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Saturday, February 04, 2006


Rugby Administration: Van Rooyen "will do whatever it takes to win this election."

Jan de Koning from Rugby365 is reporting that Brian van Rooyen is touring the provinces seeking their proxies.

A proxy vote would give him the right to vote (for himself) on behalf of provinces and once they have signed the proxy form, they would not be able to change their minds and support another candidate.

According to the rules of the election, each province has three votes, and the proxy could be used to split a union's votes, even if the mandate is to vote for the other candidate.

This is a typical example of where SARU lets itself down on transparency. This should not be an election held by secret ballot, each and every vote should be released to the media for public consumption.

They are electing the three most powerful positions in a national sports body, not a government, there should be no necessity or requirement for the votes to be secret. Let's have the provinces openly declare to the public for whom they will be voting.

This is the same Van Rooyen who has been requesting his opponents to keep things "above board" and not use "devious means".

He has now told Brenden Nel from the Pretoria News that he would "do everything in my power" to stay in charge of South African rugby.

"Yes, I'm asking for them [proxies]," Van Rooyen told the Pretoria News.

"And I will do whatever it takes to win this election. I am not breaking the rules, but this is a game, and in a game you do what you can to win. An election is such a game and I am not undermining the rules.

"I am not going to divulge my tactics, but I have asked provinces to give me the proxy to cast their vote for them."

"I will not be forced out. I was democratically elected two years ago and I will accept the democratic will of the SARU delegates."

Oregan Hoskins has apparently expressed his "horror" at learning to what extent Van Rooyen will go to remain entrenched.

"It's sad that anyone should resort to such means to get elected. I believe he is unsure of his position and does not want to rely on the democratic process of a secret ballot when we get to the 24th."

Van Rooyen and SARU CEO, Johan Prinsloo, have apparently met with the King of the Bafokeng tribe to finalise arrangements for the Test match against the All Blacks in August.

One thing is for sure, SARU's every action will be closely srutinised after this election in order to ascertain whether any favours were promised in exchange for votes.

Let's hope the 14 presidents vote for the candidate that has the best interests of South African rugby at heart, not personal gain.

News sources: and Pretoria News
Click here to read full article and comments.

Six Nations: Ireland 26-16 Italy

In what wasn't a great spectacle, the Italians can rightly head home disappointed that they lost this one.

The Italians can justifiably question whether Irish wing, Tommy Bowe, grounded the ball for his try.

Television replays appeared to show his arm between the ball and the goal area before he was heroically held up by Azzurri openside, Bergamasco.

Pierre Berbizier was quietly furious at the post match interview, asking why the fourth official wasn't called in to adjudicate. The BBC subsequently ran the footage again from many angles, in none of which can it conclusively be seen that the ball was grounded.

Berbizier went on to question whether stamping is now to be allowed in the Six Nations since there were two clear instances of overly zealous Irish rucking.

It was on the second incident where the Italians were penalised for a retaliatory punch from a furious Martín Castrogiovanni. In fact, the referee could easily have awarded a yellow against the Irish.

Those two scoring opportunities were the difference between the two teams in a match where the Italians matched the Irish in most departments.

The Italians can go away heartened for their upcoming matches against Wales and Scotland whilst the Irish will have to improve if they plan to win the title this year.

For Ireland:
Tries: Flanery, Bowe
Cons: O'Gara
Pens: O'Gara 4

For Italy:
Try: Mi Bergamasco
Con: Pez
Pens: Pez 3

Yellow card(s): Pez, Italy -late tackle, 38

Ireland: 15 Geordan Murphy, 14 Shane Horgan, 13 Brian O'Driscoll (captain), 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Tommy Bowe, 10 Ronan O'Gara, 9 Peter Stringer, 8 Denis Leamy, 7 David Wallace, 6 Simon Easterby, 5 Paul O'Connell, 4 Malcolm O'Kelly, 3 John Hayes, 2 Jerry Flannery, 1 Marcus Horan.
Replacements: 16 Rory Best, 17 Simon Best, 18 Donncha O'Callaghan, 19 Johnny O'Connor, 20 Eoin Reddan (Wasps), 21 David Humphreys, 22 Andrew Trimble.

Italy: 15 Cristian Stoica, 14 Pablo Canavosio, 13 Gonzalo Canale, 12 Mirco Bergamasco, 11 Ludovico Nitoglia, 10 Ramiro Pez, 9 Paul Griffen, 8 Sergio Parisse, 7 Mauro Bergamasco, 6 Josh Sole, 5 Marco Bortolami (captain), 4 Santiago Dellapè, 3 Carlos Nieto, 2 Fabio Ongaro, 1 Salvatore Perugini.
Replacements: 16 Carlo Antonio Festuccia, 17 Andrea Lo Cicero, 18 Martin Castrogiovanni, 19 Carlo Del Fava, 20 Aaron Persico, 21 Simon Picone, 22 Rima Wakarua.

Referee: Dave Pearson (England)
Touch judges: Joël Jutge (France), Nigel Owens (Wales)
Television match official: Malcolm Changleng (Scotland)
Click here to read full article and comments.

Six Nations: Scots host the French

The Scotland/France match tomorrow should be fascinating. Scotland are desperate to halt the slide in their fortunes whilst France are eager to build towards the world cup next year.

Brendan Gallagher of the Telegraph provides the low down on tomorrow's clash.

If performances against the All Blacks are the true yardstick of international rugby - when have they not been? - then Scotland, at last, are on detectable upward curve and need fear nobody in this season's Six Nations.

It was the manner of their 29-10 defeat against New Zealand in November that gives modest cause for hope, with a return to their fast, hard-rucking game up front, allied to adventurous, direct running behind. A good performance, not blessed with much luck, against a brilliant team.

It was not enough, of course, to defeat Tana Umaga's men on the day but Scotland can join a long queue in that respect. More of the same, though, would be good enough to ruffle a few feathers in the Six Nations and finally breathe some life into a moribund Murrayfield.

Tomorrow they line up against a supremely talented but slightly edgy French side who have been deprived at the last minute of centre Yannick Jauzion, whose foot problem has belatedly been diagnosed as a broken toe. He will also miss next weekend's game against Ireland. Ludovic Valbon will deputise.

As of yesterday there were still 15,000 tickets left for tomorrow's game, and though Scotland cannot be blamed for these unloved Sunday kick-offs, their challenge is to make every home championship game a sell-out again.

"We have home advantage, a noisy crowd, and the guys like nothing better than playing at Murrayfield," Jason White, Scotland's captain, said. "It's our home, where we love to play and we're looking forward to performing well and getting a victory.

"We're going to look to play with the ball to get the crowd involved and make them feel part of it. We've got some great runners and we're looking to use them."

Scotland must remember what they did well in November. Their forwards, especially in the second half, hunted as a pack and recycled with New Zealand-style efficiency.

Space was found for powerful runners such as Hugo Southwell, Sean Lamont and Andrew Henderson, while Chris Paterson, Scotland's most talented all-round footballer out on the wing, was brought into the game as much as possible.

There will be another factor tomorrow. Mike Blair - a big name in the making two years ago before a slump in form - is back at scrum-half, preferred to Chris Cusiter.

While the latter's defensive qualities are excellent, Blair is a much more potent runner and, with their renewed confidence, Scotland intend to get on the front foot as much as possible. That is the theory.

For the French, meanwhile, this game presents exactly the kind of challenge that will tell us everything we need to know about Bernard Laporte's latest team.

A cold, dull afternoon in Edinburgh against an improving Scotland side who have the capacity to raise their game is an awkward assignment, especially if France underestimate their opponents.

Win well and France will confirm that they are in the early stages of building an outstanding side to take the 2007 World Cup by storm. Lose, and life becomes much more difficult.

Laporte acknowledges as much and the coach talks openly about this Six Nations tournament not standing in isolation. "We have two challenges now: one is to win because the Six Nations is a big competition, the other one is to build, because the aim is the World Cup. It is there in the back of our minds," he said.

France should depart with a win if all their big names fire and they resist the Toulouse habit of inexplicably taking their foot of the gas. Arrogance, laziness, boredom, show-boating?

Europe's premier club side get away with breezing in and out of games in the Heineken Cup, but the Six Nations is different. France went to sleep against Wales last season after all but destroying them in the first half and paid dearly.

They will also be mindful of a distinctly average performance against Scotland in Paris last February, when only a borderline decision against Scotland flanker Ally Hogg enabled them to scrape an unimpressive 16-9 win at the Stade de France.

Scotland have everything to play for - which has not always been the case recently - but if France are the quality team we think they are, they will prevail, albeit by a narrow margin.
Click here to read full article and comments.

Currie Cup: Cheetahs fight back

The Free State has long been a nursery of South African rugby. For decades many of it's finest young stars have been lured to larger wealthier regions and currently at one club in the UK alone there are 5 or 6 Shimlas players.

Well, they've had enough and plan to fight back.

Die Volksblad's Hendrik Cronje reports;

Bloemfontein - The Cheetahs are formulating a plan to stop the continuing exodus of promising rugby players from the Free State region.

The province will make it difficult in future for other provinces to lure away talented players like Frans Steyn (flyhalf, Sharks), Adriaan Strauss (hooker, Blue Bulls), Bismarck du Plessis (hooker, Sharks), Ruan Pienaar (scrumhalf, Sharks), Roland Bernard (flank, Lions) and Sewes Oosthuizen (prop, Sharks).

The man who has to try and shut the gates is Pine Pienaar, former first team coach of Grey College.

Pienaar will draw up a data base of young talented players and identify a group which will in future be given the opportunity to practise with Rassie Erasmus' Cheetah team.

"We'll try out utmost to keep our talent here," Pienaar said.
Click here to read full article and comments.

Super 14: 'Spears will certainly play Boks from the relegated franchise' - Tony McKeever

Tony McKeever, CEO of the Southern Spears, told RuggaWorld he does not seek players left redundant when one of the current five Super 14 franchises drops out of the competition next year. McKeever also rejected a promotion-relegation match as a compromise out of the impasse created by the Big Five's refusal to sign the agreement that was reached in June 2005.

In an exclusive interview with RuggaWorld the CEO said that he is aware of clause 10.1.10 in the June 8 agreement, which states that Springboks of the relegated franchise will be transferred to the Spears on the recommendation of the national Springbok coach Jake White.

McKeever reiterated that the Spears are not so much interested in the relegated players. He is however willing to accept the Springbok rugby players, if so requested by White.

"We believe in an equitable distribution of our top players in order to prepare them for the World Cup in 2007 and beyond," McKeever said.

He also rejected claims that South Africa does not have 180 first class players. "Take the Stormers as an example – they have four Springbok scrumhalves available. How much playing time will they get where they are? Is this an equitable distribution of resources, and is this in the interest of both the players and SA rugby?"

The CEO rejected the playing of a promotion-relegation match between the Spears and the franchise finishing bottom of the Super 14 log as a compromise and some kind of out, for the current impasse.

"A compromise from what? The President's Council signed off an agreement on the 8th June 2005 last year that was endorsed by the Minister of Sport. Everyone received a white paper giving them ample time to raise objections," McKeever told the rugby writer of the Cape Argus.

"For eight months there was no vociferous opposition. But suddenly, with the Big Five staring into Armageddon and a potential black hole, the Spears have to become the sacrificial lamb. It is outrageous."

After their meeting on Thursday SA Rugby released a statement saying it had been decided that the automatic promotion-relegation issue will be discussed further and referred to the Board of Directors of SA Rugby.
Click here to read full article and comments.

Super 14: 'Rushing the Spears will only embarrass SA rugby'

Twelve months is just too short a time for the Spears to get it together, and embarrassment beckons for them and South African rugby if they are pushed too quickly, says Gavin Rich of SuperRugby.

Rich states that, based on what the Spears had delivered in their four warmups, it would be far more intelligent to delay their Super 14 debut until such a time as they have built experience as a playing unit and developed their individual talent through their participation as a team in the Currie Cup.

He acknowledges that the Southeastern Cape does hold a lot of potential, provided the administrators can find a way to make it all work. Having a strong team in the region should ignite the interest in the black communities. But more time is needed to put structures in place to ensure that the "vast reservoir" in the region is properly tapped and nurtured.

Rich says coach Pieter de Villiers is reminding everyone that he is building his team over three years, and maybe his team should be given three years to develop "before being thrown for the wolves in the Super 14."

"The franchise that finishes fifth out of the local entries in this year’s competition is going to have to be extremely woeful to be weaker than the Spears.

"For a start, they are going to have to recruit a tight five, for the pack was completely ineffectual against the Cheetahs. They were not much better against the Stormers, and will have to bring a lot more muscle to their Super 14 matches if they are not be blown off the planet."

(The Spears will play in this year's Currie Cup competition, which could theoretically also include one of its feeder unions - SWD, Border and EP.)
Click here to read full article and comments.

General discussions: Rugby tickets, why you pay more than soccer fans.

It is interesting to note that whilst Springbok fans were forking out about R350 per ticket for the Bloemfontein test against Ireland in June 2004, Bafana Bafana fans paid R20 to watch their heroes in the same stadium a week earlier.

Perhaps it is also instructive that whilst the Boks stand at number 2 in the world, Bafana are slip sliding away down the hill.

Is it possible to reconcile the imperative of taking the game to the masses whilst remaining commercially successful?

Is it possible to remain a world class team in the face of crippling financial losses?

I know what my opinion is but I can't claim to know the answers for a fact.

It is interesting to compare the contrasting approaches between South African soccer and rugby.

It cost the Cheetah Company R4 million to host that test, additionally they had to pay VAT of 14% on the sale of tickets, amounting to approximately R800 000. The cost of putting on the event in terms of marketing, security and personnel was a further R800 000.

Therefore the Cheetahs had to fork out R5.6 million rand for the pleasure of hosting a test match.

As Harold Verster told News 24's Schalk Jonker at the time, "This means that if you charge a standard R200 per person, you would need 28 000 people through the gate. That's just for us to break even."

So why does it cost a host union so much money to put on a test?

Well, they have to guarantee SARU a fee, the fee depends on the opposition and, thus, a team like Ireland attracts a guarantee fee of around R4 million whilst the All Blacks, England, France or Ireland would cost between R5.5 million and R6 million.

What this means is that when SARU take the game outside the traditional powerhouses they cannot expect the host union to pay these enormous sums and therefore have to make up the budget shortfall elsewhere.

SA Rugby's commercial manager Kyle Nel said at the time that the same model is used in Australia and England.

"We don't take that money and put it in our back pockets," Nel told News24. "There are a lot of expenses attached to a tour like this and SA Rugby has to cover all those costs.

"We're hosting the Irish for three weeks and we basically have to pay for everything. We even pay for the water they drink.

"Last year we took the Argentina Test to Port Elizabeth, as part of Sarfu's policy to take the game to the people. It would be unreasonable to expect a small union like that to come up with millions of rands for a guarantee, so we said they could pay less. But, now we have to get that money from the other bigger provinces."

News24 asked Nel why money from sponsors and TV rights could not be used to cover these costs, Nel said it was too complicated to explain.

By contrast, soccer's approach is the complete opposite.

Clive Mtshiselwa, the South African Football Association's marketing manager, told News24, "We have to keep in mind that the most of our supporters fall in the lower income market and a lot of them are unemployed.

"It would be inhumane to ask high prices for these people to see their heroes. It is our mission to take soccer to the people and you can't do that if you pricing structure is at a premium," said Mtshiselwa.

"It would cost us about R3m to host England for example. Safa and our sponsors pick up that tab. We only use gate money to cover minor expenses like security, cleaners and things like that.

"Usually the municipality says 'Okay, we'll cover the costs of getting the stadium in order'."

"But we never charge them a lump sum to host internationals. In fact, all the international matches we stage, we stage at a loss."

Now whilst I am full of admiration for the approach of SAFA, I just can't get rid of the image of Bafana Bafana sliding away into footballing obscurity whilst the Springboks challenge the All Blacks for number one spot in the world.

It also begs the question, with South African soccer in the red to the tune of tens of millions of rands, are they spending more money than SARU in creating jobs, infrastructure and opportunities for the disadvantaged in society? Somehow I doubt it. Luckily for SAFA and South African soccer, they have the money spinning 2010 World Cup to look forward to.

That will be the fresh start they need, time will tell if it is used as a clean slate or a fresh start to begin the plunder all over again.

In the interim, is it possible to charge R20 for international rugby tickets and remain at the top of the tree? I don't think so.

Information source:
Click here to read full article and comments.

Super 14: Home match = 12 point start.

The British Journal of Sports Sciences has found that in the Super 12, kicking off in front of your home crowd equated to a 12 point start on the scoreboard.

The Stormers were found to be one of the two teams with a negative home record.

In what may come as a massive surprise to most, the Cats with finishes of fourth, third, 11th, 12th, 12th and 11th had the greatest home advantage!

The study by Associate Professor Hugh Morton from Massey University's Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health found Super 12 rugby teams with a home advantage more often than not won their games.

Dr Morton analysed the records of 414 games in the Super 12 between the 2000 and 2005 seasons. He discovered that 259 games were won by sides playing at home, seven drawn and 148 by the visiting team. He then calculated the difference between the average number of points scored in games played at home and the average number scored in away games to give a score that indicated each team's relative home advantage.

Former All Black midfield back Bernie McCahill, who played for Auckland in the late 1980s, says a home game has always been an advantage.

"The home crowd advantage in the early days must have been bigger than we noticed."

He said those were the days of "the marchers" where home crowds used to walk from one end of the field to the other.

The latest rugby research would be refreshing reading for Auckland's Blues until they looked harder at the data. They and the Stormers are the only teams with negative home records.

Dr Morton's study found the Cats and then the Brumbies had the greatest home advantage.

The research says the Blues and Stormers are least favoured at home, but it may be simply, in the Blues case, that they perform nearly as well offshore as at home.

The statistics will interest those who have regular rugby betting splurges.

"These figures can be used as a means of forecasting," Dr Morton concurred. If you know what the home advantage is and what the two teams' points ratings are, you can do the arithmetic and forecast what you might expect the result to be.

"Of course, you can't always guarantee it's going to be right," he added.

* The New Zealand Herald's chief rugby writer, Wynne Gray, says he is sceptical.

"At first glance, and without trawling through more than 400 matches as Dr Morton did, I have some doubts about the value of his analysis.

"But as the learned academic also noted, the perception of home advantage, even among sports commentators, is not always accurate."

Gray said the research would have been more effective if the results of all 10 years of the Super 12 competition had been analysed rather than just the last six years.

"Trends can appear in results at home or offshore but to try to then narrow that down further into points differential seems a trifle dubious.

"Some years there is an emphasis on defence and tries are hard to come by while in other seasons there has been a focus on all-out attack."

Gray also queried whether Dr Morton's study allowed for factors such as diverse weather conditions, injuries, suspensions or where sides were in the competition when they played at home or offshore.

"The Cats may rank highest in Dr Morton's scale of home advantage, but they scarcely trouble the scorers offshore so any home points must help.

"All very strange, especially when the Cats, in the six years of Dr Morton's study, finished fourth, third, 11th, 12th, 12th and 11th."
Click here to read full article and comments.

Friday, February 03, 2006


Six Nations: The Guide

The 2006 Six Nations kicks off tomorrow with England facing Wales at Twickenham and Ireland facing Italy at Lansdowne Road whilst on Sunday the Scots face France at Murrayfield.

Here Rugga World gives you a brief guide to the 6 nations involved.


The most successful side in the history of the championship with 25 outright titles, including 12 Grand Slams.

Captain: Martin Corry. The Leicester number eight was made captain during the 2005 campaign, when Jason Robinson was injured, and is highly regarded as an astute and robust leader

Coach: Andy Robinson. The former England flanker was an assistant to Sir Clive Woodward before taking over the reins in the autumn of 2004 But the former Bath player and coach has endured two difficult years. Last season's defeat to Wales began a poor campaign and England must improve on their two wins and three defeats

Star man: Charlie Hodgson. Unsure and out-of-sorts last season, the fly-half blossomed on tour with the Lions midweek side in New Zealand.

While solid in the autumn internationals, he has been instrumental in Sale's rise to the top of the Guinness Premiership and progress to the Heineken Cup quarter-finals


The French won their 14th title, and eighth Grand Slam, in 2004 and are hot favourites to regain the championship, despite their stunning capitulation to Wales at Stade de France last season.

Captain: Fabien Pelous. The imposing Toulouse lock will be fresh after serving a nine-week ban for elbowing Australian hooker Brendan Cannon. Chasing his fourth Slam

Coach: Bernard Laporte.

The former Stade Francais coach is in his seventh season in charge and is developing a side capable of winning next year's World Cup, on home soil

Star man: Florian Fritz.

The Toulouse 22-year-old was voted 2005 Player of the Year in the French championship... ...where he forms a potent midfield partnership with Yannick Jauzion for the European champions. Together they could take the Six Nations by storm as the French build towards a World Cup challenge on home soil


The Irish play their last Six Nations rugby at Lansdowne Road before proposed redevelopment is made to one of the game's spiritual homes in 2007

Captain: Brian O'Driscoll. The Leinsterman's lead-by-example style has proven inspirational for Ireland and the responsibility has done nothing to diminish his game-breaking threat.

He was made Lions captain for the tour of New Zealand and will be determined to reclaim his position as the world's best centre after recovering from the dislocated shoulder that wrecked his tour

Star man: David Wallace. The Munster flanker has shown oustanding form in this season's Heineken Cup.

Brother of two former British Lions, winger Richard and prop Paul, his phenomenal work rate and superb ball skills should at last cement him a place in the Irish side

Coach: Eddie O'Sullivan. Under pressure for employing a conservative game plan that has produced limited success since he was placed in charge in 2002.

But O'Driscoll's return to form and some inspired Heineken Cup performances from Munster and Leinster should put him in good heart for the championship


Joined the championship in 2000 but have won only three matches - two against Scotland (2000, 2004) and one against Wales (2003). Suffered third whitewash last year

Captain: Marco Bortolami. At 22, the lock forward became the youngest player to captain Italy

Coach: Pierre Berbizier.

France's most-capped scrum-half took over from John Kirwan after last year's Six Nations.

He coached France for three years and steered Les Bleus to the 1993 Five Nations title

Star man: Andrea Lo Cicero.

The Sicilian forms the cornerstone of Italy's pack. One of the most powerful scrummagers in the championship


Won the last-ever Five Nations title in 1999 but they have struggled since, a third place in 2001 their best Six Nations performance.

Coach: Frank Hadden, the former Edinburgh coach, took over from Australian Matt Williams in September

After autumn defeats to Argentina and New Zealand, Hadden's immediate target is a vast improvement on heavy home defeats to Ireland (40-13) and Wales (46-22) in last season's championship

Captain: Jason White.

The Sale flanker took on the captaincy last autumn following Jon Petrie's injury and Hadden feels the responsibility brings the best out in him as a player

Star man: Simon Taylor.

The Glasgow number eight is unlucky with injury but he is also one of Scotland's genuinely world-class players


Dominated the 1970s, when they won six Triple Crowns, five titles and three Grand Slams.

Finally ended their long wait for repeat glory last season when their dynamic brand of rugby brought them the championship and a clean sweep

Coach: Mike Ruddock.

Awarded the OBE in the New Year's Honours after becoming the first Welsh coach in 27 years to win the Grand Slam - and he did not even apply for the job

Captain: Gareth Thomas.

Mike Ruddock describes his decision to give 'Alfie' the captaincy as the best he has made as coach.

Thomas's unique style of leadership inspired Wales to glory last season and was recognised by the Lions in the summer

Star man: Dwayne Peel.

First-choice Lions scrum-half, Wales missed him badly when he was injured in the autumn.

Sparks the Welsh backs with quick and creative service and links well with fly-half Stephen Jones

The contenders

Wales defend their title, won by a dazzling 2005 Grand Slam, in rugby union's oldest international tournament.

But, beset by injuries, will Gareth Thomas and his men maintain the winning touch?

The looming presence of favourites France, Ireland under a resurgent Brian O'Driscoll, and the juggernaut power of England, all pose a major threat to the champions.

Meanwhile, Scotland, in their first Six Nations under their new coach, and Italy, fielding their youngest ever captain, hope to spring a shock or two.

Information source: The Daily Telegraph
Click here to read full article and comments.

Rugby Administration: SARU and the HSM connection

You don’t think so? Let’s have a look. Since 2003 there has been a lot of co-operation between SARU and HSM. Who is HSM do you ask? Highbury Safika Monarch is the company that owns titles like SA Rugby, Fifteen and They were previously known as Monarch Communications. Then they changed their name to Highbury Monarch. This happened in 2003

2003 was a traumatic year in our favorite sport. The final crazy days of the reign of Rudolph Straueli, The Geogate scandal. Ngconde Balfour saying he prefers the All Blacks over the Boks and a fifty point snotting of the Boks at Loftus at the hands of the All Blacks. What happened in these dark days?

Where does HSM come from?

They are an offshoot of Monarch Communications, a company registered in 1998. At that stage, a publishing house called Strobe Publishing owned the rights to use the trade mark SA Rugby. In 2002 Strobe Publishing went into liquidation. Highbury Monarch bought some of their assets. Maybe they thought they also bought the rights to the name SA Rugby. The name is actually owned by SARU. It was registered as a trademark as far back as the 1980’s with Danie Craven.

From 2003, the then Highbury Monarch entered into an agreement with then SARFU to publish certain tiles like “Fifteen”, the official SARFU magazine and certain programmes at SARU sponsored matches. No mention was made of the use of the name SA Rugby. Nowhere on the magazine itself or on the HSM website do they acknowledge that SA Rugby is a trademarked name.

From 2003 to January 2006, Highbury Monarch published its titles, including SA Rugby, Fifteen and the programmes at SARU events. From January 2006, a new company, Highbury Safika Monarch publishes these titles.

The connection between HSM and SARU

Now there’s a contract between SARU and HSM about publication of “Fifteen” and match day programmes. What else.

Amazingly, Mark Keohane. Mark Keohane was media liaison of the Boks in the traumatic dark days of 2003. He was the voice of the Springboks. After Geogate broke, Keohane left SARU to start up with then Highbury Monarch Communications. He started the weblog, under the auspices of Highbury Monarch Communications.

But according to ex Bok Joost Van Der Westhuizen, Keohane was half the trouble with the 2003 vintage Boks. Allegedly Keohane was the one who broke the story of Kamp Staaldraad through Dale Granger of the Argus. He goes on to say that Keohane’s appointment as SARFU media liaison was “the blackest day in South African rugby”.

Now we have Highbury Monarch Communications linked to SARU by more than a contract.

But who owns SA Rugby?

Easy, SARU owns “SA Rugby” the name. They registered it in the 80’s and then again in 1999. Then, in 2005, some issues flared between Highbury Safika and SARU about SA Rugby the name. Both parties tried to push it under the table and gloss it over with a joint media statement, but the statement itself confirms that there are issues over use of the name.

Let’s look at a little legal discourse and some professional insight. Lawyers draft contracts. They are pretty damned airtight even if the language they use is awful. Now intellectual property is very complex. If I own registered intellectual property then I can let someone else use it under license. Now the questions we have to ask are complex.

In September 2005 Highbury Monarch and SARU saw fit to publish a media release saying they were discussing the extension of the contract to publish and the use of the name SA Rugby was under discussion. Now in these apparently amicable discussions, both parties saw fit to obtain lawyer’s opinions over the use of the name SA Rugby. Does that sound amicable to you?

A good trademark lawyer costs about R2000-00 an hour. Why spend that to get an opinion for amicable discussions? And why get seriously heavyweight lawyer’s opinions when this was apparently covered in the agreement of 2003

In intellectual property law the use of another’s intellectual property is called “passing off” and if you, as trademark owner allow it for long enough, you lose your trademark and it can be deregistered.

So the answer is SARU owns the trademark at CIPRO, but we don’t really know if HSM have consent to use the name. In a press release of 2 August 2005, however, SARU trumpets that “its” trademarked brand name SA Rugby is worth R3 billion. And yet, they appear to have allowed it to have been used by HSM and its predecessors since 1995 when SA Rugby first came off the presses.

However, there are the questions

Why did both parties get heavyweight lawyer opinions when the contractual relationship, and presumably, the use of the trademarked name were already agreed? Why did they see the need to mention specifically that they were having discussions about the use of the name when all the other matters between them were also in the extension of the contract.

So, does HSM have rights to use the name? If they don’t, then have SARU allowed 11 years of passing off to let their rights to the trademark lapse?

As though this is not enough, under the current administration, close to 3 years have passed and they have done nothing about this situation if it is a trademark violation. And if it is? Then SARU would have allowed a R3 billion brand name to escape from their hands.

I’ll tell you what though. I don’t go visiting my business partners with R2000-00 an hour legal opinions under my arm!
Click here to read full article and comments.

Super 14: Prop's injury spells bad news for Bulls and the Boks

There is bad news for the Bulls and the Boks: Springbok prop Gürthro Steenkamp was told that he would certainly miss the Super 14 competition and possibly the whole season with a wrist injury that is not healing.

Steenkamp had been struggling for five months with the injury and a scan in Cape Town revealed that a fractured bone had not knitted. He may need a second operation, which could mean 12 months of inactivity.

The news is as much a blow to the player as to the Bulls' Super 14 side and the Springboks, where Steenkamp is seen as the natural successor to veteran loosehead Os du Randt.

"The news wasn't good," Bulls doctor Tommy Smook said to the Pretoria News. "The bone doesn't seem to have reattached and the specialist is now consulting with other specialists to see if there is any other solution.

"But it may be as bad as Gurthro missing the rest of the year through this injury."

Steenkamp was shocked but pragmatic. "It was definitely not the news I wanted, but what can you do?" was his response.

The big prop has been beset with injury problems since moving from Free State to the Bulls at the beginning of last season. In fact he has played only two Vodacom Cup games and came off the bench once in the Super 12 last season since his arrival at Loftus.

Steenkamp will know his fate by the end of the weekend.
Click here to read full article and comments.

Other sport: Aussies last ten set Proteas a big ask!

The Australians Michael Hussey and Andrew Symonds turned the Last ten overs of their innings into a batsmanship show as they ripped Hall and Van Der Wath to pieces. At one stage they took 40 in two overs. In what is becoming standard fare, our skipper’s batsmanship didn’t match his mouth as he got out early again.

After 40 overs the Aussies were still short of 200, with Pollock and Smith drowning the Australians in dot balls. However, once Pollock came off with 0/20 in his ten overs, the fun and games began as Symmonds and Hussey took the South Africans for close to eight an over. In response, we’ve already lost Dippenaar and Smith, while Rudolph and Gibbs are batting as though they’re trying to save a test!

The Australian innings was one of three parts.

The Australians started like a house on fire as they took quickie Langeveldt to pieces with his first six overs costing 50 runs. Luckily, Pollock did the strangulation bit from the other side. Once they got out Gilchrist and Katich, Botha and Smith played a role of twin spin, slowing the scoring and squeezing out wickets at regular intervals, with Botha and Martyn both falling for the spinnersbefore the dangerous Clark got himself into a mix up with Symmonds and run out.

In the last two wickets in Hussey (62 off 44) and Symmonds (65 off 60) ripped us to pieces with a partnership of 109 in 13 overs! Hall going for 56 in his ten and VD Wath for an incredible 82!

This left a probable score of about 250 at a formidable 281.

The Proteas reply in typical fashion

So what’s typical Proteas start these days. For starters it’s slow. We’re going at 3,76 per over chasing a score of 281 and now need to get a run rate of over 6.

The next typical thing is that the openers can be trusted to get out early. Smith falling to Lee off the second ball he faced and Dippenaar falling for nine off a slow coach 23. Then Rudolph and Gibbs set off to emulate their forerunners, with Rudolph getting a slow coach 19 off 39 before he survived a confident lbw shout. Then he stupidly set off to run to the other end and managed to get himself run out.

This followed another stupid run out with Gibbs and then Ashwell Prince being thrust into the unfamiliar “Jonty” role.

The current situation

Chasing 281 and needing to achieve a rate of 6,54 per over, we’ve reached the amazing rate of 3,53 with the ridiculous experiment of using poor Johan Botha as a pinch hitter at 5!!!

SA: 112 / 4 (rqd rate is 7,87)

Aus: 281 / 7off 50 overs (5,64 p/o)

Botha and Prince at the wicket

More updates as the disaster unfolds
Click here to read full article and comments.

Super 14: We support the Spears!

No, we haven’t changed our allegiances. We’ve decided that we should state our views on the current back tracking from the five other Super 14 franchises. We disagree that these kinds of dishonesty and backtracking has any place on our rugby. It is a last ditch cowardly attempt to entrench positions that should never have been. It is breach of obligations already publicly undertaken and deserving of our contempt.

Yesterday, the five Super 14 franchises set to play in the inaugural Super 14 made known that they collectively opposed the relegation system, thus virtually rendering a court case on Spears participation in the competition a foregone conclusion. When we look at this situation closely, the current situation was brought on by yet some more SARU incompetence.

On 8 June 2005 SARU agreed to the existence of the Spears and the present system

In law, a contract comes into play when there is a consensus or meeting of minds, not when pen touches paper. There is the famous case law of Du Toit v Atkinsons Motors where parties reached agreement and then later signed a written contract that differs from the oral agreement and the court upheld the oral contract, because that was where the meeting of minds was.

Now, on 8 June 2005, SARU and the President’s Council met with the five Super 14 franchises elect and the representatives of the Spears. Afterward they issued this joint statement that EVERYONE HAD AGREED TO!

• The parties would immediately draft a formal agreement to reflect the agreement reached on the S
uper 14 franchise system
• SARU would financially support SEC (the Spears) for 2006 while they developed and SARU must
help them procure sponsorships in 2006.
• The SEC would be entrenched in Super 14 for 2007 and 2008
• The South African team finishing lowest on the log in 2006 would automatically be replaced by the
SEC in 2007.
• At the end of 2007 Super 14, the lowest finishing SA team would play a promotion relegation match
against the Super 14 team excluded from Season 2007. The winner would play in 2008 Super 14. The SEC team was excluded from this.
• The 15 April 2005 SARU decision was amended to reflect this.
• The Falcons would fall into Blue Bulls Super 14 franchise.

Now don’t tell me this is not reflective of an unequivocal meeting of minds then I don’t know what is.

Dishonouring our rugby more

This is a dishonouring of South Africa’s rugby. Yes we already have the world’s best corporate governance experts in power at SARU. Yes they’re also in power in the unions. Yes, we’ve already had the Big Five express, lead by the Lions, their distaste for the Van Rooyen administration and pledge support for anyone who opposes him. Yes we’re having incompetents at Border and SWD replaced.

And now the five inaugural participants in Super 14 are joining the gravy train. They want to entrench their positions for the benefit of their pockets only. There’s nothing altruistic in their actions.

How can we, for the last time probably, have to rely on Brian Van Rooyen to bring honour to our rugby? He’s the man that everyone is accusing of mismanagement and corruption. Now we have to trust him to return honour to Super 14 rugby. We have to trust him to be strong. We have to trust him to enforce a legal and binding agreement. I’m sorry, but I can’t think of many people less suited to do the job.

They made the agreement in June. The Spears have contracted players, set up offices, procured sponsors. They’re readying themselves for Super 14. Now these gravy trainers have realised what’s at stake and they’re afraid of the risks.

Their excuses are pathetic

The ostensible excuse for wanting the Spears excluded is that they have not developed well enough yet. They have not done well in their warm-ups so far.

Let’s review that:

• The Cheetahs haven’t played a single game in Super 14 yet so how can they say that the Spears
aren’t good enough to play against them? Their history is as being half of a Cats team that, aside from two or three blips in their history, have been an embarrassment to us in this competition. Now they’re going it alone and they think that putting 40 points over a team in it’s second match is reason to leave them out of Super 14. Try another one!

• There’s the Cats, who managed to lose 9 games in a row last year and managed nothing but a win
against the Bulls and a dour draw against a pathetic Sharks set-up. Aside from that, they’re perennial bottom feeders. So what if the Spears aren’t good enough – you’re not either!

• Then we have the Stormers who put 70 points past a team playing most of the game with a one
player disadvantage. Yeah, the same Stormers who had 70 put past them in Pretoria last year playing with 15 players, say the Spears, who get 70 past them with 14 (and sometimes 13) on the field aren’t good enough. That’s rich Stormers, very rich!

Aside from which, these Franchises have existed since 1998! Their constituent provinces have, in some cases, been around for over 100 years. They’ve been the real beneficiaries of professionalism. They have the players that they bought and developed. They have the history. They have the settled players and teams.

What about the Rudolph Straueli Boks? Getting their butts handed to them in 2002 and 2003? They had 53 put past them against England in 2001, lost by over 50 to the All Blacks in 2003, as part of a three game losing streak! Should they have been told they’re not good enough too?

Grow up Franchises

Yes, grow up. You’re pathetic. You’re an embarrassment to our rugby. Rather put up and do your part. Play in the Super 14 and prove yourselves. If you’re last then you have only yourselves to blame for letting your sponsors down. Tough!

You are the weakest – goodbye.

Accept defeat gracefully and come back better and tougher in 2008 ready to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Maybe we will finally see our South African teams actually play well in the competition because the entrenched Murdoch millions aren’t readily available and there’s something at stake for them and for the players for a change. Now the big unions will know what it’s like to play for everything at stake.

To Tony McKeever and the Spears

We at Ruggaworld support you. We support your team and your people. We support your inclusion in Super 14 rugby. We support the agreement of 8 June 2005.

Most of all we support honesty and integrity.

Go for it!

Click here to read full article and comments.

Super 14: 'Five franchises are ambushing SA rugby' - Spears CEO

Spears CEO Tony McKeever accused the other five franchises of having "ambushed" SA rugby and admitted that his side's participation is in jeopardy following yesterday's meeting between the five current franchises, the Spears and the management of SA Rugby (Pty) Ltd in Cape Town.

Speaking to McKeever pointed out that they have all been aware of the agreement reached by the President's Council in June last year and they waited until now to raise their concerns in an official forum.

He said the fact that the five waited until eight days before the participation agreement (for the 2006 Super 14) had to be signed and then not to sign, is simply not on.

"I just think it is an ambush of SA Rugby," McKeever said. "This promotion-relegation issue has been on the table, agreed to by the president's council, since June last year.

"For these guys to turn around now, on February 2, and say they won't sign [the SANZAR participation agreement] is simply not on.

"How would the Cheetahs have felt if we had won the rights to host the franchise and they now sat on my side of the table?"

McKeever also said his team should not be judged simply on the basis of just three warm-up games, when all five the other teams have been around for years and have had plenty of time to build.

"If we had been together for a year and had been able to build a team it would have been different. Just give us a fair chance," he said.

Click here to read full article and comments.

Super 14: Participation agreement still unsigned

The inaugural Super 14 competition kicks off in a weeks time, but still the participation agreement is not signed by the six franchises in South Africa.

How can rugby be viewed as a professional sport if the people running it shows such incompetence and blatant ignorance. The decision was taken 9 months ago with regards to the promotion/relegation system, but they have waited till the last minute to challenge it.

According to News24, Johan Prinsloo stated that the relegation system and the lending of players to the promoted franchise remains problems that needs to be discussed.

Prinsloo doesn't feel that the fact that the agreement will be only signed at this stage is serious. He stated "No one is going to jump off Table Mountain if the agreement is signed late."

This is unprofessional in the highest regard. A foreign sponsorship has all ready been procured by the Spears to the value of R15 million. Should the decision to allow the Spears to play next year in the S14, be revoked, it will be an embarressment for SA Rugby that can only be compared with the Kamp Staaldraad fiasco.

Click here to read full article and comments.

International Teams: No-nonsense Knuckles lays down the laws

New Australia coach John Connolly warned that just about all the places in the Wallaby squad is up for grabs. He will build his team around an exciting backline and forward power and will cut back on the pampering of the side.

Speaking to Peter Jenkins of Fox Sports Connolly (54) - nicknamed 'Knuckles' for his no-nonsense approach - wasted no time in sending a message to established stars that their comfortable and cocooned existence was officially at an end.

Connolly said the Wallabies had the players to win the Webb Ellis trophy, but he also suggested the players involved might not be current test regulars.

"You could have a long discussion on every position bar maybe one or two," he said. "Outside of that it's very open. You don't come off losing eight out of nine thinking everything's hunky dory."

Wallabies must get back into the public

While Connolly refused to name the pair - Lote Tuqiri and George Smith are likely contenders - he did not hide his desire to cut back the pampering of the team. A luxury resort at Coffs Harbour on the New South Wales Mid-North Coast has long been their training base, and the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) is under contract to use the facility until the Rugby World Cup.

Connolly, however, intends to cut back time in the five-star surroundings and is keen to get the team into the city of Test matches a lot earlier.

"We definitely want to get back out into the public. No other team in Australia is embraced more than the Wallabies. It's incredibly important players realise that."

Forward power must be developed

Off-field misbehaviour will also be targeted by a regime that will see three assistants - Scott Johnson (offence), Michael Foley (scrums, lineouts, restarts) and John Muggleton (defence) - form a four-pronged coaching front.

"Players representing Australia have a huge responsibility," Connolly said. "It's not a God-given right. They're lucky that when God handed out talent they weren't behind a tree, but they have to uphold the traditions of the great Wallabies who go before them. It's non-negotiable."

The Connolly approach will be simple. An exciting backline will be used. But forward power needs to be developed if the Wallabies are to flourish.

"You need dominance in the scrum and lineout and power at the breakdown," he said. "We saw the problems England caused Australia at Twickenham last year. We saw how dominant the French were when they picked up that Australian maul and threw it across the sideline."
Click here to read full article and comments.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


Brannasnacht: Kango Wines

Kom al julle maatjies, kruip uit julle gaatjies, dit is tyd vir Brannasnacht. I know we have focused on Klipdrift since the start of this site, but I thought it maybe interesting to look at other not so well known brandys, specifically the cellars that produce them. This week it is the turn of Kango Wines. Seeing that we have a representitive in Oudtshoorn, he might give us additional information on Kango Wines.

I heard a rumour that Blondie will bare all and tell us who she really is. Be sure not to miss it. For those of you that tire easily, please take a quick nap at five o'clock.


Kango Co-op was founded in 1926 as the Kango Co-operative Tobacco Company. The tobacco buildings were built in Park Road South , Oudtshoorn. Due to a demand by local grape producers the board of directors decided on the 25 th of May 1973 to establish a wine cellar, the construction of which started in July 1974 right next to the tobacco buildings and the first grapes were taken in during the 1975 harvest.

Today, the harvest yields approximately 3500 metric tons from our members situated in the Klein Karoo, Western Cape and Swartberg Areas.

Today Kango Head office is situated in Van Der Riet Street , which includes the bottling, labelling and distribution as well as the Wine House where the public can taste the fine range of products on offer.

The cellar in Park Road South is where you can find the winemaker and tours of the cellar can be arranged on appointment. If you are lucky you can go and have a look at the rolling of chewing tobacco still done by hand.

Brandy products

Kango Buchu Brandy
Colombard grapes and a Buchu punch are used in this Brandy which has a distinct buchu herb character.
Varietal composition: Colombard/Buchu Punch
Alcohol: 43% VOL
Buchu has been used for hundreds of years and is famous for its medicinal properties especially in curing stomach ailments.

Kango Hanepoot Brandy (3 years)
Hanepoot grapes are used for this distinct brandy and it has a distinct sweet hanepoot nose and raisin character.
Varietal composition: Hanepoot
Alcohol: 43% VOL
This brandy is a must for any brandy connoisseur and is enjoyed best on its own or on the rocks.

Kango Honeybush Brandy
Kango Honeybush Brandy is made from the indigenous African Honeybush. This herb is full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and together with its great taste offers a refreshing brandy for any occasion.
Varietal composition: Colombard / Honeybush Punch
Alcohol: 43% VOL

Kango VO Brandy (3 years)
Colour: Deep amber.
Aroma: Fruity nose with nuances of straw and almonds.
Taste: The aroma is distinct on the taste . This brandy has a smooth character with no harshness when swallowed
Alcohol : 43%VOL
Grape Variety : Colombard
Enjoy with a cigar after any meal

For more information on Kango Wines and the other products they produce, please visit

Click here to read full article and comments.

Super 14: Spears - Will they or wont they

The "big" 5 Super 14 franchises are not taking the relegation issue lying down.

Thursday's meeting between the Super 14 franchises at SA Rugby offices at Newlands was set to ignite in confrontation with all five of the country's Super 14 franchises determined to veto the automatic inclusion of the Southern Spears into next year's tournament.

This follows a decision taken by the President's Council in 2005 that from 2007, the new Southern Cape rugby franchise, an amalgamation of SWD, Eastern Province and Border, will be guaranteed participation in the Super 14 for two years while the bottom-placed South African side is relegated.

This means that whichever South African team - the Stormers, Bulls, Cats, Sharks or Cheetahs - that is eliminated after this year's tournament will face disastrous financial and commercial consequences.

However, after the Spears suffered a string of humiliating defeats in the pre-season friendlies against the Super 14 incumbents, the five South African teams who are participating in this year's competition have all decided to oppose the relegation-promotion format that was decided by the President's Council.

Southern Spears chief executive Tony McKeever will arrive at the South African Rugby Union's (Saru) offices on Thursday with an independent attorney to discuss the issue with the five other franchises. On Wednesday he was confident that the decision would be ratified in writing on Thursday.

But by Wednesday night it became clear that the "Big Five" who will play in this year's competition had decided to veto the President's Council decision and that they would refuse to sign the document on Thursday.

The battle lines have thus been drawn with top officials of the "Big Five" all confirming to the Cape Argus that their stance on the fifth South African Super 14 team had changed. They said they would even be prepared to go to court to fight SA Rugby.

"It's ridiculous that the Spears, who are clearly not yet even ready to be competitive in the Currie Cup, can just walk into next year's Super 14 at the expense of one of the other sides," said one top rugby official, on condition of anonymity.

"Besides the fact that they are poaching our Under-21s when they pledged to develop local talent from the Southern Cape region. In their friendlies they played few black players from their own areas."

Another top rugby administrator described the decision to give the Spears Super 14 status as both "premature and ridiculous".

"Nowhere in sport would you find a team punching so far above their weight. Before they are even considered for the Super 14, they should prove that they can be competitive in the Currie Cup. We could end up with a situation where the Spears finish sixth or seventh in the Currie Cup but still get to play in the Super 14."

In addition, plans are on the table for the South African team that is relegated from this year's Super 14 to hand over eight of their players to the Spears for 2007.

The Spears are also eager to tap into surplus resources by having first bite at players who are contracted to financial heavyweights, such as the Bulls, who fall outside of Super 14 squads.

"That means that not only would one of us (the Big Five) have to make way for the Spears, but we would also have to hand over players whose salaries we pay and are on our books. There is no way we can accept this."

McKeever was stunned when told of developments and vowed to fight the major franchises on Thursday.

"I cannot believe what I am hearing. Their presidents agreed to this and they are not in a position to renege on the decision taken by the President's Council.

"It is nauseating for them to say we are poaching players. They have been taking ours for years and alienating themselves as real dinosaurs for the good of South African rugby.

"This document that has been tabled for (today) was agreed in principle and they cannot now just turn around and sing a different tune. We have already assembled a squad, we went out and found a R15m sponsor (sports clothing firm ISC) and we have set up a PE base.

"It's now up to SA Rugby to have the balls to stand up to these dinosaurs and for (SA Rugby President) Brian van Rooyen to put his foot down," said McKeever.

Next year, with the Spears guaranteed immunity from relegation under the original decision, they could effectively finish last in the tournament but still play in the tournament in 2008 while a South African side that could technically finish fourth and make the semifinals, was eliminated.

Click here to read full article and comments.

Rugga World Humour: Smile a while!

Amidst all the tensions and stress of upcoming SARU elections, not to mention the Municipal Elections, the almost-upon-us inaugural Super 14 - and the evident soon-to-break-out-in-all-hell war between Aldo and OO, WPW and PJLD, etc. etc. - we thought we might cheer up your day a bit.


On a chain of beautiful deserted islands in the middle of nowhere, the following people are stranded:

Two Italian men and one Italian woman.
Two French men and one French woman.
Two German men and one German woman
Two Greek men and one Greek woman.
Two British men and one British woman
Two Bulgarian men and one Bulgarian woman
Two Japanese men and one Japanese woman.
Two Vietnamese men and one Vietnamese woman
Two Irish men and one Irish woman
Two American men and one American woman

One month later, on these absolutely stunning deserted islands in the middle of nowhere, the following things have occurred:
One Italian man killed the other Italian man for the Italian woman..

The two French men and the French woman are living happily together in a ménage a trios

The two German men have a strict weekly schedule of alternating visits with the German woman

The two Greek men are sleeping together and the Greek woman is cooking and cleaning for them

The two British men are waiting for someone to introduce them to the British woman

The two Bulgarian men took one look at the Bulgarian woman and started swimming to another island

The two Japanese have faxed Tokyo and are awaiting instructions

The two Vietnamese men have set up a pharmacy, liquor store, restaurant, and laundry, and have gotten the woman pregnant in order to supply employees for their stores

The two Irish men divided the island into north and south and setup a distillery. They do not remember if sex is in the picture because it gets somewhat foggy after a few liters of coconut whiskey. However, they're satisfied because the English aren't having any fun

The two American men are contemplating suicide, because the American woman will not shut up and complains relentlessly about her body, the true nature of feminism and about how evil men are as exploiters of women, what the sun is doing to her skin, how she can do anything they can do, the necessity of fulfillment, the equal division of household chores, how sand and palm trees make her look fat, how her last boyfriend respected her opinion and treated her nicer than they do, and how her relationship with her mother is the root cause of all her problems, and why didn't they bring a damn cell phone so they could call 911 and get them all rescued off this Godforsaken deserted island in the middle of freaking nowhere so she can get her nails done and go shopping.


Here's a quote from Mike Carlton (Aussie journo and broadcaster) in the paper on the week-end, which brought the only recent smile to my rugby face....

Eddie Jones, in attempting to defend Australia's 7th loss in a row said, "If you take the scrum out of the equation (Aust v Eng, Twickenham) we played well", to which Carlton responded,

"If you take the assassination out of the equation, President & Mrs Kennedy quite enjoyed the drive from Dallas to the airport."

Golf lingo

An Adolf Hitler - taking two shots in a bunker
An Arthur Scargill - a great strike but a poor result
A Kate Winslett - a bit fat but otherwise perfect
A Rodney King - over-clubbed
An O.J. Simpson - somehow got away with it
A Condom - safe but didn't feel real good
A sister-in-law - up there but I know that I shouldn't be
A Sally Gunnell - ugly but a good runner
A Paula Radcliffe - not as ugly as a Sally Gunnell but still a good runner
A Kate Moss - a bit thin

Putting lingo

Taking a Gerry Adams.......hitting a provisional ball
Putting like a gynaecologist's assistant....shaving the hole.
A Dennis Wise - a nasty 5 footer
A Diego Maradonna....very very nasty little five footer
A Salman Rushdie - an impossible read
A Rock Hudson - thought it was straight, but it wasn't

These are entries to a Washington Post competition asking for a rhyme with the most romantic first line... but the least romantic second line.

1. Love may be beautiful, love may be bliss
But I only slept with you, because I was pissed.

2. Thought that I could love no other
Until, that is, I met your brother.

3. Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet, and so are you.
But the roses are wilting, the violets are dead, the sugar bowl's empty and so is your head.

4. Of loving beauty you float with grace
If only you could hide your face

5. Kind, intelligent, loving and hot;
This describes everything you are not

6. I want to feel your sweet embrace
But don't take that paper bag off of your face

7. I love your smile, your face, and your eyes -
Damn, I'm good at telling lies!

8. My darling, my lover, my beautiful wife:
Marrying you screwed up my life

9. I see your face when I am dreaming.
That's why I always wake up screaming

10. My love, you take my breath away.
What have you stepped in to smell this way

11. My feelings for you no words can tell,
Except for maybe "go to hell"

12. What inspired this amorous rhyme?
Two parts vodka, one part lime.


It's really not difficult...To make a woman happy; a man only needs to be:

01. a friend
02. a companion
03. a lover
04. a brother
05. a father
06. a master
07. a chef
08. an electrician
09. a carpenter
10. a plumber
11. a mechanic
12. a decorator
13. a stylist
14. a sexologist
15. a gynaecologist
16. a psychologist
17. a pest exterminator
18. a psychiatrist
19. a healer
20. a good listener
21. an organiser
22. a good father
23. very clean
24. sympathetic
25. athletic
26. warm
27. attentive
28. gallant
29. intelligent
30. funny
31. creative
32. tender
33. strong
34. understanding
35. tolerant
36. prudent
37. ambitious
38. capable
39. courageous
40. determined
41. true
42. dependable
43. passionate


44. give her compliments regularly
45. love shopping
46. be honest
47. be very rich
48. not stress her out
49. not look at other girls


50. give her lots of attention,
51. give her lots of time, especially time for herself
52. give her lots of space, never worrying about where she goes


53. Never to forget:

* birthdays
* anniversaries
* arrangements she makes


01. Feed him
02. Sleep with him
03. Leave him in peace
Click here to read full article and comments.

SA Teams/unions: Eagles ready for WP prey

The SWD Eagles are preparing to face up to Western Province on Saturday at the Bellville Rugbyclub.

True to their word the Eagles will use the Vodacom Cup to develop new players. Seeing that quite a few of their players are doing duty with the Spears, this relatively inexperienced team under Phil Pretorius will have their work cut out in the competition.

Isak Saayman has been released from his sevens duties under Paul Treu and Phil would welcome his experience in the midfield. According to Raven du Plessis, team manager, Isak is full of confidence and his ability to lead and motivate the players around him impressed the management team and coach.

According to Du Plessis people should keep an eye on the flank forward Rautenbach. Apparently he is in the same mould as Corne Krige and a true fetcher.

Kick off at 17h00.


SWD Eagles: Ambrose Barendse, Jeremy Plaatjies, Valentine van Wyk, Eugene Kinghorn, Isak Saayman, Rynard van As, Hendrik van der Nest, Bertus Mulder, Theo Bezuidenhout, De Waal Rautenbach, Henri Grinds, André Wessels (c), Kenny Mckenzie, Hannes Franklin, Theunis Ashley-Buys. Plaasvervangers: JP Koch, Tiaan de Kock, Ig van der Merwe, Neil Coburn, Jan Viljoen, Allister Ketteldas, Charl Kitching.

WP: Jandre du Plessis, Herbert De Wee, Morgan Newman, David Johnson, Terry Jacobs, Berwin Haupt, Charl McLeod, Robbie Diack,Leon Karemaker, Mpho Mbiyozo, Marius Coetzee, Francois van der Merwe (c), Riaan Vermeulen, Ryno Barnes, Vakai Hove, Plaasvervangers: Huia Edmonds, Gerrit Dyman, Lungelo Payi, Craig Kleu, Ridhaa Damon, Sakhi Gqebe, Emile Botha.
Click here to read full article and comments.

General Discussions: The Boots For All Project

Logo: Joy Rhodes; Picture: Matthew Kirk

It can be easy to get caught up in the turmoil of board level politics within South African rugby and get blinded by the fact that there are many fine people at operational level, doing their utmost to spread the game and assist those less priviledged.

Rugga World urges you to read this story of passionate dedication, sparked by two young English boys who, having met young poverty stricken boys from the South African townships, couldn't forget the experience and decided to do something positive to make a difference.

The day after Christmas

It was Boxing Day, 1999, when two young English lads, George and Matthew Kirk, accompanied by their Dad, Andy, and South African members of their family went down to the local rubbish dump to deposit Christmas wrapping and boxes.

It wasn't long before George and Matthew were involved in a full contact, impromptu rugby game with local barefoot boys. As George says, "We had been playing for approximately twenty minutes when I stood on one of the boy’s feet. I decided that the game was unfair and took off my boots. When we had finished playing I placed my right foot in the sand and said that if one of the boys had a foot that matched my footprint then he could have my boots."

What George doesn't mention is that those boots were the Christmas present he'd received the day before.

For the rest of the trip the boys couldn't forget that contact with local lads who were impoverished, unable to afford even the rudimentaries of rugby, yet fired with the spirit of the game.

Luctonians lend a helping hand

On their return to the United Kingdom the lads, with more than a little help from their Dad one suspects, determined to do something about it. They roped in the more than willing local club they had joined, Luctonians Rugby Football club in Kingsland, Herefordshire ( ) and Boots For All was born.

To borrow a quote from the Boots For All website, *, “all great journeys must start with one small step” and boy, has this journey turned into a great one!

Director Corporate and Special Projects speaks to Rugga World

Speaking to Rugga World, Simon Davies, Director Corporate and Special Projects - Luctonians Sports Club say's, "They identified that in the UK most children who played rugby or football had new boots at the start of each season, whilst the old boots that they had grown out of or were no longer the latest style were left to gather dust in garages and understairs cupboards. They challenged me to look in my garage and I found 6 pairs of serviceable boots neglected because my two sons had grown out of them.

George and Matthew proposed to collect these unwanted boots, refurbish them and send to South Africa to be used to give other children the chance of continuing in the sport that they loved so much.

South African Rugby Union step in

With the help and support of their parents and Luctonians they approached the South African Rugby Football Union (SARFU) and set up a partnership with them and their project called Boots For All. The aims of the project were simple: to collect and refurbish old rugby and football boots and then to deliver them to SARFU for distribution to young players in the deprived and rural areas through SARFU’s development officers and development programme ‘Make it Your Game’".

The idea has proved to be such a success that thousands of boots have been collected - cleaned, restored or repaired in the Kirk, and no doubt other Luctonian garages, and shipped to the South African Rugby Union for distribution to needy children, who would otherwise have given up the game for the lack of the basic essentials.

The 'Bish' Tutu gets involved

It comes as no surprise then that Archbishop Desmond Tutu is the honorary patron of the Project and has given his personal support and blessings to young George and Matthew.

Recently SA Rugby received communication from Springbok fans in France and the Netherlands, indicating they are initiating similar programmes in their countries. They will also ship sporting equipment to South Africa.

Springbok wing Breyton Paulse is a keen supporter of the programme, and will be playing a vital role with the representatives in the two European countries.

Frank Verdonk of the Netherlands says his country's project will be managed by his under 17 boys team, with the help of himself and Paulse.

"We will launch the project in February 2006," says Verdonk. "Although we are now in the phase of planning, getting sponsors for marketing and publicity, we have already made a breakthrough. In one week we collected over 100 pair of boots. Our target will be 1000 a season."

Kirk says he is thrilled that the project is expanding into Europe.

Rugga World would like to urge all readers to vist the Luctonians and Boots For All Project sites and then consider how you could involve yourself, either in this very worthy cause or with similar iniatives. Are you currently living in a country that hasn't yet started such a Project? If so, and you'd like advice, Simon has kindly extended an invitation to contact him.

Simon Davies extends an invitation to Rugga World readers

As he say's, "On a personal note I would like to extend an invitation to any of your readers who feels that they are able to help this project in any way to contact me via my email address .

Best wishes to you and thank you for offering your support of the Boots for All Project."

In turn, Rugga World would like to extend our hearty congratulations to the kindness and empathy of the Kirk boys, George and Matthew, and the energy and commitment of their Dad, Andy, Simon, Luctonians, SARU and all who have made this initiative the success it is.

There will be a follow-up article in the future on Luctonian and Boots For All's plans for a reciprocal tour involving English boys, who are already hard at work raising funds, and underpriviledged young South African lads.

* The Boots For All website has some old articles because as Simon points out, the pressures of work and the project don't always allow the time for updating.
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Rugby administration: Who is sitting in the jacuzzi on the gravy train?

The AGM of the SA Rugby President’s council is scheduled for 24 February 2006. The presidential race is on and everybody in the media has been focussing on the candidates. When it comes to Brian van Rooyen the focus is on the inquiry into poor corporate governance and his own position, but is he the only person who profited from all his dealings? Who else is involved? Who are the real beneficiaries? Who sits in the jaccuzzi on the gravy train?

After reading the reports from various sources over the past two years, it seems that the one person got the sweet end of the deal all the way through, was Kyle Nel.

SA Rugby gained millions?

It was reported that when the new deal was brokered with Newscorp, that SA Rugby would receive an additional 2% in commission that would translate into an additional R20 million going into the bank account. This is wonderful news for SA rugby. But was not reported is that SA Rugby would have to pay Insport Management Pty Ltd, commission to the worth of R28 million. Who is Insport Management Pty Ltd?

Non other than Kyle Nel. The company with a registered address in Tamboerskloof, Cape Town is owned and managed by Kyle Nel. Who is Kyle Nel and what links does he have with SARU?

Kyle Nel was the commercial manager of SARU. He is still quoted in news reports as being the commercial manager, but if you look closely this is not true. Brian van Rooyen authorised a contract for all the duties of the commercial manager to be outsourced to Insport Management Pty Ltd. In other words, Kyle Nel is no longer a employee of SARU. His company is an independent contractor to SARU.

Why is all this relevant? This contract is being stated extensively in the report of poor corporate governance. Johan Prinsloo was instructed by Van Rooyen to sign the contract. Some would say that it doesn’t matter, because Van Rooyen won’t get re-elected anyway, but it is not as simple as that. What if this contract is fixed for a number of years? The Newscorp deal has been signed until 2010 and the terms of this contract could have easily been aligned with the Newscorp deal.

This contract could cost SA Rugby more than Nel managed to negotiated extra at the closing of the previous Newscorp deal. Inevitably this will have to be recouperated via the supporters. Maybe Nel’s statement on the question of why certain costs for test matches could not be covered by the sponsors or TV rights, makes sense now: “It is too complicated to explain.”

We will have to realise that Van Rooyen did not operate on his own. He couldn’t do it without the help of other people inside and some outside SARU. 24 February 2006 will mean nothing, unless Oregon Hoskins will be able to not only stop the gravy train, but to throw this jacuzzi with all its inhabitants down crocodile gorge.
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Rugby Administration: Stofile vows to resign

To be brutally frank, I'll believe it when I see it but Mike Stofile, vice-president SARU, has vowed to resign if Brian van Rooyen is re-elected.

We have been down this road before so it will be interesting to see if it is a sincere threat this time.

Stofile is adamant that his future participation is dependent on the ousting of the incumbent president, Brian van Rooyen.

"If he (Van Rooyen) is re-elected I will resign immediately. I can no longer work with that man," he has said.

History of 'resignations'

Stofile has somewhat of a history of threatening to resign, having been previously quoted on the IOL website on Aug 9 as saying that, 'he sent an SMS to former SA Rugby judiciary committee chairperson Koos Basson on Monday to inform him of his intention.'

"I am also tired of what is going on. This is not good at all. We seem to be going nowhere," Stofile said at the time.

Prior to that Stofile, along with Markgraaff and Lategan, were reported in the Mail & Guardian on the 25th of May as having resigned after the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc), backed by Minister of Sport and Recreation Makhenkesi Stofile ordered them to.

Nothing came of that either as Brian van Rooyen simply refused to vacate his office.

So perhaps Mike will bear with us if we don't all experience a sharp intake of breath at his latest threat.

Voting for Hoskins

Stofile will be abdicating his seat as Saru vice-president and has accepted a nomination from the Blue Bulls Rugby Union and Free State Rugby Union to stand for the position of deputy president.

Stofile also reiterated that he has no ambition of becoming Saru president and that he will be one of the members of the presidents' council who will be casting his vote for Van Rooyen's adversary, KwaZulu-Natal Rugby Union president Oregan Hoskins, at the AGM.

"I have always said that the best person to take over the reins at Saru must be Oregan because he is a calm and collected individual at all times," Stofile has been quoted on News24 as having said.

Never approved Van Rooyen's office

He is also adamant that neither he or Oregan Hoskins had anything to do with voting to approve an office for Van Rooyen at the cost of R1m to Saru.

"This matter was discussed in a finance committee meeting where I do not occupy a seat and neither does Oregan. This matter was never put to a vote at a presidents' council meeting,"

Not influenced by Big Brother

Stofile has also gone to great pains to deny he is influenced by his older brother, the Minister of Sport, Makhenkesi Stofile.

"My name is Mike Stofile and not the minister's brother. My involvement in rugby is not influenced by the minister. He is my role model as an older brother and he is the one guy who taught us rugby administration in our home town of Alice.

"I respect him as a leader. However, I am not taking advice from him when it comes to rugby.

"This tag of the minister's brother really makes me angry. Regardless of what happens I will not be deterred and I will stand for the position of deputy president. I will continue to serve rugby whether I win or not," concluded Stofile.

That's all very well but various incidents over the years will lead to many fans still feeling a little sceptical over the Stofile brothers influence.

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Super 14: Moaner backs his flyers

Stormers coach Kobus van der Merwe believes that his two young Boland flyers might just hold the key to the Stormers' success.

Speaking to Herbert Pretorius of Die Burger, Van der Merwe said: "We've seen in the Super 12 season that players often make a huge impact in their first season. Examples are Daniel Carter and Aaron Mauger. The reason is that the opposing teams don't know them and don't know what to expect. That certainty is a big advantage."

Both Nokwe and Benjamin looked impressive in the game against the Spears, but are still untested at this level. Nokwe is being tipped as the fastest outside back in South Africa, with Benjamin literally biting at his heals.

If the Stormers' tight five could supply these two guys with some decent ball and if the distribution in the rest of the backline is on par, we might just see these two players lightning up the competition.
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Super 14: Zimbabwean can't play.......yet

Strapping 1.81m, 99 kg flanker, David Pocock, has been told he cannot play for the Force until he turns 18 and has therefore missed out on his dream of playing Super 14 this year.

The Force may also have run into early legal trouble by fielding him.

David Pocock left Zimbabwe at the age of 13 when he and his family emigrated to Australia.

The young prodigy has quickly made his mark on the local rugby scene, being selected for the Perth based franchise, the Western Force, at the age of 17 when he played 20 minutes against the Cheetahs in a pre-season hit-out.

It's that appearance that may now have dropped the Force in trouble with the possibility of a fine still not being discounted.

"We advised them he couldn't play," an ARU spokesman told Sydney's Daily Telegraph, referring to his future participation.

"It's an [International Rugby Board] regulation and is ARU board policy. There's a bit of paper that says they can't do it."

Young Pocock doesn't seem much affected by the fuss though, "I loved every minute of it," he said, "When I was on the field I didn't feel intimidated at all. If you're good enough, you're old enough.

"[Chief executive] Peter [O'Meara] and [coach] John Mitchell made it clear it was up to me if I wanted to play, and I was keen.

"It's just disappointing I won't have the chance to push for a (Super 14) spot this year. But I'll get stuck into training and prepare myself for next season."
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Super 14: Fox gives thumbs down for Waratahs' innovation

The Waratahs' plan to wear initials rather than numbers on their backs have met with stiff opposition from the game's broadcaster, who lodged an official complaint with SANZAR claiming that the move would present a "serious impediment" to its coverage.

A spokesman for SANZAR yesterday confirmed the move was within the regulations of the game, but did not agree to the new jerseys after an official complaint from Fox Sports.

"We weren't consulted in any way shape or form, which itself is upsetting, and we've launched an official complaint to SANZAR via the ARU," said Fox Sports' executive producer of rugby, Matt McKeown. "We can understand what they're trying to do, and we're not trying to say no to any innovation, but this one would just be a nightmare."

McKeown believes the concept would be confusing for fans and commentators and untenable for statisticians and officials. Fox Sports wants the concept limited to Saturday's final trial fixture against the Crusaders, or an alternative plan such as players selecting their own numbers, as Australia's one-day cricketers do.

SANZAR's spokesman said it would hold an investigation into the NSW plan. "We are examining the consequences, however the issues here really relate to other stakeholders and what the implications of it are," the spokesman said. "We believe there needs to be full consultation with broadcasters and other parties before any determination is made as to whether this should be a season-long practice."

Possible loophole in rules

But NSW were determined yesterday to forge ahead and it appears they could be forced to revert to numbers only by a rushed change to existing regulations.

IRB rules relating to player identification on the field are sketchy at best and allows for names or numbers, although the NSW plan could be contested on the grounds that the players' initials do not constitute a name.

NSW coach Ewen McKenzie would be disappointed if the change were reversed. "In the end it's about how we want to play, it's about a mentality thing and getting away from being typecast by the positional number," he said. "If I put numbers on their back then players are inhibited by the history of that position and what that position means."

Source: Rugby Heaven
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Other sport: Aussies warned to expect 'racial backlash' on SA tour

Former test batsman Darren Lehmann has warned the Aussies to expect a "racial backlash" on their SA tour later this month following the ugly taunts experienced by the Proteas. Other Australian players are bracing themselves for a "baptism of fire."

Lehmann, who toured South Africa with the Australia side in 2002, says Ricky Ponting's men will feel the full fury of African crowds angered by the racial slurs which have followed the Proteas around Australia.

"If our crowds have been doing that, it's wrong for a start," Lehmann told Fox Sports. "What will happen is there will be a big backlash in South Africa. They will treat our players pretty harshly and cruelly when we play there."

Fox also reports that South African fans have a "history of abusing visiting players".

Keeper Adam Gilchrist was subjected to intense abuse at Johannesburg's infamous Bullring in the last tour in 2002 during which the Australians were also spat on.

In 1994, Merv Hughes was fined for bashing his bat towards a spectator after being abused as he left the field.

Champion spinner Shane Warne knows he will be targeted. "When we go to South Africa it is going to be pretty hostile there. They are going to rip into us and nail us," Warne said.

Test opener Matthew Hayden and strike bowler Glenn McGrath say they expect to be abused in South Africa but are determined not to react to any retaliatory racial taunts from irate fans.

Australia leaves on February 20 for South Africa where it will play six one-day internationals and three Tests in a six-week tour.
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Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Rugby Personalities: Professionalism meant a rest.

“My working day began in the gym at 6.30am,” he said. “I’d get to the building site about 8.30, work until 5 and then go to the club for training. When I was signed by Saracens, I had to move house to Twickenham because the drive across London could take two hours in gridlock. We’d train until 9.30pm, which didn’t leave much time for getting the beers in, and I’d get home around midnight. I was glad when the game went professional, as it meant that I could get some rest.”

JASON LEONARD was creaking at the launch of the RBS Six Nations Championship last week. “I’ve just been to the gym for the first time in ages and I’m feeling it,” he said. The former Lions prop is not planning a recall to the England team, just toning up the muscles for a return to the building site.

Patrick Kidd of The Times writes that Leonard was an anomaly in the England team when he made his debut in 1990. Unlike those solicitors (Brian Moore), surgeons (Jon Webb) and members of the Royal Air Force (Rory Underwood), Leonard got his hands grubby outside of a Saturday afternoon. He was a skilled carpenter who learnt the trade as a 12-year-old at his father’s workbench in Barking and worked on building sites while rising through the rugby ranks.

“My working day began in the gym at 6.30am,” he said. “I’d get to the building site about 8.30, work until 5 and then go to the club for training. When I was signed by Saracens, I had to move house to Twickenham because the drive across London could take two hours in gridlock. We’d train until 9.30pm, which didn’t leave much time for getting the beers in, and I’d get home around midnight. I was glad when the game went professional, as it meant that I could get some rest.”

But although Leonard swiftly became a fixture for England, and retired last spring having earned a record 114 caps, he never lost his love of carpentry. “I kept my hand in even when the game changed,” he said. “Being a professional sportsman can be very dull with all that sleeping, training and eating the right food. If you’re a bus driver, you don’t want to talk about buses after work. So I kept in with the building trade.”

A year ago he became a director of the Laboursite Group, a construction logistics company, but he is not the sort to stand around in a suit watching others work. Last year, he helped out with the RFU’s refit of Finchley rugby club, in Herts/Middlesex 1, part of the union’s Rugby Force programme to revamp dilapidated clubhouses, and has offered to do the same this year for another clubhouse as part of a competition organised by RBS and The Times.

“I want to give something back to the game that nurtured me,” he said. “Below the Premiership, the club game depends on volunteers putting in lots of work. It’s a labour of love for them, so we’re going to reward one club by giving it a facelift. I’ll turn up, talk over with the club what they want to do and do a lot of the work myself.

“At Finchley, all the kids got involved and I sent them home covered in paint. They loved it, but it probably drove their parents up the wall.”

Maybe, but who would dare complain
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