Such thrills –
WHAT a weekend of Currie Cup semi-finals. If our match against the Lions was a thriller down to the final minutes – that try by Dan du Preez a classic eighth man peel-away – what does one say of the Bulls' performance against Western Province?
Taking them into extra time and losing by only three penalty points – this after the pasting they took from them only a week earlier in the pool game. It was heroic stuff, the very essence of rugby.
The Bulls came close to gifting us a home final but, more importantly, they showed that against Province it can be done.
The Sharks played an immaculate first half – great forward work providing the opportunities – but lost focus in the second. The line-outs went pear-shaped and we somehow have an unfortunate knack of losing possession through interceptions when attacking the opponents' line. But it did bring the game to a thrilling finish.
Western Province this Saturday in the final. Bring it on, bring it on!
WHAT a weekend. A prelude to the rugby excitement was the annual Trafalgar Day dinner at Royal Natal Yacht Club. This follows sedate Royal Navy protocol – toasts to Queen and country, the club and the Immortal Memory (Lord Nelson); passing of the port – then degenerates somewhat into the traditional slanging match between the port and starboard watches. This is highly entertaining (though its content has no place in a respectable newspaper).
All this as we ploughed our way through an absolutely scrumptious menu with a Trafalgar theme but which bears absolutely no relation to Royal Navy rations of the 19th century.
Guest speaker was Dr Ralf Dominick, who circumnavigated the world in his yacht Mvubu (Zulu for hippo), reaching the Arctic via the challenging North-West Passage, off Canada. Also, his circumnavigation was in the company, most of the time, of female crew.
Dr Dominick gave a close analysis of the Battle of Trafalgar, the way it was tactics that won the day for Nelson. The French aimed for the English masts and rigging. The English aimed for the French hulls. As the battle was fought in a wind of about half a knot, damage to masts and rigging counted for almost nothing. Holed hulls, blown up powder stores and human casualties counted for everything.
Fascinating stuff, though I wish he'd told us a bit more about the girls he sailed with,
Dr Dominick also presented the club with a small ingot of copper, taken from the cladding of HMS Victory. It immediately went on a syndicated auction, raising R15 000 or so. It will be displayed with the club's memorabilia.
Finally, another focus on the past. Royal Natal Yacht Club now has its own beer. The craft brew is called "1858", available on draught, and it commemorates the club's founding in that year. Craft beers are all the rage in Durban these days, including Durban Poison, a cannabis lager brewed from the dagga plant instead of the traditional hops. However I'm informed that "1858" – a most tasty and refreshing brew – is from the traditional (and respectable) hops.
Splice the mainbrace!
THIS little old fellow shuffles slowly into a health foods eatery at the airport and hosts himself slowly and painfully onto a stool at the juice bar. He orders a banana-split.
"Crushed nuts sir?" the waitress asks.
"No – arthritis."
People might not get all they work for in this world, but they must certainly work for all they get.