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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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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 →

Don’t cry “foul” for me, Argentina.

May 20, 2013 in Rugby, Super Rugby

9b1e0a054fe74633a12795e7b5738836When it comes down to a toughly contested game where teams are evenly matched, and in the end the game is decided by a poor referee decision, one can always wonder if the power that be had some sort of hand in the outcome.  Friday’s match between the Stormers and Rebels turned out to have a couple of bad officiating which seemed to have robbed the Stormers of a much needed win, and we can go into the technical discussions later on. 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 →

Sharks: Plumtree panicking?

April 24, 2013 in Rugby, Super Rugby

"Keegan, Marcell, Kanko, F*k off!"

“Keegan, Marcell, Kanko, F*k off!”

Yes, the Sharks are in a spot of bother.  They started off extremely well, winning several tough encounters, and when the flood gates opened on the Rebels, one would have not been blamed fo thinking they may have finally stepped up a gear.

Follow a rather dismal loss to the Stormers, and an uninspiring performance against the Cheetahs, not to even mention, but I will, the plethora of Injuries, and the Sharks are suddenly in a spot of bother to get their initial promising campaign back on track.

Then, Plum goes and as if saying the Cheetahs didn’t play Rugby, (yet still beat the Sharks), wasn’t bad enough, he now goes and throws all his toys out of the cot, and includes the gravity hungry Frans Steyn at Outside Centre with the injury to Jordaan, drops Keegan Daniel and Marcell Coetzee to the bench and includes Derick Minnie from the Lions instead, with Mtembu at number 8. Read the rest of this entry →

When the Dutchmen outplayed Watson

April 22, 2013 in Rugby, Super Rugby

"I'll shave again when my team beats those beastly Dutchmen"

“I’ll shave again when my team beats those beastly Dutchmen”

Did the Aussie and New Zealand teams pull whool over our eyes? What the hell happened to the Kings that played such exiting and inspiring Rugby for the last 10 weeks? Suddenly left to a steaming heap of dung after a good and proper thrashing by the Bulls?

So either Australia and New Zealand…well mostly Australia, is extremely poor, or something changed at the Kings…or maybe its just the fact that the new kids on the block are not as new anymore and they succumbed at the intimidating prospect of Big Brother, or BlouBul, by scoring absolutely zero points.  They never even looked like scoring and Catrakilis hardly had an opportunity to score.

With the game all but won by the Bulls by the halftime whistle, the second half was a yawnathon of note, while the Kings happlessly tried to use the only posession they had to cross the whitewash. Their performance was much better in that second half though, but they were never going to make inroads into a side that’s been the object of the Kings’ Captain’s affection for some time, the Dutchmen from the Jukskei…. Read the rest of this entry →

Kings are here to stay

April 11, 2013 in International, Rugby, Super Rugby

Let’s forget for just a second about how the Kings, under the directions of chaps like Cheeky Watson, Mark Keohane and their cronies managed to wriggle their way into the Super Rugby at great loss to the Lions Rugby Franchise.

Let;s forget for a second about the conspiracy theories and real reasons behind the drive by these chaps to get the Port Elizabeth Stadium into the Super Rugby fold.

Let’s forget for a second that the Kings abused the system and portrayed themselves as an entity with a noble cause to promote Transformation,while they have done nothing to justify those claims, in fact, they have proven the opposite by allowing more “foreign” players in their squad than allowed, and that is not counting those from African countries who got place in the side ahead of other, more deserving South African, black citizens in that very Union.

Let’s forget Luke Watson’s comments about Dutchman and the Springbok jersey making him nauseous….

The Kings are here to stay.  Read the rest of this entry →

Kings to scout for some talent

March 20, 2013 in Rugby

“I love it when you talk foreign to me”

The Southern Kings will this weekend be facing off against the Kings of Super Rugby, the Crusaders.  It will be their first away game;  the first time they will, as a team, traverse the stormy waters of the Pacific. The first time they will, as a team, be on foreign soil…

But being foreign soil, doesn’t mean they won’t feel right at home. No. It won’t. They will be right at home. Because Sanzar supports the development of Southern Hemisphere Rugby, and therefore, because they are the new team on the circuit, they will be allowed to call Christchurch their Home. Not foreign.  Because to them, nothing is foreign. In fact the term “foreign” is foreign to them.

While on crusade in the land of the Super Kings, the Kings from the South will be scouting for a few more members for their team.  Because, Sanzar supports the development of Southern Hemisphere Rugby, they may, according to them, field a player from any country that is included in the Southern Hemisphere competition.  Not only will New Zealand players be on the radar but also some Samoans will be on their radar, some Fijians, and some Tongan’s.  I understand Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu is a favorite of Cheeky’s, not because he can play any meaningful Rugby, but because he can stir so much shit. He will be appointed as team communications officer.

Many are writing the Kings off for their first Away encounter, but alas people, Away is Home for the Kings, just as nothing is Foreign to them.  Foreign soil is the foundation of the team’s makeup.  And even when stared down by the enemy, Cheeky stands triumphantly and exclaims:”We shall defend our bank accounts, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight in the boardrooms, we shall fight on the rugby grounds, we shall fight in the papers and in the news, we shall fight like girls; but we shall never surrender.”  Or something to that effect.

While SARU was caught out by not defining the term “Foreign” to the Kings, they now frown upon their quest of making the world their home, and in response for breaching the SARU rules, they reacted with sterness and like any good disciplinarian would, sent the Kings a strongly worded letter in which the Kings were told that if they do it again, they will receive an even more strongly worded letter.

IN other non-related news, Tukkies received a strongly worded letter again after being caught cheating again.  Their punishment last year was also a strongly worded letter in which they were told in no uncertain terms not to cheat again.  They promised that this time they will not cheat again and have gone as far as contracting no less than 5 players from the Kings to play for them because Sanzar supports development of the Kings. They will study at Daimlen.

 

*Disclaimer: This post has a slight sarcastic element to it and should not be taken as fact. Sources are foreign based.

 

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…

The battle for number 8 is on!

March 11, 2013 in International, Rugby, Springboks, Super Rugby

With Pierre Spies’ performance this past weekend against the Blues, Heyneke Meyer will have taken note and may even be having a wry grin on his face.  Spies’ performances over the past few years were short of satisfactory, and along with his hand injury last year, allowed for Duane Vermeulen to step up and take his place in the Springbok camp.

Many viewers will regard Spies as the better player, but it is often the non-flashy players who are doing the hard graft around the park and goes unnoticed because they do not rely on open space to ply their trade as does Pierre Spies. Read the rest of this entry →

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 →

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

 

SARU at centre of Bok inexperience

November 12, 2012 in International, Rugby, Rugby Championship, Springboks

The Springboks are still being haunted by SARU’s inability to create stability and consistency within the Springbok Management ranks.

This is what one can conclude when looking at the current lack of depth available in the Springbok squad as compared to arch rivals, New Zealand.

Lack of experience was the major excuse ringing in our ears like a broken record when Meyer’s troops failed to deliver during the Rugby Championship, and New Zealand who seemed to have lost lots of experience too in some key positions stormed to an undefeated victory of the Rugby Championship, winning all their matches. Read the rest of this entry →

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