A few years ago we were entertained by an unholy rugby marriage of the Lions and Cheetahs. They were very un-creatively named, The Cats, a name that struck fear into the hearts of mice and small birds everywhere.
SARU has unilaterally decided to announce that the EP Kings WILL play Superugby in 2013, despite all the logistical, contractual, and otherwise complicated complications that may arise from this silly announcement. This creates an obvious problem. If the competition is not extended to be a Super 16, that means one of the SA teams has to miss out, or an alternative solution needs to be found.
The Cats may just be that alternative solution, although I think canning one of either the Rebels or the Force would probably be a better one, because lets face it, they’re awful and Aussie rugby just doesn’t have the necessary depth to carry 5 teams in a 6 month long rugby tournament.
The New Cats would need a new name, maybe steal the Thunder Cats from that old cartoon, or maybe go for something like the Tom Cats, or Wild Cats! They could even get creative and move away from the whole feline thing altogether. They could call themselves, Die Ystervarke! Or The Rhinoceroses, thus also taking on a dire conservation crisis to raise awareness of! The only other big fiver that hasn’t been used yet is the Buffalo…
So The New Cats, who would be coach? Well, from an experience perspective John Mitchell seems like the man for the job, which would then necessitate Naka Drotske as his deputy. I don’t think Naka would like that, especially since his team has been the more successful one in recent seasons and especially after their great 2012 tour where they should have had 3 wins out of 3 away and would have were it not for a bizarre half of scrum penalties against the Brumbies. So then what? Would Mitchell then become Drotske’s assistant? I don’t think he’d like that either…
Captain? Adriaan Strauss vs Joshua Strauss, the battle of the Strausses… I would say Adriaan is the better bet, purely because he performs at such a high level every game, but then so does Joshua, and he has that amazing beard!
The team should be an interesting one, with two squads merging into one SuperSquad! No pun intended… With players like Jantjies and Goosen battling it out for the 10 jersey and a possible loose trio of Brussouw, Joshua Strauss and Derrick Minnie, or Ashley Johnson, Warren Whiteley and Michael Rhodes. What about fullback? Taute and Danniler? Centre? Eberhson, Andries Strauss, Hollenbach, Doppies le Grange and the perennially injured Waylon Murray and Lional Mapoe… There would be plenty of front row options with the Cheetahs dominating that area through Two Step Coenie Oosthuisen and WP Nel… I could go on all day.
The question is, would The New Cats be better than either the Lions or the Cheetahs? The Old Cats weren’t, except under Laurie Mains who managed a few playoff results… I’m not so sure. I think there may be a mass migration to the Eastern Cape by players on the fringe of The New Cats squad, guys who would get a lot of game time if the Lions and Cheetahs still existed but would battle to crack The New Cats squad. Pat Cilliers is a good example, as is someone like Michael Bondesio, and perhaps even Butch James, Michael Killian and Phillip van der Walt.
It’s easy to speculate what might happen, and the chances are good that I am way off the mark. Maybe The New Cats will be fantastic, and win everything… I somehow doubt it though…Tweet