Heyneke shocks nation by not picking entire Bulls squad for Bok tour

Heyneke Meyer dropped a bombshell on the South African public this weekend by not picking the entire Bulls squad for the 30 man touring party to the UK.

When asked about why he made the controversial decision not to pick 30 Blue Bulls to tour, he had the following to say:

“Look, let’s be honest.  With the Bulls finishing 4th out of 6 teams and when you consider that one of the teams that finished above the Bulls doesn’t even qualify to play Super Rugby next year, you must know I was under a lot of pressure to pick all thirty Bulls players to represent South Africa.

I was quite close to picking Gio Aplon and Deon Fourie, I must admit, since they are technically much better than some of the current squad, but then I was talking to my assistant coaches and one of them pointed out that Jano Vermaak once dated one of the sisters of one of the other Bulls players, so how I could leave him out?  Also, Zane and Morne both have copies of those photos that were taken of me the night that Bulls won the Super Rugby title.  You know, where we had the after party… with the thing… and the other thing.  So I pretty much have to pick them.

But still.  I can squeak in a few non-Bulls players.  I mean, I am a Bulls, er, I mean Bok coach, after all.  That’s my right.  At least that’s what the Blue Bulls Rugby Union tells me I can do.”

Shocking.

Heyneke. Making a career out of pissing off Nick Mallett.

Eben Etzebeth footage from Currie Cup Final uncovered

The talk of the town in wine estates, fashion boutiques and French restaurants across the Cape Peninsula today is of Eben Etzebeth’s epic performance in the final against the Sharks.  One of our drinking buddies was lucky enough to be in attendance at the Shark tank and managed to capture this footage of Eben Etzebeth dismantling the Sharks:

Eben Etzebeth ensuring that the advantage line was not crossed by the Sharks in the second half. I think our cameraman was using that Instagram filter thingy.

Currie Cup Final Matchup: Lambie vs Habana

BDR presents the key stats line up between the two major stars in Saturday’s Currie Cup final:

Bryan Habana

  • Position: Wing
  • Known by his teammates for:  Eating ten strawberry energy bars at his first Stormers camp to “prove his loyalty” to Cape Town.
  • Height: 1.80m
  • Favourite economist: John Maynard Keynes.
  • Weight: 94 kgs (when he sucks his belly in)
  • Favourite movie: Weekend at Bernies 2 (Jason Silverman)
  • Age:  29
  • Go to clutch move: Intercept try.
  • Philosopher he bases his backline play on: Hegel.
  • Career ambition: Shut that n#$b up on the railway stand with the NZ flag who shows up at all of Bryan’s games.
  • Song he listens to in order to get “amped”: Careless Whisper by George Michael.

Pat Lambie:

  • Position: Flyhalf
  • Known by his teammates for:  Refusing to pass to anyone in the squad who hasn’t watched all five seasons of The Wire.
  • Height: 1.77m
  • Favourite economist: Joseph Schumpeter.
  • Weight: 83 kgs
  • Favourite movie: Pistol Whipped (Steven Seagal)
  • Age: 22
  • Go to clutch move: Step and hand off (Schalk Burger, anyone?)
  • Philosopher he bases his backline play on: Aristotle
  • Career ambition:  Would like to be able to grow stubble just like his hero Mark Lawrence.
  • Song he listens to in order to get “amped”: La Isla Bonita by Madonna

Currie Cup Final Four Preview

The preliminary fluff of domestic South African rugby is over and we’ve got a few weeks of “real” Currie Cup rugby with the return of the Springboks and the start of the post-season knock-outs.  It’s time for a look at the final four teams left standing.

Lions

Player to look out for: Elton Jantjies.  Watch him here before he gets set up by Heyneke to fail on the northern hemisphere tour.

Best known for: It’s an odd team strategy to base your chances of winning silverware by having the most rubbish squad available so that none of your players get picked for Bok duty.  This allows you to then clean up against weakened opponents while the Boks are away on tour.  The key is to then try to ride the momentum through to the final.  Also known for half time talks from the coach that involve hazing rituals, mental and physical abuse of the current scrumhalf.

Bob Dylan song that best describes them: “Beyond Here Lies Nothing”

Western Province

Player to look out for:  Bryan Habana. Those evenings spent around the campfire with Heyneke Meyer during the Bok season has allowed him to regain his form.

Best known for:  The ability to be on fire during the regular season but then fail to put together anything resembling decent rugby in the knock-out stages thus ensuring that their own fans boo them at home as they get knocked out of a tournament they once led.  The “Proteas” of South African rugby.

Bob Dylan song that best describes them: “Everything is Broken”

Sharks

Player to look out for: Pat Lambie.  It’s getting to be one of the last few times for Lambo to roll the dice to become the next big Springbok flyhalf hope.  He’s in danger of becoming another false hope.

Best known for: Good cheerleaders, not so good backline play.

Bob Dylan song that best describes them: “Just Like A Woman”

Bulls

Player to look out for:  Morne Steyn.  He’s not going to come good just in time for the final, is he?

Best known for:  With Heyneke Meyer’s mad King Lear like insistence on picking all things Bulls (including his lunch box), many parts of the country are turning against the Bulls franchise.  Some may go as far as to hope for a convenient injury to unpopular players.

Bob Dylan song that best describes them: “With God On Our Side”.

Richie McCaw punches himself in the face

If you caught the All Blacks’ convincing win (16th consecutive and counting…) over the Boks this weekend, you probably noticed Richie McCaw nursing a lovely shiner after the match.

So what?!…you might say. It’s not surprising when you consider the intensity of the clashes between these two great rivals as well as McCaw’s ‘once more unto the breach’ leadership style?

Aah, but wait!…I would retort. The surprising bit is that he later admitted the injury was a result of ‘friendly fire’ and not at the hands of a marauding Bok forward as you might suspect!

Big wank! You may jest. That happens all the time, just ask Quade Cooper who’s been sidelined after Kurtlocker Beale kneecapped him in the showers for stealing his brylcreem.

Touché, but in this case it was McCaw who punched himself in the face just to show how little he respected the Bok attack on Saturday. Just plain arrogant.

Richie McCaw….punch drunk on the taste of victory.

Kiwis are champs, but…

Fair enough.  The All Blacks ended the debate and speculation as to whether or not any other nations are in the same league as them at the moment.   The Kiwis are best the side on the planet by quite a long way.  Worthy champs and all that.  But that doesn’t change the fact that that one “supporter” in the stands at Soccer City still deserves a full size naartjie delivered at high speed to the back of the head.  You know who I am talking about.

All Black fly-half abducted by extra terrestrials in Buenos Aires

The All Blacks’ tail-between-legs thrashing of the Pumas this weekend may not have come as a big surprise to many, but revelations that replacement fly-half Aaron Cruden was abducted by extra-terrestrials during the match has raised a few eyebrows.

Despite there having been reports of other-worldly lights on the field towards the end of the match, many believed this to be a bizarre anomaly caused by the floodlights reflecting off Richie McCaw’s pearly-white teeth. Another explanation being offered is the possibility of refracted beams of sunshine, which have been known to occasionally shine out of Dan Carter’s arsehole.

However it was only following the completion of the match that a clearly shaken Cruden revealed that he’d been targeted by lasers in the lead-up to taking a conversion kick, and stranger still, that he’d been beamed aboard a UFO and probed about All Black tactical domination and the ritualistic meanings behind the Haka.

Cruden, who has no known history of substance misuse, also went on to claim  that Ma’a Nonu is in fact an extra terrestrial from a planetary system roughly located within the Andromeda spiral galaxy.

Ma’a Nonu. Could be from the Andromeda spiral galaxy.

 

Things you didn’t know about Nick Mallett: Purple Rain

In honour of Nick Mallett’s glorious performances as a studio guest for Supersport this test season, we’ve decided to run a few articles letting our readers know some obscure things about South Africa’s golden manchild.  We begin with his under appreciated role in shaping American pop music.

In 1983 Nick was languishing in obscurity after a less than stellar season as a loose-forward with Western Province.  Having taken a break from rugby, he was working on a concept album that he described to friends at the time as “a new kind of sound – the sound of electric postmodern lightning”.   Most studios were not ready for Mallett’s revolutionary sound and he did not find a willing audience or lucrative record deal.  A trip to the United States in late 1983 changed all that.

Maybe I’m just too demanding? Why do we scream at each other?

After finding himself watching a game of street basketball in Minnesota and as is customary whenever Nick Mallett is in the vicinity of a sports contest, he was unable to stop himself from screaming obscenities at the participants. Nick accused the basketball of lacking heart and not trying hard enough.  Unknown to him, he had interrupted a game involving musicians from the Revolution, Prince’s support group at the time.  Few would know it at the time but this chance encounter between Nick Mallett and the Revolution would change American musical history.  They were able to resolve their differences when Nick Mallett showed the Revolution the correct way to pump fake and alley-oop and all involved soon formed a bond that would lead to musical partnership.

Within days Prince had joined the team and together with Nick Mallett they collaborated on early recordings of what would later become Prince’s seminal album Purple Rain.

For those collectors lucky enough to have the original vinyl 1984 print, Nick Mallett has partial writing credits for a number of songs including “Let’s Go Crazy“.  Arguably his most famous contribution to the Purple Rain album is his line:

“This is what feels like when doves cry”.

When Nick isn’t found at primary schools yelling at under 10 age group rugby kids playing rugby who happen to be unrelated to him, he can be found in Supersport adding insight, pathos and tragedy to South African rugby broadcasts.

Dean Greyling: please wee off

Dean Greyling, let me count the ways you hurt me.

  • 4 penalties in less than 20 minutes including one that robbed us of a bonus point
  • knocked the ball on with the try line in site
  • missed tackles
  • thuggish and cowardly flying forearm hit earning yourself a yellow card and the Boks the bad reputation of being sore and dirty losers.

Please.  I never asked for you to be picked for the Boks ever.  I despise your silly facial hair and your attempt to look tough.  You made me explore moral nihilism in my darkest moments today.   You should be locked in a room with only Nick Mallett and a blunt spoon.  You should also never, never play for the Springboks ever again .

Also according to Wikipedia your first name is MacGuyver and you were born in 1986.  So… please wee off.

Nightlife report: Argentinians on tour

Whenever a touring rugby team is in town there is some banter amongst the more predatory groupie females about the challenge of pulling in a visiting rugby player and consigning it to a special notch above the bedpost.

Connected as we are to the pulse of Cape Town, we know that some groupies ran into the Argentinian rugby team at that stellar institute of Plumstead nightlife Pirates.   While some of those female fans began the evening with high hopes for conquering their Latin fantasies, the feedback on how it went can probably best be described by these two pictures:

Latin fantasy:

A typical Argentinian rugby player as seen through the eyes of a female fan with tequila haze at Pirates.

Latin reality:

So very, very sober.

Heyneke Meyer has the “Morne Steyn” disease

Looks like Heyneke Meyer has succumbed to the Bok coach disease of irrational loyalty to players.  This week on the interview circuit all was revealed on the DSTV tragicomedy referred to as Boots ‘n All.

As the only guest in studio not willing to kiss anyone in a bok blazer’s ass and in his “speaking truth to power” mode, Nick Mallet called out Heyneke on the continued selection of Morne Steyn at flyhalf  despite his lack of form.  Morne is in the team to kick goals, since he doesn’t exactly give you anything else.  And he isn’t exactly kicking goals is he?

Hearing Heyneke defend his selection was painful.  He mumbled something about Morne’s form not actually being that bad and that if you switched to Afrikaans commentary during the game he actually plays quite well.

This kind of irrational disease seems to overcome South African’s in positions of power.  It also has its counter in the insane refusal to pick a player who is clearly better than “coach’s favourite”.   Is the Heyneke Meyer – Morne Steyn clouded thinking going to be up there amongst the following:

  • John “Colonel Gadaffi” Smit’s stranglehold over the De Villiers coaching tenure.
  • Jake White and “the fetcher” debacle, circa 2004, 2005 and 2006.
  • Tiaan Strauss  not being selected against the touring Kiwis in post-isolation South Africa.
  • The ANC insisting that Julius Malema “wasn’t a complete shit”, at least until he turned his idiot hose onto Jacob Zuma that is.
  • Nick Mallet and the Gary Teichmann.
  • Bryan Habana and all of his coaches during 2008 to 2011.
  • Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn not beating the shit out of Jar Jar Binks in every scene in which they appear together.

Perhaps Pat Lambie needs to start showing up to coaching sessions wearing his Morne Steyn mask.  Is that what it is going to take?  Or a miracle cure for Johan Goosen?

Morne Steyn looking pretty confident now that he has that compromising photo of Heyneke Meyer with his “Sex in the City” box set.

Hail to the Chiefs: 2012 Super 15 Awards

Here’s to the Chiefs for pulling off an emphatic victory over the weekend.   Far more impressive than clubbing to death the baby seals that arrived from Durban was their semi-final win over Grim Reapers of Super Rugby.   In BDR fashion we present the annual Single Malt and Pink Smirnoff 2012 season recap.

Hold me close don’t ever let me go Sonny.

A single malt: for most intimidating semi-final opponents to the Crusaders.  What would a Super Rugby tournament be without a trip to Christchurch for your annual ass-whooping?

A pink Smirnoff: to Hugh Bladen – for once again being the tournaments worst commentator, despite a strong challenge from newcomer Victor Matfield.  Hugh… where did that drink go?  It was here just a second go?

A single malt: The biggest upset?  Most definitely the Rebels tipping over the Crusaders.

A pink Smirnoff: to the ass who designed the Bulls away strip.  You might think you’re very clever sitting in your marketing studio, but you’re not.

A single malt: to Bryan Habana for having a pretty good comeback season despite being bagged non-stop by this website.

A pink Smirnoff: to Bobby Skinstad.  For being Bobby Skinstad.

A single malt: to Nick Mallet – the first Supersport analyst to actually contribute something to the viewing experience since the days of Jake White’s tenure.  Someone please tell Arnold Geerdts to stop using the phrase “it was a game of two halves”.

A pink Smirnoff: to John Mitchell for resurrecting the Rudolf Straeuli man management method.

A single malt: to the Stormers who despite their annual silverware choke pulled off a top of the table league finish despite having a non-existent pack and Brok Harris at flyhalf.

A single malt: to the Western Force for hiring the drummer from Def Leppard to play in their backline.  Nice!

A pink Smirnoff: to the Rebels franchise for continuing the Aussie tradition of naming their teams after George Lucas movie themes.

A single malt: to Dr Jannie du Plessis for managing to pull off the greasy hair look all season long of a roadie at a Metallica concert.  You make it look so easy and classy at the same time good doctor.

A pink Smirnoff: for Pierre Spies for show ponying it up all season long.

A single malt: Best commentator?  Phil “the mighty eagle” Kearnes.

A pink Smirnoff:  to the South African rugby administrators who managed to screw both the Lions and the Kings by acting like typical Saffer politicians.

A single malt: to the Chiefs for having a prop as their leading try scorer.  And for hiring him after completing his role as Odd Job in the Connery Bond movies.

Stormers re-enact the annual traditional choke

Against all odds, the Stormers managed to pull off a fantastic 26-19 choke against the Sharks at home.  Amazingly, this choke came after finishing first on the log, breaking the record for regular season wins and after a bye week.   The Stormers really had to dig deep to find a way to restore the faith that their fans have in them, namely that they can choke a season from any position of strength.

Alistair Coetzee revealed how much work went into this game in the post match interview:

“I’m really proud of the boys today.  I know a lot of people in the media had written us off and said we weren’t capable of a choke again, but I knew all week long we could do it.  The boys put in a lot of work in the training ground making sure that Brok Harris would be first receiver in any situation where we get good quick ruck ball.  It was also drilled into the half backs that they need to kick possession aimlessly away whenever we get forward momentum.  I’m just so proud of those efforts”

The Stormer’s have a long history of choking in the Super Rugby tournament stretching back to the first famous choke against the Highlanders in their home semi-final back in 1999.   Concern mounted this year ahead of the playoffs that since getting rid of players generally concerned pivotal to the choking game, such as Nakalavuki and Naas Olivier (remember those days?) the Stormers might not be able to produce that all important choke when it was needed.  With Peter Grant in superb kicking form and even Bryan Habana looking good this season the odds were piling up against the Stormers.

A  relieved Newlands witnessed the cold fact that their beloved team still has the magic touch in the big games.

Vital to any choking strategy is the need to get Brok Harris good quality second phase ball to put him in the decision maker role in the backline.

Why the Bulls don’t have an effing prayer

During play off time it is the same story every year.  Teams travelling across the Indian Ocean to play in an away knock out game talk a good game.  You’ll heard the words “quietly confident”, “happy to be underdogs”, and “this time it feels different”.  In the words of the Nobel Prize winning economist Milton Friedman: “Bullshit”.

There are several reasons why Bulls fans shouldn’t allow themselves to get their hopes up for this weekend’s knockout clash against the Crusaders in Christchurch:

  • They are playing the Crusaders.  In Christchurch.
  • Dan.  Fuckin’.  Carter.
  • They are playing the Crusaders.  In Christchurch.
  • Richie.  Fuckin’.  McCaw.
  • Zane “The Crazy Train” Kirchner will be wearing a Blue Bulls jersey.
  • History, science and the basic laws of physics.
  • Bjorn Basson’s evil wizard goatee hasn’t actually given him any supernatural powers at all or even a casting role in the new Harry Potter movie.
  • They are playing the Crusaders.  In Christchurch.

It can’t be done fellows.   Listening to Bulls fans talk optimistically is a little like hearing your best friend talk about how he thinks he can patch things up with his recently broken up girlfriend.  The writing is on the wall, and though it pains you  to see a fellow fan in a state of self-delusion, you haven’t the heart to quite give them the brutal bad news.  It’s why you never became a surgeon.   “But this time is different” they protest.   Soon enough, the argument starts to begin sounding like a creationist debating with an evolutionary biologist. Your heart goes out for the desparate clutching for hope, anything that will say things will be ok.

Zane “the Crazy Train” Kirchner. Is he the kakkest player to ever wear the Bulls 15 jersey?

Remember fans – if you aim low… you’ll never be disappointed.

The drinks are on the city of Cape Town Dane Coles…

Hurricane hooker Dane Coles’ match winning try against the Chiefs  has set-up a potential Super 15 home final for the Stormers.

This is assuming the Stormers can avoid choking in front of their home fans by defeating the Rebels, something that Stirling ‘Hurt Locker’ Mortlock will be trying his very best to avoid in his last match before retiring and having himself  cryogenically frozen.

Following the match, Coles is said to have received news that he is to be presented with the ‘Keys to the City’ by the Mayor of Cape Town, though it was later confirmed by the Mayor’s Office that it is in fact the keys to his daughter’s Citi Golf, who recently had her licence suspended for driving through a shopping mall at over 30mph.

In addition to this, the Hurricane player has apparently been gifted an open bar tab at pubs across the city as well as an offer of a home cooked sit-down meal at Stormer’s coach Allister Coetzee’s house.

Coles commented:  “I’m stoked with the news…Citi Golf’s are solid pieces of machinery and I look forward to taking the boys out for a free round next time we’re in Cape Town…though I may pass on the dinner offer!”

Dane Coles waves goodbye to his Ford sponsorship deal following his open praise of the Citi Golf range.

Jean de Villiers’ captain speech leaked to the press

Big Daddy Rugby managed to get a copy of the speech that Jean de Villiers gave the new Bok squad in his first training session as Bok captain.  In the spirit of journalistic integrity, we reproduce it here, unedited, in its entirety:

“Well, boys it’s the first time that we’re all together since Colonel Gadaffi was ousted from power.  Some of you may have known him better by his street name, John Smit.  As your new Bok captain, Heyneke has asked me to impart some words of wisdom to the squad.  I’d like to start by telling all the Bulls players here (and there are a lot of you) that the most important thing I have learned in my years playing in the Cape is that it is poor form to put ice cubes in your wine, especially if it is a wooded chardonnay – it really messes with the tannins.  All right, enough with the life lessons.

Now that I am skipper, things are going to change around here.  I run a pretty tight ship.  First of all, no one, I repeat, NO ONE who has played less than 10 caps is allowed to give me direct eye contact.  You earn that right.  Until you have played New Zealand in New Zealand you don’t smile or wink at me in the corridors.

Secondly, I want the whole squad, including management to refer to me as “Proposition Jean” or “Prop J”.  If you call me Jean I will ignore you.  That includes if I am put away in space and you are on my outside with only one man to beat.  I also refuse to pass to anyone who doesn’t appreciate Springsteen’s Nebraska album.   Gadaffi may have been comfortable with you experimenting with that Marron 5 stuff but that ends now.

Stay humble, remember to practice ritual purity.  As Carel Du Plessis used to say, “guilty feet have got no rhythm”.

And lastly, before we go out there, remember: Nothing lasts forever… even cold November rain.”

Don’t panic just yet: Zane is only in the squad not the starting line up

Okay, new coaches get to pick players with whom they are comfortable.  I get that.  But come on… Zane Kirchner?   When PdV picked Sideshow Bob Kirchner for the British Lions series in 2009 I was willing to put it down to the mad ramblings of an insane man – after all it was a dead rubber.

  • No Heinrich “God’s gift to rugby” Brussouw?
  • Wynand Olivier and JJ Engelbrecht (WTF is all I will say to this)
  • No Gio Aplon
  • Jano Vermaak

If we end up coughing up this series to the English there are going to be some seriously pissed off Stormers and Sharks fans in this country.  He could make this all okay by admitting he did it just to upset the Cape Town media cartel and that he will actually be picking Lambo at full back and that JJ Engelbrecht is nothing more than an alternative spelling for Heinrich Brussouw.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCCyvAwbbso?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

Heyneke.  I wanted you to be Bok coach, but not like this…

Cheetahs best season ever: the heartbreak kids come good

If this were any normal Super Rugby season when the Cheetahs go down by 14 points in the first half, you expect them to fight back only to cough it up in the last two minutes. Your pick of Coenie “sex on legs” Oosthuizen swan diving onto a ruck to give a penalty away in front of the posts or Hennie “I left my common sense with my fashion sense” Daniller with  a wild speculative pass inside his own in goal area to allow the visiting team to break Free State hearts once more.  Ear-splitting screams of “Vry-staaaat!” notwithstanding.

Not this season though.  In Saturday night’s come from behind miracle on ice last minute nail baiter the Bloemfontein boys held their nerve and clung to a desperate against the odds win over the Waratahs.  Willie Le Roux might have a name more suited to a career in the adult entertainment industry, but his ability to cross the try line this weekend meant that Cheetahs fans had something to celebrate on the drive home from the stadium this weekend.  With the win came confirmation that 2012 is the best Super Rugby season the franchise has had in its history.  Best at least in terms of wins and results – after all a few former Cheetahs front rowers will still tell you that 1999 edged this one in terms of ability to pull girls on tour…

Coenie “sex on legs” Oosthuizen set the ladies pulses racing this weekend with another sensual performance in the front row.

So tip of the hat to Cheetah’s coach Tony Soprano Naka Drotske.  The Cheetahs used to be everyone’s second favourite team simply because while they played a romantic idealist’s form of the game, they were never actually going to beat your number one team.   The Cheetahs now inspire genuine hate from anyone in a Lion’s supporters jersey and have strung together a record 5 wins against decent opponents making a trip to Bloemfontein far more nervous than it used to be.

Add to that, prospects for 2013 look even better.  While their season was ignited by uncovering wonderkid/boy genius/future flyhalf maestro/gift to mankind/anti-apartheid activist and former Robben Island struggle veteran Johan Goosen, some of these wins have been pulled off with Goosen still on the injury list.   Rumour has it he is the next Johnnie Wilkinson and not just in the looks department.   Not even the most one-eyed Lions fan could deny that the Cheetahs deserve their spot in the competition next year.

Hell… even their cheerleaders get the most improved badge of the year.

The boy wonder Patrick Lambie vs Old Man Stirling Mortlock

The Super 15 delivered yet again this weekend with a healthy dose of high-five moments.

One that stood-out for me personally was seeing old man Stirling Mortlock score his 50th try in Super Rugby in a surprising win for the Rebels over the Crusaders.

It was one of the those moments in sport when it felt like everyone was rooting  for the same guy…willing his tired legs over the line and allowing some of us to feel that 35 is not too old to get the boots out from under the bed and try out for selection in next year’s tournament.

The same match also saw Kurtley Beale getting flattened by a massive hit that temporarily wiped the smirk from under that ridiculous crumb-catcher of his. The guy’s a great player…but let’s face it – that tash makes him look like a someone who’s not allowed within 50 yards of a children’s playground.

Kurtley Beale

Kurtley Beale before and after his stint on ‘Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’

 

At the other end of the age spectrum from ‘The Mortlocker’ is the cherub-faced boy wonder Pat Lambie…can this kid do no wrong?! He’s like Justin Bieber, but WITH talent!

Yet again he played a pivotal role in his team’s victory, but this time he graciously let some of his team mates get-in on the action – unlike last weekend where he scored all of the Sharks’ 28 points.

Just in case you missed that…here’s one that he finished-off in style with a little help from his friend Hosea Gear.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAyfJkFmZuM]

Auckland Blues and Pat Lam: Once were warriors

Remember the mid-nineties when Graham Henry coached the Auckland Blues?  Heck at Super 12 fixture against those bad boys was as a big as a Test Match and if you consider the state of Northern Hemisphere rugby back then, playing Auckland in Auckland was probably tougher than most test matches.

Those were the days if you were an Aucklander.   Seinfeld was still on tv, Biebermania hadn’t yet swept the nation and you could satisfy yourself that come Saturday whichever hapless baby seals were going to be offered up as opposition to the Blues would be clubbed to death mercilessly in front of a rabid crowd at Auckland Park.  There was even talk of visiting coaches deliberating picking understrength sides to face Auckland simply to avoid injuring key players in a game that was going to be a loss anyway.

Fast forward to 2012.  Pat Lam has already broken the franchise record for most defeats in a season and the season isn’t even half way.   Nine losses in a season?  I suspect my views will be unpopular here, but I have to say, I’ve never digged Pat Lam.  His post-match interview in the 95 World Cup after Samoa got spanked by the Boks was the stuff of complete knobs.

Pat has gone on record complaining about people criticising him on the “interwebs” and “the twitter”.   Sure, it’s over the top Pat.  Is that a surprise?  You’re the coach of a legendary franchise and during your tenure their name is being humiliated.  Didn’t you lose to the Melbourne Rebels?   You deserve to cop a lot of flack if you coach a top team and have a miserable record with them.  Just ask Harry Viljoen.   Don’t take the social media stuff personally.  You should see what they say about Barack Obama on there… dude, you’re not special in copping a bit of abuse.

p.s. Where is all the support from the railway stand at Newlands now for Auckland?

Bulls rip out Reds’ hearts, destroy their season and date their girlfriends

Wow.  61-8.  Eight tries to one.   The Reds just got spanked.   It doesn’t matter how you try to spin that one in the post match interview but for the defending champions to get theirs a$$es handed to them to like that has got to permanently scar a team.  Sure they had injuries, sure they were thousands of miles away from the nearest XXXX or Bundies, but if you are the defending champions you simply just can’t let a team put 60 plus on you.

Ouch.   Reds coach, Knuckles, (who for the record is one of the nicest blokes you’ll meet on the Twittersphere) must be wondering how to pick up the pieces up this weekend.  At the half time mark a 16-3 lead looked comfortable enough and you’d expect Ludeke to be giving the Bulls the standard “let’s rest on our laurels boys” talk in the changing room.  But Steyn came out on fire with another 100%’er with the kicking boots and the back line seemed to grow in confidence with every passing minute.  That’s what you have to love about this Bulls side.  They bullies and they are excellent bullies. They sensed weakness and then didn’t just finish them.  They smashed them, humiliated them and dragged the Reds’ carcass all over Loftus for the second half.

Hell apparently with ten minutes to go, the Bulls front row demanded that their Reds counterparts immediately hand over the phone numbers of the Reds’ girlfriends.  Pierre Spies was heard to be dialling the phone numbers of each of the Reds forwards’ girlfriends during those last ten minutes, and after pointing out their score to the Brisbane lasses, recommending that they “hook up” on the Bulls overseas tour.

According to my sources things got really awkward after the final whistle, is all I am saying…

It’s all looking a bit familiar

Expect Naka to go all Tony "dead eyes" Soprano around week 5 of the competition...

We’re only two weeks into this season’s Super 15 and it’s already starting to take on a familiar ring.

The Lions are as brittle as ever and are willing to hand over rugby games to any opposition team that asks in a rather stern voice if the Lions wouldn’t mind rolling over for them.   The Shark’s look unimaginative (cheerleaders aside) with loads of potential that they somehow never live up to.   And where the Stormers should have a quality flyhalf, they have Brock “Twinkle Toes” Harris at first receiver.   Jeez, if I was inside centre for the Stormers I would have knee-capped Harris a long time ago if I wanted to have any expectation of getting the ball in open play. Things looked better for the Stormers on Saturday when Grant came on, but you suspect until that they settle their flyhalf question they’re not going to put away quality opposition in tight games.

The Bulls are throwing their weight around like a 300 pound wrestler taking on a bunch of kindergarteners armed only with popsicles, but their true mettle will only be tested on the road.  It still remains to see whether they’ll be able to step up to the legacy left by Meyer’s later squads, or if they will be one of those squads that are unbeatable at home but totally sh$t on the road in New Zealand and the land of Oz.

We’ve been here before, right?  If you’re a Lion’s or Cheetah’s supporter you’ve got that feeling that opposition cricket teams used to have when they toured Australia.  First morning of the series, first session of the day and Hayden and Langer are already carting you all over the park.  Hell… you’re not even 120 minutes into a long series and you’re hoping like hell that you can somehow ride this out and come out on the other side still looking like some sort of half decent sports outfit.  Pre-season boasts about Jantjies and Brussouw are proving very regrettable.

Until the Saffer teams cross the Atlantic we won’t really know if Bulls, Stormers and Sharks have realistic knockout hopes (because the Cheetahs and the Lions sure as hell don’t).  As someone who grew up watching rugby in the ’90s I’m a firm believer, that what you do at Newlands or Loftus doesn’t count for much until you’ve been tested on the turf in Auckland, Christchurch and Sydney.  The Cheetahs are first up for tour and it’s a formality that they will be getting their asses handed to them.  For me, I’m reserving all judgement until the top three South African teams go on tour.

Super 15 preview: SA conference

It’s that time of the year again.  Time to start skipping varsity lectures, updating your Superbru during work hours, and generally losing every bet you can because of your unreasonable faith in South African teams somehow being able to “pull of a surprise playing in Christchurch”.

STORMERS

Coach: Super Rugby’s cuddliest coach, Allister Coetzee, has a lot to prove after being passed over for the Bok coach.  His biggest problem?  A trophy cabinet as empty and hollow as the latest Maroon Five album.  If the cuddle monster can’t win trophy’s he won’t be putting on that Bok coaching jersey any time soon.

Captain: The man. The legend.  Terror of all you can eat buffet bars everywhere. Schalk Burger. Beautiful freak.

Man to watch: Andries Bekker. An 8 foot tall freak of a man, capable of two carrying basket balls in one hand (try that) while simultaneously running like a winger and calling in his stock market trades from his Bluetooth headset.  New Zealanders are in awe of him, girls love him, and fashionistas everywhere are horrified by his mullet.  With Big Vic finally leaving the Bok scene, this is Bekker’s year to shine.

Summary: Every year it is the same old story.  The Stormers look good in pre-season.  The local Cape Times and Argus report that Habana is “back to his best form” in the training facilities.  Unfortunately by that they mean his table tennis skills because they can’t possibly be referring to his rugby form can they?  Round about midway through the season the Stormers put on a display of rugby that is everything you ever want in a team.  They whip the Blues 65 to 0 in New Zealand.  People start fantasizing about a Newlands final.  Then they cock it up somehow when it really matters.  Everybody gets wasted at that really disgusting bar in the Grand Stand.  Don’t put me through that again, I just don’t think I can handle it.

If they had a Bruce Springsteen theme tune:  Your Own Worst Enemy.

BULLS

Coach: Frans Ludeke. What a career plan, follow on the coat tails of Heyneke Meyer.  Don’t change anything. Use the structures and players your predecessor put in place. Watch the trophies come rolling in.

Captain: Pierre Spies.  Underwear model.  Former hurdles champion.  The man your girlfriend really wants to have sex with when she pretends she’s into you.  But he hasn’t actually done anything remotely resembling a rugby play in the last 3 years.  But he does look good in a tight shirt. So there’s that.

Man to watch: Johann Sadie.  As is usually the case with players who transfer to the Bulls something about the setup brings out the best in them.  This promising backline player will be sorely missed by the Stormers.  Especially when they check Jean de Villiers ID document and discover that Jean is actually 82 years old.

Summary:  There’s one slight problem with Ludeke’s grand plan of not changing anything that Heyneke Meyer put in place, including allowing Victor Matfield to coach himself and be in charge of his own disciplinary hearings.  Eventually people get old and leave.  Then you’re royally screwed.  The Bulls starting line up this weekend is missing a host of the regulars.  No Bakkies, Du Preez or Matfield.   It doesn’t bode well for the season ahead.

If they had a Bruce Springsteen theme tune: Wages of Sin.  You just know big ol’ Vic gave them a talking to about getting right with the Right.

CHEETAHS

Coach: Naka Drotske has been honing his Tony Soprano impersonation all summer long.  A grizzled veteran with a face straight out of New Jersey and a trophy cabinet as empty as ….

Captain: Adrian Strauss– has more syllables in his name than caps…experience isn’t everything, is it?

Man to watch: Heinrich  Brussouw.  Big Daddy Rugby’s personal hero.  The Lobster Boy is everything you want in a loose forward. Intelligent, scrappy with an unbelievable ability to sneak turnovers out of nowhere.  If you were stuck in a Shawshank Redemption prison and badly needed a nail file, a box of playing cards and two nylon guitar strings for your escape, Heinrich “Scrounger” Brussouw would be your man.

Summary: The Cheetah’s are well and truly screwed this year as they are every year.  They are a talent farm for the rest of the country with the Sharks in particular waving big coastal money in the bright eyes of promising farm boys while Cheetah’s talent scouts look on helplessly.  They can’t retain the depth needed to be an effective team, so despite the flashiness of the odd upset, they are on their way out.  They’re not politically connected enough either to keep themselves from being replaced by the Kings next season.  Enjoy it while it lasts fellows.

If they had a Bruce Springsteen theme tune: I’m Goin’ Down

SHARKS

Coach: John Plumtree.  What is up with those ears John?  I can’t stop staring at them.

Captain: Keegan Daniel.  I got nothing here.  There’s not much to say about a captain who allows his coach to recruit Marius Joubert.   Marius Joubert.  Wasn’t he in his glory days before they invented the internet?

Player to watch:  Pat Lambie.  The man most rugby fans south of Pretoria want to dislodge Morne Steyn from the Green and Gold number 10 jersey.  If only he didn’t look like he just got done playing soccer for the Sweet Valley under 10s.  Maybe it’s the band-aid on his knee, or the fluffy do on his head.  He doesn’t exactly instil fear with his looks.  But he’s the closest thing South Africa have had to a complete flyhalf since the days I hacked by my Playstation and built that fake player on EA Sports Rugby.

Summary: The team known more for its cheerleaders and its slavish devotion to John Smit than for its trophy winning ability will again put out the best squad this year out of the Saffer franchises.  Oh, you meant the rugby team not the cheerleaders?  In that case, don’t get your hopes up just yet.

If they had a Bruce Springsteen theme tune: My Best Was Never Good Enough.  (That one’s for you Bismarck.)

LIONS

Coach: John Mitchell.  He is scary enough that you’d probably want to play your best so that he doesn’t give you “that look” in the dressing room after the game.

Captain: Josh Strauss.  Will he? Won’t he?  Shave his beard?  Release a new four track indie-folk record?  Lions management must love having this hippie folk rocker on their payroll.  He is Google gold-dust.

Player to watch: Elton Jantjies.  Webster himself.  Mini Carlos Spencer.  Except he can kick.

Summary:  For some reason it takes years between a South African rugby team winning the Currie Cup and becoming a decent Super Rugby team.  I’ve never quite figured that out.  Like the Cheetahs, depth is a problem.  It’s all very well winning domestic trophies while the Boks are away, but you get exposed at Super Rugby level if you don’t have enough quality players to call on.  Luckily for Lions there is far too much money sloshing around Ellis Park for them to ever be allowed to be relegated.

If they had a Bruce Springsteen theme tune: Don’t Look Back.  (Best sung as you’re bulletting straight out of Ellis Park.  Whatever you do.  Don’t. Look. Back.)

The cuddle monster wants a trophy so bad he can almost taste it.

Big Daddy’s Essential ‘All You Can Eat’ Guide to the 6 Nations 2012

There was alot of testosterone in the room that day.

 

So the big chill has finally descended on Europe (I am literally typing this while wearing a pair of gloves!)….and just when we thought we were going to get away with the mildest winter since the Jurassic period. This coupled with the post-Xmas blues has meant the only thing stopping half-frozen commuters from ending it all by hurtling themselves on to the railway-tracks (only to find that their train has been delayed by half an hour…awkward) has been a morbid fascination to see how the Eurozone debt crisis turns out.

The good news for us Northern Hemisphere folk is that there will be a reason to get out of bed this weekend (unless you have a TV in the bedroom, in which case you won’t have to move at all), as International Rugby is back on the menu with the start of the 6 Nations tournament! Yeeehaw….

And just so you can enjoy it all the more, here’s Big Daddy’s essential guide:

 

ENGLAND

Coach: Stuart Lancaster – no pressure Stu, the RFU is right behind you…literally, so watch your back.

Captain: Chris Robshaw – has more syllables in his name than caps…experience isn’t everything, is it?

Man to watch: David Strettle – the Premiership’s in-form winger.

Strapline: A young, inexperienced side with a lot to prove but not much to live up to.

If they had a Depeche Mode theme tune: Policy of Truth or Condemnation (depending on how much the tabloids find out)

Team motto: ‘No news is good news’.

BDR’s Prediction: 4th

 

FRANCE

Coach: Philippe Saint-Andre, also known as ‘The Pig’…apparently.

Captain: Thierry Dusautoir – IRB player of the year.

Man to watch: Imanol Harinordoquy – you can’t pronounce his name and he hates you for it. A tour de force.

Strapline: The team to beat…if they decide to play.

If they had a Depeche Mode theme tune: Sometimes or A Question of Lust (depending on what mood they’re in)

Team motto: ‘Give it to Thierry’.

BDR’s Prediction: 1st

 

IRELAND

Coach: Declan Kidney – softly spoken number-cruncher.

Captain: Paul O’Connell – in the absence of injured golden-boy Brian O’Driscoll.

Man to watch: Stephen Ferris – a potato man-mountain with speed.

Strapline: Not as good as their provincial teams.

If they had a Depeche Mode theme tune: Never Let Me Down Again

Team motto: ‘Age before beauty.’

BDR’s Prediction: 3rd

 

ITALY

Coach: Jacques Brunel – a Frenchman, a turncoat…a part-time amateur film-maker?!

Captain: Sergio Parisse – if they could clone him to make a whole team, they would.

Man to watch: Martin Castrogiovanni – powerful name, powerful man.

Strapline: The whipping-boys

If they had a Depeche Mode theme tune: Dream On

Team motto: ‘Rome was not built in a day…or even 10 years’

BDR’s Prediction: 6th – at best.

 

SCOTLAND

Coach: Andy Robinson – lost his hair even before he started coaching Scotland.

Captain: Ross Ford – who?!…he’s replacing Kelly Brown…oh…wait… who?!

Man to watch: John Barclay – best flanker in the tournament, depending on who you’re talking to and if they’re Scottish.

Strapline:  If only they could score a try they might win something.

If they had a Depeche Mode theme tune: Everything Counts

Team motto: ‘The end justifies the means’.

BDR’s Prediction: 5th

 

WALES

Coach: Warren Gatland – Wales’ adopted son.

Captain: Sam Warburton – one of the players of the World Cup…when he stays on the field.

Man to watch: George North – “It’s alive!”…and it’s as fast as a friggin freight-train.

Strapline: Best of the Home Nations…could win it if they have belief.

If they had a Depeche Mode theme tune: A Question of Time or Agent Orange (if Gavin Henson is in the squad)

Team motto: ‘Boys will be boys’.

BDR’s Prediction: 2nd

And it’s goodnight from him…

Shane Williams will be saying an emotional farewell in his final test for Wales against Australia at the Millenium Stadium this Saturday.

The pint-sized national hero will be hoping to bow out on a high by wreaking revenge on the Aussies for their bronze final defeat at the World Cup in October.

Willams has commented that although a try would be a special bonus, his sense of national pride and achievment would be all the more intense if he gets to: ‘laugh hysterically in the faces of the defeated Australians as they pick the pieces of James O’Connor’s skull from the bloodied Millenium Stadium turf.’

Steady on Shane!

Shane was caught heading to his local pawn shop.