A trip well worth it

Written by (Villie)

Posted in :Bulls, Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 29 Oct 2008 at 10:20
Tagged with : , ,

Arriving in Durban the day before the big game, it was blindingly obvious that the whole province were behind the Sharks in a massive way.

Much like the World Cup final, all the school kids were decked out in team colours, confirming their loyalty . Black and white was EVERYWHERE….from shopkeepers to petrol attendants, office workers to hotel staff. Currie Cup fever was very much in the air, there was a mood of expectation and the desperation of Sharks fans to see the trophy finally return to Durban, was almost tangible. The thought of further disappointment was not even contemplated.

The flight down to Durban from Joburg was entertaining. A fair mixture of both Sharks and Bulls supporters exchanged playful banter. I got the impression that the Bulls supporters were genuinely concerned about their chances of turning us over in the Tank as they failed to display their usual pre match arrogance.
There was even one sad case wearing a Wee Pee shirt…I guess the fact that his team didn’t even make the semi’s was burning deep….poor tortured soul!

I picked up my rental car and made my way straight down to the Shark cage. A decision which later turned out to be extremely wise, as the shop on match day resembled the London tube in rush hour. A place to avoid if at all possible!
Within 10 minutes, my credit card had suffered a hit of R1500. However with the pound hovering around the 17 mark, I was still smiling.

I battled to sleep on Friday night, a combination of excitement and nervousness was to blame. This was the BIG one, the game I had been waiting for. It was revenge time and I was a like a school kid all over again. I remembered our previous Currie Cup triumph up at Ellis Park as well as all the disappointments since that magic day. All sorts of thoughts were running through my mind. In addition, after a lovely sunny day, the rain had started to fall in Durban and it was absolutely bucketing it down. I was praying for the rain to stop – no-one wanted rain. Not only would it spoil the actual game but worse it would affect both the after match braai’s and the planned celebrations.

Saturday morning dawned and I was up bright and early. No sign of the rain abating. Infact, if anything, it was coming down steadily harder. I made my way down to the butchers to replenish the biltong and droewors supplies and get some braai packs for later. My Dad left the house at 10am to ensure a prime parking spot on the outer fields. I decided to head down to ABSA at around 12 and to my surprise still found a great parking right near the swimming pool. Durban folk famously always seem to leave things to the last minute!

Made my way to the stadium passing a variety of strangely dressed “Blou Bull” supporters, complete with horns, ring through the nose etc. We exchanged further banter and this time they seemed a bit bolder, confidently predicting that us Sharkies would have no answer to Habana or Spies. My standard reply was “take a look at our BENCH”…if these guys can’t make our starting XV, you Bulls are in trouble! That seemed to get them quaking again. Got to the ground and met up with all our fellow Sharksworld people (Debs, Milissa, Elspeth etc). After a further bit of shopping at the Cage (where the queues were almost out the door), we settled down to our seats and a few beers.

Having been a regular at Kings Park (Absa) since basically birth, the atmosphere inside the stadium was possibly the best I can EVER recall. Looking around the stadium there were a good few thousand Blue Bull supporters scattered in pockets in every area of the ground. Infact it was one of the most impressive “away” followings I’ve seen in Durban.
When the stadium announcer asked “Where are the Blue Bull supporters?” , a tremendous roar erupted and I admit to being slightly concerned. I needn’t have been. As soon as he enquired about the Sharks supporters, an almighty cheer was accompanied by thousands and thousands of black and white flags. It is difficult to describe this atmosphere. You needed to be there to appreciate it. I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and I became extremely emotional with the pride that had built up inside me.

The moment of truth had arrived. This is what I had waited for all these years and why I had not even given a moments thought to the cost when I booked my flight out from the UK. I knew this was an occasion that I didn’t want to miss. I would have regretted it forever if I had.

The game kicked off and the intensity was brutal. This was more physical and more passionate than most test matches. This was akin to the World Cup final. It was clear from the outset that our boys would die out there for the cause, they would not come off the park without making sure the famous trophy was back in Durban.

I was shaking in the stands, barely able to look at times. When Habana intercepted Frans Steyn’s pass, I closed my eyes and for a second feared the worst. Thankfully, our wonderful French import Freddy Michalak (what is it with French players and Sharks CC triumphs?) showed immense guts not to give up and straining every sinew saved what was a certain try with an ankle tap on the off colour Springbok wing. From then on, the Sharks dominated the game but just couldn’t pull sufficiently clear at any point to ease our (the supporters) nerves. A combination of magnificent defence from the Bulls and below par goalkicking from the Sharks kept the Bulls in touch. We really should have been around 9 points or more clear at the break.

When Frans Steyn scored our second try not far from where I was sitting, the relief and delight was incredible. Supporters were jumping up and down hugging each other. Michalak’s conversion was crucial and he nailed it. We hadn’t won yet but we were almost there….the Currie Cup was in touching distance.

However the Sharks being the Sharks just HAD to give us loyal fans one further heart attack. With time up on the scoreboard and a Sharks scrum, all we needed was to win the ball, put it into touch and the Golden trophy was ours. A simple equation, especially as our scrum had been dominant all day. I have to admit that when we got shoved off our ball at that vital scrum, giving the Bulls the vital put in….memories of the Super 14 final came flooding back and I could not watch that last scrum.

Words do not do justice to the elation I felt when Jonathan Kaplan blew his final whistle. The tears flowed with the emotion and the stadium erupted with a cheer that is unlikely to ever be repeated. Sharks supporters stood and applauded our heroes and once again “Simply the Best” bellowed out over the loudspeakers. We stood and waited for Johann Muller to loft that magic trophy over his head. Our boys had done it and the celebrations would go on long into the night. We applauded once again as the boys did a lap of honour with the Currie Cup. I could hardly believe it. Finally the trophy was back in Durban, and back in our cabinet!

Every single player played their part in our magnificent victory. All of them were superb but if I had to name my personal man of the match it would have been Stefan Terblanche. He was absolutely colossal and took every bomb that Fourie Du Preez and Morne Steyn threw at him. In addition he was incisive on attack and even left old Pigeon chest in his wake on an occasion. His positional play was impeccable.

A special word also for Freddy Michalak. His was another class performance. The capacity crowd seemed to inspire him and his defence especially was sensational. He proved that he is a big game player and it was a fantastic note to leave us on.
In addition, every player that came off the bench for the Sharks made an impression.

After the game I managed to chat to most of the players as well as get almost all of their autographs and photo’s with a lot of them. I chatted to Brad Barritt about his move to Saracens and promised to go and watch him in action. I had a laugh and a joke with Deon Carstens (what a fantastic guy he is) and chatted to Stefan about his future.

What a day. A day I and I’m sure all Sharks fans inside the stadium will never forget. I am certain that it won’t be another 12 years until our next trophy. Let’s hope for the Super 14 title next season!


  • Sounds like an awesome trip. Worth every penny by the sounds of it. 😀

  • Comment 1, posted at 29.10.08 10:58:34 by McLovin Reply
  • yeah – I am starting to think about a trip next time there’s a fnial in Durban… :mrgreen: 😈

  • Comment 2, posted at 29.10.08 11:02:57 by robdylan (CC Champ '08) Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Sweet stuff Villie . Good thing the Sharks rewarded your effort… :mrgreen:

    @robdylan (CC Champ ‘08) (Comment 2) : Might wanna start saving cos that’s gonna happen pretty soon…and it’s gonna be a regular thing in the next couple of years… 😆

  • Comment 3, posted at 29.10.08 11:29:59 by just blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • @robdylan (CC Champ ‘08) (Comment 2) :

    For sure!

  • Comment 4, posted at 29.10.08 11:39:12 by bryce_in_oz Reply

  • What did Stefan say about his future, is he going to stay with us for a while longer?
    He’s such a brilliant player, it’s a pity our national selectors didn’t give him another chance in the bok jersey. He would have done us proud.

  • Comment 5, posted at 29.10.08 11:57:19 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • hey guys, can anyone confirm if the sharks vs cheetahs in abu dhabi on the 24 of jan, like the websit super14,com said

  • Comment 6, posted at 29.10.08 12:01:47 by willa Reply

  • @willa (Comment 6) : 😯 This is NEWS to me… looks like they will be playing a warm up game in the UAE.

  • Comment 7, posted at 29.10.08 12:06:00 by just blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • It was clear from the outset that our boys would die out there for the cause, they would not come off the park without making sure the famous trophy was back in Durban.

    THIS to me was what won us the trophy…The HUNGER… :mrgreen:

    And there I go all ters …again! 😳

  • Comment 8, posted at 29.10.08 12:09:17 by Ice Sharkadelic Babe Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @Letgo (Comment 5) :

    Letgo…agree…he IS our best Fullback in the country at present…and defnitely not too old to be in the WC plans…BIG BIG mistake Snorre…and any one can try, but I will NOT change my mind about this.. 👿

  • Comment 9, posted at 29.10.08 12:10:50 by Ice Sharkadelic Babe Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @Ice Sharkadelic Babe (Comment 8) :

    :mrgreen: should have been 😀

  • Comment 10, posted at 29.10.08 12:11:18 by Ice Sharkadelic Babe Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @Ice Sharkadelic Babe (Comment 8) : Don’t cry, you’ll make be cry. 😥 I still tear up every time I even think back to all those moments on match day and especially when I remind myself that we are the champions of 2008. It’s so awesome. 😀

  • Comment 11, posted at 29.10.08 12:13:35 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Sorry Vills – lekker stukkie!! 😉

    And thanks for remembering me everytime you come over…next time you sms I’ll know eksaketilie who it is! 😆

  • Comment 12, posted at 29.10.08 12:14:15 by Ice Sharkadelic Babe Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @Ice Sharkadelic Babe (Comment 9) : I think a big reason why he is so good now is in fact his age, he’s so calm under the most pressure possible, he still has more strength and speed than most of the young guys he plays with and against.
    You’re not too old until it shows in your game, and with Stefan it just doesn’t.

  • Comment 13, posted at 29.10.08 12:17:14 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Letgo (Comment 11) :

    I reckon that is a common thing with the supporters these past few days! LOL

    Yuo know what is even more wonderful….and especially after Letgo’s and Villies’ Articles…is HOW MUCH MORE we seem to appreciate what our boys have done for us….unlike other teams who take wins for granted….WE ARE A PROUD NATION, US SHARKS!!! 😉

  • Comment 14, posted at 29.10.08 12:17:35 by Ice Sharkadelic Babe Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @Letgo (Comment 11) : Ag, let’s all cry 😥 …tears of JOY! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 15, posted at 29.10.08 12:18:55 by just blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • @Letgo (Comment 13) :

    Letgo…jinne, I mean, if you gooi stof in Habana’s eyes… 😉 you are right…you cannot buy instant experience…the 10m penalty he got us by kicking so quickly and showing the ref that (I Think) Stegman was not 10 m…and that direct kick that he caught outside in the air…maybe he should stick around for some time, then I dont need to go for augmentations….my breast (as in borskas) would be naturally big!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 16, posted at 29.10.08 12:20:57 by Ice Sharkadelic Babe Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @Ice Sharkadelic Babe (Comment 16) : Oom Stef played like a clever tsotsi on Saturday, didn’t he? 😈

  • Comment 17, posted at 29.10.08 12:25:40 by just blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • This site is an emotional mess. At least it’s emotional about the win. Imagine this site if the Sharks lost. 😆

  • Comment 18, posted at 29.10.08 12:28:14 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • @Pokkel (Comment 18) : don’t even go there! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 19, posted at 29.10.08 12:31:35 by robdylan (CC Champ '08) Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @just blackshark (Comment 17) :

    So iets, ja! :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

    @Pokkel (Comment 18) :

    We would not have had a site to cry on if we did not win… 😆

  • Comment 20, posted at 29.10.08 12:32:03 by Ice Sharkadelic Babe Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @Pokkel (Comment 18) : Yeah imagine if the engraving on the cup read

    2008 SHBULLS …

    Bad enough the Super 14 has SHBULLS… 👿

  • Comment 21, posted at 29.10.08 12:32:57 by just blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • Not only have we got great supporters but they write such lekker feel good articles. I like.

    Well done Villie.

  • Comment 22, posted at 29.10.08 13:06:06 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • Great article Villie!

  • Comment 23, posted at 29.10.08 14:52:52 by Milissa (2008 CC Champs!) Reply

  • @Milissa (2008 CC Champs!) (Comment 23) : Mils where’s *YOUR* report?? 😯

  • Comment 24, posted at 29.10.08 15:48:18 by klempie Reply

  • @klempie (Comment 24) : It is written and I will be sending it momentarily to the SW powers that be.

  • Comment 25, posted at 29.10.08 19:06:20 by Milissa (2008 CC Champs!) Reply

  • @Milissa (2008 CC Champs!) (Comment 25) :

    I will be putting it up momentarily.

  • Comment 26, posted at 29.10.08 19:51:22 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 26) : When are you leaving, bra?

  • Comment 27, posted at 29.10.08 19:52:57 by robdylan (CC Champ '08) Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (CC Champ ‘08) (Comment 27) :

    Flight is at 03:50 😯

    Leaving to drive to Bahrain at around 00:00

  • Comment 28, posted at 29.10.08 20:09:38 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 28) : Go to bed! 🙂

  • Comment 29, posted at 29.10.08 20:15:23 by robdylan (CC Champ '08) Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (CC Champ ‘08) (Comment 29) :

    Still need to pack. Will sleep on the plane to Thailand. 😛

  • Comment 30, posted at 29.10.08 20:18:57 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @McLovin (Comment 1) : Believe me….it was amazing. Memories that will live with me forever!!

  • Comment 31, posted at 29.10.08 22:43:32 by Villie Reply
    Competition Winner
  • @Letgo (Comment 5) : We didn’t really chat about his future. He did however tell me that he was flying over to the UK on Friday. Just to visit friends in England and Wales.

    Have to agree that he has been the form fullback in the CC this year and his experience of UK conditions would have been ideal for the Boks!

  • Comment 32, posted at 29.10.08 22:48:20 by Villie Reply
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