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Friday, December 16, 2005

 

Discussions: Perspective, or, One Man's Giant is another's Dwergie

You all did it at school. The teacher asked you to form a circle, one of you was nominated to whisper a few sentences in your neighbour's ear, they in turn would pass on the message until it reached your classmate on the opposite side from where you started. Thus, "The three brown bears went running through the woods hunting for juicy berries" was miraculously transformed into, "The free round pears were running with honey and Lucy Woods is a lekka stuk".

Rugby and rugby history is no different, we've seen statistics manipulated, especially in South Africa, to massage whatever subliminal message was intended for your ears.

As an exercise in change, I thought I'd just throw some weird and wonderful stuff at you. Take from it what you will, discard the useless.

Breyton Paulse is the lightest Springbok ever, sheesh the oke is about 76kg. Okay, maybe at the start of his career. It matters not, he is nowhere near the most svelte Bok ever fielded, the honour belongs to one Billy Sendin, weighing in at a marvelous 60 kilograms. Billy graced the fields of New Zealand and Australia on the 1921 tour.

Rudi Straeuli capped far too many Boks and ensured we sent out raw recruits to face the molten lava that is the heat of international rugby. Maybe he did but he didn't select fifteen new caps who were all starting their first test! Did anyone? Yip, the opening test of the 1949 New Zealand tour.

How can we possibly play Schalk 'The Hulk' Burger at eighthman? Sheesh, he's already played at blind and open side! Schalk has a long way to go to match the indomitable Boy Louw, he played in every single forward role for the Boks and, yes, there were still eight positions in those days.

I've never seen such a light Springbok forward pack. Maybe not but with today's packs averaging around 900+kg's, spare a thought for the 1906 pack who cumulatively weighed in at 672 kg's!

South African rugby is one of the oldest in the world. Absolutely! It saw the light of day in 1889, a mere stripling, however, compared to the Indian Rugby Board which formed in 1874!

Has a player ever played rugby and cricket for South Africa? Yes! Has a player ever played rugby and cricket and captained South Africa? Yes! Has a player ever played rugby and cricket and captained and refereed South Africa? Yes! Has a player ever played rugby and cricket and captained and refereed and coached for South Africa? Yes! Has a player ever played rugby and cricket and captained and refereed and coached and beaten WG Grace at cricket for South Africa? Yes! Yes! Yes! HH Castens!

The Springboks spent sixty unbeaten years in rugby test series. Oh, some will mock, it was all those biased Japie refs, well, maybe, but unless those 'Japie' refs travelled on all 6 tours overseas during that period then it is a highly fallacious argument! You try playing in fifty four tests and lose only 11!
Comments:
nice stats ras  
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