A lot will said of Nelson Mandela in the next few days. Stories of triumph with more cliches than an Indian cricket commentator. Grand spectacles will be held in his memory and there’ll be more crying than an Andy Murray speech. The world will do Madiba justice because nothing less than over-the-top celebrations of his life will do.
Madiba loved rugby and if you’re reading this site (not blog!) you probably know why. It’s not just Kumbaya, rugby has confrontation, sometimes you need to fight; Madiba showed us that. It has finesse, grace and skill; qualities that Nelson Mandela could not have succeeded without. Every great team has a great leader and we had the greatest on our side.
The 1995 World Cup and The African Nations Cup, a year later made the sporting world stand up and take notice of a South Africa. After a generation spent on the sideline, we were playing again. We were hosts, we were winners and we were proud. We finally had a leader that represented the entire nation; and with his support it felt like we could never lose.
It could be said that we’ve lost our way as Madiba faded into the sunset and the magic became veiled by reality. But with his passing we remember what a great nation we can be. Lest We Forget Madiba. Lest We Forget Each Other.
And so the time has come, the seeds have been sown and the battle lines have been drawn – after weeks of blood, sweat and beers, fans will once again have the opportunity to witness the glorious spectacle that is the Currie Cup Final! There has been more talk leading up to this match that one would witness in the House of Parliament (and most of it more insightful than the talk that takes place in the HoP) but when it comes down to the brass tacks then you can park the talking because it’s not going to count for anything. It’s finals rugby and anything is possible. Province vs Sharks – Newlands – bring it on!
“Someone’s gonna get a hurt real bad!” (Source: Facebook)
The Western Province Rugby Union have rewarded loyal Season ticket holders with the “right” to buy their ticket for the final. The WPRU have announced that Season Tickets are not valid for this weekend’s Currie Cup Final against the Sharks. Instead, season ticket holders must buy their ticket for the final at the same price (up to R350) in order to attend. It reeks of greed really, considering that fans have supported their team throughout the season and have now been told that season tickets aren’t valid for the whole season.
On the WPRU site fans have been up in arms, Henry Giddy writes “Shame on you administrators this is a disgraceful and greedy move and you splash “Faithful” on your front page”. Sean Flores “very disappointed! R700 for 2 tickets! so much for being a SEASON TICKET holder! bloody RIP-OFF”. Nice one Province…
For those of you anxiously awaiting our Final preview, it should be out tomorrow morning.
A clash of the old foes is what awaits the rugby loving public of SA in the 2nd semi-final of the weekend. The Cheetahs were once considered a bogey team for the Sharks but that tag has long been shaken off and the home union has easily had the better of the Free State Farmers rugby club over the last 4 or 5 years. But, as always, rugby is won on the day and the Banana Boys would do well to remember that. At the very least, lets just hope it’s not another case of extreme cyclone weather in Durban on Saturday because it certainly makes for dreary rugby.
There will be no shadow-boxing when the Sharks and Cheetahs meet this time round. (Source: Sharks Facebook)
It’s that time of the competition where the famous rubber meets the famous road (and where some famous faces meet the turf!). Semi-final number 1 takes place under what should be the sunny skies of Cape Town as Province host the visiting Lions for all out battle! The Lions have been largely unpredictable all season and Province have been nothing short of resolute but you can take form and throw it out the window – Saffas love to “donner” the hell out of each other and this match will be no exception.
Province will have an extra man in the stands this weekend… (Source: Facebook)
The Currie Cup is probably one of the only competitions in the world where the final series of round robin matches can serve up numerous different permutations and this match is no exception! While both of these teams have banked home semi-finals, the penultimate match will determine who will host the eventual final (provided that these teams don’t slip along the way). The Sharks are hosting this weekend and they’d like to be hosting for the next 2 weekends as well – Province will have other ideas about that scenario but a we can say is that it’s going to be a gritty match characterised by brutal hits and Springboks – bring it on!
Well, well, well – what we essentially have here is a scenario akin to a quarter-final. The Bulls have the slimmest of slim chances to scrape in a semi-final position should they do the impossible and annihilate the Cheetahs in their own back yard. It’s a big ask and has a certain resemblance to the final round of the Rugby Championship last weekend (as if anyone wants to remember that) – if the Cheetahs collect a bonus point in any way, shape or form then the Bulls will be taking the early ticket out of the competition.
We’re reaching the business end of the Currie Cup:
The final round of Currie Cup round robin action kicks off with a fairly innocuous (had to Google that one) match that sees the 4th place Lions host the down and out Cabbage Patch Kids. It’s tough to see this match going any other way besides a Lions victory but a final round rally from the Kimberley outfit could make for a bit of an interesting finale…. But that’s a very big if.
The Lions are trying everything to get the crowds in. (Source: Facebook)
Australian Rugby’s love affair with the bottle is a tumultuous but committed one. “Dumpgate 2009″ involved Aussie Rugby League player Nate Myles defecating in the hallway of the Crowne Plaza, classy. In the same year 2009 a Brumbies player died in Durban after being hit by a car at 4:00 a.m. No one said anything at the time but it was 4 a.m. and he was outside a nightclub… Less speculation is required in the case of Kurtley Beale punching his own teammate (Cooper Vuna) while intoxicated. The latest in a long line of boozy incidents was James O’Connor’s airport fiasco that saw him being refused boarding, for being lagered-up.
Not since the Rugby World Cup has there been a more highly anticipated game of rugga. It’s strength vs strength, the clash of the Titans, the battle of the big guns, and any other B-Grade action film title you can think of. The Springboks need nothing short of a perfect performance this Saturday as they take on the All Blacks at Ellis Park. In order to win the Championship the men in green and gold require a victory with a 4-try bonus and ensure the Kiwis return to the land of the long white cloud with nothing. It’s a tall order and it won’t just be Trevor Nyakane dreaming of pies in the sky this Saturday.
The appetizer before the Springbok game at 5pm – South African rugby fans will 1st belt the hell out of each other on the local front before belting out the national anthem in unison a mere 2 hours later! Rugby – it’s a funny game. Province welcome the Lions to Newlands and for once it looks like rain may not actually play a part – but hey, stranger things have happened.
Antony Volmink has been fantasy gold with 5 tries this season. The guy also broke the South African record in April scoring an incredible 9 tries in a single match.
Given the relatively poor planning when it comes to the fixtures list, this game is going to be played simultaneously with the Lions / Province game and there’s no guessing which match is likely to attract more viewers… While this game may be important to Cheetahs fans, the Griquas faithful will have very little to be excited about besides the fact that they are 1 match closer to closing out a forgetful season. The Cheetahs on the other hand are currently sitting in a semi-final spot and we get the feeling that they’d probably like to stay there. So, plain and simple then – the Cheetahs must win.
You’ll probably just have to catch highlights package for this game, if there are any… (Source: HollywoodBets.net)
Two contenders from the winners circle last weekend face off on Friday night in what is a rather important match for both teams. The Bulls are kicking and screaming in 5th place and will be going all out in the final 2 round robin matches to muscle their way into the semi-final party whereas the Sharks are currently neck and neck with Western Province in the battle to be the Prom Queen of the Currie Cup log – either way you look at it, both teams want the win. And badly!
The Bulls have been practicing their wedgies for the weekend… (Source: Facebook)
We’re starting right at the end of the weekend’s action this week as the Wallabies get ready for some Southern hospitality at the Estadio Gigante de Arroyito in Rosario this weekend. A fired-up Argentina, at home to immature Aussie side, stand a realistic chance of victory and handing over the wooden spoon. There will be plenty motivation for both sides and heaps of pressure on the visitors who need to at no less than a draw to avoid finishing at the bottom of the dumpster.
Los Pumas host the All Blacks this Saturday in La Plata seeking to end a losing streak stretching all the way back to 1985. If the Argentines want to overthrow the World Champions they’ll need to do it the old fashioned way, up front and ugly.
Well, he got what he wanted – Patricio Albacete returns from injury
The final Currie Cup encounter of the weekend sees 6th place hosting 5th place in what is a bit of a dead wood affair. While no team is effectively “out” of the competition, Griquas and the Blue Bulls have failed to play to their full potential this season and this leaves very little in the way of value when it comes to the Fantasy realm of rugby.
The Griquas last won the Currie cup way back in 1970, it doesn’t look like that’ll be changing this year… (Source: BidorBuy)
The Springboks have started to turn the tide on Australia and will want to continue the form when they take on the men from Down Under at Newlands on Saturday. The Aussies have won 7 of the last 10 games but were given a good hiding by the Boks in Brisbane last time out. The Springboks will be looking to make it 6 victories in a row over the Aussies in Cape Town.
The Sharks hit the road fresh after their mauling of the Cheetahs and this weekend the crosshairs will be placed directly on the Lions as the visitors look to smuggle some of their match winning momentum up to Ellis Park on Friday. However, the Lions are not looking too shabby themselves – fresh off of a convincing home win last weekend against the Bulls, the home union will be feeling rather confident ahead of this match and rightly so.
The Sharks head inland to maul the next big cat on the list… (Source: Facebook)
After a nightmare trip to Durban last weekend, the Cheetahs can seek solace in the fact that they will at least be in front of a home crowd on Friday (well, what remains of it). Province will be hitting the tar track and making the trip up to Bloemfontein following their dust up victory over Griquas last weekend and with the hosts suffering from their worst form to date, the visitors will probably fancy their chances like all varsity students do when hitting Tiger Tiger.
Once again the Crazy store is all out of orange body paint! (Source:Facebook)
The mighty Lions are on the bus again this weekend and they’re hitching a ride up the tar track to face off against the Bulls in Pretoria where we are expecting a ”packed” Loftus Versfeld following the Bulls performance last weekend. The Lions themselves were not much better as they went down away from home to a Cheetahs team that seemed just that much more desperate for the win. So, this weekend, it is likely to be the kitchen sink amongst other things that will be thrown in what is sure to be a highly intense battle of the Highveld – make it happen!
Match Date: Saturday 21 September The 1st round of action this weekend sees Western Province “welcome” Griquas to their neck of the woods. It will be an interesting phenomenon for the Griquas boys as they will be playing rugby on actual grass for this encounter – somewhat of a rarity for the Kimberley collective. Province are currently sitting pretty after flexing some muscle last weekend to win their match with only 14 – confidence much?
He may not have mastered web design or the English language but he knows his way to the tryline! (Source: marnusschoeman.com)
Every log point is as precious as the last garage pie at 2 o’clock in the morning and these 2 teams certainly know the true meaning of that after they came within a cats whisker of being on the receiving end last weekend. The Sharks snuck over the rather tough line at GWK park by a solitary point last weekend while the Cheetahs managed to “secure” there victory by an impressive 3 points. Needless to say, we’re expecting more of the same this weekend.
Marcell Coetzee back for the Sharks after vacationing with the Springbok squad
The final match of the weekend offers up a rather interesting clash between the “recovering” Bulls and the currently high flying Western Province. The visitors from the Cape may have survived a few close shaves this season but after emphatically shutting out the Sharks last weekend their confidence is probably as high as that confounded mountain! The Bulls on the other hand would’ve been happy with the tick next to the win column after their match last weekend given that they were on a fast road to nowhere. So, it’s the table toppers vs the table climbers in Pretoria on Saturday evening but will it be a clear cut match? We don’t think so.
Don’t expect Province to be dishing out any hugs this weekend. (Source: Facebook)
We’re now on the back 9 of the 2013 Currie Cup tournament and if the 1st half was anything to go by then we can expect some seriously awesome, bone crunching rugby! The Sharks hit the road again and this time they are bracing themselves for the finely manicured turf in Kimberley where they will no doubt be seeking some retribution for their 1st round loss to Griquas. The home union have not had it all their own way this season and would really love nothing more than to ruffle the feathers of the black and white brigade for a 2nd time in 2013. All we know is that this match will carry the characteristic big hits that come with Currie Cup rugby!
Kimberley’s finest will be on display when the Griquas host the Sharks on Saturday. (Source: Facebook)
Friday night lights! Games on a Friday night are almost as good as the Sunday morning matches which makes you wonder why we don’t have them more often?! After slugging it out at work all week, rugby fans get to come home and watch these 2 sides slug it out for 80 minutes – grab the ammunition and lets go to war!
The Cheetahs have been practicing their lineouts. (Source: Johan Pretorius Photography)