Richard Ferguson

Wasting our time


Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Super Rugby on 5 Aug 2013 at 09:05
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The Promotion / Relegation matches have come and gone, with the Lions snatching last place on the 2014 Super Rugby log in a set of matches that were closer than many anticipated. Many might see it as poetic justice, while I seem to be less inclined to be happy about the result, whichever way it went.

The way the Lions celebrated after losing in front of their supposed sell-out crowd made me realise that something is woefully wrong within our rugby structure if that is what our rugby has come to. Losing, in front of your home crowd, should not result in wild celebrations and fist pumping amongst the players. I understand that the players all feel that they achieved something, but ‘winning’ a spot in the premier rugby competition by losing by less points than your opposition is a disgrace.

The rugby that was played in both these matches does not inspire a lot of confidence, the Kings played for only 40 minutes in the match while the Lions got away with fumbling and stumbling their way to a few tries in their 20 minute burst of energy, only ensuring they do not lose by more than 7 points. On the basis of that, neither team deserves to take part in Super Rugby and explains why these teams have been finishing last for the past few years.

Looking forward to next year, what can we expect? Well, the Lions are going to buy all their players back from the Kings and Johan Ackermann and co are going to play in front of an empty stadium every weekend and in a year’s time we will have these same matches again. That may sound pessimistic, but the reality is that neither team will make any success of a Super Rugby campaign in these conditions, no matter who won the promotion matches.

No team that has only a year in which to gain players, with no promise of a future, will be able to build a championship winning team, so why bother taking part at all. You have to be in it to win it, so why waste everybody’s time if you are only there to make up the numbers.

What it comes down to is that the Super Rugby competition has grown beyond its limitations, with players and fans not enjoying the format as it stands. There are plenty of suggestions doing the rounds, all with merit, but the decision, and the responsibility, lies with the administrators in South African Rugby. It is those administrators that have gotten rugby in the state in which it currently is in, it has caused hatred amongst fans, which is ruining the face of what should be called the beautiful game. At this stage, it is a muddy old game which I can barely get myself excited about.


71 Comments

  • BWAHAHAHAHAHA ” Lions snatching last place on the 2014 super rugby log ” :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

    I already have a whole lamb riding on it! 😈

  • Comment 1, posted at 05.08.13 09:07:53 by Original Pierre Reply
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  • Great article Rich. I couldn’t agree more!

  • Comment 2, posted at 05.08.13 09:20:05 by Pokkel Reply
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  • well said Rich – well said indeed

  • Comment 3, posted at 05.08.13 09:22:10 by robdylan Reply
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  • That WAS a sellout crowd!!!! It only looked like there were 20,000 open seats because the stadium is so big!!!

  • Comment 4, posted at 05.08.13 09:24:51 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • no no .. the Lions wont buy back our players from the Kings . They will be exported to the Bulls …

    i say you sharkies should stick to supporting your championship winning team 😉 and ill enjoy watching super rugby again 😛

  • Comment 5, posted at 05.08.13 09:26:38 by Zibbie Reply
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  • I’m slowly but surely removing all the Lions kak from my Facebook and Twitter streams. Simply won’t be bothered with this nonsense anymore. Not sure why I had them all there to begin with.

  • Comment 6, posted at 05.08.13 09:29:41 by robdylan Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 4) :

    54 000 . so 10 000 open seats .

  • Comment 7, posted at 05.08.13 09:32:03 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 6) :

    :mrgreen:

  • Comment 8, posted at 05.08.13 09:34:13 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 8) : mate, if they could all be like you, there’d be no need. But I fear they are mostly assholes.

  • Comment 9, posted at 05.08.13 09:36:34 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 9) :

    well we will have to see ! i demand a MUCH improved performance from the Lions next season !

    The currie cup season will now be the next important thing . we need to do well ! but lets see .

  • Comment 10, posted at 05.08.13 09:45:09 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 7) :

    So 80% is a sell out.. Interesting..

  • Comment 11, posted at 05.08.13 09:47:47 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 10) :

    Lions have LOTS of work to do in the next 7 months . im hoping and praying they realize this and get to work from today . second chance !!! please use it !!!

  • Comment 12, posted at 05.08.13 09:49:40 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 11) :

    dont know what happened there . maybe some ticket holders didnt show up ?

  • Comment 13, posted at 05.08.13 09:51:04 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 13) : well, if somebody gives you something that only cost R20, do you really ascribe any value to it?

    I bet lots of corporates made massive block bookings, only fir their staff to not show.

  • Comment 14, posted at 05.08.13 09:55:29 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 7) : but it LOOKED like 20,000 because the stadium is so big. 😉

  • Comment 15, posted at 05.08.13 09:55:56 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 14) :

    i would say getting 54 00 people to Hillbrow on a Saterday afternoon at 5 is not a bad athivment ? 😛

  • Comment 16, posted at 05.08.13 09:59:47 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 15) :

    all i can say is …. i was there 😛

  • Comment 17, posted at 05.08.13 10:00:33 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 13) : as in season ticket holders? You have those? 😉

    Seriously though, I doubt that would be the reason. The lower stands where the season ticket holders would have been, were full. It was the upper stands that were empty.

    I suspect more a case of the GLRU giving thousands of tickets away and those people not bothering to use the tickets.

    The Sharks should do that. It would be an awesome marketing strategy. On the Friday afternoon you just give the unsold tickets away and you can then put the “sold out” signs up on Saturday morning.

  • Comment 18, posted at 05.08.13 10:01:20 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @Zibbie (Comment 16) : yes, fine… it was a great achievement, but all this crowing about “sell out” when it clearly wasn’t, just makes the Lions look incompetent at best – and dishonest at worst.

    As someone said on Twitter, if we made the tickets all cost R20, we’d fill Kings Park three times over.

  • Comment 19, posted at 05.08.13 10:02:00 by robdylan Reply
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  • As everyone here is finding it so hard to do, let me say to the Lions, WELCOME BACK.

  • Comment 20, posted at 05.08.13 10:02:57 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 18) : think on the money they would save on having to bring ticket office people in to work on Saturdays. 🙂

  • Comment 21, posted at 05.08.13 10:03:59 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • Whats with the R20.00 a ticket gripe, the Kings have had such cheapies the whole season.

    Boy O Boy, Sharks supporters getting all holier than thou when they cant even be bothered to fill a much smaller stadium for a competition final.

  • Comment 22, posted at 05.08.13 10:06:57 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 18) : Sharks are letting ladies in for free this weekend. Let’s see what sort of difference it makes.

  • Comment 23, posted at 05.08.13 10:07:36 by robdylan Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 18) :

    no . not a season ticket holder . i buy my tickets when ever i go .

    @robdylan (Comment 19) :

    i think its as KSA is saying . gave away lots of tickets and the people didnt bother to show up .

    unfortunately i cant say what the GLRU did or didnt do . all i can say is i did my part and i was there .

    Like i said before . we have lots of work to do . get more corws to ellis park will be one of them . lets see what happens . i hope the union is working on that …

    im hoping this was the ass kicking the union needed .

    @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 20) :

    thank you !! looking forward to hosting you guys at Ellis park again next season 😉

  • Comment 24, posted at 05.08.13 10:09:17 by Zibbie Reply
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  • Yes I saw that. Means I will only have to use 1 of my 4 tickets. 😎

  • Comment 25, posted at 05.08.13 10:09:38 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 9) : Rob, with all due respect, most supporters, of any team, are arrogant about their team. This arrogance makes them appear to supporters of other teams as assholes. You think all Lions supporters are assholes, you also think that all (most) bulls are too. Me personally, I have met many supporters of different teams that come across as assholes, sharks included 😯
    I have, however, met some very pleasant supporters, of all teams. I tend to ignore the assholes, and interact with those that are not, keeps the blood pressure down

  • Comment 26, posted at 05.08.13 10:11:03 by Greg Reply

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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 25) : oops that was supposed to be a reply to: @robdylan (Comment 23) :

  • Comment 27, posted at 05.08.13 10:11:21 by KSA Shark © Reply

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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 22) :

    We don’t claim to sell out our stadium, so there is a bit of a difference..

  • Comment 28, posted at 05.08.13 10:12:00 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • I predict that in future many unions will be dropping ticket prices to try and get bums on seats, even for SuperRugby games.

  • Comment 29, posted at 05.08.13 10:13:14 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 28) : Maybe it was sold out and the holders did not pitch. The sold out pitch went out a few days before the game so that would indicate that all tickets had in fact been dispersed – it makes no sense to turn potential customers away by holding back your product. I believe all the tickets were sold / donated etc.

  • Comment 30, posted at 05.08.13 10:16:41 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • Jeez, talk about the ‘Battle of Who Could Care Less’.
    I found it particularly amusing that the Lions supporters were sending around a comparison of log standings of 2012 and 2013, showing how their team managed to finish last with less embarrassing figures. Wow, how amazing. Give that team a Bells!
    Zibbie, I hope for the sake of SA Rugby that your team will look up the word ‘success’ and see that it means more than just finishing last and maybe getting a few derby upsets over your SA rivals. It’s time for Lions rugby to evolve now.
    Look how pissed-off the Sharks fans got when our team missed the playoffs. Our coach got fired and they brought on a new CEO to fix things and try and restore a ‘winning culture’. That needs to happen in Gauteng.

  • Comment 31, posted at 05.08.13 10:20:58 by The Great Couch Shark Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 30) :

    Nobody said anything otherwise..

  • Comment 32, posted at 05.08.13 10:21:10 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @The Great Couch Shark (Comment 31) :

    may i say that i hope the Kings look up the same word ?

  • Comment 33, posted at 05.08.13 10:24:22 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 32) : Lots of references being made that the claims were false/lies.

    BTW are you still writing for KEO?

  • Comment 34, posted at 05.08.13 10:26:01 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 34) :

    I think the only claim is that the stadium was far from full, for whatever reason.

    No, I am not writing for Keo anymore..

  • Comment 35, posted at 05.08.13 10:30:43 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 35) : 87%, or thereabouts is is hardly far from full?

  • Comment 36, posted at 05.08.13 10:34:46 by Greg Reply

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  • @Greg (Comment 36) :

    It wasn’t FULL – that is clearly the point here..

  • Comment 37, posted at 05.08.13 10:40:58 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • I cant believe you guys are going on about how full the stadium was and how arrogant whatever team is…

    Jeez, the only crime here is how badly our rugby is administrated at the moment. This whole problem started when they promised a team a place in the super rugby competition full stop. NOW i see that Alan Solomons demands a place in the Currie Cup Premier division. But that South African culture for you, demanding everything and not working for it.

    Well done to the Lions AND good luck. Its going to be a tough one. Bad luck to the Kings. I was one rooting for everyone who played against you and i ate humble pie. As a big injustice this is on the Kings, it was the same injustice that the Lions felt 12 months ago.

  • Comment 38, posted at 05.08.13 10:42:27 by VanWilder Reply

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  • The Kings lose half of their squad and still manage to almost beat the Lions… I am disappointed the Lions are back in super rugby. I was sceptical about the Kings at first but watching the guys play their guts out and give everything was rather refreshing after watching the Lions for the past few years do absolutely nothing other than make up the numbers.

  • Comment 39, posted at 05.08.13 10:45:26 by lostfish Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 37) : There was, as far as I know, never any claim that it was, or that it was going to be. The claim was that it was sold out, ie all tickets were accounted for. I have, on more than one occasion, purchased tickets for an event, and at the last moment something has come up, and I have not been able to utilise the tickets, these things happen

  • Comment 40, posted at 05.08.13 10:53:25 by Greg Reply

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  • @The Great Couch Shark (Comment 31) : Short memory – the Lions rodgered the Sharks in last years competition and have often won against local teams.

  • Comment 41, posted at 05.08.13 10:56:42 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 41) : I was tempted to point that out myself, but didn’t, for fear of being called an arrogant asshole 😆

  • Comment 42, posted at 05.08.13 11:00:53 by Greg Reply

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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 41) :

    you are a sharks supporter , right ?

  • Comment 43, posted at 05.08.13 11:03:04 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Greg (Comment 40) :

    Claiming a sell out crowd does not equal claiming that the stadium is going to be full to capacity?

    That is really news to me..

    Anyway, carrying on with my day..

  • Comment 44, posted at 05.08.13 11:03:25 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • The Lions lost nearly all their squad, did not have the benifit of playing in the very competitive Super series and still managed to win the promotion. Everyone lambastes the Lions for being poor but yet the supposed superior Kings could not get the better of them. It does not add up.

  • Comment 45, posted at 05.08.13 11:04:22 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 41) : They play quite well against local teams but then roll over and play dead when they play anyone else. They look as if they are only there for the pay check and don’t give anything extra.

  • Comment 46, posted at 05.08.13 11:06:21 by lostfish Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 45) :

    Question – Do you think any of these two teams, based on what you saw in the Promo matches, should even be allowed to play Super Rugby?

  • Comment 47, posted at 05.08.13 11:07:23 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 43) : 😈 always, and in my mind unblinkered.

  • Comment 48, posted at 05.08.13 11:07:51 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 47) Well if you want to base it on the game style that was played then one can ask the same of the Sharks this year (according to some) and the Rebels and Hurricanes and the Force. The fact is one of them is to be there and the Lions are the ones that got it right despite the handicap they had this whole season and most importantly they actually got it right on a rugby field and within the rules that both teams knew before the game commenced.

  • Comment 49, posted at 05.08.13 11:14:04 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 44) : Not even close to the same thing. I sell you a ticket, there is a reasonable assumption that you are going to utilise the ticket, and I can claim the ticket is sold. If you don’t utilise the ticket and the seat stays empty, I have still sold it, and can still claim that I did. I can also claim that I expected you to use it, and that the seat will be filled.

  • Comment 50, posted at 05.08.13 11:14:31 by Greg Reply

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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 48) :

    defending the Lions like this cant be good for your street credit ..

  • Comment 51, posted at 05.08.13 11:15:45 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Greg (Comment 50) : kind of amazing to have that same thing happen 10 000 times all on one day, though?

  • Comment 52, posted at 05.08.13 11:15:51 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Greg (Comment 50) :

    Jeez dude – read my article. Not once did I claim anything about the stadium, I merely pointed out that it was not full. Which is FACT..

  • Comment 53, posted at 05.08.13 11:16:10 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 49) :

    Only to finish dead last again next year.

    The point of the article, which seems to completely missed here, is that neither team deserve to play Super Rugby based on what we saw, and that something needs to be done about the quality of the rugby currently produced.

    If you do not agree with that, then let’s talk..

  • Comment 54, posted at 05.08.13 11:17:42 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 52) : Kind of, sure, but still, 54000 is quite a crowd!

  • Comment 55, posted at 05.08.13 11:28:23 by Greg Reply

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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 47) : Cut it down to 12 and get rid of either the Lions / Kings, Rebels / Force and the Highlanders.

  • Comment 56, posted at 05.08.13 11:30:46 by lostfish Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 53) : From your article: ‘their supposed sell-out crowd ‘. Also your comment 11. It’s not always what you say, but how you say it. Fact is GLRU claimed all tickets were accounted for. Not everyone with a ticket pitched up. It’s still a sell-out, but not full.

  • Comment 57, posted at 05.08.13 11:31:44 by Greg Reply

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  • @lostfish (Comment 56) :

    Yup – I can work with that!

  • Comment 58, posted at 05.08.13 11:32:42 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Greg (Comment 57) :

    The last word is all yours.. well done and congratulations!

  • Comment 59, posted at 05.08.13 11:34:17 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 51) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 60, posted at 05.08.13 11:35:16 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 54) : Now that I would tend to agree with, despite that argument going against my team. The same can be said though, of a number of teams. Force and rebels spring to mind, who have been consistently poor. Other teams have had two or three poor seasons in a row, only to bounce back and finish well up the log in the next season. Bulls a case in point. A two division system, to me, could work, with the bottom team(or two) playing a mini promo/relegation series with the top one or two from the lower division for the right to play in the top division. It works in other sporting codes, and even in the Currie cup.

  • Comment 61, posted at 05.08.13 11:37:57 by Greg Reply

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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 54) : Somebody has to end last. I did actually pick up that your article was about neither team deserving a place in Super Rugby but obviously I got caught up in the other sideshows and attacks on the poor much maligned Lions.

  • Comment 62, posted at 05.08.13 11:39:33 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • In my opinion the only country that is advantaged by Super rugby in its current format is Australia. The Australians have consistently outmanoeuvred and negotiated our inept and spineless administration in SANZAR. Love him or hate him, South Africa’s interests would never have been compromised on Louis Luyt’s watch or Doc Craven’s for that matter.

    Sheer ineptitude resulted in the farce that culminated in Saturdays match. It was predictable and sad and the process has not done the Eastern Cape, Lions, or SA rugby any favours and equally certainly has not done anything for development of the game – if that was ever the motivation in the first place.

    We, as do NZ, have a strong domestic competition in the Currie Cup which has been systematically watered down and compromised by Super Rugby to the detriment of the game in SA. The Northern hemisphere manage the interface between domestic and regional competition far better.

    If SARFU are serious about rugby development in the Eastern Cape, or any other region for that matter, their first priority should be investing in a strong enough base for the region to compete in the premier division of the Currie Cup with their junior (U19 and U21) sides also in their respective A sections. Add in a competitive varsity in the Varsity Cup, as NMMU were this year, and the building blocks are in place making for a far more sustainable structure than imposing, at short notice, a super rugby franchise over a vacuum. They may as well have awarded the franchise to Nelspruit, Potch or Pofadder.

    I think that smaller A section provinces can play an invaluable role as incubators of younger talent – look how many top players have spent time at Griquas when they were on the fringes of selection at bigger unions. I never understood why reducing the size of the premier division by cutting the bottom two (Pumas and Leopards) a few years ago made any sense in the context of developing our player base.

    The absence of a strong base will make it very difficult for EP to sustain themselves in 2014. As far as the Lions are concerned, if they have finally managed to rid themselves of the bloated and incompetent administration that reduced them from arguably the strongest rugby union in the world in the mid 90’s to the whipping boys of Super rugby in recent times then they do have the fundamentals in the form of strong junior and Varsity structures and proximity to more financial muscle than the other major centres in SA combined. The Bulls managed to revive their fortunes after finishing last three times and second last the other two in the five seasons between ’98 and 2002, and both WP and the Sharks came back stronger after missing out on Super rugby for a season back in the 90’s, so it is feasible. Whether Kevin de Klerk can do it or not remains to be seen.

    Whether sarfu is serious about development in regions like the Eastern Cape and elsewhere – Boland is another good example – will also become clearer in time.

  • Comment 63, posted at 05.08.13 11:41:43 by steve Reply

     
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 35) : You were writing for keo?? I know I haven’t been around much but I didn’t think I was that out of touch…

  • Comment 64, posted at 05.08.13 11:50:50 by lostfish Reply
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  • @lostfish (Comment 64) :

    Yeah, I had a four month stint there..

  • Comment 65, posted at 05.08.13 11:56:30 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @lostfish (Comment 64) : Ja, he churned out good articles with up to date and relevant news of the rugby world.

  • Comment 66, posted at 05.08.13 11:59:29 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 66) : Which is not the done thing over there, hence the fact he is no longer writing for them. 😆

  • Comment 67, posted at 05.08.13 12:15:05 by Greg Reply

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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 65) : I guess I missed it because I haven’t been over there for ages. Are you still bean counting?

  • Comment 68, posted at 05.08.13 12:19:56 by lostfish Reply
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  • @lostfish (Comment 68) :

    I am indeed – something needs to pay the bills..

    So if you ever need a bean counter to fix your tax, you know where to find me!

  • Comment 69, posted at 05.08.13 12:21:31 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 69) : I have one – my dad 🙂 not that I need to worry about SA tax any more. Sadly I have to worry about French tax and they rob you blind over here.

  • Comment 70, posted at 05.08.13 12:22:59 by lostfish Reply
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  • @lostfish (Comment 70) :

    Ah, sorry I am not able to help you with that!

    My French tax knowledge is about as good as my Ukranian waterpolo knowledge..

  • Comment 71, posted at 05.08.13 12:26:24 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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