Energy draining stuff

Please no more...

Please no more…

Nobody said being a Superhero was ever going to be easy, but I am sure if you told professional rugby players that they would average around 2320 minutes of rugby each year, most of them would have laughed and said out of the 525600 minutes in a year, that is a drop in the bucket, and for those who are judging rugby players as dumb, that is your mistake to make because they know. You must not forget training every day, gym, running, drills and physical contact all take their toll on your body as well.

Playing in Super Rugby gives you Superhero status and the only stage greater than SR on the Rugby calendar is the Rugby World Cup, so of course you would want to go out and shine every time you touch enter the field, giving it your all, but what happens if you have nothing more to give?

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Thinking, you’re doing it wrong

This is a bit of a belated post I know, I just needed to vent as I don’t know who to be angrier at, the FSRU or SARU for having the genius idea of taking away the first test Bloemfontein would have seen since September 2010.

 

Yes, it is for a good cause, it will be a Ruccer day with Bafana Bafana opening up for the Springboks for the first time ever in honour of 95 year old ex-president Nelson Mandela, a get well soon message if you like from the sporting codes.

 

I just somehow feel enraged at them just upping a test, now according to reports they had to move the first test because of Madiba might not get to see the others, that for me is poor taste if it is true, another assumption is they don’t want to move the All Blacks test to FNB Stadium because of our winning record against them, and the Argentine game should be a sure fire winner.

 

I really don’t care about the reason, I need to know what they were thinking moving a test just over a month before it is supposed to occur, I bought plane tickets for family members and also paid a non-refundable deposit for accommodation in Bloemfontein, how much is irrelevant but it was for 6 rooms and 11 people so it is not just a R100 here. Now I have emailed and tweeted both SARU and the FSRU to ask them who is going to refund me on this or what their plan is because I cannot be the only person who has arranged to make a weekend from the test, but I am yet to get an answer from either party.

 

There are also other question mark that needs answering, why not do the obvious thing and move the Ellis Park or Loftus match to FNB Stadium instead of granting Gauteng infrastructure 3 tests, I cannot help but think about the Guest Houses and Lodges, restaurants etc. in Bloemfontein that are losing money now because of this move.

 

This is clearly another well thought out plan by SARU and I really feel that I deserve answers on my questions.

 

Peace!

Third time lucky?

Many will see a bye weekend as a chance to rest and score some free points while you are doing so, however this year it seems that it was more a curse than a blessing for some teams, one of them of course being the Cheetahs.

 

They lost in a brainfart of a match against the Hurricanes after their first bye and blowing a match they should have won and the second occasion they played and lost thoroughly against the Stormers after the International Window crept in, and now they will play their first playoffs after their allotted second bye.

 

Many will see those two losses as a really bad thing, but you see, I think that the people in charge at the FSRU were thinking ahead and clearly had Mathematics on HG because they worked out that if we had won one more game than we did, we would be preparing to face the Crusaders in Christchurch instead of the Brumbies in Canberra who enjoy a much less home victory margin than the Crusaders.

 

Jake White will definitely have watched the Cheetahs vs. Bulls and Cheetahs vs. Stormers game (the second one) and try and copy what they did with regards to shutting down the Cheetahs’ forwards and taking their backline out of the game, but I also believe the coaching staff for the Bloem based boys would have also taken note of this weakness and try worked out ways to counter it.

 

Alexander vs. Oosthuizen should prove to be the pivotal to both teams success and the prospect of Brussouw vs. Smith come breakdown time, my biggest problem and the part I am most excited about is Mr. le Roux. If he is going to go out and try to score every time or try and do something special every time he gets the ball, like he did against the Stormers and Blues, he is going to get frustrated, have a bad game and cost the Cheetahs momentum on attacking opportunities, which I believe Jake’s team will keep to a minimum, even though not the most attacking or dangerous (Bay) backline, with ball in hand and some space, tries will come into the Cheetahs points column.

 

I hope Naka can keep the boys calm, tell them to go out there and give it their all, leave no Brumbie unturned and enjoy the occasion of their first playoff and not think too much about their trip to Hamilton the next week.

Peace!

Referee vs. the game

 

Having read some articles about coaches commenting on refs, blaming poor decisions and not themselves for losses and costing them a place in the playoffs, you know that we are at the end of the normal season.

 

To start off with, I agree with SANZAR that coaches taking stabs at referees for their team’s short comings will not be without coincidence and nor should it be, it is like blaming the greens when you three put a sitter. Can you imagine if referees were to lash back stating that if your team followed the rules and your forwards listened to my pre-match discussion around scrum time, then you would not have had so many penalties and you could have won, it is a two way street that will see endless traffic coming up and down, with the result nobody is really going anywhere.

 

When I was still a small boy, my dad would discipline me (read Bliksem) for not owning up to my responsibilities and especially for blaming my brothers for something that I had done, this taught me two things, always plan ahead and know what to expect and secondly, don’t make excuses for something that you did wrong and blame others.

 

I thought we were in a world where grown men played contact sports, where there will seldom not be a winner and a loser, where draws are much fun as kissing your sister. Take a win with pride, take a loss as a sign that work is needed, and work on those areas, don’t go crying to mommy saying that the big bad bully with the whistle was unfair.

 

What do you think?

 

Peace!

The Shopping Centre opens again

Until SARU and the powers that be decide that they will assist with the payment of players to keep them spread out amongst the Super playing unions, bigger unions will headhunt players performing at the smaller unions.

 

The Cheetahs find themselves, for the first time ever, in the hunt for a Super Rugby playoff spot in their most successful season ever, but sadly it seems that with great success will come great disappointment.

 

It is no secret that the central franchise is not the richest of them all and that they lose players every year, but every union loses players so that is not what this post is about, my point is that the Cheetahs owe their success to the same players playing for a couple of consecutive seasons, but sadly this will definitely change after this year’s competition comes to an end.

 

There are rumours amongst rumours flying around and I will not do a whole Baylion which players went where table, but I can almost guarantee that at least one of Piet van Zyl, Willie le Roux, Raymond Rhule, Robert Ebersohn, Lappies Labuschagne, Philip vd Walt or Trevor Nyakane will not be pulling a orange and white jersey over their heads next year come Super Rugby time.

I feel the worst for a player like Willie who is contracted to Griquas who have absolutely zero chance of competing against the Bulls, Stormers etc.

It is nothing personal I know, business is business and this is a professional sport, I myself moved to JHB from Bloemfontein for the paycheck, I just can’t see why the Bulls would want to buy a Piet van Zyl just to warm the bench and not give him enough game time to keep his form because he will undoubtedly play second fiddle to Spyder rider.

Which brings me back to my first point, SARU have to step in somewhere and look after the best interest of the Springbok players giving them all ample game time and helping smaller unions hold onto them to do just that.

Peace!

P.S. Hopefully the Cheetahs get through their first Quarter Final of Super Rugby.

MOB Weekend!

So the weekend has finally arrived, all my bags are packed and I am ready to go, well, after my half work day today that is.

 

The weekend could almost not be more perfect for a bunch of sports enthusiasts, with the Proteaboks playing against the Gayle Force Windies today, tomorrow we will be at the Zebra Stripped Mbombela Stadium watching two test matches live and on Sunday Bafana Bafana tackle Ethiopia, it’s like that Castle add, we just don’t have to celebrate everything in one day, but over three days, Castle will be thanking us after their revenue will undoubtedly be a bit bigger with us in Nelspruit.

 

Hope the weather holds up, according to our very reliable weather websites it is sunny and lekker hot up there, nothing more can be asked for.

 

For all those travelling up, travel safe and see you guys there. Good times await.

 

Peace!

SANZAR thinks?

There seems to have been some actual thinking going into this year’s Super Rugby Tournament, it seems that SANZAR has finally sorted out the Conference System and the combined log issues of years gone by.

 

A lot of people have always pointed out the team placed in 4th has more points than the team placed 3rd, which has been the case in the past with the Australian teams having the easier of the three Conferences, so what was their master plan, well, give the Aussie teams one week head start, this seems to have leveled everything out and the table leaders are actually placed in numerical order. (Yes I know it is because of the B&I Lions tour, but it works)

 

I also believe that this weekend’s fixtures were specifically selected ahead of the International Window to allow for the Bulls, Stormers and Sharks an “easy” run into the Springbok season as the bulk of the Springboks will come from these provinces, with the “Need to be match fit seeing as the Captain playes for them” Stormers taking on the “Believed to be a cricket score team in the beginning of the season” Kings taking on each other, and then the “according to some Bulls supporters, the team that just wants to end on top of the Kings, but surprised many” Cheetahs taking on the “HM” Bulls and the Sharks getting a bye after taking on the mighty Bulls the weekend before.

 

Things have changed since this plan has been implemented, with the match between the Cheetahs and Bulls possibly a conference decider and the Kings by no means the push over originally expected. This is why I love this game, any team can win on any day and this being Super Rugby it makes it even better because nothing pleases me more than an underdog beating a NZ and Aus team.

 

P.S. I was watching the classic matches on SS1 with the B&I Lions tours and noticed something I haven’t seen in a while, when was the last time you saw international players swop jerseys after the match?

 

Peace!

Negative frame of mind

I will have to start of this post with a “VVVVRRRRRYYYYYSSSSTTTTTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATTTTTTT

 

I have always liked the Sharks and have considered them my second team, if such a thing even exists, and have liked the way they apply their trade on the game. That was until this Saturday.

 

They seemed to have lost their mojo and most teams have worked them out and their ability to create something from nothing seems to have left with Freddie. Sadly you can see that the pressure is getting to them, with Daniel and Steyn acting like 4 year old children, throwing their toys out of the cot after the Willie le Roux try, which didn’t really matter at the end and then their coach hits back saying that it is the Cheetahs fault that the Sharks lost. Boohoo.

 

The facts are, the Sharks have now not scored a try in three matches and tries win matches, simple as that. Plumbtree says that the Cheetahs played negatively by kicking the ball back to the Sharks the whole game, that is called strategy, did he expect the Cheetahs to go out in the rain and play their running game in atrocious ball handling conditions? That being said, the Sharks also kicked a lot, but most importantly, the Cheetahs handed them the ball by kicking it to them, possession is key in rugby matches and the Sharks had most of it but couldn’t use it, and that somehow is now the fault of the “negative” Cheetahs.

 

I think things are not well in camp Sharks with both captain and coach showing signs of pressure and frustration.

 

Back home, well done boytjies!!! Beating the Sharks in the tank with rainy weather is something a lot of teams have struggled with and you did it. Somehow being the only Cheetah supporter at a bachelors this weekend amongst 6 Sharks supporters, the beer and brandy tasted a lot better.

 

I hope the Sharks bounce back this weekend and we don’t see a reply of last year’s final and get rid of their negative frame of mind.

 

Go Cheetahs!!

 

Peace!

Things have changed

There is a lot of talk about this past weekend’s clash in Bloemfontein between the Cheetahs and the Stormers, a fixture which years gone by would simply have been chalked up to the visiting side as a definite 4 points bordering on a 5 point guaranteed, things have changed.

 

One thing is for certain, the Cheetahs always seemed to save their best rugby for local derby matches and that would generally cost them on tour and against foreign teams visiting Bloemfontein. That seems to have changed for the central franchise as they got their first win this year against a struggling Highlanders, who without Adam Thompson have not fired this year, the Cheetahs went on to beat the Waratahs and Force and returning to Bloemfontein beating the Rebels with a bonus point victory.

 

As mentioned before, people around the office were telling me that the Cheetahs had 4 “easy” games and any team would have gotten the 4 victories in a row, things were not going to be so fortunate for the Cheetahs against the stronger unions, Stormers being one of those. Many will argue that after Saturday that the Cheetahs were lucky again to play against a demoralised and struggling Western Cape outfit making it 5 wins in a row, I, really don’t see it that way. Because with that logic, the Bulls are also struggling and this should then be another easy game for the Cheetahs, which I can assure you, it definitely will not be.

 

I hope that Deon Fourie played the Lotto on Saturday,  he was probably the luckiest player on the pitch and here is why, the first try by the Stormers the ball rotated a full 180◦ out of his hand but was adjudged to be under control, the next try he was offside by a mile (Sarel Pretorius was not offside with his try, so that does not cancel this out. J) and the Brussow penalty where Fourie “placed” the ball and Brussow should have let go was actually not correct, Fourie never released the ball, simply placed his arm on the ground and got up again. Funny then that Alistair Coetzee had the following to say I guess you also need a bit of luck in top-level sport… the ball doesn’t seem to be bouncing our way at the moment.”

 

Then Jantjies seemed to have forgotten he was on a rugby field, almost beheaded Strauss with that “dangerous tackle”. Anyway. The Cheetahs for once stepped up and won a tight game they should have and I will not allow anybody to take anything away from them on this victory.

 

The atmosphere on Free State Stadium was electrifying and I am glad that I was a part of it, if the Cheetahs continue playing like this, people will continue flocking to watch the game in life action rather than on DSTV 201.

 

Keep running Cheetahs!!