The Alternative Review | Rugby Championship

This is not the place to find who won, who scored, or who played well. This is what I thought of what I saw, mostly useless information, and why the refs and commentators were sh1t.

South Africa v New Zealand | 5 October 2013

The Haka was made into a non-event by the crowd, who rung out a truly touching and meaningful rendition of South Africa’s unofficial sporting song, sing it if you know it, “Olé, olé, olé, olé. Olé. Olé. ” [Repeat]


I can’t put my finger on exactly how it felt, after five weeks of listening to Supersport’s best, to suddenly have Sky’s Miles Harrison and Stuart Barnes calling the game. It might’ve been patronising – like the biggest game of the year needed Sky’s commentators calling it. Or maybe I have become genuinely fond of Blades and Broz and Shimmie.

Duane Vermeulen has been immense this year, and it seems like Heyneke Meyer has noticed, but the true test will come when Pierre Spies is fit again. Because you must see that oke in the gym, jislaaik.

[Alternative interview with Heyneke Meyer]

Hopefully HeyMey does the right thing and sends Spies back to rugby school, because Duane has been awesome this year.

This was an amazing game of rugby, and the Springboks were close to being good enough to actually beat New Zealand. But not that close if you think that the All Blacks played 20 minutes with only 14 men.

One of those yellow cards was shown to Ben Franks, whose swinging arm connected with Coenie Oosthuizen’s face, leaving the prop with a broken hand.


Indeed, someone must have slipped a sedative into Coenie’s Energade, or else I can’t explain how the big Free Stater with well-documented anger management issues didn’t react.

Argentina v Australia | 5 October 2013

How did they get Andrea Bocelli to sing the national anthems, and why is he calling himself Rodrigo Mora?


I haven’t liked Stephen Moore all year. I guess when you’ve played as long as he has, you don’t take kindly to suddenly being sh1t in a sh1t team. If I’d been in Rosario, I would’ve tried to get the crowd singing, “Stephen Moore! Huh! Yea! What is he good for…?”

[Original reference here. Steve Waugh copy at 1:12, 1:49 and 3:05 here.]

Nic White had a great Super Rugby season, played well for Australia as a substitute, and deserved to replace the out of form Will Genia. But you only get one bad game when the best in the world is on the bench, and White had that last week.

Argentinian scrumhalf Martin Landago was penalised for stamping on Adam Ashley-Cooper’s fingers, as they were wrapped illegally around the ball on the ground. The penalty was fair because it happened after the whistle, but I’d bring finger-stamping back if I could.

Players slow the ball down and even blatantly and professionally offend when it suits them, and a penalty isn’t enough of a punishment. I’d like to see penalised players have to place their hand on the ground and let the opposing team pick a player to stamp the sh1t out of it. Sharia law style. (I’d pick Coenie.)


I’ve accused Israel Folau of being invisible during these championships, but he appeared in the right place to take his three tries and I’ll give him the credit he’s due for that. Even if it was just against Argentina, and he hardly had to do more than run and not drop the ball.

The Alternative Review | Currie Cup

If you like it local, you’ll find a mix of science, conspiracy theories and toilet humour in my alternative round-up of Currie Cup action (Sharks v Blue Bulls and WP v Lions).


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