The Beard of Josh Strauss Speaks – World Cup Update

We are three games in to the world cup and it’s time to catch up with our special correspondent – the beard of Josh Strauss (note: for legal and financial reasons we were unable to attain the services of Josh Strauss himself, we could only afford his beard).

BDR: Josh’s beard, there have been a few close games and one or two upsets. Who has impressed you?

The Beard: Of course – everyone’s favourite at this stage is the All Blacks. How they will bottle yet another World Cup from here remains a mystery to even me.  The Wallabies in the semis?  The Boks?  The French again in the final would be a very funny if unoriginal way of choking this one though.  There are so many options available to Henry to once again let down his entire nation.

Ireland are looking to be the surprise package for me. I’m thinking it may very well be a good thing that South Africa will get to avoid them in the quarterfinals.  Taking on Australia is not as daunting as it looked four weeks ago.  I’ve spoken to Dick Muir and the Boks are taking plenty of precautions in their preparation for the Wallaby Match.  It looks as though Robbie Deans will keep faith in his selection of Quade Cooper, so all the Bok players have been issued cable locks to prevent their laptops from being stolen.

BDR: Any heartbreakers for you?

The Beard: Scotland.  What were they thinking?  I’ve seen Braveheart a few times, I know that the world is a cold cruel place but Dan Parks… eesshhh…  How could his team shaft him like that? They set him up to fail by transferring all the pressure onto him for that final drop goal attempt.  A shovelled pass with no protection from the loosies.  I was just gutted to see Scotland through that game away.

BDR: Any minnows that you have taken a shining to?

The Beard: For me the USA have been plucky in all their outings thus far. Having the Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels, I mean Todd Cleaver, as their captain has allowed them a certain insight into southern hemisphere rugby they’ve lacked in the past.  They have show steady improvement over the last few tournaments.

BDR: And the Boks chances?

The Beard: Hmmm…. (a strand of hair reaches into the beard and thoughtfully and disturbingly strokes the beard).  I’m not optimistic. We looked good in patches against Fiji. But that’s Fiji, we have a tough road to the trophy and it will require consistently playing to the best of our ability.  Consistency has not been a feature of this current Bok squad and that’s going to bite us.   The replacements for our injuries have done well and have made a strong case for keeping the original players out of the starting line up.  But I just don’t think we are consistently playing at the level required to win World Cups.  That being said, I must give credit to the coaches – De Villiers’ management of Bismark has been pure genius.

BDR: Really?  He has come in for a lot of stick for selecting Smit ahead of him. Why do you say that?

The Beard: Don’t you see…?  It is part of the master strategy.  By selecting Smit ahead of Bismark they’re just making Bismark really, really, really angry. And you wouldn’t want to see him when he’s really, really, really angry…

Interview with ‘Grizzly’ Adam Kleeberger

In keeping with our (un)healthy obsession with facial hair, Big Daddy Rugby decided it was time to put a few questions to Canada’s Adam Kleeberger.

The first thing you notice about Kleeberger is the size of the man’s hands. My gosh they’re huge – like giant paddles. I was fortunate enough to track him down at the team’s hotel in Napier ahead of their big match against France.

Kleeberger has caused quite a stir at the tournament, with his ‘wild-man’ beard trending almost as much as Jay-Z’s love-child. The big man also had a massive game against the Tongans, with the Canucks having edged the Pacific Islanders by a whisker.

On entering the hotel lobby, Kleeberger was immediately noticeable by being shoe-less and sitting in the double lotus position. This was going to be interesting…

Big Daddy Rugby: Hi Adam, thanks for taking the time to meet with BDR today.

Adam Kleeberger: Don’t mention it. By the way, you made a lot of noise on your approach. I could hear you a mile off.

BDR: Oh right….is that a bad thing?

AK: If you want to last one night in the Canadian wilds it is. Your smell gives you away too.

BDR: Thanks, I guess…if I could ask you about the Tongan match. Was that more of a scare than you were hoping for?

AK: I don’t believe in fear. Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.

BDR: That’s interesting. Didn’t Yoda say that?

AK: No.

BDR: Okay.

At this point in the interview Kleeberger closed his eyes and took a number of deep breaths

AK: Okay, I’m back!

BDR: Great. Will the team be trying a different approach in the match against the French?

AK: As a team we don’t believe in trying. Do or do not, there is no try.

BDR: Err..Isn’t that something else that….never mind. So the ‘growth’ is getting quite a bit of coverage at the moment? Do you…

AK: Don’t move! Stay perfectly still! A wasp has just landed on your shoulder and if you move he will strike you dead compadre!

BDR: I’m not so sure they’re THAT lethal…

AK: You weren’t THERE man!

BDR: Vietnam??

AK: British Columbia…1998. Swarm of wasps as thick as mud. I had to go to ground for three days straight.

Kleeberger springs from his seated position and swipes the wasp with one of  his mighty paws

BDR: Geez..thanks Adam! Close shave huh?!

AK: (Chuckles) I wouldn’t know my friend. I wouldn’t know.

BDR: Well anyway, enjoy the rest of the tournament and may the force be with you!

Swift exit BDR

'Grizzly' Adam Kleeberger....he knows what you did last summer!

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