The Supersport Rugby Commentary game for toddlers and grownups

Need a game to amuse kids at a party?  Need a replacement for a Supersport rugby studio guest when one of the current “analysts” is unavailable?

Write the following phrases on separate pieces of paper, put in a tin and shake up, read out in whichever order you drew them and “hey Presto” you’ve just pulled off a DSTV Supersport Rugby broadcast – with the same quality you’ve come to expect from years of abuse at the hands of Naas Botha and co.

  • “This one will be decided up front”
  • “I think they just didn’t want it enough”
  • “It was a game of two halves”
  • “He just took his eyes off the ball there when he dropped it”
  • “It’s all about who wants it the most”
  • “No one works harder in training than [insert name of player who is woefully out of form]”
  • “electricifying pace”/”the atmosphere is electric”
  • “are these guys even practising anything in training” (reserved for where one of the participants is pretending to be Nick Mallett”
  • “Whatever the coach said at half time has worked”
  • “He’s been a great servant of the game”

You can be just as good as Arnie Geerdts!

Elma Smit ‘Lady Rugga’: A message from the rugby blogosphere

picture from Lady Rugga's twitter account at @elmakapelma

DSTV’s questionable talent contest to find a female rugby presenter has been finalized and the easy on the eye Elma Smit will be traveling to New Zealand to cover the World Cup as DSTV’s “Lady Rugga”. Initially we were against the idea of the competition – it seemed a bit chauvinistic. After all none of the other Supersport presenters would survive a talent show that actually required being liked by viewers…

But you seem like a nice person and you’ve got your own blog going which is a great start, so we thought we’d give you a message of support and advice from the rugby blogging community.

Elma, or should I say Lady Rugga:

Please don’t drop the ball… we want you to succeed. It would be great to have more female representation in a male dominated sports setup. We’d love it if you embarrassed the chauvinists DSTV who simply wanted someone for their looks by showing them that you have a greater level knowledge of the game than Darren Scott and Hugh Bladen.  It’s really not that hard.

You’ve simply actually got to watch the games being discussed and occasionally watch a few replays.  Showing up the foolishness of what passes for analysis on DSTV is best done best done by watching the replay moments before a try is scored and pointing out either a) that Habana was off his wing or b) which player was guilty of the aimless kick down field which set up the counter attack.  If you can do that, you already know more than Hugh Bladen.

Please also avoid falling into often repeated blunders that your fellow Supersport commentators make.  Avoid the use of the following:

  • Referring to a match as a “game of two halves” (please also punch any fellow presenter who tries this)
  • shout-outs to the school that a try scorer graduated from
  • asking a captain who just lost a match if he is disappointed with the result
  • reveal a lack of vocabulory by simply repeating a players name in increasing levels of loudness as he charges towards the line
  • implying that the referee is a biased against the Boks (that’s so 1994)
  • repeating any phrases that Bobby Skinstad uses or his strange pronounciation of “bokke”

Avoid those and you should be well received by true fans everywhere.  There is one thing we’d like to point out though that we are very worried about though…

Hmm... that's a bit disturbing.

Elma’s blog can be found here.

Lady Rugga – Supersport’s new attempt at embarrassing a nation

Yikes. This is cringeworthy.  Supersport is trying to drag themselves into the 21st century by their bootlaces. In addition to giving Naas Botha one of those electronic screenwriting pens and letting Bobby Skinstad have access to the loaner iPad, they’ve decided a more balanced gender representation is required on screen. So far a good idea. But wait for it, this is Supersport, they’re not going to be satisfied until they have taken that good idea and butchered it into a gigantic embarrassment for anyone claiming South African ancestry. Queue their chauvinistic Lady Rugga competition complete with leering comments from Naas Botha and company, patronising smirks and smiles “at the ladies” and all-round general misogyny.

Now, I’m all for the initial concept. It’s fair to say the lager drinking straight male market is pretty much sown up when it comes to rugby in South Africa. Short of handing out fertility pills with biltong and braai meat, if Supersport want to grow their fan base, they’ll need to start winning over female fans and non-traditional rugby males.

So what the hell is up with the leering Arnold Geerdts as a judge?

I can’t help but get the feeling that Supersport is acting like that racist uncle we all have lurking in our family tree, “Heck I’m not racist, some of my co-workers are ….”

Arnold Geerdts and the Lady Rugga competition - there is something very creepy about all this.

SuperSport is driving me to drink…more & more & more…

I’d like to give a big shout out to DSTV / SuperSport for the gargantuan cock-up of their Saturday night coverage of (possibly) the biggest game of the Six Nations this year.

France vs England at Twickenham. Both competing for the Grand Slam. England apparently playing “total rugby” and the French admitting that they don’t like them. “Le Crunch”, if you will.
It was all perfectly set up for a great evenings’ rugby entertainment and I was ready. I even had my favourite drinking pants on.

So when the 19:00pm kick-off came and went and I still had some cliff jumper from Columbia on my screen I started to get a little edgy. What made matters so much worse was the complete lack of communication from their side. One would think that a simple message informing viewers that “there’s an issue” would be the standard practice here, but the fact that this only occurred deep into the first half makes me think that:

a) they weren’t aware of the issue, or
b) the production team were having a few beers getting ready for the
Stormers / Lions game and just couldn’t be assed.

Either way it was really unimpressive stuff.

Is it too much to ask from the “premium” sports channel in South Africa to actually attempt to offer a first class service? Lord knows we pay enough for it.

It’s not hard guys, if you have a technical issue keep your viewers informed, and do it early. Don’t wait until 10 minutes before half time to give some feeble excuse as to why you’re showing re-runs of “Transworld Sport” and not the scheduled event.
That only makes you seem like a bunch of amateurs and a lot of your subscribers very angry.

This is not 6 Nations rugby

Supersport hoses social media: Tank Lanning sacked

Supersport revealed a) a dirty secret about this year’s TriNations and b) its complete lack of understanding of social media on Friday when it sacked Tank Lanning for an “inappropriate tweet”.  The horrific tweet at the centre of the controversy?

“SA Rugby to ‘manage’ the Springboks during the Tri-Nations. I think it’s a good thing”


Supersport encourage their commentators and analysts to get on Twitter and Facebook to increase their presence online. They are hired to have opinions.  Tank tweeted an opinion that slightly treads on the toes of SA Rugby – and got the old Andre Venter “stiff arm to face” treatment.

It’s the equivalent of hiring a radio DJ to be “edgy” on the morning drive show and then sacking him when he makes an offensive comment on air.  Moronic. Is it any wonder that we all wait until 1 minute before kick off before we tune into the Supersport broadcast? The Supersport on-air build up is complete drivel, lacks any insight, and usually consists of a discussion of “who wants it more”. Planet Earth to Supersport: “We’d like some interesting insights and banter please, that’s why we all prefer the Aussie commentary”.

It also shows just how in bed Supersport are with SA Rugby. The message is clear for all presenters and journalists who want to be given access to SA rugby players and coaches.  Write positive articles and you’ll be given access. Write a negative review of someone high up in SA Rugby and you’ll be discarded as quickly as Earl Rose at an Oranje rugby pre-season team trial.

Supersport forget that their core fans and spenders are those in the 18-40 age group who have largely embraced social media and “get it”, unlike the old farts sitting up at DSTV headquarters.

The dirty secret Supersport revealed? The real story that Tank was getting at is that a number of key Boks will be “rested” during the 2011 Tri-Nations campaign.  Hope you’re not planning on forking out buckets of cash to watch the Bulls B team wearing Springbok jerseys in this year’s Tri-Nations. You heard it here first.