you have gone too far

England Rugby players should be safely tucked up in their comfortable beds by now, following a brutal Three-Test series in South Africa, which like all test series ended with its casualties on both sides.

A day after the Baby Boks were crowned World Junior Champions, cementing a bright future of SA rugby, our senior chargers walked on that wet floor, slipped.

With a 2-0 series victory over England, the third in PE on Saturday was a mere technicality. Only it was not. Stuart Lancaster’s men needed redemption. Heyneke Meyer needed validation. Certain players needed recognition – a recipe which was to make this match a tougher challenge than anticipated.

That still doesn’t justify sharing a 14 all spoils, which may be acceptable when certain English football clubs face each other; that can never fly when the Boks face anyone. Least of all the Poms. Yet, here we are….

winning boot

winning boot

When the stuff that hits the fan, hits the fan, we are a country that will not be satisfied until we find a reason for the cause and even better if we can single out a single culprit: enter Morne Steyn.

Usually the darling of South African crowds, Steyn was booed by some spectators at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium after a second-half drop-goal effort drifted wide.

Avusa Media Sport Writer Sbu Mjikeliso tweeted ‘#MorneSteyn deserves a lot of things (death, torture, getting dropped from the squad), but not getting booed by South Africans’. While Sbu has propensity for the dramatic, he makes a valid point: we have gone too far.

I have witnessed this ethos at Coca-Cola Park, home of the Golden Lions Rugby Union. My commitment to go to as many (Lions) home games as possible has become a regrettable vow each time an opposing kicker steps up.

Lions’ supporters (apologies to the few that don’t fit this coming description) in my opinion have very little sportsmanship. And the biggest disappointment of all is the Union Management’s somewhat ‘encouragement’ of this behaviour.

Without fail when Elton Jantjies or Jaco Taute take their kicking duties, spectators are reminded to be silent, while Brumbies’ Christian Leafliifano didn’t stand a chance. Neither did Beauden Barrett or any other number 10.

I have never been to Newlands, but I am told the crowd there is no better. In fact 20 year-old Ihaia West, a (young) Kiwi fell victim to this treatment only on Friday during their finals against South Africa. Despicable!

The Poms avoided a whitewash simply because the Boks were utterly poor. There is no getting around that. They made poor decisions, failed to execute well-grounded advantage. Saw the 9m mark a number of times only to be turned-over. Desperate and simply dire circumstances, with Steyn even worse than Jerome Boateng of Germany against Greece.

Having missed 12 of 22 kicks at goal and several drop-goal attempts during this series has undoubtedly given Meyer enough headaches. I shall not add to that.

Meanwhile, at 27:

• Fastest 100 points by a Springbok (8 Test matches, 3 as a replacement)
• Fastest 200 points by a Springbok (16 Test matches),
• Fastest 300 points by a Springbok (24 Test matches),
• Fastest 400 points by a Springbok (33 Test matches),
• Most drop-goals in a Super Rugby season (11),
• Most points scored against the All Blacks for a Springbok (31),
• Most points in a Tri Nations match (31),
• Most drop goals in a Super Rugby game (4) (in the 2009 Super 14 semi-final against the Crusaders),
• Most drop goals in Super Rugby (22),
• Most drop goals in a Super Rugby season (11 in 2009),
• Most penalties in a Super Rugby season (51 in 2010),
• Most points in a Super Rugby season (263) – Beating Dan Carter’s record of 221 set in 2006,
• Most points by a Bulls player in Super Rugby history (1,157),
• Most points by a South African and first South African to reach 1,000 points in Super Rugby (1,157),

These do not exonerate Steyn, just a reminder of who’s head you’re a calling for. While you may be inclined to say ‘drop him’, he has a number of times settled the arguments of who should wear the No. 10 jersey.

Sure, maybe this time, it should be re-opened. Patrick Lambie? Considering HM’s style he is well suited at 15, then there’s Peter Grant, Johan Goosen and even Elton Jantjies. This however is why you and I are not the coach.

Don’t get me wrong I do believe something needs to be done, maybe not as drastic as Sbu’s suggestion, but booing him is not the answer. No man or woman in green and gold should ever be subjected to such utterances by their fellow country man. This has gone long enough.

Once golden boy Bryan Habana was the recipient of such, with many putting pressure on those in charged to get rid of him, not so long ago. How soon we forget, because Habs seems to be on his way back to that sparkly status.

Funny, how the stalwart is on the receiving end of this again. I’m sure he hoped he’d gone past it, for he responded in the best fashionable way (last time); came back to win a game for the Boks against the All Blacks. This too was in PE.

Now there’s got to be a word for that.

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8 thoughts on “you have gone too far

  1. We can be extremely fickle sports fans. Had Heyneke selected a different squad, other than the springbulls—and subsequently not have gone with what he knew best—there would have been outcry. Had Jantjies slipped up too: outcry. Had Morne not reached a slight slump in form: praise. Black and white is how we are used to—taught to—seeing things in this country. Without a true mindset change, what else could we expect?

  2. First time on this blog from memory, but definite first time commenter, to boot – curt reference there to the man, Morne. Let’s all take a moment. Special.

    The topic caught my attention through someone on my timeline, so I thought I would stop, and “roominate” with these words.

    I am of All Black. Yes, out of NZ. Even write for the good rugby ship – BackingBlack [http://www.backingblack.co.nz/blog].

    The “Booing” subject has taken up a number of timelines, receives much comment, and while I am not a fan, in particular, of the said practice, the “moral” argument to cease its activity is hardly compelling, to my opinion.

    You will have to take my word for that opinion, unless you want to read some words that I have bloviated on this subject matter, which can then be tested.

    Feel free Here – http://iamjonnyking.com/rugby-to-boo-or-not-to-boo-that-is-the-question/

    What Say You?

  3. I agree with your abhorrence towards Morne Steyn’s booing (after all,
    I wrote something similar on my own blog at http://www.simplysean.co.za), but I wanted to comment on how you compare that and the nature of how fans boo opposition kickers.

    I honestly don’t think it’s a fair comparison. Sure, booing an
    opposition kicker is not the most sporting thing to do in the world,
    but really, isn’t it no more than mere gamesmanship from a home crowd?
    It’s goal (not well thought out, I concede) is too put the kicker
    off so he’s not successful. There’s no personal, vitriolic intent
    behind that kind of booing. It goes no further than fans saying “You
    don’t play for my team and I really don’t want your team to get more
    points”.

    What Steyn experienced, on the other hand, was pure hatred for his
    personal performance. It was an extension of fans saying “I have a
    problem with you in my team and I’m not supporting you”, which I think is stratospherically worse than how fans generally boo an opposition kicker.

    I’m from Cape Town, but I’ve recently moved to Jo’burg. I’ve spent my
    life watching rugby at Newlands, and while the booing is prevalent for
    opposition kickers, I really think the problem has been given far more
    attention than it deserves. At the games I’ve experienced at
    Ellis…sorry, Coca-Cola Park this year, I find it a similar
    situation. While the announcers are a bit naughty with that kind of
    thing, I see it as nothing more than that. A bit naughty, not outright
    disgusting.

    • Thank you for reading my blog. I’ll definite reciprocate.

      I truly appreciate you taking the time to comment, and your honesty well received. I really do not mind people disagreeing with me.

      I get your point and it makes sense, I never thought of it that way. And have honestly just seen as pure ‘unsportsmanship’. And that is ‘confirmed’ by the management encouraging crowd to be silent when the home team is up.

      Thanks Sean

  4. this is so true. one of pet hates when it comes to sport is booing… but even worse still.. is walking out the stadium before the game has ended… whether it be rugby or football!…. its nonsense!

    • I know! I always say if you’re not willing to go all the way for your team, stay at home. Don’t filter the stadiums. Rather they are empty than filled with fickled fans.

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