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by Baylion

Weekend Rugby Predictions – EOYT Week 2

November 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

The End Of Year Tours kicked off last week with three matches when the All Blacks thumped the Brave Blossoms, the Maori All Blacks thumped Canada and the ref thumped the Aussies.

This weekend the EOYTs start in earnest ranging from some big match ups between the Boks vs Wales and the All Blacks vs Les Bleus, some lesser match ups between England and the Pumas, Ireland vs Manu Samoa and Italy vs the Aussies, down to a number of “who cares” match ups.

Sat 9 Nov

GEORGIA v CANADA: Dinamo Arena – TBILISI, GEORGIA SAST 12:00

Canada, the game against the Maoris didn’t affect their 14th ranking, takes on the 16th ranked Georgia. My thumb suck goes to Canada.

Canada by 9

ITALY v AUSTRALIA: Stadio Olimpico – ROME, ITALY SAST 15:00

Surely the Wobblies game haven’t regressed so far that they are in danger on losing to the Azzuri? But then Italy’s forward pack isn’t half bad while the Oz pack is. Anyway, I’d still go with the Wobblies to record one of their rare wins this year.

Australia by 18

ENGLAND v ARGENTINA: Twickenham Stadium – LONDON, ENGLAND SAST 16:30

Last week England got by with a little help from some friends but they should be able to scrape another win this weekend considering that, as bad as they are this year, the Wobblies still beat the Pumas twice during the Rugby Championship.

England by 7

SCOTLAND v JAPAN: Murrayfield – EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND: SAST 16:30

The Blossoms versus the Thistles, the game you probably won’t watch as the England Pumas game is on at the same time.

Scotland by 18

PORTUGAL v FIJI: Estádio Universitário de Lisboa – LISBON, PORTUGAL SAST 17:00

I’d love for Portugal to do the impossible but it’s not going to happen.

Fiji by 15

WALES v SOUTH AFRICA: Millennium Stadium – CARDIFF, WALES SAST 19:30

The Boks should play their best side against a B&I Lions loaded Welsh team in a game that could be affected by whether the Welsh leave the roof open or close it – wet field or dry field. The Welsh will hope to record one of their rare victories over the Boks but that won’t happen unless the Boks completely fail to gel. Should still be a tight game though.

South Africa by 5

ROMANIA v TONGA: Arcul de Triumf – BUCHAREST, ROMANIA SAST 19:30

Another thumb suck prediction on a game that I wouldn’t have thought about if it wasn’t part of the Superbru game.

Tonga by 9

IRELAND v SAMOA: Aviva Stadium – DUBLIN, IRELAND SAST 19:45

Last year Samoa surprised Wales at home but I’m sure the Irish will not be caught offsides this year. A tough physical game but the Irish should get enough penalties to make sure they win.

Ireland by 9

FRANCE v NEW ZEALAND: Stade de France – PARIS, FRANCE SAST 21:00

Les Bleus tend to surprise the All Blacks during the World Cups but seldom outside that. We all know that the French can be great the one week and dire the next and from a Bok perspective one would hope they are great this weekend and beat the Kiwis but I won’t bet on it.

New Zealand by 8

Sun 10 Nov
USA v NEW ZEALAND MAORI: L Park – CHESTER, PENNSYLVANIA SAST 03:30

The Maoris beat Canada, Canada is a better side than the Eagles. Ergo, the Maoris to win comfortably.

New Zealand Maori by 30

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Transformation In Rugby – Who Walks The Walk in 2013?

July 1, 2013 in Uncategorized

Last year I did a post on my old blog about the so-called “transformation” in rugby by looking at the unions and the number of black players at the u/18 Craven Week in the various squads, based on player surnames.

This year I expanded the exercise to the recent u/13 Craven Week.

The smaller, rural unions are more “transformed” than the larger unions with KZN still the most transformed of the bigger unions. The demographics of the Western Cape mean that WP, Boland and SWD are less “transformed” in terms of black players. Border remains the lone flag bearer for “transformation” in the Eastern Cape, both at u/13 and u/18 levels.

u/13 Craven Week:

 Union Black players
Border CD 24
Border 13
Pumas 10
Limpopo 9
Valke 9
Leopards 8
Blue Bulls 7
Free State 7
Griffons 7
KZN 7
Golden Lions 6
EP 3
WP 2
Griffons 1
SWD 0
Boland 0

 

u/18 Craven Week:

I also noted the number of schools that contribute to the unions’ Craven Week teams.

I.t.o. the Free State it is interesting to note that only two schools contribute to their u/18 Craven Week side (Grey College and HTS Louis Botha) but that their rugby factory, Grey College, have no black players in the team while all the HTS Louis Botha players in the team are black. A bit ironic considering the schools’ names.

Union Black players 2012 # Schools
Border CD 18 21 ?
Border 10 9 5
Pumas 10 9 8
Limpopo 8 8 6
KwaZulu Natal 8 10 5
Free State 6 5 2
EP CD 6 3 7
Golden Lions 6 7 8
Leopards 6 7 10
Valke 3 5 9
Griquas 3 2 5
EP 3 3 8
Blue Bulls 2 2 5
Griffons 1 3 8
WP 1 0 7
SWD 0 0 2
Boland 0 0 14
Griquas CD 0 3 8
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Amakhosi – The road to transformation?

October 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

Rugby, and most other traditionally white sports, have struggled to achieve transformation in a real and meaningful way, through merit and not through quotas. Could it be that the way forward is through joint ventures with the country’s soccer clubs?

Kaiser Chiefs announced this week that they are entering a team in the NBM Sevens Premier League (7sPL) tournament in George in December. From the looks of it it will be an invitational side and the move is probably more a marketing ploy than anything else but it could be the precursor to something much bigger.

Imagine the growth potential for SA rugby if SA soccer teams become actively involved in rugby, especially the two Soweto giants Kaiser Chiefs and Orlando Pirates whose massive support bases are countrywide.  I read somewhere that the Bucs fanbase is estimated to be in excess of 14 million fans and Amakhosi’s would be similar.

The mind boggles!

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Friday snippets

September 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

All eyes will be on Loftus on Saturday to see whether the new-look Springboks featuring six youngsters will also mean a new-look game plan. Or will they stick to the old kick-and-chase and hope for penalties from 60m in?

Young Johan Goosen will be in the spotlight. Can he revitalise a Springbok backline that has been ineffective for a number of seasons now? Or will it be merely his big boot that will be on display?

I was interesting to hear HM say that the players always had the freedom to play the game as they see it. Does this mean that the Boks limited game plan was due to a lack of vision from Morne Steyn and Jean de Villiers?

Another point of interest will be the bench, will Pat Lambie get to play more that 5 minutes and will Elton Jantjies even get on the field? Time will tell.

And on the forums a number of people are upset with Jaco Taute jumping the queue to get in front of Juan de Jongh and Pat Lambie. As I said before, HM definitely has an ideal team in mind and when the players he wants become available they go right to the front of the line.

Rugby365 reports that there are still tickets available for Saturday’s test and no wonder, at those prices – R550 for the Main and East Lower Stands, R450 for the East Stand, R350 for seating behind the poles and R350 (special offer) for certain East Stand tickets. Or could it be it’s because there are only three Bulls in the match 22?

No wonder SARU took the Soccer City test away from the Lions. At these prices and a full stadium the Lions could have paid off their debts!

This video clip has nothing to do with rugby or sport.

http://youtu.be/xwBP4_hdMqY

Elsewhere, WP isn’t sure who will be their backup flyhalf. It might be Joe Pietersen or it might be scrumhalf Louis Schroeder, it could even be Brok Harris.

While WP might look to a scrumhalf as backup flyhalf, in Bloemfontein Naka has had enough of a scrummie playing at #10 and has recalled perennial bridesmaid, Sias Ebersohn, to the flyhalf spot. Will he show that he give a sh!t and, for once, play to his potential from the start?

Up in Joburg the strained relationship between the Golden Lions and the Leopard continues with the GLRU reporting the Leopards for using some Lions players without permission last weekend and this could cost the Leopard 5 log points.

And down in Cape Town WP’s backline coach, Robbie Fleck, has named Lionel Mapoe South Africa’s best centre. No matter that the Sharks want Paul Jordaan and the Cheetahs Robert Ebersohn in the Bok side, Mapoe has grown into the #13 jersey this year. With his SBWesque linebreaks and offloads he might be a good #12 with Taute on his outside, for the Lions I mean.

I see the Brumbies are trying to help their supporters pronounce Etienne Oosthuizen’s surname: Oost-hi-zen? :)

Oh yes, and before I forget, the GLRU is hosting an open-for-all Information Breakfast regarding the plans for the future as well as the games planned for 2013. This will be on Wednesday 22 October at the Coke Tin.

GLRU Information BreaksfastAnd another thing, don’t forget the GLRU’s Picnic In The Park on 6 October to watch the Boks vs the All Blacks on the big screen at Ellis Park

Picnic in the Park

Enjoy the rugby this weekend