|Volume 2, Week 28|
Brilliant! And allow me to repeat, brilliant! The Springboks finally triumphed
and fulfilled the enormous potential that was building every week. The Wallabies, those sneaky last minute Houdini-like escape artists, were outdone in painfully familiar fashion and Krige although he did not mention it, will be sure to buy
Werner Greeff a drink anywhere anytime – so will the rest of South Africa!
The Tri-Nations is over and congratulations to the All Blacks for winning the title in absentia, it was well deserved after beating the Springboks twice (as usual) and narrowly losing to the Wallabies in a Sydney humdinger. The competition was closely fought and not without controversy, next week in RF a synopsis.
The one worrying factor that everyone complained about Saturday was the high tackling and how it almost cost the Springboks the match. Yes, the tackles were high and players were rightfully cautioned and binned BUT for a large majority of the match it was rock solid. For one there was a subtle change in the defensive technique, the backs tackled their opposites around the ankles, ‘but that is how you should tackle’ I hear you say, quite correct but few teams actually employ the “old-fashioned” method of taking the legs out.
Modern day defensive tackling technique see the players attack the upper body area to try and stifle the ball or knock it out or rip it away. Upper body strength has therefore increased tremendously to counter this trend so shrugging the tackle becomes easier. Enter the low and hard method (incidentally used by the Wallaby backs, two weeks ago against the All Blacks) and the Springboks managed to bring the heavier players down, forcing them to place the ball immediately as the rule state rather tha n wait for George Smith to help (Owen Finnegan was too slow) while legs are pumping through the higher tackle. Did Burke, Herbert and Mortlock not suddenly look ordinary compared to their bollocking runs of the Super 12 and previous matches? Where was the customary phased play? It was stop start because the ball was contested in a ruck and here the Springbok forwards played magnificently courtesy of the faster loose forwards and commitment by the tight five. When the tackles became higher the Wallabies came back into their own almost snatching victory.
The much-maligned referees remain in the news and in a very sick and perverse way van Zyl’s deed accelerated attention to what everybody thought was a system with cracks and leaks in it. From all quarters suggestions are forthcoming and the issues were addressed at the SANZAR meeting during the week, referees wrote articles and websites published protocol and procedures. The one thing that strikes me most from all of this is how little comprehension there is of the laws – from the players, to the c ommentators to spectators: we do not know all the laws. Expectancy is therefore so much higher on the match official to get it right it transcends reality. Do not get me wrong, incompetence must be rooted out and officials assisted with as much technology as is possible short of turning the game into a 3-hour Gridiron imitation but we as supporters must become realistic, there is no zero defect only a strive for it.
The Currie Cup jumps into full swing this weekend and it will be a positive and keenly contested competition after the Springboks’ good efforts. In New Zealand we have the NPC and Vinesh Naicker will be contributing regularly with news from this tough competition to keep us updated on what the old foe is doing. Welcome to RF Vinesh!
Enjoy the matches on Saturday, we look forward to a Bulls revival in their derby against the Lions, Province should have it easy over neighbours Boland and Free State will be too strong for their cousins from Griquas.
|Visit www.rugbyforum.co.za for statistics, all the quotes and an archive of previous issues|
|Counting those chickens by Tom Marcellus|
One of the most indelible moments of Saturday's famous victory over the World Champions took place just after the Wallabies' substitute hooker, Brendon Cannon, barged over for what appeared to be the match-winning score. Seconds after Cannon's try, after a desperate dash for glory by George Smith, George Gregan, whose relationship with local fans has teetered ever since his elevation to the job of loquacious skipper of the Brumbies, indulged himself with a "Yeah, Yeah!" fist-pump, a la Tiger Woods
Despite being a long-established fan of "the Guv'", I couldn't help howling with unbridled rage and despair, and, as Gregan pumped his biceps in expectation of another famous pre-hanging jailbreak, watching Bok fans around the world must have wished that the ground would just swallow them up. A comfortable lead had been suddenly squandered, the Boks were now on the brink of their fourth straight loss against quality opposition, and once again our mortal foes, those jammy Aussie bustards, had sneak ed past us in the dying seconds.
Wretched, long-buried memories of Alan Donald, trapped in no-man's land at Edgbaston, and of Larkham's extra-time dropgoal at Twickers in 1999, came rushing back. Unbiblical thoughts coursed through my mind, as the Wallaby skipper, his eyes bulging with passion, went through his celebratory war-dance, taunting Ellis Park's grizzled kappies 'n Coke faithful.
Once the rage had passed, I felt a sudden helplessness, a sinking despair. Yet again, the Boks had seemingly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. They had, at times, played glorious, enterprising rugger, and had tackled like madmen to keep the Wallabies at bay for much of the 20-minute period in which they had found themselves reduced to 14 men. It was just so unfair! I lamented to myself and to any sympathetic pilgrim willing to lend an ear. Luckily, I was not alone in my grief, and three gulps of a soothing Boksburg Chardonnay of uncertain vintage brought some comfort to my melancholic spirits.
You can thus imagine the hysterical shrieks of joy that pierced the afternoon sky, courtesy of the strained vocal chords of this armchair correspondent, as Werner Greeff burst through the Aussie defence to record his glorious score. Allah is great! Allah is merciful! (Or words to that effect) I roared, as the young Bok no 15 dotted down close to the poles for the equalising try.
The difference between agonising defeat and glorious victory was minimal. The Wallabies had been deprived of a gritty victory in the last movement of the match, and even a draw was not unlikely, as Greeff lined up for the conversion, given his iffy kicking record. But, for once, it was not to be, and hard-pressed Bok fans, not to mention our heroes-in-arms themselves – Corne & his merry men, and the implacable Straeuli – could savour the taste of a last-gasp victory over Australia's finest.
They don't come any sweeter.
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|Nobody is Bigger than the Game by Desmond Organ|
The press of the past few weeks has been full of controversy, speculation and accusations. First there was the citing of Corne Krige on inconclusive evidence, followed by the Vodafone streakers in Sydney, the outburst from
Mehrtens, the embarrassing belly on the field in Durban and finally the Gregan whining from Sydney.
Behind all of this lies one of the most competitive Tri Nations in several years and a festival of attacking and defensive rugby of the highest order. Several of the matches were not decided until the final moments of the game and several players have raised their hands as future greats. The antics off the field have also been at the forefront of developments and the most embarrassing and controversial was the Ben Tune “medication” scandal. I call it that because it is nothing less than disgraceful that this kind of thing is allowed to go on, that it should in the same year that the NZRFU refused to extend the Super 12 only to lose the right to co-host the 2003 World Cup is quite remarkable.
It all speaks to one thing, the lack of a fully professional and centralized governing body for the game of rugby. Whether we are accepting of the decisions and procedures handed down by FIFA in football, there is clearly a far greater degree of standardized procedures in football. The standards of referees will always be questioned, but there is no doubt that the standards of consistency on the recent World Cup were far higher than the standards in the Tri Nations. Former players have aired there views and argued that Northern hemisphere referees should not handle the Tri Nations matches. This is nonsense because it merely perpetuates the problem of creating different sets of standards for a common sport.
There should be a single body to manage the standards for the certification and the measuring of referees performances. The evidence that the Western Province has brought forward against people like Stuart Dickinson only goes to show that there are serious problems. The events in Durban, diabolical as they are should send a loud warning to the IRB that there is going to be more of the same if the instances of questionable performances are allowed to go on unabated.
The individual discretion that is given to member unions to control doping procedures in their own countries is quite clearly not operating as it should. This is because the standards are vague. Member Unions are able to hide the facts in order to protect players through the legal system in that country. I wonder how much truth there is in the accusation that the Ben Tune scandal was made public after an extended period in order to make it illegal to make him personally responsible.
If the IRB hearing ends with a different outcome it does not mean that there decision will hold any value if it cannot be upheld in the Australian courts. The players are professionals and their entire careers are intertwined with legal representation. You cannot attend a hearing without a lawyer at your disposal. There should be a set of standards that can be interpreted impartially by the representatives at a game irrespective of their national origin, anything short of this will only lead to further controversy.
In the United States the players in Major League Baseball are poised to go on another strike, god forbid that this should happen to the great game of Rugby Union. There have been sufficient challenges in making the game professional, amazing that the procedures and standards associated with this are not in place. If the administrators fail to act in time there is a great chance that the players and coaches who derive a substantial part, if not all of their income from the game will have no choice b ut to unionise and bring a new face to the game, one in which terms like work stoppage and collective bargaining could become common terms.
The doping and officiating standards have got to be addressed before the onset of the next World Cup. I do not think that we want to have Rugby Union dominated by a multitude of electronic devices, some are necessary but a proliferation will alter the game in unbearable ways.
DON'T FORGET: The September issue of SA Rugby magazine (with James Dalton on the cover) is on sale now.
|Highveld Bliss by Mark Foster|
Springboks 33 Wallabies 31
The Springboks won a thrilling encounter after the hooter against a lethargic World Champion Wallaby outfit. The match contained plenty of tries as expected and a 2-point margin was testimony of yet another excellent Tri-Nations match. Congratulations to the All Blacks for winning the competition and probably for the first time ever, each team walked away with a major trophy of some sort.
Back to the match, the Springboks were dealt a potentially crippling blow when Andre Pretorius withdrew before the match and the reservations regarding goal kicking materialised immediately when first Greeff then Russell fluffed easy chances. The obvious was glaringly obvious, run the ball or lose the match – this was accomplished with much aplomb after initial forays proved fruitless. As usual it was a spark of brilliance this time from Breyten Paulse just before half time that turned the tide and t he "Youngboks" partied to a commanding 26-9 lead with 20 minutes to go.
Inspired flowing play from the Wallabies and some continuous high tackling from the Springboks saw the lead evaporate in minutes and with 14 men the Springboks faced disaster. George Smith made a telling run and Cannon scored what was clearly a match winning try or so did just about everybody thought. Enter Werner Greeff, an inspired angled run after magnificent forward control resulted in seven points for the jubilant Springboks and a well deserved victory at the bastion of SA rugby, Ellis Park.
Let us have a look at the match in its various facets.
The pack produced another magnificent performance from where they left off last week. The front-row made their Australian opponents’ life a misery and only when the substitutions came on did the Springbok scrum go backwards. The lineouts were fine with Dalton’s throwing accurate all be it delayed and he “bokked” once, luckily escaping the referee’s eye. He was caught delaying too long but with two shortish locks the options are a bit less. Ollie Le Roux is no hooker and it was clearly proven by a mis take that could have cost the Springboks the match. The re-starts need a bit more work but it is good to see Dean Hall lend some assistance in that department.
The Springboks produced a great display of controlled mauling and rucking and the loose trio played very well as a unit. The likes of Sephaka and Labuschagne made some telling runs from which points were scored and the discipline around rucks and mauls were superb. It must be said that Paddy O’Brien was very lenient and a few rucks would have been penalties was he not a New Zealander. The turnovers again produced tries, Van Niekerk’s an absolute gem after some Skinstad brilliance. This area of play i s a great strength and can only improve with more gametime.
The frustrating thing about the backline is that most people will remember the few high tackles in the last 20 minutes and not the many big hits and excellent defence during the match. De Kock, Greeff, Hall, Barry and Joubert closed down their channels effectively and with classic copy book defending kept the Wallabies out. The high tackles were mostly reflex actions, considering their awesome commitment during the match it could be forgiven but they will not be that lucky next time. On attack it was a bit difficult with Russell standing too shallow but once he varied his depth to provide some space, the sheer pace and skills of the Springboks beat their larger opponents. Importantly, the Springboks took advantage of every opportunity and converted – the sign of a very good team.
15. Werner Greeff - 9
The new superstar in a season that created many. His two tries in the competition were brilliant individual efforts and the “cahoonas” to take the final conversion – awesome! The young man’s overall play was of the highest order, strong defence when he stood in the flyhalf channel except for the one “customary” high tackle. He also slowed a few balls down sufficiently to stifle a Wallaby try and the 3-points were better than 7.
14. Breyten Paulse – 7.5
His best performance to date that culminated in two excellent tries, Breyten worked a lot on his defence and his general play improved remarkably once back on his favoured right wing. He did slip an important tackle on Smith but all is forgiven!
13. Marius Joubert - 8
The young centre played an excellent match although he was sent off for another high tackle offence it was due to his excellent early tackling and distribution that a few tries were scored. Strong, fast and confident he will realise that discipline is necessary to play a brilliant 80 minutes and not just the 70 of Saturday.
12. De Wet Barry – 7.5
On watching the match a second time I realised De Wet played one of his better matches, good distribution and excellent defence was marred by ill discipline. Punching in front of the referee regardless of the circumstances is unforgivable and downright stupid and will be far costlier in a World Cup.
11. Dean Hall – 8
The big winger played another excellent match and his cross defence and high workrate make him the ultimate team player.
10. Brent Russell – 8.5
The young utility was thrust in the pivotal flyhalf position and his tremendous footballing ability came through. Initially his positioning was not too good as the defence closed down on him much quicker than what he is use to. He sorted it out quickly and his running through marginal gaps was phenomenal. His defence was not bad although he is too small to stop the big forwards this was countered cleverly by swapping with Greeff. A great try and Dan Herbert will not enjoy watching that on video!
9. Neil De Kock – 8.5
Another excellent outing, he definitely proved his worth on attack and defence, his quick clearance and pass gave the outside backs a few extra milliseconds to move in.
8. Bob Skinstad – 8
What a pass!! A great piece of Skinstad magic created an excellent try to compliment another strong showing. His discipline balance was good and general defence excellent and based on his last few matches deserve to be in the team as the best eightman in the country.
7. Joe van Niekerk – 9
Big Joe underlined his superstar tag with yet another stellar performance. He has a tremendous workrate and great feeling for the game as displayed in his wonderful try. An awesome star of the moment he can only improve with age.
6. Corné Krige (captain) - 8
The Captain puts his body on the line week in and week out, as the “enforcer” it is not ideal to be the captain as well although it might influence the referee in his favour when doing the hard and “dirty” work required. Few people manage to see the gargantuan efforts but his propensity for injuries is a worry, there is a definite slump in play when he leaves the field.
5. AJ Venter - 8
Lock is probably the answer for this hard working forward. The referee cannot spot him and he does tremendous amounts in the loose to compliment Corne’s playing style. His aggression is also better controlled and he always delivers 100%.
4. Jannes Labuschagne – 9
Jannes, was awesome and probably the best forward of the series, the mauls and driving play has become his forte and with him gaining yards over the advantage line the rest of the forwards can carry on the momentum. He is the leader of the pack and potential captaincy material.
3. Willie Meyer – 8
The grizzled Cat played very well, strong in the set pieces he has eliminated penalties from his game and concentrates on the basics, scrumming.
2. James Dalton – 8
The “Bullet” produced two good matches in a row and he has certainly answered the call, excellent in the lineouts and with his discipline still in check he did everything that he was asked to do.
1. Lawrence Sephaka – 9
The most improved player in the series, Lawrence had a huge game on Saturday and his driving play and awesome scrumming for 80 minutes gave Straeuli exactly what he wanted. A few good runs paved the way for the backs to score magnificent tries.
16. Ollie le Roux
The super sub is unfortunately not a hooker and the lineout throw that caused the Canon try would have been remembered as the reason for losing the match had Greeff not scored.
17. Faan Rautenbach
Nothing to comment.
18. Victor Matfield
Nothing to comment.
19. Hendro Scholtz
Replaced the captain again and played a lot better however were very, very fortunate not to be pinged for over zealous rucking seconds before the vital final try. Any other referee but a New Zealander would have sent him to the bin. He needs to play big games in the Currie Cup and learn how to control himself to compliment strong driving and hard graft.
20. Johannes Conradie
The favourite for scrumhalf in the beginning of the season has lost the touch a bit and his deficiencies on defence were highlighted once De Kock left the field.
21. Adrian Jacobs
Nothing to comment.
22. Stefan Terblanché
Nothing to comment.
|Salutations from New Zealand by Vinesh Naicker|
The National Provincial championship began in New Zealand this week, with the first and third division teams kicking off this week and the second division next week.
The huge expectation is that it will be a Canterbury vs. Otago final. The TAB has Canterbury at $1.03 to make the top four playoffs. These are the lowest odds I have ever seen.
There were two upsets to start off the round. The weekend kicked off with the Canterbury vs. Wellington game. Canterbury fielded no real All Blacks (Sam Broomhall, Nathan Mauger and Ben Blair don’t count). Canterbury had defended the Ranfurly shield with these players three times in the last few weeks and so they were “feeling their oats”. Wellington fielded a side bereft of Cullen and Umaga. Lomu came on for the second half. The Wellington players welcomed the new lads from Canterbury to the fi rst division and showed them what it takes to play with the big boys. Canterbury had a tendency to run the ball from anywhere and paid for it. Wellington drove up the middle a lot and although the Canterbury teams scrum was good, they looked to me like a bunch of boys playing in their Dads jerseys. At the end of the day the result was 33-24 to Wellington. It should be a whole different story when the “Black Crusaders” are back in the team.
The next game was Auckland vs. Taranaki. Taranaki has always been a team with solid hardworking forwards and this year is no exception, in addition they have added some pace in the backs and should cause some trouble, with some luck they should be top four contenders. You could have slept through the first 60 minutes and not missed anything, the score was 6-3 to Taranaki. With 20 minutes to go, the Taranaki forwards were tiring and Auckland managed a couple of tries to go 20-9. Ten minutes to go that should have been the end of it, but Taranaki scored two tries in the last 10 minutes mainly due to astute use of the bench by Colin Cooper (the new Hurricances coach) and greatly assisted by some non-existent defence from Auckland, to win 23-20.
Auckland were a powerhouse for NZ rugby through the 80’s and mid-90’s but the current lot, although having some obvious talent seems to have no work ethic, concentration or discipline. Xavier Rush is captain and number 8 and may be the nicest guy in the world, but from what I have seen he has never broken the advantage line in his life. The forwards lack grunt and teamwork and the backs play a consistent brand of “headless chook” rugby with a few “Hail Mary” passes thrown in for good measure. Base d on what I saw in the weekend they should struggle to make the top four and if they do will get spanked by Canterbury or Otago. As a side note Mils Muliaina one of the talented Auckland wings/fullback and a Commonwealth Sevens gold medallist has been suspended for two weeks while he undertakes toilet training. Apparently he was kicked out of an Auckland bar on Saturday night for urinating on the bar floor.
Didn’t watch the Otago vs. Northland game. Considering it was played at Carisbrook Otago predictably won 21-12.
Didn’t see the North Harbour vs. Bay of Plenty game either. Since Bay of Plenty had to play a relegation/promotion game at the end of last season, it’s odds on that they will struggle to get off the bottom of the table again this season. North Harbour finished in the top four last year, and despite losing Frano Botica, Liam Barry, Glen Osborne and Willie Walker and having Ron Cribb and Troy Flavell out with injury were still favourites to win. Apparently they did by 39-33.
The last first division game of the round was between Waikato and Southland. Southland are perpetual cellar dwellers and should be battling it out with Bay of Plenty for the wooden spoon. However they have recruited a few players like Paul Miller and look to be better than last year. Waikato has most of the Chiefs Super 12 players but played a second string line up for the start. Southland played to their abilities, with everyone doing their job and were leading with 15 minutes to go. Waikato in contrast was trying to play an expansive game patently beyond their abilities and as a consequence turned the ball over a lot. Isaac Boss the second string half back was a prime culprit in this regard. Luckily Waikato had some insurance on the bench and the introduction of Royce Willis, Marty Holah, Deacon Manu and Rhys Duggan allowed Waikato to power away to a 30-15 victory. Southland were unlucky not to get a bonus point for their efforts.
The third division games were not televised and so I can’t comment on them. One sad note was that King Country got beaten by Horowhenua-Kapiti in the first round. If you consider that King Country were a first division team about 5 years ago and that they once boasted the greatest All Black ever, Colin Meads, you see the reason for my sentiment.
The deciding Tri-Nations game between the Springboks and the Wallabies was also on in the weekend. That was a fantastic game, in my opinion the best of the Tri-Nations.
I hadn’t read any of the pre-match media reports so it was a bit of a surprise to me when the teams took to the field and there was no Pretorius. After ten minutes I was still a bit confused as to whether Russell was playing at fullback or at first five (or outside half, as you call it). In the end it didn’t matter.
Fifteen minutes into the game after both Russell and Greeff had blown two basic kicks, I thought the Boks were stuffed. It seemed at that point that Krige would have to direct his kickers to go for touch rather than the posts, and they would have to try and win the game by scoring tries. If that happened the Wallabies would know that they could infringe as much as they wanted, as giving away penalties would not cost them points.
After Burke kicked his three penalties, I thought the Springbok heads would be dropping. However, the one thing that has been consistent about Springbok teams throughout the last ten years that no other team (except the Aussies lately) has, is their refusal to give up. Case in point, the third test against the All Blacks in 1996 when with 20 minutes to go the Springboks were dead and buried, and yet went on to win the game.
The tries by Paulse, Russell and Niekerk were good. How Russell got through the tackle of both Herbert and Mortlock is still a mystery. Skinstad's work in taking out all three defenders to set up Niekerk couldn’t have been better. He earned his match fee with that one act alone.
Yet when the Wallabies came back and scored that try to put the score at 31-26, my thought at the time was that “you could replace those green jerseys with black ones and this is what every All Black supporter has been watching for the last three years.”
However, two things differentiated the Springboks from the All Blacks in the last 10 minutes. Firstly, no All Black would have been dumb enough to get sent off like Marius Joubert was, and secondly, they wouldn’t have scored that last minute try against the Wallabies. The Boks pulled a Houdini on the worlds greatest escape artists.
Overall impressions of the game. The Springboks continue to improve. Skinstad and Dalton didn’t give away penalties at the ruck and maul for the second week in a row, I was sure they couldn’t restrain themselves for two weeks in a row. The defence which was the single biggest weakness the previous week improved by about 300%. The most worrying feature for the Boks seems to be the deliberate high tackles being done consistently by Joubert and Barry. The charitable view of why they do this is that when they are about to get beaten by the attacker they don’t back the second line of defence. This is plain stupid, as most referees are now aware of the tendencies of these two, and all they are doing is giving away penalties and taking a ten minute break, which probably cost more than a missed tackle would.
The last thing the Boks need is to have Butch James, Joubert and Barry taking breaks in the world cup leaving the team with only 6 backs for most of the game.
Refereeing, everyone I know thought that Paddy had a good game. I have some reservations, I felt that he allowed players to play the ball while on the ground a lot, one of the direct results of this was a Springbok try, but since he allowed both teams to do this it didn’t impact too much on the result. His call to send Joubert off was a good one and courageous given the environment.
As a closing note on the Tri-Nations, I heard on last nights Re-Union program that after the final Springbok try and conversion Matt Burke went up to Paddy O’Brien and said something along the lines of “Excuse me sir, but didn’t he take more than one minute for that kick?” Apparently Paddy’s replay was “I’ve got balls son, but they’re not that big.” Quite humorous, and I’m sure van Zyl would be satisfied with the result his actions have had, but it’s a bit of a sad reflection on how the international view on South African sports fans has changed.
I am going to control the controllable and I am not going to let the uncontrollable be a factor.
Paddy O' Brien
We needed this win desperately. As I said during the week, we had had enough of could haves, would haves and should haves. We just had to win. Corne Krige
I never thought I'd even play for Western Province let alone the Stormers or Springboks. The way I live my life, I don't believe in long-term plans, I just do my best today and I believe it will look after me for tomorrow. Werner Greeff
I`ve never seen an orange with the label Castle on it made of glass. George Gregan
Rugby is a wonderful show: dance, opera and, suddenly, the blood of a killing. Richard Burton
On his father, Louis Schmidt - "he would give me good advice when I went to him. I'd ask him, 'What must I do if someone hits me on the field' and he told me, 'Make sure you hit him first' - that one has got me in a lot of trouble." Uli Schmidt
I like all the guys in the (Bok) team and I think they have accepted me too. When they get to see that I care about them, they realise that I'm not just this oke that f*cked up Tony Watson in the Currie Cup final back then. Uli Schmidt
|Letters to the Editor (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
I think that you are just as stupid as the SA Rugby bosses .
Van Zyl only underlined what the SA rugby public was feeling at that stage. We are sick and tired of the english devils that includes you who are doing everything possible to prevent the BOKS from winning.
They cant do it with out help from these biased referees.
I would like to know how much they earn for every win, they hand out to the opposition.
Furthere more would i like to point out that security at these venues are not the problem it is SA Rugby Management who are to dam useless to do something about these Refs and "hanskakies" like yourself.
At the end of the day we did prove that we are the better team.
Please try to be more realistic in the future when you try to impress the public with your opinions, you should consider a better understanding of rugby first and only then try to impress the public with your "writing ego"
Chris vd Westhuizen
PS. hope to see some factual correct responce from you.
Thank you for your message, you know one of the very reasons I initiated RF is to engage all rugby enthusiasts in debate after all we all have an opinion. Yours, dear reader is as preposterous as the actions of the man running onto the field Saturday but I accept them.
To respond to all of your claims is a waste of my time and I doubt it will make any difference. But here goes, good luck with extracting the so called "facts", if you took the time to find the article I referenced on the Rugby365 site and listened to the words of the head of referees for SARFU you would have found some answers to your questions. Also good luck in your tirade against SARFU and all English people (nog steeds de moer in oor die Boere Oorlog, ou grote?) - you seem a bitter individual.
I received today two mails from people praising my unbiased opinion, you, on the other hand implore me to be "realistic" and acquire rugby understanding. I'm sorry I did not recognise your name as THE Chris vd Westhuizen, "rugby held, -kenner en -denker". I think, after your letter I understand even more...
Contrary to what you say I'm not out to impress anybody with my writing ego, I don’t get paid for it and I do it because I love the game and one of the best lines in my weekly mail is right at the bottom in large bold font, I suggest you follow those instructions as RF and what it stands for is clearly not for you.
I trust that congratulations are in order now that my All Black team have won the Tri-Nations, not that there was any doubt that they would win the competition after their victory in Durban.
Vinesh, in his email last week made some interesting comments about the All Black side and in my personal opinion, the current side is a good, consistent side, but far from showing any form suggesting that they could become a fantastic side. At this stage they far from looking like probable World Champions. If the entire Canterbury Crusader's side where given a black jersey, they would out shine the current team. They where utterly awesome during this years Super 12.
I unfortunately could not watch this past Saturdays game live on telly as I had to attend a blady wedding, however did manage to watch the delayed transmission on SABC 2 in the pub at the reception. I naturally routed for the Boks, as stated previously, I support any team playing against Australia, in any sport. Its just that they are so blady good and so arrogant about it. And then you have the SA Minister of Sport who thinks that SA sport will be on par with Australia in two to three years time. It has taken the Aussies many years to get where they are today. Enough said.
Regarding Saturday's game, four notable changes happened in the second which allowed Australia back into the game and which nearly cost SA the game. Firstly, ill discipline raised it's ugly head, notable the high tackles by the Boks. Secondly, the questionable substitutions which lead to the Boks losing lineout ball and been out scrummed. Thirdly, and for nearly every game this season, poor tackling crept. Finally and yet again some overseen offences and peculiar calls made by the referee. It is the latter that I would like to highlight, even though Korne' Krige stated he was generally happy with the standard of refereeing. I think that was only because the Boks won and also because of the shambles and disgrace involving the referee the previous week.
At the kick-off, after SA's fourth try, Stephen Larkam was definitely a head of Mathew Burke and George Smith was in line with Burke when the ball was dropped. Paddy O' Brien was right next to Matt Burke and if I am not mistaken and under correction, the referee should have spotted that the Aussie players where not behind the kicker and ruled accordingly. After collecting the ball from the kick-off, the Boks where judged to have committed an accidental obstruction which lead to a scrum and then to a free kick which Australia ran. Kefu then carried the ball and I stand to correction, Australia's No.19, Lions I think it was, ran an obstructive line in which he ended up in front of Kefu, thereby obstructing and preventing any Bok player to make a tackle on Kefu. This allowed Kefu to continue his run which ultimately resulted in Australia's first try, scored by Rogers. As I understand the rules, of which there appears to be so many interpretations, Paddy O' Brien should have blown for deliberate obstructi on against the Wallaby No.19.
The other incident which lead to Australia's third try, was the chip and chase by Stephen Larkam and then ran into Marius Joubert. Paddy O' Brien ruled that Larkam had been taken out without the ball by Joubert. When viewed on slow motion and pause, Larkam kicked the ball and started running whilst still looking down. Only when he was right in front of Joubert did he look up and had no where to go and ran straight into Joubert. Once again a very dodgy call by Paddy O' Brien which Skinstad Skinstad wa s clearly not happy about.
The last incident was the red carding of Marius Joubert. Here I believe that the rules are all screwed up and the procedure for yellow carding and red carding a player should follow the same or similar procedure as soccer. A player must have already have received a yellow card in the game, before he can be red carded for a second offence or repeat of the previous offence. A red card sending off, without a player receiving a yellow card beforehand, should only be given in serious offences. But there a gain referee's interpret minor and serious offences differently. Joubert's high tackle looked worse than it actually was, he had not been yellow carded beforehand and was red carded because Paddy O' Brien had, had enough of the number of high tackles committed by the Bok players.
Well, despite the general poor standard of refereeing, we saw 5 great games of rugby in this years Tri-Nations and it was only the first game between the All Blacks and Australia that did not exactly live up to expectation because of the weather conditions. Undoubtedly the Boks made the most progress in the series, Australia showed signs of vulnerability particularly in defence and they could have suffered a humiliating defeat against the Boks, whilst the All Blacks won through consistent performance . I do not think it was a case of the Bi-Nations as many thought and the Boks did surprise, after a very poor Super 12.
Halo daar Red.
Ja..... Nou is daar skielik n hele klomp mense wat vergeet van swak skeidsregter beslissings, en hulle eie geneul daaroor, en vir arme Piet van Potch wil kruisig omdat hy die "guts" het om te DOEN wat die res van ons net wil.
Toegegee, dit lyk dalk nie baie mooi in die res van die wereld se oe nie maar iemand moes iets doen (al is dit dan die verkeerde ding) want SARVU lyk glad nie juis lus om die saak aan te spreek nie.
Aan Rudolf en sy span; Mooi so, wat n plesier om weer aan die wenkant te wees. Dankie!
n Woordjie vir Rudolf se oor: Het jy al daaraan gedink om Paulse op nr. 9 te probeer? Hy is glibberig, vinnig, slinks en kan n paar plannetjies beraam, alles wat n nr. 9 nodig het. Ek dog ek noem dit maar net.
Nog n woordjie vir Rudolf: Raak ontslae van Bob, asseblief, GROOT SAMBLIEF.
Na aanleiding van mnr. Riaan Oberholzer se aankondiging, rakende die aanwysing van vier skeidsregters uit elk van die drie lande van die SANZAR-groep vir die hantering van S-12 wedstryde in 2003, het die volgende vraag onstaan:
Volgens die aankondiging sal die skeidsregter wat nie die mas op kom nie, gedemoveer word en 'n ander in sy plek aangewys word. Gestel nou mnr. André Watson word deur 'n paneel assessore te lig bevind, uit watter van die lande van SANZAR sal die plaasvervanger aangewys word? Sal dit reg wees om aan te neem dat hy deur die volgende SA-skeidsregter op meriete vervang word, of sal dit die volgende skeidsregter volgens meriete uit enige van die Drie-Nasies wees?
Hierdie stelsel het meriete, maar kan ook op sy kop gekeer word as dit nie 100% deurdag en in werking gestel word nie. Elke paneel van assessore sal volgens 'n baie streng uitgewerkte riglyn moet optree anders kan die volgende senario paasvind: Veronderstel Dickenson haal die paneel. Al die SA-rugbyondersteuners glo dat hy een van die eenogigste skeidsregters onder die son is. In die eerste wedstryd, bv. Bulls vs Crusaders, maak hy droog en moet sy plek afstaan aan 'n volgende Ozzie. Dink net hoe tr eurig is daardie Ozzie dan, want hy het in die eerste plek nie die paneel gehaal nie. Maak hy droog, kry ons die Ozzie wat sesde in die ry staan in Australië! Dan kan ons mos nooit sê die beste ou hanteer die wedstryd nie!
Sal dit nie dan beter wees om die volgende skeidsregter, op meriete uit enige van die Drie-Nasies, aan te wys nie? Dit is tog moontlik dat die vyfde skeidsregter op meriete, uit NZ of RSA, dan 'n beter keuse kan wees. Nou begin die paneel lopsided raak. As die assessors dit teen SA-skeidsregters het, (wat ek dink die Ozzies sal hê) kan dit gebeur dat ons naderhand net een of twee skeidsregters het wat S-12 wedstryde hanteer. Dink net hoe die geween en gekners van die tande dan in SA sal opklink!
Baie dankie vir al uit insiggewende redenasies oor die spel wat ons almal so lief het.
Kys de Wet
P.S.: Ek wil u herinner aan my brief vroeër vanjaar, rakende die spel wat Werner Greeff gedurende die S-12 reeks gespeel het. Almal het 'n losskakel gesoek om die groen no. 10 trui te dra. Ek het 11 losskakels genoem wat deur die media "opgeskryf" is en toe Werner se naam genoem. Gevra wat hy moes doen om raakgesien te word. Dankie Dolfie, dat jy hom ook raak gesien het en jou nie aan die media gesteur het nie. Werner, hierdie oom het die hele jaar nog agter jou gestaan, ou Seun. Doen so voort en jy gaan nog 'n reus word is SA rugby. (Ek is nie 'n provinsialistiese ondersteuner nie, net die Bokke.)
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