I had a very strange day yesterday. In fact, I had a very strange weekend.
It’s not that I did anything particularly different: In fact, I did a lot of the same things that I usually do on a Saturday, with one big exception. Did anyone else notice that there was no rugby on this weekend? I mean, come on, guys – here we are in the middle of the bloody season and all of a sudden we have this big, completely meaningless pause. In fact, about the only bloody thing that did happen this weekend was the first round of Currie Cup promotion/relegation games (yawn) on Friday night. And those weren’t even televised!
Something big went wrong here and I’d really love to know what it was. I guess somewhere in the circus that runs SA Rugby, somebody just kinda forgot to schedule any matches for this weekend. Stranger things have happened.
The silly transfer season seems to be well under way, in other news, with the smaller unions engaging in a swap fest of dubious talent (or should that be minnow-go-round?) second to none. Recent shenanigans included virtually the entire SWD Eagles team leaving George (presumably in protest at the sacking of coach Phil Pretorius) to join the Pumas. New SWD coach Johann Lerm has wasted little time in announcing a raft of new signings to usher in his new era in George and the most interesting ones among them are former Cheetahs eighthman Ryno van der Merwe (who will captain the side) and (yet another discard) WP flyhalf Ricardo Croy.
The Valke find themselves clinging to their tenuous right to remain in the premier division, having lost (at home) to the big-spending Leopards on Friday. A return to the top flight would appear imminent for the boys from Potch and one promising Valke player, flyhalf True Blue Smit, has already jumped ship to join the Leopards next season. He joins a host of other players who will wear the scarlet jersey for the last time next weekend, including promising maxi-wing Dewald Pretorius, who is on his way to Kimberley. Don’t be too surprised to see a lot more movement of second string stars towards Potch, if the Leopards do manage to secure promotion. Some experienced heads, coupled with the unending supply of young talent that seems to emanate from the PUK Academy there, could potentially see the emergence of a sixth real powerhouse in SA Rugby, at long last. We’ll wait and see.
On a final note, I’m pleased to see that one of my all-time favourite players looks set to make his return to Super Rugby next year. That’s right – Jaco “the Baptist” van der Westhuizen is in talks with the Bulls and may join their squad for the 2009 Super 14. Jaco’s getting on a bit, though, so one of the stipulations in his contract includes installation of a rope ladder to assist him in getting onto the crossbar after matches at Loftus…Tweet