Go Sharks, go!
FREE State Cheetahs tomorrow in Bloemfontein – do we make it two in a row in this foreshortened Currie Cup? It ought to be a shoo-in, given our form last Saturday and the week before; great handling, adventurous running and gin-trap tackling. Also given that Free State have their main focus on the PRO 14 competition in Europe. (That's the penalty these days for failing to make the cut in Super Rugby – you get to play in Europe).
But, as we all know, in rugby there's no such thing as a shoo-in. You have to show up with the kop in the right place, stick to the game plan and play like a dog with turpentine on its backside. Anything can happen.
The damsels of the Street Shelter for the Over-Forties are already strumming at their knickers in anticipation of supplying elastic for the fashioning of catapults for the traditional celebratory feu de joie when the streetlights are shot out. The Sharks must not let them down. The behaviour of these gals can turn ugly indeed if they're disappointed.
'Erewego, 'erewego, 'erewego!
AS ARGUED last week, the Currie Cup had always been the furnace in which great Springbok sides were forged. Could the decline in the Boks' performance be connected to the Currie Cup giving way more than somewhat to Super Rugby, with its southern hemisphere international; component?
Is it really possible that the Currie Cup could re-emerge as the furnace? Or is the drift in the opposite direction?
Free State have been having a whale of a time playing up north, and they say the boodle is better. North-south travel, no more jetlag. What a punishment!
And now former Springbok flanker Schalk Burger says it outright: Our super rugby sides should be competing in the northern hemisphere; the Boks should be playing in what would become the Seven Nations.
To some this will sound shocking, a discarding of the traditional rivalry between the Boks, the All Blacks and the Wallabies. But times have changed.
In days of yore, the Boks would travel to Australasia by sea, staying fit as they could on board with press-ups and wind-sprints down the promenade decks, hurdling any passengers stretched out on their sunbeds.
Then a protracted and leisurely tour of Australia and New Zealand. There was no such thing as jetlag.
Not so today. Distance. Cross-longitudinal travel. Jetlag. It affects performance and results. It's also damned expensive.
Who knows how it will turn out? But for the present it's Free State tomorrow and points at stake in the Currie Cup. Watch that Bosch boy!
'Ole, ole, ole!
RETIRED MP Val Volker comments on this week's discussion of the historical points system in rugby, which he says is corroborated by the annals of the Deutsche Schule Hermannsburg – founded in 1856 by Lutheran missionaries – and Maritzburg College.
"It is recorded in the historical annals of the Hermannsburg School that their rugby team played a match in Pietermaritzburg against Maritzburg College on the old Market Square next to the present municipal library.
"According to the annals, Maritzburg College won by a comfortable margin.
"It is also recorded that the Hermannsburg team travelled to Pietermaritzburg by oxwagon and the trip there and back, including the game and the celebrations, took 11 days.
"When Hermannsburg School celebrated their 150th Anniversary in 2006, two teams from Maritzburg College again played against Hermannsburg – and again won by comfortable margins."
Keep trying, Hermannsburg! I like that 11-day trek. How many days were celebration?
POET Sarita Mathur is sceptical of the existence of the Street Shelter for the Over-Forties.
Shelter for the Over 40s
Is it real,
Seems a bit surreal
Like 221 B Baker Street.
I surfed the internet
Did these girls really have a dwelling place,
In their own space.
Or is this shelter a figment
Of the mind,
Truly, it just needs
A Sherlock Holmes :
A detective to:
Apply his mind.
I like that reference to Baker Street and Sherlock Holmes. London bobbies get pestered by tourists looking for the great detective's fictional flat.
But, Sarita, our Street Shelter certainly exists.
WHAT do you call a Frenchman in sandals?
Men live in a fantasy world. I know this because I am one, and I actually receive my mail there.