Editors Note


Volume 5, Week 34

Editors Note

Brilliant!      There is one major characteristic one learns from the great game of rugby, whether playing, coaching, writing or just talking b*llocks in the pub and that is humility. In fact modesty in rugby is a bit like Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones – it’s old, tried and tested been round the block with our without substance(s) but if you have it regardless what you look or sound like it will be a hit.

The Bulls under Heyneke Meyer has installed a fair amount of humility in this writer and many others who through history has a fond disliking of the Blou Bulle. History, has everything to do with it but it is about time that we all recognise the greatness of their achievements and that they are less than 48 hours away of being probably one of the greatest teams ever in the long and rich history of the Curie Cup.

As well as the Cheetahs played this season to feature in the final despite a poor match on Saturday to stop an even more pathetic and worrying Province team, they just lack the world stars and continuity and confidence that the Bulls have in spades. The result is about as sure as a sarcastic chirp from Anne Robinson in “The Weakest Link” and one feels the only result will be, “Cheetahs, you’re the weakest link… goodbye!”

However, the biggest rugby romantics will forever back the underdog and there may just be that one small factor that can aid Rassie Erasmus to achieve something even more stellar than the god like status he enjoys in the Free State and that is a Bulls team without humility. The Bulls can prove their own undoing although it will not be the fault of very much feet-on-the-ground Heyneke Meyer but more of players who have become “too accustomed” to winning at Loftus.

There is, according to many rumours and a few logic deductions, a distinct lack of the trait in the Province stable and maybe a season or two in the wilderness (read – final spot in next year’s Super 14) will cure the disease that may be as lethal as Ebola but treatable if diagnosed properly and early. Readers only need to follow the news and read between the lines to catch this particular drift. Bygones.

Saturday will be a great game between two teams who thoroughly deserve their passage to the final. If this writer has to pick a winner and remembering a 100% wrong track record last week, it can be no other than the Bulls. Enjoy the match!



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  Los Toros by Desmond Organ
What an incredible achievement it will be if the Bulls complete their fourth success in the Currie Cup, if anything it will be a fitting tribute to Etienne Botha who was tragically killed in a motor vehicle accident earlier this year. It will also be a fitting finale for Anton Leonard who has been a loyal servant in the mould of Thys Lourens.

From my seat in the Northern Hemisphere the second half of the competition has been one of intrigue as there have been a few major surprises. Perhaps the biggest is the emergence of Rassie Erasmus as a shrewd coach in the mould of Jake White. With very limited resources and a squad of young players he has taken the Cheetah’s to their second consecutive Currie Cup final. The structure of the competition all but ended what would have been a dream final; Lions versus Bulls. Sadly the collective brains trust that is SARU has the ability to stuff up almost anything; so this came as no major surprise.

What a pity that the structure failed to reward early season performances and the Sharks without their Springboks were a competitive outfit that looked to be the pick of the bunch in the earlier part of the season. With the return of the national squad it was only a matter of time that the minnows from the Sharks youth structures would be found out and the game at Newlands all but ended any chance of the “guppies” as they are affectionately now known, of progressing any further. The disastrous end to the season was rounded off in spectacular fashion with the appointment of the worst nightmare on Old Fort Rd, Captain courageous Rudolf; the man responsible for two of the worst events in South African rugby; The Twickenham debacle and Kamp Staaldraad.

The Lions were always competitive and as they had done in the Super 12 and the early rounds of the Currie Cup, they beat the Bulls, not many teams can claim two wins in a row against the current bunch. Frans Ludeke has a rugby brain and the return to form of Conrad Jantjes and the electrifying rise to fame or Enrico Januarie has his name written all over it. He knows how to nurture talent and under the watchful eye of Eugene Eloff the future looks very rosy indeed. It will not surprise me if successive waves of U21 players find their way into the Lions Den. In a season or two they could well be challenging for the silverware again.

Province despite their early potential failed to achieve yet again and one almost gets the impression that they are replacing the Sharks as the current chokers. They have been the best South African Super 14 Team for several years and yet they have even less to show for their efforts than the Sharks and if form holds true the Bulls will also have more to show in terms of progress to the last four. The tight five remain a concern and for all the bravado surrounding their loose trio they are not a factor going backwards. Luke Watson is another example of why Jake White is so respected, he said early on that the man was not up to it and it seems that he has got it right.

Boland are another miracle story and were it not for a few narrow wins by the Sharks they may well have been claiming a position higher in the pecking order, I for one wish that this had indeed been the case, especially after the appointment of the man who from now on shall be referred to as: “He who shall not be named.”

Fittingly the last few words are reserved for the men from the North who have been as courageous and impressive as the Toros that ply their trade all over Spain during the summer months, the only difference being that these Bulls always live to fight another day and that is not good news for the opposition, but it is great news for South African rugby.

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I hope all the new guys have got tucked away somewhere a piece of paper which says that their goal for this tour is to make the Test squad.       Eddie Jones

I have unfinished business with international rugby. I have never shirked a challenge or gone into anything half-heartedly before, and I don't intend starting now.      Jonah Lomu

Sorry boys, I'm very camera shy . But this has all been so awesome, awesome, awesome. New Wallaby flanker, Leroy Houston

We proved our capability, both operationally and in terms of infrastructure ... even though it is a significant expansion on the Lions, we are confident we will be in good shape. New Zealand Rugby Union chief executive Chris Moller

Stade Français became the first team to defeat Toulouse since the Top 16 semi-final between the two teams last May, winning 29-15 on a magnificent night in front of 79,454 people in the Stade de France on Saturday. Match report.

Rugby is a Greek game, it is fast, it is physical, it needs strong minds and bodies. It is perfectly suited to the Greek character.       Greek Sports Minister George Orfanos

As I was on the ground, (Brian) O'Driscoll came in and tried to 'jackal' me - a term we use to mean stealing the ball from your opponent on the ground but instead of trying to rip the ball clear of my grasp, he also decided to
pull my hair and tried to gouge my eye for good measure, saying: 'How do you like that, you cocky little f***er? Gavin Henson

No one is giving us a chance, but I believe we can win, we know what to expect of the Bulls, because they don't have any secrets.       Naka Drotske

Rassie (Erasmus) has made a huge impression in his first season as Cheetahs coach. He showed, among other things, one doesn't need big names to qualify for the final.        Jake White

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