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Lambie is the best flyhalf in the country

February 17, 2014 in Rugby, Super Rugby

No golden eggs for this Goose! Just laying!

No golden eggs for this Goose! Just laying!

The Lions upset the Cheetahs and the Sharks put the Bulls to bed. Yes folks, that was the first round of Super Rugby 2014 and my,how short was it? Almost as short as Tjokkie Norris’….uhm….oh wait, this is a family site…

 

So looking back over the past weekend, here’s a few things we can take away and look forward to (and not to) for the coming marathon of week in and week out Rugby. Yes ladies, your husbands are now officially back to the couch  on Saturdays and to the local pub on Friday evenings. Oh don’t complain so much, ladies, we moved the entire SuperRugby schedule a day forward so we could be with you on Valentines day!  Be grateful.

So here’s what we learned (and confirmed) ?

  • Welcome back to a much slimmer and fitter looking Frans Steyn.  Jean de Villiers suddenly has competition on inside centre.  He was solid on defense, carried well and cleaned up some spills nicely.  Also, that deft little kick for Odwa’s try was brilliant! Something he must have picked up in France.
  • Goosen is a walking injury. Ok we already knew that, but what we learned about Goosen is that he is not ready for SuperRugby. Nothing wrong with the boy’s style of play and talent, but his body is just not up to the challenge.  Take a year off totally and condition your body properly. But it’s like these coaches, they play the guys 4 weeks before they are recovered then stuff them up for life. I shouldn’t dare say it, but hell, I hope Goosen isn’t a story of what could have been had he not got a career ending injury.

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Get your Braai On!

June 6, 2013 in Rugby

Check out these awesome Braai’s from Kalahari!  I mean, you’ve painted your Land Cruiser Blue, you hanged those Blue balls on the back, you got your Blue Bulls flags all over, and imagine the awe and amazement when you park near Loftus, and take this beauty, rugby ball shaped, all Bulls braai off the back to braai your lekker Blue Bulls steak!  The envy of everyone in Pretoria!

 

Blue Bulls Charcoal Braai

Click on the image to order yours now! Read the rest of this entry →

Showdown in Bloem!

May 30, 2013 in Rugby, Rugby Championship, Springboks, Super Rugby

ebvserfAn epic battle awaits us this weekend as the two top form South African teams take each other on in Bloemfontein this Saturday.

It will be a battle for top honors in the SA Conference, as the winner of this match will most likely walk away with the top position in the SA log, getting apart from the much forgettable Conference Trophy, a most probably home semi final.

But it is not just the two teams that will battle each other for the SA Conference.  There are also a few mouthwatering personal battles to be fought in lieu of the Springbok side to take on Scotland, Italy and Samoa in June. Players who hope to impress Heyneke Meyer enough to get the nod ahead of their counterpart in the other team. Read the rest of this entry →

Stormers to get Red Faced…

May 23, 2013 in Rugby, Super Rugby

Red FacedMy weekend predictions:

Chiefs vs Crusaders, Hamilton, Friday, 9:35

Chiefs:
15 Robbie Robinson, 14 Patrick Osborne, 13 Charlie Ngatai, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Matt Vant Leven, 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Craig Clarke (captain), 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Pauliasi Manu

Substitutes: 16 Mahonri Schwalger, 17 Toby Smith, 18 Michael Fitzgerald, 19 Sam Cane, 20 Augustine Pulu, 21 Dan Waenga, 22 Lelia Masaga

Crusaders:
15 Israel Dagg, 14 Tom Marshall, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Tom Taylor, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Wyatt Crockett

Substitutes: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Dominic Bird, 19 Luke Whitelock, 20 Willi Heinz, 21 Robbie Fruean, 22 Telusa Vaianu Read the rest of this entry →

Does the punishment fit the crime?

May 16, 2013 in Rugby, Super Rugby

Long has it been known in Rugby circles that Referee’s are the holy cows. The Untouchables. If there were Gupta’s in Rugby, it would be the Referee’s.  They can do as they please and you have hell to pay if you dare question them. Ok, the Gupta’s did get a little red faced, but see if anything comes from the screaming and shouting of the opposition parties. Just like nothing ever comes from the screaming and shouting of rugby commentators when referee’s screw up.

It’s beyond my imagination how Rugby players, from club to the most senior levels, have not learned the hard truth that no referee ever in this history of Rugby, as far as I know or have read at least, has ever changed his mind about his decision after someone told him he is wrong or questioned his decision. I think it’s the ultimate sacrilege. Breaking of the secret Referee’s code: Never admit mistakes during the game. It’s written just above the other sacrilege: Never publicly question a fellow referee.  Not too long ago we saw a referee being sacked because he dared question another referee’s decision on Twitter.  But have we ever seen a Referee sacked for being just pathetic? Nope. We haven’t.  Bryce Lawrence retired. He wasn’t sacked. I am yet to see a Referee being sacked for being too poor. Read the rest of this entry →

Marching to Pretoria!

May 10, 2013 in Babes, Rugby, Super Rugby

998_930[1]Time for the Bulls haters to get out their pitchforks, crucifixes and anti-boer spray! Here is the news you all know has been coming but no-one just wanted to hear or say.

Yes people, the Bulls are currently the team best poised to win the Super Rugby competition this year.  No, I’m not only talking the South African conference, I am saying the Super Rugby. 

The Bulls had a bit of an iffy start, while some other teams started with a bang and thrashed everything in their way.  But as we know, the Super Rugby is not a sprint; it’s a marathon, and if you do great in the first 5 rounds, it is not to say you will get anywhere near the finals. 

We have just passed the half way mark, and at the time where the tournament is gaining some momentum, and where the goats are being seperated from the sheep, it is increasingly difficult to see who the probable log topper will be. Read the rest of this entry →

No clear favorites, as Super 15 takes its toll

April 29, 2013 in Rugby, Super Rugby

Habana TiredBy this time in the competition last year, the top 6 were pretty much set with about 8 teams still in the running for the top 6 spots.  More or less the same could be said of prior years, with the top teams in the competition being relatively clear between three or four contenders.  This year though, its a little bit different.  Ask me last year this time who will be the champions, I would have said its gonna be between the Chiefs, Stormers and Crusaders.  Ask me now? Well, it can be anyone from the Brumbies, Reds, Crusaders, Chiefs, Bulls, Sharks, Stormers even the Cheetahs. Fact is, the playing field is so level this year, the only certain thing is that the Force, Rebel, Kings and Highlanders will not be making the playoffs.  All the other sides are still in with a chance.

I wonder though if this isn’t another symptom of the most idiotic system ever developed by Sanzar? With professional Rugby players playing physically the thoughest and most demanding rugby on this planet week after week, with little or no time to recover and rehabilitate, it is no wonder that several teams are struggling with many injuries, and that Springbok players like JP Petersen, Bryan Habana, Fourie du Preez, Bakkies Botha, Danie Rossouw, Juandre Kruger, to honestly name but a few, are looking to Japan and France where conditions are much more favorable to the player to prolong their careers. Read the rest of this entry →

The Goose with the egg shell legs…

March 19, 2013 in Rugby, Rugby Championship, Springboks, Super Rugby

 

No golden eggs for this Goose! Just laying!

The Springboks and Cheetahs have been dealt a severe blow with the latest injury to Johan Goosen and one has to wonder whether this incredible talent will ever reach his potential.  Having only started Super Rugby last season, he sat out most of the season with a shoulder injury. He then got injured again ruling him out of the Springboks end of year tour and now, the latest injury, will again see him sidelined for at least 6 months while some reports say the whole year! This is a severe blow for the Cheetahs and for the Springboks, and our three horse race has been cut down to two with the leading horse eating dust!

The most worried man though would be Heyneke Meyer.  With Morne Steyn going to France at the end of the season, he is running short on options at securing his flyhalf for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.  Yes, it is still two years away, but with Goosen out this year and Morne in France when the 2014 Rugby Championship is being played, there really is only one name remaining in this race, and that is Patrick Lambie.

Not everyone’s favorite, but who else?  If I was Heyneke, it would be an easy call to make right now.  Patrick Lambie will be my flyhalf this year and next year and the year of the World Cup.  He will be my man around which I plan my game.  Yes, Goosen may well be ready when the time comes, but do you build your game plan around someone who might be ready and who is more on the sideline at the moment than on the field?  And Morne Steyn, with him playing in France, he will most definitely not be available for the Rugby Championship which is the premier tournament for the Springboks.  I guess Heyneke’s job has just been made much easier by process of elimination.

It is terrible for the Springboks though and for Goosen, as he was the favorite to take up the Bok 10 jersey according to the poll, and one has to wonder who will be Lambie’s backup at 10 going into the next few seasons.  Aside from Elton Jantjies, who’s form has been questionable this season so far, who else can step up when Lambie (touch wood) happens to get injured? Catrakilis? Frans Steyn? A miracle return by Liefling?

The Bok number 10 spot is suddenly under threat and in an area where South Africa for once had some options, suddenly there is only one. And boys like Handre Pollard may find themselves in the frame much sooner than they thought…

New Zealand teams running the most, but SA Flyhalves get the most ball?

March 5, 2013 in Rugby, Super Rugby

 

Week 2 (or is it week 3? these Aussies always just have to confuse everything!) has come and gone and already some teams are being touted as this year’s champions, and others are being written off.  It’s still early days, chaps, so let’s not jump to conclusions too soon, or make any rash decisions.

Lot’s of focus on the Stormers, which I can get because they have been South Africa’s premier team in the Super 15 and as they say, high trees and a certain south easter, does make for some spectacular viewing. 

Last week I asked the readers to vote for their stand out performance of the week in the weekly race to the Bok number 10.  As it stands, despite having a bit of an “off” day against the Chiefs, Johan Goosen is still in the lead on the votes with Lambie in second spot.  Morne Steyn, whilst he will still be around during the Rugby Championship (he is only leaving after the Currie Cup) is backing up the rear.  To me, Morne Steyn was again very accurate with the boot and actually ran a few times with the ball in hand, one of those runs leading to a try and one out of every 4 passes went to the wing.  Lambie on the other hand was a bit stuck in an arm wrestle, and while he did miss a couple, he had a few nice runs and 1 in 3 passes went to the wing.  Goosen was a bit unfortunate to run into a very strong Chiefs side.  He missed several of his kicks (all but 1 in fact), but he remained the go-to guy for the Cheetahs, hoping he would create something for them each time he touches the ball. His defense was a bit shoddy and some of his passes were poor.  All in all, considering zero missed tackles and surviving the onslaught of the Stormers, I pick Lambie as my pick of the weekend.  Who was your top flyhalf this past weekend? Read the rest of this entry →

Stormers’ Flyhalf woes continue

February 3, 2013 in Rugby, Super Rugby

With Elton Jantjies allowed a leave of absence and Peter Grant still playing in Japan, it was an opportune time for Kurt Coleman to show that he is a capable replacement for either when the SupeRugby season kicks off.  He failed to impress though, and his woeful kicking at goal was further emphasised when the Cheetahs kicked a goal 50 metres out in the 81st minute to clinch the match.

Read the rest of this entry →

Boerseun is Back!

January 31, 2013 in Rugby, Super Rugby

At last! We can see some Rugby again!

Ja, ok. Last year we saw way too much rugby.  But to go “cold turkey” for nearly three months is just agonising to say the least, and neither the Heineken Cup, Top 14 or Aviva Premiership can fill the void that’s been left.

It’s not SupeRugby yet.  But it’s almost as good. It could have been better though.  If the Bulls were playing the Stormers and the Ceetahs were playing the Sharks, the rivalry between the sides alone would have been worth the admission price.  But I will take the Bulls vs Lions and the Cheetahs vs Stormers any day of the week over Bordoux vs Northampton on a lily white pitch of snow.

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Rugby: Not for dummies anymore

January 29, 2013 in International, Rugby, Super Rugby

You know the stereotype.  Rugby players are dumb.  They are the fat overweight props that won’t amount to anything in life, and then the fast 100m athletes who become wings, but cannot catch a ball, and then the only smart guy on the field is the flyhalf or scrumhalf who decides where the ball must go.  The rest are dumbasses that barely scraped through matric, don’t study at varsity, and spends all their time playing with balls.

Almost as dumb as boxers who get their brains bashed in all day long.  Rugby players are just a bit smarter cause they let their bodies take the beating. Read the rest of this entry →

Caution: Strong language

January 28, 2013 in Babes, Other sports, Rugby

Some snippets from the weekend

Well done to Bafana Bafana for coming back so brilliantly and ensuring South Africa goes into the next round of the Afcon!!  To be honest, as someone who doesn’t have any interest in football,( no not even the UEFA, Premier League, ManCity or Manure) I wasn’t interested in watching the game, having seen how early on Morocco already scored, and given our inability to score goals, I thought I’m not going to waste my time watching the game. And while sitting outside, taking in the fresh evening air, I heard the neighbourhood erupt in cheers I realised Bafana must have done something great, like, score a goal, so I rushed inside, tuned to the game, and saw Bafana on 1-1 with Morocco.

Now, perhaps if there wasn’t the potential for us to be knocked out, I would not have been so nervous, but realising that we need to either draw or win to go to the next round, depending on Cape Verde’s result against Angola, I was on the edge of my seat as Morocco came with wave after wave of attack. at 2-1 down I thought I’m giving up, but alas, Bafana pulled through and scored the equaliser, setting up the draw to go through to the quarter finals.

Well done Bafana, and here’s to hoping you make it to the next step!

 

Since he’s in the news again, I thought this picture may be relevant….again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And so the Lions pulled off the win against the Cheetahs.  It wasn’t so attractive to watch to be honest, and the Cheetahs really messed around a bit.  Now the Lions will be boasting about the victory, but the fact of the matter is, it doesn’t mean anything. The Lions are not in the Super Rugby, the Cheetahs are, and really, there is enough time left for the Cheetahs to sort out what needs sorting out before the SuperRugby kicks off.

This weekend will be interesting though when the Lions meet the Bulls.  I think it is going to be a very intimidating experience for the Lions, especially since they are not used to playing in front of more than 15 people in the stands, and as we know, Orlando stadium will be buzzing!

With Lance Armstrong’s confession still fresh in our memories, this one really made me laugh!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not long to go before the kick off for the season,  so get those brownie points in! In the meantime, enjoy this little teaser from Robbie Wessels. (Sorry Lions fans, it’s a bit old, like, 2012’ish)

Click image to view

 

Running into spaces, not faces.

August 29, 2012 in International, International, Rugby, Rugby Championship, Springboks

“Rugby is not a contact sport. It’s a collision sport.” That is one of Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer’s quotes, and by now you will have seen that he is hell bound to stick with his philosophy of creating “collisions”.

It’s been a disastrous start for Heyneke Meyer’s reign as Springbok coach. One that he would not have wished on his worst enemies perhaps and made the Springboks the laughing stock of World Rugby this past weekend.

Read the rest of this entry →

More tries and less penalties in 2012 SR!

August 7, 2012 in Rugby, Super Rugby

It seems some of the tweaks the SANZAR made to the officiating of the Super Rugby matches are helping to make the game more attractive.

Still, the major issue remains that the sheer quantum of Rugby being played is just so much and it becomes a major effort to really enjoy the tournament. Now with the test break inbetweem, it becomes even more cumbersome, and the impact of such a long season will now be seen when the Currie Cup and the Rugby Championship series starts.

We’ve hardly played the Super Rugby final in the weekend that has passed, and this coming weekend it the players will be up against it again as the Currie Cup commences on this side while the ITM Cup in New Zealand only starts on the 23rd of August. And then, next week, the first matches of the Rugby Championship starts.

To be honest, be beer budget cannot handle this any longer, and my cholesterol levels are spiking from all the braaivleis…

But back to the Super Rugby that’s passed, I’ve collated some key stats and they paint a pretty interesting picture.

 

 

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

Matches played

120

          120             94             94             94
Points scored

5879

         5,561          4,907          4,203          4,128
 – Av per match                    49.0         46.3         52.2         44.7         43.9
Tries scored

589

          559           528           498           483
 – Av per match                    4.91         4.66         5.62         5.30         5.14
Home wins

69

            64             61               57             57
 – Home %

58%

53%

65%

61%

61%

Penalties

2193

         2,371          1,837           896          1,074
 – Per match                  18.28         19.8         19.5           9.5         11.4
 – Minutes per                    4.38         4.05         4.09         8.39         7.00
Bonus points

120

      108.00          89.00       106.00          82.00
BP per match                    1          0.90          0.95          1.13          0.87

From last year, the average number of points per match have picked up, but is still below that of 2010. But on the positive side is that the increase in points is attributed to an increase in tries from 2011 at 4.91 tries per match while 2011 had only 4.66 tries per match. It is still a tad off the pace in terms of the number of tries in 2010.

Looking at penalties, it’s relieving to see a reduction of 8% in the penalty count. However, the penalty count is still twice the number per match than it was before the implementation of the law interpretations back in 2009, when there were only 9.5 penalties per match vs the current 18.28 penalties per match.

The big culprits in conceding penalties were the Bulls, with 11 penalties per match, then the Chiefs with 10.93 penalties per match and third is the Reds with 10.53 penalties per match. The most disciplined team was the Blues, with only 7.93 penalties per match, then the Rebels with 8.73 penalties per match and third most disciplined were the Cheetahs with 8.87 penalties per match.

What is interesting about those statistics is that the most disciplined team in the competition this year had a hapless year in terms of results, well, in fact all three most disciplined teams were pretty much out of the top 6 by the halfway mark, whilst the most ill-disciplined teams reached the Top 6, with the second most ill-disciplined team walking away with the trophy.

If one looks at it over the season, the winning teams conceded 53% of the penalties overall; that number slightly made to look more equal than it really was, with teams like the Reds being punished by Bryce Lawrence in that 17-7 penalty count in the Crusaders favour in round 11 and similary Stu Berry penalising the Force to no end when they lost the the Cheetahs with an 18-7 penalty count against them.

Home games seem to be less of an advantage than it was back in 2010, although it was more of an advantage this year than last year with 58% of home games being won.

A big increase in Bonus Points though, with 12% more bonus points being scored than in 2011. Only one 4 try Bonus Point was scored more than last year though, with the 12 more losing Bonus Points being achieved.

That shows that the matches have, by large, been more competitive this year, and whilst scoring more tries, less penalties and a less convincing home field advantage, this year’s Super 15 was by far more improved from last year’s version.

Hopefully next year there will be even more improvement!