with the Sharks and Stormers out of contention in the Super 15, all their likely candidates who were overplayed this year should be given a break.
The Cheetahs and Bulls will not be able to afford this luxury, which is a pity. I think Pierre Spies, in particular, can do with some time off. The benefit of this is only too evident in the play of Morné Steyn.
Wat die 0nder-20 Bokke betref, het hulle ongelukkig hul beste spel te laat gelewer. Die oorwinning, na hulle binne 20 minute 21-0 agter was, spreek boekdele, nie net van hul karakter nie, maar ook hoe die All Blacks telkens die beste uit ons spelers haal.
Australia 21 – B & I Lions 23
This was undoubtedly the match of the weekend, although I suspect the first aid staff worked harder than the front rows. When last did you see so many players stretchered off? Latest in line is Paul O’Connell, the stalwart around whom much of the Lions’ play revolves. While the Aussie media are quick to recall how their side managed to overcome a 0-1 deficit to take the series 2-1, they should also remember who played in that team. I do not think the current Aussie side is of the same calibre, and with the spate of injuries to key players, they are unlikely to repeat this feat.
Wimbledon starts today, and apparently Ernie Els will be on centre court to watch proceedings. When he was in the limelight yesterday in Germany, he held his composure while those chasing him, lost theirs. Despite everyone now appearing to think the Open will be a walk in the park for Ernie, we all know that you are only as good as the total of your four rounds. This victory, his first in six attempts at this trophy, will do his confidence no harm, though.
Choking at the Crease
England, needing 20 to win off the last 16 balls with six wickets in hand, choked in a manner often associated with South Africa. But, as AB put it, you at least need to be in a position to win before you can be accused of choking.
This reminds me of a story I heard some time ago:
No matter what Moshe did in bed, his wife never achieved an O. Since a Jewish wife is entitled to marital pleasure, they decide to consult their Rabbi. The Rabbi listens to their story, strokes his beard and makes the following suggestion, “Hire a strapping young man. While the two of you are making love, have the young man wave a towel over you. That will help the wife fantasize and should bring on an O.” They go home and follow the Rabbi’s advice. They hire a handsome young man and he waves a towel over them as they make love. It doesn’t help and the wife is still unsatisfied. Perplexed, they go back to the Rabbi. “Okay,” he says to the husband, “Try it reversed. Have the young man make love to your wife and you wave the towel over them.” They go home and hire the same strapping young man. The young man gets into bed with the wife and the husband waves the towel. The wife soon has an enormous, room-shaking, screaming O. The husband smiles, looks at the young man and says to him triumphantly, “You see, you schmuck, THAT’S how to wave a towel!”