We all know that their season has been one to forget and with two rounds left to play in this year’s Super Rugby comp, it’s time to salvage what we can in terms of pride and focus on the future. It feels as though a weight has been lifted off the players and their supporters as the possibility of making the playoffs fell away some time ago and this has seen the team win four of their last five matches. Whilst I would naturally love to see us in a position to win the comp, it’s somewhat surreal watching the players having a go without the weight of expectation upon them. This can most certainly be construed as a defeatist attitude, yet I feel that it is important to take as many positives as we can from a poor season. Forget what’s happening on the log, this is what I’m looking forward to from the Stormers against the Bulls this weekend.
Twice a year, the Southern Suburbs seem to come to a halt as locals flock to watch two of the Western Cape’s greatest rivals – Rondebosch Boys High School and Diocesan College (Bishops) – take each other on. There is an importance to this fixture for both schools and often times a season is considered incomplete if both matches of this derby are not won. The importance of the day – for both schoolboy and parent – is often times made ever clearer my the tension which lingers in the air throughout the day. This past Saturday was the 176th time that the two schools – only a couple hundred metres apart – met each other on the rugby field and Bishops found themselves comfortable winners at the end of it.
The Boks put together a scrappy performance this past weekend against an enthusiastic Welsh side and still walked away with the victory. One might argue that despite their poor effort, the Springboks still managed to squeak the victory and in so doing, showed their character. I’m certainly not going to sugar coat it, we were lucky, but a win is a win and I’ll take it any way I can, at the end of the day. It seems clichéd because it is and my lack of literary imagination is perhaps indicative of the weekends performance. In all honesty, it was something of a meh game to watch after the previous weeks excitement and raised a few pointers worth discussing.
Frans Steyn dropped a bombshell on SA Rugby this week when he made himself quite suddenly unavailable for Springbok selection. No explanation was forthcoming from either SARU or the player himself at the time and this resulted in various rumours bouncing around various social media platforms in the days that followed as to the reason for Steyn’s decision. Now that the air has cleared and something of a reason has been given – by the player’s father no less – I find myself asking one question: Has the pride in donning the Springbok jersey diminished to such an extent that it gets brought to its knees by one player?
The Baby Boks got their IRB Junior World Championships off to a rocking start by beating Scotland 61-5 at North Harbour Stadium in New Zealand. The South African u20’s took some time to get going and went into the half leading 14-5 after tries by Pierre Schoeman and then Sergeal Petersen. Some harsh words must have been spoken in the change room by the management as the team looked a different unit in the second half as they managed to run in seven unanswered tries to leave the Scots licking their wounds and wondering what the fuck just hit them. The Baby Boks next meet New Zealand on Friday morning. There were also first round wins for Australia, England, Wales, France and New Zealand. Click through for the highlights.
I have avoided posting anything about the Stormers this Super Rugby season. It’s tough being a supporter at the moment and to put pen to paper – or finger to keyboard in this instance – only confirms how horrible it truly has been. However with a well needed break in the form of looming international matches against a World XV, Wales and Scotland, I have found myself reflecting on the season which has been thus far. Besides the serious lack of tries and victories, two things stand out when analysing the Stormers 2014 Super Rugby campaign thus far: Injuries and the lack of quality depth.