The first 10 minutes was not encouraging at all with the Kings hardly seeing the ball. On the brink of switching the TV off, the Kings scored -the first try of the match. Intrigued, I started to watch with more interest; what a delight it turned out to be. Continue reading
The Stormers/Bulls rugby match was just another agonising reminder for the thousands of South African rugby supporters that SA rugby is behind the ball game. It was a derby with as much traditional backdrop as one could find in the rugby world. The crowd was as a consequence emotionally charged with much expectation of being entertained with some exiting rugby.
The contrast to the Chiefs/Highlanders match however so stark that even the most ardent SA rugby supporter left the match -or walked away from his television set-with a poignant feeling of dissatisfaction. Continue reading
Currie Cup-winning Transvaal captain in 1971 and 1972, former Springbok flanker Piet Greyling, was arguably one of the best, but certainly one of the toughest.
The picture below shows Piet Greyling with his Transvaal side who got a share of the Currie Cup for the first time in 19 years -having previously won it in 1952- when they shared the cup with Northern Transvaal in an epic final and controversial 14-14 draw at Ellis Park in 1971. The next year Greyling led his Transvaal side to a 25-19 win over Eastern Transvaal at Pam Brink Stadium in Springs to win the cup with the help of Gerald Bosch who dropped the winning points in the final minutes. It was back in 1972, before the Currie Cup final against Eastern Transvaal in Springs that the former Bok captain uttered these famous words to his Transvaal team-mates: “Eighty minutes of agony for an eternity of pleasure.” Continue reading
Jan Ellis personifies Springbok rugby, for me. It has been said that as humans we think in pictures. When we think of something we see a picture of some sorts and this picture can differ from one person to the next which is why we sometimes voice the same words but come up with different understanding or meaning. The best communicators are those who can create clear and vivid pictures in the mind of his listeners.
When I think of Springbok rugby I see Jan Ellis. Hard uncompromising, fast with a touch of artistic moodiness and flair but with relentless motivation to succeed based on a staunch work ethic and absolute conviction of what is right and wrong; that is Jan Ellis in a nutshell, for me. Continue reading
The three aspects above seemed to have been the main topic in the sports headlines over the last month or so. I thought the SBW and White Buffalo fight was a cocktail that contained most if not all three of the above mentioned ingredients.
My immediate thought when I heard about the SBW vs François Botha boxing contest was that it was a SBW self-marketing scheme and most likely rigged. My evaluation after last night farce is still on that track. Let’s face it SBW got a brilliant agent that knows how to market his product and how to make money with this freakish specimen. Continue reading
The 1974 Tour of the Lions to South Africa was undoubtedly the most unsettling tour ever for Springbok rugby. Touring unbeaten through South Africa superior in every aspect in virtually every single match including the test matches it was a massive wake-up call for South African rugby.
I was 12 years old when this tour eventuated. In my mind at that time the Springboks had an aura of invincibility. I was too young to know about the 1956 and 1965 tours as the patriotic Afrikaans media did not write much about it. The country was still in euphoria after the 1970 victory over Lochore’s All Blacks and the unbeaten 1971 tour to Australia. It was never said in so many words but generally the 1972 loss against England was seen as just a hiccup; a fleeting glitch due to team selections and underestimation of the opposition. South Africa to be brutally honest had no idea what was coming when the British and Irish Lions arrived in the country in May 1974. Hannes Marais admitted to this when he said in an interview that the South African expectation of the ‘74 Lions was built on the 1968 Lions which was in his words “a pretty useless lot; just on tour for the party”. Continue reading