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by djp

Who’s the fastest winger in SA??

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:

Lwazi Mvovo

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.

Gio Aplon

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.

Bryan Habana

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.

Tonderai Chavanga

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..

Jongi Nokwe

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.

Bjorn Basson

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.

Michael Killian

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??

I’m outy

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by djp

WP WILL get it done!!!

October 4, 2010 in Uncategorized

Well, so far my predictions I made a couple a weeks ago are still going strong.. Apart from a couple of points I missed here and there, I still think the semis & final of the Currie Cup will play out as I wrote in my blog: http://blogs.sport24.co.za/djp/currie-cup-sem-final-spots-are-already-locked

Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

PF

PA

PD

TF

TA

BPts

Pts

1

Sharks

13

10

0

3

471

267

204

59

27

12

52

2

Vodacom Western Province

13

9

0

4

487

259

228

56

25

8

44

3

Vodacom Free State Cheetahs

13

9

0

4

410

316

94

48

32

6

42

4

Vodacom Blue Bulls

13

8

0

5

389

338

51

41

34

10

42

5

Xerox Lions

13

7

0

6

374

373

1

41

41

9

37

But this weekend’s results I think gave the 4 top teams a huge reason to win their respective games even though it’s not exactly for the same reason. The Sharks would want to beat WP to rather face them in the semis than the Bulls or the Cheetahs. WP would want to beat the Sharks to host a semi & the Cheetahs and Bulls would want to win their games & win with bonus points AND huge margins as they are tied so point difference can become an issue and off course the possibility of hosting a semi final. So all eyes will be on the final game of the round robin stages: WP vs The Sharks and this is the game I want to talk about.

It’s unbelievable to think that a team who has won its 1st 6 games of the competition & arguably the 2nd best team of the round robin stages can finish 4th in this year’s Currie Cup & if that should happen (touch wood), there’s only one game that cost us and it was the loss against the Cheetahs at Newlands. & Now that we got that out of the way, back to the Sharks game.

With the Boks back.. Who to play? Who to play?? & where to play them?? I think the biggest issue is the centre combination. Do you break up Jean de Villiers & Juan de Jongh & do you start Fourie with JdV or JdJ?? What do you do with Schalk?? & What do you do with an out-of-form Habana & Ricky??

Centre Combination: I’d keep them just the way it is with Fourie coming off the bench as early as the beginning of the 2nd half. JdV & JdJ are just starting to click and I don’t think chopping and changing would help any one of the 3 centres. I also think Fourie is professional enough, to accept his role coming off the bench (even if its possibly just this 1 game). Alternatively, one could play Fourie on wing & either dropping JJ Engelbrecht or shift Gio to fullback. But like I said I’m not for the chopping & changing strategy so I’d bring Fourie off the bench.

Backrow Combination: Pieter Louw had a shocker of a game against the Bulls, making schoolboy errors by giving away silly penalties. It’s a shame too, because he’s been one of the form WP players this season but I think he’s errors will come back to haunt him. The combination of Schalk, Flo & Duane was arguably the best backrow in the Super 14 earlier this year and would be my backrow that I’d go for against the Sharks. Pieter, you’ll come off the bench!!

Wings: One things is for certain Gio Aplon MUST start!! Hands down the best wing for WP this season!! Ok, now who to play on the other side?? Surprisingly, its not a difficult choice: Bryan Habana. Yeah I said it.. And yes I know saying the guy has been off form is an understatement, but I think putting the blue n white hops on for the 1st time in front of a Newlands crowd, can be the perfect ingredient to rejuvenate the man called Jetshoes and a backline comprising of Habana, JdV, JdJ & Aplon will make any team quiver.

My Province team would therefore look like this:

  1. Moller
  2. Fourie
  3. Harris
  4. Fondse
  5. Van Zyl
  6. Burger (capt)
  7. Flow
  8. Duane
  9. Duvenage
  10. De Waal
  11. Habana
  12. JdV
  13. JdJ
  14. Aplon
  15. Jantjes
  16. Shimange
  17. JC
  18. Steenkamp
  19. Pieter
  20. Ricky
  21. Jaque
  22. Cronje

Bosch, JJ & Hoffmann shouldn’t feel too bad about being dropped out of the team as the 1st 2 guys are still young & Hoffmann will be leaving us anyways. With this team (AND Newlands) we will have more than enough to do the business against the Sharks, no matter what team they fields & secure our home semi final. PROOOOOOOOOOOOVINCE!!!

I’m outy

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