matfield and co. end sharks reign

Those who play SuperBru will testify that players rarely pick with their head when it comes to their chosen team, more often than not their heart dictates their choices. Having been playing for a good four years, I can count with 7 (at most) fingers how many times my vote has gone against the Bulls – (New Zealand tours are usually uncooperative). Continue reading

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glimmer of hope for bulls

It seems to be a recurring theme; every year the first few weeks of Super Rugby rarely ever make for a comforting playoffs outlook for South African conferences, particularly for the Bulls, however Round Four, as with one previous may just dispel this curse.

JLP -Bulls
Flyhalf Jacques-Louis Potgieter scored 21 points as the Pretoria outfit ran out 38-22 winners over the Auckland Blues on Saturday. Continue reading

rugby more exciting with #VodacomRugbyStats

One of the most exciting things about sport is the stats analysis of a game. As sport fans we like to look at our teams’ (and individual) performances from all possible aspects. Let’s face it, it’s not always easy to get the information, and when we do get it, it’s usually not when we need it!
Continue reading

beginning of an error

Sport, like life should be simple. There are rules and we play by these rules, achieving outcomes based on our abilities, playing the game fair and square. See what I mean?  Simple. But perhaps that is just my naive way of looking at things.

After all, where humans are involved, there is room (sometimes too much room at that) for human error and even more room when it comes to bending the rules to achieve an outcome which does not wholly reflect the true situation.

And this was never more so than the situation between Golden Lions and Southern Kings.

Admittedly, the Lions were dealt with a rather unfortunate card. And with tails between their legs, they walked a rather embarrassing journey to collect an elusive ‘fair card’. It was never going to be pretty.

All because someone at decision making level screwed up, royally. There’s no getting around that. If job appraisal depended on this situation alone, then SARU should be without an NB member, end of the year plan.

What we we’ve learned is one valuable thing, there’s no accountability from our leaders. Ones who promised the Eastern Cape body a three-year deal, then turned around and withdrew that card, like it was never in play, without considering the obvious implications.

Trending on my Twitter timeline, minutes after the hooter on Lions’ 23-18 loss to Kings, #EarnedNotBought, obviously Johannesburg based franchise fans know something we don’t.

Lions Back

It is not the obnoxious manner in which they created and easily played this tag that makes me shake my head, but rather the lack of grasp of what relegating the Kings really means for South Africa.

Sure, our rugby will survive a couple of seasons, however the global image is forever tarnished and that’s not even the most significant part. The greater tragedy is the implications for a country that has come this far in terms of any form of development.

SA’s most successful Super Rugby franchise – Blue Bulls – average a 29 000 in crowd attendance this whole season. Stormers the greatest carriers with 33 000 in numbers, while Sharks did not even get above 19 000. At 31 500, Australia’s Reds just nick the Kings troops by 500. A telling picture.

Sure the Lions have reclaimed their Super Rugby status, because they, well, earned it. Never mind losing at home to a team that came last in this year’s competition.

Considering the amount of players gone to greener pastures, this factor gives a clear indication of where they’ll end up, come 2014. Yet you have the loud roar of “yes we are better”. Of course you are, despite tying the series one piece a side.

Let’s face it; the Eastern Cape franchise was doomed from the start. They were brought into the highest level of rugby in our generation prematurely, an aspect fully accredited to that accountability factor I mentioned earlier.

Kings Exit

This current plan is worse than putting a wound on a broken leg and being given marching orders (literally). Lions will not escape unscathed. Whether they’ll admit it or not, they are in the same position the Kings were in only months ago. Only they have ‘experience’ to worsen the matters. We wait…

A good mate of mine asked; “Kate, you support the Bulls, so why the fuss?”

The point is I’m an Eastern Cape child first, before a rugby fan. Choose to see that however you choose. I do hope you do not misunderstand though.

I came across a Tweet from someone who seems to get it; reason known to him, he deleted the post and for that alone I shan’t mention his name.

This must be the saddest day in SA rugby history – I played during apartheid, this is nothing compared to that” (sic)

As a late 80s kid, I will not profess to have lived through the dark times of this country. So what is he trying to say?

I enlisted the help of someone who could possible phrase this better than any 140-characters-limited post:

“As disappointing as it is to have your provincial team knocked out of the Super Rugby competition, the slight positive side is knowing that the team demonstrated that the region does belong in this competition.”

“The Kings were seldom overwhelmed by the task of playing among the elite provincial unions in the Southern Hemisphere. In fact, they played as if they had long been in those echelons. Hardly has a team made a better debut in Super Rugby than the Kings, not even the Western Force (2006) and the Rebels (2011) had better introductions to this level.”

“Yet here we are, and here are the Kings out of Super Rugby – a glimmer of hope of playing Super Rugby has been dimmed for an Eastern Cape child that is being nursed at an Eastern Cape rugby academy.”

“As a product of the EC, I weep for that child”Sbu Mjikeliso Avusa Media Sport Journalist.

The Lions may have won the promotion-relegation 2013 fight, but the truth, in this situation, there’s no winner…

Just a beginning of long repercussions from a bad error.

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.

valentine’s day… lief blou bulle

I have always been that person who, when I show support to any team I associate myself with, I try to do it in what I call the ‘correct way’. As mentioned sometime before; I do raise a brow or so when I see someone at the stands in an ‘incorrect’ clothing.

What this means is; over the years – apart from a couple (or more) of Bafana Bafana, Proteas, Boks, etc jerseys I own – I have bought (at least) one Warriors Cricket top; my affiliation with Kaizer Chiefs means I’ve been seen in black and gold colours. I watched Liverpool’s not so pleasant meeting at Old Trafford, with Manchester United this past weekend in my Red’s top. Vodacom’s change of colours in 2011 meant I became the owner of yet another Blue Bulls strip.

During my University years, each Month I saw different looks from my friends who had the money and time to change their hair styles. While Adidas, Nike, Puma, Totalsport and (or) sportsman’s warehouse saw my hard-earned Rands. Of course they would dub me ‘silly’ ‘money waster’, and I’d just point to their heads. Its is an ‘argument’ of different strokes I happily won… many times.

2012 Super Rugby tournament kicks-off in just under two weeks. To say I’m excited and could run naked during a storm would be an understatement. (Thank goodness there’s Varsity Cup in the meantime – new orange shirt). New season. New jersey. While I’m going over my budget, trying to decide what I’ll have to go without next Month, so I can get the new Bulls jersey; this makes its way onto my communication channels.

happy valentine’s day

Accompanied by this press release:

Puma show love for the Vodacom Bulls by launching new away shirt on Valentines day
14 February 2012

PUMA® has unveiled a dramatic new Away kit that the Vodacom Bulls rugby team will sport in the Vodacom Super Rugby 2012 competition. The striking colour marks a significant image shift for the Vodacom Bulls and is inspired by the purple Jacaranda trees that characterise their hometown Pretoria.

Vodacom Bulls captain Pierre Spies says: “PUMA have certainly changed the pace since their arrival at the Bulls and the team feels that our Away jersey, a complete contrast from our traditional kit, is a great way to celebrate a new partnership.”

The Away shirt, as with the home shirt launched in December 2011, has a dramatic “smash” design inspired by the phrase “bull in a china shop” and expresses the Vodacom Bulls’ powerful playing style. The complexity of the design, which combines a chevron-like effect, is designed to distract opposition players.

PUMA South Africa’s Marketing Director Brett Bellinger says: “In designing the new Away shirt PUMA wanted to create a statement on the field, so we have opted for a striking colourway inspired by the purple Jacaranda trees that are synonymous with Pretoria.”

PUMA has a long-term deal to supply full technical kit to both the Vodacom Blue Bulls and Vodacom Bulls rugby teams, and is the official distributor of the teams’ match replica gear.

The Vodacom Super Rugby replica away shirt will be available from 24 February 2012 and will retail for R599

In all honesty, I don’t know how any self-appreciating fan is supposed to feel about this. At least I don’t.

now that’s how you put your foot in it

There’s never a dull moment where the South African rugby family is concerned. Family – now that’s interesting word. With all the squabbles, and, and… Anyway, following the Boks’ exit out of the Rugby World Cup last year meant that Peter de Villiers’ days were just about done. We’ve loudly said ‘and rightly so’ to that.

images

With Gert Smal out of the race, last week saw ‘rumours’ of Heyneke Meyer being the ‘only’ available candidate surface. Pundits dubbing him the only name even worth mentioning. In fact, come this Friday SARU were (expected) to unveil the man at the helm of the Blue Bulls franchise to be taking the reins from P Divvy.

Other sports have succeeded in drawing attention as expected.

The ever continuous cricketing debate on whether Graeme Smith deserves a spot in the ODI outfit, and more so after his 125 knock on Sunday, gave one lot to blog about.

I have never made secrete that I am quite fond of Smith. Someone once called me the ‘president’ of the Biff fan club; and so this is one debate I chose not to get involved in, as I didn’t trust my objectivity.

Football was also up there, creating detractions, despite that it wasn’t a particularly good weekend in the football front either, as complacent Liverpool failed to go past Bolton. How the Reds could fancy a Champion’s League spot when we concede three goals to a team on relegation doors is beyond me? It is still a long way to go, but I for one am concerned. The ‘axe Kenny’ notions just about added to the misery.

Yes, football and cricketing challenges are a given; but who could’ve thought the Pretoria giants would be giving me something to blog about long before the season starts?

One of the many things we see in this industry is what we call ‘an epic’ fail. And my beloved Bulls have succumbed to this fate. At least their PR department has, with the release of an official statement on the issue of Heyneke Meyer and the Bok coaching job.

Statement reads:

“At a meeting called by SARU, on Tuesday, 24 January 2012, with the Blue Bulls Company’s Board of Directors, SARU informed the Blue Bulls Board of their intention to offer Heyneke Meyer the position of National Coach.
The Blue Bulls Board reiterated their position that Meyer is under contract with the Blue Bulls Company and had appointed Meyer as Executive Rugby, only after an undertaking and commitment by Meyer to lead Blue Bulls rugby over the next four years.

It is the Blue Bulls Board’s position that it would not be in the Blue Bulls interest to release Meyer after many resources and commitments have been made in order to enable Meyer to fulfill his mandate.
Should Meyer however decide to accept the position of National Coach, he needs to inform the Blue Bulls Board of his decision to abdicate his responsibilities and commitments to the Blue Bulls.

Although the Blue Bulls Board would be disappointed with such a decision by Meyer, the Board has faith in the coaching structures under the leadership of Frans Ludeke in taking the Bulls into the future.”

Now that’s what you call a Bulls Eye! That cat is out of the bag, so what could Oregan Hoskins be hoping to tell the world on Friday?

Imagine this tweet foretelling Friday’s main course: “Wouldn’t it be funny if Friday’s SARU press conference comes around and a beaming P Divvy walks in as says he is staying on?” courtesy of @BrookeBack13

I had (high) hopes that this season’s new kit would be the only thing that would prompt the words ’embarrassing’ from the Bulls;

And that folks is a lesson on how you rightly put your foot in it!

vapor in the wind

Professional sport. The life of a chosen few. A glorified manor that a selected need not magazine pictures, blogs or someone’s mother to get the idea, but live to tell many tales of its existence. That God-given, though not always driven, rare talent that cannot be confused with ‘luck’ nor could it be pinned down to just ‘hard-work’.

Often a sanctuary of success, a dream come true stature. The real ‘Fast and the Furious’ franchise, the nature of rock and roll. The life. The tragedy. The tragedy of a flower quickly fading; here today and gone tomorrow.

Only just over a year Tiger Woods was the number golfer. 2008 Olympics Michael Phelps was the pot-head hailed king of the pool. The fall off Zinedine zidane. Troublesome Joost van der Westhuizen, Herschelle Gibbs…and and…


Monday July 4th, while many Americans caused havoc (much like we South Africans do on December 31st) ATP tennis rankings were released and confirmed Novak Djokovic as the new world number one. After the Serb’s 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 victory over Rafael Nadal in the Wimbledon finale.

No surprise (of course), considering he was already guaranteed to move ahead of the Spaniard following his semi-final defeat of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

What this means though is that Nadal’s 56-week rein since he took over from Roger Federer in June last year is over and now the 2008 and 2010 champ is merely a forgettable number two.

Yeah sure he vows to hit back and probably will, but that’s a story for another day. What is quite unnerving is Serena Williams’ new standings. From world number one to 175th – her lowest position since 1997 – in just under two years. Yeah sure injury and illness kept her off court for a year, but slumping 150 places is something else altogether.

Once again I find myself at the receiving end of all that can be ‘fun-cruelty’ because of my affiliations. I don’t need to tell you that my rugby team of choice is the Vodacom Blue Bulls and their premature exit in this year’s Super Rugby meant one thing; find a deep hole and crawl into it – FAST.

I will fully admit, though I had hoped, I didn’t see the Bulls retaining the title this year. I sat at a cold Coca-Cola Park stadium to witness their kick-off to the Super Rugby campaign. A 24-5 lead into the second-half had me and many in Bulls replicas fooled into a coy that perhaps the new format will take nothing away from the two-year champions.

The 24-20 victory aroused many jitters… with that said the format, undesirable to many (count me in) did in fact save the Pretoria giants from one of the most atrocious season destined.

And a (less) memorable end for the brave Crusaders’ 100,000km journey. Receiving the raw end of the stick from kick-off, its a wonder this side made it this far. Devastation of the worst kind at home could leave any team disoriented.

However, Todd Blackadder’s men took the entire season with stride that had many pinning them down as ‘the team’ of the season. Making the 2011 finale one of fairytales.

Only four years ago the men from Queensland were the ‘minnows’ of Super Rugby. Who can forget the 92-3 whipping in 2007 at the hands of the Bulls? Now there’s an irony – this Reds team taking the reins from that very same Pretoria outfit. And in the process wreck the Crusaders’ hopes of an eighth Super Rugby title, in a finish that is only predicted in a book of fairytales.

Sure the Quade Cooper versus Dan Carter contest is always a ticket seller. Carter‘s drops goal skills taking on the lethal tactical kicking of the fullback will be mouth-watering any day. Some blogger (whose name and page escapes me) summed it up nicely:

“The Crusaders looked knackered and played like it”.

Classy and rugby genius he remains, but the All Blacks pivot lost this battle, as Cooper, with a little help from the other Wallaby – Will Genia – closed the book with a much anticipated ‘happily ever after’.

Well done Reds. Take a bow Crusaders. Reaching the final under such conditions is commendable.

With so much more sport coming up in the next few months – the Currie Cup, Tri-nations, World Cup and the return of the soccer season, yeah I’ll even pay attention to the US Open – I am excited to see what this season will unfold for these men and women in tracksuits.

Currie Cup picks:
Game 1: Lions v Pumas: Lions by 10

Game 2: Western Province v Griquas: Western Province by 13

Game 3: Cheetahs v Leopards: Cheetahs by 9

Game 4: Sharks v Blue Bulls: Blue Bulls by 5

Whats yours ?

women + sport = rivalry

From the day I started this page (late last year) I had an ally, one that (not only) faithfully read my post (but) saw them before anybody else – my editor.

You’ve often read posts mentioning my ‘sporting loving boss’. Actually she was not my boss in the very core sense of the word(because she didn’t pay my salary and she’s only two years older than me).

To this day I often wonder how Samantha Robinson and I got along. I guess it is true what they say – sport can unite even people destined for rivalry. (Okay that’s a bit extreme, read her post and you’ll understand). I have finally convinced Sam to be my first guest blogger.

Take it away Sam:

I am a woman and I love sport. I think this has something to do with the fact that I have a grandfather, father and two brothers who are sport mad. I have always been able to give good commentary on most sports (except rugby) and I always find myself gravitating towards the group of men talking about the sporting highlights of the weekend and away from the ladies talking about the shopping highlights of the weekend.

I thought I was alone and that I would always be one of the very few ladies engaged in conversions around EPL standings, the starting line-up for the Proteas and the F1 teams and drivers. And then I met Kate! When she started as my intern we were in separate offices so we didn’t chat much and then I walked into the office one Football Friday in my Chelsea jersey and life at Sabio Communications was never the same again

I must admit we don’t agree on most things sport. I am Chelsea and she is Liverpool (shame poor girl), she supports the Blue Bulls and I support the Cheetahs, she likes the Proteas and well – I don’t! So most of the time, especially Mondays, we are giving each other a good go. The only time we have been on the same sporting page, well sort of anyway, was during the World Cup. We both supported Bafana, we both had a big crush on Diego Forlan and we both admittedly supported Uruguay. We followed each game, whether on TV at home, radio and our computers at the office (before we convinced our boss to get a TV with DSTV) or Twitter. We were at the office together watching the 16h00 games not wanting to go home until we knew the result and we often found ourselves in our boss’ husband office having an in-depth conversation about the games, goals, results and players. It was safe to say we probably knew more than he did. And at the end of the World Cup – on Monday 13 July 2010 we sat at our desks and cried. Seriously. Two girls cried over the fact that the Soccer World Cup was finished. The rest of the office knew not to bring up the subject for at least a week.

Now we have the next big sporting event starting in a few days – the Cricket World Cup. Although Kate is no longer with us (how I miss you!) we will no doubt battle over Twitter, Facebook and BBM. Unlike the Soccer World Cup cricket brings out the worst in both of us. We become fiercely competitive. As mentioned – she is a loyal Proteas supporter (I swear the girl should be made president of the Graeme Smith Fan Club while I could make millions ensuring Kevin Pietersen’s legacy lives on) And I find it a bit difficult to support our boys. I have tried, trust me I have tried but I struggle. Throughout the series against India I found myself gravitating towards the Indian team. But in the final ODI against India where the series was tied I woke up thinking I will support the Proteas, I will dig deep inside of me and support them until the very end. I thought that this will be a good attitude change leading up to the World Cup. But as with the other games after a few a few over’s I could already feel myself siding with India. And this was when I admitted to myself that I had a soft spot for this Indian team (or any other team name that plays against SA) especially MS Dhoni (or any hot captain’s/player that plays against SA). Being a non-SA supporter I get a lot of flack, as you can imagine, especially from Kate and our friend on Twitter, Mel. Even Sias du Plessis from 5fm has commented on my ability to “stir”. I doubt this will cool down over the next month or so. My team for the World Cup will be England and seeing that they are not too far from being completely South African it is not such a bad thing hey? I have also decided that my other two teams will be India and believe it or not – South Africa (if they don’t play against England or India or my next soft spot team).

So as the World Cup nears, whether you support SA, England, India and dare we say Australia, enjoy it and remember there is nothing wrong with some healthy competition. (Go England whip those South Africans on 06 March)



Author: Samantha Robinson – Account Director at Sabio Communications

just a tad

Okay, so I left this a bit late and probably should be blogging about other things such as Chelsea’s defeat to my number one soccer love affair – Liverpool. But since I had a draft already, my Currie Cup blog would not let up – so here it is:

With the rivalry extending beyond the rugby pitch, we all could be forgiven for allowing the Currie Cup to take over our lives for an entire week leading to last week’s final.

Social media – particularly Twitter – buzzed two days after the authentication of the giants that will meet to battle out for the coveted 2010 title. Western Province rose to the occasion after (impressively) thrashing the Free State side. The Pretoria giants suffered an unconventional defeat at the hands of the Durbanites. No one was more distraught than me.

For Western Province @JustWP was birthed and @Just_Sharks for the men in black and white. As an avid Bulls, this was of no interest to me. “I will not be succumbing to this; the Currie Cup is over, fourth place is where it all ends”.

That was my tune for an entire week, but both twitter account controllers wouldn’t let up and no matter how hard I ignored them they kept appearing on my timeline. So I finally gave in and followed both accounts. Just Sharks was really impressive, he communicated with his followers and it’s a wonder he didn’t win the Twitter battle. Just WP promised to display all our names onto this banner/shirt (I’m yet to see that).

The day arrived and this Bull still didn’t know whose nest it should put its eggs into. So I don my Boks jersey, a symbol of supporting both teams. I reckoned SA rugby deserved a great deal more than my shattered Bull dream. After being shut off from the male dominated Dros Pub, with Paddy’s a bit out of the way, my co and I headed for the next best spot – Spur.

Sadly we missed L’lyod and Elvis Blue’s performance, but we were in time to see one of the best thrashings in history. My friend (I will meet him one day) Neal Collins bravely called the game almost perfectly. Not many (me included) believed Plumtree and his boys would do it.

Why would they (we), Cootzee’s men were stronger on paper and had a great season, but not much timing – it seems. As Super 14’s runners up this was to be Province’s day, but not taking the many three points opportunities add the many handling errors.

It was clear from the first half just which coast team wanted it the most. ‘9 years too late’, It seemed Patrick Lambie in and his youthful boot were shouting, as his side held the men in blue and white a tad bit longer from the gold.

The Sharks’ match-winning scoreline of 30-10 suggests the winners were three times better than the Cape rugby. They (WP) may have won the twitter battle, but it takes a hell lot more than a million tweets to win a war. A heart and soul make champions or you wait a tad. Just a tad bit.

Well done Sharks. You’re great. You make this country great.