It’s tough to put down in words how much I admire Jean de Villiers. I remember watching him jamming for Maties back in the day – which was a Wednesday by the way – and thinking to myself this chap can play rugby! It took some time before the world saw the talent he possessed, but once given the chance he soon establishing himself as one of the premium inside centres in the world. He has always had captain written all over him and it was only a matter of time before it got offered to him. He was my choice to pick up the mantle once The Race Pig retired and I was chuffed for him. I talk about JdeV as if he is one of my mates simply because that’s the impression he gives. Jean seems to be another one of the mates around the braai talking rugby. Except this mate is about to become only the fifth South African to play 100 Test matches for his country.
Bryan Habana is on the eve of becoming only the 4th South African to play 100 rugby Test matches for his country and in the process truly cement himself as a Springbok great. He’s already the leading try scorer for the Boks, is revered around the world as one of the fastest wings in Rugby Union and his 56 Test tries places him fourth on the list of all-time international try scorers. There is no denying the brilliance of the man as he epitomizes the saying “form is temporary, class is permanent” and below is a tribute to the man with jet-shoes. Forgive the soundtrack and enjoy the tries.
The notion that English opening bowler Jimmy Anderson is on a par with our very own Dale Steyn really shits me. To be fair, it is usually the Poms who fuel this fire and bless them for it. They need something to pick them up and out of the mucky-muck lives they lead on that wet and dreary island of theirs. True to form, the Steyn vs Anderson argument was reignited recently by none other than the current English skipper, Alastair Cook, who told the press that in his
esteemed opinion, Jimmy was in the same class as Dale and at one stage even insinuated that perhaps Jimmy could do more with the ball than Dale could. Pffffft! Whilst in my biased opinion, that is a load of shite, I feel it high time to end this argument once and for all. To achieve this, we need to keep our emotions out of the situation and focus on the cold, hard stats.
I was in Durban last weekend sipping on some vino at The Taste of Durban when I heard some cool melodies being issued to my ears from the stage. I weaved my way through the crowd towards the stage as I felt inclined to discover who or what was making the sweet melodies and unexpectedly found myself discovering the Jozi-based band The Motherland. The Motherland is a folk band who create authentic, original music with a somewhat indie/folk influence to it. I listened to them jam a couple of their songs and was really impressed with their lyrics and energy, to the extent that I bought their EP, which dropped the following day at the Fourways Farmer’s Market in Jozi.
I love stumbling upon little gems of acoustic pleasure such as this. Plush is one of my favourite South African bands – find out why here – and I often find myself searching for their live performances on YouTube. I’ve got all their albums and know them word for word so when I discover something like this, I’m stoked! Especially cause it’s live. I’m having a pretty chilled out week and I’m pretty keen to keep those chilled vibes going. Plug in those earphones, turn this one up and enjoy it with me.
The International window saw a welcome break from Super Rugby as the lads from up North made the trek to their Southern rivals. One Hemisphere in the process of finishing off their season whilst the other raring to get it started. Bless the Northern Hemisphere sides, for they tried their best, yet came up second best. Again. The English put up a decent fight in all but one of their Tests against the AB’s, the Welsh tried their best in both Durban and Nelspruit, the Scots were outclassed and the poor French were simply dreadful. Looking back at the month, some fantastic rugby was played by the three Southern Hemisphere heavyweights and the entertainment which awaits us during this year’s Rugby Championships is mouth-watering. All in all, the three Southern Hemisphere teams outscored their Northern counterparts by 303 points to 143. Check out some of the month’s highlights.
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.