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by azurite

Hansie Cronje…. A human being just like me and you.

December 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

This post is a personal and passionate reply the absolute and utter disrespect shown by some bloggers (including CouchCritic, a supposed sports lover – and a Sharks supporter to boot!) to great cricketing souls and talented sports people who have fallen from grace. In reality these people are just plain human beings.

 

Let’s get one thing straight. Right from the start, I never condoned what Hansie Cronje did. Not once. He was crooked and underhand. What he did was wrong. You don’t sing with the bookies when you play for your country. But he never cheated. He never successfully threw a match. He never successfully manipulated the outcome of a match. Those who believe that, are delusional in their blind rage. Get a grip on reality, will you?

 

Second, drop the hero crap. Heroes are those who save other people’s lives. Sports playing persons at the highest level are stars or icons. I do not believe in the “Hansie shattered my dreams” nonsense, because the majority you, at that time when Hansie was playing, were never going to be good to make the Proteas team in the first place. Not then, not now. I did not or do not see you playing for the Proteas, and even if you do – which I doubt – what Hansie did certainly would not have been a factor in getting into the Proteas team. And yet, today, you still support the Proteas! A little bit too ironic! (with thanks to Alanis Morissette). Live with the disappointment of being mediocre (thanks Darwinia, I loved your post!). And yes, – unfortunately, I am a bits and pieces sportsman, not exceptional at one sport – I am mediocre at sport! I talentless bowler, inefficient batter, but good fielder – that is my cricket playing summed up.

 

Cheaters… What is cheating? How many of you have cheated in a test or exam? Or cheated on your partner? The basis of cheating in sport is getting an unfair advantage by any means necessary to make sure you or the team you favour finish ahead of the opposition. At least that is how it works in sport. Ask Ben Johnson, ask Richie McCaw, ask Bryce Lawrence, ask Schummi (ok, I just could not help slipping the last one in!). Ask Winnie, Malema, Zuma, Schaik, the whole lot. Our government is cheaters, business men are cheaters, banks are cheaters. In fact, all information conveyed to us is designed to cheat us into being slaves to our master of some sort. That includes sport. Hansie, however, never was a cheater, he was a greedy crook. Not once has he tried to win by using underhand means. Not once has he cheated to produce a result that was crooked.

 

I really ingested a recent post by the self-proclaimed Couch Critic and interrogated my self-believe in this world and being a sports supporter. I wanted to formulate a simple reply that basically would boil down to two words. No, not the classic “F U”, but rather the more appropriate “M I”. I just wish the “Hansie-cheater fan club” was as scathing to those who were as guilty during Hansie’s era, but alas, they choose to belittle one man for all of cricket’s unsavory underhand dealings that has been going one even before the poor soul was born. No mention by these cricket fans of how matches was regularly thrown in domestic cricket around the world. No mention of the biggest cheats in cricket. Hansie must be the worst, because he gambled a bit behind the scenes and was found out. If that is your attitude, well, good one you, I say! Of course, you are as are squeaky clean as every single ANC minister in SA. If that is true, then you must be the one that will save mankind in 2012, when it supposedly will be the end of the world!

 

For some of you – by acknowledging that you are not better than your partner – clearly stated you are not perfect. Now extend that compassion to your fellow human being. No human being, of course, is perfect. I am not perfect. Hansie was not perfect. But, he was a fighter. He had spirit and the will to take on the best bowlers or batters in the world. He had amazing talents as a cricketer. A wonderful all-rounder that had astute captaincy skills. When the fast bowlers could not take a wicket, he took the responsibility and the ball, and made a break through. He was the only batter in his era that took on Shane Warne in both limited overs and test cricket. The man, and he was only a human being – no hero – let us all down. For all that, for being exceptional, but greedy, he duly got punished. Punished far more than he would have ever thought possible. He alone took the majority of lashing from a newly found-out crooked cricket world. He had more balls that Zuma, Schaik, Malema, Saddam or Bush. More balls than me or you, fellow bloggers! For that – some of you – forever want to burn him?

 

The world is your oyster, but, if there is no pearl, would you still dream?

 

You know, for sports lovers, we really are complex. We love sport, but sport cannot exist without money. They say the root of all evil is money. It is true. And is it not money that powers sport? Sport in its essence therefore are evil? Do you think sports people these days play sport because they want to be the best? They play sport because it pays so well! Greed is the biggest lust of them all. Why do bright students go to university? Because they want to become more intelligent? No! They want to earn a good salary. Is it useful to sit at home and be a smart kid? Again, no…! The world demands you be successful in order to survive. It boils down to having money. Cash to buy a house, dollars to pay off the Merc, moola to save for your future unborn children. Money dominates everything, even love. Yes it mostly is true. If you are successful (read: have money), you will marry, have a house and the fairy tale will continue. On the other hand, if you have no money, he chances of being successful is about zero. Sad, but true. Yes, blame Hansie for wanting more money, but also blame the new world order for demanding money as the only measure of success on your life.

 

Did Hansie kill anyone? Did he rape anyone? Did he rob a bank? Did he abuse anyone personally? Did he use banned substances to hit all those sixes? Did he rub the ball with a bottle cap? Did he attempt anything criminal toward his fans? Was what he did any different from those that gamble or play the horses? Next time when you play the slots at the casino or even the lotto, please do think about the poor children that have no food to eat while you waste away the Rands. Hansie gambled with money. Is wasting money a crime? You with the R10,000 watch, do you feel guilty? Do you not feel guilty being privileged attending live sports or watching it on DSTV? It all revolves around having money.

 

Morality these days has no fine line. Hansie tried walking the fine line. For that, is he a worse human being for wandering a little too far left?

 

Reality check! Hansie is dead! Is there any greater punishment than death itself? Leave the poor soul alone. He has suffered enough in life, why would you want to continue that in his death?

 

By constantly battering him, you are no better than Hitler, the worst human to unfortunately have graced Earth.

 

Hansie will forever be an example of our greedy morality and unjustifiable double standards.

 

Remember him as a great cricketer that was as human as me and you.

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by azurite

A (non)tribute to Herschelle Gibbs

November 5, 2010 in Uncategorized

Lets start with the good stuff first. Herschelle Gibbs has pretty good statistics for an opener in international cricket, 41.95 average in tests, 36.13 average in ODI’s with a 83.26 strike rate and 125.78 strike rate in T20′s.

He might be nearly 37 years of age, but certainly there was the odd chance of him going to the World Cup next year. Now the poor sod has gone and publish a book full of accusations and distortions, none of which has been verified, but opposed by current and previous cricket peers. Nice way of burining all your bridges Gibbs, especially for a man with no qualifications outside of cricket!

So here goes my (non)tribute to a very gifted cricket player, but a distrurbed individual away from it of “How to make enemies of your peers”:

Is this book your idea of putting accross a picture of what our beloved Proteas really are like Gibbs…?

…instead of listening to the reasoning of your team mates…

…or listening to your heart…

…you did not give a dime…

…it is too late to turn around, so keep walking…

…and don’t think there will be help from above…

…because we all know your chequered past…

… in fact, you even have your own evil twin away from the pitch…

..now don’t shed a tear over spilled beans mate…

…we understand you have fallen flat on your behind…

…but it is too late to retract the nonsense in your book…

…and while you might enjoy the moolas you make from being a cheater and backstabber…

…you are OUT, comprehensively bowled, and a loner like the sole middle stump standing…

…so prepare well for your fall from stardom to soften the blow…

…because you sure as hell aint gonna return on the many bridges you have burnt !!!!

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by azurite

Time for some Sharks bashing

October 14, 2010 in Uncategorized

Since there are a lot of Blue Bulls bashing going on on the blogs, I just had to blog the following:

AANSOEK OM ‘N SHARKS ONDERSTEUNER TE WORD

 

Vir die wat nie Afrikaans kan lees nie, daar is free klasse ingesluit as die aansoek goedgekeur word

 

IK _____________________ (indien nie, moet asseblief nie jou tyd verder mors om hier in te vul nie. ‘n Persoon wat nie ‘n IK het nie is klaar ‘n Shark!!!)

 

Naam & Van ______________________________(verkieslik jou laaste pa s’n)

 

Watter provinsie het u eers ondersteun (merk asseblief duidelik):

 

  • Westelike Provinsie
  • Leeus
  • Cheetahs
  • Natal
  • Eastern Province Kings

 

Kies enige van die volgende redes hoekom u nou ‘n Sharks ondersteuner wil word:

 

  1.  Jou favourite show is die “daai rugby show vannie Sharks waar die ou nie kan Ingels praat nie”. Vir die wat nie weet nie, dis net op DSTV en word Sharkbite genoem.
  2.  Jy is maar altyd net kommin gewees.
  3.  Jy ondersteun ‘n provinsie waar jy vantevore net op vakansie was.
  4.  Jy is jaloers op die ander provisies se supporters se klas, maar jy weet self nie wat klas beteken nie.
  5.  Jou like ‘n provinsie met ‘n identiteits krisis wat hulle spelers Sharks en dan Wildebeeste noem, want jy bly nie in KZN nie en het self ‘n problem van inpas waar jy bly.
  6.  Jy gee williglik geld aan jou span om spelers te sign van oorsee net sodat julle die Bulle op Durbs kan wen.
  7.  Jy like ‘n span ondersteun met geen oorspronklike idees nie – hulle volg maar alles wat die Bulls of die All Blacks doen, van “flasher girls” (wat ‘n kak naam) tot voorspeler spel en dan die Offisiele Sharks CD ook.
  8. Jy voel so insecure om die Sharks te ondersteun (ja wie sal nie so voel nie), dat julle nou die “Official Sharks Supporters’ Club” status gegee is net om jou beter te laat voel en die Sharks te bly ondersteun. O ja, en julle het selfs ‘n “Full Licence Agreement” met “obligations and privileges of a Sharks Supporters’ Club”. Hoe insecure kan mens wees?
  9.  Jy ondersteun die Sharks vir hulle cool desktop wallpapers en nie vir hulle spel partoon nie, want jy like ‘n funky Sharks action photo desktop! En dan vergeet jy om die game te kyk want jy staar na jou desktop – daar’s meer action op jou Pentium 1 screen as wanneer die Sharks speel.
  10.  Jou span se mascot se naam is Sharkie, en versekerlik het hy net so insecurity kompleks soos jy – dus indentifiseer jy jouself goed met ‘n opgegroeide manlike Shark met die naam Sharkie.
  11.  Jy kan met al jou Sharks vriende op die Sharks website chat, want net julle 5 is altyd online.
  12. Jy laaik om jou gesig wit en swart te verf voor die game, want dit hide al die disappointment van bly verloor.
  13. Jy ondersteun ‘n span wat has been spelers aanskaf – en nou is daai palooka speler Skinstad jou hero for life.

 

(Indien u nog papier nodig het om u redes neer te skryf, gebruik asseblief die aangehegte A4 hardeband boek)

 

Hiermee beloof ek om my soos ‘n ware Sharks Offisiele Ondersteuner te gedra:

 

  • Ek belowe om dronk te raak en die tweede helfde van elke game te mis omdat ek vir George roep.
  • Ek belowe om enige funksie se onthaal met die ABSA stadium op die agtergrond te hou.
  • Ek belowe om elke girl op die ABSA stadium se gat te gryp en dan hard saam met my tjommies en my vrou te lag.
  •  Ek belowe om my Sharks vlag van 10 meter lank by elke game aanhoudend te waai, al verloor ons, net om die ander toeskouers van hulle span se goeie rugby te ontneem.
  •  Ek belowe ook om enige ander span se supporters se ma’s, pa’s, oupas of oumas te skel.
  •  Ek lê ‘n plegtige belofte af om ‘n Sharks hemp, hoed, vlag te koop (natuurlik kry mens ‘n sticker verniet saam met die hoed), al lyk ek simple daarin.
  •  Ek belowe ook om Shark tande aan te skaf want ek self sukkel om ‘n ‘n byt in die aksie te kry behalwe as ek verby daai ABSA stadium ry. 
  •  Ek belowe om by elke party my kar se gat innie rigting vannie party te park en my Sharks – CD uit my boot uit te laat jol.
  •  Ek belowe ook dat as dit met ons kak begin gaan, ek summier ‘n OP (Eastern Province Kings) ondersteuner te word.

 

 

HANDTEKENING (verkieslik joune)

 

_______________________(of vingerafdruk, okey as dit moet sal net ‘n kruis ook doen)

 

_______________________(aansoeker se naam)

 

Vir SHARKS KLUB gebruik alleenlik

 

 

————————————————————-

 

On a more serious note:

 

1. The Sharks has won only one of the 6 finals it played in since 2000 (in 4 CC and 2 Super Rugby finals).

2. The Bulls/Blue Bulls has won 8 of the 10 finals it played in since 2000 (in 7 CC and 3 Super Rugby).

3. The Blue Bulls has won all of its last 7 semi-finals in the Currie Cup.

4. The Sharks has only won 4 of its last 7 semi-finals in the Currie Cup.

5. In 2002 the Blue Bulls beat Sharks (22-19) at ABSA Park (Durban) in the last Currie Cup semi-final between them, and then went on the crush the Lions in the final at Ellis Park (Johannesburg).

 

 

History has a nasty habit of repeating itself, yes it does…

 

NOU DIE BLOU !!!

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by azurite

Some points to ponder for the End of Year Tour

September 9, 2010 in Uncategorized

There has been plenty of opinions on what the End of Year Tour (EoYT) for the Springboks should mean. Some suggested that we should blood young players, while others think that we need to get the Boks back into the habit of winning. There are only 8 games remaining for the Boks to get back into the winners circle. What to do then?

The fiasco that is SARU has reared its ugly head yet again, with the South African Rugby Players Association (SARPA) accusing the organisation of dishonoring a previous commitment earlier this year that players will be monitored on an individual basis. Now there is speculation that some unions are unhappy about the return of certain Boks to certain provinces, especially those players that need some game time to regain form or are returning from suspension or injury.

I am confused. Surely the idea of resting players is when they are in need of it, being overplayed or injured? Of course some of the Boks need a break, of course they need to work on conditioning, of course they need to plan on defending their World Cup title next year. But a blanket ban is not only unfair it is also very short-sighted. How, for example, can a player that has not been on the field for 9 weeks regain match fitness in one match, then sent on an EoYT? There are a number of players that are contracted to the Boks in need of game time before the tour up north. So being contracted means you automatically are selected for the Boks and presumably weeks before the tour are viewed as being match fit and in form, even when you have not played for 9 weeks? Bollocks!

I’ve had enough, let’s just go with the suggestion of playing the young guns on the EoYT. So I’ll get the ball rolling on selection of young players. There has been a lot of talk about two young and very promising players, the future fly-half and full-back for the Boks: Elton Jantjies and Patrick Lambie. How have these players been performing in the Currie Cup though?

Kicking stats – Absa Currie Cup 2010 (from SA Rugby :)

Willem de Waal (WP) – 85.71%
Elton Jantjies (Lions) – 84.38%
Louis Strydom (FS) – 84.09%
Ricardo Croy (Pumas) – 81.82%
Naas Olivier (GW) – 81.03%
Herkie Kruger (Lions) – 78.57%
Jacques-Louis Potgieter (Bulls) – 77.97%
Clayton Durand (Leopards) – 77.78%
Burton Francis (Lions) – 77.78%
Meyer Bosman (FS) – 72.73%
Pat Lambie (Sharks) – 71.88%

Jantjies has an amazing success rate for such a young fly-half Lambie’s poor kicking stats hopefully will convince the selectors at the Sharks and hopefully in the future for the Boks he is a full back and not a fly-half.

Tries scored (from Supersport.com)


Patrick Lambie – 3
Elton Jantjies – 2
Naas Olivier – 2
Jacques-Louis Potgieter – 1
Meyer Bosman – 1
Burton Francis – 0
Clayton Durand – 0
Louis Strydom – 0
Ricardo Croy – 0
Willem de Waal – 0

Herkie Kruger – 0

Both are featuring in the try-scoring area, and with Bjorn Basson (13 tries) and Lwazi Mvovo (8), the leading try scorers in the Currie Cup, and Francois Hougaard at scrumhalf, we have a great attacking back-line for the future. Any suggestions on the centre pairing anyone?

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Why so selfish Western Province, Sharks and Cheetahs?

September 8, 2010 in Uncategorized

Yesterday South African Rugby decided withdraw all contracted Springboks the Currie Cup for the next 4 weeks, so that these players can undergo re-conditioning prior to the end of year tour. This, of course, only happened after the apparent squealing from the following provincial rugby unions: Western Province, the Free State Cheetahs and the Sharks. Apparently these three unions are most upset about the fact that Bakkies Botha, who has been suspended for 9 weeks and only played 5 games of rugby this entire season, will be playing Currie Cup for the Blue Bulls in order to regain his form.

Of course the earlier agreement of the Springbok management with the leading unions was that the contracted Springboks will only participate in the last round of the Currie Cup. Here is the list of the group that will be excluded from participating in the Currie Cup until 6 October 2010:

 

7 Blue Bulls players: Victor Matfield, Danie Rossouw, Bakkies Botha, Wynand Olivier, Morne Steyn, Fourie du Preez, Pierre Spies

 

5 Sharks players players: John Smit, Bismarck du Plessis, Tendai Mtawarira, JP Pietersen, Adrian Jacobs

 

5 Western Province players: Schalk Burger, Jaque Fourie, Bryan Habana, Ricky January, Andries Bekker

 

3 Free State Cheetahs players: Juan Smith, Heinrich Brüssow, CJ van der Linde.

 

Since the agreement a number of the contracted Springboks above have been unable to get enough games under the belt due to injuries and suspensions, and thus are in dire need of game time, for example Bakkies Botha, Juan Smith, Heinrich Brüssow, Andries BekkerJaque Fourie, Tendai Mtawarira, Bismarck du Plessis, Adrian Jacobs and JP Pietersen .

Now am I wrong in that the majority of the players that need game time are not from the Blue Bulls? Most of the players that need to be on the pitch to regain some form are from the Sharks. So the Sharks are willing to sacrifice four out of form players just to keep Bakkies Botha from turning out for the Blue Bulls? For goodness sake, the Sharks are not playing the Blue Bulls again until the semifinals or final, when all the contracted Springboks are back in any case!  The same situation exists with the Free State Cheetahs, where Juan Smith had precious little game time this year, Heinrich Brüssow who will be back later from his second operation needs as much game time as possible, and CJ van der Linde who actually is contracted to play in the Currie Cup for the Cheetahs. For Western Province, Andries Bekker is still injured, but will return soon, and both Bryan Habana and Ricky January are seriously out of form, while Jaque Fourie can certainly do with more game time after being suspended. 

 

Despite all this apparent tantrum-throwing by Western Province, the Free State Cheetahs and the Sharks, the Blue Bulls are voluntarily resting the non-Springbok contracted Gurthrö Steenkamp, who has played all Super 14 (bar one) and all Springbok games (starting all but one) this year and obviously is in need of a well deserved break.

One can not deny that this is kind of action is very short-sighted and childish (if true) from the WP, FS Cheetahs and the Sharks. Why are they doing this? To benefit themselves? I think not, as they are without the services of several Springboks now. Are they doing this out of spite or fear just so that Bakkies Botha cannot play himself into form in the Currie Cup rugby? Surely one cannot play oneself into form in a maximum of three games?

 

While the Blue Bulls have shown that they put players interests ahead of their Currie Cup campaign, the other three leading unions (not the Lions) have shown (it seems) that they are not willing to put the Springboks (and country’s) interests ahead of their own little silly infighting and Currie Cup campaign. Why are the tail wagging the dog here?

 

If these players that are rested don’t perform on the end of year tour, you and I know who to point fingers at!

 

EDITS:

– Even Rob Houwing find it strange that Bakkies Botha has to undergo more conditioning!

- Information from the BlouBul Blog, with additions from my own.

- Added some strategically bold words to make it clear that the facts are unconfirmed, but it does not distract from the main points that not all the contracted Boks need to rest.

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Nothing has changed – All Blacks are still getting away with it

August 25, 2010 in Uncategorized

Good day fellow bloggers or is it blogsters? After watching the Springboks getting so close to beating the All Blacks on Saturday, I was a bit content with the fact that just maybe the refereeing tide has turned from favouring the All Blacks. Especially so while watching the opening minutes of the match when the referee finally picked up on the All Blacks tactics at the breakdown area. Or so I thought.

Last night I decided to have another look at the match to see if the All Blacks were up to their old tricks or is it new tricks? To say I was disappointed with what I witnessed in the first half only is an understatement. The northern hemisphere referee was as usual far off the mark and the All Blacks are still up to their illegal play of falling over the ball (more penalised this game though), being offside at the breakdown (hanging around on the Springbok side, coming in from the side and not the gate), high tackles, shielding of players from Springbok kicks and last but not least holding on to players so they cannot reach the ball or All Black ball carriers. Richie  McCaw deserves a special mention here for holding on to Victor Matfield’s jersey, and if the ball carrier he passed to was not out over the sideline, McCaw would have scored a try. Illegaly so.

That said, I think the Springboks were especially lucky to not receive a yellow card for a high tackle so often are given at the South African domestic level. Gerhard van den Heever‘s yellow card against Western Province is such an example and I fail to see the difference between the two high tackles. Both went high and late, but released and did not go through. This is just some of the inconsistent refereeing that is so glaring between different countries and the two hemispheres. The only way to eradicate inconsistent refereeing is to appoint referees from the southern hemisphere for southern hemisphere matches and northern hemisphere referees for northern hemisphere matches. In all honesty, northern hemisphere referees cannot keep up with the pace of the southern hemisphere game, just like the referee was caught on his backside Saturday, and thus are making too many mistakes.

To illustrate what I mentioned in paragraph two of this blog I have a few pictorial examples below from the first half. These I must stress are just examples from the first 40 minutes and not all the illegal play from the All Blacks the referee should have picked up on. None of these offences were penalised by the referee. I did not even include the shoulder charge in the face of Juan de Jongh at the ruck, something Bakkies Botha was cited for and banned last year. What is even more discouraging is that most of it happened in full view of the referee and his two assistants, yet nothing happened, just like the forward pass that resulted in a try.

The All Blacks are just continuing on their merry illegal way of playing and no referee is man enough to stand up against them.

HERE ARE THE EXAMPLES OF ILLEGAL PLAY BY THE ALL BLACKS THAT WERE NOT PENALISED:

Deliberate shielding of the ball catcher from a kick-off by number 5.

Holding on to the opposing player to prevent him from playing the ball by

number 9 black.

Not even protesting this illegal play catches the officials eyes.

Not surprisingly it is the same person not penalised in the first

Tri-Nations test and he is a serial offender in this area.

Standing in an offside position at the ruck (no. 5 black).

Holding on to the opposing player to prevent him from playing the ball

by…….”drum roll”…..number 7 black. This almost resulted in a try.

Not entering through the gate and from the side by number 5

black.

Not entering through the gate and from the side by number 5 black,

a serial offender in this regard and also in full view of the referee.

Three All Blacks blatantly off-side at the ruck and in full view of the referee.

High tackle by number 9 black. The neck area is a no go area, yes?

Shielding of the ball / crossing / off-side / playing the man without

the ball. Call it what you want but this was clearly a penalty. No, the

referee saw nothing in it!

Lost for words. How is this not off-side by the All Blacks?

Certainly the referees are favouring the All Blacks, there is no doubt about it. Examples are aplenty in the Tri-Nations. I don’t mind being out-played, out-thought and out-muscled fairly and losing a game. But the fans, players, Springbok management and SARU’s calls for consistent refereeing has just fallen on deaf ears (hey Paddy Waddy?). No doubt the All Blacks are the best team in the world at the moment, no doubt they play the most attractive rugby, no doubt they deserve the Tri-Nations crown, but, for the love of rugby (with apologies to Met Uysh!) can we see them fingered for these illegal tactics?

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So are the Boks really that bad?

July 27, 2010 in Uncategorized

Ok! So a lot of fans are pointing fingers at the Springbok players over the last 3 weeks, implying that this one and that one is not up to standard, labouring, not performing, not doing his job etc. etc. etc.

I find that without the actual statistics it is hard to back up such arguments, because we, as humans, will only remember the mistakes and not the good work that goes unnoticed so easily.

So here are the statistics for the forwards the last 3 test matches in the Tri-Nations (stats from www.ruggastats.com).  Have look and you will be surprised that Victor Matfield for example has been stellar in defence and cleanout on attack, and Pierre Spies has carried the ball well, with a few line breaks to boot and made quite a lot of ground, while getting over the gain line more often than not.  Spies has been good on cleaning out the ball on attack and has not made as many errors as one would “normally” expect of him.

The point is we are quick to criticize when players don’t live up to our very high expectations.  It is easy for us couch potatoes (me included!) to criticize when a player makes an obvious error, but we forget how much good work other than just a knock on these guys get through in a game

Of course we could point out John Smit’s terrible defence, or Schalk Burger’s errors and penalty count, but what I hope is that the coaching staff will be pointing out these statistics to the players to work on!

DEFENCE
TACKLES MADE % TACKLES MISSED FORCED TURNOVERS
Burger Schalk 55 Kankowski Ryan 0% Matfield Victor 1
Matfield Victor 51 Merwe van der Flip 0% Steenkamp Gurthro 1
Steenkamp Gurthro 49 Ralepelle Chilliboy 0% Spies Pierre 1
Spies Pierre 40 Louw Francois 4% Ralepelle Chilliboy 1
Botha Brendon 27 Matfield Victor 6% Burger Schalk 0
Louw Francois 26 Steenkamp Gurthro 8% Botha Brendon 0
Rossouw Danie 23 Linde van der CJ 11% Louw Francois 0
Smit John 22 Botha Bakkies 11% Rossouw Danie 0
Kankowski Ryan 9 Botha Brendon 11% Smit John 0
Linde van der CJ 9 Plessis du Jannie 11% Kankowski Ryan 0
Plessis du Jannie 8 Spies Pierre 13% Linde van der CJ 0
Bekker Andries 5 Burger Schalk 16% Plessis du Jannie 0
Botha Bakkies 4 Potgieter Dewald 33% Bekker Andries 0
Merwe van der Flip 3 Rossouw Danie 35% Botha Bakkies 0
Potgieter Dewald 3 Smit John 50% Merwe van der Flip 0
Ralepelle Chilliboy 2 Bekker Andries 60% Potgieter Dewald 0
CONTACT
BALL CARRIES LINE BREAKS OFFLOADS
Spies Pierre 26 Spies Pierre 3 Burger Schalk 5
Smit John 25 Louw Francois 2 Smit John 4
Rossouw Danie 23 Rossouw Danie 1 Louw Francois 2
Burger Schalk 20 Burger Schalk 1 Rossouw Danie 1
Botha Brendon 12 Steenkamp Gurthro 0 Spies Pierre 1
Kankowski Ryan 11 Smit John 0 Bekker Andries 1
Louw Francois 10 Matfield Victor 0 Kankowski Ryan 1
Steenkamp Gurthro 8 Ralepelle Chilliboy 0 Linde van der CJ 1
Matfield Victor 8 Bekker Andries 0 Steenkamp Gurthro 0
Linde van der CJ 5 Kankowski Ryan 0 Matfield Victor 0
Botha Bakkies 5 Botha Brendon 0 Ralepelle Chilliboy 0
Bekker Andries 4 Plessis du Jannie 0 Botha Brendon 0
Potgieter Dewald 3 Botha Bakkies 0 Plessis du Jannie 0
Ralepelle Chilliboy 2 Linde van der CJ 0 Botha Bakkies 0
Plessis du Jannie 1 Merwe van der Flip 0 Merwe van der Flip 0
Merwe van der Flip 1 Potgieter Dewald 0 Potgieter Dewald 0
CONTACT (cont.)
GAIN LINE % METRES GAINED
Plessis du Jannie 100 Burger Schalk 147
Botha Bakkies 100 Spies Pierre 135
Potgieter Dewald 100 Rossouw Danie 120
Bekker Andries 83 Kankowski Ryan 88
Rossouw Danie 83 Smit John 79
Spies Pierre 71 Louw Francois 56
Burger Schalk 63 Matfield Victor 36
Smit John 60 Botha Bakkies 30
Kankowski Ryan 57 Bekker Andries 25
Ralepelle Chilliboy 56 Botha Brendon 22
Matfield Victor 50 Steenkamp Gurthro 18
Botha Brendon 44 Potgieter Dewald 14
Steenkamp Gurthro 39 Linde van der CJ 13
Linde van der CJ 38 Ralepelle Chilliboy 9
Louw Francois 36 Plessis du Jannie 6
Merwe van der Flip 0 Merwe van der Flip 2
HANDLING
TOTAL PASSES PLAYMAKER PASSES HANDLE COUNT
Burger Schalk 33 Burger Schalk 7 Burger Schalk 56
Matfield Victor 24 Smit John 3 Spies Pierre 36
Smit John 12 Matfield Victor 2 Smit John 35
Spies Pierre 11 Steenkamp Gurthro 1 Matfield Victor 32
Louw Francois 9 Bekker Andries 1 Rossouw Danie 29
Rossouw Danie 7 Rossouw Danie 0 Louw Francois 19
Botha Brendon 6 Louw Francois 0 Botha Brendon 19
Bekker Andries 5 Spies Pierre 0 Steenkamp Gurthro 17
Steenkamp Gurthro 4 Ralepelle Chilliboy 0 Kankowski Ryan 16
Kankowski Ryan 4 Kankowski Ryan 0 Botha Bakkies 8
Linde van der CJ 4 Botha Brendon 0 Linde van der CJ 8
Ralepelle Chilliboy 3 Plessis du Jannie 0 Ralepelle Chilliboy 6
Plessis du Jannie 2 Botha Bakkies 0 Bekker Andries 6
Botha Bakkies 1 Linde van der CJ 0 Plessis du Jannie 5
Potgieter Dewald 1 Merwe van der Flip 0 Merwe van der Flip 3
Merwe van der Flip 0 Potgieter Dewald 0 Potgieter Dewald 3
BREAKDOWN
RUCK TURN-OVER CLEANOUT OWN BALL ATTACK CLEANOUT OWN BALL DEFENCE
Steenkamp Gurthro 0 Matfield Victor 83 Smit John 24
Smit John 0 Steenkamp Gurthro 69 Burger Schalk 20
Rossouw Danie 0 Burger Schalk 48 Louw Francois 20
Matfield Victor 0 Spies Pierre 42 Matfield Victor 12
Burger Schalk 0 Smit John 41 Steenkamp Gurthro 11
Louw Francois 0 Louw Francois 36 Kankowski Ryan 11
Spies Pierre 0 Botha Brendon 33 Spies Pierre 10
Ralepelle Chilliboy 0 Rossouw Danie 23 Botha Brendon 10
Bekker Andries 0 Plessis du Jannie 18 Rossouw Danie 6
Kankowski Ryan 0 Kankowski Ryan 15 Botha Bakkies 4
Botha Brendon 0 Botha Bakkies 13 Plessis du Jannie 3
Plessis du Jannie 0 Linde van der CJ 12 Ralepelle Chilliboy 2
Botha Bakkies 0 Potgieter Dewald 11 Potgieter Dewald 2
Linde van der CJ 0 Ralepelle Chilliboy 10 Bekker Andries 1
Merwe van der Flip 0 Bekker Andries 10 Linde van der CJ 1
Potgieter Dewald 0 Merwe van der Flip 4 Merwe van der Flip 1
ERRORS
PENALTIES FORCED & UNFORCED ERRORS HANDLING ERRORS
Burger Schalk 3 Burger Schalk 4 Burger Schalk 7
Botha Brendon 3 Rossouw Danie 3 Spies Pierre 3
Matfield Victor 2 Louw Francois 3 Plessis du Jannie 3
Louw Francois 2 Bekker Andries 3 Smit John 2
Smit John 1 Steenkamp Gurthro 2 Matfield Victor 2
Rossouw Danie 1 Matfield Victor 2 Bekker Andries 2
Kankowski Ryan 1 Spies Pierre 2 Merwe van der Flip 2
Plessis du Jannie 1 Smit John 1 Steenkamp Gurthro 1
Botha Bakkies 1 Kankowski Ryan 1 Rossouw Danie 1
Steenkamp Gurthro 0 Botha Brendon 1 Louw Francois 1
Spies Pierre 0 Plessis du Jannie 1 Botha Brendon 1
Ralepelle Chilliboy 0 Ralepelle Chilliboy 0 Ralepelle Chilliboy 0
Bekker Andries 0 Botha Bakkies 0 Kankowski Ryan 0
Linde van der CJ 0 Linde van der CJ 0 Botha Bakkies 0
Merwe van der Flip 0 Merwe van der Flip 0 Linde van der CJ 0
Potgieter Dewald 0 Potgieter Dewald 0 Potgieter Dewald 0

P.S. I could have added the statistics for the backline players as well, but it’s a lot of work!

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Schalk Burger alleged “eye gouge” – judge for yourself

July 26, 2010 in Uncategorized

The picture frames below have been extracted from a video that sprung up on the web and accuses Schalk Burger as “eye-gouging” Pocock in the Wallabies vs Springbok game on 24 July 2010. Judge for yourself.

Points to take notice of:

1) Pocock is strangling Burger with an elbow in the throat. As far as the law is concerned this is illegal and dirty play. Not to mention that is is extremely dangerous in a medical sense.

2) Burgers reaction seems to be to get Pocock away from him, as he is clearly threatened in a medical way by Pocock’s action.

3) Burger initially touches the area above Pocock’s forehead, sliding his hand onto the forehead of Pocock, and never going for the eyes,while trying to push Pocock away.

4) You will notice Pocock has a second go at Burger’s throat, this time with his forearm. Surely this kind of deliberate thuggish and dangerous play should have been picked up by the match officials and citing commissioner.

As far as I am concerned this is not an eye-gouge, as Schalk’s fingers never were in Pocock eyes, and only touched his forehead. Schalk’s action totally was a reaction to being threatened by Pocock’s deliberate strangling.

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Alonso’s constant whinging

June 30, 2010 in Uncategorized

Ferrari’s double Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso (2005, 2006) still appears to be peeved off being upstaged by a rookie team mate named Lewis Hamilton back in 2007.

It’s a disgrace when sport stars and their managers openly attacks the controlling bodies and opposing teams, accusing them of manipulating results.  I seriously hope the FIA don’t take lightly to these serious allegations, as it seems that the governing body is still considering how to respond.

A hefty fine for Ferrari and Alonso would not be out of place.

Since winning the title 2006 Alonso have been on a downward slide in F1, finishing 3rd (2007), 5th (2008) and 7th (2009) in the drivers chamionship table.  Maybe the frustration of the promising move to Ferrari has been getting the better of him?

Alonso, I would agree with Hamilton that you are just showing your sour grapes, and I would say to you what Jacques Kallis told Kumer Roach last night:

“Get back to the starting line and try again mate!”


Alonso the Moaner

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Who is the best Test Cricket All-rounder of all time?

June 23, 2010 in Uncategorized

Who is or was the best Test cricket all-rounder of all time? Is it Jacques Kallis or Garfield Sobers? Maybe Ian Botham? What about Shaun Pollock or Richard Hadlee? How does one compare all-rounders in Test cricket. What would be the best formula to use?

 

There is a commonly used statistical rule that states that for an all-round cricket player the batting average should be greater than the bowling average. Thus in Test cricket, there only are 16 all-rounders with batting averages that are greater than their bowling averages (source: Cricinfo):

 

Player   Mat   Runs   Bat Ave
Wkts   Bowl Ave   Bat Ave-Bowl Ave
GS Sobers (WI)  93 8032 57.78 235 34.03 23.75
JH Kallis (ICC/SA)  139 11083 55.13 264 31.65 23.48
WR Hammond (Eng)  85 7249 58.45 83 37.80 20.65
Imran Khan (Pak)  88 3807 37.69 362 22.81 14.88
KR Miller (Aus)  55 2958 36.97 170 22.97 14.00
SM Pollock (SA)  108 3781 32.31 421 23.11 9.20
TL Goddard (SA)  41 2516 34.46 123 26.22 8.24
AW Greig (Eng)  58 3599 40.43 141 32.20 8.23
MA Noble (Aus)  42 1997 30.25 121 25.00 5.25
IT Botham (Eng)  102 5200 33.54 383 28.40 5.14
Sir RJ Hadlee (NZ)  86 3124 27.16 431 22.29 4.87
CL Cairns (NZ)  62 3320 33.53 218 29.40 4.13
AK Davidson (Aus)  44 1328 24.59 186 20.53 4.06
W Rhodes (Eng)  58 2325 30.19 127 26.96 3.23
N Kapil Dev (India)  131 5248 31.05 434 29.64 1.41
TE Bailey (Eng)  61 2290 29.74 132 29.21 0.53

The top three, Garfield Sobers, Jacques Kallis and Walter Hammond are clearly a cut above the rest. In all of 85 matches Hammond surprisingly only grabbed 83 wickets, probably because of his reluctance to bowl. Cricinfo classifies a test all-rounder as having scored 1000 runs and taken 100 wickets (link here).  This is probably a fair criteria. Thus poor old Hammond is eliminated (unfairly) from the competition. Let’s not exclude the poor English bloke. So I’ve come up with the idea of of weighting the batting and bowling averages against the combined 16 Test cricket all-rounders with positive batting minus bowling averages from the table above:

Player   Bat Ave
Weighted Bat Ave Bowl Ave   Weighted Bowl Ave Combined Weighted Ave Bat Ave-Bowl Ave
GS Sobers (WI)  57.78 1.558 34.03 0.812 2.370 23.75
JH Kallis (ICC/SA)  55.13 1.487 31.65 0.873 2.360 23.48
WR Hammond (Eng)  58.45 1.576 37.80 0.731 2.308 20.65
Imran Khan (Pak)  37.69 1.016 22.81 1.212 2.228 14.88
KR Miller (Aus)  36.97 0.997 22.97 1.203 2.200 14.00
SM Pollock (SA)  32.31 0.871 23.11 1.196 2.067 9.20
TL Goddard (SA)  34.46 0.929 26.22 1.054 1.983 8.24
AW Greig (Eng)  40.43 1.090 32.20 0.858 1.949 8.23
MA Noble (Aus)  30.25 0.816 25.00 1.106 1.921 5.25
IT Botham (Eng)  33.54 0.905 28.40 0.973 1.878 5.14
Sir RJ Hadlee (NZ)  27.16 0.732 22.29 1.240 1.972 4.87
CL Cairns (NZ)  33.53 0.904 29.40 0.940 1.844 4.13
AK Davidson (Aus)  24.59 0.663 20.53 1.346 2.009 4.06
W Rhodes (Eng)  30.19 0.814 26.96 1.025 1.839 3.23
N Kapil Dev (India)  31.05 0.837 29.64 0.932 1.770 1.41
TE Bailey (Eng)  29.74 0.802 29.21 0.946 1.748 0.53
Averages 37.08 27.64
Player   Mat   Runs   Ave   Wkts   Ave   Bat.Ave-Bowl.Ave
GS Sobers (WI)  93 8032 57.78 235 34.03 23.75
JH Kallis (ICC/SA)  139 11083 55.13 264 31.65 23.48
Imran Khan (Pak)  88 3807 37.69 362 22.81 14.88
KR Miller (Aus)  55 2958 36.97 170 22.97 14.00
SM Pollock (SA)  108 3781 32.31 421 23.11 9.20
TL Goddard (SA)  41 2516 34.46 123 26.22 8.24
AW Greig (Eng)  58 3599 40.43 141 32.20 8.23
MA Noble (Aus)  42 1997 30.25 121 25.00 5.25
IT Botham (Eng)  102 5200 33.54 383 28.40 5.14
Sir RJ Hadlee (NZ)  86 3124 27.16 431 22.29 4.87
CL Cairns (NZ)  62 3320 33.53 218 29.40 4.13
AK Davidson (Aus)  44 1328 24.59 186 20.53 4.06
W Rhodes (Eng)  58 2325 30.19 127 26.96 3.23
N Kapil Dev (India)  131 5248 31.05 434 29.64 1.41
TE Bailey (Eng)  61 2290 29.74 132 29.21 0.53

This method has no real effect on the position of the rankings, expect for Davidson that would move up to 7th and Hadlee that would move up to 9th, both because of their exceptional bowling averages. Another South African, Shaun Pollock, stays in 6th.

What is interesting is that this method closes the gap between the all-rounders and thus the ratings appear more competitive between the players.

Now I have played with the idea of including catches (they win matches you know!), but alas, this can be biased in the sense that slip fielders will generally take more catches.

What is very clear is that Sobers and Kallis is the two greatest all-rounders in test cricket. No-one can dispute that. The figures are too close to separate, so let’s call it a tie!


P.S. Another method is to divide the batting average by the bowling average. With this method Kallis replaces Sobers at the top, and Hammond drops to number five. I don’t particularly agree with this method as it penalises a weaker discipline heavily (batting or bowling):

Player   Combined Weighted Ave Bat Ave-Bowl Ave Bat Ave / Bowl Ave
GS Sobers (WI)  2.370 23.75 1.70
JH Kallis (ICC/SA)  2.360 23.48 1.74
WR Hammond (Eng)  2.308 20.65 1.55
Imran Khan (Pak)  2.228 14.88 1.65
KR Miller (Aus)  2.200 14.00 1.61
SM Pollock (SA)  2.067 9.20 1.40
TL Goddard (SA)  1.983 8.24 1.31
AW Greig (Eng)  1.949 8.23 1.26
MA Noble (Aus)  1.921 5.25 1.21
IT Botham (Eng)  1.878 5.14 1.18
Sir RJ Hadlee (NZ)  1.972 4.87 1.22
CL Cairns (NZ)  1.844 4.13 1.14
AK Davidson (Aus)  2.009 4.06 1.20
W Rhodes (Eng)  1.839 3.23 1.12
N Kapil Dev (India)  1.770 1.41 1.05
TE Bailey (Eng)  1.748 0.53 1.02

Now what would happen if we would to combine all these methods by simple mutitplication of all three figures. I know it is mathematically not sound, but heck let’s just go for it:

Player   Combined W.Ave Bat.Ave-Bowl.Ave Bat Ave / Bowl Ave Combined
GS Sobers (WI)  2.370 23.75 1.70 95.59
JH Kallis (ICC/SA)  2.360 23.48 1.74 96.52
WR Hammond (Eng)  2.308 20.65 1.55 73.68
Imran Khan (Pak)  2.228 14.88 1.65 54.78
KR Miller (Aus)  2.200 14.00 1.61 49.58
SM Pollock (SA)  2.067 9.20 1.40 26.59
TL Goddard (SA)  1.983 8.24 1.31 21.48
AW Greig (Eng)  1.949 8.23 1.26 20.14
MA Noble (Aus)  1.921 5.25 1.21 12.21
IT Botham (Eng)  1.878 5.14 1.18 11.40
Sir RJ Hadlee (NZ)  1.972 4.87 1.22 11.70
CL Cairns (NZ)  1.844 4.13 1.14 8.69
AK Davidson (Aus)  2.009 4.06 1.20 9.77
W Rhodes (Eng)  1.839 3.23 1.12 6.65
N Kapil Dev (India)  1.770 1.41 1.05 2.61
TE Bailey (Eng)  1.748 0.53 1.02 0.94

An interesting observation is that we now seemingly have come to a value out of 100. Could this be the ultimate method to gauge Test cricket all-rounders? Kallis again replaces Sobers at the top, while Hadlee and Botham swaps places and ditto for Davidson and Cairns. Four methods and in two of those Sobers is supreme and in the other two Kallis is king. Pretty much even. Let’s keep it that way!

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