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.

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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.

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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!

well…now that’s a first

It’s been an excruciating week…..well, for (some) sports fan anyway: Lions fans are running around with excitement (shame, who can blame them?). I, however, am in agony! Not to mention still confused as to what to wear on Fridays. I work for a sports organization, so supporting ‘Magnificent Fridays’ is sort of expected..

Okay fine, I don’t mind one bit. In fact I look forward to Fridays (even if they were a lot easier a couple of weeks ago). It’s just that my problem is having to settle on a decision of what to wear. Despite the fact that my gender are often (rightly) accused of having this dilemma, my challenge is entirely different…as you may have imagined.

I went to watch the Proteas receiving a whipping at SuperSport Park, Centurion on Wednesday – thank you Cricket SA – and today I’m wearing their top. It should be simple enough. But before this, I had my Bulls top on for a whole two minutes this morning. Then, doubting my choice, I changed. See what I mean? Confused.

Then to complicate things further, there are the Bok jerseys. I have to admit that it is exciting to see so many SAffers in Bok jerseys. It makes me realize that SA Rugby will flourish. We will be holders of that cup in no time. The timeline will solely depend on SARU and their selection of new leaders. For now: we move on and I’m moving on.

Although I think that I haven’t cried enough, I have stopped. Besides I have got other things to smile about (move over clothing dilemma).

For one, I got that tattoo I’ve been screaming about; I got a great job (call me the new girl at SASCOC) and just the other day I got my car. You’d think that for someone who’s been an employee since 16 I would’ve been a wheels’ owner ages ago, but nee, I had other ‘priorities’.

Like how many piercings my body can hold, of course much to my mom’s delight (clearing my throat here) – who by the way has no knowledge of said tattoo, ‘Christ Forever Reigns’, forever indelibly printed on my rib-cage… sigh… interesting December holidays await…

she shall be called Xena

Anyway back to the new car; I got the Ford Figo 1.4 Ambiente…she shall be called Xena (my very own Warrior Princess). And the guys from Garmin) saw my potential hapless situation and decided they couldn’t let an Eastern Cape girl cruise the street of Jozi on her own.

So they are giving me one of their toys: a nuvi 1310 device worth just over R7.000! So for the next Month British accented Daniel (I didn’t name him) will be ensuring that I take the longest routes to find my way….I am hopeful 😉

A big thank you to Fraser McHenry and his team for this baby. I cannot wait to see if this thing is worth that price tag.

And while I”m saying my thanks:

I owe Mark Harris from Paul Maher Auto for the great service. Xena drives like a dream and my friend Barry-John Robinson for ensuring Mark and his team are not cleaning me out or just making a sale.

And most importantly Mark Biagi of Accredo Financial Solutions(Pty)Ltd for his work around the clock to ensure insurers give me my worth…well money’s worth that is. If you need financial service, give this guy a shout. He’ll make you rich….okay not really, but he sure can try :P. and seeing that his site is under construction – go ahead and email him – mark.biagi@accredo.co.za

daniel

Okay, cheers, gotta go and test this Daniel boy out.

Enjoy the games. Well done Wallabies. Gooo All Blacks! Goo Lions! And for the love of all that is soccer: Goo Man City!
#YNWA