Rugby Forum
  Volume 1 - Week 6  
Editor's Note
Brilliant!  I promise not to mention niggle, foul play, yellow cards and illegal lineouts! The negatives surrounding the game at the moment may threaten to overwhelm us all but I’m going to try my Sunday School best to look at the positives. 

The Super 12 remains the most exciting, talked about, written about rugby competition on this here earth. I can’t remember who said ‘its better to be talked about than not talked to at all’ ditto to this sentiment. All this talk about doom and gloom, how often do you witness the perfect match? May I remind you that there are 69 matches in the Super 12 alone and with internationals, domestic competitions and sevens galore the chances should be excellent. Unfortunately this is not the case but the chance of witnessing something perfect in a match is 100%. One moment of brilliance, which happens without fail, is more than enough to plaster a lasting smile on my mutt.  

The Bulls and the Stormers are back in town and hopefully these two teams will find home ground advantageous although the Stormers in George are facing another “away” match from their beloved Newlands. The case is strong to expose the game to all frontiers however history teaches valuable lessons and the Sharks, with a star studded team found the going very tough away from Kings Park a few seasons ago and motivated their administrators to secure home games in one location. 

The postponement of Ireland’s remaining Six Nations matches to next season must come as a big disappointment to a team who are in great form. Keith Wood’s men were the only ones capable of upsetting England’s dominance in this competition. France is sadly out of touch and like South Africa after their World Cup triumph is languishing way below their actual ability. The match against England is a must win situation and will present them with the ideal springboard for their tour to South Africa, a loss could signify the guillotine for coach Bernard Laporte.  

The coming weekend is crammed with mouth-watering matches so get out there, support your favorite teams and watch live rugby.

Ps: For all new readers, please mail to include or remove your address or to request previous copies of RF.

Letters to the Editor
Dear Mr Editor
Thanks for this excellent publication.  Full marks for your little tribute to the late Gordon Brown, who not only sweated in the engine room with Willie-John McBride in ’74 but was also one of the game’s great characters.  I remember hearing him reminisce about the triumphant ’74 tour and how in one game he was up against some or other towering, one-eyed boerseun, who was giving him a hard time.  Gordon went on to relate in his lilting Scottish burr how this oke happened to lose his false eye during the game, which had to be stopped while all 16 forwards scrounged about on all fours searching for the wretched thing.  The eye was eventually found and the game continued, but you can only but imagine the poor Scotsman’s horror when, at the next lineout, he happened to glance over to his opponent, only to spot a long blade of grass sticking out of the chap’s eye!  The stuff of legends.
Nag, ou grote.   
from Basie in Upington
The towering "boerseun " was  Johannes de Bruyn, Springbok lock    -    Ed.

 "State of the game address" by Mark Foster

The Super 12, so called premier rugby competition of the Southern Hemisphere is sick, not the kind of sick Hollywood slaps up in the form of teenage horror flicks but the sick as in ill, unwell, in poor health kind of like foot and mouth disease.

After six weeks and 33 matches we are exactly half way through the competition, an impromptu analysis would reveal far more questions than answers. Let’s have a look at a “state of the game” report considering both positive and negative, the good the bad and the downright ugly to gage the levels of the competition so far.

The Super 12’s name was invented to describe the quality of the competition, the teams and the players involved. The past five years have produced some of the best moments and matches of rugby collectively seen in any competition. Very rare indeed that there are competitions where strength equals strength on a weekly rotational system ending in a crescendo of knock out matches to provide a winner. The 2001 and a half edition had fewer occasions than previous years where teams capitulate with the strength of a lamb fending a lion. The traditional “under performers” all raised their levels and there have been few easy matches where a team completely dominates the match.

The quality however has been poor, basic mistakes are made on a weekly basis. The handling is not of the standard we’ve been accustomed to, there has been no rule changes or interpretations in this regard however looking at some of the matches flower baskets should be introduced as a compulsory addition to the protective kit they wear nowadays. To say the least it is shocking to see professionals fumble every week, an array of names pop up but then, we can spend pages going through individuals!

The set phases have been absolutely horrendous, lineouts has overtaken the Balkans as the most troublesome area around. It has become a 1/5 situation; 1out of 5 balls are not straight, 1out of 5 is taken by the opposition, 1out of 5 produces a penalty, 1out of 5 is badly tapped ball and 1out of 5 is good grade A attacking ball yet the “slightly slow” (nothing to do with speed on the park) captains insist on lineouts as main attacking platform for penalties awarded in the opponents 25, huh?

Scrums are well, scrums only the barrel-chested piano movers know what goes on in there anyway and their vocal bury does not extend far enough to describe it. How the poor referees, in many cases non-rugby players understand and penalize without a moment’s hesitation is way beyond me. The phase however is more than important in the modern game and the Southern Hemisphere after some sound lessons from England are focusing again on this truly unique phenomena, I mean where do you find 8 rather large lads gripping each other tightly, sticking their hand between each other’s legs and insert their heads close enough to receive a severe cheek rash?

Kick offs vary from a method of restarting the game (the original purpose) to gimmicky affairs where a cone higher than Kilimanjaro is utilized to achieve “airtime”. The teams are not mastering this phase at all and considering the importance of retaining possession and the ideal attacking opportunity it provides one would expect far more consideration from coaches and analysts.

The tactics of teams is also an interesting point to discuss and one can see that some of the teams are playing to a set pattern. Inevitably it is the home team who in fear of a severe spectator backlash, come out on top. Over the past few weekends there were actually a few bouts of intelligent play where players summed up the situation correctly and without resorting to mindless kicking launched wonderful try scoring attacks from their own half.  There are few better sights than seeing players running at full gallop sidestepping, swerving and finessing their way to the try line. The hard physical stuff has its merit and undeniable advantage however few teams are combining patience and variety in their play to outthink their opponents.

The rule interpretations, referees and foul play have received more attention than original nude pics of Britney Spears and warrant an entire volume alone. To say this area is problematic would be liken to the Middle East going through a rough patch at the moment. Enough said.

A ray of shining light this year are the “new” teams in the top 4, except the Brumbies the other 3 contenders have done a marvelous job to turn around floundering fortunes of a year ago to be in control at this stage. History however dictates halfway is exactly that, not the final standings. A lot depends on the vital away tours of the respective teams, as away wins are scarcer than a sentence from John Rambo.

Last but not least a few players have alighted the competition with exhilarating displays. The top performers and to use American terminology “most valuable players” are loose forwards and few can deny the impact of Johan Erasmus and Phil Waugh on every game they play. The traditional “MVP” positions like halfbacks are difficult to gauge due to the high turnover of players and substitutions but one stand out both through his performance and leadership, George Gregan.

There are 33 matches, 2 semi finals and one final left of this competition, hopefully the various problem areas will sort themselves out but as for the first half of the competition I am unhappy to report that the latest outbreak of a vicious virus has infected the “best competition in the world”, not foot and mouth more like too much foot and a smack in themouth.   

The Flame of True Greatness Burns Eternal by Chum van Vollenhoven
The excellent article by M Baker (Survival of the Fittest) in one of your recent editions provided food for thought, as we consider how the great game of rugby has graduated from a gents’ game of rough ‘n tumble played on the village green, to what sometimes amounts to hand-to-hand warfare between highly-trained, 20-man SWAT teams.
Mr Baker makes a disturbing point when he observes that “Yesterday’s heroes are fading faster from memory than most boy bands”, as the rigours of the modern game reduce the international playing careers of even the great players to 5 to 8 seasons, rather than the 10 to 15 of days of yore.  As examples, the international careers of Chris Koch, Tony O’Reilly, Colin Meads and Naas Botha all spanned 3 decades, and the great Frik du Preez was into his 36th summer when he retired in 1971.  Mark Andrews, at 28 the venerable warhorse of the current Bok side, is but a bare-footed umfaan in comparison!
Even so, none of these luminaries of the game can touch with a barge pole the gritty longevity displayed by the great All Black hooker, Has Catley, who provided the immovable foundation upon which successive Waikato scrums were built from 1935 to 1955, and who played for the All Blacks against the Boks in both 1937 and 1949.  His first-class career finally ended when he played for Harlequins against his beloved Waikato in 1956, at the ripe old age of 41!
Perhaps there is some merit to the argument that the legendary players of the past will, because of the tremendous exposure given to modern players, be but mere “ghosts”, remembered only by those lucky enough to have seen them play.  I hope not.  After all, to the rabid rugger aficionado, the mystique of the great players who thrived in the days before television, like Messrs Du Preez, Meads, Edwards and Muller, will remain intact, nay will be enhanced, exactly for this reason.  Their mighty deeds will be confined to the occasional archived black ‘n white newsreel, and their heroic tales will primarily be told in that most emotive of media, print.  Bubblegum heroes and their peroxided locks will come and go, just like their musical counterparts, but the timeless skills of a Campese, Ella, Brooke, Porta or Gerber will live on as long as the game is played.
As an example, Barry John wrote the following about the great All Black no 5 in his own autobiography: “a hundred years from now, when men are discussing rugby and arguing over the names of the five or six all-time greats, the name of Colin Meads will always be near the top of the list.”  Amen, brother.
Here’s a nice thought.  It’s 2041 and Mr Baker is watching rugby with his young grandson, and they’re admiring the skills of that raven-haired flanker, Johnny Knickerbocker, who makes the girls shriek with excitement at his every dummy and sidestep.  With a disapproving shake of his head, Baker Jnr turns to his wisened old grandfather and mutters: “He’s fast and flash, but isn’t fit to clean the mud off Andre Venter’s boots”.

    Things Money Can Buy
The Sultan of Brunei was beginning to worry, for although he had 6 children, he had no son and therefore, no heir. Imagine his joy when one of his wives finally presented him with his first and only son and heir.  Before his son's sixth birthday, the Sultan spoke to him and said, "Son, I am proud of you. Anything you want, I shall get it for you." His son replied, "Daddy, I would like to have my own airplane." Not wanting to do things by halves, he bought him American Airlines. Before his son's 7th birthday, the Sultan spoke to him and said, "Son, I am very proud of you. Anything you want, I shall get it for you." His son replied, "Daddy, I would like a boat." Not wanting to do things by halves, his father bought him The Princess Cruise Lines. Just before his son's eighth birthday, the Sultan spoke to him and said, "Son, you bring so much happiness into my life.  Anything you want, I shall get for you." His son replied, "Daddy, I would like to be able to watch cartoons." Not wanting to do things by halves, his father bought him Disney Studios, and their theatres, where he watched all his favourite cartoons. Just before his son's ninth birthday, the Sultan spoke to him and said, "Son, you are an inspiration to us all. Anything you want, I shall get for you." His son, who had really become obsessed with the Disney cartoons, replied, "Daddy, I would like a Mickey Mouse outfit." Again, not wanting to do things by halves, his father bought him the entire Stormers rugby team.    Don't worry Stormers' fans; they will be back to their winning ways soon!    Ed.

Rugby Quiz
  1. What team performs the "cibi"?
  2. Who captained the 1980 Lions to South Africa?
  3. Which world cup winning fullback is now a physio therapist with the Waratahs?
  4. What year was the New Zealand Rugby Union founded?
  5. Who captained France a record 34 times?
  6. What was the reason for the cancellation of the 1967 All Black tour to Ireland?
  7. What team scored a historical victory over the Springboks in Bloemfontein on 3 April 1982?
  8. What year did England manage to beat the All Blacks for the first time?
  9. Which Scottish great was involved in the "Calcutta Cup affair" in 1988?
  10. What team has won the Currie Cup the most times?
(answers at the end)

Match Reports

Chiefs 50 Highlanders 19

The weekends most exciting match was played in front of a 20 000 crowd in Rotorua where the home team supporters were well rewarded by a truly stunning display of rugby from their heroes.

The Chiefs signified their intent of running the ball from an early stage and by cue the Highlanders reciprocated with similar adventurous play. Needless to say there were some spectacular tries scored both from phased possession and following turnovers. The Highlanders welcomed back Jeff Wilson and he obliged with his best performance to date, not only scoring two tries but also delivering big hits on defence. Tony Brown back after a “rest” last week was better in his decision making, hard running and defence not that it made a massive difference. 

The Chiefs, lead by Deon Muir who was inspirational played the most wonderful running rugby and the forwards created a solid platform for attacks. A lot can be said of loose forwards roaming and game breaking however if they work as a unit with the tight five and create quality ball for exciting backs the result was there to see. Scrumhalf Danny Lee had a dream game with Rhys Duggan waiting on the sidelines, 3 tries was great reward for his individual brilliance and sniping runs.  Lowen must be close to an All Black call up, this center has caused more hassles to opposing defences than any other in the competition.

Many of the Chiefs players can be singled out for great play and contribution to the end result but the whole team should take credit for this win, all possession were utilized with aim and pattern to achieve the result. The Highlanders were outclassed on the day but not humiliated. Play of the day was after a penalty inside the Chiefs 25,  Muir took a quick tap Lowen carried forward and Roger Randle finished a sweeping 80 meter try.  Well done Chiefs! 

Reds 15 Brumbies 23

The all-Australian match up was a hard fought affair and as expected from two teams with renowned defensive capabilities a low scoring affair. The match in many ways resembled a trials game, the players were watching each other closely and opportunities to play expansive were thwarted by small errors.

The Brumbies had very little possession and with Mortlock struggling to convert penalty opportunities they were lucky the Reds lacked penetration. The coach of the Reds must be a worried man, with all the possession available to his backs they can’t seem to create opportunities for dangerous attackers like Tune. One difference from last year except the obvious presence of Horan was the brilliant form of Latham, this year he is struggling and his attacking forays are sorely missed. Latham seem to be preoccupied and his hands are not the best at the moment. Flatley’s injury has cost the team not only a prolific goal kicker but vital decision maker as well. 

The Brumbies struggled with quality and the dangerous Larkham was not the factor of last week. His defence was excellent and as an all-round flyhalf he is definitely the best in the competition, a drop goal confirmed this status. All in all it was a close affair and with the game very much in balance Bartholomeus lost his head and through the ball away to allow the Reds a look in at 15 – 16. He did however rectify his error with a fine try after a hack forward, which handed the game to the Brumbies. Valiant attacking efforts from the Reds in the final minutes just accentuated their lack of penetration.

The Brumbies once again proved that with precious little possession they could win games, Roff is sorely missed at the back and as brilliant an attacker Walker is, he thrives of the presence of Roff. An away win is always a good result and the Brumbies did well not to come unstuck at Ballymore.

Cats 26 Sharks 25

The Cats Sharks match was a highly anticipated affair, the Bloemfontein crowd notoriously absent from major rugby events, unfathomable given the wonderful talent they produce arrived in their droves to support home town hero Rassie Erasmus and his Cats against the log leaders.

The 90 minutes that followed was some of the toughest and fiercest seen in a long time. The ferocity was such that hardly 2 minutes after kick off Halstead left the field due to injury, ending his battle with Mulder prematurely, AJ Venter was sin binned and Koen slotted his first penalty! Wow!

The Sharks surprised with Gaffie Du Toit at flyhalf and this precociously talented footballer played with confidence and assurance until he left the field at half time due to a hamstring strain. The early loss of Halstead was disruptive to the Sharks’ playing pattern and more often than not only the absence of a player highlights his worth to the team.

Both sides where preoccupied with kicking for territory and launching high up and unders, strange how they strive to keep the ball in hand when playing foreign teams but insist on kicking away valuable possession against each other.

There was plenty of niggle and this word has become part and parcel of any match report in the Super 12. Boshoff was sent of after 8 minutes and there were 2 players watching from the sidelines. The stupid errors meant scoring opportunities and the kickers were on song, Koen also added a drop goal.

The first try was a sublime break from Andre Snyman supported by Gaffie and after great skill in beating and drawing a few men he offloaded back to Snyman to signal his return to the big time. Snyman was solid all evening and everybody remembering his phenomenal try against England at Twickenham will be rejoiced by his return from injury.

The Sharks dominated the first half and played well except for the tactic of launching high balls on Thinus Delport, one of the men in world rugby capable of scoring from 50 meters out. The Cats defended very well and Andre Vos was gargantuan in this phase. Rassie as usual was at his brilliant best doing everything from touch kicking, tackling and hanging in the air for 10 seconds, an illegal manoeuvre later to cause uproar.

The match contained a strange occurrence, two tightheads this is inexcusable at this level and I’m sure the coach will not be happy with that. The first half both teams displayed a lack of patience in the build-ups to score, almost like a shootout at OK Coral, everything at once.

The second half saw Moyle collect his umpteenth yellow card of the season and the Sharks were again reduced to 14 men, the Cats capitalized and Mulder scored a fine try after Terreblanche made a bad error in defence. Dean Hall lets fly with a round-house punch that would have made Ali proud but somehow escape punishment because he missed. The decision is absolutely ludicrous; why some guys are let off the hook and others are punished remain a mystery.

The Sharks displayed a worrying weakness under the highball and Loubser must learn to get up there and risk his teeth.  A few penalties were traded amongst the heat of battle and the game was clearly heading for a close finish as neither team could penetrate the others defence. Disruptions in the form of yellow cards also made continuity difficult. The next player to take a “rest” was van Biljon with a brainless trip and the Sharks were closing in after James slotted the kick. A further penalty by James meant a 1-point difference. The Sharks could not capitulate on the extra player and after some good pressure resorted to a drop goal to take the lead.

The match was decided by an error and again Terreblanche was responsible to hand Koen a match winning kick. The Sharks did have a final opportunity to snatch the game from the Cats’ claws when Werner Swanepoel committed a dangerous tackle and became the fifth player to leave the field but the pressure was too much for young Butch James and he missed the kick.

Davidson on scrumhalf played very well for the Sharks however James struggled and the variance in their play from previous weeks was hard to understand, the Cats took their tried and tested forwards into battle and the responded magnificently. The teams with everything to play for insisted on kicking away possession and this tactics will win neither of them a Super 12 crown.

Crusaders 29 Hurricanes 41

What a change in fortunes! The first half was in vast contrast to what panned out in the second. The game between last seasons NPC finalists was always going to be hard as nails and this was no exception. The Crusaders incidentally lost that match and after some mixed fortunes early in the competition surely felt confident of turning the tide against the men from Wellington.

The Hurricanes as usual were guilty of stupid errors in the first 40 minutes and the ghost of Merhtens looked as if it could haunt them. The maestro, back from injury controlled the flow with authority and punished the ill disciplined forwards with 3 well struck penalties. The Hurricanes lack of clearing the ball out of their own 25 was points for jam.  There was of course another splendid All Black out to prove himself (as if he ever needs to!) and Mr Cullen set off on some darting runs leaving scores of defenders in his wake, fortunately his communication and finer touch of the ball was still a but “rusty” however there was more to come.

The Crusaders forwards clicked into groove and did what they do best, control the ball and patiently wear the opposition down. The first try came as a bit of a surprise when Merhtens threw a wild pass into midfield from an aimless kick and Umaga broke through for a try against the run of play. The Hurricanes continued to create problems for themselves by not finding touch from their own 25 and was it not for Steinmetz, who once again had a great game, the Hurricanes deficit would have been far greater.

The uber fullback Cullen scored a magnificent try after brilliant interplay from Steinmetz and Umaga from the halfway line, if anything suggested doom to the Crusaders it was the fact that Umaga and Cullen’s names were both on the scoreboard. They did not panic though and once again the Hurricanes, failing to relief pressure succumbed to the power of Somerville and Blackadder combining well and good hands in the backline to score before halftime, 19 – 17 in the lead.

The second half saw the Hurricanes display ruthless attacking play to tear the well-oiled Crusader defense apart. Tana Umaga had a huge hand in the try scored by Steinmetz after brilliant first phase attack and once again in Cullen’s second of the night. This try was a gem and the effectiveness of Umaga’s flat pass once again demonstrated its value in beating the opposition defense. Cullen’s speed was enough to take care of McDonald and Holwell’s difficult conversion created a 9 point cushion to the ‘Canes.

Confidence was now high and the usual indiscipline of the Hurricane forwards made way for a much improved performance, something the backline’s been craving all season. Lomu got in on the act and the big fella scored after a regulation blind side move with only 2 (?) players left to cover him. The Crusaders substitution, Brad Thorne made an impact when brought on but alas there was very little he could do against some spirited defense that got a bit carried away and reduced the Hurricanes to the now usual 14 men. The Crusaders with one player less to beat duly scored and Merhtens dotted over after some good continuity.

The Hurricanes managed to score another penalty after a huge tackle from Lomu on Thorne after the kick off, two big bodies on the line! This was to be the last points even though the Crusaders courageously attacked the line and a television decision denied a try. The Hurricanes managed to hold on and score a famous away victory.

In hindsight the Hurricanes forwards for once decided to play the ball and concentrate on providing their backs with quality possession in the second half, the difference was there for all to see. The Crusaders are in for a tough time chasing their fourth title, difficult but not impossible.

Waratahs 35 Blues 19

The Waratahs returned to their winning ways and the presence of Matt Burke had a lot to do with the change of fortunes, he provides a settling influence and a spark to the backline. Sense seems to have prevailed and he was not considered at flyhalf as was rumoured during the week.

Burke opened the scoring after a penalty against the Blues for a kick on the butt of Phil Waugh! What a stupid transgression and the players don’t seem interested in relinquishing the silly niggling errors we see on a weekly basis. The Blues flanker, Parkinson was only interested in playing negatively and one wonders the tactics of the coaches to persist and maybe encourage players like him, it cost the Blues.

The Waratahs looked the better team, they played with the majority of possession and their continuity was excellent. They worked hard for a try that came after a Burke decision to kick to the line instead of the sticks. The Blues look jaded and not the hyped up outfit who dispensed of the Reds, a “try” by Robin Brooke, disallowed for obstruction and a television referee decision against Vidiri could have changed their fortunes considerably. Unfortunately their own errors and the “errand” genius Spencer cost them. Doug Howlett managed to open their account with an awesome try before halftime but a 9-point deficit was going to be difficult to haul in.

The second half provided a better display of rugby and Nathan Gray scored a gem after a good run and show of the ball beat the defence. The Blues did manage to find some rhythm and Vidiri became the leading try scorer in Super 12 history even after being reduced to 14 men. The Waratahs managed to contain the resurgent Blues and will be disappointed at not capitalizing on the extra player advantage but letting a try through. The Blues now resurgent refuse to lie down and Howlett, prominent in attack created space for Robinson to score. 

The Australian outfit was by now a bit worried and after a Matt Burke penalty provided a 10 point cushion they only needed to hold on and play for time. The Blues continued their attacks and displayed a tremendous amount of guts but the contest was effectively over after the sending off of Flavell. Burke, sensing that a win was more important than an extra bonus point preferred penalty kicks at goal and even one of Sydney’s favourite sons were booed!

The Waratahs walked away with a win and the Blues are left reeling near the bottom of the log.

The log after week 6:

Brumbies     24,    Sharks     23,    Cats     22,    Waratahs     20,   Chiefs    14,    Highlanders   14,    Crusaders   10,    Hurricanes    10,     Blues    9,    Reds    8,    Stormers    6,   Bulls    2   


Opinions and Views

Foul play/disciplinary committees:

  • First I like to say thanks for keeping this forum going, then on the foul play story; I would like to say that if someone resort to foul play he in fact admits defeat this is not only in Rugby but also in life. Therefore must be taken out of the game, and given a suspension or a hefty fine.     M. Dotinga from Netherland
  • Some referees are so one sided in their decisions that I am convinced they have ulterior motives. It is high time that a referee is charged with misconduct and fined for obviously poor decisions. And don't tell me that they only have one pair of eyes. The linesman are there to help them and should also be fined if they do not help the ref.    "ssdfsadfsdf "
  • Japie Mulder for once contained his temper against the Sharks and after the early incident with Halstead (was it the shoulder or slap on the head that downed the Natalian?) where he was innocent played a match reminiscent of the Japie we know of old        K. Lubbe
  • "Admirable" how the two coaches of the Sharks and Cats "protect SA interests" by not citing foul play, this is exactly what we don't need as very little mercy will be shown by foreign coaches and players continue to live under the illusion that they can get away with it.    Luke from Cape Town
Cats Lineout Lifting
  • How the heck can a referee condone flagrant obstruction of a law pertinent to general play and not tucked away in small print or obscurity, do these guys get tested on the rules?  Sure doesn't look like it!    Shane from Durban
  • Laughable it was, Rassie great player that he is should feel a right twit hanging in the air longer than Michael "air" Jordan and still looses the ball against Albert van den Bergh!    AD
  • Once again there is a problem where certain rules are applicable to some and not to others, how can the Cats get away with this kind of stunt, did they bribe the Ausie official?    Walter Bozinsky
  •  The final decision to host the Stormers' matches in George and Paarl are ridiculous, season ticket holders must now pay again for matches guaranteed and at the same price in the past!    Unhappy Stormers Fan
  • Good to see Cullen back to his devastating best, watch out opposing teams!    Carie from Wellington
  • Imagine that James "the bullet" Dalton back in Super 12 rugby, as if the yellow card situation wasn't bad enough.  I hope he "channels" the aggression!    Corry

Rugby backs can be identified because they generally have clean jerseys and identifiable partings in their hair ... come the revolution the backs will be the first to be lined up against the wall and shot for living parasitically off the work of others.    Peter Fitzsimmons
I prefer rugby to soccer. I enjoy the violence in rugby, except when they start biting each other's ears off.    Elizabeth Taylor
On the Munster pack - Mothers keep their photo on the mantlepiece to stop the kids going to near the fire.    Jim Neilly
In 1823, William Webb Ellis first picked up the ball in his arms and ran with it. And for the next 156 years forwards have been trying to work out why.    Sir Tasker Watkins (1979)

Super 12 Barometer
The Super 12 team we should choose in case the Six Nations compiles a similar 1st XV for a match-up on neutral ground of course. What do you think? - Ed
  1. Robbie Kempson   
  2. Anton Oliver        (replaces John Smit)
  3. Greg Somerville    
  4. Johan Ackerman   
  5. Victor Matfield        
  6. Johan Erasmus              
  7. Phil Waugh                 
  8. Andre Vos           
  9. George Gregan
  10. Stephen Larkham   
  11. Joe Roff             
  12. Trevor Halstead   
  13. Tana Umaga       
  14. Matt Burke          
  15. Christian Cullen    (replaces Leon McDonald)

Dave's rugby and league phrase guide
SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE REFEREEING    Refereeing that is totally incomprehensible to Northern Hemisphere players. Usually interpreted as meaning that treatment must be handed out when ever possible. Eg: "A good display of southern hemisphere refereeing by Dave 'That wasn't a forward pass' Bishop. If he had blown that one up,
 there wouldn't have been nearly so many casualties."
TAKE OUT    When a player is effected is such a way that he can not participate in the current passage of play he is said to be taken out. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways: 1) The pokai method. 2) Putting them on the deck. 3) Giving them an illegal high shot. 4) Holding a player down in the lineout. 5) Holding a faster player back in a race to the loose ball. 6) Over vigourous use of the boot and not just at ruck time. Eg: "Fox was taken out rather badly with that late high shot."
UNDER THE STICKS    (i) Where a try has been scored between the two upright posts Eg: "He's dotted it down under the sticks" (ii) When a conversion/penalty attempt doesn't go the distance, falling just short of the cross-bar. Eg: "Bad luck, the kick has gone under the sticks."
VRYSTAAAAAAT     Pronounced Fraystaaaaaahhhhht, this endearment is most often uttered at high volume at rugby matches by spectators. Usually, but not always, when Orange Free State is on the field. It is a most useful word which can mean anything, but is usually an exhortation to perform better. It can however also be heard when the utterer is merely feeling good. Also if he wants to rattle the cages of Transvaal, Western Province and Natal fans. It is also heard in pubs, busses, cars and at any gathering where South Africans have got together to watch or participate in sport, burn meat, drink piss and so on. It is often heard overseas, usually when the Springboks are playing, but not always. I have personally heard it yelled at Eden Park, Athletic Park, Twickenham and Cardiff Arms Park and on one or two of those occasions there wasn't even a South African on the field. Only one or two feeling happy in the stands. Listen out for it during the Super 10 this year. Eg: VRYSTAAAAAAT!!!  VRYSTAAAAAAT!!!  VRYSTAAAAAAT!!!"
WRONG FOOTED    When a player makes a stupis ass out of himself by attempting a tackle when he is moving in the wrong direction he is said to be wrong footed.
Eg: "Wilson was brilliantly wrong footed by Campese who simply went round him to score out wide."
ZINZAN     A "zinzan" is a drop-goal attempt from 40-50 metres by a forward which only gets about 2-3m off the deck. Named after the couple of efforts Zinzan Brooke tried in the 1994 All Black vs South Africa tests. Eg: "Eales! has tried another zinzan from half way again - the guy is a bloody hero!!! "
(Borrowed from David Warner's DAVE's RUGBY AND LEAGUE PHRASE GUIDE VERSION 4.6, 1995) 

Answers:    1.      Fiji    2.      Bill Beaumont    3.      Marty Roebuck    4.      1892     5.      Jean Pierre Reeves       6.      Foot and mouth disease   7.      Jaguars    8.      4 January 1936    9.      John Jeffrey    10.     Western Province






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