The iPod. This small device has changed the entire landscape of the music industry and was the beginning of Apple’s world domination with the now ever-present iPhone and iPad.
So what has this got to do with this weekend’s Currie Cup final in Durban? Well not much, other then the fact that the last time that WP won the competition was so long ago that this little piece of technology had not even hit the shelves and we were still bopping and jiving to the latest Will Smith hit on our chunky Discman’s.
That last triumph took place against the very same Sharks in 2001 when Slaptjips junior Chris Rossouw (remember him) inspired a second half comeback to give Corne Krige’s team their 32nd domestic title. Since that day the team has slipped to new depths of despair throughout most of the 21st century, until the coaching combo of Rassie Erasmus and Allister Coetzee brought some pride back to the Streeptruie.
Whilst the team has managed several playoff appearances in both Super Rugby and the Currie Cup over the last few years, Coetzee has so far been unable to get his side over the mental hump of ultimate victory. They have another chance this weekend in Durban when the 2012 addition of the Currie Cup reaches its conclusion.
It won’t be easy however. The Cape Side come up against a formidable Sharks line up who are led by a powerful Springbok-laden front row. With the wizard-like skills of flyhalf Pat Lambie marshalling the back line and the support of the home crowd behind the “Banana Boys” it is looking like an almost impossible task for Coetzee’s men.
So what does Province have in their corner? Not much on face value – the team are mssing several of its stars including Schalk Burger, Jean de Villiers, Dewaldt Duvenage and Andries Bekker. they have not beaten the Sharks in their last three encounters and they are coming up against a team brimming with confidence. The one thing that the visitors have on their side is a desire, bordering on desperation to end this trophy drought. There is no doubt the Sharks will be going flat out for victory, but will they have the same determination in the closing minutes of a game that has lost its significance due to the expansion of Super Rugby and comes at the end of another gruelling season? It would be understandable if the answer was no
This being said, I am afraid to say it is likely to be another year of disappointment for the Newlands faithful. Despite the will to end these barren years, the muscle that the Sharks boast in the front row and the quality in the back row and the backline I feel will be too much for Province. Saturday’s match could turn out to be quite a painful affair for fans in the Cape. My recommendation – maybe enjoy the memories of a time when your Discman was your best friend and WP dominated the local game and forget about what would be an unlikely Province victory. I know that is what I would be doing.
Prediction: Sharks by 10…could be even more.