vanmartin

Always take the weather with you


Written by Martin van Niekerk (vanmartin)

Posted in :Bulls, Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 17 Mar 2016 at 09:39
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After a particularly dry summer, the proud Republic of Loftus and its surrounding colonies are enjoying a somewhat late downpour of biblical proportions this week. Braais have to be improvised in living rooms and your neighbour’s favourite Steve Hofmeyr album can hardly be heard over the steady precipitation of canines and felines. A welcome comfort then despite the several cases of indoor braai-smoke inhalation reported to date.

What impact will this have on tomorrow’s game at Loftus? The various weather websites (that I’ve come to trust) all seem to agree that no rain is expected on the evening but there’s somewhere in the range of 80% – 90% humidity forecast for tomorrow evening. Due to a week’s worth of showers, a heavy and wet pitch becomes a very real possibility.

These conditions may actually play into the Sharks’ hands. One would expect them to be slightly more acclimatised to the humid conditions and it’s probably also safe to assume that the Bulls have not enjoyed as many outdoor practices this week as originally planned.

Scrum stability may become an issue if the pitch does not dry out enough by tomorrow evening so I’d expect lineouts to become the most important set-piece weapon in both team’s arsenals. This in turn implies that the halfbacks for both sides will have very influential roles to ensure the game is played in the right areas.

Overcast conditions are forecast for the entire day tomorrow but if the weather wizards get it wrong (which never happens) things suddenly change very swiftly. If the sun makes an appearance, expect the Loftus pitch to dry out quickly and as a result a completely different game-plan may be on the cards.

Keeping the current conditions in mind, don’t be too disappointed to see a lot of handling errors and a fairly pragmatic approach to the game tomorrow evening. Whatever the weather, Gary Gold and the Sharks’ empire can conquer the blue fortress. Godspeed boys!



52 Comments

  • I hope Dan has done some work on his ball handling, may need it in these conditions.

  • Comment 1, posted at 17.03.16 10:07:57 by Seth101 Reply
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  • Not often you hear Humidity and Pretoria grouped together. If the Sharks are training today they will definitely be used to a soggy pitch as it pissed down in Durban last night

  • Comment 2, posted at 17.03.16 10:20:06 by SheldonK Reply

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  • I like this nascent tradition of article headlines referencing songs…

  • Comment 3, posted at 17.03.16 10:22:10 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @Culling Song (Comment 3) : There’s another easter egg in the article body.

  • Comment 4, posted at 17.03.16 10:38:25 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 2) : It happens on occasion and it’s usually after a very wet spell like we’ve had. Interesting story, a low water bridge has developed two major surface cracks as a result of all the water coming down. Roads been closed for the whole week now. It’s the one next to Centurion Lake Hotel if anyone’s interested.

    It’s VERY humid today already. It does disappear pretty quickly once the sun is out for a few hours though.

  • Comment 5, posted at 17.03.16 10:49:17 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 5) : Very interesting…i spent a bit of time playing sport up in PTA when at school so trying to remember if it was ever humid….perhaps in the mornings if anything. What is the general feeling there towards this Bulls side? Are people still as passionate about the team and believe they are the best in the land by far? Or is the jury still out about these guys?

  • Comment 6, posted at 17.03.16 10:53:00 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 6) : They’re still remarkably quiet, even following the Rebels victory. Uncertainty seems to have crept into the supporter base. Chatting to guys here at work the general feeling seems to be that confidence levels dipped once Pollard was ruled out for the season. It seems quite a few of the squad members are still largely unknown amongst many of the fans too.

    That last point is something I’ve always found curious about many of the Bulls supporters – they don’t know their larger squad very well. Ditto for age-group players. Most of the time, I know more about the players than my Bulls’ friends do. Thanks Sharksworld, I guess :grin:

  • Comment 7, posted at 17.03.16 11:17:27 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 7) : Thanks for the insights. I had a feeling that was the case. The Bulls Heroes of the past are all pretty much gone now and its a new generation that need to win over those very staunch but fickle supporters.

  • Comment 8, posted at 17.03.16 11:26:57 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @vanmartin (Comment 7) : They’re not the most clued-up lot, are they.

    They also only ever watch rugby when their team plays well (ie winning-boring-rugby as apposed to losing-boring-rugby).

  • Comment 9, posted at 17.03.16 11:38:22 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 9) : I have to tread carefully as many friends, colleagues and in-laws are Bulls’ fans. Let’s just say that three Super Rugby titles have spoiled them and they don’t necessarily like watching a team that finds itself in a rebuilding phase. They’re still good people though because they dislike the Stormers even more than I do. My brother-in-law is a Stormers supporter living in Pretoria. That poor, poor man.

  • Comment 10, posted at 17.03.16 11:46:51 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 7) : truth be told,how many sharks fans know all the players in the sharks squad?and then add the youngsters?even on a site like sharksworld,you find it in the comments.

  • Comment 11, posted at 17.03.16 11:54:57 by 50shadesofshark Reply

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  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 11) : I think readers here are 1000% more clued-up on Sharks fringe/young players than the average man-in-the-street Sharks fan.

  • Comment 12, posted at 17.03.16 11:56:52 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 12) : perhaps thats the problem…those men are in the street instead of being in the stadium to support :)

  • Comment 13, posted at 17.03.16 12:01:33 by SheldonK Reply

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  • I think Pretoria is a mere one loss ahead of a huge # Bring back Heynekke campaign.
    Back to the laager mentality.

  • Comment 14, posted at 17.03.16 12:05:49 by The hound Reply
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  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 11) : Very fair point. The anecdote is a very personal and subjective one. I don’t mean to generalise when telling it even though it probably comes off that way. I just find it curious that I know more about their favourite team’s players than they do (amongst the circle of people I know). There’s probably a Bull fan or three out there who could educate me on the Sharks too.

  • Comment 15, posted at 17.03.16 12:10:18 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 10) : Do I ever understand the predicament with the in-laws….father in-law is an avid bulls supporter, mother in-law an avid streamers supporter – but they actually support each others teams…..and have grown to love the Sharks as their lowly third team (because of me, of course :mrgreen: )

    Brother in-law, staunch bulls supporter with ZERO knowledge of rugby…not that it ever stops him from acting like an expert – although, I suspect he too has miraculously lost all interest in rugby.

  • Comment 16, posted at 17.03.16 12:11:30 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • @The hound (Comment 14) : What I find odd is that Nollis Marias seems to be suffering from that laager menatlity himself at the moment. Why start Francois Brummer ahead of Tian Schoeman? He should be pushing ahead with the sort of gameplan he introduced in the Currie Cup but instead he seems to want play it safe. Maybe I have it all wrong but that’s the impression I get.

  • Comment 17, posted at 17.03.16 12:18:36 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 15) : as a rule imo most fans are not familiar with their own team’s players.sure they know the usual ones who always appear on the team sheets,but not the complete squad roster.and definitely not the junior ranks.

  • Comment 18, posted at 17.03.16 12:22:25 by 50shadesofshark Reply

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  • @vanmartin (Comment 17) : I agree but if ,sorry when, we win on Friday the bring back Heynekke brigade will swing into action.

  • Comment 19, posted at 17.03.16 12:26:07 by The hound Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 12) : yes,due largely to the effort on your part to make mention of the juniors.if not,do not know how many readers would’ve made the effort to google search :D or even better,attend the u19 and u2r1 games.

  • Comment 20, posted at 17.03.16 12:32:06 by 50shadesofshark Reply

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  • The Loftus pitch is going to be really soft and waterlogged after all the rain Gauteng had in the past two weeks. Not that we are complaining at all.

  • Comment 21, posted at 17.03.16 14:38:18 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 14) : ja could start as early as Friday night/ Saturday! :twisted:

  • Comment 22, posted at 17.03.16 15:12:53 by JD Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 16) : sorry to say but a lot of people does not let the lack of knowledge stop them from commenting and criticising! In fact I sometimes think they do it the loudest!!! :twisted:

  • Comment 23, posted at 17.03.16 15:18:20 by JD Reply
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  • I’ll post some updates from the stadium regarding conditions tomorrow evening. Will also try and get close to the pitch to get an idea of how waterlogged it is.

  • Comment 24, posted at 17.03.16 15:58:01 by vanmartin Reply
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  • Does anyone know who the English commentary team will be for tomorrow’s game?

    Please no Skinstad, Cowley or Stransky.

    Give me the dull but slightly more partial “they need go forward ball” Nkumane any day.

  • Comment 25, posted at 17.03.16 16:39:34 by Sharks_have_Character! Reply

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  • @vanmartin (Comment 4) : You’ll have to mark it in bold, underline it, and maybe put a few neon arrows around it. I don’t pay much attention to lyrics at the best of times…

  • Comment 26, posted at 17.03.16 17:07:08 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @Culling Song (Comment 26) : “no rain” by Blind Melon?

  • Comment 27, posted at 17.03.16 17:18:07 by robdylan Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 24) : thanx hope you enjoy the game. Will be watching to see if you make it onto TV.

  • Comment 28, posted at 17.03.16 17:42:19 by JD Reply
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  • @Sharks_have_Character! (Comment 25) : it’s getting very hard to choose who to listen to as the Afrikaans guys are not a whole lot better. Sometimes I think I should just mute the TV and do my own commentary!!!

  • Comment 29, posted at 17.03.16 17:44:28 by JD Reply
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  • @Culling Song (Comment 26) : check this: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/crowdedhouse/weatherwithyou.html and compare to second last sentence. I took poetic licence.

    @robdylan (Comment 27) : I love the song but sadly that’s purely coincidental. Nice catch though! Wish I thought of that now.

  • Comment 30, posted at 17.03.16 17:46:46 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 28) : thanks bud! I’m the guy in the Sharks shirt sitting between the guy in the Stormers shirt and the guy in the Bulls shirt.

  • Comment 31, posted at 17.03.16 17:55:14 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 30) : oh of course. Very clever. I must say I did wonder where you were going with that sentence :)

  • Comment 32, posted at 17.03.16 17:57:01 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 32) : :)

  • Comment 33, posted at 17.03.16 18:01:19 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 23) : The empty can rattles the most…

  • Comment 34, posted at 17.03.16 19:15:52 by the ko Reply

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  • @the ko (Comment 34) : …speaking of music references ;-)

  • Comment 35, posted at 17.03.16 19:24:17 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • @the ko (Comment 34) : for sure!!!

  • Comment 36, posted at 17.03.16 22:57:24 by JD Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 31) : the guy going in the Stormers jersey do know they’re not playing?!?!?!

  • Comment 37, posted at 17.03.16 23:00:42 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 37) : well he’s a Stormers’ supporter, no further explanation required ;)

  • Comment 38, posted at 17.03.16 23:03:35 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 38) : ja ok no need to explain any further !! ;-P Enjoy the game and will try to join you in Jozi when the Sharks play the Lions!!!!

  • Comment 39, posted at 17.03.16 23:32:04 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 39) : Thanks bud! Hope we see you there!

  • Comment 40, posted at 18.03.16 08:06:08 by vanmartin Reply
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  • Rain stopped early this morning. Humid as hell as predicted.

  • Comment 41, posted at 18.03.16 08:06:52 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 41) : Humid with a heavy wet field, Sharks should feel right at home then!

  • Comment 42, posted at 18.03.16 09:31:44 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 42) : Still very overcast so doubt the field will have any sort of chance of drying out. So yup, Sharks should feel at home :grin:

  • Comment 43, posted at 18.03.16 10:39:06 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 43) : good news!!! Go Cherry Sharks!!!!!!!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 44, posted at 18.03.16 11:14:08 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 44) : That sounds like a bubblegum flavour

  • Comment 45, posted at 18.03.16 11:20:20 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 45) : or a motor vehicle!?!?! As in did you drive the new Cherry Sharks. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 46, posted at 18.03.16 11:37:42 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 46) : you may be onto something…we should trademark that name haha

  • Comment 47, posted at 18.03.16 11:44:30 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 47) : Cherry’s already a brand from China.

  • Comment 48, posted at 18.03.16 12:03:47 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 48) : Maybe they can sponsor then. The Cherry Sharks Kings Park…..i should work for Nandos haha

  • Comment 49, posted at 18.03.16 12:10:31 by SheldonK Reply

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  • Sun’s out. Humidity has backed off just a bit too.

  • Comment 50, posted at 18.03.16 13:05:36 by vanmartin Reply
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  • So it’s raining…

  • Comment 51, posted at 18.03.16 18:04:22 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 51) : hope you managed to not get soaked to much!!!

  • Comment 52, posted at 18.03.16 23:35:47 by JD Reply
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