G West

A buzz in “The Spruit”


Written by Gerhard van der Westhuizen (G West)

Posted in :Original Content, Springboks on 10 Jun 2013 at 13:50
Tagged with : , , , , ,

In 2007 when the first shovel broke the soil at the Mbombela Stadium’s building site, there was a feeling of good fortune and excitement in the air which was soon replaced with dust, smoke, chaos, politics and some poor management at times. But in the end a magnificent stadium was constructed for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. A few months after the world cup success, the first rugby game was played on the pitch between the Pumas and Blue Bulls, on the 27th of August 2010.

Since then every single rugby fan in Nelspruit was hoping for some good rugby matches to take place. It was slow at first, with only a few Currie Cup games taking place, until the Steval Pumas signed a contract with the stadium to make it their new home ground and managed to host the 2013 Vodacom Cup Final, which they unfortunately lost to the Golden Lions. And now after a long wait since the stadium was constructed Nelspruit, it is finally getting an international rugby game.

For the past month social media folks around Nelspruit have been voicing their excitement about the matches that will take place this coming Saturday. There was also much talk about the local boy Heyneke Meyer who, as most of you should know, comes from Nelspruit. So the game is not just about bringing international rugby to a beautiful city, but also a tribute to a man who climbed the SA rugby ladder until he reached the pinnacle.

In conclusion I would personally like to thank SARU and the Mbombela Municipality for making this event possible, and I would like to encourage all “Nelspruiters” to make this event a huge success, so that there is a good foundation for future international rugby at Mbombela Stadium.

Go BOKKE!



18 Comments

  • Have to commend the powers that be for taking the game to a non traditional test venue.
    I predict a big jol for all attending the game.

  • Comment 1, posted at 10.06.13 14:31:15 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • I am super excited. Will be there to support our boys on Saturday and cannot wait. Go Bokke!

  • Comment 2, posted at 10.06.13 14:42:45 by Viking Reply
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    VikingCurrie Cup player
     
  • @Viking (Comment 2) : awesome! maybe see u there!?

  • Comment 3, posted at 10.06.13 14:54:50 by G West Reply
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  • Enjoy it guys as your getting two rugby tests on the day.

  • Comment 4, posted at 10.06.13 22:47:51 by JD Reply
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  • A good thing that these are winter tests. Playing rugby down there outside June/July is like wrestling in a sauna.

    On the flipside, though, playing midday games in Belfast in the winter means your toes and fingers only get to defrost in the after-match shower.

    Lowveld rugby can be harsh. :grin:

  • Comment 5, posted at 11.06.13 10:07:59 by rhineshark Reply
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  • @rhineshark (Comment 5) : Spot on! I think if it was a summer game here there would be at least 25 handling errors per side haha. And the big heavy boys will probably only last 50 minutes max lol :lol:

  • Comment 6, posted at 11.06.13 10:57:11 by G West Reply
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  • @G West (Comment 6) : But playing in the club league there was awesome back in the day. On-field scraps (especially against a club situated on the way from Nelspruit to Witbank – I have forgotten its name, but I think their fields were next to the showgrounds) and after game parties were legendary. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 7, posted at 11.06.13 11:27:51 by rhineshark Reply
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  • @rhineshark (Comment 5) : Try being at a trout dam at first light in Belfast in July. Its madness because your fly line freezes in the rod eyes and you wonder what the hell you were thinking in the first place.

  • Comment 8, posted at 11.06.13 11:40:32 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 8) : :lol:

    That place has a different kind of dry cold that crystalises the marrow in your bones. I hated playing there. The fields were a mixture of frozen grass and frozen clay, with little pieces of lavarock scattered everywhere for effect.

  • Comment 9, posted at 11.06.13 11:58:00 by rhineshark Reply
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  • Sounds bladdy charming. Cape Town for the in

  • Comment 10, posted at 11.06.13 12:02:34 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
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  • @rhineshark (Comment 9) : Which club did you play for?

  • Comment 11, posted at 11.06.13 12:20:25 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 11) : Sabie Rugby Klub. Doesn’t exist anymore. :sad:

  • Comment 12, posted at 11.06.13 12:24:14 by rhineshark Reply
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  • @rhineshark (Comment 12) : Sad, so many rugby clubs have dissapeared.

    Are / were you a forester?

  • Comment 13, posted at 11.06.13 12:46:09 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 13) : Plenty of clubs are gone, but lots of the ones in our league are still there: Barberton, Malelane, Ngodwana, Lydenburg, Nelspruit, Witrivier, etc.

    No, but I played with lots of Saasvelders. I can’t remember all of them, but my lock partner was Servaas Nieuwoudt and our captain was Vic Wilkens, who owns/owned a sawmill outside town.

    Are you a forester or in the forestry industry?

  • Comment 14, posted at 11.06.13 13:36:48 by rhineshark Reply
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  • Not a forester or in the industry but I lived in a forestry town that had many Saasvelders, oh boy are they a special breed , work hard and play even harder.

  • Comment 15, posted at 11.06.13 13:57:07 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 15) : Hahaha, can see you knew them well. Great bunch of guys! :grin:

    Besides the Saasvelders, we had a really weird mixture of guys in the team.

    Our one prop, Hekkie, stood 1,90m in his socks and was almost 50 years old, but he scrummed the crap out of everyone.

    Our other prop was a powerful ex-policeman, who was out on bail for murdering a guy who owed him money. His nickname was Yum-Yum, because that was the name of his takeaway shop – the one he sold to a guy, who then made the fatal mistake of not paying him as agreed. When we used to get pissed after a game Yum-Yum always wanted to “stamp koppe”, which means he wanted you to sit opposite him in a chair and literally headbutt him to see who conks out first. Deep down a really soft at heart, great guy.

    Our scrummie was as big as Yum-Yum. This dude played squash like a raging bull. After games we had to wash the blood off the squash court from him bashing his head into the walls, because his brakes were crap and he would never give up on ANY shot, especially not drop-shots.

    We had a bloody quick little wing, nicknamed K***ertjie, because everything about him was bright white, from his skin to his teeth to his hair.

  • Comment 16, posted at 11.06.13 14:18:08 by rhineshark Reply
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  • :lol:

    Start penning the colourful history of the Sabie RC and then post here on a quiete day – theres some crazy stuff there.

  • Comment 17, posted at 11.06.13 16:09:37 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 17) : Good idea! Those were really great times. :cool:

  • Comment 18, posted at 11.06.13 17:25:02 by rhineshark Reply
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