robdylan

So that was the Currie Cup…


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 4 Oct 2016 at 10:26
Tagged with : , , , ,

This game can be very cruel indeed sometimes and I’m sure I speak for many here when I say that I’m torn between several emotions right now. Chief among these is probably disbelief, although there’s a healthy dose of optimism, along with the now-familiar and crushing sense of disappointment.

Let’s address the first of these; how, I ask myself, is it possible that the Sharks somehow managed to end fifth in the Currie Cup this year after the start they enjoyed? Were we, perhaps, lulled into a false sense of security by big wins over teams that later proved to not be up to standard? After all, bonus-point victories against the Pumas, Boland, Griquas and Kings were a given for all of the big unions this year and of the other traditional top 5 teams, the only time the Sharks tasted victory was against the Bulls. I think, perhaps, the disbelief aspect can be put to bed given that, in hindsight, the Sharks weren’t actually all that good this campaign and the results (and final log positions) bear that out.

Reality is always a better place to inhabit than fantasy, so given that we are where we are, how should one feel about it? Disappointed, for sure, but I for one am not feeling particularly despondent at the moment. Maybe that comes from being a little more rooted in the reality of the situation that the Sharks are in right now and being able to look for positive signs – some reasons for optimism – despite the painful reality of missing out on the Currie Cup knock-outs for a second year running.

I saw some enterprising play in this campaign. I saw the signs of a pack that can dominate and evidence of exciting young backs, with skill, able to play ball-in-hand rugby. Needless to say, there were scarcely more than all-too-brief glimpses of these things during a campaign that was mired in mistakes (and often disrupted by injury), but the signs were there all the same and I choose to be hopeful that the Sharks can take the things that they did well in this season and build on them, rather than once again chuck out the entire damn bathtub (baby and all) and start again from square one.

That there are ongoing concerns, of course, and it would be foolish to gloss over these. To take a squad that was found wanting at Currie Cup level and expect them to win Super Rugby nine months later is absurd, but again, we need to be realistic about where the Sharks are at the moment, taking into account all of the things that have happened over the last few years. We’ve not yet got to the bottom of the “financial scandal”, but the reality is that money is tight in Durban and the likelihood that the Sharks are in a position to once more go out and buy a team full of high profile players is low. Depth is, however, a massive concern and we will need to see what the plans are to address that.

Fans, though, should probably prepare themselves for more of the same, as the Union looks to extract some value from the assets that it has – in other words, looks to those players who have come through the age-group ranks in recent years to step up and deliver on a bigger stage. Whether you view that as a positive or a negative, I guess, really depends on your own attitude and what it is that you expect from the team. Reactions to this Currie Cup campaign are already showing signs of two distinct camps of Sharks fans. I anticipate that divide will only grow wider as next year’s Super Rugby campaign progresses.



57 Comments

  • Yes I am one of those disappointed fans. However, the Sharks showed a hell of allot more than when GG was the coach, that for me shows that we may be heading into the right direction. RdP has something brewing there, and hopefully it won’t be too long before we see the rewards from his coaching style pay off. We have some young stars coming through which in its self is very promising. my question is who will be captain next year? how long has KD got left in the tank, because other than him and Lambie I don’t see any real contenders. Beast trail as captain hopefully has ended for good now.

  • Comment 1, posted at 04.10.16 11:00:32 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • I’m not sure about the youngsters in the forwards but 2 guys I’m disapointed not to see play CC this year was Marius Louw and Sibusiso Nkosi. Were they both injured felt not to be up to scratch playing age group rugby? The other I didn’t see was Hyron Andrews, thought he performed at the lineout really well in SR and thought a CC season could only have helped.

  • Comment 2, posted at 04.10.16 11:11:38 by Hulk Reply

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  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 1) : I’d say Lewies is the next legitimate captaincy option. However Van der Walt is a good stand in.

  • Comment 3, posted at 04.10.16 11:22:28 by Hulk Reply

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  • I think for me the real problem lies in a management team headed by Gary Gold that failed to be street smart over the past 2 years. Look for examples at the buys Gold made vs the buys the Cheetahs made over the past 2 years!??! It’s clear that with Gold at the helm it will take years to undo the mess he put us in. Before you rush to respond look at the centers the Cheetahs got over the past 2 years. Those centers are now set on becoming the best centers in the country. Gold didn’t look to build but thought short term. Gary Teichman has a lot of work to do to undo the mess called Gary Gold.

  • Comment 4, posted at 04.10.16 11:25:04 by GreatSharksays Reply

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  • Quote from Cobus Rousouw’s brilliant article because I can’t put it better.
    “See, I love rugby. It can make me happy when we win and it can make me sad when we lose but I will not allow it to make me angry – and it will never make me abandon my team.”

  • Comment 5, posted at 04.10.16 11:28:33 by gregkaos Reply
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  • @Hulk (Comment 3) : My concern with Lewies (like Lambie) is that he has been out injured a lot.

  • Comment 6, posted at 04.10.16 11:40:36 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • I think the good things done against the minnows in the CC overshadowed the general poor play from the Sharks this CC. In truth the performances were not very good. Not sure how they are going to turn it around but they have 5 months to do so before Super rugby. This coaching staff needs to stay in place and the players need to be held accountable…and it would be great if our main players could stay injury free

  • Comment 7, posted at 04.10.16 12:32:55 by SheldonK Reply

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  • Munster signs Du Toit on 3 month deal

  • Comment 8, posted at 04.10.16 12:39:38 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 7) : The team and the coaches will have to put in some real hard yards before next year. Hopefully they have started already.

  • Comment 9, posted at 04.10.16 12:40:22 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 8) : Thomas du Toit ?Shit that’s huge loss

  • Comment 10, posted at 04.10.16 12:57:42 by The hound Reply
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  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 8) : Or is it, its three month deal so he should be back for Super rugby.

  • Comment 11, posted at 04.10.16 12:58:49 by The hound Reply
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  • Rob personally I think the disappointment was caused by the Sharks making Super rugby play offs and then after a nice start to the Currie cup season it seemed as if the wheels just came off!
    Yes the youngsters has huge potential but a couple of them will not be ready for Super rugby. Would personally loved it to get some players like Joe back just to have a bit of experience as cover but ja can’t see it happening.
    Could be a long season for the coaches as they will be held responsible (by supporters) if our beloved Sharks do not win.

  • Comment 12, posted at 04.10.16 12:59:45 by JD Reply
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  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 8) : @The hound (Comment 10) : medical joker? Personally I think (if they don’t manage to sign him on a permanent deal) it could only be a good thing for his development as a prop.

  • Comment 13, posted at 04.10.16 13:01:46 by JD Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 11) : Those 3 month medial joker stints often become longer…

  • Comment 14, posted at 04.10.16 13:04:44 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @The hound (Comment 11) @JD (Comment 13) : I don’t like these short stints, as he will have no time to prepare with the rest of the team.

  • Comment 15, posted at 04.10.16 13:07:05 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 11) : that’s the plan. They want him to get properly fucked up playing at 3 in the Northern Hemisphere in the hope that he comes back a better player.

    This is my skeptical face.

  • Comment 16, posted at 04.10.16 13:09:38 by robdylan Reply
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  • A lot of comments on the articles at Sharksworld infer that the Sharks can replicate what happened at the lions and that three years of minimal disruption will have similar results, except that that could be true if a) the coaches have identified the correct talent, b) they know how to untap it and c) the players are motivated by more than a mere job. For me, those are big factors and the answers will differ from the variables at the lions. Also, to some extent there is (but I really don’t like using the word), ‘luck’. The Sharks have got the short end of the stick from many a ref, TMO and injury fairy. I’m too afraid to ‘believe’ in the Sharks and get my hopes up only to see it dashed. Keegan is a solid captain but seems to rub a lot of referees up the wrong way, and guys like Joubert, Peyper and Rasta have big egos and easily get pissy. I feel like one breakout season is all it will take to launch the Sharks, it’s just that it’s difficult to see it objectively happening soon.

  • Comment 17, posted at 04.10.16 13:10:03 by SeanJeff Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 16) : maybe “play” him out of his decision to move to 3!?!?!?

  • Comment 18, posted at 04.10.16 13:12:45 by JD Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 16) : Biggest problem is that he is going to Rassie Erasmus,hmmm,don’t know if I like that.

  • Comment 19, posted at 04.10.16 13:13:15 by The hound Reply
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  • @SeanJeff (Comment 17) : hahahaha ja that season was predicted and expected for a good couple of years!!! Maybe next year ;-)

  • Comment 20, posted at 04.10.16 13:14:27 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 20) : That statement is usually preceded with a chorus of WeeePeee jou lekker ding

  • Comment 21, posted at 04.10.16 13:18:17 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 19) : My worry as well

  • Comment 22, posted at 04.10.16 13:40:25 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 16) : I think that its a great opportunity for him to learn, recon he will come back a much better player

  • Comment 23, posted at 04.10.16 14:03:10 by Tintin Reply

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  • @The hound (Comment 21) : hahaha ja but lately we are also turning into the “maybe next year” boys.

  • Comment 24, posted at 04.10.16 14:39:47 by JD Reply
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  • @Tintin (Comment 23) : Agree. It can only help. No one ever got worse from ore experience and diversity in competition.

  • Comment 25, posted at 04.10.16 20:32:16 by coolfusion Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 16) : not the best cc season but we atleast have a decent foundation to work on for next years SR with a much easier schedule

    its concerning that the quality of our SR squad has actaully gotten worse over the last 3 season, though there are many factors contributing to that

    I still feel that with lambie, dan, ginger, cobus, mvovo, adrianse consistently in the team, we’ll be a better outfit.

    prop depth and ability is a concern, and actual performance of our scrummies is also a concern.

    I figure with willie gone our best team is actually april at 10 with lambie 15. inny on the bench.

    whats the inside centre depth chart ? or is the plan to play andre into the ground (he does get 5 months off now though)

    I guess if everyones fit we are well covered at loose forward, still would have persueded rienaldo bothma to stay

  • Comment 26, posted at 04.10.16 20:38:29 by revolverocelot Reply

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  • The Stormers haven’t announced a contract extension for Du Preez if I’m not mistaken ? Could this mean he has not decided where he wants to play his rugby in the future and that the Sharks are also in the running for his signature.

  • Comment 27, posted at 05.10.16 04:48:29 by GreatSharksays Reply

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  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 27) : Is he really that much better than what we have on the books now? I wonder.

  • Comment 28, posted at 05.10.16 06:49:40 by coolfusion Reply

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  • Some positives out of the CC, but generally very disappointing, again.

    I deliberated about renewing my season ticket this year, and the All Blacks test was the decider. I don’t see anything giving me reason to renew it next year, apart from the glimmer of hope that Teichmann may be able to do something with a Union that is not in a very good space at the moment.

    Also the shambolic format of the super Rugby and watered down CC do not inspire.

    Sorry to be negative, but just sharing my thoughts post season.

  • Comment 29, posted at 05.10.16 08:41:53 by stevovo Reply
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  • @stevovo (Comment 29) : Speaking of Teichman, we have heard zilch from and about him since he took office, I think this is a good thing.

  • Comment 30, posted at 05.10.16 09:46:55 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 30) : I was about to say. It is a good thing.

  • Comment 31, posted at 05.10.16 09:50:36 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 30) : Same. Staying clear of media distractions can only be a good thing for focusing on the job at hand.

  • Comment 32, posted at 05.10.16 10:06:07 by gregkaos Reply
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  • @stevovo (Comment 29) : Look when we first bought season tickets it was to make sure we got a decent seat for the game,thats hardly a problem any more.T today there are only eleven people watching the game and six of there relatives the players.
    Going to enjoy the test on Saturday from my seats for the last time and am definitely not renewing for the first time since the Sharks or rather Natal won the Currie Cup at Loftus in 1990.
    I know Rob couldn’t give a flying fuck about this,but I can assure you that I am not alone in this decision.

  • Comment 33, posted at 05.10.16 10:10:23 by The hound Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 30) : Open communication with the supporters is always essential, but at this stage I would guess most of us are interested in actions – not words.

  • Comment 34, posted at 05.10.16 10:25:13 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 33) : He should care and I am sure he does, no one wants to see an empty stadium. But will we ever see full stadiums again, considering there is so much rugby? How does soccer get this right, why are the soccer stadiums always full?

  • Comment 35, posted at 05.10.16 10:26:06 by Vonno13 Reply
     
  • @Vonno13 (Comment 35) : Broadcasting to the masses = more people , Ticket prices are also cheap.

  • Comment 36, posted at 05.10.16 10:31:28 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • @Vonno13 (Comment 35) : @Uli Boelie (Comment 36) : yes soccer ticket prices are less than half of rugby tickets.

  • Comment 37, posted at 05.10.16 10:41:25 by JD Reply
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  • @Vonno13 (Comment 35) : @JD (Comment 37) : SA soccer stadiums are hardly ever full, yes when the big boys play each other (or come to town) then the crowd swells but for most games the attendance is actually quiete dismal considering the number of supporters in those areas coupled with the cheap ticket prices. UK soccer game attendance is another thing all together.

  • Comment 38, posted at 05.10.16 10:46:25 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @stevovo (Comment 29) : @The hound (Comment 33) : personally I’m sad if guys living in and around Durbs do not renew season tickets as Sharks needs as many people at each game as they can get. However I understand the decision and I’m sure it is not an easy one to make especially after years of having season tickets.

  • Comment 39, posted at 05.10.16 10:48:59 by JD Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 34) : Open communication and keeping the fans and public informed is vital but I dont think it is necessarily the job of the CEO to do that, a good communications manager could do all that.

  • Comment 40, posted at 05.10.16 10:50:34 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 38) : for rugby not even the big boys draw full stadiums but I think attending games is not cheap anymore especially if you need to travel a bit to get there!!!

  • Comment 41, posted at 05.10.16 10:53:33 by JD Reply
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  • @Vonno13 (Comment 35) : Rugby marketing in this country is still aimed at the white minority,and most of it is abysmal.
    The worst of the worst was the Sharks Rugbyginners campaign from last year.
    Very little attempt has been made to recruit the new market.

  • Comment 42, posted at 05.10.16 10:53:47 by The hound Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 39) : Its actually an easy decision,but what it means is that I will now pick the games I want to watch and you won’t find me turning up for the Kings or Pumas,or even Cheetahs games.Those I will watch at home,still get up for the touring teams though.

  • Comment 43, posted at 05.10.16 11:04:23 by The hound Reply
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  • If you really dislike watching the Sharks, don’t feel that the season ticket is worth the money, or for whatever reason, then just don’t buy one / renew. This does not need a petulant public announcement. Fine if you think every player, coaching staff, managment, kit handler, groundsman, etc member who are working to their best to bring glory to the Sharks, deserves to read this kak.

    Sad that right now The Sharks are probably the more desperate for support than they ever have been. Ask any player what fan support means to them, especially when they’re trying to dig themselves out of a rut. When supporters abandon the team, so do the sponsors, the self belief, the will to drive through the pain, the desire to be part of the union.

    I’m not a football fan but I do watch Glasgow Rangers for family reasons. They got demoted to 4th division, lost all their top class players, bucketloads of money, yet every game I’ve watched has had a packed stadium full of singing and cheering supporters. They managed to get back to premier division in 5 years through the sheer force of their supporters coming to every game even when they lost to other 4th division sides.

  • Comment 44, posted at 05.10.16 11:07:15 by gregkaos Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 42) : Now you taking a horse load of crap. Where is it marketed towards the white minority? Allot of white people cant even afford DSTV anylonger, you can see with the new channels added each month by DSTV who their new target market is.

  • Comment 45, posted at 05.10.16 11:25:32 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • @gregkaos (Comment 44) : I hear what you are saying but on the other hand it does give the powers that be and indication of what core grass roots supporters are feeling.

  • Comment 46, posted at 05.10.16 11:27:41 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 45) : Please understand we are talking about the Sharks and not about rugby.Dstv has nothing to do with the Sharks marketing,exactly what have the Sharks done to sell the game to a wider market.
    Yes I know you are going to tell me they went and played two games in the township.
    But if you need an example look no further than who goes to watch the Stormers,the Bishops and Paarl Gym boys are in the minority.
    Even the Bulls have done a better job at widening their fan base.

  • Comment 47, posted at 05.10.16 11:35:52 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 47) : The Sharks are co owned by Naspers aka DSTV (Supersport), so in essence it falls back onto them as well. You cant expect to grow the game if the boys cannot watch it. A once off game here and there don’t do it justice, If you want to grow the game then broadcast it to the masses. That said, why does the games have to be in a township in the first place? You will not grow the game in this manner, you need to broadcast the game over a period of time to get people interested. If anything, when a game gets played in PMB its normally sold out, people in the local township have easy access to getting to the game, considering that the Harry Gwala stadium is close by, there is no reason for township people not to attend these games, the same can be said bout KP and MM stadium. To have people interested you need to broadcast it to them, something which is lacking in SA,

  • Comment 48, posted at 05.10.16 12:22:17 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 48) : We are saying the same thing,The Sharks match day experience hasn’t changed in 20 years.
    Youngsters find it boring its something their parents and grandparents do.The core fan is probably over 40 , white and miserable.
    This is me except make it over 60.
    The game has changed but the fans haven’t the y just getting older.
    We need a radical injection of youth and we need a marketing department that can implement it.

  • Comment 49, posted at 05.10.16 12:32:26 by The hound Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 30) : I’m interviewing him next week

  • Comment 50, posted at 05.10.16 12:34:51 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 48) : @The hound (Comment 49) : Irrespective of who the games are broadcast to and what the match day experience is like…there needs to be a genuine interest in the game in order to attract and retain new fans. And well rugby in SA currently doesnt have that interest…especially when going into the rural areas etc. Sport stadium attendance has declined massively in SA…even soccer which the majority of the population have an interest in. The economic and social environment currently in SA is such that these big stadiums will never be full, not even for internationals. Games need to move to smaller stadiums where the demand is higher and as such the interest will grow slowly to the extent that perhaps in the future the big stadiums will once again be required.

  • Comment 51, posted at 05.10.16 12:48:18 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 50) : :cool: looking forward to that one? Are you the first to interview him – I havent seen any yet but then I dont get the local (KZN) papers.

  • Comment 52, posted at 05.10.16 13:18:16 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 50) : Are you doing this in London heard rumours he was coming for an Old Boys get together.

  • Comment 53, posted at 05.10.16 14:24:43 by durbsguy Reply

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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 30) : I agree

  • Comment 54, posted at 05.10.16 15:15:53 by stevovo Reply
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  • @durbsguy (Comment 53) : no, via phone. He’ll be in durban

  • Comment 55, posted at 05.10.16 15:23:38 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 50) : great can’t wait to hear the boss speak!

  • Comment 56, posted at 05.10.16 15:48:40 by JD Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 55) : must I go down to Durbs to take some photos?!?!

  • Comment 57, posted at 05.10.16 15:49:58 by JD Reply
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