Ok, there are less than five days left before the start of the Super 14. Rugby fever is running wild, Varsity Cup, Six Nations, The Lions tour of South Africa, Tri-Nations, Currie Cup and of course school boy and club rugby.
Ladies and Gents, brace yourselves, this is going down...The Stormers Sharks is going to be the pick of the local derby’s on Valentines Day. There is going to be big trouble in rugby land mostly the boys will be getting it in the neck; however I know of a few girls that will also be getting some stick from their soccer-loving boyfriends.
The Highlanders will kick off against the Brumbies at 08H35 on Friday, Followed by the Force against the Blues and then The Lions take on the Cheetahs on Friday night.
Saturday starts nice and early at 06H30 when the Chiefs visit the Crusaders. The Hurricanes host the Waratahs the Stormers play the Sharks and the last game of the weekend will see the Reds visit the Bulls.
But if you have not yet had enough of Super 14 then there is also Six Nations with Francehosting the Scotts and Wales play England. But you know what the biggest problem of it all is?
Well I am going away trout fishing and I have known DSTV, meaning no rugby until Sunday. I am starting to think maybe my shoulder is about to go and I will have to stay at home. Would I still be married on Monday, I don’t think so.
The Six Nations blew hot and cold. The game of the weekend was Ireland against France at Cork Parkin front of 85000 fans. What a fantastic game of rugby. The French never gave up and Ireland where sublime. Brian O’Driscoll scored his 33rd try for his country and a beauty it was indeed. The final score was 30-21.
England thumped a hapless Italy by 25 points, winning 36-11. The big lesson to be learnt here is simple, Mr. Mallet you do not play a flank at scrum half, not in a test match. The Six Nations champions Wales beat Scotland at Murray field in a real tough game of test rugby. It was pretty at time, but hard as hell. 13-26 was a fair reflection of the score line.
I will give a word of warning though, don’t write of Scotland.
The Wellington 7’s was a resounding success with England beating New Zealand with 10 seconds left in the game. The Springboks got knocked out by Kenya of all sides however did end up securing the plate and eight valuable points to stay at the top of the IRB Sevens log.
Soccer in England saw Liverpool go back to the top if only for a few hours, by coming back and scoring two goals in the last five minutes to beat Pompey 3-2 and thereby costing Tony Adams his job as Portsmouth coach. Manchester United beat West Ham 1-0 of Sunday to regain the top spot, with a game in hand. Chelseaand Arsenal both dropped 2 points in games they should have won.
Everton and Villa are still going great guns and with just over 13 games left in the season. It will be interesting to see who finishes second, third, and fourth this season.
Breaking News: Chelsea fire Luiz Felipe Scolari after the board felt that he was not guiding the club in the right direction. Two coaches in two years, is not a sign of a stable club.
Do not be surprised if you see the mass departure of players like, Drogba, Ballack, Deco, Jo Cole. Ray Wilkins will be care taker coach for the interim. There are rumors of the Russian coach Guus Hiddink taking the rains, however again we will have to wait and see what happens.
After signing the praises of England last week, I need to make a correction on my statement about Graham Ford being England’s new coach. “Thanks for the correction guys.”
The English coach is in fact the ex Zimbabwean test player Andy Flower. Well England won the toss against the West Indies and decided to bat first in Kingston. Scoring 318, the Windies replied with 392 all out. This left them 78 runs ahead of England. Not the biggest first innings lead and it should have been knocked off without to much fuss.
Well it happened, 51 all out, shame on you England shame on you! Well done to the West Indies!
The Pro 20 has been riveting with some very close finishes. The Warriors ended up on top followed by the Dolphins, Cobra’s and Eagles. Yesterday I took my oldest to her first cricket match. Sitting in Castle corner was an eye opener for Demi, but to see her enjoyment in seeing her team win was incredible.
She was obsessed with the scoreboard 43 runs off 43 balls and kept saying, “Dad this is not good, we are not scoring fast enough” but after explaining that we still had 8 chances left to back, it restored confidence in her support. The winning six smacked by Grant Rowley, who incidentally his father was my first club captain for a little farm side called Eastworlds, put the biggest smile on her face, was priceless.
Until next week, enjoy the sport, hold thumbs for the Black Caps so that they can win one more game against Australia and I trust that all your rugby sides win, except if you are a Stormers supporter.