The Rugby World Cup is merely a 30+ days away and as Bok day fever runs rampant every friday one is reminded once again of last years’ frenzy and razzmatazz. Ironic how those pyrrhic memories will symbolise something else in the years to come as once again a caveat has been given to the country to take heed and be painstaking in the quest to attain the hosting of the Olympic games which Minister of Sport Fikile Mbalula seems to have adopted as task numero uno on the agenda. Danny Jordaan has spoken about the high-maintanence costing white elephants that are coming back to bite us now.
As the saying goes no use crying over spilt milk but with advantage of hindsight Jordaan says not enough planning was done before the bidding and all, Isn’t just amazing how we can be galvanised into championing an unnecessary cause with such vigour it seems such an obfuscation and treachery that we were so caught up in the moment but how could it have all been avoided when the likes of Bishop Tutu were saying how we should have it even if those stadiums could be prospective white elephants. Hosting the Olympics games is somewhat a poisonous chalice as they are rarely ever as successful as anticipated in the cities that have hosted them. Riddled with scandals why would we as a country want to create more problems on top of the ones the Soccer World Cup has brought when a city such as Sydney is still paying the price for the 2004 games.
The Rugby World Cup seems a rosy prospect for numerous teams except the Springboks who are heavily-laden with injuries to some of their most crucial players. New Zealand have been the team to beat over the last year while Australia have the momentum of having Queensland win the Super Rugby. Wallabies players seem to be on song at the right time but it seemed myopic for them against Samoa not so long ago.
Teams that were present at the nascent stages of Super Rugby Fiji and Samoa would do well to stand up and be counted in this instalment. These teams seems to hold their own in sevens rugby but all the agility and strength of these giant-looking players seem all show and no pants when it comes to the crunch. Samoa gave an exhilarating game against the Wallabies and it would be best in our circumspection to remember these teams as not just adding to the numbers. When the Boks face Samoa during the World Cup they probably wont be a walk in the park as they were in the Chester Williams return match in 1995 they will be determined to pull a fast one on the men in green.
In the Boks’ quest to attain the Webb Ellis Trophy in 2007 their most arduous victory in my opinion was against Fiji. Youngest World Cup winner Frans Steyn had a touch and go game with some heroic moments and some not so but ultimately Smit’s men came out trumps.
Also in its nascent stages is Gary Kirsten’s tenure as Proteas coach. He kicks everything off wit pre-summer series against Sri-Lanka which seems to be more of a curtain raiser to the real summer test series against the not so mighty anymore Aussies. The venues even chosen for the Sri Lanka series are not the most grandiose in Buffalo Park, Potchefstroom and Benoni. One day games will bring about the career of AB Devilliers as captain which should be interesting as we thought Johan Botha was going to be captain of the outfit until Imraan Tahir came onto the scene and we all know who is going to be prime spin bowler and Johan could find himself not always in the starting line up. I dont think Gazza and Allan Donald should have taken these posts it seems they only good enough when they seen doing work overseas ala Die Antwoord in the musical fraternity but the World Cup obsession probably got the better of ‘Gazza’ and ‘White Lightning’ but the World Cup will be the yardstick to their Proteas coaching careers and if they dont get it right in 4 years time they will have to up and leave but not only that they will feel the castigation of the South African public who aren’t well renowned for gratitude.