We’ve moved! – Ons het getrek!


We’ve moved! – Ons het getrek!

Paul’s Perspective has moved. You can now find it on the Moonstone website – http://www.moonstone.co.za. The blog is towards the bottom of the page. Many thanks for your loyal support.

Paul se Perspektief het getrek. Dit is nou op die Moonstone webblad – http://www.moonstone.co.za, onderaan die bladsy. Baie dankie vir jul lojale ondersteuning.

Advertisements
Posted in SA Sport | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Playoffs are Nearing


The unexpected losses of the Crusaders, Chiefs and Highlanders put a new perspective on just who will make the final six. The rules of the competition make for some interesting possibilities, and the scramble for a place in the playoffs suddenly became a lot closer than before this past weekend.

Op dieselfde tema vra Bobby verlede week hoe dit dan werk dat sy span, die Bulls, nie teen die Force speel nie? My tong in die kies antwoord, dat hulle waarskynlik maar net weer voorgetrek word, is toe nie akkuraat nie.

Die Superxv.com blad bevat die volgende verduideliking, en verduidelik ook hoe die kwart- en halfeindstryde bepaal word:

“Teams will play each team in their own conference twice – home and away, but in the other conferences they will only play four of the five teams in both of the other conferences. Teams will play eight domestic matches and eight away matches for a total of 16 round-robin games. A winner from each conference will be determined from the results. Each conference will have one winner and therefore Australia, South Africa and New Zealand will each be guaranteed to have one team participating in the finals. Where these teams finish will determine home advantage for the playoffs.

In week 1 of the finals the two conference winners with the highest points will be rewarded with a week off. The conference winner with the lowest points or the third placed team will enter a sudden death playoff with the sixth placed team.

Also, in week 1, the team placed fourth at the end of the regular season will play the fifth placed team. The winners of the first week of play-offs then go through to face the first and second placed team who had just had the week off in the semi-finals.

QF1.) Team 3 vs Team 6
QF2.) Team 4 vs Team 5

The first placed team from the regular season will play the lowest ranked qualifier in week 1 of the playoffs.

The second placed team from the regular season plays the team highest ranked qualifier in week 1 of the play offs.

SF1.) Team 1 vs lowest ranked qualifier.
SF2.) Team 2 v highest ranked qualifier.

Final Winner SF1 v SF2

Home advantage will be given to the team that finished highest on the overall table in the regular season.”

Werk ‘n bietjie aan die permutasies, en kyk of jy wil hê jou span moet, sê maar, eerder teen die Crusaders as teen die Brumbies speel? Hier kom pêrre.

Hoe lyk die Bokke se span?

Ons moes hard spook om nie provinsialisties te wees in ons keuse nie. Aangesien ons nie hoef pa te staan vir ons keuses nie, verduidelik ons waarom ons sekere keuses gemaak het.

Pat Lambie
Pat Lambie

15. Pat Lambie: Hy kies homself in die span, al is dit nie in sy beste posisie, losskakel nie. Moontlike verskuiwing na nommer 10 in die tweede helfte.

14. JP Pietersen: sy ondervinding, werkverrigting en spoed, sowel as vermoë onder die hoë bal, maak dit moeilik om hom met iemand anders te vervang.

13. Juan de Jongh: bied waarskynlik die meeste van alle kandidate in hierdie posisie – spoed, verdediging, lynbreek vermoë, en dan ook nog sy samespel met Jean de Villiers.

12. Jean de Villiers: waarskynlik Meyer se keuse op kaptein, en die een speler wat landswyd geag word die nommer een in sy posisie te wees.

11. Bryan Habana: Ditto wat ons van JP Pietersen gesê het. Dan ook nog sy opvolg van lugskoppe wat die opposisie onder baie druk plaas. Bjorn Basson kan ook sterk oorweeg word weens sy vaardighede in die lug, maar wat werkverrigting betref, moet hy nog meer doen.

10. Morne Steyn: daar mag moontlike kroonprinse wees, maar sy ondervinding om koelkop te bly onder die aanvankilke druk maak hom vir eers die nommer een keuse. So ook sy samespel met Hougaard op skrumskakel.

9. Francois Hougaard: nog ‘n speler wat nog meer behoort te gedy in sy beste posisie, en opsies bied in geval van onverwagse beserings.

Reserwes

Afhangende van Meyer se keuses voorlangs, sou mens graag veelsydige super subs. soos Gio Aplon en Frans Steyn op die bank wou sien. Die plaasvervanger skrumskakel is ’n tameletjie. My keuse sou op Dewald Duvenhage val, maar moenie die jong Vrystater Piet van Zyl as buiteperd onderskat nie. My eerste keuse as nommer 2 skrumskakel is steeds Sarel Pretorius, maar tot ons duidelikheid het oor Meyer se hantering van spelers in die buiteland, moet ons maar staat maak op plaaslike spelers wat tans in die Superreeks betrokke is.

Net so ’n laaste gedagte: in die ou dae het proewe nogal verrassings opgelewer. Ek wil allermins bepleit dat ons topspelers aan nog meer rugby blootgestel word, maar wat van vier spanne uit die nie-Superreeks om vir daardie speler wat dalk vir Grens of die Pumas speel en nie werklik tot sy reg kom nie, ook die geleentheid te bied om sy ware ten toon te stel?

Dis nou nie sy “ware”, soos in wanneer dit broekskeur gaan nie, ou Grote!

Rustigheid in jou lewe, die week.

Paul Kruger

Posted in SA Sport | 1 Comment

Daar lê die Ding


Die spelers wat vir die Springbokke op nommers 15, 10 en 9 gaan uitdraf, sowel as die plaasvervangers in hierdie sleutelposisies, kan bepalend wees in die uitkoms van die reeks.

Fourie du Preez se aankondiging dat hy hom nie “onbeskikbaar” stel vir die Bokke nie, maar net in geval van nood sal speel was vir my ’n baie mooi gebaar. Ek glo dit sal ook die geval met Victor Matfield wees, wat in ’n werklike noodgeval gebruik kan word.

Du Preez se oorhandiging van sy mantel aan Francois Hougaard maak nogal sin, veral as mens se logika vir jou sê dat Morné Steyn na alle waarskynlikheid Heyneke Meyer se keuse op losskakel sal wees.

Dewald Duvenage
Dewald Duvenhage

Hougaard verdien uit eie reg om in die span te wees. Sy onortodokse spel en veral die oorgawe waarmee hy in elke faset van die spel homself 120% gee, maak van hom ’n onmisbare speler. Dan is daar ook sy veelsydigheid, hoewel ek hoop en vertrou dat Heyneke hom nie ook so gaan rond beweeg dat hy later, soos die spreekwoordelike verkleurmannetjie op ’n Smartie boks, nie meer weet wie of wat hy is nie. Een moontlike oorweging vir die Bok nommer 9, Ruan Pienaar, was juis so ongeval, totdat hy landuit is en nou reeds twee maal die Heineken speler van die jaar was. Fourie du Preez noem ook vir Jano Vermaak as opsie, maar daar dink ek hang sy Bloubul onderrok effens uit. Sarel Pretorius en Dewald Duvenhage verskyn op my lysie voor hom.

Die kritiek op Morné Steyn, veral uit Bulls geledere, het my verstom. Sy huidige spelpeil is tekenend van die beskeie mens wat hom nie laat onderkry deur onkundige kritiek nie. Die speler wat hom wil lig, sal duidelik Dan Carter se meerdere moet wees. Daar is tans verskeie aanspraakmakers, waarvan die sterkste, Johan Goosen, tans beseer is. Patrick Lambie is vir my in dieselfde liga as Hougaard – hy moet in die span wees, al is dit ook op haker. Peter Grant is waarskynlik die nommer drie keuse as SA losskakel. Meyer se wedstrydplan sal waarskynlik deur die nommer 10 tot uitvoer gebring moet word, wat my keuse van Steyn op 10 steun. Solank Meyer net self kyk en nie op JJ van Blouwen se opinie in Sport24 staatmaak nie.

Die nommer 15 posisie kan self heelwat kompetisie tot gevolg hê. Tans wil dit voorkom of Lambie, Hennie Daniller en Joe Pietersen die voorlopers is, maar daar is nog ’n paar ander name wat nie die span in die steek sal laat nie. Hier dink mens aan Riaan Viljoen, Louis Ludik en selfs Gio Aplon, afhangende van wie op vleuel gaan speel en wat Meyer se wedstrydplan gaan wees. En dan is daar nog Frans Steyn ook.

Wat ook al die finale keuses, ek dink ons sit met veel meer talent as wat ons tans kan gebruik. Lekker né?

Maandag kyk ons na res van die agterlyn.

Posted in SA Rugby, SA Sport, Sport general, Sport Spot, Super 15, World Cup Rugby | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hats off to the Hockey Champions


If ever a medal should be awarded to a team for overcoming setbacks, disappointment and discrimination, it should go to the SA men’s hockey side. Forced to re-qualify for the Olympics by the double-standard practitioners called Sascoc (my typing vinger almost slipped there) they displayed an awesome amount of guts and determination to give the governing body a one-finger salute.

Reid-Ross
Reid-Ross

Beating the home team in front of a hugely enthusiastic crowd was no mean feat, and from reports, the onslaught in the final 15 minutes was awesome, yet our boys held their own.

But then I looked at the names in the team, and knew that they came from good stock. Anyone remember the names Madsen, Reid-Ross etcetera?

 

 

Rugby Review

The biggest disappointment was the thrashing of 47 – 0 dished out to the sevens side in the plate final. Losing key players through injury is something every team suffers, and no excuse for this kind of humiliation. I trust that it will be the bottom of the pit from where the team will drag itself up. Nee, magtag, man, ons het mos darem ons trots.

The weekend results in the Super 15 was mostly pleasing, with even the Lions not being slaughtered by the Chiefs.

Congratulations to the Bulls for topping the local log after probably their best running game in years. The defensive lapses can easily be rectified, and I suspect the game plan against the Waratahs will be the more traditional Bulls approach any way.

The Cheetahs admit to not having played an attractive game, but as the coach said afterwards, they would rather take an ugly win than an attractive loss. After their heartbreak the previous week, it was important to get this win under the belt, and provides a good platform for this coming weekend at Newlands.

The Sharks must get a sangoma to organise rain when they play. When it bucketed down on Saturday, they played their best rugby of the season. While there is room for improvement, particularly in terms of conceding penalties, there are positive improvements aplenty. I particularly enjoyed the seven man Sharks scrum driving back the Highlanders eight while Jacques Botes was on a yellow card mission.

The Stormers are currently second on the SA conference table, and must be ruing the fact that they only have one bonus point, compared to the six of the Bulls. Both these sides have a game in hand, compared to the Chiefs, who currently lead the overall log, and can overhaul them without having to rely on the Chiefs to stumble.

Die komende naweek se rugby gaan baie interessant wees. Die Lions meet kragte met die Blues, die Bulls kom te staan teen die Waratahs, die Sharks toets die Force op hul tuisveld en die Cheetahs kom Nuweland toe. Liplek lekker – tot na die tyd!

My kollega Albert vertel van klein Jannie wat baie opgewonde by die skool aankom en vir sy juffrou vertel van hulle hond wat nege kleintjies gekry het. Almal Bulls, glo.

Die volgende dag is die inspekteur daar en juffrou vra hy moet vir hom ook vertel wat by die huis gebeur het. “Nege hondjies, Meneer. Almal Stormers.”

“Hoe dan nou, Jannie? Gister was dit dan Bulls?”

“Nee, juffrou, hulle ogies het intussen oopgegaan.”

Vrede, ou Grote.

Paul Kruger

Posted in Cricket, SA Rugby, SA Sport, Sport general, Sport Spot, Super 15 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

You be the Judge


Heyneke Meyer

Heyneke Meyer

Heyneke Meyer, unlike his predecessor, is careful with words. This must be a huge frustration for the media who, despite their dislike of Piet Helium, had the time of their lives writing about him and his quirky sayings.

His promises, in particular, made him eat humble pie on more than one occasion. Meyer did not fall into this trap, but early indications about where he was heading with the Bok team has now backfired on him.

This morning it is reported that he denies having said that Matfield could be his captain against England. He also had to backtrack on his decision to pick mostly established players as a result of injuries to the core of those he would have picked.

A further complication is the form of players currently overseas, particularly Johan Muller and Ruan Pienaar. They may not be able to attent his training sessions for players on a bye, but can he afford not to include them? What about Fourie du Preez? It is an open secret that he features in Meyer’s plans, but will he make exceptions?

This week, we want you to be the judge and jury – Who will you pick in the Bok 22 to face England next month? Please do not consider long term injured players like Schalk Burger, but do look at those freshly returned like the Beast.

We need 22 names, and will discuss this in Monday’s blog.

Have fun!

 

Posted in SA Rugby, SA Sport, Sport general, Sport Spot, Super 15, World Cup Rugby | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Promotion of Southern Kings?


Cheeky Watson
Cheeky Watson

Jake White has, as usual, added his opinion on this controversial issue, and for once, I agree with him. We all know how big the gap is between the Vodacom Cup and the watered down version of the Currie Cup. This same difference applies to the Currie Cup and Super Rugby. How the powers that be plan to promote a team from the third division to the first, when this team could very well be an also-ran in the lower division, defies all logic. Even if they bought top players for every position, there is no way that they can become a force to be reckoned with in such a short space of time.

Apparently, the inclusion of the Kings in the 2013 Super 15 is already confirmed. What happened to good old-fashioned play-offs? I am willing to bet a case of excellent wine on the Kings being slaughtered by the Lions in the unlikely event of such a game being played.

Somehow, just when you think politics have disappeared from SA rugby, it rears one of its seven serpent heads.

Will SA rugby revert to a Cats team again, combining the Cheetahs and Lions? This would be grossly unfair to the Cheetahs, and to the Lions. I can vividly remember when the Stormers and Bulls were losing match after match, yet ended up as finalists a year or two later. The Cheetahs have fought back gallantly (not last Saturday, though!), and with most of their remaining matches at home, they could very well end up in the top 8 this year.

This is a huge challenge for Jurie Roux and his team. I have a lot of faith in the man (hy het mos darem op die bakermat van SA rugby sy tande geslyp). If anyone can pull it off, he will. What such a coup will do to his future in our rugby set-up is another matter, if the serpents had the last say.

Die Bulle se toer na doer onder
As mens dan moet toer, is dit seker nie te sleg om te begin teen die span vierde van onder af op die punteleer nie. Ek lees dat die Bulls planne beraam om hul tradisionele swak tweede wedstryd van die toer te besweer. Hulle moet net nie so daarop fokus dat hulle die eerste wedstryd onderskat nie.

Die Waratahs in Sydney volg hierna en weereens gaan dit nie maklik wees nie. Behalwe die tweede toerwedstryd-spook is daar nog altyd die onvoorspelbaarheid van die Aussies teen die vaste spelpatroon van die Bulle.

Die grootste toets is egter wanneer hulle die Chiefs en Highlanders in Kiwiland moet pak. Fisiek gaan dit hul grootste uitdaging wees en daarby nog ook die gevaar van vlugvoetige agterspelers.

Enige en alle oorwinnings kan net tot die voordeel van die Bulle en die ander SA spanne wees. Ons wens hulle alle voorspoed toe.

All I can say to the hapless Lions, who face the log leaders, the Chiefs, in their first match on tour, is: Dit kan net beter raak. As ewige optimis wonder ek of die Chiefs nie dalk hul topspelers gaan laat rus, hul ritme verloor en teen ’n begeesterde Lions span die onderspit gaan delf nie. Mens kan mos maar droom, of hoe?

Home Alone II
Die Stormers se loslootjie kom op ‘n baie goeie tyd, so na die toer oorsee. Benewens die kans om te herstel van groter en kleiner beserings, kan die manne ook hul huiswerk op datum bring, by wyse van spreke.

Sharks/Highlanders
Although only two places on the log separate these teams, the stats show that the visiting side has only lost two of their nine matches versus the home side’s record of 4 out of 9. The major reason for this, in my opinion, is that the Sharks have finished their tour, and the early season pace setters are now on tour. Hopefully, the fact that their destiny is now in their own hands, will force the Sharks to play to their potential and pull this, plus quite a few more, off.

Cheetahs/Western Force
Daar sal nie sommer weer so maklike geleentheid vir die Cheetahs wees om hul lojale ondersteuners te vergoed vir die debakel laas Saterdag nie. Ek glo dit sal die span se benadering wees en die Force kan hulle maar regmaak vir ‘’n begeesterde Vrystaat span.

On Booing
The totally unsportsmanlike behaviour, which was originally the preserve of Newlands, has now spread like a virus to many other stadiums. There is very little that the administrators can do about this, so I suspect true rugby fans may need to literally take matters in their own hands and deliver a few well-intentioned “klep op nosses” at the perpetrators of this cowardly behaviour. I suspect most of them are not really there for the rugby any way, so why not give them a reason to stay away?

Hard werk, ou Grote. Die week is kort. Of soos ons hier in die Kaap sê: die tyd gaan djou kortwiek.

Paul Kruger

Posted in SA Sport | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Halfway house overview


Ewen McKenzie
Ewen McKenzie

Ewen McKenzie, coach of last year’s Super 15 champions, made some interesting comments in the Sydney Morning Herald regarding factors influencing the current position of the teams in the competition. His focus was obviously on the Australian sides, but there is a lot of food for thought in what he says.

I was asked on New Zealand radio yesterday about the relative strength of the Australian conference compared to the rest. Everyone has their thoughts but I have found this year’s competition to be one of the tightest in memory and this is more of a reflection on the strength of play from all teams as opposed to any perceived weaknesses.

It’s also difficult to compare the conferences because at this point there have been vast differences in each team’s campaigns – and this has a direct impact on the perception of progress.

Use the Queensland Reds, for example. At this point we have not played any New Zealand sides and we have played five of our eight matches against Australian opposition. We have also finished the major parts of our travel to South Africa and Perth, all with an unusually high injury toll.

On the other hand the Brumbies, who are now in South Africa, have played only three of their eight derby matches, and are still required to play us again and the Waratahs twice. The conference situation could still change dramatically.

The example above isn’t to discredit the Brumbies achievements but to point out that drawing too many conclusions based on ladder position at the halfway mark of the season can be dangerous.

In fact it’s worth noting to all the critics just how well the Brumbies are faring. They have played some strong rugby. Everyone loves a surprise and they are doing really well. Their efforts are similar to our run last season.

Contrary to popular opinion, there are a bunch of teams who have improved greatly. If we listened to the naysayers then the Chiefs, Highlanders and even Cheetahs shouldn’t be in the positions they are. However, it’s clear these three teams have been doing some great work and are stepping up to the standard of the traditionally strong teams such as the Bulls, Stormers and Crusaders.

In the past, each conference has always included two or three very strong teams while the rest have been playing catch-up. The positive news for the competition is that some of those teams have caught up and it’s making each game interesting and unpredictable. This is great for fans.

The history of Super Rugby shows that every team has struggled at some point – even the Crusaders. There are always reasons behind this but if history has told us anything it’s to analyse and judge what happens in the long term before being too critical.

Our competition is now long enough for teams to find form, get injured players back, and I think that makes for an exciting finish to an exciting season. Maybe we should examine the relative strengths of the conferences when the round robin stages are finished playing out – I think there are a few twists and turns to go.

Dit sou maklik wees om bostaande af te skryf as retoriek om sy span se sukkel vertoning te verduidelik, maar ek glo die klein punteverskil in so baie wedstryde beaam wat hy sê. Die melkkoeie is reeds geïdentifiseer, en die aanspraakmakers moet hul geleenthede teen hierdie spanne in die res van die eerste rondte uitbuit om hul posisies in die volgende rondte te maksimaliseer.

Die Stormers moet Saterdag 5 punte kry (klink bekend né?), met die Bulls se loslootjie vier- punter wat hulle sal inspireer.

Die Cheetahs het ‘n groot, dog haalbare uitdaging teen die Highlanders, wat soos Land Rovers, groot belofte getoon het, maar nou begin olie lek en rook uit die uitlaatpyp blaas. Met Johan Goosen terug, en by die huis, is alles in plek vir die Vrystaters om hul posisie te verstewig.

Die Lions sal waarskynlik nie die pyp rook teen die Brumbies nie, maar dit behoort minstens ‘n aanskoulike wedstryd te wees.

Wat ou Manie herinner aan die aand wat hy by die huis gekom het met ‘n blou oog. Op ‘n vraag van sy pa oor waar dit vandaan kom, antwoord hy: “Ek het net vir die meisie gesê sy is nogal dik, toe klap sy my.”

“Nee”, sê sy pa. “Jy moet taktvol wees, my seun.”

Volgende aand is die ander oog blou. “En nou?”, wil sy pa weet.

“Ek het gemaak soos pa sê, maar dit het ook nie gewerk nie.”

“Nou wat presies het jy gesê?”

“Ek het pa se raad gevolg en baie taktvol vir haar gesê: Vir ‘n vet meisie sweet jy verbasend min.”

Manne, julle moet konsentreer! Onthou, brandewyn het nie brieke nie, al is hulle die Bokke se amptelike borge.

Lekker laaang naweek, ou Grote.

Paul Kruger

Posted in SA Rugby, SA Sport, Sport general, Sport Spot, Super 15, World Cup Rugby | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment