Questionable Grooming 2011: The Winner!

With the Super 15 season rapidly drawing to a close it’s time for us to announce the winner of our inaugural “Big Daddy Rugby-Questionable Grooming” title for the 2011 season.

For those of you who missed the original post or if you’re just after a little bit of  “alternative eye candy” you’ll find the nominations listed here.

I’d like to be able to say that this was a closely fought race but in all honesty there was really only one player whose look caused such strong feelings of both disgust and arousal amongst our judges, that the decision practically made itself.

A hearty Big Daddy “shout out”  goes to Andy Ellis for his pre-injury “General Custer” vibe,  to Ashley Johnson for his constant refusal to check the mirror and to Radike Samo for still being  able to balance with hair that big. He surely must have trouble wearing a hat?

Close...but no cigar.

Well done chaps, better luck next year.
Note to readers: In the interests of good taste and decency Zane Kirchner was automatically disqualified from entering.

So, Ladies and Gents, without anymore fuss, Big Daddy Rugby are very pleased to announce that the 2011 Questionable Grooming title goes to none other than…


Well done Josh! We salute your effort and look forward to seeing what kind of state you’re in come the 2012 season.

Josh and his lucky lady friend after hearing the good news

Josh, your Chico the Clown desert is waiting for you at any Spur restaurant in South Africa. Enjoy!

Dear Dr Jannie: The 3rd letter

Dear Dr Jannie,

I’m a 24-year-old man and I’m already starting to lose my hair, and with it, my confidence.

I’ve never been particularly successful with the ladies and now with my rapidly receding hairline I’m worried that things are only going to get worse for me in this department.

I’ve tried all the various “off the shelf” remedies but unfortunately they’ve had absolutely no effect at all.

My question to you Dr Jannie is:

“Comb Over” or “Clean Shaven”?

What do the ladies prefer?

Follically Challenged

Dear Follically Challenged

When Bismarck and I were growing up on the farm “Groot Oupa” used to make us toss a coin to see who’s turn it would be to shave his back.

Now if you had met Groot Oupa you’d know that this was definitely not a task for the faint of heart.

The best way to describe the man would be as a cross between a St Bernard and a Puff Adder. I used to dread the experience of being shut in the garage with him, with nothing but a bucket of warm water, a rusty old BiC razor blade and some Bless Bridges softly playing on the radio. Thankfully, through my medical training, I’ve learnt to deal with those painful memories.

Bismarck on the other hand, well, I swear he used to love performing this task.
Whenever he “won” the coin toss he could barely hide the excitement on his face and on one occasion he even blurted out “Suck Jannie, you dick! It’s my turn!” before rushing off outside to the garage.

On the occasions when Bismarck was not needed he did an OK job of disguising his disappointment, but I did start to notice a disturbing coincidence between his “losing” and that of our family dog “Blitzkrieg”  having sections of fur missing from his back.

Take from this what you can and move forward with confidence.

Go well!

Dr Jannie.

Dear Dr Jannie: The 2nd letter

Dear Dr Jannie,

I’m not a man of many words, so I’ll keep this short.

I’m worried about my son. He’s ten years old and he enjoys doing things like playing with dolls, sewing, dancing and watching Oprah.
He has no interest in sports or any of the normal things that a boy his age should have.
I’m starting to get worried now.

Please help.

Concerned Dad.


Dear Concerned Dad,

When Bismarck and I were growing up on the farm we used to share a bedroom. The only rule we had was that if the door was shut, then one should knock and await a response before entering. It was Bismarck’s idea and I must admit that at the time I found his suggestion a little strange.

One day I was out in the garden practising my drop kicks when I suprisingly connected one sweetly. The ball flew off of my bare foot and seemed to travel for a mile.
I lept with joy and raced up the stairs eager to tell Bismarck what had just happened, but alas, in my excited state, I broke the one and only bedroom rule and barged straight in.

Bismarck spun around in horror, his face red with rage. We both froze like statues and just stood there staring at each other for what seemed like an eternity. Then all of a sudden Bismarck erputed and started screaming “Get out Jannie, get the hell out of here you dick!!”  I was shaken. Bismarck was furious.

As I started to back out of the room it dawned on me that his face was quite a bit redder than the usual shade displayed when he’s angry. That’s when I noticed Mummy’s make-up kit open on the table, a few of her Sunday dresses on his bed and a pair of her high heels already on his feet.

I shut the door, walked outside and continued practising my drop kicks.

Go well Concerned Dad, go well.

Dr Jannie.

Dear Dr Jannie

Big Daddy Rugby are proud to welcome aboard our own in-house Doctor, Dr Jannie,  who’ll be happy to answer any  medical related questions or offer advice to readers who may be experiencing personal difficulties. First up we have a letter from a reader in Goodwood:

Dear Dr Jannie,

My wife and I have been happily married for 5 years now. We’ve had our ups and downs, like all couples do, but we’ve always managed to pull through the bad times and I believe that we have grown closer together over the years.

But that is all about to change now.

Last night I was online trying to buy tickets for the “Gospel Skouspel” show later this year when I discovered, to my horror,  that my wife has been searching for pictures of “Pierre Spies with his shirt off” and “CJ Van der Linde in a speedo”. There were even a few search terms that I just don’t feel comfortable putting in my letter to you Dr Jannie!

I really felt like I had just been kicked in the guts. It was as if my whole world had come crashing down around me. Darkness everywhere.

I haven’t spoken to my wife about this yet Dr Jannie because I’m just too upset right now. She knows something isn’t right and has tried to get me to talk but I keep choking up at the thought of her googling for indecent images of these guys.

How can I compete with that? What should I do? Please help Dr Jannie!

A Broken man.

Dear Broken man,

When Bismarck and I were growing up on the farm we used to play this game that we called “Broer trust”.

Bismarck would stand in front of me with his eyes closed and fall backwards, where I would catch him in my arms just before he hit the ground.
When it came my turn to fall Bismarck, without fail, would let me drop. He would crack up laughing and say things like “Jannie you dick, you trusted me again, who’s the clever brother now hey?!”
I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t hurt, both physically and emotionally, but you know what, I decided that the joy Bismarck got from seeing me writhe in pain on the ground was worth a bruised back (and ego).

I trust that this story from our past will shed some light onto your situation.

Good luck Broken Man!

Dr Jannie.

Ronan O’Gara wants to break free

It’s time for some light-hearted Friday vibes courtesy of Ronan O’Gara and some other random blokes.

Ronan’s got the right look and a good level of energy, but I can’t help feel that he needs a little help with his vocals.

Maybe Gav could help now that he’s got some spare time on his hands?


Why so angry Jimmy?

I’d love to be able to get all the worlds’ scrum halves together into one room, ply them with free booze, and then sit back and wait for the fireworks to begin.

It’s pretty much part of a scrummies job description to be an annoying little sh&t, a niggler, to be like a fly that you can never swat, and for me one man stands out as being especially gifted in this department…the magnificent Jimmy Cowan.

Jimmy brings a special kind of “mongrel” to his role as a scrum half. There’s a certain dull pain behind those green eyes, an almost trance like expression on his face as he goes about his business on the field. I find him a strangely compelling player to watch.

He may not be the best in his position but he gets my vote as being the toughest that there is. He’s also probably the dirtiest, and if I was out drinking in a NZ bar and spotted Jimmy I certainly wouldn’t make fun of his hair to his face. I’d do it quietly behind his back.

For an example of Jimmy’s work see the video clip below which focuses on a “tackle” straight out of the Jimmy Cowan “Angry Rugby Rules!” handbook.


Is Rugby Union’s first Boy Band just around the corner?

There seems to be quite a few stories doing the rounds in the media lately about rugby players misbehaving off the field.

It’s all fairly tame stuff when compared to the exploits of their counterparts in League and AFL, but a number of our “rugby union bad boys” are repeat offenders and are most likely skating on very thin ice, meaning that they could soon find themselves without a rugby playing job, in which case I have a suggestion…

Band together oh you wayward souls! Quite literally band together. Give us Rugby Unions’ very first “Boy Band”.
Don’t think it’ll work? Well how’s this for a killer, all singing, all dancing, hysteria-inducing line-up…

Danny “Dazzler” Cipriani
The “Cute & cuddly” one. Not quite an expert at anything, but he looks good and the ladies love him, so he’s in.

The Cute & Cuddly one

Gavin “Strangely brown” Henson
The “aloof and moody” one. Terrible with communication and a bit of a loner. Prefers to express himself through the medium of dance. He’ll do just fine.

The Moody & Aloof one

Pedrie “Postal” Wannenburg
Older and not as pretty as the others so we’ll give him some fake dreadlocks and some stick on tatoos and all of a sudden he’s the “edgy / alternative” one. Welcome aboard!

The Alternative / Edgy one

Andy “Just a couple of sherbets” Powell
The “Cheeky chappy”. The loveable bad boy. Mums and housewives will love him. Men will want to be him. Or slap him. An obvious choice.

The Cheeky Chappy

Quade “Mini” Cooper
The unofficial leader and “brains” of the group. Will choreograph all the moves himself. Most likely to quit at some stage to go solo. Simply, a must have.

The Brains

Band name? I’m thinking “Age of Consent” would do quite nicely. Either that or “Quick Ball“.

To get things moving here’s a few song titles that the boys could use:

      1. Crouch, touch, pause, engage! (All night long)
      2. Straight into touch (I don’t wanna wait no more)
    3. Heel against the head (Push a lil’ harder!)

See? It’s as simple as that.

When it comes to the Management side of things I’m pretty sure that there’ll be a few coaches looking for work after the World Cup, so who knows, maybe Graham Henry will be interested in a change of scenery after the Kiwis get knocked out in the Semis?

The “Not so faithful” Newlands fans

There’s two types of South African rugby fan which makes me throw up just a little bit in my mouth, and unfortunately with the arrival of the Crusaders this week, Newlands on Saturday will not be as “Pro-Stormers” as one would like to think it would be.

I’m not about to get into the politics of our country, or our rugby teams for that matter, we’re very much a post-isolation blog here at Big Daddy Rugby, but it has to be said that the folk who come to watch rugby at Newlands purely to support the opposition are some seriously “stuck in the past” people.

I was at the Crusaders game at Newlands last season (or was it two seasons ago?) and I’m not exaggerating when I say that in certain parts of the ground the “Kiwi fans” out numbered the Stormers fans fairly comfortably. (And it didn’t take a genius to figure out that not many of them were from the Canterbury region).

There surely can’t be much joy found from hanging on to so much bitterness?

On the flip side I remember watching the Boks play the Fatties at Twickenham a few years back and being completely dumbstruck by a number of Bok “fans” who were waving the old flag about, in an attempt I assume to make some kind of statement about their dissatisfaction with the state of SA rugby.
They failed miserably and just came off looking like a bunch of ignorant goons.

I genuinely don’t understand the thought process here, or maybe I should say the lack of a thought process?

Blah, blah, blah….

Anyways, time to get off of my soap box now I suppose, but first I must mention that I’m very much looking forward to seeing my current “man crush” Israel Dagg in full flight this weekend. The kid has some crazy skills.
It really is quite amazing when you consider the amount of depth the Kiwis have at the moment, especially in the backline.

Add to that McCaw, Read, Sonny Bill, Fruen and hopefully Carter at some stage and we’re all set for a cracking game.

I’ll be shouting for the Stormers 100%.

A picture of Gio Aplon...because he's a genius.

Gavin Henson: How not to make a World Cup Squad

Anyone remember Gavin Henson? You know, the great perma-tanned hope of Welsh rugby who’s dined out on one big tackle and a long-range penalty for pretty much his entire career?

You know, the guy who dated Charlotte Church for a while and the guy who took a break from rugby to take part in the Reality TV show “Strictly come dancing”?

Yeah, that’s the Gavin Henson I’m talking about.

Now Gav has had a number of well documented run ins with team mates and coaching staff and my sources in the Welsh camp tell me that “he’s a bit of a knob”, so when I read the news that Gav had decided to bless us once more with his God-given rugby gift and joined up with French team Toulon, I knew that trouble was not far around the corner.

With this gig at Toulon being seen as his last opportunity to snake his way back into the Welsh squad one would have expected him to knuckle down and to just focus on getting some game time under his belt, but alas, Gav marches to a very different drum.

Whilst out celebrating a victory with his team mates Gav decided that the natural progression of events for the evening should go something like this:

    Get pissed
    Mock Johnny Wilkinson
    Mock the Captain Joe Van Niekerk
    Get into a fight with scrum half Matt Henjak
    Go home and weep in the dark


The club are expected to announce later today that his contract has been “terminated” and with that his chances of playing in the World Cup later this year.

I can’t help but feel that this is good news for the Welsh, but bad news for the Boks.

Lay off the “Brutal Fruit” Gav, it’s not helping.

Gav Henson - Young, Dumb and full of...Rum?

Mark Lawrence left out in the cold

I know I’m a little late out of the blocks with this post but regardless Big Daddy Rugby would like to express their complete disgust at the recent announcement that Mark Lawrence will not be refereeing at the World Cup later this year.

The “Leading Man” of rugby referees is being left at home. “Crouch, touch, pause, engage” will never sound the same again.

What makes the IRB’s decision even more galling is that they have decided to up the ante when it comes to pure comedy by giving Steve “make mine a double” Walsh the nod. Yep, Steve’s going to be there, but Mark’s not.

Not only is Lawrence a good ref, but his rapport with the players on the field is second to none. You never see him getting flustered or speaking to the players like they’re children (ala Johnny Kaplan). He’s cool, calm and collected, something the IRB reckons isn’t necessary for this World Cup.

This is a massive loss for the tournament and rugby lovers in general, so as a tribute to Mark, here are 5 facts about the man that you probably didn’t know:

Mark Lawrence has never eaten at the Spur

Mark Lawrence’s favourite album is “If you can’t stand the heat” by Status Quo

Mark Lawrence auditioned for the role of Dr Gregory House for the hit TV show “House”

Mark Lawrence had his heart broken by a girl named “Florine” in Brussels back in ’93

Mark Lawrence has the phrase “Courage doesn’t always roar” tattooed on his left shoulderYou’ll be sorely missed Mark, but you’ll always be in our hearts, World Cup 2011 ref or not.

Mark Lawrence. Admit it, you probably would...

In BOD we trust

In Ireland the saying goes “In BOD we trust”.

Here’s a great little “Friday filler” video clip of Brian working some of his magic.


Great stuff indeed!

(Disclaimer: This move was performed by a professional and should not be attempted to be copied by any of the Bulls, Sharks or Lions centres).

Player Profile: Joshua Strauss

Joshua was discovered by a Lions scout whilst performing with his electro-folk band “Steak Machines” at an open mic night somewhere in Randburg back in 2009.

Rumour has it that it was the intensity of his performance coupled with the ruggedness of his look that convinced the scout to sign him right then and there on the spot.

Being a sensitive artistic soul with a preference for whispering lyrics about lost faith, Josh was put through a demanding conditioning program in an attempt to bring out his mongrel side, the side of him the Lions believed could make an impact for them at Super Rugby level.

The exact details of this conditioning program are sketchy at best, and with the Lions management refusing to comment it’s probably best to look to Steak Machines’ second album, “Apocalypse Strauss” for a small idea of what Josh had to go through to become the trojan we see on the field today.

Here’s the opening verse from the first single “Pissing in the Jukskei”…

The look of death in my eye
Surely no-one will survive
Just a pile of mush
Left to dry in the sun

As is the case with much of Steak Machines music this verse is very much open to interpretation (a popular theory swirling around the net is that it was written before the Lions v Bulls derby earlier this season) , but regardless of how you read into it I think it’s fair to say that Steak Machines have a long and fruitfull career ahead of themselves.

Go Josh, Go…

Josh - pleading for forgiveness

Silky skills: The camera never lies

Here’s a little time filler for anyone looking for an excuse to put off doing something more important…

Recently some of the Kiwi boys decided to try and “wow” us with their out of this world rugby skills which can be seen on display in the two video clips below.



Fairly amusing (especially the Kiwi accents), but not as good as the video responses from the Brumbies and particularily the Waratahs.



Well done guys, that chewed up a few minutes of my afternoon.

Vote for Change: This aggression will not stand!

If anyone else out there feels as disgruntled as I do by the vacuous drivel that passes for English rugby commentary on SuperSport now is the time to act!

We the viewers are finally being asked for our opinions and are now able to rate the current crop of stuttering goons via a survey on SuperSports’ Super Rugby home page – which you can find here

It’s about high that there was a regime change in the rugby commentary booths in SA, but I must admit though that I’m a little bit torn as to who offends my ears the most.
The tone alone of Stransky’s voice is enough to give me a light nose bleed, but then having to listen to the slurred mumblings from the mouth of Hugh Bladen often sends me into a spiral of heavy binge drinking.

In my mind it’s the complete lack of wit and entertaining banter from the commentary teams that mark them out as being horribly dull. It’s “paint by numbers” commentary over at SuperSport but hopefully this is our chance to change that.

There are a few though who do manage to rise above the level of mediocrity and it would be unfair of me not to say that I think Ashwin Willemse, Matt Pearce and Owen Nkumane all do a pretty solid job.

I guess if I had to pick one to pack their bags and leave it would have to be Hugh Bladen, the thought being that if you cut off the head of the snake the body will die too.

Get voting people! Unless of course you like the idea of waking up to Stransky and Bladen come September?

The Stransky / Bladen combo takes another good man down

Oops! England come to early.

This is quite simply too good not to post.

If you’ve been following the English press at all during the 6 Nations you’ll be aware that an English Grand Slam was an almost certainty after England beat Wales in Cardiff in their first game of the tournament.

It was a mere formality. The writing was on the wall.

I thought that that might be a tad premature. Just a touch.

But things only got worse after the wins against Italy, France and Scotland.


Well apparently Nike bought into the hype hook, line and sinker and went ahead and prepared a rather dull “Grand Slam Winners 2011” video clip for England, which some dear soul has seen fit to leak to the world.

I thank you kind Sir/Madam.

Ireland?? Pfffftt…please….



Hijacked in Dublin

So the Irish saved their best for last and once again stuck a spanner in the spokes of the English chariot as it made its way towards a first Grand Slam title since 2003.

I’m not entirely sure what this 6 Nations campaign has taught us about the Northern Hemispheres challenge for the Webb Ellis trophy later this year, other than the fact that all the teams seem to be rather inconsistent.

France started off with a bang against the Scots (who actually looked decent in that game) only to end up losing to Italy in Rome.

The Scots got drilled by the Welsh at home, but then almost managed to out-muscle the English in their own backyard.

England beating the French at Twickers and the Welsh in Cardiff were pretty solid efforts, but the heavy loss in Dublin should have brought them back down to earth with a bang.

Ireland quite honestly looked crap all tournament, but then magically clicked on Saturday to produce a performance that would have given most teams a run for their money.

Italy, although ending up with the Wooden Spoon, played the best I’ve seen them play. They were unlucky to lose to the Irish and managed to beat the French for the first time in their history.

And then there’s the plucky Welsh, who started off terribly with that loss in Cardiff, but then managed to string together 3 wins on the trot, only to surrender meekly to the French in the last game of the tournament.

It has made for entertaining viewing, but I don’t think that any of the Tri Nations teams will be overly fussed by what was on display.
I can’t see any of those sides beating the Kiwis, and if the Boks manage to get their selections right they should come out on top too.

The Aussies are a slightly different matter though, having lost their last 2 games to The Fatties, but seeing as this is a site for uniformed rugby views I’m going to take the position that the Southern Hemisphere will continue to school the North come crunch time in September.

The Chariot didn't look too flash after the game in Dublin

law 19.2 (d): Who cares?

Looks like referees Johnny Kaplan and Peter Allan have managed to land themselves in some mighty hot water this weekend.

If you’re not aware of went down, take a look at the following clip, which highlights this rather costly (for the Irish) refereeing blunder.


Oh dear! That is unfortunate. My understanding is that the TV match official can only rule on the scoring of a try and not on the build up of said try, which seems a little silly to me. Surely the ref should be able to use the available technology whenever necessary?

That being said though these things are like swings and roundabouts and any rugby team would be able to list a number of crucial refereeing errors which have cost them a game.
It’s all just a bit amateur-ish and I can understand the Irish being pissed (Imagine if this had happened to the Boks – the gnashing of teeth would be deafening!).

So the Irish are to receive an apology from the IRB and Kaplan and Allan are to face IRB “big boy” Paddy O’Brien this week and life goes on.

It still leaves a bitter taste in the mouth though. We all make mistakes, I’m not here to shred Kaplan and Allan, I just find it hard to swallow that mistakes like this can determine the outcome of a rugby game when clearly we have the ability to let them not do so.

The many moods of Danie Rossouw

Blue Bulls utility forward Danie Rossouw gives new meaning to the phrase ” the strong, silent type”.
He may give it his all physically out on the field, but when it comes to his mental / emotional state no one, including his team mates, has a clue as to what’s going on in that big ol’ head of his.

With that in mind Big Daddy Rugby has put together a “Mood Chart” of a few of the many moods of Danie Rossouw.

It is our hope that this will help us all to feel just that little bit more connected to Danie, and to possibly give a glimpse into the inner workings of this complex individual.

Questionable Grooming: The contenders

After 3 weeks of “Super” rugby it’s probably a good time to introduce a few of our contenders for the all important “Questionable Grooming”
title for the 2011 season.

Now this is by no means a final list as I’m sure that as the season progresses a number of new players will step up to the plate in an attempt to “out-mullet”, “out-beard” or just plain “out-ugly” the chaps we have listed below.

The only criteria for making it onto this prestigious list is that “the look” must be the current look of the player (so all those tough backs who grew beards for the start of the season only to wimp out and shave them by week 2 do not make the cut).

Without further ado I give you:

Josh Strauss – The Commune Leader

Nick Cummins – The 80’s Rocker

Adam Byrnes – The Wanted in 4 States

Jannie du Plessis – The Consistently Bad

Tatafu Polota-Nau – The Pimp Daddy

Special mention must go to the Sharks reserve lock Anton Bresler for his breathtaking mullet and to the Lions speedster James Kamana for his strangely unsettling “rat-tail”. Both will be added to the list when suitable images are found.

Feel free to comment with your nominations. There must be at least 30 Kiwis missing from the list.