Since it’s been estimated that there are 400 000 South Africans residing in the UK at present, one can safely assume that there are 400 000 rugby-mad fans living here.
Ok, perhaps that’s a bit of an exaggeration. But for the many, many fans eagerly following the Super 14, not to mention the tri-nations, we have good news.
1st contact will be presenting a regular rugby column in future. The column will include summaries and highlights of some of the games completed, but also – and this is the reSuper 1ally good news – exclusive interviews, comments and anecdotes from some of SA’s famous rugby personalities plying their trade in the UK.
We will be focusing first on the Super 14 and, speaking of the Super 14 – so far so good!
With week six now behind us, the tough, seemingly indomitable Vodacom Bulls team heads the Super 14 log with a game in hand, and the Stormers, known these days for their rock-solid defence and clinical approach to the game, lie second.
The Stormers were impressive against a gritty Cheetahs in their last encounter before leaving on tour. In the scrums, the front row of Wicus Blaauw, Tiaan Liebenberg and Brok Harris made sure they weren’t pushed around by the formidable Cheetahs scrum.
One of the many highlights, aside from Jacque Fourie’s scintillating try after some deft handling by the backline – Joe Pietersen’s in particular, was Schalk Burger’s slap of Meyer Bosman. It was worthy of the best Hollywood comedy routine. What did Meyer Bosman do, anyway – criticize Schalk’s hair?
I like the look of the young Ikey inside centre, Tim Whitehead who on debut seems to be more of an inside centre than Juan de Jongh, (who was out injured,) which possibly explains why Jacque Fourie was able to shine on the outside.
A Vodacom Blue Bulls player to watch is young wing, Gerhard van den Heever. He has electrifying pace (even faster than Brian Habana, I believe) and seeing him streak across the length of the field is reminiscent, certainly, of Brian Habana at his very best and fastest.
About the Author
Johan Liebenberg says he feels like he’s been writing forever. He started out writing radio plays and soapies for radio, as well as one or two stage plays. He worked as a senior copywriter at an ad agency for ten years, writing on mainly wine accounts. Add to that a feature film script that has been in progress forever, writing and directing some doccies and corporate videos. His features have been published in magazines in South Africa as well as abroad. Today, his great passions are food and food writing and (guess what?): rugby, followed by cricket and athletics. He loves his Canon Eos, and feels nostalgic about the dying art of conversation.