Rugby - A thug's game played by gentlemen

Yeah, swarming bees are pretty docile. They are just relocating and trying to find a new hive. The danger though is if one stings it releases a pheromone that makes the others attack. 30 dead rugby players and 45 thousand people stampeding would not be cool.

Nice idea to put potted palm trees near the fields though to give the bees somewhere to sit and watch.

The kickoff should be around 3 pm GMT, nature willing.

When did
Terreblanche switch from fullback to centre? Always nice to see
Bakkies on the losing side. I don't much care for the combination of religiousity and thuggery. Smacks of hypocrisy. Sharks v
Wp should be good.

He's been playing between fullback and centre for most of the Currie Cup, depending on who else is selected. His kicking from the back hasn't been needed as much with the new style, but I think his leadership is too valuable to leave out so centre is the logical position. He seems a bit light, but he's a great runner and a wily old goat.

I think he would rather be in the back though, even his Twitter account is StefT15.

Big final tomorrow. 17:30 local time, which is GMT +2, so anyone who can should check it out. I'm sure it will be a cracker.

The Sharks should win it, but I'm far from confident, we've tripped in many finals.

MrDeVil909 wrote:

Big final tomorrow. 17:30 local time, which is GMT +2, so anyone who can should check it out. I'm sure it will be a cracker.

The Sharks should win it, but I'm far from confident, we've tripped in many finals.

I'm looking forward to it. The Sharks are likely the better team, but Province has the better jersey. Gotta love those classic blue and white stripes.

Heh. Province have been rocking the hoops since 1881, not sure when the Sharks selected their colours, but the Union was founded in 1890, so probably since then. I like the Province colours, and they are my second choice team, but I will stick with my Black n Whites. :p

Province have a very experienced group of backs, while the Sharks have really young, talented backs mixed with experienced guys. If it comes down to kicking I'm not sure Pat Lambie will have the nerves for final pressure yet.

Loose forwards it's probably balanced, although the Sharks have the more mobile trio, Province the stronger. It's astounding that Keegan Daniel still can't crack a Springbok call up though.

Tight 5 I will give it to the Sharks, especially thanks to the Springbok front row, but the Province front row is strong.

Sharks have home ground advantage, Province haven't picked up any silverware in 9 years and will be hungry and determined not to let a repeat of the Super 14 final happen.

I suspect it's going to come down to the scrums. If the half backs get front foot ball that team will have the advantage.

Eee, it's actually on live over here, on Sky Sports. Might tune in after I've finished watching NZ plaster Papua New Guinea in the RL 4 nations.

MrDeVil909 wrote:

If it comes down to kicking I'm not sure Pat Lambie will have the nerves for final pressure yet.

I think he just about managed it

Congrats to the Sharks, played very well and never took the foot off the gas after a slow first 5 minutes or so. I thought the WP try just before half time might have shifted the momentum, but the Sharks shut them down in the first 10 mins after the restart to take that away.

And go on DeVil, you were the bloke in the black and white face-paint and the jester hat, weren't you ?

davet010 wrote:

And go on DeVil, you were the bloke in the black and white face-paint and the jester hat, weren't you ? ;)

No. I was 700km away. Bloody tragic. There's a nightclub right outside the stadium that is going to be going insane right now.

Glad to be wrong about Lambie's temperament, he looked totally unflappable. If he doesn't get game time during the end of year tour it will be a crime. He may not be quite as reliable as Morne Steyn when it comes to goal kicks, but his decision making and running play is absolutely first rate. The way he handed off Schalk Burger was really impressive.

Defense was great, handling was excellent. I think we ended on one or two handling errors.

I was a bit disappointed in Western Province though, they just seemed to fade out. I don't think they were prepared for the intensity, the Sharks just got right up in the WP players faces, didn't allow space and shut down the backs as soon as they had possession.

What a game. I'm so happy...

Nice that the Aussies beat New Zealand in Hong Kong today too. Also due to a 20 year old with great temperament, James O'Connor.


Oh, and the touring squad was announced. Inclusions I'm happy with, Lwazi Mvovo and Keegan Daniel. *air punch*

End of year tour to the home unions starts on Saturday. SA vs Ireland, Aus vs Wales, NZ vs England

The Springbok team announced today

South Africa v Ireland - Aviva Stadium, Dublin, 6 November 2010

15 - Gio Aplon (Vodacom Western Province, age: 28, caps: 9)
14 - Bjorn Basson (Vodacom Blue Bulls, 23, 2)
13 - Zane Kirchner (Vodacom Blue Bulls, 26, 10)
12 - Jean de Villiers/*Patrick Lambie (Vodacom WP/The Sharks, 29/20, 63/0)
11 - Bryan Habana (Vodacom Western Province, 27, 66)
10 - Morne Steyn (Vodacom Blue Bulls, 26, 21)
9 - Ruan Pienaar (Ulster, N Ireland, 26, 43)
8 - Pierre Spies (Vodacom Blue Bulls, 25, 37)
7 - Juan Smith (Vodacom Cheetahs, 29, 65)
6 - *Deon Stegmann (Vodacom Blue Bulls, 24, 0)
5 - Victor Matfield (captain) (Vodacom Blue Bulls, 33, 101)
4 - Bakkies Botha (Vodacom Blue Bulls, 31, 68)
3 - Jannie du Plessis (The Sharks, 28, 20)
2 - Bismarck du Plessis (The Sharks, 26, 32)
1 - Tendai Mtawarira (The Sharks, 25, 22)

16 - Chiliboy Ralepelle (Vodacom Blue Bulls, 24, 17)
17 - - CJ van der Linde (Vodacom Cheetahs, 30, 65)
18 Flip van der Merwe (Vodacom Blue Bulls, 25, 6)
19 - *Willem Alberts/*Keegan Daniel (The Sharks/The Sharks, 26/25, 0/0)
20 - Francois Hougaard (Vodacom Blue Bulls, 22, 5)
21 - Adi Jacobs (The Sharks, 30, 30)
22 - *Patrick Lambie/*Lwazi Mvovo (The Sharks/The Sharks, 20/24, 0/0)

Some bracketing thanks to Jean De Villiers needing to pass a fitness test and our backs are a little weird thanks to injuries to our centres, so a lot of players are out of position. Makes me nervous against Bryan O'Driscoll, but we will see how it goes. Forwards are looking good and we are playing a genuine fetcher in Deon Stegman.

Schalk Burger isn't playing due to injury, for which I'm grateful. Not because I don't want him to play, but because the Irish media will be bleating about the old gouging incident, rather than focusing on the game.

So, a good weekend for the South, although in each game the Northern side brought second half pressure.

After 65 minutes the Boks went from 14 ahead to 2 ahead. Wasn't a pretty game, very conservative and the ball was kept in the forwards, but it suited the really sh*tty conditions. But a win is a win.

We capped 3 new players too. The traditional caps are quite dorky, but here's the pic of Pat Lambie, Keegan Daniel and Deon Stegman with their Number Ones and caps.


They look like naughty schoolboys waiting outside the headmaster's office.

Jeeesssuuuussss!!!! Tense game vs Wales. Most school teams play better than we did in the first half, we pulled it back, and it looked like the ref was on our side a few times.

I'll take it though.

England 35 Australia 18 - now that was a turnup for the books. Not sure about the grey kit though.

Australia also suffered a defeat in proper rugby, losing to the Kiwis in the last minute in Brisbane. A very feisty encounter, where the referee really didn't exercise control and a couple of players could well have been dismissed during a fracas close to half time.


Something else I was thinking about while watching this - why exactly are NZ allowed to do a haka when they are playing away ? If it's supposed to be a ritual challenge, etc, then I can see why they do it at home. I'd just love them to be doing it at Twickenham and see England walk forward and wade in to them.

Yeah, that England score is concerning. By the time we get to them they are going to be very confident, especially if they do well against Samoa. They seem to be coming along in leaps and bounds.

I just see the Haka as part of the NZ tradition, just like part of their national anthem. The ridiculous thing is the Australian Women's team was fined during the Women's World Cup for advancing on the Haka, it's f*cking ludicrous to not allow a team to respond.

And I'm seriously pissed about the absurd ban handed to Mealamu. Two weeks for a headbutt, compared to ten weeks for Bakkies Botha. The double standards and hypocrisy in the IRB is frustrating.


One observation from the game against Wales. Young George North, great player, but what a funny build he has.


Two Springboks are being sent home in disgrace from the 'Grand Slam' tour for failing doping tests.

Chiliboy Ralepelle and Bjorn Basson both returned positive samples for a banned stimulant after the Springboks' opening Test against Ireland last Saturday, the SA Rugby Union said in a statement on Monday.

The substance is methylhexaneamine.

"Six Nations Rugby Ltd – who administers the November internationals – informed the South African Rugby Union of the positive Tests on Sunday evening.

"As a result the pair are provisionally suspended from all rugby and will return to South Africa on Monday."

I was able to catch the South Africa-Scotland match this weekend. I don't usually get Rugby matches up here, so I have a question and an observation.

Question: The announcers were saying that South Africa was trying to achieve some sort of sweep. I forget what it was called, which isn't helpful, but I think it had something to do with beating the British Isles teams. Does this sound right?

Observation: I would not want that South African captain to become angry at me.

A Northern Hemisphere Grand Slam ?

Not that they can achieve that now, of course.

Yeah, the Grand Slam of Home Unions. But after that piss poor display it's gone, and I don't have any hope against England who seem to be ascendant.

New Zealand should get the Grand Slam though, I don't see Wales beating them.

Polliwog wrote:

Observation: I would not want that South African captain to become angry at me.

Heh, yeah. Victor Matfield is a scary looking dude. Generally only one-eyed reffing makes him tense though.

I'm one of those people who is always perfectly happy to be proved wrong, and the Boks did that today.

Not a perfect performance, but everyone just did the basics and made opportunities. I think England was a little complacent.

The only way to beat the Boks with any certainty is to play them at their own game and front up physically, unfortunately most players from other countries seem a little fragile.


Holy crap! Victor Matfield played most of the game with a broken rib, I think it happened when Ashton knocked himself out tackling him. And Victor was still jumping perfectly.

A big year for Rugby Union with the World Cup being hosted in New Zealand. Also the beginning of the new and 'improved' Super 15 Southern Hemisphere competition. The build up to Super rugby has become, but the reason I'm necroing this thread right now is to share this funny tweet.

On of the rugby writers I follow retweeted this from Will Carling.

RT @willcarling Had dream ABs lost RWC to Aus. In changeroom with McCaw who was sent off. So obviously dream, he never gets a card Haha

Which anyone who watched the Tri-Nations would appreciate.

Or a Crusaders game.

I don't rate us as a chance for the RWC. Some good talent has been unearthed recently but the consistency isn't there yet.

The super tight and fairly conservative game of the Boks is worth putting a couple of bucks on.
ABs never win World Cups - I look forward to seeing how they mess up this time.

Haven't paid much attention to the northern hemisphere form though.

I'm not sure what to expect from the national sides this year.

The Aussies do have some real talent, but as you say consistency is seriously short. New Zealand have their history of choking, but you can never write them off. South Africa had a horrible 2010, but they had a horrible 2006 too and that worked out okay at WC time, but we had a better coach with a coherent plan then too so I just don't know.

As for the Northern teams. France can beat anyone on a good day and lose to an Under-12 girls team on a bad one. England showed potential against Australia but came up seriously short against us, so they like the running games but are at sea against a physical side, and seem a little physically fragile. Ireland is always a team with the potential to cause heartache, but consistency is also a bit of a problem.

My favourite dark horse will always be Argentina, I hope they do well.

I actually think we are in for a really interesting WC this time around. Gone are the days when the Southern boys were just so dominant that we were really just making up the numbers a lot of the time.

Personally, I'd love to see the French win but maybe they can do us a favour and knock-out all the favourites and then lose to us in the final.

I wouldn't share your view of Argentina, MrDevil. They played us in November and they look like an old team that hasn't enough fresh blood coming in.

I am glad the North/South gap has closed, it should be a great tournament.

Argentina is hard to read. I'm sure they do need new blood, so I don't expect too much from them this WC. But they are entering the Southern Hemisphere tournament from 2012, it should reinvigorate their players and give them a chance to grow.

Abominable Super 15 starts today. The whole thing is too big and cumbersome, but there should be good rugby anyway.

Lucky escape for the Sharks against the Rebels today, 34-32 after being behind for a long time. 4 from 4 with 2 bonus points means they top the combined log though.

The Rebels seem to be gelling quite nicely as a unit, I can see them finishing on the top 2 or 3 in the Aussie conference. Especially after the dire performances the Brumbies have been putting in.

I'm really impressed with how the new boys are going, although it looks like depth will be tested with Gerrard going off. The season snuck up on me so I've been locked in to some other events and been unable to get to a match yet.

I blame Huxley for the loss. A couple key dropped balls and turnstile impressions.

And Top (or bottom) of the log is one of my favourite Sth African turns of phrase.

Interesting news. In light of damage and issues in Christchurch since the earthquake the Crusaders may be 'hosting' the Sharks at Twickenham next Sunday. They are just waiting for the Sharks to agree, I think they will despite there being some issues with scheduling.

It should be a good game, although I don't see us beating the Crusaders the way they've been playing.



*another edit*

As a sad corollary of the above, Christchurch won't be ready for World Cup matches.

The Six Nations has been woeful this year apart from England and I wouldn't bet on them going far in the WC either. They are going for a Grand Slam this weekend at home to Ireland and frankly they deserve to win. Thing is, when England plays Ireland the form book goes out the window.

That said, Ireland has gone backwards badly. We have some of the best players in the world (Sean O'Brien is really coming good) and yet we have routinely failed to get to play to those strengths. I'm really trying to figure out what we are doing on the park. Italy and Scotland have two massive packs with solid set pieces that I happen to think they both have an upset in them. I'm worried Italy's upset could be us.

Wales are great to watch but they lack confidence. If they got a couple of good wins under their belt they would be more dangerous. Unfortunately they don't quite have the 10 man game required to fall back on when things are going a little iffy.

Finally, France. Lièvremont should be shot. Not to take away Italy's great victory over them last weekend (I got a little misty when I saw Nick Mallett blubbing) but France are a complete mess. On paper they probably have some of the strongest units in world rugby and yet he has failed to pick their best side or develop a proper game plan. He genuinely could be lynched this weekend if France lose to Wales or even just fail to deliver the type of rugby the French demand.