war1

What does it mean to be a true fan?


Written by Warren Smith (war1)

Posted in :Bulls, Cheetahs, Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks, Super 14 on 18 Oct 2009 at 19:51

You have to park some way away from the stadium because the place is quite full, and it is 2 hours away from kick-off! The braais are going and the music of “Maak die bulle almal Bokke” and “die blou blul” is blaring from cars while fans sporting Bulls jerseys trade insults with those wearing Cheetahs ones. This is the likely situation that will greet neutral observers if they brave Loftus on Saturday the 31st of October.

But think what Loftus looked like when the Bulls were losing in the 2008 Super 14, or even the last time the Cheetahs visited Loftus in this Currie Cup? People will most probably start queueing for tickets from about 05h30 on Monday morning if tickets go on sale on monday. They will wait for hours to part with their money in exchange to witness “die blou masjien”. But the situation was different before the weekends events. 

After the game you can expect more than a few fights, and if you are unfortunate enough to be supporting the losing team, you will be mocked and heckled pretty much all the way to your car.

But was it always like this at Loftus? Are all Bulls fans of the sort that paint themselves blue and put rings in their noses and wear hard hats with cow horns attached to them? ( I saw one obviously confused guy with a blue hard hat with wildebeest horns attached to it at the Bafokeng stadium during the Bulls-Leopards game, but that is another story ) Is this what it means to be a true fan? To paint yourself in the colours of your team and wear the jersey or any item of clothing that may vaguely resemble the jersey of the team you support?

I would think not. Where are these guys when the team is playing poorly? Most of the blue (and orange) clad horde which will inhabit Lofus during the Currie Cup final probably do not even know the opponent that their team played before the semifinal, let alone the score, no these are the “fair weather fans”. These are those that only identify with their team when they are winning. While I have been having a go at Bulls fans, they are not the only culprits of this. They are the obvious example only because the Bulls are, no matter how much it pains me to say this, without a doubt the most successful South African team of the last decade.

I cast my mind back to last year’s Currie Cup final. After the final whistle blowed our “peaceful” neighbourhood erupted into loud cheers and hooting. What was funny about that is that I had hardly seen any Sharks fans around before then. This year’s Super 14 is another case in point, there were many loud-mouth Sharks supporters making their voices heard when the Sharks were on top, yet they were strangely silent when the Sharks crashed and burned. And the same will probably happen now, with those guys who gave us Sharks fans a bad name suddenly quiet this coming week.

Obviously people want to identify with a winning team as this obviously makes them feel better about themselves. But I say that a true fan is one that sticks by his team through thick and thin, a fan that does not stop watching his team because they are going through a bad patch. A true fan does not mock fans of teams who are experiencing tough times because they can empathhise with those fans when they were supporting their teams through the tough times. True fans are more likely to go to rugby to watch good rugby rather than drink more than their body weight in alcohol and mock opposition fans.

Let me cast your mind back to the Currie Cup final of last year. When that final whistle blew, i just jumped up and down uncontrollably for a few minutes. I was on “rugby cloud nine” for weeks after that. That win was so much sweeter because I had stuck through the tough times with the Sharks, when they finished last in the Super 12, when they missed the Currie Cup semifinals. After countless semifinal and final defeats over the years. All the bitter made the sweet that much sweeter.

So while I am still angry and frustrated with the Sharks for losing a game that they should have won, I am still completely behind them, while there is more promise of bad times ahead than good times, still I will stand firm as a fan, I wore my Sharks shirt today and faced the ridicule, they are my team through thick and thin.



74 Comments

  • Hmmmmmmmm… Good read.

    I tend to agree, there is one thing that I would like to not really “add” as it has already been said.

    It is not just the Bulls supporters, I am sure every union has their own “special” kind of supporter, I KNOW the Sharks have them because I see them at the Stadium every year when I am home.

    These are the guys (and gals) who don’t even enter the stadium to watch the game, even though it is only 30 – 40 % occupied. These are the guys (and gals) (mostly in hospitality suites) who got the freebie tickets and ond only watch 10minutes of the game. The rest of the time they are busy talking kak to each other. (We also see them on TV every week chatting away while the game is in full swing)

    Thes guys are there for NOTHING other than to be able to say “I was at the game” and “man was that a good party”

    Is this a bad thing? Sometimes I think so. Sometimes I don’t.

  • Comment 1, posted at 18.10.09 20:10:55 by KSA Shark © Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 1) : true, its not just the bulls supporters, but they were best example of recent times,

  • Comment 2, posted at 18.10.09 20:13:30 by war1 Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 1) : i think when supporters of other teams get mocked just because they support the other team, i suppose that makes you feel better, maybe these guys just have major self-esteem problems :???:

  • Comment 3, posted at 18.10.09 20:16:06 by war1 Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 2) :

    If we are looking for an example of being loud and loutish, then the Bulls supporters are prime examples.

    if we are looking for an example of people going to the game for the fashion and the party but NOT the Rugby then the Sharks supporters are prime examples.

  • Comment 4, posted at 18.10.09 20:16:28 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • I would hazard a statement that if we were to be able to lay our hands on some stats of attendance when a team is doing well and attendance when the team sucks, then those stats would show that the biggest swing is support is probably experienced by the Sharks.

    All teams have fickle fans, but I think fickle combined with Dbn apathy makes for us losing the most numbers of all the unions when our team is doing badly.

  • Comment 5, posted at 18.10.09 20:19:46 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 5) : oh yes, in case you were wondering this very much applies to Sharks fans as well, coz the big mouths will suddenly disappear now until it looks like we are contenders again

  • Comment 6, posted at 18.10.09 20:24:29 by war1 Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 6) :

    And then you get guys look me who are big mouth regardless of our form. :lol: :oops:

  • Comment 7, posted at 18.10.09 20:25:28 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 7) : :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 8, posted at 18.10.09 20:28:26 by war1 Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 7) : at least you are consistent

  • Comment 9, posted at 18.10.09 20:28:47 by war1 Reply
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  • Great read!!

  • Comment 10, posted at 18.10.09 20:31:43 by mbayshark Reply
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  • no bulls or cheetahs were harmed in the writing of this article ;-)

  • Comment 11, posted at 18.10.09 20:39:59 by war1 Reply
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  • @mbayshark (Comment 10) : thanks, this has been on my mind for a LONG time and it obviously now was an appropriate time to write it

  • Comment 12, posted at 18.10.09 20:41:01 by war1 Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 12) : Know how you feel mate. It hurts like hell but what can you do, just hope that next season will be a better one. :|

  • Comment 13, posted at 18.10.09 20:42:23 by mbayshark Reply
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  • @mbayshark (Comment 13) : even if it is not, stand firm

  • Comment 14, posted at 18.10.09 20:43:12 by war1 Reply
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  • awesome arti, war1. A cracking read

  • Comment 15, posted at 18.10.09 20:45:57 by robdylan Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 11) :

    YEAH right!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Bulls will read the 1st paragraph and be off on a tangent with HURT feelings. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 16, posted at 18.10.09 20:48:46 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 16) : I doubt it… they’re all still drunk :)

  • Comment 17, posted at 18.10.09 20:54:02 by robdylan Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 16) : if you read carefully, there is an implied compliment to the bulls fans who have stuck with the bulls through the hard times, both of them :mrgreen:

  • Comment 18, posted at 18.10.09 20:59:05 by war1 Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 5) : ksa you have to realise that majority of sharks support comes from outside durban. there are only 200000 wit o’s in durban to fill a 55000 seater. durbanites don’t earn the salaries of our up country brothers. so things have to be put into perspctive. i personally don’t like going to the game because you miss a lot of breakdown detail if you are at the game. yeah the atmosphere makes up for it, but i prefer detail. another big turnoff this year has been the new stadium ruining parking and traffic. it really kills your mood waiting in traffic before the game. and finally how much support does a group of chokers deserve.

  • Comment 19, posted at 18.10.09 21:01:42 by try time Reply

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  • @war1 (Comment 18) :

    You see there you have made a fundemental mistake.

    Bulls Fan, read carefully? :razz:

  • Comment 20, posted at 18.10.09 21:03:03 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • I don’t think bulls fans can read carefully???!!! :lol:

  • Comment 21, posted at 18.10.09 21:03:39 by mbayshark Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 20) : they may scroll down to my comment

  • Comment 22, posted at 18.10.09 21:14:20 by war1 Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 22) : that eggbert guy will find you eventually :-)

  • Comment 23, posted at 18.10.09 21:20:04 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 23) : lmao I’m sure war1′s story will pop up on google sometime

  • Comment 24, posted at 18.10.09 21:22:05 by mbayshark Reply
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  • @mbayshark (Comment 24) : its okay, i did not mention rayno gerber

  • Comment 25, posted at 18.10.09 21:25:06 by war1 Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 25) : what did I say that was so bad anyway? I mean, sure, with the benefit of hindsight, the Bulls weren’t all that bad :-) but still. Who knew?

  • Comment 26, posted at 18.10.09 21:32:43 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 26) : i reread that article and im still trying to understand his gripe, why would it not be of steenkamp who is still playing for the bulls and in the bok squad, but he also said he was trying to figure it out, so we are not the only confused ones here

  • Comment 27, posted at 18.10.09 21:43:11 by war1 Reply
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  • Good Article but you have to be a lion fan to understand loyalty, the Lion fans are the most fickle bunch you have ever met when the Lions are winning they are all there cheering, then following a bad patch, suddenly Ellis park is awash with black and white or province fans. I realise a lot of people in JHB are from elsewhere, but why are the lion fans so pathetic, through thick and thin that’s what makes a true fan!! Go Lions

  • Comment 28, posted at 19.10.09 06:10:26 by Whindy Reply
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  • Well written war1!!

    I have to add that even though we’ve been pants the last few years, WP supporters always stiek uit in their droves.

    I think we have consistently had the best attendances over the last few years (on average of course)

    (this does not include semi finals or finals cos we too useless to qualify!!) :roll:

  • Comment 29, posted at 19.10.09 07:10:30 by wpw Reply
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  • i think it very rich of people to be talking about blue bulls fans when the fish tank didn’t even look half full FOR A SEMI FINAL!!! With all “their bokke back” they still couldn’t pull away from the cheetahs…

    I’ve always maintained throughout that these sharks are WAY too overrated & their headcoach is clueless about backline play absolutely knows nothing!

    All the possession in the 2nd half and all they could think of was dropkicks? JMH must be thinking what a bunch of palookas i’ve signed with?

  • Comment 30, posted at 19.10.09 07:31:35 by quota Reply

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  • @quota (Comment 30) : Intersting Observation about the backline it has been their achilles heel and will be againif they do not score bonus points in the S14

  • Comment 31, posted at 19.10.09 07:36:27 by Whindy Reply
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  • @Whindy (Comment 31) : and yet look at the names in that lineup?

  • Comment 32, posted at 19.10.09 08:00:04 by robdylan Reply
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  • Hello everyone.. :|

  • Comment 33, posted at 19.10.09 08:14:33 by GI Ice (Now its WAR!) Reply
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  • good read.

    @GI Ice (Now its WAR!) (Comment 33) : hello :lol:

  • Comment 34, posted at 19.10.09 08:23:09 by rekinek (retreat -ing) Reply
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  • Can you please tell me who Mr Eisntein is that came up with THAT gameplan for the Sharks??

    What in the hell did they think they are doing? We have seen before that the kicking game get us nowhere. And one would think after the 2nd failed dropkick attempt someone might come up with an alternative plan…maar nee….ons try drop van nommer 9 regdeur tot by die senters..

    and if we have the ball we kick it and give it to the opponent, shit, we dont want the ball…well boys – I have news – you cannot score if you do not have the ball..THAT is BASICS…duh!! And so much for our Bok front row..

    I am hurt, sore, speechless and have that DONT F$#$ WITH ME TODAY look on my face..actually my whole body language. The last time I felt like this was when Habana stole the S14 title from us..

    But like WAR1, I am still a fan – just extemely dissapointed one..

    In my opinion neither of the finalists really deserve their spot…The Cheetahs poks everyyear – but are they the better team – NO otherwise they would have been on top of the log and not slipped in at number 4 at the last minute…but unfortunately “pokse tel”…

    WP had the bulls by the horn…and I was so dissapointed for them. What a game! Me thinks Naqelavuki should stay in his house untill he’s plain departs for home, because I am convinced you are gonna get lemmed, broe!!

    I feel for all your WP supporters!

  • Comment 35, posted at 19.10.09 08:25:41 by GI Ice (Now its WAR!) Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 4) : i object – what’s wrong with fashion :lol:

  • Comment 36, posted at 19.10.09 08:27:43 by rekinek (retreat -ing) Reply
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  • @GI Ice (Now its WAR!) (Comment 35) : sirely cost them a game…

  • Comment 37, posted at 19.10.09 08:30:01 by rekinek (retreat -ing) Reply
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  • You guys hear Dick Muirs` been appointed at the Lions for next year?

    Do you know if JMH will stay for the super 14 at all?

    About saturday, it`s a shame but what can we do?
    It is obvious now we played with the wrong tactics. Kicking everything down their throat in stead of rolling kicks into the corners to make them turn around, wild passes ( thank you Ruan ), it was as if they didn`t want to win.
    Add to this Plums words earlier last week ” This is our final “.

    Guess the signs were there, I was just too blind a supporter to see it.

  • Comment 38, posted at 19.10.09 08:36:17 by Original Pierre Reply
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  • @rekinek (retreat -ing) (Comment 37) : WE will not talk about Sireli at all.And apparently I called Luke Watson “Bob” on national tv!Im pretty sure i said Bud

  • Comment 39, posted at 19.10.09 08:59:33 by provincejoulekkading Reply
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  • @provincejoulekkading (Comment 39) : One hopes he has been given space in Looooks bags out of here.

  • Comment 40, posted at 19.10.09 09:07:00 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
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  • @provincejoulekkading (Comment 39) :

    You wre on TV?? :shock: :lol:

    BTW, Maybe it was a good thing we lost…So many of my old “buddies” , that I have not heard of in about 15 years, phoned me after the game…it was nice to know that they are okay.. :roll: :lol:

  • Comment 41, posted at 19.10.09 09:12:04 by GI Ice (Now its WAR!) Reply
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  • @provincejoulekkading (Comment 39) : you were on TV? :-) hope you had a nice shirt on

  • Comment 42, posted at 19.10.09 09:12:25 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Worcestershire Sauce (Comment 40) :

    Look better go and fetch him at his house…he is NOT save, I am afraid..

  • Comment 43, posted at 19.10.09 09:13:05 by GI Ice (Now its WAR!) Reply
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  • @GI Ice (Now its WAR!) (Comment 41) : hmmm …., i just had sms from “supportive” lions supporters who suddenly came out of woodwork.

  • Comment 44, posted at 19.10.09 09:17:06 by rekinek (retreat -ing) Reply
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  • @rekinek (retreat -ing) (Comment 44) :

    Funny thing is…I have never seen them in Bloem at the stadium, nor watching rugby for that matter!! But ja, “WE gave you Sharks a hiding” blah blah blah…glad I was part in waking Bloem up for a change. Hopefully The FSRU will make some money for a change.. :roll:

  • Comment 45, posted at 19.10.09 09:20:13 by GI Ice (Now its WAR!) Reply
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  • @GI Ice (Now its WAR!) (Comment 45) : i don’t think so – final at Loftus.

    must say bulls supporters I know much more gracious than cheetahs – but i reckon the poor guys suffered enough this and last year so i guess it’s good for them to have sth to cheer about.

  • Comment 46, posted at 19.10.09 09:23:01 by rekinek (retreat -ing) Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 42) : Eeerm I did, too bad it was under the other something a bit more on the casual side of things.

  • Comment 47, posted at 19.10.09 09:24:22 by provincejoulekkading Reply
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  • @provincejoulekkading (Comment 39) :

    Cause jy was gesuip!!!

    BTW I forgot my beer in your bag…

  • Comment 48, posted at 19.10.09 09:24:48 by Morné Reply
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  • One question.

    WHy was Kingspark so empty?

  • Comment 49, posted at 19.10.09 09:25:56 by Morné Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 49) : good question – pls share the answer if you get one.

  • Comment 50, posted at 19.10.09 09:27:11 by rekinek (retreat -ing) Reply
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  • @rekinek (retreat -ing) (Comment 50) :

    Only thing I can think of is that people were saving their money for a final ticket?

  • Comment 51, posted at 19.10.09 09:28:27 by Morné Reply
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  • @rekinek (retreat -ing) (Comment 46) :

    Talking bout next year.. ;-)

    @Morné (Comment 48) :

    :mrgreen:

  • Comment 52, posted at 19.10.09 09:28:40 by GI Ice (Now its WAR!) Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 48) : I was not!For once :razz: Found it yesterday, thanks!

  • Comment 53, posted at 19.10.09 09:30:01 by provincejoulekkading Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 51) :

    We all know that.. :cry:

  • Comment 54, posted at 19.10.09 09:33:12 by GI Ice (Now its WAR!) Reply
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  • @GI Ice (Now its WAR!) (Comment 52) : ;-)

  • Comment 55, posted at 19.10.09 09:34:07 by rekinek (retreat -ing) Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 51) : semis ticket was like R 130 and finals would probably be R 350. This surely cannot be a reason for a serious supporter – you save it on couple of beers.

    I reckon that Gauteng crowd did not pitch thinking that people from Durban can fill the stadium all by themselves – wrong. (i do not mean to offend people from Durbs, but they not exactly shown their support last week)

  • Comment 56, posted at 19.10.09 09:38:08 by rekinek (retreat -ing) Reply
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  • @rekinek (retreat -ing) (Comment 56) :

    I am actually taking the piss.

    I have no idea why only 31 000 supporters pitched up.

  • Comment 57, posted at 19.10.09 09:41:06 by Morné Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 57) :

    You are not far off…I was strongly on my way to book plane tickets and cancelling my chick weekend… :???:

  • Comment 58, posted at 19.10.09 09:51:52 by GI Ice (Now its WAR!) Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 57) : neither have I , but I would seriously like to know.

  • Comment 59, posted at 19.10.09 09:51:54 by rekinek (retreat -ing) Reply
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  • Nice article war1

    @Morné (Comment 57) :
    Cant understand it either but I presume that the guaranteed rain that was forcast could have had something to do with it.

  • Comment 60, posted at 19.10.09 09:52:38 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 60) :

    That, I cannot believe…

  • Comment 61, posted at 19.10.09 09:54:28 by GI Ice (Now its WAR!) Reply
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  • I also don’t know why the stadium was not full… :sad: …that was the first disappointing sign…

  • Comment 62, posted at 19.10.09 09:59:50 by blackshark Reply

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  • @GI Ice (Now its WAR!) (Comment 61) :
    But what else then, the stupid kick off time of 14.30.

  • Comment 63, posted at 19.10.09 10:28:39 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 63) :

    Sammy – I can honestly only think that it was a case of “rather going to the finals”…I mean there are 32000 season ticket holdersif only half of them were there the stadium would have been busting – I mean – they paid for these tickets – why not use them (ok I know some holders are not in the country, but I am sure the tickets still gets used!)

  • Comment 64, posted at 19.10.09 10:35:54 by GI Ice (Now its WAR!) Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 63) :

    The early kick off made me late for the game – but I’m not complaining about that…it was actually supposed to encourage people to go to the Stadium…watch the Sharks and still get “home” or “the pub” in time to catch the 2nd semi.

    Re: the rain – well, I guess that’s the first meaning of “fairweather supporter”… :evil:

  • Comment 65, posted at 19.10.09 11:07:29 by blackshark Reply

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  • Well if there are 32000 season ticket holders then I REALLY have no clue what it could be.

  • Comment 66, posted at 19.10.09 11:08:25 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • Spot on arti. I have seen my fair share of fairweathered Bulls fans – drunk and sober. Cheetah fans too. In bloem if their side loses, the following match only half the supporters who were at the stadium the previous week pitches up.

    PS: Sad about your loss. Would have relished a Bulls vs Sharks final again. Revenge for last year… Oh well, time to settle the scores with the Orange men once and for all.

  • Comment 67, posted at 19.10.09 11:37:15 by Pink Oyster Reply

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  • Okay – I have to say this – How was that tackle from Schalk on Fourie??? THAT was seriously the best tackle (committed 100%) I have seen in a long time (since Lem)..I actually dont think Fourie knew where he was for a sec or two! BUT – it shows you how tough he actually is – not every guy would have been able to carry on playing after a thumper like that!

  • Comment 68, posted at 19.10.09 11:50:38 by GI Ice (Now its WAR!) Reply
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  • @GI Ice (Now its WAR!) (Comment 68) : Yeah, that was a great tackle. Fourie actually smiled after he got up from that. They would have carried me off with a stretcher.

  • Comment 69, posted at 19.10.09 11:55:58 by Pink Oyster Reply

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  • @quota (Comment 30) :

    I TOLD you they couldn’t read [email protected]war1 (Comment 18) :

  • Comment 70, posted at 19.10.09 16:20:14 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 70) : yeah, a risk we had to take

  • Comment 71, posted at 19.10.09 17:33:25 by war1 Reply
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  • Are their any current Sharks or other team players on this site :?:

  • Comment 72, posted at 19.10.09 17:36:08 by JarsonX (Insomniac) Reply
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  • @war1 (Comment 71) : Next time you write an article maybe you should type the parts they will struggle to understand in bold or a bigger font. Maybe that would help?! :lol:

  • Comment 73, posted at 19.10.09 17:38:02 by mbayshark Reply
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  • @mbayshark (Comment 73) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 74, posted at 19.10.09 17:46:32 by war1 Reply
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    war1Super Rugby player
     

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