This Morning, a certain Mr Raymond Huxley posted an article was somewhat nostalgic of the Wallabies rugby history. Often referring to our beloved Springboks as “Springrolls” or the “Protea rugby team”, Mr Huxley seems determined to get under the skin of every rugby loving ,Springbok supporting, South African who frequents the News24 sports section.
Mr Huxley states: “That said, it seems that liking something does not mean you understand it. So let’s talk rugby.” Quite obviously Mr Huxley, it appears that you do not understand rugby. The “Golden Era” you refer to, does not outshine any other nations era. A quarter final exit from RWC ‘95 (all players, barring Larkham, played or were in the squad) and nothing notable up until the wallabies won the RWC ’99. It appears that the wallabies and Springboks were pretty evenly matched during the Tri-Nations Series. In 1998 South Africa went on 17 successive wins, a world record (for rugby) at the time. New Zealand is the only other rugby nation to surpass this feat and set a new world record with 19 successive wins. During the run up to the ’99 RWC, the Springboks and Australia were pretty evenly matched. You say Gregan, I say Joost van der Westhuizen (Fourie Du Preez)*, you say Matt Burk and I say Andre Joubert (Percy Montgomery)*. You say Stephen Larkham and I say Henri Honyball. You Say Horan and I say Mulder. I have done this to illustrate my point that, as rugby supporters, we can all choose a specific period and say “those were the days”. Yes, Australia were the first country to win the RWC twice and we congratulate you. It is now a feat that has been achieved by the Springboks and the All Blacks.
You go onto say that the final of RWC ’03 was rigged and had it not been for the referee, the wallabies would have won. Wrong again. England were the better team on the evening and the Wallabies were awarded, what many consider controversial, a penalty on the stroke of full time, with the scores at 14-11 to England. So it appears to me that the “saffa match-fixing ref” actually gave the wallabies a life line, despite England having dominating that particular facet of the game. Elton Flatley converted and the game went into extra-time with the scores at 14-14. Wilkinson slotted a drop goal mere seconds from full time Mr Huxley, so how did the ref “fix the game”? I would also like to add that this was the same referee who took charge of the RWC ’99 final – which Australia won.
Like I said in my comment, Rugby is a man’s game and some times emotions get the better of players. Most recently in Australia, Nathan Sharp had a go at Etzebeth on the sly. Naturally being South African, Eben had a go at him – in plain sight for all to see in retaliation. Nathan Sharp, being somewhat of an actor, cried foul as if he’s been steam rolled into the ground, when it is debateable whether actual contact was made. We took our punishment and haven’t dwelled on it. Sure, we have had some extremely tough customers – Bakkies Botha, Butch James, James Small and James Dalton to mention a few- and they have, at times, made silly errors in weakness, but is that justify your need to paint all Springbok rugby players with the same brush? I think not.
I do not know why you felt the need to refer to South African’s in general as unprofessional, refer to Loftus as the home of the farmers or to South African’s in general as thugs. What is this “third-world mentality” you refer to? In which psychological medical journal can I read up on your professional diagnosis of this psychological disorder? It sounds very alarming to say the least and I will be advising the department of health to be on the look out.
The fact remains, after 75 games played against one another, South Africa have won 41, Lost 33 and drawn 1. This means that South Africa has a 54.67% win ratio over the Wallabies. Clearly, we do have an edge, albeit small.
Let’s hope that the Wallaby players can also exercise professionalism and that they do not hand out cheap shots. It is one thing to point the finger if you are innocent; however, it is completely foolish to point the finger when you know that your players are doing the exact same thing – only they are doing it in a manner which some consider sly.
South Africa is not perfect and we have many things wrong as well as lacking in our beautiful country. I do suppose that it is easy to provide for a county such as yours – with a population of 22+ Million- than it is to provide for a country like ours with a population of 50+ Million. There are many social inequalities and injustices across all forms and spheres and, for a majority of the population, everyday is a struggle. Please, your royal highness, forgive them if they seem “thuggish” and “unprofessional”. Despite all of the above, South Africa has come along way since ’94 and we, despite all differences, always unite behind our National teams. We have a long way to go but we will get there. I am extremely proud to be a South African, I am a LOYAL Springbok rugby supporter and I love my Country. I think that your article is a load of rubbish and was written to get under the skin of many Springbok supporters as well as take a dig at my country (in which you are a guest) and compatriots. You got a rise out of the readers (which was what you wanted) and OF COURSE it is to be expected. We always defend what is ours - TOGETHER. Notice that, in my article, I have not made reference or been disrespectful towards you or your country, made any remarks about sheep or farmers. Please be as kind as to refrain from righting stupid articles which annoys the majority of the population.
*I have bracketed certain players as they spent more time playing against their Australian counter part after the aforementioned player had retired.
Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.