Let’s reflect on an event of epic proportions

Written by Morné Nortier (Morné)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 24 Mar 2011 at 10:24
Tagged with : , , , ,

With the energy, frequency and sheer number of matches in a competition like the Super 15, you almost never get a moment to sit down and reflect on issues, but I had to make the time to do just that.

This weekend the Sharks and Crusaders will lock horns in what we all know will be an epic battle.

They are the two top teams from their respective conferences in this year’s competition, but have also for some time been two of the top teams of this magnificent Southern Hemisphere rugby competition called Super Rugby.

It therefore goes without saying that a match between these two sides will always be epic, and something every rugby supporter needs to mark down on their calendars as a must see event.

It is not news to anyone that this match will not be played in either Christchurch or Durban, but in fact, Twickenham London. But do we really appreciate the significance of this truly historic event? Has any of us sat down to reflect how this one match could possibly prove to be the catalyst to change the face of the rugby landscape forever?

Everyone knows the decision or motivation to host this match at Twickenham comes off the back of the horrific events in Christchurch a couple of weeks ago, and as much as I appreciate and amazed yet again how the rugby fraternity manage to stand together as brothers-in-arms using this beautiful game to bring human beings from all walks of life together in a time of tragedy, the significance of this event even goes beyond that.

Rugby union as a global sport is struggling. Not only because of the nature of the game and the challenges it faces to grow its popularity worldwide, but also because we are our own worst enemies.

Hands up from those who have read (and is sick and tired of reading) articles about North vs. South rugby! Or how the one proclaims to play the game it’s supposed to be played while the others play basketball or some rubbish like that?

Rugby’s ‘global season’ or the proposed concept of such an event has also been a very hot topic in recent years, but with the insistence of the North and South both believing their way is the best way and the other one needs to sacrifice, it remains but a pipe-dream.

It’s a case almost of each Hemisphere protecting its brand or product with such vigour and determination that it refuses to give the other even the slightest of chances to prove itself or its worth.

This weekend however, the Sharks and the Crusaders will become the flag-bearers of Southern Hemisphere rugby where they will take the top ‘product’ on offer from the Southern Hemisphere, and showcase it to the rugby fraternity up North. (Not that I think it’s that much different but that’s another subject altogether)

Personally, I think this will be one of the most historic events in rugby union’s history as a professional sport, and event which will squash and ridicule a whole host of perceptions and pre-conceived ideas from either side when it comes to the game played in heaven.

It is on reflection of this that I hope this match firstly serves in its primary goal to assist those individuals affected by the terrible events in Christchurch of a couple of weeks ago, but perhaps, just perhaps, that this event will also bring the North closer to the South in the process as-well.

Good luck and thank you to the teams, administrators and fans from the Crusaders and Sharks rugby unions, together with SANZAR and the RFU for bringing us what will no doubt be, an event of epic proportions.


  • It’s going to be massive. A massive game, crowd, stadium, everything!

    Can’t wait for kick off!

  • Comment 1, posted at 24.03.11 10:26:52 by PTAShark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • This should be a massive success, but I seriously doubt it will ‘bring the North closer to the South’.

    On the back of this success I can see other franchises perhaps moving ‘home’ games to the North.

  • Comment 2, posted at 24.03.11 10:39:50 by McLovin Reply

  • So what’s your prediction for this game Morne?

  • Comment 3, posted at 24.03.11 10:41:58 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • I’m proud to say the Sharks is the 1st SA team to participate in a Super Rugby game in the Northen Hemisphere 😎

  • Comment 4, posted at 24.03.11 10:52:15 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • Morne,

    What a brilliant article.

    This is a historical game no doubt and probably no matter what happens in the rest of this SuperRugby, this game, whether it is a spectacular or tight game played, will always be remembered as the first SuperRugby game to be played in the NH.

    I read that if it is a success it will no doubt get other franchises wanting to stage a Super game their in the future. This could be the door opened just a bit, but it has opened.

    Also read the main reason for this game to be held at Twickers was not only to help the Disaster Fund, but also the Saders Union. Cause they gonna lose plenty money this year by staging their games at smaller stadiums. GBP 5 will go to the Disaster Fund and quite a bit of it to the Saders Union. Money made here will tide them over until their stadium is back up running.

    Very excited to see this game. Damn wish I could be going.

  • Comment 5, posted at 24.03.11 10:53:43 by Puma Reply

  • @Jarson (AddicteD) (Comment 4) : Feel the same. 😛 Was so against it at the start cause of the travel, but now so proud of our Sharks accepting to travel to London to play Saders.

  • Comment 6, posted at 24.03.11 10:56:26 by Puma Reply

  • @Puma (Comment 5) : typo – their in future = there in future.

  • Comment 7, posted at 24.03.11 11:09:01 by Puma Reply

  • Does anyone know how many tickets have been sold to date?

  • Comment 8, posted at 24.03.11 11:16:53 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • It certainly is an event of gargantuan proportions in SO many ways. Tragedy and suffering unite people across continents, and so does sport. So it’s a fitting way to focus attention on what has happened in Christchurch. But history has shown us that as a species, we tend to forget tragedy and the unity it brings all too quickly, so I have my doubts that “the world in union” scenario will last from a rugby-playing North and South point of view.
    We are poles apart (pardon the pun) in more than playing styles. The English still believe that just because they invented the game they have the right to rule over it, morally and ethically. It’s the old stiff upper lip “I remember India” attitude which persists in spite of the empire having packed its bags and gone out of business decades ago.
    It’s an attitude of old men in tweed suits sat in wingback chairs in a cigar-filled gentleman’s lounge decorated with pictures of William Webb Ellis, King George and other suspect-looking characters with more money and titles than braincells.
    Like it or not, the “Old Boys” still consider us to be colonies, and therefore inferior and subject to their rule. In the minds of the RFU, tragedies apart, they occupy the moral highground, in spite of the fact that the very colonies they populated so ruthlessly all those years ago consistently thrash them across the board them at every sporting opportunity.
    I don’t know whether they realise it, but the Sharks have a unique opportunity this Sunday to show the old farts in those smoky corridors of faded rugby “power” that “the colonies” – and in this case Natal – the last outpost of British rule in Africa – have risen above the petty infighting, back-biting and snobbery that has dogged rugby union’s “unity” and can now hold their heads high and demonstrate the game as it SHOULD be played at its highest level in the very heart of the “Motherland”.
    Points will be proved. Christchurch will have much needed support. But it will take more than one “colonial” match at Twickenham to heal the rift, methinks.

  • Comment 9, posted at 24.03.11 11:17:03 by SharonvanWyk Reply
  • @SharonvanWyk (Comment 9) : You really have a way with words 😀

  • Comment 10, posted at 24.03.11 11:20:13 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 3) :

    I don’t think you want to know 😉

  • Comment 11, posted at 24.03.11 11:45:15 by Morné Reply
  • Brilliant article Morne :mrgreen:

    Added to everything in your brilliant article is some Personal poignancy to me attending this game.

    When i was my son’s current age of 10 (which was 30 yrs ago 😯 ) My Dad would take me to Kingspark to watch The Sharks , but having left SA in ’91 to move to mud island , I’ve only ever seen the Sharks on the box since then.

    But I now have the opportunity to take my 10yr old son to watch the mighty SHARKS , and I shall also be taking my Dad with me to Twickenham , so there will be three generations of Taylor’s in the stands cheering on the Boyz , and I tell you good people that it brings a lump to my throat and goosebumps whenever i think of this . So whatever the result on the Pitch it is a very significant Day on so very many levels :mrgreen: :mrgreen:


  • Comment 12, posted at 24.03.11 11:49:19 by SharkyTaylor Reply

  • Rugby union as a global sport is struggling. Not only because of the nature of the game and the challenges it faces to grow its popularity worldwide, but also because we are our own worst enemies.

    Dude as much as I enjoyed your post, I must disagree with this. RWC is the third biggest sporting event after the FIFA World Cup and Olympics.

  • Comment 13, posted at 24.03.11 11:52:02 by klempie Reply

  • Looking good weather wise…

  • Comment 14, posted at 24.03.11 12:00:29 by Charlie Reply

  • @SharkyTaylor (Comment 12) : Enjoy and cherish it forever !!!

  • Comment 15, posted at 24.03.11 12:02:13 by Charlie Reply

  • @klempie (Comment 13) : But compare the no. of nations taking part and you will see rugby is way behind both of the top two!!

  • Comment 16, posted at 24.03.11 12:03:46 by Whindy Reply
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  • @Whindy (Comment 16) :

    Thanks, that was my point – the RWC comes around every 4 years, and its a great event, but participation in rugby and its footprint compared to the others, are seriously lacking.

  • Comment 17, posted at 24.03.11 12:05:41 by Morné Reply
  • @SharkyTaylor (Comment 12) : and you just brought a lump to MY throat!! I wish for you a win by the Sharks – for a wonderful memory – keepsake – even if that is not meant to be – at least just and awsome memory! I hope you submit a photo afterwards?

  • Comment 18, posted at 24.03.11 12:08:42 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • In recent articles I’ve read, it’s said that the Saders are bringing their strongest team and Carter wants running rugby and a lot of tries to be scored.

  • Comment 19, posted at 24.03.11 12:25:52 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 17) : Morné, I love this statement: “Rugby union as a global sport is struggling. Not only because of the nature of the game and the challenges it faces to grow its popularity worldwide, but also because we are our own worst enemies.”

    So true. We are our own worst enemies. We are represented by a dumbass organisation called the iRB and the 8 power nations are so poop scared to allow another nation to come up and challenge them that they rather window dress than make genuine attempts to grow the sport. I think this is the same reason why we don’t see rugby league on SA TV. There is this age old fear that Saffas might actually like it and Union would not be able to withstand the competition.

  • Comment 20, posted at 24.03.11 12:27:31 by beet Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @Jarson (AddicteD) (Comment 19) : Hype to get as many people as possible :mrgreen: , although they do play awesome rugby when they do run it, not sure they will breach the sharks defence as easily as some of the other teams!!

  • Comment 21, posted at 24.03.11 12:31:33 by Whindy Reply
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  • @Jarson (AddicteD) (Comment 10) : dude, she’s an award-winning writer 🙂

  • Comment 22, posted at 24.03.11 12:44:23 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 22) : I can see why 😀

  • Comment 23, posted at 24.03.11 12:55:16 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • @Charlie (Comment 15) : Thanks Charlie , i’ll definately cherish the day and experience :mrgreen:

  • Comment 24, posted at 24.03.11 13:27:23 by SharkyTaylor Reply

  • @Ice (Comment 18) : Thanks Ice , same as I said to Charlie 🙂 Plus i’ll definately be taking as many photo’s as possible on the day and soaking up the memories :mrgreen: I’ll submit a photo after I get back down to earth 😈

    SHARKS FOREVER :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 25, posted at 24.03.11 13:30:15 by SharkyTaylor Reply

  • @Jarson (AddicteD) (Comment 8) : Where is the investigative journalism? 😛

  • Comment 26, posted at 24.03.11 13:32:47 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 11) : I actually do! Your predictions in the Currie Cup semi-final and final seemed to jinx the other teams. So please fire away! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 27, posted at 24.03.11 14:08:33 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @vanmartin (Comment 27) :

    In that case you will be happy to know I have gone for a Saders win!

  • Comment 28, posted at 24.03.11 14:09:11 by Morné Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 28) : Awesome! 🙂

  • Comment 29, posted at 24.03.11 14:26:53 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Jarson (AddicteD) (Comment 26) : :mrgreen: The whole point of investigative journalism is that you investigate quietly and without raising suspicions before unleashing a SHOCK HORROR PROBE onto an unsuspecting readership! 😆 So… who or what’s being probed is anyone’s guess at this juncture! Heheheh!!! 😈

  • Comment 30, posted at 24.03.11 14:34:28 by SharonvanWyk Reply
  • @Jarson (AddicteD) (Comment 10) : Thank you. I try my best to please! 😀

  • Comment 31, posted at 24.03.11 14:37:23 by SharonvanWyk Reply
  • @SharonvanWyk (Comment 30) : 😆

  • Comment 32, posted at 24.03.11 14:52:51 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • North vs South.
    I do not think there is even a debate,just look at who has won the world cup the most times(south).

  • Comment 33, posted at 24.03.11 15:38:50 by Honey Badger Reply

    Honey Badger
  • What a game…what an occasion. I just can’t help feeling that a little bit of Andries Strauss’s dominant tackling would be the thing to stop the SBW offload in the tackle. I hope Meyer B. is ready for this one.

  • Comment 34, posted at 24.03.11 19:25:04 by zimshark Reply

  • And I have to go and watch Jim Valley perform childrens songs at school. his concert starts at exactly the same time as the game. 😕

    To scared to bail on the concert incase karma bites me on the arse and lets us lose. 🙂

  • Comment 35, posted at 24.03.11 20:01:06 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 35) : Drifta! And earphones! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 36, posted at 24.03.11 20:08:02 by SharonvanWyk Reply
  • As a Sharks supporter and now also a Cantabrian I am proud that its our team that has accepted the challenge to do all this traveling for a good cause. Rugby in general is in financial difficulties here in NZ so I can understand the Crusaders wanting to broaden their income base as only pretty small fields are available locally. The Sharks didn’t need to accept this, hence the reason I am proud they will be helping us in our recovery in Canterbury as well as the Canterbury rugby coffers. Double wammy. So for the good of rugby I hope it is spectacular. I also see that the 6 Nations have just recorded a record veiwership this last season so maybe rugby is becoming more popular up North?

  • Comment 37, posted at 24.03.11 21:43:50 by Dynamite Reply

  • Read on Johns Smits Twitter. Sharks are flying economy class!! Wow, never thought they would have to fly economy class. Wonder why not business? Economy gonna be very tough. Jeepers they just flew back from NZ. Probably business class, but economy no rest at all, especially coming back. Team gonna be tired.

    Respect our Sharks even more now for going to play this game at Twickers.

    Go Sharks.

  • Comment 38, posted at 24.03.11 23:17:04 by Puma Reply

  • @Puma (Comment 38) : wow thats terrible!

  • Comment 39, posted at 25.03.11 06:40:11 by Uli Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    Uli Boelie
  • @Puma (Comment 38) : That’s shocking. 😯

  • Comment 40, posted at 25.03.11 08:29:28 by McLovin Reply

  • @Puma (Comment 38) : Economy class makes you strong!

  • Comment 41, posted at 25.03.11 08:42:16 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @vanmartin (Comment 41) : Makes me cry. 🙂

  • Comment 42, posted at 25.03.11 08:45:27 by McLovin Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 42) : I’ve never had a problem…. 😆

  • Comment 43, posted at 25.03.11 09:45:17 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @Puma (Comment 38) : Management changed the reservations from business to economy after the chiefs result. 😈

  • Comment 44, posted at 25.03.11 09:58:53 by Original Champion Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @Uli (Comment 39) : @McLovin (Comment 40) : It is terrible. How they can let Sharks travel economy class is shocking after travelling 18 hours back from NZ on Saturday. Gonna be tough to travel like that and play rugby.

    Respect to the team more so now.

  • Comment 45, posted at 25.03.11 10:17:29 by Puma Reply

  • @vanmartin (Comment 41) : Probably get their tempers up…..hehehe. Could be a trick up our sleeves…. 😛

    Just feel for the team to travel like that. They have just completed a damn long flight back from NZ. Then to go economy class is shocking. Who done this to our team? Is Straeuli trying to save money? 👿

  • Comment 46, posted at 25.03.11 10:21:49 by Puma Reply

  • @Puma (Comment 45) :

    Its called incentive …win and they get to return in the luxury of business class 😉

    Just hope the props and locks got seats at the exits..

  • Comment 47, posted at 25.03.11 10:23:41 by CoffeeshopBok;-) Reply

  • @Puma (Comment 45) : Maybe they’re using a Cape based travel agent. 😈

  • Comment 48, posted at 25.03.11 10:26:35 by McLovin Reply

  • @CoffeeshopBok;-) (Comment 47) : LOL…. I was thinking the same about our locks and props…….. 🙂 Actually not really a laughing matter, but is is funny. Damn there should have been requests before the players accepted this…hehehe.

    1) Business Travel a must. 😉
    2) NEUTRAL REF. 😉
    3) They win they get a charted plane back home… 😛

    @McLovin (Comment 48) :
    YES….HAHAHAHA. They must have, only way to explain it… 😆

  • Comment 49, posted at 25.03.11 11:10:47 by Puma Reply

  • I am giggling at the prospect of a poor unsuspecting cabin crew member trying to help Beast put his economy seat on! May as well try and get an elephant seal into a bustier!

  • Comment 50, posted at 25.03.11 17:47:53 by SharonvanWyk Reply

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