October 8, 2010 in Uncategorized
A couple of weeks ago I read an article here on sports24 about Lachie Turner winning a race against some other rugby players in Aus. Apparently he got some advice from Jamaican sprinter, Osain Bolt. But it got me thinking: Who is the fastest rugby player here in South Africa?? I mean wouldn’t it be cool if we could organize something like that here??
So with that I decided to pick 8 wingers and through them in 2 races: a 40 & 100 meter sprint.
Now please note that these are the wingers I (me, Ruggamaddave) think are the fastest in SA and the results of the 2 races are based on what I’ve (me, Ruggamaddave) seen them do on a rugby field. I’m sure there are guys playing for some club that can show these wingers a thing or 2 but I don’t know of them & you are more than welcome to point them out to me.
Here are the candidates:
The young Sharks winger has everything you want from your finisher: Size, strength & speed. This season he’s really come of age in the CC and a lot of Bok fans will shake their heads should this guy not pack for Europe come November.
I’ve always known that this guy is fast but have only really paid attention to him this year. The diminutive winger will make any team be wary of his silky skills to be able to accelerate out of any situation.
4 or 5 years ago it could’ve been safe to say that we didn’t need to have this race because we know jetshoes would win it. Do you remember that there was a time when he was even considered the fastest rugby player in the world? What’s changed apart from his form??
Gerhard vd Heever
If you have the nickname Shadow because of your pace, then you know you must be quick. There were even rumors flooding in Bulls country that he could beat Habana in a race when they were playing together for the Bulls.
Probably the most unluckiest player on this list when it comes to injuries. But when fit & on form, this guy had serious gas. One of those what-couldve-been players – Shame..
I remember how Jake White wanted him to tour with the Boks even though he had no intentions of playing the young speedster. Another player that falls into the injury-prone category, but few will disagree that giving this guy some space can result in your team giving away a 5 pointer.
The form winger has a chance to break Carel du Plessis CC try-scoring record. Most of the time, he got into that position by being the right place at the right time. And the other times he displayed skill, pace & speed to dive over the white line.
I think I’ve seen enough of this guy to put him in the race. He may not have pace of Shadow or the acceleration of a Gio Aplon but after this season with the Lions, he certainly deserves an honorable mention.
The 40 meter race:
3rd place: Bjorn Basson
2nd place: Bryan Habana
1st place: Gio Aplon
I was tempted to give the win to Aplon’s team mate because after being tested during the conditioning programme, it has been said that Habs was on the fastest players ever to be tested at sea level (whateva the hell that means). But no, the race goes to Aplon for his ability to not need a lot of steps to accelerate to a very fast speed so in my books he’ll win the short distance.
The 100 meter race:
3rd place: Bjorn Basson / Gerhard vd Heever
2nd place: Gio Aplon
1st place: Bryan Habana
Few would forget Aplon’s try against the French where he ran the length of the field without a player touching him. Few would also forget vd Heever solo run during the Super 14, and also without being touched. Basson looks uncatchable if no one is infront of him but my vote goes to Habana. With just losing out to Aplon in the 40 meters, I really think Habana will beat him and the other 6 guys in a 100 meter sprint. He’s got the acceleration and ability to keep his speed for the distance, so I think he’ll do it. The dude ran against a cheetah for pete’s sake..
So in my books, I’ll call Habana the fastest rugby player in SA..
What do you think??