Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Final Wrap.

“There has to be a loser, and the important thing in this setup is to be able to play good clean rugby with mates and enjoy it…”

Walking the Green Mile!

The man who smsed me these words is a man that falls into the wise campaigner category. He has seen it all, played it all, experienced it all and more than qualified to make those profound statements that cut straight to the truth and that are void of clich├ęs.

The Finals Round last night was the finale to an exceptionally long season of rugby and we can be proud to say that the spirit and the vibe on the Green Mile last night is testament to the notion that the values that underpin fair contest and sportsmanship are a running strong in our Internal League rugby.

The Green Mile was a hive of rugby and social activity last night with the on field antics a very appreciable spectacle for the off field masses. On occasion the poor guy in the stand had to do is utmost to concentrate on the game as opposed to on a pom-pom armed Wadda angel but either way he got his monies worth for the ticket price.

The revamped format for 2007 saw all 16 teams playing 9 games amassing a record 72 fixtures through the season. This is more rugby than has ever been hosted on the Green Mile and a very subjective opinion maintains that it was probably the best level of rugby ever.

Last night was no different and although many sides were feeling the affects of a long season or weren’t playing in the final that they would have aimed to play in they still came out with equal gusto as if it was the first game of the season.

The Wooden Spoon Final saw the brave but now somewhat dejected Kopano side turn out for one last valiant effort to get that elusive W on the scorecard. Through sheer divine intervention the Spanners came to the party with a run on side and allowed Kopano the opportunity and even scored two tries themselves. Kopano winning 38-12.

The Spanners: Proffessionalism is overrated.

The Can Final turned out to be a test match spectacle as Smuts took on Ikhaya in a monumental game. Ikhaya certainly boast the biggest traveling off field entourage and their yelling supporters urged them to a last gasp buzzer try in the corner to win 8-7. Smuts led 7-3 for much of the game with captain Mike Vice having a storming game but unfortunately sans the support necessary to convert line-breaks into tries.

The Funnel Final is the most sort after plaque to add to the trophy cabinet and Clarendon took on College for the honours. Unfortunately the game soured with the ref handing out cards like the RWC citing commission was handing out week bans and they were deserved too. College won 12-5 but the College red card lock gets special mention for being the only prick on the Mile last night.

The Bowl Final has replaced the traditional minnow’s league title and has a reputation as being as hard fought and fiercely contested as any higher contest battle. The Shebeen Boys have been losing semi-finalists in the bottom 8 since we stopped playing with a leather ball and this year they reproduced their off field unity between the white lines. In a performance dictated by strong forward play and backline accuracy, Shebeen held out the Eastern Cape 2 Rios 19-10 in a typical final. An excellent result on all accounts.

The Mug Final is the equivalent to the top 8 spoon and the Turtles took on the Barbarians in an energetic game. Both sides were oh-so-close to higher honours but lost narrowly in the play offs to end up playing this game. It was an even contest that Barbarians came from behind to win 12-7.

The Plate Final was between Wildboys and Marqaurd and was a try thriller. Both sides play an offensive ball style of play and the result was a far cry from the blanket rugby (at any stage all 30 players would fit under a duvet) that internal league sometimes slips into. Wildboys were like Nigerian immigrants in Long street and ran everything with perennial attacking force Warren Oupa Kelly carving up defenders at will. The Wildboys won convincingly 29-5.

The 3rd/4th playoff saw Ubumbo and the Panthers return to meet each other after both coming so close in the hard lost semi finals only just a week before. The physicality of last weeks semis would crumble lesser men but both sides returned gracious losers to fight it out for 3rd without shying away from the same body on the line effort from the previous games. It was a tight a fair that the ref managed to cock up by blowing the first half 10 minutes too early but Ubumbo came back from 0-5 at the half to win 12-10.

The Cup Final was a highly anticipated affair. Nadoes have a play off record that would make any Australian national team (bar the socceroos) nod and whistle in respect but the Cobras were definitely the form side so far this season. As with the 3rd/4th play off both sides tested in emotionally and physically draining semi-finals the week before and matching those performances would be tough.

In the opening 5 minutes Nadoes combined unbelievable luck, crazy skill and great vision to score two freak tries. Standing under your uprights 14-0 down only 5 minutes into a contest cannot be the warmest place in the world. What was going through the heads of the young side will remain a mystery but you can be certain you are glad it wasn’t you.

Cobras showed why they were playing in the final and came back strongly. They used the wind well to get good field placing but weren’t able to convert territory into scoreboard numbers. They recovered admirably to right the ship but were struggling to get momentum in the sails.

The 2nd half was upon us like a prurient Carinus girl and both sides dead locked each other. The Nadoes defense closed up shop like the English batting side when they are 400 runs behind on the 5th day of a test match and the Cobras were unable to score. A rare incursion into the Cobras half saw the Nadoes pick up a shot at goal that was successfully landed to give them a 17 point lead and one hand on the trophy.

The game was then marred by some senseless late charges from the Nadoes loose 3 that earned the one a yellow and then the ref showed consistency in binning the Cobras flank for a similar, albeit weaker, challenge.

The shut out effect of the Nadoes defense frustrated the Cobras attack. They made some excellent line breaks and half gaps but never from a field position they could convert into points and the Nadoes cover would then just shut it down. The Cobras were running out of time and started attacking with reckless abandon. Passes didn’t go to hand and they paid the price of all risk rugby as the Nadoes scored twice at the death to take it 27-0.

The night was over in a flash and the party began in earnest. It was the perfect end to a long season. Regardless of whether your side won or lost that is all forgotten once you’re huddled around a waist high pile of SAB products, singing raucous songs you wouldn’t repeat in front of your mom and holding the back of the jersey of the guy who may turn out to be the god-parent of your son.

Pain is weakness leaving the body, chicks dig scars, glory lasts as long as memories do, and good times can only be had in the present but best friends last forever…

The Green Mile is closed for renovations, so I’ll see you on the sandy Clifton mile…

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Finals...

The finals are far bigger than this picture. Please note starting times and field allocations.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Semi Final Wrap...

At 17h30 there was an eerie silence over the long Green Mile that separates UCT from the rest of the world, but within minutes this change to a cacophony of raucous sideline support, loud on field game talk and the pumping beats of the Sound Guy testing Bokjol Sokkie Treffers Ses on his newly erected sound stage...but focus mustn't be taken away from the games that separated the men from the boys...

The Semis lived up to the hype and expectation and the evening was the busiest one down on the Mile for the entire season. The vibe was tangible and the rugby entertaining...

Apart from the Spanners no-show the evening was one played in the true spirit of the league bar one or two minor incidents and generally, in fact overwhelmingly so, the night was one for what Varsity Internal League is all about. Sure, there will always be critics but those that have not found favour in the league and its new format are unsurprisingly the ones with a L ticked in the results column. Stop bitching and come back next year prepared...

Marquard v Turtles was a great spectacle of rugby. The young boys from lower campus came out playing a rugby brand that you usually wouldn't associate part timers with and it showed on the scoreboard. Their first try was champagne 7 pointer that wouldn't look out of place on a shelf of Dom Perignon. It start from a long down field Turtles kick. Marquard fullback Ed Scuur through a long ball infield to flyhalf William Nesi Ryder on the run. He stepped it up into the opposition half where quick ruck ball saw Marquard attacking up the left flank. Again involved, Scuur made a linebreak got the offload, the ball went from 13 to 11 who streaked away to send the ball back infield to charging GQ lock Brett Snjders who dotted down under the posts.

Marquard scored again but Turtles reiterated why they had got this far in the league with heavy defence and clawed back into the game when they scored a brilliant try straight after half time. Marquard resurged though and scored a further two tries, both again from William Nesi Ryder magic.

The 18h30 games entertained a back to form Easterns side handing it to the Clarendon Knights (22-0) and the Barbarians getting schooled by the Wildboys (19-5). The latter game was a match between two sides that had higher hopes that a semi final place but the result means the Wildboys will play Marquard for 5th place whilst the Barbarians must beat the Turtles for 7th.

At 19h30 the Shebeen Boys beat College House to advance into the Bowl final. The game was tighter than Os Du Randts jersey going into the half but Shebeen scored twice in the second to win 12-0. The other game was found in the Oxford Concise dictionary for Advanced Learners under "contest".

Con-test:, (kon-test') n. - 1. struggle between two rivals, namely the Nadoes and Panthers for higher glory. 2. Hard fought battle. The game was titanic. Both sides attacked and defended recklessly with the game flowing at a high pace for long passages of play. The Panthers have an impressive Internal League record but have never played out of the anachronistic B League structure. Here they stepped up and showed that top side monikers don't by default fall to the traditional A league sides as there are other sides that are more capable. Backline talisman Scott Dyson was again the trigger that shot the Panthers scoreboard to an impressive 10-3 lead late in the second half.

The Nadoes aren't 10 time world champions for nothing and they came back strongly having to show serious mettle to get the necessary field position from which to launch an assault on the Panthers goal line. Eventually they broke through to score under the poles. 10 all! Panthers had a last minute penalty attempt from far far out that definitely sent the Nadoes minds back to similar circumstances versus Ubumbo in the pool matches and even employed unnecessary sideline "gamemanship" (an Aussie term for puss like unsporting behaviour) in refusing to lend a kicking tee. The kick didn't have the legs and it went to extra time.

Extra time was uneventful. And as per the IRB rules in regard to perpetual deadlocks it went to the Kick out. The soccer-esque penalty kick out isn't the best way to decide an encounter but it is the only way the International Rugby Board has come up with so we do it. The fact remains, only one side can advance to the finals so it had to be decided. Nadoe supporters had a glum look of defeat on their faces when they were down 3-1 after 3 kicks after the two experienced kickers Myles Brown and Pietie Olivier pushed their efforts wide but the Panthers did the same in their last two attempts and it was 3 all after 5. Straight to sudden death and the Panthers missed their second shot. The relief in the cheers of the Nadoes family was resonance.

As if the crowds had not been treated to enough already then came the semi final that would cap the evening brilliantly. Ubumbo and Cobras drew 12-12 in the Pool stages and were amped to set the record straight. Unfortunately the long wait for the kick off was taxing on the teams and more so on Ubumbo in their new tight fit Reflex Nutrition sponsored white strip, (just a question: if we eat 'tomorrows nutrition today', what will we eat tomorrow?) as Cobras scored two important tries in the first 15 minutes.

Up 12-3 the Cobras were looking dangerous. The pinpoint accuracy of their kicking kept the heavy Ubumbo forwards stranded in their own 22m and the loss of inspirational captain and pressure relieving flyhalf Skud Mateza to concussion crippled Ubumbo. The Cobras prodded through a deft attacking kick the bounce right back into the hands of flying burly prop Craig Smith as he reached the goalline but a feat of super human strength from the Ubumban right winger lifted the massive prop clear off his feet and drove him back into the field of play. The trystopping effort sparked an Ubumbo resurgence.

Speedy fullback Khwezi finished a sick touchline effort to scored under the poles with a rocket man dive that would have impressed Joe Rokocoko to even it up 12-10 at halftime.

The second half was a repeat of the first with neither side yeilding an inch of territory or a minute of possession without a fight. The deadlock looked unbreakable with the Cobras holding on by 2 but not even remotely keen to play defensive rugby. They went wide with everything and their faultless skills allowed them to do it with purpose. Eventually their width gave them a linebreak far out wide that got moved back in to an unknown supporting runner who threw the crispest contact offload as two defenders merged onto him to put a runner away under the poles. 19-10.

didn't come to be beaten and came back to score an excellent try in the corner that couldn't be converted, but that was the ball game. 19-15.

The semi finals were without doubt the most closely contested semi finals that the league has ever witnessed and the most spectacular. All sides must be given full credit for a superb display of rugby and friendship.

The finals have been decided. Please keep an eye out for the details of those for next week.

See you on the Green Mile.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Semi Final Time...

Here we go for the 8th time, hand grenade pins and every line, throw them up and let the semis shine, going out of our fuckin mind...

Big wins in the pool matches are forgotten, who was England anyway! The odd loss and confusing draw also all means nothing. Everything means nothing now, except for the next 60 minutes that lays before each and every side on the Green Mile tonight.

It's semi final time, and if you're not first you are last...

"Reuters: Hot off the press- long serving player manager Jordan B Pam has been struck down with a nasty bout of flu (wadda some bird flu) at the 13th hour, leaving an odour of suspicion wafting through the Cobras Camp and it smells worse than the Ubumbo tight-five. His involvement will be limited to shouts from the touchline during this crunch semi-final, which now promises to deliver even more so amid this weeks backroom board meetings regarding the hostile take over bids from rival sponsorship companies.

A spokesperson for Panther Rugby, Mike Galatis, said yesterday that the proposed new deal would relieve financial burden of the hilton-michaelhouse based outfit. He further averred that the Panthers fiscal mismanagment has reduced the team to training in their 'steamy disco heels' after superclub Pulse closed down last year. Nonetheless their match up with a new look Nadoes outfit has to be dubbed a monster of a clash. Semi retired players and school teacher Graham Barrat quoted his Grade 4 textbook when he referred to the Panthers going down like lambs to the slaughter!"

Game of the Night: Ikhaya v Spanners

Ikhaya held Ireland to only a 4 point margin over the past week losing 14-10, which included a rousing push for the line in the dying minutes that even earned a TMO referral. Likewise the Spanners have been brave with a big loss to the All Blacks but a brilliant still to come performance against Romania. Both sides meet tonight on a playing field that is more leveled than a stoned first year Film and Media students after a bar brawl with a Wadda bouncer. Flat and fair...

Thursday, September 06, 2007


So last night was a wash out and we still have two Wednesday nights of rugby to fit in. After much deliberation and consultation we have looked at all the options and settled on this:

19th September 2007: Semi Finals

See you on the Green Mile.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Semi Finals POSTPONED..!

Sorry to have to do this but mother nature is not playing the game. We really can't bitch at the deluge though as this is the first time it has rained like this on a Wednesday so I guess it was inevitable.

The fields are, much like a Baxter first year, unplayable...unless you're wearing gumboots, and we all know how average it is showering with a rain-jacket on. Okay I have now lost myself.

Bottom line: The Semis are postponed and the date will be confirmed asap!

Won't see you on the green nile...

Monday, September 03, 2007

Semi Finals...

Here are the fixtures for Wednesday night: 05/09/2007.

Now, like most Marquard boys after a bottle of crackling wondering around Graca, are at the Semi stage but raring to go. The teams are starting to gain meaningful momentum that was cut short by the long vac but are looking on top form and the games are getting more physical and better contested at every bounce of the ball.

Unfortunately however, history and form count for zero now as anything can happen in an hour to end World Cup dreams. Its the knock-outs and a side just has to be better for 60minutes to advance as winners.

The games to watch out for:

Barbarians v Wildboys: The old v the new. Wildboys have impressed beyond expectation this year whereas Barbarians couldn't match their achievements from last year. Both will be bleak at not making the winning semis so will want to prove something. It should be monumental.

Ubumbo v Cobras: They drew when it didn't count but now it does. It will be epic.

College v Shebeen: College have never been favourites going into a game, and probably aren't in this case either, but they are hardly underdogs. This gun fight is equal, making it a classic clash.

Kopano v Smuts: The game isn't as high up on the Internal League hierarchy as other games but it certainly doesn't count for less. The old res rivalry is strong and has a tradition that escapes any other match up on the dance card. Nadoes might have children, but Smuts has ivy. They're old school, and The Belsen Boys are their greatest rivals.

And a special note to all your girls and mainly boys, Ollie and Tim should be sideline again this week.

See you on the Green Mile...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Field Report: Sideline Interviews by Ian Jones.

Media Box: You're good to go Jonesie.

Jonesie: Good evening all and welcome to tonight internal league rugby fiesta. We have a massive line up this evening and have already bared witness to victories from Clarendon, Easterns and Ubumbo but still have tonight's big match up ahead. Here I stand right now adjacent to the B field soaking up the atmosphere with two of the games greatest representatives watching from the sidelines. Ladies and Gentleman at home, please meet Ollie B and Timothy. Evening Guys.

Ollie: Yeah, howzit.
Tim: (cough) Hi.

Jonesie: Well men, it is a special night for both of you. Tim your Clarendon side has already advanced into the winners Semi and Ollie your side is about to run out against a tough looking Marquard outfit.

Ollie: Yeah!
Tim: (cough) Hi.

Jonesie: Of course tonight is extra-special because so I hear it is also your guys anniversary today. Congratulations men.

Ollie: Yeah!
Tim: (cough) Hi.

Jonesie: Its a pity neither of you fine players will take the field tonight though and entertain this massive crowd here but the viewers at home must know it is because you both 'are so hardcore and talented that you're too good for this level of rugby and your side concedes the result if either of you guys play!' Kinda similar to how Graham kept the ABs out the super 14 back home. You guys must feel main to be so good that you're not allowed to play?

Ollie: Yeah!
Tim: (cough) Hi!

Jonesie: Well guys, its been great chatting have you got any predictions for the next game?

Ollie: I love waterbottle.
Tim: Actually, certainly Ian. Playing into this stiff head wind to start the young men from the Cobras have a big task a head in breaching this formiddable Marquard defence but if they keep their structure and can a handle on the set piece they may sustain the necessary forward momentum to get the rhythm they will need to convert opportunities into points. Oliver, take your hand out your mouth. Thanks Ian. All the best.
Wrap: The Quarter Finals…

Anyone who has had the opportunity of experiencing it, will tell you that getting dragged home on a Tuesday night from Tiger to the room of a Carinus girl is a life changing experience. So I hear, it is fast, competitive, sweaty and over before you know it.

I am now under the impression that quarter-finals are pretty similar to Carinus girls, the only difference being the rugby can only happen 8 times in one night...which is far less than the res-food fuelled Carinus lass.

With the League now split into The Cup (top 8) and The Bowl (bottom 8) competitions the ¼s involves sides pushing for a win to be in the winning semi-finals as opposed to in the losing semis next week with other ¼ final losers.

The first four games of the evening (early afternoon thanks to having to accommodate an extra game on each field) were the ¼ finals for The Bowl. The League is more fairly split now according to a strength v strength division. The leveling of the playing fields as such only made the competition fiercer.

First up Clarendon battled impressively to win a tight 7-0 game against Kopano. It was a very physical games but unfortunately many individuals preferred the abrupt ‘high school trials’ approach to the game and never looked to pass before contact. In a free flowing game, the nippy Clarendon 13 ran from deep out of his goal dead ball area before off loading to the hard working number 8 who had a Juan Smith style run up field before ignite another series of offloads all the way into the Kopano 22m, whereby some bonehead knocked it on. Kopano countered the advantage running it all the way back to Clarendon line where another bonehead knocked it on. The passage of player was longer than this paragraph but credit goes to the hard running Clarendon workhorses especially since they spent Tuesday night with Carinus girls.

The other game saw College sustain their very rare and mildly rich vein of form and continued there winning streak by defeating Spanners, 19-7.

In two of the not-so-close contests of the night Easterns sneaked home 26-10 against Smuts. Smuts scored two great tries but could never hold their fleeting dominance for any consistent time period. Easterns were very chilled in their approach and can blame their own finishing for repeatedly letting Smuts back in the door.

Ikhaya were on the receiving end of a 5 try routing courtesy the Shebeen Boys. Ikhaya set a powerful platform through excellent scrumming but never did anything beyond that. Shebeen Boys were far stronger and blatantly weird on the sidelines. It could have been half-price ribs and draught night at the Cattle Baron if you didn’t notice the rugby.

The rugby this week was of a clearly higher standard than normal and it would probably be on account of the more reflective match ups. The other factor was of course that the business end of the competition attracts more prestige. Prestige attracts women. Women attract men. Basically the guy that was happier on the couch during the pool stages whilst his mates battled it out scrumcap and gumguard in the pouring rain and toxic mud has now PVRed Survivor and decided to try use his rugby boots to become famous…again.

Its the same guys every year. No where when there is no glory involved and a little bit of precipitation; but in full flight during the play-offs sporting his new (and for some reason always white) rugger boots, gelled hair and shoulder pads. He inevitably passes a ball behind his back and craps on his mate that doesn’t catch it but is more astute and reloading his depth when there is a ruck to hit. Who are you phantom player? Come do the hard work next year.

In The Cup competition Ubumbo stamped on the dreams of the little train that could and schooled the Turtles in a blazing display of powerful rugby. The only thing worse than the Turtles performance was their Officer-in-charge of Editing and Spelling for their PR department’s upper campus poster nightmare. It was amusing watching the octogenarian referee call the game as it literally looked like he was there to oversee a child playing with its ninja turtle figurines. But credit must go where (wear?) its due. The B League minnows never even made a semi-final down there but here they are fighting with the big dogs.

The headline game of the evening was a repeat of last years final and lived up to the grudge behind it. In the end the Nadoes walked away comfortable 13-6 winners over the Barbarians despite been deservedly down to 14 men for more than half the game, after senior player Graham Barrit suffered a nasty brain freeze and earned himself a very red card. The game didn’t erupt thankfully but the tension of the game did destroy the rugby part of the game and the contest ended up tight and hard, but rather bland. The Barbarians took terrible decisions sending the ball wide when it should have stayed tight, or keeping it tight when it should have gone wide and early. Nadoes on the other hand were very astute in their decision making but faltered when it came to finishing and building momentum. Barbarians flyhalf Mauro Ciochetti, had a main performance and held his side together with a great deal of balls, maturity and two wonderful place kicks off old school sand.

The rise of the Purple Cobras continued in full force as they breezed past a very bold Marquard side 28-7. The hard hitting lower campus boys managed to stem the flow that the Cobras usually generate but didn’t play with the same accuracy on attack.

The last game of the evening managed to fly under the radar of my less perceptive co-writer who failed to tip it as a major game of the night as it was in fact the replay of last years B League final. Over the past three years the Wildboys and Panthers have developed a competitive comity build on respect and rugby. They are the epitome of rivals. In 2005 the Panthers beat the Wildboys twice to take the league honours, but then Wildboys bounced back in 2006 when they beat the Panthers in the Finals to displace them on the podium. This was their first encounter in 2007 and it was frantic.

In the first half the Wildboys scored two brilliant tries through fullback, and the League’s leading try scorer, Warren ‘Oupa Ohata’ Kelly with the Panthers only scoring through a seemingly innocuous (well at that stage anyways) 50metre drop goal Francois Steyn style from fullback Hilton Brown.

The second half saw a resurgent Panthers (I am going to say it) 'claw' their way back into it. Once again through clever use of rolling subs their impact men, Sbu Thusi and Scotty Dyson, were sub-fuckin-blime. They scored an incredible try to get back into it, 12-10, and then after relentless pressure the Wildboys ran out of ‘get out of jail’ cards and Scotty D broke the line to score under the polls. 17-12 Panthers.

It was an epic game. The great thing about watching two evenly matched sides fight it out is that it can go any way. Unfortunately, it sometimes goes to an uncontrollable, like a ref missing something, or a straight judicious error from the ref, but sometimes it goes to something special like a solo try or a heart stopping drop-goal.

Bring on the World Cup…and more Carinus girls…

Tries of the Week: All game changers.

3rd place: The one that broke the horses back! Straight after the red card, the Nadoes struck back with a typical SA backline try. Straight up line speed pressure to force the loose pass that Lomu Winger Greg Gray (back from the Belly-dancing world champs) picked up to gallop home for the try that would win the game.

2nd place: Kopano-Clarendon was tighter than sitting next to a fat chick on a Jammie and a half break from Clarendon 13 JP was enough to give the ball to lightning fast fullback Thando that sped the ball over for the game winner.

1st place: Panthers were down 12-3 and unable to break the C-max Wildboys defence but quick ruck ball enable a runner to come off the stand offs shoulder, come around the corner and put winger Murray Beattie away on the outside. The work wasn’t done and Murray Mentz took it up quickly, held is line, looked at his inside support and advancing 1-on-1 defender and boldly chipped him, recovered and scored the try that turned the game.

Hit of the Week:

There were some big Chabalesque knock overs but the biggest hit came from the Barbarians scrumhalf, Mike Terrablanche who put in a monster front on hit on a bulky Nadoe runner.

Team of the Week:

Clarendon 8/10. College 7/10. Easterns 6/10. Shebeen Boys 7.5/10. Ubumbo 8/10. Cobras 7/10. Panthers 9/10. Wildboys 8.9/10. But the Nadoes get it. Not for the manner of their win but from the context. Beaten in the last outing against Ubumbo, the detractors were singing ‘the end to the Nadoes day’ but they faced adversity, pulled together and playing with 14 men stepped up and beat last years runners up for a momentous win. They stumbled, but maybe that just woke the sleeping giant. Watch this space.

See you on the Green Mile, but until then, see you in the Carinus hallways… Hifive.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Rage rage against the dying of the knock out.

Can you feel how palpable the pressure is? Win - top 4, lose - bottom 4! It's plain and simple and that is the reality of tonight for the 4 games in either Cup and Bowl competitions.

Sure success is measured on how you finish and not how you start but lets be honest, you can't win a trophy if you aren't in the final and a silver medal is the same as last! However, despite our craving for success we are a league for all and everyone is set to win something.

First place: The Internal League Trophy 2007
3rd place: 3rd Place

5th place: The Plate

7th place: The Mug

9th place: The Internal League Bowl 2007

11th place: The Can

13th place: The Funnel

15th place: The Famous Gold Plated Wooden Spoon

Ucha cha: Another one for the Nadoe cabinet courteous Greg Gray.

Come the 19th September 2007 all this will be up for grabs as each side will battle it out for one of these coveted trophies. As time stands immemorial the Nadoes have held a firm grip on the Internal League Trophy but every year sides surface to try wrestle it from the vice like clutches. This year is no different and the men will be sorted from the boys this evening.

The Wildboys are the current Internal League Bowl holders but they have graduated to higher honours as have the runners up to it last year the Panthers. The title race for the Bowl is a tight one and again the first leg of the race will be run tonight.

The key match ups tonight have to be the Nadoes v Barbarians clash, and the Easterns v Smuts game. Nadoes-Barbarians is a replay of last years finals although both sides are far different from their 2006 outfits. It will be an almighty clash. The Easterns v Smuts clash is off such importance since the winning side will probably find itself with half a hand on the Bowl for 2008.

We're looking forward to fireworks on the Green Mile, and the odd a short skirt.

See you on the Mile...

Monday, August 27, 2007

Play Offs: Times and Field

Here we are at the quarter fields, and here we are, is the schedule:


Friday, August 24, 2007

Rule Awareness....

Please consider this important excerpt from the 2008 Rules. It's important:

The Finals

As stated all 16 teams will participate in the quarter-finals with the winning and losing teams both advancing to the semi-finals and then onto the final. For this reason certain policies have had to be implemented in regard to the selection of players not permitted to play and to uncontested scrums.

A team that participates in a game in the final that selects a player who under point 2.2 is not permitted to play for an Internal League side will automatically forfeit the opportunity to advance as a victorious team, instead they will advance as the losing side. If both sides field such a player they both will advance as losing sides and the teams in the corresponding match will automatically proceed as winning sides.

If a team doesn’t adhere to the rules under 2.2 in regard to the selection of two front row players on the bench which leads to the requisition of uncontested scrums not through injury that team will forfeit the opportunity to advance as victorious irrespective of the result.

These seemingly harsh rules are in place to ensure that our Internal League is played in the high spirit and regard in which it has traditionally been played whereby the competing teams do so on the level playing field as rugby teams and nothing else.

As with all play-off games the event of a draw will be dealt with in the manner that is in accordance with the IRB and this league. If the scores are tied at full time, in a play off game, extra time will be played.

Extra time will consist of two halves of seven (7) minutes each with a two (2) minute period of half time between them. It will be played according to the Golden TRY rule, whereby the first team to score a TRY during the period of extra time will be declared the winners, and the game will end.

If at the conclusion of the first half of extra time one team has more points than the other, (with no tries having been scored in the first half of extra time) the second half of extra time will be played. The team that is thus leading at the conclusion of both halves of extra time shall be declared the winners.

Should there be no further score after both periods of extra time, OR should the scores be equal, each team will select five (5) members to take penalty kicks at goal. Kicks will be taken on the 22m line, directly in front of the poles. Kicks will be taken by a member from each team of 5 alternatively. Only players having played for some period in the match (either regulation or extra time) will be permitted to take kicks at goal. A toss of the coin will decide which team kicks first and at which end the kicks are taken. At the end of the ten kicks the team with the most successful kicks will be declared the winners. If the teams are level at the end of the ten kicks, the same five kickers from each team will compete in the same order in a sudden death shoot out, whereby the first team successful where their opponents are not will be declared the winners. The kickers will keep kicking until this end is reached.

All of the Final games will have the duration of 25minutes per half.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Play Off Scenario...

Listen up, this is straight forward but very important.

As outlined, every side still has three games to play. Check out the Play Off spider below. Check the dates. Check where you side is. If you win you advance and play the side that won the game adjacent to you. If you lose you advance to play the losing side.

This continues all the way to the Finals. However, it is at this point pertinent to stress that each side must familiarize themselves with the rules for the play offs and especially be aware that because there are now 4 games on each field per night we play at 17h30, 18h30, 19h30 and 20h30.

Rest week next week. Play Offs start on the 29th August. Lovely.

Wrap Week 8: And that is a wrap ladies and gentlemen!

Last night saw the 2nd round of pool matches culminate in emphatic fashion as the weather held long enough giving the players a perfect canvas to show off their skills and team play.

Unlike a PWC warm up again against the 4th tier desert region rugby playing nation with less professional rugby players than at the Makro games last night, being the final week in the pool stages, actually meant something. Every side last night had a reason to win, or in some cases just not to lose.

Pool A was settled last week but every other pool had something to play for. Cobras Wildboys were playing for top spot. Barbarians were securing place 1. Kopano needed to win. Marquard just had to. Turtles needed at least 4 but 5 would be better. Panthers needed one. Easterns had to win with a bonus. Anyway some of that happened, and some didn’t.

Pool B. Barbarians struggled with their run on 15 against a small and determined Kopano side and only led 5-0 at the break. The first period of the 2nd half wasn’t much different, although the Kopano attack never looked like scoring. The game swung on the scoreboard with the entrance of some super substitutes. For every line break that Kyle Dutton engineered and didn’t cough up the Barbarians scored or looked like they were going to. First Dutton cut an outside gap and slipped the ball to winger Redders who showed clan heels despite the mud to score under the polls. From there the flood gates opened with Sean Shields in particular making some charging runs. Barbarians scored 3 in the final 10 minutes to wrap up the game, 31-0.

Elsewhere in Pool B, an under-strength Marquard side came home clean against Ikhaya scoring 4 tries and earning themselves a place in the final 8.

Pool D was an intricate affair with more possible mathematical permutations than a hot girl’s chance of coming right at Tiger. Turtles needed a 5 point win to ensure top 8 status and did so in expansive style by scoring 8 tries against the Spanners. That result meant Eastern Cape not only had to win but had to do so with a bonus point, or by not allowing the Panthers a bonus whilst beating them by 29 points. With much riding on the game the Panthers came out firing scoring two excellent tries in the first period, both of which were converted. Panthers then clicked and gave the performance of their season. Loose forward Sbu Thusi was uncoachable and the strong running and defence of centre Scott Dyson compliment him brilliantly. Thusi and model-slash-hooker Dayne Jans even combined their astute knowledge of the laws when they took a quick 50m lineout off a long kicked restart and raced 49m down the park to come up just short of what was one of the nearest chances of the night. Panthers were sublime and showed they are a massive underdog side to the Top 8 Cup title.

It was an epic night for Pool C. Cobras and Wildboys had already booked their tickets to France and just had to fight over shotgun, whilst the Shebeen Boys and Smuts were also tussling over the coveted 3rd spot. Shebeen Boys gave probably their best effort of the season winning 31-0.

The headline clash of the night lived up to expectations. In reality the results was for academic and pride purposes but neither side was going to concede to this reality. They came out blazing with neither side looking to yield an inch.

The Cobras ball security in this first important period was telling. They kept the ball for long periods and gave it plenty of width as they attacked phase after phase after phase. The pressure was relentless and Cobra star centre Cian spotted the no one sweeping behind the line of red jerseys and weighted a perfect chip kick into the vacancy that he collected on the bounce and made a cobra offload to a supporting runner that crossed under the posts. 5-0.

Wildboys fought back hard and scored in reply to lead 7-5. In the remainder of the first half the Cobras showed why they can swagger in purple hoops up and down Jammie plaza and they played top class rugby. They gave the Wildboys nothing but scraps and the lack of possession and territory frustrated them. Cobras scored twice more before the half taking themselves 19-5 leaders into the half.

Cobras then won the game in the crucial ten minutes after the break when they scored first up. The playmaker General at ten, Warren Butler, took the ball to the defence in the red zone and slid through a perfectly weighted grubber kick that ‘oh-my-god-he’s-quick’ impact player Jordan Biderman-Pam collected to swan dive under the posts to score off. 26-5.

It was a crippling deficit on the scoreboard and meant a fight back seemed improbable. Wildboys however weren’t prepared to listen to better judgment and didn’t give up. They finally only found some momentum in the second half and looked their usual dangerous selves on attack a few times. They scored a great try and numerous other chances were halted by persevering Cobras cover defence.

In one particular turning point, Wildboys fullback Warren Oupa Kelly made a classy break and a great link pass but the support runner was brought down by an unknown Cobras defender grass blades away from the chalk. That instance was an accurate snapshot of the game, Wildboys doing lots right but the Cobras just doing a little bit more.

Check out either teams webblogs for less objective write ups. Just kidding on the subjectiveness but check it out anyways…

Team of the Week: It was hard to call with so many sides earning great results but it has to go to the Panthers just because the opposition they beat was hardly a substandard outfit.

Hit of the Week: An upright running tall skinny glass of Barbarians lock water was pole-axed by a Kopano midget in an aggressive hit but the award has to go to Panthers flank Sbu Thusi. The Easterns metro leg shaven winger was flying down the touch line and got monstered by a flying black missile. The poor winger got about 3m airtime has he flew over the touchline and even got his bright access park raver soccer boots muddy.

Try of the Week: The Barbarians scored some great ones, as did a Marquard flier and a few Turtle guys but the award goes to the Cobras toe poke and dive as mentioned from the Butler and Biderman combo as the importance of it was game closing.

If you're confused about where we go from here. Watch this space..!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


With One round of pool games left before the play-offs the magnitude of what lies at stake isn't far from the magnitude of a Butcher Boys steak..!

Urgent Press Release: Retuers online just minutes ago...

"Rumours are flying about possible spies lurking around the training fields of the Wildboys at their captains practice on sunday at bishops ahead of their crunch encounter against arch rivals, The Purple Cobras. Experienced centre and the 2007 season's biggest transfer from dissolved team Soco Thoco, Dale Owen, was unable to comment, literally unable... Cobra's captain, and sturdy first five eight Warren Butler denied the rumours, however it remains to be seen if the Cobras have the upper hand come set piece time at 8pm tomorrow. Dubbed the do or die game of Group C, this speculation will no doubt stand to add to what will inevitably be a fiery contest from start to finish/death"

To add truth to the rumours amidst tomorrow nights Main Game clash we spoke to Ashfak Mohamed from the Cape Times. Unsurprisingly, he blamed, a lack of transformation as the key reason behind the rumour mill. Thanks Ashfak. We will consult with the 3rd Force to try rectify this.

Unconvinced we spoke to Luke "I pay, I order" Watson whilst he enjoyed his Luke sandwhich (the stormers special with extra ham) and USN shake at Nino's to try get to the bottom of the rumour barrel. He quoted scriptures and referred to himself in the 4th person (I am Luke's Luke) and called the waiter his disciple. We were left disheartened but without the bill, he did order afterall..!

Undeterred we went for the jugular. Straight to the players!

Dale Owen was unavailable as he was involved in some serious Fijian Off Field training methods so we left him alone, and spoke to Hard man Wildboy tight-forward The Big Show. The interview last 45 minutes and all he managed to spill out his mouth, besides T-sauce onto his shirt was, "No comment sir"!

It seems the Fire in the Engine Room, the architect of Wildboys success off field captain Matt Borne has sworn the side to silence, although he was seen in earnest conversation with Eddie Jones this morning in a first year Information Systems tut. Kenrick Brown was also present!

In a last ditch effort we knocked on the doors of the Cobras High Performance Training Center at O'Hagans below Newlands Stadium. (close enough to Sports Science you can feel the rehab). Inside were Cobras masterminds Dougal "They retired my jersey with me' McDonald and Ian "I am kissing a nazi" Armstrong. Both were sprawled over a cocktail table licking up a spilled draught. A lost opportunity some might quip!

But then, Hallelujah a break through. Sports celebrity personality Jordan Jose Biderman-Pam was seeing fighting off an orange sweater clad angel in the reference section of the upper campus library and forced to comment.

Author: Jose, what say you about tomorrows big 8pm show down?


Monday, August 13, 2007

UEFA Draw...

With the Top 8/Bottom 8 split looming around Wednesday's corner we had to engineer the fairest and simplest system whereby we could arrange the quarter final setups for the play-offs. Since we can't use previous years seedings like they do in the RWC we went abroad and employed complicated algorithms and expanding notations to devise what I flatly believe without fear of contradiction is the best stolen method available. Thanks UEFA!

We put the first position seed of each pool in a hat, and put the 2nd position seed of each pool in another one and hey presto:

The formula was then just substituted into the Bottom 8. You can now look at the logs and the soon to be posted fixtures for Week 8 and hit the tote with your predictions.

For clarity now: Semi Final 1 = WQF1 v WQF2 and Semi Final 2 = WQF3 v WQF4!