Time and time again, the Currie Cup had to prove itself against the buyist, greedy politics of SA Rugby. This past weekend, it once again showed that it is the Premier Competition in South Africa.
Before the game, I told some WP friends of mine that the Lions will defeat them. Then you had to hear about their “potent Springbok laden” back line. But I have said it before, I have said it again, there should be some emphasis on forward play, and once again WP failed up front. For me, that is where they lost the game. Too much pressure was put on their reputation, and in rugby, this will always come off second best. Josh Strauss is turning into a real fighter, Elton Jantjies is still a good player, but he will have his hands full this weekend, Minnie showed his worth and Pat Cilliers is a gain for the Lions after receiving little game time in the Shark Tank.
The other Semi, was a tale of two halves. The Cheetahs come out blazing, building a 13 point lead, but the Sharks, once Lambie took over started to claw their way back by scoring 20 unanswered points. It was a game that could have gone either way, but the experience of the Sharks and their loosies showed some great fighting spirit. The quality of the rugby was great, and the physical encounters even better. Once again proof that the Currie Cup has life after all.
Some pointers and thoughts:
*WP was uber kuk. They only have themselves to blame. And with a host of their young players heading for greener pastures, their future looks sceptical unless they unearth a few more gems.
*Johan Goosen is one for the future.
*Patrick Lambie is the Present and he should get more game time at 10.
*The amount of rugby during the year is physically exhausting for a supporter, what about the players?
*This weekend’s game will be close and decided up front.
*Elton Jantjies will meet the Bone Collector, Willem Alberts.
*The Lions are on the up, but no matter the result, they have to show us what they can do next year in the Super 15.
*Frans Steyn won’t be coming back to the Sharks when his contract ends next year. The Cheetahs are firm favourites to bring him back home.
*The Currie Cup is what South Africa is made of.
I saw a Tweet from Tank Lanning the other day. “Perhaps Marinos has a point…Based on the crowds today, SA does not REALLY care about the Currie Cup…Money where the mouth is…
Now I don’t know what to say any more. Yes the crowds have been riding a constant wave of ups and downs. Don’t you think that this is partly because with the Super 15 you have players from Australia and New Zealand playing against your team? This still doesn’t mean that South Africa neglects the Currie Cup, it’s rather the people running the show. And also, this means people have to give out more money. For some, a trip watching rugby includes hundreds of rands and sometime people just don’t want to use it on rugby.
I will put all the negative crap behind me and focus on this weekend. It will be a huge occasion and the Lions will look to secure their first Cup since 1999 while the Sharks will try and defend the title they won emphatically last year.