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Ye’ll take the High Road…

The man we most loved to hate, Sean Fitzpatrick, is actually a very likeable rogue. The interview with Ali Bacher was outstanding, and I would love to watch it again. On Saturday, Supersport broadcast Ali’s chat with Sachin Tendulkar – another excellent piece of viewing, and something to be recorded and kept.

I could not help noticing the similarity between Fitzpatrick and Bakkies Botha – they both have that sheepish grin when caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

Botha certainly proved his coach right in selecting him for Saturday’s match, and turned out to be one of the stars amongst the prodigal sons who play their rugby outside South Africa. JP Pietersen, too, had a much improved game, using his bulk and speed to good effect.

The pundits seem to be of the opinion that Jacque Fourie also played much better than last week, and praised his organisation of the defence. If he played better than the previous game, he must have been worse than terrible then, if this was an improvement. His organisation of the backs reminded me more of a wind turbine than a rugby player, and he was the one weak link in my view.

Pat Lambie proved his supporters right on the night. He certainly is no Morné Steyn clone – his physicality on attack and defence brings a new style of play to the backline, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with his tactical kicking, or goal kicking, for that matter, bar one mishap.

Willie le Roux (pictured above) looked more like an overseas player than any of those who ply their trade there. The kick that set up JP Pietersen’s try showed the skill, and vision, of this young man.

Hy gaan ons nog groot plesier verskaf.

Fourie du Preez se alomteenwoordigheid gaan teen die Parra manne gemis word. Mens besef nie aldag hoe goed sy dekverdediging is nie, veral wanneer die opposisie diep skop.

Hier teen rustyd, met die Bokke 21- 0 voor, het ek al visoene begin sien van nog ‘n 44 – 0 Murrayfield, maar dit het helaas nie gebeur nie. Dit was waarskynlik ‘n kombinasie van die Bokke wat bietjie hul voet van die pedaal gehaal het, en die Skotte wat beter begin speel het. Die Bokke se verdediging, selfs met 14 man, was uit die boonste rakke, en gee mens moed vir die pad vorentoe.

Ek moet darem byvoeg dat hulle redelik ervare is wat speel met 14 man betref – wanneer laas het ons ‘n toets gespeel met al 15 op die veld vir die hele duur van die wedstryd?

Die toestand van die veld was vir almal dieselfde, maar dit, saam met die reën, kon maklik daartoe gelei het dat die wedstryd in ‘n saai skopstryd ontaard. Dit het nie, hoofsaaklik danksy die Bokke se positiewe benadering, en ‘n losskakel wat die bal meer gedra het.

Heyneke het blykbaar klaar sy span gekies wat teen die Franse gaan uitdraf. Ek sal graag wil sien wie hy dink mans genoeg is om die Franse hardebaarde aan te durf.

Australië is in die wolke oor hul oorwinning teen Ierland. Ek het nogal gedink aan ‘n uitdrukking wat te make het met die blindeskool, maar kom ons gun hulle maar hul oomblik in die son.

New Zealand retained their unbeaten record for the season, with only the Irish still able, but highly unlikely, to upset their apple cart. I am sure that, somewhere, in the back of their minds, the All Blacks are starting to eye the record of test victories.

You know you are in a special zone when the single biggest reason why you may not rewrite history does not lie with your opponents, but in your own mind.

Winner of Wine

Rob Russell correctly named the Paul Simon song, “Slip sliding away”, in response to the question in last Monday’s blog. The rest of you, like Manus van der Pluym, never took the gap when I confirmed that Rob was right, and that his name would be entered in the draw. Come on, guys, you are taking this honesty and integrity thing too far!

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