So another dreadlocked bloke butchers the national anthemand it happens to be in a rugby event. You would have thought who ever arrangessuch logistics would have learnt from the notorious Ras Dumisani saga. Well ArdMatthews’ antics weren’t the only heart breaking incident when the announcementof the Bok 30 man squad who are going to New Zealand happened. Heart wrenchedwill be some of the players who felt they deserved to be there and some who thefans thought would make it but alas not everyone can go. Unlucky to not beselected are the likes of Lwazi Mvovo, Ashley Johnson and Flip Van Der Merwe.The squad though comprises of an amalgamation of experience and youngsters the usual suspects bring in-depth experience with no less than 10 players with 50+ caps and there are plenty of campaigners from the last World Cup. There are also players from overseas whose case with the coach seemed doubtful not too long ago. Frans Steyn’s heroics from the last campaign are simply unforgettable , They earned him the record of being the youngest player ever to win the World Cup. The players have been given encouragement by the Minister of Sport who has echoed his faith in the boys and they seem set to take on the world. We all know the World Cup will symbolize a farewell for individuals who have represented South Africa with the utmost pride and it will be sad seeing off Bakkies Botha and Victor Matfield in their last Webb Ellis Trophy quest. The best lock paring the rugby world has ever seen would enjoy being in final come the 23 October. Peter De Villiers will certainly get sacked if the trophy is not retained.
New Zealand have a knack of leaving out experience when going to the World Cup as they did with Christian Cullen 2 World Cups ago and this time they have left out Sitiveni Sivivatu for the likes of wet behind the ears Collin Slade. The greatest chokers in sport seem to be on a slump whether it’s some sort of gambit we will live to see. They played a second string squad against South Africa and weren’t able to retain their Tri-Nations against apugnacious Aussie side at the Suncorp on a day when a perculiar fear-inducing haka was done but after 80 minutes the Aussies were 25-20 victors and won the Tri-Nations for the first time in 10 years. In the Northern Hemisphere 2003 England captain World Cup Winner Martin Johnson will be hoping to coach his side to the same fate. His side is looking quite good and they will be set to contest and steal the show from the Southern Hemisphere. Recent victims of England’s skill is Ireland who shouldn’t bother anyone also in this campaign except for the likes of Wales.
Soccer season is back and no one would have gotten early wake up calls as much as Supersport United locally and Arsenal overseas. United lost 5-2 in the Wafa Wafa to Ajax CapeTown who ironically lost a final to Golden Arrows two seasons ago 6-0. Former three time PSL champions United were too flat and look like they could be struggling again this season. Happy People seem to be picking up where they left of last season, 2nd star in the making? With the types of goals and come backs they have been entertaining us with it could be possible or they should at least improve on the under par South African representation Supersport have offered of late but Champions League is not easy.
No one got it quite like Arsenal though who got the caveat of a lifetime at the hands of their most fierce rivals Manchester United. If Arsene didn’t realize how much of a crisis there is at his club then an 8-2 drubbing courtesy of Ferguson’s men must have given him a warning as to how he should change things quickly to at least bring his side back to reputable tides. An early sign is better than finding out late there is a big problem like Liverpool did last season with Roy Hodgson. Arsenal though could still regroup and play better football and get a champions league spot, Arsene Wenger has an eye for players and he will know which players to bring in.