Editors Note


Volume 3, Week 34

Editors Note

Brilliant!          Advance Australia fair… or maybe not, the 5th edition of rugby’s World Cup is but a week and a bit away and already the sorry stories begin. Bogus tickets, the annual big event con with more comebacks than Elton John, has hit supporters all over the world, again. And unlike the singer/songwriter’s infatuation with boy bands to propel him back up the charts, the owners of these packages can do zilch about recovering their losses. At least, they have not yet made the trip down under…

Regular readers will know that once a year, this armchair supporter abandons the rugby riches the world of DSTV has to offer and head away for a long weekend of golf with NO rugby. In the past it clashed with a famous Currie Cup final played between WP and the Sharks, this year’s trip incidentally was well planned around the World Cup but strangely enough, again on a weekend a WP/Sharks game is played. Coincidence? I think not, as they are my pick for another supercharged 21st century Currie Cup final and they also happen to be my two favourite local teams. While there was a time the one took clear preference, circa 1990 the current state of affairs are pretty equal and a game between the two modern super rivals is always a special affair.

The past weekend saw some exciting matches in the Currie Cup with the Pumas downing the Sharks, a depleted Bulls demolishing the Lions and WP sneaking a lucky draw against the Cheetahs. Newlands' crowds are a strange lot, when their team is winning they can expect the greatest atmosphere and support of any in the world but when they losing, early exits are common. This was the case on Saturday, 9 minutes left on the stadium clock, cold and wet and with their team 10 points behind a large group of “supporters” chose the early exit – they missed some of the most exciting and thrilling rugby of the season. Good old nail biting stuff as WP eked back into the game and was it not for Chris Rossouw’s two narrow misses they would have won the game.

A pleasing site during the match at Newlands was the form of one Gaffie Du Toit. Everyone knows Gaffie, his public humiliation by Nick Mallett and his subsequent demise and erratic form over 4 years! It is a bit premature to say he has shaked the psychological effect of that dressing down because the boy wonder has been known to balls up spectacularly after being hyped up or praised. In fact, he has managed to self-destruct with more regularity and panache than any of the James Bond villains. However, Carel Du Plessis is doing something right, the player has renewed confidence and combined with more natural talent in his left hand than all 5 fullbacks in the World Cup squad put together, is a match winner. It is great to watch somebody so obviously gifted display his ample talents – keep going Gaffie!

In the wake of the RWC, the local official broadcaster is airing some wonderful World Cup programs and last night there was an absolute brilliant edition where 4 legends of the game conversed about past tournaments. Gavin Hastings, Zinzan Brooke, Francois Pienaar and John Eales reminisced about the famous games and moments they were intricately involved with, undeniably shaping the course of both the game and the stature of the tournament. Ant the end of the day, supporters, lovers of the game and newcomers are caught up and inspired by individual brilliance and team dynamics unlike any other sport in the world. Catch it if you can, it is an hour and a half of great rugby nostalgia presented in relaxed and charmed atmosphere, definitely one for the video archives.

Well with one week to go, we can discuss the big event next week proper and the chances of the various teams in the opening rounds. Enjoy the big clash in Durban!



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Plenty to be Positive About by Desmond Organ
In this week of reduced turmoil which surely has something to do with the Springboks being at home and away from the confines of a training camp there is indeed plenty to be positive about in South African rugby. Despite the perennial injuries that inflict the Cheetahs, the classic implosions from the Sharks and the Neanderthal rugby that resides in parts of Gauteng; there has been some very good rugby produced by the teams in the Currie Cup and most importantly there have been stirring performance s from players from the so-called “Development Area.”

I quite happily refer to it as the so-called “Development Area” because it is quite possibly an insult to a player of natural ability to be linked to such a badly worded phrase. The affirmative action that is going on in South Africa has come decades too late and what a party we would all witness had it been in place several years earlier. What is extremely encouraging in the subtle manner in which several journalists have chosen to approach those Unions that have not always been at the forefront o f the development of players from disadvantaged groups. This is in stark contrast to the mud slinging that occurs between disillusioned SA Rugby employees and over zealous sports politicians? 

There is absolutely no doubt that there is plenty of talent in the traditional resources of South African rugby and no doubt far more waiting to be nurtured and developed in those areas that have become the focus of SA Rugby in their attempts to transform the game. There are endless examples of how the rugby administrators have formed channels and schemes to advance the game, anybody doubting it should log onto the SA Rugby website to see what is being done. The sad thing is that there is rarely a mention of it in the sites that publicise the game at Provincial level. The existence of a link on a website is not enough if the politics of engaging the politicians is to be successful. We in the public need to see and hear more about how rugby is being transformed and how the future stars are being developed.

The challenge that awaits SARFU is not quite as easy as communicating through a web portal or news magazine, there challenge is far greater and that is to remove the prejudice from the game whilst at the same time demonstrating that they are a professional organization capable of operating like a world class business. That means basically that the game has to be developed in a way that ensures that South African teams are winning consistently. There are more than enough players in the various Provi nces to ensure that all the teams participating in the Super 12 have a strong resource pool. The so-called coordination efforts of the last Super 12 left me thinking that whatever discussions occurred between national and provincial level it certainly did not result in performances on the playing field.

To be completely honest the Super 12 was a national disaster from a South African perspective, the only positive aspect was that a traditional Provincial powerhouse finally escaped from the depths of disaster to record a satisfactory season. The rest would have left the best cynic searching for Prozac or better still reciting the words of a typical South African. “Surely it cannot get any worse than this.” The issues that face the administrators are two fold; make the game representative and be awa re of what constitutes acceptable performance in a professional organization. The bitter in fighting that has typified our rugby has got to be replaced by a strategic re-think as to how the game is managed and this must take into account the success stories of brands like the Sharks and the Stormers and the pathetic under utilization of talent in the Free State and Eastern Cape. 

Many of the players that have left their mark in the junior ranks come from the Free State and the Eastern Cape. The number of talented players of colour that have been poached by other unions is a clear indication that these juniors do not come from all parts of the country. The Sharks do not have the best depth at schoolboy rugby, yet there Provincial team is a success story of the 1990’s. There is absolutely no reason why the same thing cannot be done with teams in the Eastern Cape and the heart land. SARFU has got to show an example in development that could be held up at the IRB as an example of how you nurture talent and develop ability in all regions of a country.

If South African Rugby is truly committed to the development of the game there has to be a means to allow the following players to perform at the next level. They have done so in the Currie Cup and they should do so in the Super 12. 

Solly Tyibilika, Gerrie Britz, Hanyani Shimange, Frikkie Welsh, Henno Mentz, Guthro Steenkamp, Gerhard Vosloo, Brendan Botha, Egon Seconds, John Mametsa, John Daniels, Tsepo Kokoali, Ricardo Pietersen, Marius Schoeman, Chumani Booi, Noel Olschig, Neil Powell, Eddie Fredricks, Norman Jordaan, Nel Fourie, Nico Breedt, Johan Roets, Pat Barnard, Rudi Coetzee, Kabamba Floors, Doppies La Grange, CJ van Dr Linde, Eduard Coetzee, Ettienne Botha, Enrico Januarie, Jacques Claasens

I am sure that coaches in the Northern hemisphere form any of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Italy would love the opportunity to add any of these players to their potential internationals list. I wonder how many of these players will make it into the final four South African Super 12 squads?

Currie Cup Team of the Week





Gaffie Du Toit



Eddie Fredricks



Deon Kayser



Jacques Claasens



John Mametsa

Blue Bulls


Nel Fourie



Noel Oelschig



Adrie Badenhorst



Wickus van Heerden



Gerhard Vosloo



Bloues Volschenk



Quinton Davids



Andries Human

Blue Bulls


Gary Botha

Blue Bulls


Wessel Roux

Blue Bulls

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I used to watch the big unions on television and I thought to myself it must be quite difficult to play against such huge guys, but when I faced them during this year's Currie Cup Premier Division matches I realised that they weren't as strong as they appeared to be on TV.    Kabamba Floors

I don't believe New Zealand are mentally ready to win this World Cup.     Alan Jones 

If Rugby World Cup was properly structured, the players, who are the only ones generating the revenue, would be paid. It's still structured on an amateur basis, the players play for nothing.     Peter Wheeler

There were signs in Bloemfontein that he is looking more like the Joost of old rather than just an old Joost.  Gavin Rich

I think they're very competitive so they'll do whatever it takes to win, If that means playing dirty then I'm sure they'll resort to those tactics.     Stephen Larkham on Argentina

People take ownership of a sports team or an individual competing on foreign soil. There are few things as exciting as watching your team's achievements on television. It doesn't matter whether it's Baby Jake Matlala, Hestrie Cloete or the Springboks.     Morné du Plessis

He pretended to be a backpacker and got in. He returned having seen the whole training session and actually drank some of the management's beer. He told us which strike moves they were practising.      Will Carling on Austin Swain, their psychologist, sent to spy on Australia before their World Cup quarter-final in 1995.

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Letters to the Editor
Hi Lucas

Go well, my Bokkies

With the Springboks leaving for Australia this week, I should like to convey the following message: 

Us Springbok supporters are not fair-weather friends; we support our boys through thick and thin.

If we are rated number one in the world, we shall shout our support. If we are rated number six in the world, we shall shout even louder. Should we be rated number twenty, we shall shout for the Green-and-Gold until our voices have gone, lest it may help them regain previous stature.

May the Boks win the William Webb Ellis trophy! The nation will rejoice as one! 

If they are defeated in the quarter- or semi-finals, our hearts will weep, but our support for the team will remain undefeated.

Even if they do not reach the knock-outs, we shall share their sorrow, reap their tears and become stronger in unifying grief.

For our blood truly is Green...


Hi Lucas

Oor rugby, spankeuses, wedstrydplanne en afrigting kan ons seker vir dae aaneen praat, en lekker met mekaar verskil. Solank dit altyd in die gees van goeie sportmanskap gedoen word, is daar niks mee verkeerd nie. Ons mag van mekaar verskil en ons menings uiter.

Ek wil nie praat oor die Springbokspan nie, daaroor is al genoeg gepraat, en sal seker nie gou ophou nie. Net een opmerking. Ek sou graag jou span, soos hierbo (Week 33) aangedui, wou sien speel teen die huidige Bokke. Geen verdere kommentaar.

Ek wil egter my misnoë uitspreek oor Dinsdagaand se wedstryd teen die Valke. Van die afskop was dit baie duidelik dat die Valke negatief gespeel het, en dit hulle doel was om die Bokke "af te skryf". Persoonlik sou ek wou sien dat die span as sulks geskors word, want hulle optrede was nie gemik op wedstryd oefening nie, maar suiwer intimideerende vuilspel. Ek was uiters teleurgestel in die optrede van die rooitruie, en sou dit in opdrag van die afrigters gedoen gewees het, is ek bevrees ons rugby is sieker as die politieke gemors in Zimbabwe.

Dankie vir Rugbyforum, en bou voort !

Das Villoen

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