My wife and I acquired a slightly unfortunate label from almost everyone that knows us. We belong to a distinguished group commonly referred to as the “unfashionably late”. This (to my utter disgust) transcends everyday meetings, business lunches, parties and in fact most gatherings (social and otherwise). Nobody enjoys missing a kick-off, first pitch or the first ball bowled and I’m certainly no exception, but I have also found myself on the business end of a ticking clock come game day. Mostly because of last minute logistical nightmares that include forgetting to buy alcoholic beverages before hand, finding your proposed attire (read Province, Stormers or Bok jersey) for the outing amongst the dirty washing and my all time favourite – not being able to find the keys, which you know for a fact you saw not five minutes earlier.
It would be the understatement of the century to say that these things annoy me, but I’ve learnt to deal with them in my own way. During such times of mad rushing to avoid missing the start of a game, I do find it extremely interesting to look at the people that we pass on the way to our destination. These individuals who are clearly as late for the game as I am, but who do not seem to be in any hurry. Morne Steyn can have the ball in his hands and be signaling his forwards for the kick-off and these okes could not be less fazed. (more…)
Some people say you are what you eat (which means I’m in bigger trouble than I thought!) Others feel that it is your religion, sexual preference or even political affiliation that defines you. Then there’s a school of thought that maintain the colours you wear, determine your being. This might sound a touch superficial, but only if misunderstood and viewed in the wrong context. If you assume that they’re referring to expensive attire, the latest trendy gear or high-end fashion apparel, you’d be sorely mistaken. C’mon people, this is not and never will be Sex And The City, that’s just not how we roll…
This sentiment is rooted in something much more substantial and far less trivial, namely supporters’ colours. The very fabric that distinguishes binds and endears you to a select group. These matters that appears so fundamental to the tools inherent to making an on the spot, split second family differential. Imagine a staunch Manchester United supporter (I’m feeling nauseous already) sporting the famous Red Devil shirt, tucking into a Cornish pasty, washing it down with a luke-warm “widow-maker” ale. Have you got the mental picture? Scary isn’t it?! Now imagine this lout taking a seat slap-bang in the middle of the Kop section at Anfield.
First choice centres who don’t penetrate defensive systems, locks and loose forwards that camp in the backline and a national captain who can’t even make his union’s starting line-up – these are but some of the nightmares that should keep Peter de Villiers up at nights. However, the national coach seems to be more than satisfied with the state of S.A. Rugby and says he is sleeping like a baby. A baby ostrich, with his head firmly buried under ground possibly, seeing as things are not where they have to be with a World Cup tournament less than 65 days away!
The Stormers’ crushing defeat at the hands of the battered and bruised Crusaders in Cape Town last Saturday did little else except to underline the desperate state of the level of the game in the Republic. Jean de Villiers and Jacque Fourie (widely regarded as the centre pairing for the RWC) had a horrid time of it; between trying to restrict Sonny Bill Williams, fighting their own forwards for possession in the backline and trying to look for some inkling of direction from Peter Grant!
The Crusaders will face the Cape Town side at Newlands on the 2nd July 2011.
Crusaders 36 – Try: Sonny Bill Williams, Kieran Read, Ben Franks; Conversions: Dan Carter (2), Mathew Berquist; Penalties: Carter (5)
Schalk Burger’s men fought like warrior poets in a bitterly cold Bloemfontein to dispel any chance of the Cheetahs ending their Super Rugby season on a deserved high. There was hardly any doubt that the men from Cape Town would pull this one through, but the Cheetahs are well known as giant slayers (just ask the boys from Canterbury) and should therefore never be scoffed at.
The precision that was lacking from a Stormers fly-half pivot for the better part of the last six matches was back and his deadly boot made the trip to the Free State as well. Peter Grant stepped up and slotted six penalties and three conversions to take his tally to twenty-four points for the night. He showed no sign of the recurring knee injury that saw him miss out on the Blues, Brumbies, Rebels and Bulls games respectively. The former Maritzburg College pupil was commanding in his presence on attack as well as in defense. He was ably assisted by Juan de Jongh who was assigned the role of distributor as opposed to that of line-breaker. If rumours are to be believed, De Jongh is high on Heyneke Meyer’s Christmas wish list, however, a Super Rugby trophy coming to Cape Town could complicate that transfer considerably.
Any rumors regarding Francois Hougaard’s ‘move’ to Cape Town were squashed by the Bulls on Wednesday when it was denied to the media that the young ex-Paul Roos student would relocate to the Stormers.
The defending Super Rugby champions reminded everyone in a statement that Hougaard is contracted with the Pretoria -based side until October 2012.
“Any rumours that the player will be available for other rugby unions is unfounded and without fact,” the statement read.
Hougaard will be in the starting lineup for the Bulls in their crucial and deciding final home game against the Sharks.