|Volume 2, Week 44|
Brilliant! Well the year was at times brilliant and at times #$*&^ horrible but that said it always pays to be positive and in this final issue for the year 2002 I have some excellent news for all the beleaguered Springbok supporters. The Springboks have the best record of any team in the world at Rugby’s World Cup! That’s right friends, go check it out!
The year was a wonderful rugby year and one we here at Rugby Forum enjoyed tremendously. I would like to thank all the contributors whom without RF will be the rantings and ravings of a senile dude intent on starting his column with the same word! Thank you Tom, Mark, Desmond (I finally met him under the austere surroundings of Murrayfield!) and Vinesh for the input from what I thought to be our main challengers, New Zealand (maybe we need correspondents from all the other countries ranked above us in the world rankings!). Also great big thanks for you out there that write religiously and part your wonderful opinions on this forum.
In 2002 there were many highlights and for that matter low points for me and RF and I run through both in random order and leave up to you to decide what they are!
· November represented the most hits ever in one month on www.rugbyforum.co.za
· Although there has been quite a few losses in terms of recipients of RF (the nature of e-mailing) more people are reading it than before thanks to distribution via the Springbok Supporters Club, the SA Rugby list and websites like www.planetnz.com/rugbyheads
· The Springboks victory over Australia at Ellis Park.
· Harry Viljoen’s resignation
· The “Piet van Potch” incident.
· Attending test at Newlands, Murrayfield and Twickenham
· Attending every match at Newlands (although I’m not a fervent WP supporter!)
· Derrick Hougaard’s play in the Currie Cup final.
· Marius Joubert’s tries against Australia.
· England’s victories
· Percy’s departure
· France’s defeat of England
· Interviewing Brendan Venter
· Reading all the letters
· Mark Andrews retirement
· Compiling the "Quotes"
· Being questioned at every braai and gathering about “our rugby”
· Naas Botha
· Writing about something I love.
· And many, many more…
Thank you readers, RF will be back in the New Year in the final week of January (30th), have a wonderful festive season and a prosperous and safe new year.
|Visit www.rugbyforum.co.za for statistics, all the quotes and an archive of previous issues|
|A Season that Was by Tom Marcellus|
The most distressing thing about the traumatic end-of-season matches against the Frenchies, the Scots and those
inf-idels from sowf London was not that all 3 games ended in good old-fashioned drubbings, but the fact that the Boks' loss in form was, to this arm-chair correspondent anyway, so unexpected and inexplicable.
Afterall, the Tri-Nations had ended on a triumphant note against the Aussies, after some dazzling displays by Joubert & Co in the earlier matches, and many a well-oiled specimen, as he hovered over a sizzling boerewors, no doubt felt (like mwa) that the World Cup next year was well within the collective grasp of this young-but-rapidly-maturing Bok XV.
But that was in carefree times, when, with apologies to the Sunscreen Song, kids respected their elders and politicians were noble – before these dark days that have suddenly enveloped us. Gone, suddenly, are the days of stirring renditions of "Shosholoza" or good ol' Aussie or Kiwi baiting, as we shiver and dribble in our shells and ponder the defeats that, one thinks, surely are yet to come.
These are trying times indeed for the average Bok fan. It's one thing to gamely cheer on your side when they're taking it up the Khyber Pass but playing with some zest – it's another altogether to try and show enthusiasm when they're aimlessly trudging about the park like ghouls in a winter gloom. And what hope of redemption, one wonders?
It goes without saying that it will take men of forceful character to drag themselves out of this morass of disappointment and self-doubt in which SA rugby players and fans now seem to be wallowing. Unfortunately our old nemesis, the Super 12, is barely 10 weeks away, which means that Bullet, AJ, Jannes, Lukas, Os and the other contenders for the Crazy Gang had better queue up at the Xmas dinner for thirds – we want them big, mean and a little bit crazy, ready to take the sword to those pesky Anti podeans. Defeat is not an option.
In a World Cup year, our collective fragility would just not withstand another debacle like this year's competition, when 3 of the 4 SA sides filled the bottom places on the Super 12 log. Given the anxious introspection and sudden lack of momentum in the Bok camp, one shudders at the impact a glut of losses in the opening rounds would have on our manne.
But I must admit that hope still springs, or flickers, eternal in my breast: just as the Boks' form suddenly disappeared, me hopes, so it will miraculously reappear, in time for Corné and his merry men, if not to lift the Web Ellis trophy in Sydney next year, then to at least be worthy title contenders. And, by Gad, to play with the skill and mongrel fighting spirit of the generations of Springboks before them. Doc, oom Boy, Polla and Die Windhond would expect nothing less.
Gird your loins, throw the bones, pray to the heavens – we must prevail! Afterall, God's a South African, isn't she? And pour me a stiff one, maestro.
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|Annus Horribilis by Desmond Organ|
Accusations and counter accusations have been flowing freely in the last few weeks as to what is currently wrong with the Springboks. I wonder if it really matters where the accusations stem from, the fact is that the truth hurts and it is clear to most of us that there is a serious problem. This year must rank as one of the most disastrous in recent years; the failures against the 1997 Lions and the last All Black tour to South Africa are quite insignificant. It has indeed been an Annus Horribilis
From the temporary euphoria that flowed at the end of the final Tri-Nations game against Australia has come a complete drought. If there was any temporary hope amongst the Springbok faithful it was well and truly brought down to earth on the tour to the north. Nobody can honestly deny the fact that there is a crisis in South African rugby, I will be the first to admit otherwise should we by some miracle turn it all around in the next several months.
Some have called it back patting, others complete lack of commitment and a lack of basic skills and others have gone as far as to question the professionalism of the professional sports arm or SARFU. The latter have quite simply been very brave as it is quite common knowledge that they will not tolerate any form of “open attack”, whatever that is supposed to mean. Sometimes it is easier to sit back from a distance and observe the organized chaos. It is also true that the Springboks are by no means the only team that is bedeviled by temporary euphoria.
The Chicago Bears of the National Football League have also impressed only to subsequently deceive. A year ago they were approaching a 13 and 3 record, which by all accounts was the combination of a well organized defensive unit and a touch of luck. A year later and they are basically a shadow of their former selves. Crippling injuries and the over consumption of their luck reserves has seen them tumble out of contention. To the amateur sports enthusiast there are several striking similarities.
The Bears have gambled with a succession of quarterbacks and offensive coaches, leading to a somewhat predictable approach. Once the defensive injuries started to take their toll, the team was simply no longer able to compete with the best. Many have gone so far as to characterise last year as pure luck; perhaps this is what happened to the Boks against the Aussies at Ellis Park. One moment of brilliance and the real problems were washed over as it were. Once the luck and the benefit of home field advantage dried up the frailties were there for all too see.
Many of my colleagues have argued that a coach in football is only as good as his offensive and defensive lines. To draw a comparison with rugby, although difficult is still possible. No team can be competitive without a strong scrimmaging unit and an attacking pattern played off the front foot. You could put the best fly half in the world behind the pack that played at Twickenham and he would take a beating, the only difference would be the odd penalty conversion or individualistic score from a to uch of brilliance.
It is easy for the administrators to wash over the real problems and for the spectators to no longer care about the game beyond any given weekend. As long as the stadiums are filled nobody seems to care, well I think that there are bunches of people out there who do care. Perhaps their time would be better spent watching the local high school team strut their stuff, then at least you do not have to worry too much about the final outcome.
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|The New Zealand year in review by Vinesh Naicker|
The rugby year opened with the Sevens in December. The All Blacks went out to try and defend their World Series Title as well as prove their status as World Champions. They succeeded in doing this, as well as winning the CommonWealth gold medal. It is a testament to the abilities of Gordon Tietjens and the depth of rugby talent in NZ that he was able to do this. Sevens ranks below the All Black 15’s and the Super 12 in terms of importance to the NZRFU. The practical implications of this are th
at the Super 12 coaches can draft players out of the Sevens team whenever they require, to replace injured players in their squad.
Consider that some of the best exponents of Sevens in NZ are probably: Jonah Lomu, Christian Cullen, Roger Randell, Bruce Reihana, Glen Osborne (retired) and Orene Ai’i. The fact that none of them played this year is again an endorsement of the dedication, courage and skill of the players that did play and the sheer class of Tietjens as a Sevens coach.
The Super 12 kicked off while the Sevens season was still running and the outstanding feature of the tournament from a NZ perspective was the incredible run by the Crusaders. I don’t think anyone could have expected any team to win all 13 in a row. The way that they won the tournament was truly impressive. They did not look totally dominant through the competition, but just did enough in each game to win and move on. To me this is the hallmark of a truly great side, just having the belief in yo urself and your team-mates that you will win. This allows you to retain composure, weather the oppositions assault and then strike when the opportunity presents itself. The Crusaders are a well-oiled machine now and with World Cup places riding on Super 12 performance and the fact that most of their players have been rested, you know they are going to be firing in 2003.
The win was good for Canterbury rugby but bad for NZ rugby. Since the inception of the Super 12, Canterbury have been the most rapacious of the Super 12 provinces. They have been utterly ruthless in acquiring and retaining a goodly number of NZ rugby mercenaries for their NPC campaign and hence the next Super 12. Their overwhelming success in doing this has forced the other Super 12 franchise holders to attempt to emulate them. This is sucking the life blood out of the second and third division provincial unions and even the other first division unions. The first division is now well and truly split between the five Super 12 provincial bases and the remaining five, with large swathes of daylight showing between the two groups. This cannot be good for grassroots rugby in NZ.
John Mitchell did not help the situation by choosing the Crusaders coach as his assistant coach and then selecting the Crusaders team en masse to be the All Blacks. It was a selection that lacked courage and lost him a great deal of respect. He and his fellow selectors had reneged on choosing the best players for their position and for the team and instead had vested all that responsibility on Robbie Deans, who despite the bloody-mindedness of Canterbury did not (thankfully) have full access to a ll the rugby talent in NZ. In essence it meant that several players who are not the best in NZ, were carried into the All Black team on the basis of the Crusaders performance. The players that spring immediately to mind were: Scott Robertson; Sam Broomhall; Caleb Ralph; Ben Blair; and Daryl Gibson. Broomhall, Blair and Gibson were bench players for the Crusaders, so this reinforced the message that even being on the bench for Canterbury gives you more chance of being an All Black than being in the start ing 15 for any other team.
The international season started and after the fiasco of losing the hosting rights to the World Cup pool games the minds of the NZ rugby public were firmly fixed on wreaking bloody revenge on the Australians. The sole focus was on winning the Bledisloe Cup back from the pretenders and returning it to its rightful home. Things were well on course when the Black Crusaders beat the Wallabies at Jade Stadium, in freezing conditions, but it all came to naught, as it has so often in the past when the r eturn match was played in Australia. As is now becoming a tradition at these fixtures, the All Blacks due to set piece incompetence lost the game in the last few minutes. They did go on to win the Tri-Nations, but despite the chest thumping that has gone on this wasn’t the main focus for the year. It is also obvious to everyone that despite that sterling second half performance against Australia in the last Tri-Nations game, the current Springbok team is not in the top 50% of Springbok teams that have t aken the field.
In retrospect, the replacement of Wayne Smith by John Mitchell has not meant much change to the All Blacks. Their results have been as bland and mediocre as we have come to expect in the professional era. They still don’t have a hooker that can throw into a line-out and with the return of Oliver and Hammett next season that inability will remain entrenched in the team. They still don’t have a forward pack which can attain parity of possession or a number eight who can make good yards consistentl y. The backline is still lethal but Jonah Lomu is still under-utilised. I don’t remember who it was who once said that facing the All Blacks was like facing eight raging bulls and seven sleek panthers. The best you could say about them now is eight prancing ponies and seven sleek panthers.
So much for returning All Black rugby to its proud traditions. The one innovative thing that Mitchell has done this season was to take a development side to Europe. As would be expected of any NZ team the innate talent and skill of the players allowed them to be competitive against England and France and to beat the talentless and lethargic Welsh. The style of play and results however did nothing to advance Mitchells coaching credential. The trip did not unearth any amazing new talent, potentia l game breakers such as Rodney So’oialo and Keith Robinson were not really used and hence unable to prove their worth. Players such as Sam Broomhall, Taine Randell and Ben Blair once again underlined their inability to foot it on the international stage. The outstanding players from the tour were Marty Holah and Doug Howlett who are proven performers, so nothing new was really learned.
It will be interesting to see how Mitchell uses this expanded pool of All Blacks next season. We’ll be able to see whether paying the price of three and a half years of excuses and bland rugby is worth paying for a chance of winning the World Cup. The results of this event will decide if Mitchells status rises to join that of the esteemed Brian Lahore or sinks to the depths of persona non grata John Hart.
In the context of international results, the year for me has highlighted the following:
1. NZ players seem to have a base talent and skill level that is superior to that of any other country except Australia and Samoa, and we have more players in total than either of these two countries. I’m not sure why we do but we have to nurture that as it is really our only remaining edge.
2. NZ coaches at an international level are not successful. Only Brian Lahore and Laurie Mains were able to put together a team that was greater than the sum of its parts. Having said that, neither Eddie Jones, Rudolf Staeuli or Clive Woodward have been very impressive so far. Bernard Laporte is probably the only international coach to be wary of at the moment.
3. The All Blacks could win the World Cup next year as long as no other team plays “out of their socks”. I suggest that the team that puts together two sublime games in the semi-final and final will win the tournament. This may not be the best overall team or squad.
4. Next year will be interesting.
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|The Year in Review by Lucas Scheepers|
The 21st century South African rugby observer is finding it more and more difficult to read or comprehend for that matter a “review” of the year that’s gone by. In fact it is easier to sit through an afternoon of rootcanal surgery at the dentist than read about the tumultuous year of 2002, nevertheless a review was promised and
is duly delivered! In writing this report it was decided to be clinical, ruthlessly honest but also positive where possible. The year that was…
A good place to start as the season begins with the annual competition between Australia, New Zealand and South Africa’s finest. The Kiwis again dominated the competition and Australia provided brilliant backup in the form of two semi-finalists and their third team (they only have 3 remember!) finished fifth. SA’s best team was the Stormers, they are certainly the best-supported local team but an early loss against their archrivals, The Sharks and a few near losses effectively ended any participation in the knock out stages. The rest of the teams were downright awful with three novice Super 12 coaches realising that international competitions require a different approach and depth in personnel. A few positives to emerge from the Super 12 was the realisation that experience cannot be bought and a few new stars like Gcobani Bobo, Andre Pretorius, Faan Rautenbach and Johannes Conradie.
Winter Tests & Tri Nations
The winter tests were preceded by a first in a long time Springbok trials match and this unearthed a few talented individuals (Brent Russell) plus provided some badly needed game time for the likes of Bob Skinstad and Joe van Niekerk. The two tests against Wales were pretty much experimental affairs, one played in driving rain in Cape Town (where else?) but the Springboks unearthed an exciting running game and more importantly they scored tries.
A one off test against the Pumas followed the Welsh and a handsome victory resulted although a worrying trend emerged in the amount of penalties conceded during broken play. The Springboks then travelled to the Antipodeans for the annual beating (a sad reality looking at the amount of away wins!) but played some magnificent rugby in the process, scoring glorious tries and cop the usual flak from referees (another worrying trend to emerge…) The likes of Werner Greeff, Marius Joubert and Brent Russell made the world take notice as did another youngster, Joe van Niekerk.
The home leg resulted in one of the most talked about incidents since the kaalgat tackle on FC Smit in a WP v Free State clash a few years ago. Piet van Potch brought collective shame to SA Rugby when he tackled referee David McHugh in a test against the All Blacks. Some shocking decisions from the little Irishman precipitated this action but were no excuse. The game was lost and with this act a lot of (if there was any left) credibility.
The final match of the competition saw a titanic battle against Australia result in a fairytale ending for one Werner Greeff when he scored a magnificent try and converted in the dying seconds of a pulsating test match. Springbok rugby was buoyant, there was an upward curve and things could only get better, or so we all thought.
Following on from the confidence of the Tri Nations (even with 1 victory out of 4 games) the Currie Cup was played with tremendous expectation, crowds came out in their thousands and the brand of rugby was attractive and strong. The usual suspects dominated into the Top 8 phase however WP paid a severe price for injuries and lack of consistent selection by finishing out of the semi finalist positions.
A big surprise was the Blue Bulls who restored a kicking flyhalf, Derrick Hougaard (and only 19-years old!) to dictate play with a monster pack of forwards. The Sharks looked sharp at stages but ultimately their coach was probably just too inexperienced and the players not “hungry” enough to do the trick. The Lions with some wonderful youngsters was the form team and proved why against the Cheetas in Bloem. Despite the efforts of player of the year, Kenny Tsimba the Lions powered into the finals with a solid forward effort and exciting backs. This was how everyone wanted the Springboks to play!
The final was maybe an omen of the upcoming tour for the Bulls managed to annihilate a virtual Springbok pack with the experienced Joost and precocious Hougaard (who set a record for points scored in a final, eclipsing you know who!) dictating play. The final was a return to “old fashioned” rugby but an important lesson was dealt but unfortunately not learnt, that dominating forwards, a flyhalf who can think and execute tactical kicks will get the better of a flashy-run-the-ball-at-all-cost-team with out a specific plan.
The least said the better, the Springboks endured three record defeats and lessons learnt were; discarding experience is a mortal sin, forwards are there to win ball and provide bad ball to the opposition, selecting one dimensional players (only fleet footed steppers and no grafters) is a mistake and discipline is non existent (read R. Fleck and co must sort out their act). South Africa was branded thugs by the world and it was largely deserved after the Twickenham debacle. Also a wake up call came i n regards to the RWC 2003, a Springbok team without discipline will NOT get past the quarter finals.
The keepers of the game in SA is SA Rugby (Pty) Ltd. The business of rugby was very profitable and once again with the devalued rand the NewsCorp dollars translated into massive cash profits. The ever present player contracts was again a hot bone of contention, with players being offered match related fees rather than “security” in the form of long term contracts. A very debatable point and one raised by every Springbok leaving the shores (oh ja and quotas by Percy) and even players who were not selected for the Springboks after fluffing their chances (sorry Warren!).
It is very difficult not to have a viewpoint and traditionally the sympathies were with the players but with the kind of slop they were dishing up for their supporters very little if any support exist for over fêted, spoilt millionaires to make even more money while disgracing their country in the name of “security”. Try playing pro golf or compete on the athletics track, no performance no pay at all!! Nuff said.
There are other issues but the main product of this business is the Springboks and they are not performing satisfactory, yes, transformation is more important than winning (as in one of the “vision whatever” documents) however transformation had very little to do with the fact that Springbok rugby has followed a deep spiral into the abyss of mediocrity since 1998. There is a lot of work to do.
One of the most important factors of the “vision whatever” plan and one that deserves attention. The short of it all is that players want to be selected on merit, it is the crux of Chester Williams’ book and it is the wish of every so-called “player of colour”. SA rugby can still go a long way in aiding the development of “players of colour” if politicians are left out of the equation (when ever will that happen?) the like of an SA (with all respect) Coloureds team can compete like the Maori in New Z ealand and very few will think the worse for it. Not only will it provide more opportunities but can become a valuable reconciliation tool.
SARFU and the business arm are doing their outmost to address the issues, to what certain quarters felt the detriment of SA Rugby. It is however a reality in our country and the quest is how best to deal with this reality.
The coaching in the country is devoid of experience, most of the coaches in charge of the teams were newly appointed and with an ethos of win or b*gger off in SA rugby few stay around and gain the experience necessary to coach a winning side at international provincial and test level. The cross pollination of ideas have dried up with the exodus of experienced players and coaches to Europe. The likes of Russia, Wales, Namibia etc are benefiting from SA expertise but very little is coming back.
The structures in place are not sufficient and smacks of short term planning. Every province should have a hierarchy in place with an experienced head coach overseeing not only the development of the main team but also the development of the coaches of the lesser teams. This area of SA rugby needs a lot of attention as the roots are where the players learn their skills and discipline, coaches are a vital ingredient and unfortunately SA do not possess enough with the necessary experience. An area to w ork on.
In a country with as many excellent schools and universities, there is a massive production of talent; it was evident again this year when the u/21’s captured the world cup. Players like Joe van Niekerk, Brent Russell, Marius Joubert, Derrick Hougaard, Jaque Fourie and many others went on to play some scintillating rugby however, exposed to the harsh realities of test rugby and pressure finals it was evident that experience does count for much.
The year 2002 saw the loss of two icons of SA rugby, Mark Andrews and Andre Venter, both retired. By now we know that Willie Meyer has retired, Andre Vos left for England as did Percy and Slappies and it becomes clear that we are faced with a lot of youngsters having to do “men’s work”. The blend of the two is the responsibility of the coach but few can blame the current master if he is the umpteenth coach in the past decade. There is no long term planning as evident in England and Australia. This wi ll cost South Africa in the long run.
The year was a long one and full of highs and lows, SA rugby is currently in the lowest of lows but has been in this position before (seems like most of the time!). The tide will turn however it is time that all role players start thinking less of “me” and more of “we” but maybe in the professional era that is too much to ask? Time will tell…
Players want to know how much they are likely to earn the following year.
The players are getting fed up with the way rugby in South Africa is being run and the Super 12 tournament. They are not being well-coached and are getting smashed by the other teams and it's no fun. Nick Mallett
What needs to happen is South African administrators have to go. Nick Mallett
It was suicide to go on an overseas tour with 20 youngsters in a group of 26. Rather take 20 experienced players and gradually blend six young guys into Test rugby. Warren Britz
The Queen did mention that we were having a successful time. Clive Woodward on receiving his OBE
All I ask is that when people object to my ways is that they stab me in the front not the back. David Moffett, new CEO of the Welsh Rugby Union.
South Africa is not losing players to Europe because of poor administration. The buying power of the English pound is the reason and it has affected New Zealand and Australia. Mark Keohane in response to Nick Mallett
When passing judgment on South African rugby in the future, perhaps he should analyse his shortcomings in 1999 and 2000 first and offer constructive advice instead of the emotional outbursts of recent weeks. Mark Keohane in response to Nick Mallett
I don't like Mark. As journalist he was always stirring up controversy and now he is the media manager of the Springboks. Nick Mallett on Mark Keohane
|MARK ANDREWS AND JAMES SMALL SPEAK OUT: Read our exclusive interviews with the two former Springboks in the December issue of SA Rugby magazine, on sale now.|
|Letters to the Editor|
If you have the "springboks" email addresses and that of their coach, why not send them the letters to the Editor? Maybe some of them can read and understand what they have done to the Springbok reputation as the die hard supporters feel. Every single letter written to you in RF43 has merit beyond the intelligence of the so called brains trust. My heart tells me we will do better in 2003 especially at the World Cup, but the brain suggests a heart transplant.
Messrs Albert Meyer and Storm Ferguson, gentlemen I concur with your suggestions and sentiments absolutely. Vinesh has the correct top ten things he would like to see only I would put 5 right on top.
Keep up the brilliant journalism!!!!
Have a good one
Nogmaals baie geluk met hierdie rubriek wat ons tog maar almal op een-of-ander manier be-invloed oor ons siening van die sport waarvoor ons almal so lief is. Dit gaan nie help om verwyte rond te gooi en almal te blameer vir dit wat verkeerd geloop het met die Springbokke nie. Ons moet kyk wat in die verlede ook gebeur het.
Die 69/70 betogertoer na die Britse eilande was maar net so rampspoedig. Ons het ook gaan verloor, alhoewel nou nie met rekordtellings nie. In 1970 stamp ons die All-Blacks hier op tuisboden, nadat niemand ons 'n kans gegee het nie. In 1971 toer ons na Australië en word die eerste Springbokspan in die geskiedenis wat
onoorwonne is tydens 'n toer. Wat gebeur in 1972..... Engeland kom gee ons pak, praat nie eers van 1974
se Britse Leeus wat ons neuse behoorlik hier op tuisbodem in die grond kom vryf het nie.
Tog het ons weer opgestaan.
Ja, daar is heelwat "politiek" in die spel wat 'n onaangename smaak laat, maar daaraan kan niemand van ons nou iets doen nie. Ons wil, maar ons mag nie nou ons rug op die nasionale span draai nie. Daar is nou 'n keerpunt, en dit is hoe ons dit gaan hanteer wat gaan saakmaak.
Laastens moet ons ou volkie nou ophou om altyd die fout by die Skeidsregter te soek. Die Skiedsregter is slegs die beoordeelaar van die reëls, en of die spel volgens die raamwerk daarvan gespeel word. Toegegee, daar blyk verskillende vertolkings daarvan te wees tussen suid en noord, maar dit gee ons nie die reg om altyd die Skeidsregter te kritiseer nie. Soos wat video-opnames van opponente bestudeer word, so kan dit gedoen word met die Skeidsregter ook. Met ander woorde die tegnologie is daarvoor ook beskikbaar. As ek weet mnr. X hanteer ons wedstryd Saterdag, dan moet ek moeite doen om 'n video te bekom van 'n wedstryd waarin hy opgetree het vir bestudering.
Ons is te vinnig om altyd die fout elders te gaan soek, maar is te trots om te erken dat onsself verkeerd optree. Ironies, diegene wat altyd so teen die Skeidsregter is, en 'n dom van Zyl op die manne wil trek, is reeds diegene wat nooit bereid sal wees om 'n fluitjie te gaan blaas nie.
Met respek teenoor ene Vinesh Naicker en sy skrywe oor die "Top ten things" wat hy graag wil sien gebeur in rugby in 2003 in Rugby Forum Week 43.
Eerstens noem hy oa. sy punt 5 "Springbok supporters who don't blame the referee every time their team loses" Die ou is sekerlik blind en hardhorend? Ek glo vas dat hy eerder voor sy eie deur skoonvee voordat hy Springbok
ondersteuners wil "label" as "moaners" oor die ref of sal ek ook se: "Hoor wie praat?"
Die ganse wereld weet hoedat die All Blacks kla oor alles wat die ref teen hulle blaas. Sien die AB's is perfek wanner dit by rugby kom want daar mag nie teen hulle geballs word nie want hulle het rugby verfyn - wel so wil dit voorkom. Nie te praat van al die klagtes wanneer hulle verloor nie soos bv die ou storie van die gif in 1995, die onlangse Merthens teenoor Ander Waston, dieselfde Merthens se klaerey toe hy hoor Tappe Henning die toets tussen AB's en Wallis sou blaas. NZ se Sondag Hoofkoerant The Sunday Times Star was glad 'n voorblad artikel oor Merthens se siening van Tappe en glo my daar was geen positiewe opmerkings nie inteendeel Tappe was gebrandmerk as een wat daarop uit is om die All Blacks te looi met strafskoppe. Soos Merthens dit gestel het:"Everytime he handles a test with us (AB) playing, I can see the "just try me guys" in his eye looking at us", die keer toe Jonathan Kaplan (seker een van die bestes ter wereld vandag) met bottels gegooi was in Dunedin tussen die AB's en Walabies, die keer toe die Bok sewes met bottels gegooi was in Wellington NZ toe hulle die AB's gewen het, moet ek aangaan?, ok die keer toe "Auckland referee Neil Galvin was allegedly punched and kicked to the ground on Saturday, when he ended the match between the Ellerslie and Papakura under-10s early, because the game was becoming too violent. Ellerslie was beating Papakura 60-nil. Let wel dit was 'n o/10 game? So ene Vinesh waar kom jy vandaan en haal jou oogklappe af ou "pal"?
Elk geval ons as Bok ondersteuners het temidde van die afgelope toetse wat 'n mens eerder sou wou vergeet rede om te kla oor die refs want dat ons die kort end van die strooi kry by haarkloof beslissings is nie te betwyfel nie - daarvoor het ek hopeloos te veel voorbeelde opskrif. Met die Drie Nasie toets in Durban met die van Zyl insident is ons van tenminste 21 punte "beroof" deur 'n skeidsregter se beslissings, Paulse se drie toe hy beweer dat Dalton die verdedigers "gekeer" het 20 km vanaf die insident, Joubert se drie onder die pale toe hy beweer "knock on" maar almal weet dit was van 'n AB, Werner Greef se kort aangee wat hy beweer was vorentoe na Paulse so te se deur vir 'n drie en dan nie te noem van die strafdrie vir Umanga nie? Dit maak dit dus 28 punte? Sien wat ek probeer tuis bring? Is dit hierdie soort van skeidsregter blaasery wat ons spelers dalk onbewustelik tot die soort van "ontoelaatbare" spel laat oorgaan omdat hulle dalk weet in die oe van die ref kan ons so te se niks reg doen nie? Vra net? Dit maak net nie sin om die Springbokke Interansionaal te "highlight' as die wereld se "thugs" in rugby nie, daarvoor die rugby ganse te veel van 'n kontak sport en dit het hoogtyd geword dat mense soos SARFU nou begin stem dikmaak.
Dit gaan my verstand te bowe dat daar nog soveel "inconsistancy" is onder Internasionale refs! Met al die tegnologie, videos van toetse, ens behoort die ding al 'n hele paar jaar terug uitgesort te gewees het. Oh wel ek is maar net 'n ou "rugbyhead' wat weet ons tog? Dis net my beskeie opinie.
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