During this time of year it is quite likely that we see a change in the kit which our beloved rugby teams wear. Contract renewals and/or lapses with sponsors and the beginning of a new season can be attributed for this change and this will almost certainly bring about a different look and feel to the jersey. Not being one to hold my tongue when it comes to all things rugby I recently missioned my way down a path of rants and slags which saw me vent my dissatisfaction at many a braai and across a multitude of social media platforms. I wasn’t happy with the level of quality and felt like a rugby playing nation the likes of which South Africa is, deserved better. This weekend I had those opinions stuffed down my throat.
When I first heard that Asics had become the new official kit supplier to The Springboks and all its various factions I thought to myself, ‘what the fuck? Surely a powerhouse such as The Springboks deserve a sponsor with a stronger punch than Asics?’ Nothing personal against Asics it was just that I had always associated them with road running rather than rugby and had never seen them on the jersey of any other international team. It was a natural reaction on my part and I vented it on Twitter.
A few days later, images of the Blitzbokke receiving their new kit in time for the Las Vegas leg of the IRB Sevens tour – held this past weekend – started to pop up on the various news and Twitter feeds which I follow. I nearly went through the roof! The jersey reminded me of something out of the Australian KFC T20 Big Bash League with its kitsch combination of various hues of green from Hulk to Ninja Turtle. The traditional gold colour was still present but didn’t seem to gel with the contrasting shades of green. Then there was the MASSIVE ‘A’ – for Asics – on the upper pectoral region which ground me even more and only confirmed that Asics were indeed our new sponsor. ‘Fuck’, I thought.
However, like most things in life, with time they seem to improve and/or grow on you. As mentioned, this past weekend saw the next round of the IRB Sevens tour take place in Las Vegas and hey presto there were our boys in their new kit. Looking good and playing even better. I was quite shocked at how sharp the guys looked in their new kit. It even looked like they had worked harder in the gym as their physical presence on the field was notable. I suddenly felt a pang of guilt as I remembered the harsh words I had sent to the world about how shite the new jerseys were. The feeling soon passed as the Blitzbokke began to dominate the tournament, sweeping aside all who stood before them in an emphatic performance the likes of which I have not seen ‘since ages ago.’ It was a super effort by the boys and the weekend was capped off by a stunning 14-7 victory over a spirited New Zealand team in the final of the comp. Any victory over those New Zealand pricks is a joy and this one was made sweeter because not only did the Blitzbokke claim the Las Vegas title for the 2nd year running but they also went to number one – above New Zealand – on the IRB Sevens Standings.
So perhaps I misjudged the Blitzbokke jersey. I am only human and can therefore make mistakes and if I’m wrong, I am happy to admit it. In this situation I am happy to eat my words and with that being said and whilst on the topic, I am by all means happy to admit that with regards to the new Blitsbokke jersey, I was wrong. It looks cool. This gives me hope for the Stormers new jersey, which I slagged off last week – here – as it may look better on the field than it does in a Sportsman’s Warehouse. What bout the Cheetahs and Lions jerseys you may ask? I’ll give it to you straight mah charna. Those things will look kak whether you’re checking the fit of the jersey in the change rooms of your local Sportsman’s Warehouse or sitting at home watching them play in Bloem or Jozi. The Stormers have hope, but you Cheetah and Lions supporters are fucked, boet.
You stay classy.