Cheetah’s hooker defies modern science

Springbok and Cheetah’s hooker Adriaan Strauss continues to defy the laws of physics by consistently running faster than should be possible for a man of his weight and girth.

His bursts of pace show particular disregard for Newton’s 2nd Law of Motion, namely:

The acceleration of a body…is inversely proportional to the mass m of the body.

Or in layman’s terms:

A fat blonde guy should not be able to move much faster than the rate of continental drift.

Despite this, week in and week out, opponents of the Cheetah’s are left scratching their heads as Strauss whizzes past them in a blonde streak of lightning.

Adriaan Strauss sets a new land speed record.

Adriaan Strauss sets a new land speed record.



What the hell happened to the Cheetahs?

Huh? Two consecutive wins in Australasia on tour.  The Cheetahs?  When did they become a team that wins comfortably on tour?

I knew they were onto a good thing when they hired Tony Soprano to be their coach.  But even the most optimistic Cheetahs fan wouldn’t have predicted that they’d be destroying office betting pools everywhere by winning in New Zealand and Australia.  They even stand a decent chance of coming back from Australasia with a 75% win record.

They’ve got some electric backs in Raymond Rhule and Sarel Pretorius, the child of promise at flyhalf in Johan Goosen. Adriaan Strauss is in the form of his life at the moment, and any squad that has Heinrich Brussouw in it… say no more.

Things are looking up for the men from Bloemfontein.

Now the last thing they need to fix is those cheerleaders… and after this weekend’s performance there is a rumour doing the rounds on the interwebs that Heidi Klum has put in an application for the Cheetahs cheerleaders.  They’re almost a complete team now.

Tony Soprano

Naka Drotske discussing tactics over a glass of wine with the Cheetahs “Brains Trust” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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”.


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.


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.


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


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.)


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.

Dr Evil plots his revenge on the Stormers

Somewhere deep under the Pacific Ocean Dr Evil Naka Drotske sits in his undersea lair plotting his revenge on the Stormers this weekend.  In true South African style, you can bet your bottom R5 coin that the Cheetahs are going to be raising their game this upcoming weekend in order to screw the chances of the rest of the country.

In a tradition that goes back to the earliest days of the Super 12, the minnows of South African rugby save their best games of the season in order to screw up the chances of other local teams. You can bet the Cheetahs will be on top of their game this weekend.

Hell, we could make it a double header.  The Cheetahs can screw up the Stormers season and the Bulls can be knocked out of the Super 15 by the Sharks.

Who remembers Gaffie du Toit saving his one good game of the season to eliminate the Stormers and when the Bulls were still the doormats of Super rugby to them pulling one out of the fire at Loftus to dick up another Sharks season?

You can be sure that the SA teams already eliminated from the competition will be pulling out all the stops to stuff up everyone else’s season.  Who will the new villain of SA semi-final hopes be this time around?

Geez boys, I thought we’d grown out of the “if I can’t have it – no one else can” mentality.

Dr Evil Naka Drotske will be putting it all on the line to stuff up Cape Townian dreams this weekend.

Midseason wrap – Newlands loss was the canary in the coal mine for SA teams

Well that’s it folks. You can plan to have your wedding on June 9 now, because the weekend of the Super 15 final sure as heck ain’t going to be a weekend to celebrate South African rugby. The Stormers’ loss this weekend is the early signal that the trophy cabinets will be empty this year.

The format of the competition gives South Africa one freebie in the post-season. By virtue of the conference system one South African team has to go through. And that will be about it. It doesn’t look likely that any South African team will be good enough to earn a home advantage for the business end of the post-season. And that will kill you.

Here’s why it will be a trophy-less Super 15 for the teams from the Republic:

Lions and Cheetahs: both teams used to be part of the old Cats franchise. And they still play like it. Despite promising starts to the season, they let you down each week with atrocious defence and an inability to grind out close games. Clearly both teams have been implementing Dick Muir’s patented “Red Sea” defence. Here’s a clue: when Kobus Wiese introduces your team as likely to be involved in an exciting match because they are “great on attack” you know it’s just a euphemism for having crap defence. Next to that defence, anything looks “great”.

Bulls: Heyneke’s influence is over and the structures he put in place are no longer supporting the new management team. When your play is based on the simple premise of stuffing up everyone up front and grinding them into the dirt it’s hard to win when your squad is made up retired bridge players and little old ladies from the church fund-raiser. This team is old, old, old.

Sharks: A win over the ship going down known as the Brumbies doesn’t save the Sharkies I am afraid. A poor overseas tour left them with a lot of hard work to do and this isn’t the same Sharks squad of a few years ago that could pull the late season comeback off. There’s no young John Smit charging up the middle of the park and no Francois Steyn banging over drop goals from the parking lot of the Shoprite-Checkers outside Kings Park stadium.

Stormers: Despite whatever Kool-Aid other SA rugby outlets were drinking, the Stormers were the best bet to bring home the title for South Africa. However, this weekend’s loss against the Crusaders exposes a cruel truth. They just don’t have a pack capable of domination. Yes, having the flash of Jean de Villiers and Jaque Fourie will get you through the mid-table games against the Aussies, but if you want to compete against the Blues and the Crusaders you need to have some serious uglies in your front row. The Stormers have hookers, but their props are more interested in looking flash in the backline then they are in doing the hard work. Here’s a clue that you have a totally shit front row: Supersport commentators glow about how much work your props get done “around the paddock”. In other words, they aren’t scumming or mauling – they’re just looking pretty hanging out on the wing.

That’s all folks. Your June 9 weekend should open up for a round of 18 or that wedding you need to go to.

The Stormer's loss against the Crusaders signals a doomed Super 15 for SA teams.

A tip of the hat to Cheetahs fans everywhere

I don’t know how they do it.  How the hell do Cheetahs fans get up every Saturday morning, pull that orange and white jersey off the shelf, slip it over their shoulders and walk out into the sun ready to face another game at Bloemfontein stadium?

As if the season wasn’t difficult enough already, the Cheetahs attack did everything they could on Saturday putting up 47 points against the Hurricanes.  But you guessed it… they still find a way to lose at home, letting through 50 points.

FFS. If I were a Cheetahs8 fan, I would have spoiled about a dozen drinks this weekend hurling them at the new flatscreen in the lounge. What were they thinking?  Apparently the defensive practice session this week consisted of Naka Drotske showing the squad his iPad and the new Angry Birds app he downloaded, because it sure as hell didn’t look like the Cheetahs knew the meaning of defence this weekend. Oy.

Just another long painful season for the boys from Bloemfontein.

It’s got to be hard to support the Cheetahs. The Cheetahs rugby union faces certain historic disadvantages every season.  While the Free State is capable of producing blue eyed blonde loose forward machines like bakkies off of an assembly line, they can’t keep any of the talent because of the lack of money in the union. They bleed talent every season when richer unions flash wallets in front of bright eyed youngsters at Craven week.

If the economic disadvantages were not enough of an obstacle, they also crippled in having the iffiest cheerleading talent out of all of the SA teams. While the Sharks have historically set the benchmark on this front, the talent this season from Bloemfontein… is not quite up to scratch to put it kindly. But this season in particular has been an especially brutal one for Cheetahs fans.

Let’s do a quick recap of the season so far. They are 14th out of a possible 15 on the combined log. They have a combined injury list for 2011 that reads like the ending credits of the Titanic, they have lost more than half of their starting fifteen through injury this season.  Yip, you read that right, MORE THAN HALF of their starting fifteen are playing Tetris on their cellphones during matches. I wonder if Naka Drotske can send his Discovery Health medical aid bill to the Super 15 administrators for the scheduling genius this season.  The injury list includes their two best players: the German U-Boat commander Juan Smith and Lobster Boy Heinrich Brussow.

And now they are starting to show that special talent of the truly cursed teams: being able to butcher games that you should never be able to lose – Proteas style.

For those Cheetahs fans, that despite all of this, will still bring the orange coffee mug to work on Monday and still find the courage to put on the orange and white next Saturday, you have earned the respect of Big Daddy Rugby. You are true supporters.