This is what cameras on helmets were made for

There have always been crazy people, but there haven’t always been video cameras. And it’s only recently that these cameras have become small enough for the crazy people to show the rest of us what they get up to.

Like this guy, who clearly doesn’t know what fear feels like.

It’s what cameras on helmets were made for. It doesn’t make me want to do it, but I’m perfectly happy to watch somebody else.

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]

hakabok

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.

coeniehead

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?

bocelli

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.)

hand

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).

The Alternative Review | Currie Cup

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.

Sharks v Blue Bulls | 4 October 2013

Jacques Botes equalled Helgaard Muller’s record number of Currie Cup appearances (142) in this one, confirming that this record will always be held by someone who is exactly good enough to always play for his province but could never make it at international level.

jacquesbotes3

I’m getting tired of hearing several players (and medics and water guys), in what is normally (it just is) a strong Afrikaans accent, shouting (whether it is or isn’t), “Skew, Mr Ref, skeeyuuuuu!” at every lineout.

The Blue Bulls have been terrible this year, and I’m starting to wonder whether there’s a stronger force at play, a force that cannot allow a team from Pretoria to win when a third of the starting XV is as English as Small-Smith, Paige, Ross, Bulbring and Kirsten.

Western Province v Golden Lions | 5 October 2013

Commentator Gareth Wright kicked off the quality comms by informing us that “The Lions have a a lineout in the WP half for the first time in this game.” After 37 seconds.

His co-commentator Hanyani Shimange then accused Lionel Mapoe of “over-sharing”. Of course, Lionel had just told us about the wonderful, crisp sh1t he had expelled just before kick-off, so that was probably fair enough. (He told us about his poo, “Ma-poe”, get it?!)

mapoe

On-field comms guy Toks van der Linde interviewed Demetri Catrakilis at half time looking like the Goodyear Blimp holding a microphone. I assume Toks is the on-field guy because there isn’t an elevator at Newlands that could lift him up to the commentary box.

Toks did get some valuable insight out of the interview, however. Catrakilis is one of the sharpest shooters in the competition, and his secret in the slightly windy conditions was “Kick it straight and hope, hey.”

demetric

Professional sport. Sometimes it feels like anybody could do it.

I’m amazed every week by how far above their weight the likes of Aplon, Kolbe and Deon Fourie are able to punch. I’ve decided to put it down to the energy (ohhmmmm) that comes from being 100% committed to something.

Or, to offer a more scientific explanation: force = mass x acceleration. Because those little guys go hard into tackles, hard and fast. They accelerate into the contact, not with a view to ending at it, but to bursting through. And it catches a lot of bigger guys by surprise.

energy

Pierre Spies has none of this energy, Zane Kirchner (who is slowly winning me over) has very little of it, but WP’s tiny guys have it to spare.

As well as energy, Chesslyn Kolbe has the lowest centre of gravity ever observed, apparently somewhere towards the top of his shins. His balance is superb, his acceleration is astounding, and if you don’t actually knock and hold him down he’ll be gone before you hit the ground yourself.

The Lions were poor for most of the game, out-played and out-thought, but they didn’t need any creativity at line-out time, as we were subjected to several minutes of kick to the corner and try and drive it over. Over and over. It was effective, but sh1t it was uninspiring. And fortunately, ultimately, it wasn’t enough.

The Alternative Review | Rugby Championship

If you’re interested, there’s more talk of Pierre Spies, sharia law and reference to the Australian 12th Man tapes over at my international edition (SA v NZ and Arg v Aus).

The Alternative Rugby Review | Argentina v NZ

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.

What does field sponsor Personal actually do, does eating Argentinian steak really count as cultural immersion, and who made little Nicolás Sánchez look like old Mike Catt?

steak

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The Alternative Rugby Review | SA v Australia

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.

Why did a pirate sing our national anthem, is Nic White’s lip hair the most distracting thing since Mila Kunis, what was the most unlikely surprise of the weekend, and is there anything more embarrassing than…

kurtdarren

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The Alternative Rugby Review | Griquas v Blue Bulls

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.

Will Howard Mnisi be benched in 2014, is the banana kick the dumbest thing in rugby, is centre the new prop, and why are two UCT cricketers playing for the Blue Bulls?

bananakick

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The Alternative Rugby Review | Lions v Sharks

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.

Who does Chris van Zyl look like, is Anthony Volmink the real deal, do the Lions only have two lineout calls, and how long until Brendan Venter has that inevitable heart attack?

venter

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