What a day! What a weekend! What an event! What a crowd! What an atmosphere!
On an emotionally charged weekend, how fitting was it for the very first International sporting event to be held on South African soil after the death of Nelson Mandela to be held in the stadium that bears his name?
16 teams, 45 games, an extravaganza of rugby if ever there was one!
It’s fair to say that we probably spent more time in the bar / lounge during the day on Saturday then in the stand (except of course when the Blitzbokke were playing) it is after all a day of preliminary group stages where the minnows get the chance to play against the big guns but today (Sunday) was the main event, and what an event it was.
The beauty of this format is that it splits into 4 competitions during the course of the final day (Shield, Bowl, Plate and Cup) with all teams having a chance of gaining a medal and silverware as late as the mid-afternoon!
We got the dream final we wanted. The Blitzbokke cruised through their quarter and semi finals as did the All (cough) (splutter) Blacks.
I’ve written elsewhere that I thought that the Ref had a couple of ‘Mandela moments’ during the final but who cares? Final score Blitzbokke 17 – AB’s 14 (3 tries to 2)
A win, a glorious end to a brilliant weekend Read more…
IT’S GO TIME!
We might just find the time to watch a bit of 7′s rugby while we’re there
Ha ha, on the left you see the launch of the new Bulls super rugby home kit for the 2014 season, maintaining the traditional blue albeit with a few splashes of colour for effect, on the right you see the new away kit! The Bulls had a poor season this year, here’s hoping that they can see one another on the pitch in that camo shirt or things are going to get worse!
On the bright side, I’ve had a sneak preview of the cheerleaders outfits ….. Read more…
You know, the ones just above the tunnel on the half way line, with the royalty lounge bar and restaurant just 10 steps away, that’s right, those ones, but what a performance, let me explain …
The exodus of Southern Kings players continues. There can be but a handful of our Super Rugby squad announced in January still plying their trade here in the Eastern Province. The latest? Cornell du Preez.
“Watson (Kings president) confirmed yesterday that Cornell du Preez had also been released from his contract with immediate effect, to sign with Edinburgh Rugby in Scotland.
Watson said he was excited that Du Preez had been given the opportunity to further his rugby career.
“There is no doubt that Cornell was one of the stalwarts during the Southern Kings campaign and he has continued to play superb rugby for us during the Currie Cup First Division. We wish him everything of the best.”
Watson said he knew Du Preez aspired to build towards playing for Scotland, and did not feel he would be given the opportunity to play for the Springboks, because of the depth of loose forwards, if he remained in South Africa.”
And in other news … Read more…
The Beeb reports:
The legendary former Wales international and BBC broadcaster Cliff Morgan has died at the age of 83. In a distinguished career he captained the Lions, was head of sport and outside broadcasts for BBC Television and presented the Radio Four programme Sport on Four for over 10 years.
It would appear that my days of watching live Super Rugby are over
Let me explain.
There are 6 major playing regions here in South Africa but only 5 places available in the Super Rugby competition (in it’s current format.) I’ve explained previously that for as long as there has been Super Rugby my little part of the world has been completely ignored, that was until this year.
Be it politics, compassion or just plain old common sense our rugby hierarchy decided to to give us a chance and entered Eastern Province (under The Southern Kings franchise) in this years competition, at the expense of last year’s lowest ranked S.A. team ( The Lions) with the proviso that the Kings play the Lions in a home and away relegation / promotion series of matches come the end of the season.
Well, the first of these relegation / promotion matches was played last night, right here at our magnificent new FIFA world cup stadium, and yes, you’ve guessed it, the Kings lost.
Had the Kings won, we had plans for the 2,000km round trip up to Johannesburg to watch the 2nd leg, but we agreed at the end of last night’s game not waste our time, effort and money! Read more…
Members will be pleased to note that important news on Friday’s crucial promotion / relegation clash between the Kings and Lions hasn’t been completely forgotten or relegated off the front page
By way of explanation, three of our domestic rivals are the Natal Sharks, Free State Cheetahs and Northern Transvaal Bulls
My Southern Kings played their final 2013 super rugby match yesterday and yes, you’ve guessed it, lost. But winning was not the purpose of our foray into super rugby this year.
It’s one all going to Sydney tomorrow, Brian O’Driscoll has been dropped (not even on the bench.) I’m posting this now in case I don’t get time tomorrow morning.
Best laugh this month