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Ballet vs Rugby, and Other Confusion July 1, 2009

Posted by baldricman in General, News, Sport.
Tags: , , , , , ,

Congratulations to the Springboks on an excellent series win this weekend!! Some truly remarkeable rugby was played by the Boks, against a tough, determined, and fired up Lions team. A special congratulations to the Lions on such an excellent second half of the first test, and a frantic first half of the second test. Both games being won by such a small margin, I think, is evidence of the quality of the sides.

Now, I thought I should comment on a few of the issues that have come up in the wake of the game, so this is a sort of “open letter” to all those living in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and all other rugby-playing countries. (Gotta love blogging…. just imagine the postage saved!)

I was absolutely astounded and more than a little ashamed to watch a clip of an interview Peter de Villiers gave, in which he waxed lyrical about rugby, ballet, eye-gouging, tutus, and spear-tackling. The man clearly had no idea what he was going to say before he gave the interview, nor what he was saying during the interview. Much like the extremely unprofressional and shameful criticism of ref’ing decisions in the post-match interview on Saturday – To all coaches: please show some class and sportsmanship, and take your complaints to the relevant bodies, in private, after the game. This also applies to the Lions coach Ian McGeechan, who in both post-match interviews, made thinly veiled implications that the Lions lost because they were unlucky, and the coaches made bad decisions. Grow up Ian, and stop looking like such a sore loser. Whatever happened to being gracious in both success, and in defeat? It is a sad state of affairs indeed. Anyway, I just wanted to assure pretty much all non-South Africans that, for the most part, we are not all illiterate, bumbling, aggressive eye-gouging ballerinas, as dear Peter might have led you to believe. (I’m actually not sure what you might have taken from his little speech, as it was rather hard to follow and decipher. At one point I thought he may have slipped into lineout calls by mistake..) You can watch the clip here peterdiv

Of course, the British and Irish Lions should be glad we have such “disgraceful” coach (as Brian O’Driscoll so honourably put it) – I feel that with some small team-selection differences (and some would say better use of the bench), the games would not have been so, er, “unlucky” (as captain Paul O’Connell put it, unsurprisingly) And although you may not believe it, I don’t really want to criticise old “Div” too much. After all, as John Smit answered to the question of whether the coach’s use of the bench was poor, “We won both games, so one could say his use of the bench was perfect”… Makes one think. (But to change tack once again, check out this brilliant page of Peter de Villiers Quotes. Hilarious!!)

Anyway, I can’t wait for the final game this Saturday. I think its going to be even greater than last weekend’s game, as the Boks will want to make it a whitewash, but the Lions will have everything to play for, and nothing to lose. I’m not at all sorry to see Schalk Burger go (I feel he is a little past his prime, sadly, but that’s just my opinion).

Oh, lastly, just thought I’d mention my “man of the second-half” choice from the last game, and that would have to be Heinrich Brussow. I really hope to see him get some more game time this Saturday. He seems to be bringing “stealing” back into fashion 🙂


1. Frank - July 1, 2009

Brüssouw is playing awesome rugby. I enjoyed Bob’s comment that he can “steal the ball through a keyhole”. He should be one of the first choice flankers, and probably would be in just about any other team.

I agree that more careful substitutions and player selection (and dare I say, better coaching) the Lions would have had no chance. I think the Lions would have been taught a rugby lesson had they played a full-strength Bulls team (as much as it hurts this Sharks supporter to admit they were awesome in the Super 14).

baldricman - July 1, 2009

hey Frank, thanks for the comments. I have to agree with you on the Bulls thing (also a Sharks supporter remember? :)) but I think that one also can’t forget that the Boks *should* only get better over the next while, as the gel together more.
Like I said, I can’t wait for Saturday! 🙂

Frank - July 1, 2009

Well, I too hope they get better, especially with the Tri-Nations coming up. Can’t help but think that Australia will take this one on current form. We are no where near as good as we were during the World Cup. Hopefully it is just a matter of the team getting more game time.

Frank - July 1, 2009

Oh, and I too can’t wait for Saturday’s game. Will also not miss Schalk, he should not have started the game after the injury. He could have been on the bench.

baldricman - July 1, 2009

Yeah you’ve got a good point. But the funny thing about form is that its cyclical: top teams (like the tri-nations teams) can’t stay in top-form for years on end. Its one of the reasons why New Zealand has won far fewer world cups than they should have, especially considering they enter just about ever WC as favourites! :).
I suspect that we may have our strongest squad ever, in about a year…. is that bad timing or what?

2. Frank - July 1, 2009

We may have our strongest squad now. Depends who (if anyone) retires after the Lions tour. Losing Smit, when he does retire, will have a massive effect on the team in close games. It will be interesting to see who steps up to the plate. There is no one obvious to take his place. Matfield showed us in the past that he does not have Smit’s temperament.

baldricman - July 1, 2009

Yeah you know, I think you’re right about the captaincy, not sure who should get it. I agree about Matfield completely, but he might still be the best.
I think on individual talent, our squad is strong, yes, but I can’t shake the feeling that there is more to come, especially around team-cohesion… and this always takes time. (Obviously helped along if, say, certain critical position-pairings are comprised of players from the same provincial team…..but that isn’t a good enough reason to do it, not for long term goals at least)

3. Jenifer - July 1, 2009


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Warm Regards

Sportstrove.info Team


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