Editors Note


Volume 5, Week 32

Editors Note

Brilliant!      After a week off from all matters rugby, a bit of catch-up reading revealed some very interesting morsels of information. Now the average rugby week in South Africa is not quite as eventful as say Iraq or the Gulf Coast but sometimes it could be as devastating.

Probably one of the most remarkable news reports was the result of a local club match in Cape Town, between archrivals Stellenbosch University and the University of Cape Town better known as UCT. In an event as rare as a tuxedo in a Baywatch episode, UCT beat their more illustrious rugby opponents 36-10. It was very difficult to obtain any record of head-to-head battles between the teams but generally a UCT victory comes along once, maybe twice in a decade, making it very special occasions.

The secret of the Capetonians success was the involvement of ex-Springbok assistant coach Allan Solomons, who cut his coaching teeth at the vary same level and with the same club. Heeding a cry for help from his alma mater he turned a disastrous season around to crown the ultimate season success for any UCT team, a victory over the Maties. Commendable indeed.

Another interesting piece of news revolved around yet another ex-Springbok coach, Rudolf Straeuli who rejoined the Sharks as a Commercial Director. Now Mr Straeuli or Coach as he prefers to be addressed is quite a large individual with hands the size of dead ducks who in his student- and playing days were not afraid to apply them. He is now in charge of quite a substantial portfolio that looks surprisingly similar to that of a Director of Rugby. Hopefully for the players that does not involve the meting of discipline as the big hands, dark pits and mysterious camps will definitely upset the modern-day ‘professionals’. Heavens know, after watching a recording of the Sharks play on Saturday, the “Coach’s” methods might yet be too lenient…

The last bit of remarkable news was, ex All Black captain, Anton Oliver’s reports about the rampant drinking in the national team. Well hey, if those guys can play as well as they do after drinking, its best kept secret and the custom heavily encouraged by other countries so everyone are in with a chance. A hungover Kiwi is clearly not the kind of bird to toy with or treated lightly.

The semi-finalists for the Curie Cup were determined over the weekend despite a last round of matches to be played. The Sharks are not amongst the countries elite provincial outfits, missing out for the second year in a row (they need a bit of commercialism…). But as much as pundits like to joke about the omission of the east coast outfit, the decline of such a brilliant and professional outfit it is a worrying factor for South African rugby.

The Bulls were in similar dire straights barely 4-5 years ago and look where the Springboks were in the reckoning? Strong management and a vision turned them into one of the most successful teams around today but one wonders, do the Sharks possess something similar? Strong management and vision seem to be the one lacking factor in elevating South Africa rugby to the very pinnacle of the sport yet again.

This coming weekend, a few dead rubbers will be played before the serious business of the Currie Cup semi-finals. Next week, we will take a look at the teams and their chances of domestic success in 2005. Enjoy!



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The size of a country should not preclude a country like New Zealand or Wales, for that matter from getting the World Cup. The IRB has to be careful they don't develop a view that the World Cup can only be held in three or four countries. That would not be good for the game.        David Moffett, the Welsh Rugby Union's chief executive

We had several young men in the team and I thought, 'we are teaching them that this is what it is to be an All Black to drink a lot of booze'.          Anton Oliver in a new autobiography

The essence of international coaching is that you are not a club coach, you can't have the same amount of time. You have to be very clear in objectives, gameplan and tactics. Build up the core understanding, core thinking, core players that generate the momentum, so when the team comes together it is not always starting from square one.         Ian McGeechan

The scrum is a huge psychological area in the French game, and it's rare that you win if you don't go well there. It's about attitude and passion, something in the blood. It's macho, a trial of strength. When it's time to scrum, everyone gives it everything. There's no magic formula, you just do it.        Perry Freshwater, new England prop

It's a shame that there is no more rugby for about 6 months, but the Cape Town summer and babes will do for now.      UCTRFC web report on the victory over Stellenbosch University

Personally I think I'm playing pretty well, and I'm coming to grips with the style of game that's being played over here. My biggest challenge when I got over here was getting to know how different teams and different individuals play, and I'll be a lot better for the three games I've played so far. It's only once you get out there and get a feeling for the way the players play that you can learn.         Justin Marshall at Leeds

I am very excited, and look forward to assisting Sharks coach Dick Muir, and Sharks CEO Brian van Zyl, and the Sharks Rugby Union. I am delighted to be home, as my family are all settled here.           Rudolf Straeuli

Physically, I know I still have a lot to offer England, so in many ways this was a hard decision for me to make. I didn't want to let Andy or any of the England guys down, but the pull of my family proved greater. The time has arrived to put my family and my wife before the England team. My children want their Daddy, not some so-called superstar.         Jason Robinson upon announcing his retirement

Hi Lucas

Rugby matters!

Thanks for letting us know the Bulls will win the Currie Cup but can they beat Sarfu ? Perhaps they wont have to because Sarfu are currently beating themselfs. When will we have the likes of Bedford, Classens and some more recent players take over and chuck these same old duffers out on there butts. It seems to me that to varying degrees most sport bodies are in some sort of mess the 2 big ones with W.Cups coming up are leading the way. Whats the root of all evil again...............?. Please give us your squad of 30 or so to tour the UK and an idea of how the Currie cup should/could be run in your opinon to fix the current mess.


Geagte Lucas.

Ek lees week na week die kommentare en sienings van verskeie mense oor die stand van rugby in Suid Afrika. Ek het by vorige geleenthede dit al genoem dat Brian van Rooyen nie daar hoort nie. Hy en sy trawante by name die regering en Stofile het die gawe om iets wat werk op te voeter. (Ek het 'n ander woord daarvoor, maar sal nie so laag daal om dit te gebruik nie.) Ek kan dit nie verstaan hoekom moet daar aan iets gepeuter word wat werk nie. Wat is die kwalifikasies van die mense wat met rugby te doen het. Dit is 'n klomp mense wat op die soustrein geklim het en nou ook skep. My vraag is: Wie van die "fat cats" was al ooit op 'n rugbyveld of het aan 'n rugbybal gevat? Hoor ek Stofile iets brom? Van Rooyen se persoonlike besigheid maak hy 'n gemors van, en rugby ly al klaar onder sy "bestuur". Wanneer gaan iemand die "bols" he en se dit is genoeg en niks verder nie. Almal karring net aan. Die rugby ondersteuners word belieg en bedreig en ons sluk dit soos soetkoek. "You can fool a lot of people a lot of times, but you can not fool eveybody all the time".

Chris Erasmus

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