The Spammers have been SPAMMED, http://www.ruggaworld.com is back online!
Google

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

 

Super 14: The Kittens among pit bulls


Cats. Supreme predators despite their size. The only predator to cruelly play with its prey. It kills for pleasure rather than necessity, just like man. If it’s not about the dog in the fight, but the fight in the dog, then Cats would win every time, because they are 100% fight when cornered. No matter how much fight, a cat in a treeless pound full of pit bulls is going to die. And this season sees the Cats matching their claws with the jaws of thirteen pit bulls. The outcome is boringly predictable.

As usual the Cats look good on paper. It’s a moniker they’ve carried with them since their inception. And only in 2000 and 2001 did they deliver. Before and since then it’s been a case of fighting the wooden spoon battle with the Reds or Sharks. It’ll be more of the same as their red and white makes place for the red, white and black of the Spears after this Super 14.

Their history is ups and downs

Never a team to do things by half measures like the Stormers with their mid table finishes, the Cats are to Super 14 what Pakistan is to world cricket. The sublime and the ridiculous. Not just from season to season (compare two semi-finals of 2000 and 2001 with cellar dweller finishes either side of that) but from game to game.

The only team in South Africa who beat the semi-finalist Bulls in 2005, went on to record no further wins, even managing an unsightly draw against the equally woeful Sharks. In 2004 they preceded this with a winless season, except for an inexplicable victory against semi-finalists, the Brumbies.

For the most you can expect the Cats will lose, but they do look good on the team sheet, just like the Stormers strip looks nice.

Aside from the Sharks, their schedule is the hardest

With a recent history of endless losses, the schedule this year seems to make it compulsory for them to repeat the disasters following 2001.

They start against the Stormers at Ellispark against a team they haven’t beaten for yonks. The Stormers regard Ellis Park as their personal playground. Week 2 sees them up against the Waikato Chiefs with its Kiwis, Sione Lauaki, Byron Kelleher and Sitiveni Sivavatu. In their next match they face Tana Umanga’s Hurricanes in windy Wellington. An assured loss if ever there was one.

Then they cross the Tasman for a showdown with the Brumbies in their Canberra Fortress, where the Cats have never won. Then it’s off to the coast to face the 2005 finalists the Waratahs in Sydney. This is followed with another trans Tasman trip to face the mighty Crusaders in Christchurch where they’ve never lost to an SA team.

This is followed with a trip down the South Island to freezing Invercargill to face the Highlanders in another Antarctic hell hole. Five very hard away games. These should be enough to tear the confidence of the Xerox sponsored team that turns out carbon paper copies of itself year in and year out.

This gives them some relief against the Reds at Ellis Park after a bye week. It would be a relief seeing as they would have spent the first part of the campaign playing four of the five Kiwi teams and two powerful Aussie teams in sequence.

Then they get a chance for points against the Sharks in Johannesburg, a fixture they lost in 2004. Then up the Ben Schoeman for the Gauteng derby with the Bulls. Back home to face debutantes the Force for some more points. This is followed with a sterner test against David Nucifora’s Blues at home, before they finish against other debutantes, the Cheetahs, in Kimberley, where a similar team almost lost to Griquas in the Currie Cup last year.

The players that aren’t there, even on paper

For starters the loss of Bok halfback pairing Rickie Januarie and Andre Pretorius in the most difficult first part of the campaign will leave telling scars. These players are literally miles ahead of the pretenders. There’s a reason the Sharks would be willing to part with Dave Von Hoesslin, and it has nothing to do with the size of their cheque book. Tiaan Snyman has no right to be called a Super 14 player and Eric Herbert wannabe, kicker Andre Hough who cannot find a contract with the Cheetahs can hardly be called an adequate replacement.

We have two ring rusty former stars in Jannes Labuschagne and Ashwin Willemse returning, but their lack of game time will be a minus. Then we have the fullback conundrum with Conrad Jantjes vying with skinny youngster Earl Rose for a spot. Jantjes s already unsure whether he’s a wing, fullback or flyhalf and the added pressure of playing for his place will be too much.

In the midfield Wayne Julies is a defensive hole that players like Luke McAllister, Dan Carter, Steven Larkham, Matt Giteau, Mascara Nonu and Aaron Mauger will easily exploit. Without genuine class at 9, 10 and 12, the only quality player in the backline, Jacque Fourue will spend hs time defending and competing at rucks. In Gehard Vosloo, Cobus Grobelaar and Wikus Van Heerden they have two speedy fetchers combined with the grunt of Wikus Van Heerden. This follows the Australia 2004 vintage team, and it will be just as unsuccessful.

The locks look okay, with the grunt of ring rusty Jannes Labuscagne added to jumpers Willem Scholtz and Gordon Gillfillan. The line-out question is whether discipline challenged Lukas Van Biljon will be able to find his jumpers.

The tight three do not look too bad and between Sephaka, Van Biljon and Hurter they should be able to hold their own in the scrums. Sephaka and Hurter are not known for their speed and handling abilities though and this shortcoming will leave the Cats short two crucial ball carriers.

Two coaches without experience

Frans Ludeke also has no real experience as head coach at this level. Yes Laurie Mains came to chat to the Cats, but this is not a team with Andre Venter and Rassie Erasmus and Bobby Skinstead holding Joe Van Niekerk out of the team. There’s Alistair Coetzee as backline coach, but he has no Boks to coach at halfback for the initial campaign. He comes from a rigid background of rush defence under Jake White and he will not be able to take the step up to a more fluid style of play.

Prediction is not good

No need for the kitty litter at Ellis Park in 2007. They won’t be there to stretch their record of Super 12 embarrassment into a second season of Super 14 repeats, staying stuck in the cozy basket of Ellis Park while the Spears face the major action.
Comments:
It's not all that bad actually

It's a tale of two seasons

They start off without first choice players and a damned difficult campaign, but once they come back to SA it seems the games are actually easier. Even the Blues one, which is right at the end of the Blues season in SA and the end of their travel itinerary.

If we can get through those first bunch of hard games we may even have a shout at the semi.
 
Naaah - I reckon your article is spot on. You guys are toast ;)  
So the Mondi Mauler have broken the silence and spaketh on his beloved cats- kitty's whatever

If it wasnt for Wikus van Heerden and jaque Fourie, I even would have been delighted with DavidS's article but let me stuck out my Oranje neck and say it loud and clear

Yes DavidS on this one I agree!

You may have all the bling is SA

But you do not buy heart with it, luckely for you, you also have enough dosh and good legal people to contest the issue

But, it will play out on the field first....
 
BTW

From the ORCA pod to the Pitbull arena

You better watch out for the SPCA !
 
OO,

Did you see The Silverfern's take on the Cheetahs
 
Heheheh

TSF's not nice.

I doubt it OO

I actually reckon if they can survive the early maulings they may just surprise.
 
without AP for half the comp - the cats are going down.  
The thing is that we'll get AP and Rickie back when we play the weaker teams at the back end of the comp.

In 2000, we did the same. We spent the first half being mauled overseas and then came home and beat everyone.

Reached the semis.

I hope so.
 
Sri Lanka need 40 off 35 balls with 5 wickets in hand.

Down to the wire here
 
Now 27 off 22

VD Wath bowling very well.
 
Hi there all you nice guys!

How can I get in touch with that Kandas fellow who left those nice comments on the Mealamu article?
 
Russel Out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

22 needed off 17!!!!!

I hate it when they do this to me...
 
anon:

kandas@ruggaworld.com
 
Bwhoarharharharhar!!!!


Hall runs out the next oke off the next ball.

22 off 15 with 3 wickets left!!!!!

two wickets in two balls!!!!

Go you East Rand boere thug you beauty!!!
 
huh PA?  
18 off 13  
close one this

go hallie

anon asked to get in contact with knadas davids
 
Anonymous said...
Hi there all you nice guys!

How can I get in touch with that Kandas fellow who left those nice comments on the Mealamu article?

January 24, 2006 12:52 PM
 
Damn 15 off 11

Vaas just taking twos off the last three balls. Typically pathetic fielding
 
keep us updated davids,

cricinfo is kak slow
 
So you're posting all over the show then?

Damned 12 off 8 balls
 
no man anon posted on this thread  
11 off 7 needed

Prince hits wicket but Vaas is safe
 
eish
murali can club a ball many a mile
 
Vaas caught J Botha bowled Pollock!!!!!!!


Taking a wild swing and caught at long on!


11 off 6 and with 2 sticks still left!


Hall to bowl the last over. Here comes Muralitharan
 
Swing and a miss off Hall first up!

11 off 5
 
yorker hallie

keep it up there
 
Another swing and a miss!!!!

11 off 4
 
Scampered single

Dilshan needs to get 10 off 3 balls
 
shit

just no boundries
 
Straight to Smith and no run

10 off 2 balls needed


SWING AND A MISS!!!!!!!!!!


10 OFF ONE BALL!!!!!!!!!!!!



HAHAHAHAHAH



WE WIN WE WIN WE WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
un believable  
update?  
The two Freestate boytjies setted it up. Dippenaar batting and Van der Wath bowling.

OO should be proud
 
Geez I hate it when the do this to me....

Hall conceded only one run in that last over!

Damned that was well bowled.
 
Three cheers for the Boere Thug!!!!  
Did I mention I was at school with Andrew Hall?  
YES SAFFAS

WE FINALLY WON AGAINST THE LANKANS
 
Congrats DavidS

That was some bowling then

Tough nut- hall, man with Vd Wath there methinks the tide has turned abit
 
Anonymous

Are you the blonde????

If you are, mail me immediately!
 
Kandas,

Still wanted to ask. Did you play for Maties while studying?
 
Ag just a couple of times Donner. Nothing to write home about. Was more interested in other Sport - you know what I mean! Told you I got run over by Niel Burger.  
OO,

Did you see The Silverfern's take on the Cheetahs

Yip Donner

See my comments
 
Man - they shredded the Sharks as well  
Jislaaik oom Dawie, you don't spare anyone!

Can we have some of those absolutely optimistic utterances for the wannabe Convicts and CheepChaggers as well?

It's just fair that you give everyone some of that MondiPAKslae!!!
 
hehehe  
PA, I saw that the Spears have two away fixtures against Namibia....will you be the official RuggaWorld photograper/correspondent?

I might have taken a few snaps had I a proper camera, but I'd leave the reporting to someone else. My style is somewhat harsh and may be a little biased.
 
Post a Comment


<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?