Professional athletes need constant, quality nourishment to remain at the top of their respective games. No matter how naturally talented or extraordinarily gifted they happen to be, their engines require “fuel” to perform. Sales and marketing of nutritional produce forms a fundamental part of everyday life and the owners of the various sporting franchises around the world know and understand this all too well. Huge conglomerates spend billions on scientists who research health and wellness to further the physical conditioning of athletes.
Similarly (albeit with slightly tighter budgets) the bona fide fan needs to explore the diversities of his diet, so that he too can function effectively come game day. Prior to delving into the intricacies of a true supporter’s regimen, we have to examine the term “game day”. It can be slightly misleading and warrants a spot of explication, especially as the actual game takes place in a given time slot on a specific day, however that entire day would inevitably be dedicated to and encapsulated by “THE GAME!” This routine unavoidably becomes a ritual and to steer clear of a logistical nightmare, careful planning is at the order of the day.
I’ve always had the best laughs at people’s (mostly females) ideology about the male ego and it’s tendency to shatter at any moment. This dogma usually goes hand in hand with some form of reverse psychology, where the bird hopes that the net result would be shaming you (the hunter) into doing something you don’t feel like. This train of thought has to rank among the most lazy attempts at inflicting verbal pain/shame on a seemingly unsuspecting dude. Most males (metro or otherwise) have come to expect this onslaught from the ladies and have a couple of red, hot missiles waiting to be deployed as a way of retort. These come-backs are far less subtle and therefore far more effective. The way that they are also delivered very matter-of-factly (while resting on the couch, with a frosty, watching Super Rugby) adds dramatically to the impact of the punch.
A classic scenario would be if the queen of the manor has been nagging you for weeks to weed the garden path before an intended dinner party. You have had numerous chances to comply in the weeks leading up to the suarè, but has neglected your spouse’s pleas. Now on the actual day of the shindig, you’ve allocated just enough time to watch the game, shower, get dressed and play “host with most” to her friends from book club with their socially awkward husbands, with whom you have less than nothing in common. Your significant other has just had her hair done and the result is less than she expected, far less. (more…)
The 5 squads of the South African Super 14 franchises have been announced. This is quite substantial because there are no warm-up games between the Super 14 Final, on May 30th, and the first Test for the Springboks on June 20th.
“The national selectors and I will therefore be keeping a close watch on the performances of our teams and, in particular, those of the individual players who will form the nucleus of our squad to face the Lions,” the Bok coach, Peter De Villiers, said.
“As usual, we expect the competition to provide a platform for players on the fringes of Springbok selection to stake their claims.
“This is an exceptional year for our rugby and we hope to match it with exceptional on-field performances.
“A tough four months lies ahead and I would like to wish the five SA teams a successful and rewarding Super 14 campaign,” De Villiers added.
South African squads:
Bulls: Heini Adams, Bakkies Botha, Jacques Burger, Marius Delport, Fourie du Preez, Jaco Engels, Burton Francis, Rayno Gerber, Bryan Habana, Francois Hougaard, Wayne Julies, Zane Kirchner, Werner Kruger, Derick Kuün, Bandise Maku, Tiger Mangweni, Victor Matfield, Akona Ndungane, JP Nel, Wynand Olivier, Dewald Potgieter, Jaco Pretorius, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Danie Rossouw, Pierre Spies, Gürthro Steenkamp, Wilhelm Steenkamp, Deon Stegmann, Morné Steyn, Pedrie Wannenburg.
Lions: Cobus Grobbelaar, Doppies la Grange, Jano Vermaak, Louis Ludik, Heinke van der Merwe, Jaque Fourie, Franco van der Merwe, Earl Rose, Anton van Zyl, Willie Wepener, Jannie Boshoff, Willem Alberts, JC Janse van Rensburg, Gert Muller, Henno Mentz, Ashwin Willemse, Michael Killian, Jannes Labuschagne, Chris Jonck, Hans van Dyk, Shandre Frolick, Todd Clever, Siegelaar Allister, Lawrence Sephaka, Dusty Noble, Thiliphaut Marole, Ligtoring Landman, Okkie Kruger, Divan Kotze, Barry Goodes.
Cheetahs: Hennie Daniller, Danwel Demas, Corné Uys, Jacques-Louis Potgieter, Fabian Juries, Meyer Bosman, Tewis de Bruyn, Frans Viljoen, Juan Smith, Heinrich Brüssow, David de Villiers, Nico Breedt, Kobus Calldo, Adriaan Strauss, Wian du Preez, Richardt Strauss, Wayne van Heerden, Hendro Scholtz, Sarel Pretorius, Bjorn Basson, Kabamba Floors, Trompie Nontshinga, Piet van Zyl, Riaan Viljoen, Jean Botha, Flip van Der Merwe, Bees Roux, Jonge Nokwe, Bevin Fortuin, Hanno Coetzee.
Sharks: Skipper Badenhorst, Nikolai Blignaut, Jacques Botes, Deon Carstens, Keegan Daniel, Jean Deysel, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Alistair Hargreaves, Ryan Kankowski, Tendai Mtawarira, Johann Muller, Skholiwe Ndlovu, John Smit, Steven Sykes, Albert van den Berg, Monty Dumond, Adrian Jacobs, Chris Jordaan, Rory Kockott, Waylon Murray, Odwa Ndungane, Ruan Pienaar, JP Pietersen, Francois Steyn, Riaan Swanepoel, Stefan Terblanche, Ross Cronje, Justin Downey, Luzuko Vulindlu.
Stormers: Andries Bekker, Wikus Blaauw, Gcobani Bobo, Schalk Brits, Schalk Burger, Tonderai Chavhanga, Bolla Conradie, Jean de Villiers, Dylan des Fountain, Dewaldt Duvenhage, Schalk Ferreira, Adriaan Fondse, Deon Fourie, Peter Grant, Conrad Jantjes, Ricky Januarie, Francois Louw, JD Moller, Brian Mujati, Pieter Myburgh, Sireli Naqelevuki, Morgan Newman, Luke Watson, Percy Montgomery, Nick Koster, JC Kritzinger, Hilton Lobberts, Joe Pietersen, AJ Venter, Duanne Vermeulen.
A joint delegation from SARU and the International Rugby Board (IRB) met sports minister Mr Makhenkesi Stofile and deputy minister Mr Gert Oosthuizen in Cape Town as part of an information-sharing session. The IRB delegation included president Mr Bernard Lapasset and chief executive Mike Miller. SARU were represented by president Mr Oregan Hoskins, Mr Mark Alexander (deputy president) and Mr Rautie Rautenbach (vice president).
SARU is bidding to host either the 2015 or the 2019 Rugby World Cups and is seeking government support for the bid. Interested unions will make their presentations to the IRB in May and a decision on the hosting nations for both tournaments will be announced on July 28, 2009.
We were delighted with the meeting and very pleased with the governments expression of support for the South African Rugby unions bid, said Mr Lapasset. A tournament of this size the third-largest sporting event in the world is not possible without a close partnership between the government and the rugby union and we were impressed with the enthusiasm and the support the government offered.
Springbok and Sharks star Francois Steyn could be lost to South African rugby within a couple of months.
According to a report in Afrikaans Sunday newspaper Sondag, Steyn has emerged as the major target of French club Racing Metro on their trip to South Africa next month and has been offered one of the biggest contracts ever in rugby history to make the move to France.
Steyn has apparently not signed anything yet, but according to Sondags information he is the only Springbok who is still looking overseas after the recent contract offers from SA Rugby.
SA Rugbys player of the year Jean de Villiers, has reportedly said no to a massive offer of almost R4 million per season from Irish province Munster. Steyns contract offer is said to be in the region of R4.5 million per season.
SA Rugby yesterday announced the names of 19 players who signed contracts, but confirmed that CJ van der Linde has not signed a contract by the deadline on Saturday.
Steyns agent Gerrie Swart meanwhile admitted the young utility back has been approached about the contract.
He hasnt signed anything yet and will look at the offer with the same careful consideration and the knowledge of both SA Rugby and the Sharks. Frans needs to discuss the offer in his own time with his family and must then take a decision that will have all the implications considered, Swart said.
The New Zealand, Crusaders and Perpignan superstar Daniel Carter might be sidelined for up to six months following a partial rapture to his Achilles tendon on Saturday.
The 26-year-old was injured in the final moments of Perpignan’s 13-13 Top 14 draw with Stade Français on Saturday in front of 79,122 at the Stade de France.
The All Black had kicked his team level with a penalty two minutes from time after they had trailed 13-3 with just eight minutes remaining.
Carter’s appearance against the Parisians marked his return from three weeks on the sidelines with a strain to the same Achilles tendon.
The French club signed Carter on a lucrative six-month deal but he has played just five times since arriving in December after being part of New Zealand’s victorious ‘Grand Slam’ romp across Europe in November.
Details on the extend of the injury to his left ankle have yet to be confirmed, but club spokesman Benoît Brazè admitted that Carter has pulled on Perpignan’s famous blood and gold jersey for the last time.
“He has suffered a partial tear to his Achilles tendon – an injury that could keep him out of action for up to six months,” he said.
“Carter’s run with Perpignan is now over.
The FNB Varsity Cup is back from the 2nd February to early April. “We’re taking Mondays back!” Francois Pienaar, former World Cup winning Springbok captain declared at the launch on Monday.
“I don’t know how to measure my side,” said Rudy Joubert, former Springbok assistant coach and a World Cup winner with Pienaar in 1995 when he was the Boks’ technical advisor.
He has just moved to Potchefstroom where he coaches the national champions NWU Pukke who lost to a last-second penalty (32-31) in last year’s Varsity Cup semifinal.
“We have oodles of talent, but not much experience at the back. However, there is so much character that I’m confident,” he said, lauding the structures put in place by former coach Matthew Proudfoot, who is now with Western Province.
Losing 2008 finalists Ikeys (UCT) were determined to do well, but coach John Dobson admitted it could be difficult.
“We caught the guys somewhat unawares last year,” he mused. “We were young and we were too light to get into forward battles and decided to run everything wide. Fleckie (former Springbok centre Robbie Fleck), did wonders and will be back this season.
“We’re hoping for the best and will follow the same approach this year,” promised Dobson.
Champions Maties, who won the 2008 final on the stroke of the hooter when they beat Ikeys, have been working hard.