Kaymo’s Korner: Cheeky has no one to blame but himself

2013-10-07 10:00

I would love to feel sorry for Daniel “Cheeky” Watson but I can’t bring myself to.

I know it may sound a bit sadistic but I think he has got his just deserts.

He excluded the South Western Districts (SWD) and Border unions from the Super Rugby table and, in turn, they have kept him out of the Currie Cup premier division.

This week, the attempt by Eastern Province (EP) to get into the Currie Cup premier division was voted out by the minnow unions.

Tit for tat, butter for fat!

Rugby politics are fickle, but they are also simple: it’s a give-and-take system where one’s own interests are often served by serving the others.

That’s what Watson did not do with his SWD and Border buddies.

They did not just stab him in the back with pocket knives, they decapitated him with hunting knives and came back with his head on a stick.

Of course, he should have seen it coming.

There were many factors pointing to the lack of Super Rugby readiness of SWD and Border, but to not get their administrative buy-in sent the message that the two regions were on their own.

Steve Biko said black people are on their own and, in this case, his words aren’t far off the mark.

Why Cheeky insisted on ignoring them will haunt him. It defeats the very purpose of his franchise.

As much as the EP Vodacom and Currie Cup first division teams are transformation examples that other unions need to follow, cold-shouldering SWD and Border when it came to the Southern Kings was the last thing he needed to do.

They are the regions that provide most of South Africa’s black and coloured players.

EP has a fair spread of both races, but the franchise’s main mandate was to blood players from the region.

In the formation of the Southern Kings, Border and SWD were meant to be full partners, but Watson sidelined them and turned the Kings into his personal fiefdom.

He even went as far as appropriating the name “Kings” for domestic use.

If there was common ground among the unions, getting EP into the higher tier could have been beneficial for all unions, filtering from the top down, even more so as Watson’s promise in the franchise’s formation was that the three partners would play an equal role in balancing the transformation books.

Hypothetically, it could have been the spur that fired the Kings’ attempt to get back into Super Rugby while retaining the few good players they have.

That, unfortunately, will not happen in the near future and whatever wave Eastern Cape rugby was riding has dissipated.

There was short-sightedness on the part of the other partners, but Cheeky has no one to blame but himself.

You can’t abandon your constituency and still expect them to be the turkeys that vote for Christmas.

That is the simple rule of the electorate.

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