Bok fans wondering how their team will disappoint them in 2014

It’s almost the start of the tournament formerly known as the TriNations and that old familiar Springbok feeling of “don’t get your hopes up” is sweeping the fan base.

How will they break hearts again this year?

- steam roll the weak teams, look great doing it, not break a sweat or have a styled hair out of place, and then seriously come unstuck when you first encounter a quality side (see every World Cup the Proteas have ever played)?

- have quality talent to pick from but instead make idiotic selections for your match day team and then proceed to make sure your first receiver from any second phase ball is a fat prop or a dumb lock (see every game where Zane Kirchner or Flip van der Merwe were selected)?

- just not get out of the gates at all (see entire Straueli era)?

- be reasonably competitive, in with a shout if we win the last game of the tournament, start that game well but then get a red card early on (see alternating Bok seasons)?

Big balled Berrick Barnes

We all know the career span of a professional rugby player is pretty limited, so it’s always a good idea to plan for the future.

So hats off (or should I say jock-straps off?) to Aussie player Berrick Barnes who is set to make a bold sidestep into the world of porn.

Berrick has been trialing a new look lifted straight from the world of of 1970′s repairmen who are carrying more than just a monkey wrench in their ill-fitted overalls.

Rumour has it Berrick’s ‘acting’ alias is set to be – wait for it….Berrick Barnes.

I guess he just has the name for it.

Problems with the plumbing ladies? Berrick will sort you out.

Problems with the plumbing ladies? Berrick will sort you out.

Reasons I am struggling to get into Super 15 rugby this year

  • The Stormers suck (yes, tough start to the year, tough break on injuries, but still…)
  • The Bulls just quite aren’t that menacing bully team you love to hate (have you seen their flyhalf?)
  • The Sharks are South Africa’s best hope (yes… playing that sort of flat passing thing they started in the 90s under Macintosh)
  • I cancelled my DSTV account (this feels great whenever your team loses)
  • Schalk Burger is a shadow of his former self
  • I discovered Coursera
  • Still feeling depressed about losing that third test match to Australia (why does Morne Morkel insist on bothering to walk to the pitch to bat?)
  • I’m not doing well in my office Superbru pool
  • I watched a game at a friend’s house and Hugh Bladen was still commentating
  • Those Vodacom ads
  • Walking Dead Season 4 (plus I finally got into Mad Men… about time!)
  • I have that disturbing feeling that if I go to Newlands I will see those “kiwi” supporters in the railway stand
  • My course on postmodernism (see Coursera point) has left me with a vague unsettled feeling that my beliefs don’t really have a firm foundation
  • I am getting old, and many of my mates live overseas now.  That makes it harder to drink beer in the morning for an Australasian kickoff time.
  • Those cheerleaders aren’t really doing it for me.

Yeah… not really feelin’ it.

Blue Bulls camo jersey – the ultimate in self parody?

One tries really hard to make fun of the Bulls.  But then they do such a good job it for themselves, I sometimes wonder, why bother parodying them at all?  Aren’t they just the biggest parody themselves?

It’s like a 1986 apartheid meets 21st century Super Rugby!

I’m still basking in the glory of last year’s post about their pink jersey.  I mean how are you going to top top that pink monstrosity?  Oh but wait… you ain’t see nothin’ yet.

It’s like this photo almost shows the Bulls exec management thinking out loud:

So… ummm… I think last year’s pink jersey was a bit… you know… gay. Can we fix that?

Ya, how about we go for a manly “army camo”? I mean there’s nothing gay about men all wearing army gear and hanging out together away from their wives and girlfriends, is there?

Ya, that’s it! That will shut those Stormers and Sharks supporters. We’ll go really masculine with army outfits. Like “real” men!

Oh f&$k! You honestly can’t make this sh@t up. So nobody on the approval committee thought this is just utterly ridiculous? Nobody thinks this kind reminds everyone of apartheid era bullsh@t. I mean this team plays in Pretoria! They basically look like the guys from District 9 clearing prawns from a squatter camp mixed with apartheid era “enforcers”.  It’s not like they need to shake off the stigma of a racist past now is it?

This is why Australia hates us.

Jeeez. Clearly we don’t need to make fun of the Bulls anymore. They do a good job of that themselves without our help!

Ben Foden’s hair to be placed on New Year’s honours list

If England takes nothing else from Saturday’s defeat against the All Blacks, they can rest assured that they had better hair on the day.

One player in particular stood head and shoulders above the rest with a stirringly impressive display of follicle bravado ….Ben ‘Braveheart’ Foden.

Not only was his celebration of a disallowed try executed with commendable gusto, but he somehow managed to finish the match with zero, yes that’s right, ZERO split-ends!

We applaud you sir!

And I don’t use the title ‘sir’ lightly….as there’s talk about town that Ben’s hair is to be placed on the New Year’s honours list for services to humanity at large (but mostly the ladies).

Drink it in ladies and gents.

Drink it in ladies and gents.

Bok camp rife with infighting ahead of Wales Test

Our reporter on the ground in the UK this week has uncovered that far from the gentle harmonious image portrayed on most mainstream media sites, the Springbok camp is in fact rife with infighting and competitive squabbling ahead of the upcoming Northern Hemisphere tests.   The trouble began in the days leading up to the team’s departure from South Africa when Jean de Villiers heard news that Willie Le Roux had been using his time off from match rugby to work on an impressive pair of sideburns.

With De Villiers stinging at the thought that his carefully managed stubble maybe upstaged by Le Roux’s sideburns, De Villiers apparently sent Le Roux a blatantly misleading SMS telling him that the flights were going to be taking off a day later than originally planned.  Le Roux saw straight through this attempt at Bok tour facial hair supremacy and shared his concerns with some of the younger members of the squad.  According to Coenie Oosthuizen, this sort of rivalry was going on all the time, even resulting in Coenie getting dropped when he showed de Villiers a goatee he had been working on during the off season.

Now that Bakkies Botha and Jacque Fourie are back in the squad, the situation has become even worse.  On Monday, Eben Etzebeth had to report to team management that his shaving razor had been tampered with, resulting in unsightly razor burn on his neck area.  De Villiers has been demanding excessive compliments from all the young players about his sideburns and only Duane Vermeulen has had the integrity to tell him that his sidechops “needed work”.

Jean De Villiers was so incensed, he vowed to ensure that Vermeulen never played a Bok match again, but Heyneke Meyer intervened and restored a bit of order.

The last straw in all of this came on Wednesday evening.  De Villiers had ordered from Amazon fifteen new Gillette Sensor hand razors in order to look his best before the Welsh test, but the razors were accidentally delivered to Willie Le Roux’s hotel room instead.  An all out brawl broke out when this was discovered, with things only calming down when Guthro Steenkamp swung a large fish over his head to get everyone’s attention.

With uncertainty and tension like this in the camp, we can only speculate that the Bok team might be ripe for the taking on this tour.

Is John Smit the new villain of SA Rugby?

A few years ago there was an episode of South Park that featured Mickey Mouse as a brutal dictator of the Disney empire.  While Mickey presented a smiling, cuddly personality to the public, behind the scenes he ruled with an iron fist, crushing all dissent.  During the Currie Cup final when the camera panned to a chuckling John Smit in the stands, I couldn’t help but wonder if Barney is the new evil Mickey Mouse of South African rugby?

Could the formerly innocent Sharks prop now be a ruthless Gaddaffi?  Hardened and embittered by years of clinging to power as the Springbok captain, after years of exile in the North, he returns to SA rugby and orchestrates a coup in the Sharks Rugby Union?  His return ushers in the return of Jake White, the shadowy whispering “adviser”.  High profile departures happen shortly after his arrival. His former assistant coach at the Boks Coetzee is easily felled in their first real contest of consequence.

I say, it’s about time.  South African rugby needs a new villain.  We are oh so weary of the 20th century’s Afrikaans versus English vibe, and beyond that there is only mega rich fat cats or BEE type figures that could possibly fall into the category of worthy rugby administrator villain. Perhaps a brutal Mickey Mouse, crushing dissent and rivals to the throne that gets the non-Sharks part of the country’s blood boiling is just what is needed to renew interest in the local competitions.

Sadly for the Western Province rugby, it looks like their scheming villain at the top of the organisation is merely an incompetent Dr Evil.

mickeyjohn

Sonny Bill Williams loses his status as sex symbol

The 1980s called – they want their oversized dark glasses back.

All the talk this week has been about Sonny Bill Williams.  Not just the will or her won’t he have a future representing the All Blacks again, but rather his poor fashion choices.  While other blogs have been happy to report the IRB qualification criteria for representing your nation at a World Cup, we feel more qualified to point out that his oversized tints, lack of manly facial hair and clashing color coordination (plaid with green?) have cost him his place at the top of everyone’s sports’ sex symbol list.

He has had a busy time of it recently.  In between representing New Zealand at both Rugby Union and League, launching his boxing career and working on his tattoos, we hear that Sonny Bill has also had some moderate entertainment industry crossover success.  2013 saw him play a small role in the latest Woody Allen comedy as a struggling novelist in turn of the century Paris.  He also had songwriting credits on Miley Cyrus’ latest album release Bangerz.  Perhaps all his entertainment focus has taken his eye off the real prize – keeping a level head when it comes to making responsible fashion choices.

We hear that Ben Tameifuna (prop for the Chiefs) has taken over the running for the Southern Hemisphere’s “sex on legs” title.

Shock as Jake White quits Brumbies coaching role after taking Intro to Philosophy course

News of Jake White’s resignation from coaching the Brumbies has hit Australian papers and blogs today. What could possess a man who was poised to inherit the Wallaby coaching position to burn his bridges down under?

He issued a strange pronouncement about no longer “having the desire” to coach the team that he so recently took to the Super 15 final. Some took this as a reaction to being snubbed for the Wallaby position when Deans was forced to step down. Or perhaps it was because he finally got the courage to watch George Lucas’ Star Wars prequels and this was the only suitable protest he could muster?

But the reasons have little to do with rugby really.

After taking an online “Philosophy 101″ class on the Coursera website he has reached the conclusion that the Enlightenment – far from ushering in a new era of moral and ethical certainty – has in fact removed any objective grounding for a basis for determining right from wrong. Cut adrift from an appeal to a divine authority, man is left to fend for himself in this moral landscape, unable to tell arbitrary whim from platonic good.

And as such… No longer able to coach the Brumbies.

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Tuilagi strikes again…

It seems no one is safe from the antics of Manu ‘Ferry jumper’ Tuilagi… including the Great British Prime Minister!

Tuilagi’s general pissing into the wind attitude towards life was further demonstrated at a recent photo op at Downing Street, at which he couldn’t resist from doing the old ‘bunny ears’ prank behind the PM’s head.

In keeping with the general tomfoolery and rakish behaviour of his Eton school days, Cameron’s response was to give Tuilagi a wet-willy and wedgie combo.

Boom! THAT’s what you get for messing with the British Government…President Assad take note!

Hee hee....I also peed on your carpet!

Hee hee….I also peed on your carpet!

If Saturday’s test match doesn’t get you excited that little rugby fan inside of you has died

kidtv

Another Supersport viewer about to be disappointed by the standard of Hugh Bladen’s commentary.

Saturday is pretty much as good as it gets for a rugby fan. A rising South African side, buoyed by a vicious assault of the Wallabies, taking on the mighty All Blacks in New Zealand. If you’re not up for this, you’re not for up for rugby anymore.  That little bright eyed kid inside of you who used to set the alarm clock early to wake up and watch the Boks playing in New Zealand may just have been clubbed into submission after too many years of false hopes.

The cynic in me says that Heyneke’s new Bok team hasn’t been capable of putting together two good performances in a row. That any team that includes Zane Kirchner just can’t be that good. That there are still one or two key things wrong in selection, that Ruan “lazy peasant” Pienaar is not the answer at 9, that Flip Van De Merwe on the bench lowers the whole tone of the squad, not to mention the average hair style street cred. That while the All Blacks in New Zealand are most definitely beatable, this Bok team isn’t quite at that level yet. I’d love to be wrong about this. After all, watching the Boks taking apart the Wallabies and just dismantling them like a disturbed toddler pulling the legs of a stick insect was pretty friggin’ awesome. How great it would be to watch a Bok pack rumble over a retreating All Black scrum?

But then… that not’s going to happen is it? That’s why the All Black are the number one team in the world. Because you don’t just arrive in New Zealand, talk up a good game to the press, psych up your front row half an hour before kickoff by slapping them in the face and showing them pictures of Bobby Skinstad hanging out with their wives and then simply win in New Zealand. Just ask countless Bok teams who’ve been there before and spoken about “having a good feeling” in the days leading up to the ultimate test.

Still. Around the Republic on Saturday, the skottle braai breakfasts will be smoking, the early morning drinkers will be getting to ready to rumble in the bars across the Cape Flats. Kiwis will be talking down their own team ahead of the renewing of the struggle with the “old rival”. Ex-pat Saffers living in New Zealand will feel all kinds of inner turmoil. And you can bet there is going to be some awkward family get-togethers across the Western Cape after final whistle. This is going to be EPIC!

Top 5 villains of all time…

Who doesn’t like a good old fashioned villain to passionately hate and shout abuse at from the safety of the living-room armchair?

Just ask the inhabitants of New Zealand. According to a recent national survey, the third most popular hobby in the country today is developing a strong and active disliking of Quade Cooper. That’s a whole lot of dislike for someone who isn’t exactly on the genocidal activity or baby killing end of the evil-doer spectrum.

With any implications of genocide aside, the Kiwis will be happy to hear that Quade made Fox Sports Australia’s Top 5 Villains of All Time listKudos to the Aussies for putting one of their ‘own’ in there.

What may not come as a surprise is the fact that 3 Springboks made the grade….oh wait, sorry….I mean 2 Springboks and 1 drunk spectator wearing the green and gold jersey and taking the law into his own hands.

See for yourself…

Top 5 Villains of All Time

Ruan Pienaar vs Fourie du Preez: Ultimate scrumhalf matchup

Who is the better scrumhalf?   If anybody hasn’t been paying attention to Springbok rugby in the last few years, we thought we’d line them up, by the stats.  You decide for yourself who should the Bok starting scrumhalf be?

Scrumhalf

Currently Ruan is only ahead of Fourie on the team stat “ability to delay the onset of male pattern baldness.”

Ruan Pienaar:

  • Known for: imitating a pensioner at an ATM when attempting to clear the ball from a ruck
  • Usually spotted on the field: pointing at the ball in the loose so that opposition players can steal it more effectively
  • Album he plays for young players about to make their debut:  Nickelback’s 2001 release, Silver Side Up
  • Fact you may not know about him: Makes a mean pasta alfredo
  • Nickname: Johnny No Shoes
  • Amount of time taken to pass from a scrum: We are still waiting for a successful scrum clearance to be able to report on this

Fourie du Preez:

  • Known for:  pinpoint passes that create try scoring assists, if you’re prepared to rewind the PVR/Tivo and see what really led up to a team try
  • Usually spotted on the field: popping up at a tackle just short of the line in order to score the “soft” try
  • Album he plays for young players about to make their debut: Dylan’s 1975 classic tale of heartbreak, loneliness and anger, Blood on the Tracks
  • Fact you may not know about him: May be responsible for ending apartheid when as a young boy in 1990 he met FW at a school rugby game, looked him in the eye and said “we’re all the same on the inside, you know.”
  • Nickname: Two Sheds (Fourie once thought about building a second shed on his property)
  • Amount of time taken to pass from a scrum: Too fast to measure with our current technology.  The  recently constructed Large  Hadron Collider beneath the Franco-Swiss border is in fact an attempt to measure Fourie Du Preez’ passes

Aussie PM threatens sanctions against next country that beats them in sport

Things aren’t going well down under.

A statement most of us don’t want to hear from our doctor, but one that also applies to the state of Australian sport at the moment.

Not only have the English retained the ashes, but following the Wallabies loss to the All Blacks last weekend, the Poms have now usurped their former penal colony as No.3 in the IRB rankings.

A bitter pill to swallow….even when washed down with a XXXX beer. (Note to reader: in this case XXXX refers to the brand and does not imply that Aussie beer is shit. With the exception of Fosters. It’s shit.)

It would seem the recent spate of having their ass handed to them on a plate has been all too much to take for some Aussies.

In particular, the country’s Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who has threatened economic and trade sanctions against any country that has the gall to beat his home nation in any future sporting encounters.

At a recent press conference Rudd commented:

“This is just not on. Australians don’t know the meaning of the word lose, and it’s certainly not in this government’s budget to amend the school curriculum to include a definition.

I wake up in a cold sweat most nights thinking how I’m going to restrain myself from decking David Cameron in his smug doughy face at the next Commonwealth meeting.

I believe the threat of sanctions will restore faith in our sporting teams, and I’ve already been sleeping a bit better since my wife came up with the idea.”

Aussie PM Kevin Rudd...sleep deprivation has led to some 'quirky' behaviour

Aussie PM Kevin Rudd…sleep deprivation has led to some ‘quirky’ behaviour

Springbok rugby fans torn between cynicism and wildly misguided hope this year – again

In offices and pubs around the country, South African rugby fans are sharply divided into two camps.  On one hand, we have the dreamers, the romantics, the hopeful misfits.  They can be heard consoling the cynics with phrases like:

“Yes, but I’ve got a good feeling this year” and the oft-repeated “Shooo – but there’s a lot of depth in South African rugby these days, eh?  I was just watching the Happy Valley under 11s playing against the Paarl girls’ team and man – this country has no shortage of quality fly-halves.”

This is the camp that thinks Morne Steyn is going to come right this year, that picking Fourie Du Preez is sign of Heyneke’s under appreciated genius and that when we click we’re going to “put fifty on the All Blacks”. Continue Reading

Super 15 2013 regular season review: BDR’s list of hits, misses and #fails

  • Best “night on the town” incident:

Kurtley Beale and Cooper Vuna displayed the famous Australian trait of being able to hold their drink well and managed to get themselves sent home from the Rebels tour of South Africa for boozing it up and getting into a fight with their own team mates.  Double tip of the hat to Kurtley for punching not one but two of his own team mates during his night on the tiles.   Of course, luckily for Beale he was able to redeem himself when given a match deciding penalty after the hooter during the first British Lions test… oh wait a second.

  • Most epic win:

The Southern Kings first match of the season 22-10 win over the Force.  In 80 minutes, they did more than the Lions do in most seasons and gave a massive middle finger to the rest of the country.  Even the most cold-hearted cynic had to get a little misty eyed at that one.  Big respect. Continue Reading

Cooking with Coenie

As part of the upcoming international season in the Southern Hemisphere, we’ll be doing a bit of a lifestyle segment on some international players.  We thought we’d start off by showing the softer side of one of the Bok squad front rowers.  We caught up with Coenie Oosthuizen and he introduced us to some of his lesser acknowledged culinary skills.

Whenever Coenie hosts visitors at his pad he is famous for serving his legendary “wors and wine” dish.  He has let us share the recipe with readers of this website.

  • Get 4 kilograms of karoo boerewors (barbecue sausage).
  • Microwave on “high” for 20 minutes (or until ecoli risk is removed)
  • Serve on paper plates with a knife and fork (this reduces dishwashing time later).
  • Get a 5 litre cardboard boxed wine from Shoprite-Checkers to serve with the wors.

Mmmm!

Coenie has been watching both Masterchef and Top Chef in anticipation of the end of season tour. He is going to dazzle those Northerners with his kitchen skills!

The South African rugby disease

Former Wallaby coach Rod Macqueen once famously described South African rugby players to Harry Viljoen as “big, powerful and fucking stupid”. To that I’d like to add “dumber than a pile a bricks”.

If you ever wanted to know the disease that ails SA rugby it was on display this weekend at the Moscow 7′s.

After smashing their way through the first round with a display of rugby that got SA journalists all hot and bothered, i.e. not only winning all their first round games but also not dropping a single point against Scotland, Japan and the Bergvliet Primary School girls under 11 team they then promptly exited in the first round of knockouts against Fiji.

A choke?

No.

Just the typical stupidity of a Bok player in a big game. The final score was 12-10. The decisive moment was an idiotic kick downfield into p
the arms of a giant Fijian winger who promptly smashed his way to the try line like the Incredible Hulk knocking over a bunch of Fisher-Price toys placed in his path.

SA had all the talent and all the speed. But unfortunately I think SA rugby players are coached to believe that kicking “wins ground”.

Clearly no one has ever done a video analysis of an SA game and shown a squad that 9 out of 10 times you end up worse off when you kick. It’s a high risk low pay off move.

Stupid $&@%s.

What do we do with Israel?!

Don’t worry…we haven’t gone all political on your ass at Big Daddy Rugby.

This is not some diatribe about the Jewish-majority state but rather the question the Lions will be asking themselves about the Aussie back who weaved his way through their defence in last week’s first test.

As we know the Lions won that match…but only literally by the thin plastic membrane of their gumguards. If only Kurtley Beale had had a few drinks at half-time to steady his legs, it may have been a completely different story.

638665-israel-folau

 

That familiar sinking Springbok feeling: 2013 edition

It’s early days, but I’ve got Springbok deja vu all over again.  That feeling in the pit of your stomach that despite all of this amazing talent available to the Bok rugby team, somehow between the coaching staff and the administrators they’ve managed to screw it up – again.

You know that one where you watch the Junior World Championships and you get all excited thinking about that talent that is available to future Bok squads?   You start selecting your “dream team” Springbok squad in April and start to picture a Bok team putting 50 on New Zealand.  You see Heinrich Brussouw in all the glorious splendor that is his natural wonder and you think to yourself… “Yes… this can happen”.

There’s a flash of inspiration from some newcomer to the scene.  A young Francois Steyn or Pat Lambie.  A new looseforward capable of scrounging possession away from Richie McCaw in a Super 15 game and also capable of smuggling an entire array of donuts and cigarettes from Pollsmoor Prison.   A backline player so fast, with a step so vicious….  Maybe it is the complete flyhalf. Continue Reading

Lions take first bite in Oz….literally

The British and Irish Lions tour in Australia has started on high with a mauling of the Western Force in Perth on Wednesday.

Acting captain Brian O’Driscoll led from the front by scoring two of the tries, having linked-up well with fellow centre Manu ‘Ferry-jumper’ Tuilagi.

The Lions looked hungry throughout the course of the match, and in particular Irish prop Cian Healy who in the 17th minute couldn’t hold-out for half-time snacks any longer by taking a bite of scrum-half Brett Sheeran’s arm.

Having only served to whet his appetite, he eventually had to fake an injury in order to get something more substantial and less hairy off the field of play.

Apparently head Lion’s coach Warren Gatland is now rethinking his strategy of starving his players for 2 days pior to each match.

Would sir care for brown or red sauce with his arm?

Would sir care for brown or red sauce with his arm?

Gupta scandal rocks SA rugby

Frank the Tank” Gupta plays loosehead prop at Gupta family rugby games.

 

In further developments in the “Gupta-gate” scandal, our sources tell us that the Guptas’ tentacles extended into rugby administration. Even the Bok has succumbed to the charms of president Zuma’s sugar daddy family.

By virtue of their “close relationship” with president Zuma, the Guptas were provided with the following “special favours”, courtesy of South African rugby administrators:

- A few Guptas were given a guided tour of the SARFU offices in Cape Town where they were presented with an autographed poster signed by Coenie Oosthuizen himself.

- A pair of Jannie Du Plessis’ shorts that he wore against the All Blacks

- Actual replica tshirt of the Cheetahs 2012 Super 15 jersey

- An impromptu “ball skills” demonstration on how to be an effective fly-half by Brok Harris.

Is nothing sacred anymore?

Cartoon by Zapiro

Kurtley Beale: Make mine a double

Raise your arms in the air like you just don't care y'all!

Raise your arms in the air like you just don’t care y’all!

Troubled Wallabies and Rebels player Kurtley ‘Crumb-catcher’ Beale has decided to take some much needed time out from rugby for personal reasons.

It is likely he will miss the upcoming Lions’ Tour to Australia in order to spend more quality time with close friends and family, namely Jim Beam, Jack Daniels and Tia Maria.

Kurtley's half-time rider request started to raise a few eyebrows among the Rebels' back room staff

Kurtley’s half-time rider request started to raise a few eyebrows among the Rebels’ back room staff

America delivers a big wedgie to the Springbok reputation

Ahhh.  Somewhere in the States today, there sat a fellow in a faded green and gold jersey (circa 1995 or 2007?), slowly sipping on his Sierra Nevada, with the sudden realization that the Blitzbokke were about to lose twice in the same weekend to Team USA.    Clutching that beer very tightly, he eyed the exit of the local pub wondering if it would be possible to slip out before anyone noticed his Bok jersey.

First of all a 19-12 “sharp punch to the nose with the clenched fist” in the final round robin game of the London Sevens to announce to the world that nobody can take an Eagles sevens team lightly anymore (editors note: I saw many a post this weekend remarking that the Blitzbokke “need only beat the Eagles” to win their group).  Then the Eagles follow it up on Sunday with a “kneel on your chest and repeatedly slap you in the face whilst delivering a wedgie” 22-5 dismissal in the plate semi-final to deliver the one of the great David and Goliath feel-good victories.

Continue Reading

Hell hath no fury like a rolling maul

If you’ve watched any amount of Super Rugby this year, you’ll know that the rolling maul is the hot-topic of the moment. And more specifically, just how the hell is a team meant to defend against it?

In particular it has been the South African conference teams that have used it to such deadly effect and who seem to be forming them more frequently than they can churn out new Fast & Furious films.

For this very reason Big Daddy Rugby has consulted some of the worlds most highly respected and completely fictitious military experts to come up with 5 ways to stop the dreaded rolling maul.

We can do nothing about Vin Diesel films though. Sorry.

1. Scorched Earth Policy

When it comes to wreaking havoc and general destruction, a crazy cat by the name of Stalin had a few tricks (and most likely a poison-tipped dagger) up his sleeve. As a tactic used by the Russians on the German army during WW2 and the US in Vietnam, the idea is to destroy the turf to such an extent that the rolling maul won’t function effectively.

Downside: Not suitable for home matches, i.e. don’t shit where you eat.

"Charlie don't form rolling mauls!"

“Charlie don’t form rolling mauls!”

2. Propaganda campaign

Not to be outdone by a crazy Russian, the Germans used this slightly more subtle form of military strategy to instil fear and doubt among their enemies. The defending team could make use of an online social media campaign to belittle the image of the rolling maul, utilising slogans such as ‘Rolling mauls cause cancer’ or ‘Rugby is for Girls‘ – or even a video viral showing rolling mauls being formed by fans at a Justin Bieber concert.

Downside: Getting Bieber’s agent to agree to this could take some time.

It's not subtle or politically correct...but it will work.

It’s not subtle or politically correct…but it will work.

3. Horns of the bull

Cunning military strategy invented by Shaka Zulu. He’s that guy who made his troops run on thorns just because he could. The rolling maul is initially hit head-on, with supporting players flanking both sides (the horns) and then employing short stabbing movements with sharp instruments to inflict injuries on the unsuspecting attacking forwards.

Downside: Not only are Saffa players familiar with it, but it can lead to at least half the team being sin-binned.

Even the most dim-witted of tight-heads will understand this one.

Even the most dim-witted of tight-heads will understand this one.

4. Divide and conquer

If it worked for the Romans, it can work for you. Simple yet effective technique in which you turn your opponents against each other, leaving them weak and vulnerable. All the defending team needs to do is make the tight-heads believe their doing all the hard work while the loose-head trio are getting all the girls and glory and BAM…the rolling maul collapses like a deck of cards.

Downside: Hard to convince tight-heads of anything unless it’s done with simplified drawings and pictures.

We come in peace.....hee hee!

We come in peace…..hee hee!

5. Trench warfare technique

This one involves a bit of planning, but with some bulldozers, a bit of barbed wire and a full-back with a Gatling Gun – that rolling maul isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Downside: In addition to logistical issues, can lead to stalemate and a sudden urge for players to breakout into a jovial football match while singing Paul McCartney’s ‘Pipes of Peace’

Gatling Gun....all good full-backs should have one.

Gatling Gun….all good full-backs should have one.