As a long suffering WP fan it was nice to put one over on the Sharks on Saturday.It was cold, it was wet and it was miserable out but at the end of 80 minutes the scoreboard showed that WP had beat the Sharks Currie Cup champions of 2008 by 29 points to 15.
Alot can be said about the game, how the Sharks were without 343 Springboks, how they were playing away etc but lets not forget how for many years people joked how WP cannot play rugby in the rain even though they should be the best at it and more importantly how completely bollocks we’ve been for the last few years.
I’m a fan of the Currie Cup, its what I grew up on, its what my father and my uncles talk and reminisce about, my father’s screams of Prooooooviince still invoke images of a supporter going nuts for his team playing in the Currie Cup but I have never really been able to reach such ecstasy watching the Blue and White hoops playing, in fact every year i’m just about given less and less reason to smile about WP.
When the opening fixtures of the 2009 Currie Cup were announced I was immediately pessimistic,the Sharks, Bulls and Cheetahs in that order did not exactly fill me with any hope for this season and as the massive storm rolled into Cape Town last week so did an impending sense of gloom about what was going to happen at my beloved Newlands.
The thing is, someone forget to tell the scriptwriters how this was supposed to play out, 22488 people braved the wet to support WP and their faith was repaid.Chris Jack, an All Black playing for WP, a province with more All Black supporters than there are people in New Zealand got his first touch of Currie Cup action by charging down a Rory Kocket clearance and then also managed to collect the ball to score a try.Could this be?Could we take it from this early?
The next session of the game saw the Sharks dominate and hope start to fade but again the scriptwriters who must surely have been sipping on Cape Towns finest boxed products sent the story out for The Striped ones to start taking the game back, Anton van Zyl and Chris Jack put some fire in the WP engine room last seen when Freddy Mendez was playing hooker and the loose trio having a field day in the wet.
One moment in the match that kinda summed up the game was when Jean Deysel got tackled by Luke Watson, got put down the wrong way and lost the ball after which Naqelivuki went for a try, its something I can watch over and over again.In one of the other Sharksworld threads the author said give WP credit for the win, it looked like they wanted it more, I think more than that, we really needed it.
After the match, John Plumtree was a broken man, give him a break guys, that loss hurt him.Its not like he just went, ” ag well, we lost, haaties”.He lamented the loss of so many players to the Springbok side but did not use it as his excuse as many other coaches would have, when pressed on using Guy Cronje he said that Cronje was supremely talented and that the youngster deserved his chance and had to be given a go and that he as a coach now knows what areas of Cronjes game to look at.He was however hoping that the Hernandez deal would be tied up soon as it would a huge asset to have an experienced hand to call on.Waylon Murray is also fit and would be back in the squad this weekend.
WP coach Allistair Coetzee was understandably alot happier but was not entirely convinced with his team as in his opinion there were too many incorrect decisions taken such as the kicking the ball to Terblanche and holding onto the ball so long.
Coetzee and Watson could not heap enough praise on Chris Jack, Watson stated that Jacks work ethic bordered on freaky and that he learnt every call in a week and that was for lock and flank if it was required for him to play there.
Coetzee also said that the Currie Cup was more of a marathon than a sprint and nothing was won as yet but from a supporters view it was nice to clear the first hurdle without stumbling.