Going to watch rugby the Middle Earth way: Version 2.0

Written by Jan Dyman (JD)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks on 31 May 2017 at 09:53
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

Ok so it took a bit longer than planned to get started with this one but hey rather late than never:

As it’s been a while since I ventured to Welkom to go and watch a game at the Noord-Wes stadium (or HT Pelatona stadium as it’s known now) I phoned the Griffons Rugby Union to enquire about ticket prices and availability. I was told that entrance is free and you can sit where you find a seat. As to the do’s and don’ts of what can be taken into the stadium the very friendly lady replied: “you can do what you want, not really but do what you want”. Not one to disappoint people, that’s exactly what I did.

Arriving at the stadium dressed in our best and latest Sharks jerseys with our Sharks flag in tow, and McDonalds in hand (yes people, Welkom has a McDonalds) we were just in time to see the Sharks players and coaches take to the field for the warm-ups and once again got seated behind the Sharks bench.

Now going to watch the Purple People Eaters (or Griffons as they’re better known) play the Sharks XV in Welkom it is hard to believe that it is in fact the same century as when we watched the Sharks play the Cheetahs in Bloem. This is the way I used to watch rugby as a youngster. No fancy stadium with massive pavilions, dancing girls, pyrotechnics (or fire works for those that does not know the big word), big screens showing adverts and highlights if you missed something, or any other of the modern foefies we’re so use to these days. This is about going to watch a game of rugby with rugby at the centre as the sole and only entertainment and that’s probably the reason why less than 100 people pitched to watch the game!

Seeing as entry was free and there’s no restrictions with bringing your own food and drinks, it was really a big disappointment that so few people took the time to go and watch the game. I can only speculate as to the reason could be but a lack of real advertisement and the rugby clubs opting to rather play their local derby at their own club grounds is probably for me the main reasons behind this.

Looking at the final score of 52-24 one can be forgiven for thinking this was an easy one sided match but that could not be further from the truth. With only a 2 point lead at half time (19-17 to the Sharks) it was clear that this was a close, hard game. Things only changed in the second half after the Sharks restart when Morne Joubert ran the perfect line and caught/collected the kick-off millimetres in front of the waiting hands of a Griffons player. When the Griffons realised what had happened, it was too late and Morne scored probably the fastest try ever in the second half of a game. This stunned the Griffons and, to add insult to injury, the Sharks XV added another two tries in the first 6 minutes of the second half. From then on, it was a matter of controlling the game and although the Griffons tried hard they simply could not do anything to change the outcome of the match. Not even a late try by Sharks loan player Eksteen could change that, as the Sharks outclassed the Griffons by scoring 33 points to 7 in the second 40.

The crowd attendance (or rather lack of crowd attendance) of this game (and I have to believe a lot of other similar games) was really sad. I must say I do think these players deserve better than just like the Super Rugby players these players play to win and they don’t hold anything back. When taking contact it’s very similar to Super Rugby, as sitting on the side you could clearly hear the thud of bodies colliding. The guys from Welkom did not show any respect for reputation or old age and if you don’t believe me just ask Odwa! He could only last 20 odd minutes before the youngsters from Welkom took their toll on him and he was side-lined with an ankle injury.

So far as entertainment goes, this was sorted with a “professional” stadium announcer who knew some of the spectators attending the game better than the names of the Sharks players. Keegan Daniels (yes I know it’s Daniel but seemingly the announcer did not) was one of very few players that was announced by their first names, most were just initials and surname although I must add that some surnames were brutally murdered by him!

But by far the best part of the match day experience was one of our fellow local supporters. I’m sure this guy is a regular at Griffons games and loudly supported his team. The 6 minute purple patch of the Sharks was however just too much for him and he shouted in disgust: “ag nee man julle lyk nou soos die Cheetahs” (ag no you’re now playing like the Cheetahs. It’s worth mentioning that this game was played the very next day after the Cheetahs managed to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory by conceding 3 tries in the last 5min of a game). Later in the second half after some bad play when it looked as if the Griffons players did not know what the other one was trying to do, he once again let rip with a real gem: “communication, communication, communication for the nation or I’ll bring my Alsatian!”

After the game the Sharks players did their post-match cooling down and team talk on the field. Once that was done the players signed autographs and posed for pictures with all the spectators that stayed. One thing I must say is I will never ever again take a picture with a small backline player, as in the photo of me and French star Clement Poitrenaud we looked like a not so perfect 10 and trust me he’s not the 0 in the photo (that for obvious reasons will never be shared on any form of social media)!

One problem I do have, is with the honesty of the coach, Ricardo Loubscher. When I asked him after the game what he said to the players during the half time break, his answer was basically that he said nothing strange or extraordinary……… now come on coach, to get a performance out of players like that of the Sharks XV in the first six minutes of the second half something serious had to be said during that break. Something like “if we lose I’ll leave you at the stadium to walk back to the guest house” or “if we lose you’re all staying in Mordor” or “did you see that big guy with the Sharks jersey and flag sitting behind the reserve bench? I’ll give your cell numbers and home addresses to him so he can phone you and visit you when he’s in Durbs!’ No just kidding guys, Ricardo is a real nice guy who made time to chat to me and other supports after the game (but seriously Ricardo if you’re reading this, I need a copy of that half time speech to use next time the hockey team I coach under performs!!!).

Last but not least, I must just comment on the officiating. Guys if you’re complaining about the officials at Super rugby level you’ll seriously lose it when watching these guys!!! Words can’t describe how much they missed!!! To be totally honest this is probably the worst I’ve seen in a while and that includes rugby games officiated by teachers!!! But credit to the players. They seemed to just take it in their stride without the constant whining we so often see in Super Rugby games!

Overall it was a very lekker outing and we will certainly go again!

Travel expenses – R 200
McDonalds (four Big Mac meals, one Supersized for a supersized fan) – R 270
Match day tickets – R 0
Scoring 70% for my article after just asking my lovely wife to proofread it – Priceless



  • Lmfao fucking hell she marks spacing as well! I would get 30% although that’s a pass in high school :mrgreen:

  • Comment 1, posted at 31.05.17 10:26:36 by Poisy Reply
  • “(yes people, Welkom has a McDonalds)”

    We don’t even have one on the south coast, I have to drive to Toti to get some Micky-D’s 🙄

  • Comment 2, posted at 31.05.17 10:29:28 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • Haha I love the score given 😆

    Great read, thank you.

  • Comment 3, posted at 31.05.17 10:33:05 by StevieS Reply
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 2) : Where are you on the Coast?

  • Comment 4, posted at 31.05.17 10:34:13 by StevieS Reply
  • Great read JD!!! Reading this brings back memories as I grew up in Virginia and often went to watch and play rugby there. I scored my first club try on that field in my first game, in the right hand corner main stand side, for Harmony Rugby Club – with the likes of Cecil, Branco, Boela and those guys playing for us back then.

  • Comment 5, posted at 31.05.17 10:42:15 by DuToit04 Reply

  • @StevieS (Comment 4) : Used to be in Shelly, but recently moved to Umzumbe/Pumula.

  • Comment 6, posted at 31.05.17 11:29:56 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 6) : Nice. I was in Umtentweni.

    You made a good choice to move, far less traffic.

  • Comment 7, posted at 31.05.17 11:50:00 by StevieS Reply
  • @DuToit04 (Comment 5) : Boela du Plooy?

  • Comment 8, posted at 31.05.17 12:57:40 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 8) : Boela Abrahams – think he is with the Griffons currently also played with the Kings if I’m not mistaken. He was also in the Harmony Sports Academy with the likes of Cecil Afrika, Branco du Preez

  • Comment 9, posted at 31.05.17 13:17:56 by DuToit04 Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 2) : Go further south, they have one in Port Edward. 🙂 😀

  • Comment 10, posted at 31.05.17 13:40:41 by Bump Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 6) : Between Pumula and heaven there used to be a fence, but when I was there in December I noticed it has now been removed…

  • Comment 11, posted at 31.05.17 13:45:12 by Culling Song Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    Culling Song
  • @Poisy (Comment 1) : We should get JD’s wife to grade one of revolvercelot’s comments… Hehe

  • Comment 12, posted at 31.05.17 14:23:43 by Karl Reply

  • @Karl (Comment 12) : torture is illegal in South Africa, at least for now 🙄 maybe a gupta can send an email and pass the bill to bring it back :mrgreen:

  • Comment 13, posted at 31.05.17 16:38:21 by Poisy Reply
  • @Karl (Comment 12) : Lmao, so much shade being thrown my way !!

    I cant help it, I love rugby and just need to get my thoughts out there as soon as possible, proof reading be damned

  • Comment 14, posted at 31.05.17 16:56:48 by revolverocelot Reply

  • @revolverocelot (Comment 14) : lol how old are you? I’m genuinely asking

  • Comment 15, posted at 31.05.17 17:20:03 by Poisy Reply
  • @Karl (Comment 12) : Kakaka… :mrgreen:

  • Comment 16, posted at 31.05.17 18:01:46 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
  • Nice piece, JD…

  • Comment 17, posted at 31.05.17 18:03:25 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
  • @Bump (Comment 10) : What!? Thats news to me….though I never go down that side.

  • Comment 18, posted at 31.05.17 19:00:14 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Culling Song (Comment 11) : Beautiful and away from all the trafic.

  • Comment 19, posted at 31.05.17 19:00:55 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @DuToit04 (Comment 5) : @pastorshark (Comment 17) : thanx guys.

  • Comment 20, posted at 31.05.17 20:41:24 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 6) : @StevieS (Comment 7) : very beautiful part of the world you live in!!! When I was in school we use to holiday in Trafalgar and when I got married we use to go to Ramsgate. Have not been down there for a very long time maybe time to go down there again!

  • Comment 21, posted at 31.05.17 20:50:52 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • @DuToit04 (Comment 5) : great times! Pity that rugby in the region when fell apart like it did!

  • Comment 22, posted at 31.05.17 20:53:45 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • @JD (Comment 21) : Trafalgar is a great spot. Lots to do on the Coast:

    Macbananas (on the road a few I’m past Trafalgar)
    Beaver Creek Coffee Farm in Port Edward

    I reckon you should head down 😆

  • Comment 23, posted at 01.06.17 09:26:15 by StevieS Reply
  • @Bump (Comment 10) : You sure you’re not thinking of mcdonalds petting farm…(it closed down many moons ago though) 🙂

  • Comment 24, posted at 01.06.17 10:58:02 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • JD, these days a ref can turn his back to a ruck and blow a penalty against either side, and he would get it right 8 times out of 10

  • Comment 25, posted at 01.06.17 11:31:23 by JustPlainSHARK Reply

  • @StevieS (Comment 23) : use to love the fresh fruit you get everywhere down there. A lot of nature and less city!

  • Comment 26, posted at 02.06.17 08:26:22 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • @JustPlainSHARK (Comment 25) : problem is he did not blow anything knock-ons included!

  • Comment 27, posted at 02.06.17 08:28:58 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator

Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.