The strange ins and outs of sport

2016-03-16 06:00

WHAT a weekend of sport it was! Just about everything you could want from sport was there in one form or another – debatable decisions on the rugby field, drama on – and off – the cricket pitch, trouble in the tennis world involving the blonde darling of millions with the Hollywood looks.

There is this friend who when not following sport on TV, switches over to “True Movies”. In a huff last weekend he said if he ever again sees the “Sneak Peek” about the US president telling a subordinate, who brings news of imminent war, to make sure Laura and my girls are safe... “I swear I’ll just dump my TV set in the dustbin.”

“Quite right,” said another of our pals with a broad wink, “sport’s far more important than war anyway.” That’s when, with a “hear-hear”, we ordered another round.

Then we started to talk about the Super Rugby game at Newlands between the Sharks and Stormers last weekend and the controversial try awarded to the Banana Boys.

“Wasn’t that something?” our friend went on. “Specially that penalty try that eventually saw the Banana Boys fly home with an 18-13 win. Why was it a penalty, though?”

What puzzled him was what happened at the very moment scrumhalf Cobus Reinach was about to touch down for a try: one of the Stormers forwards, Siya Kolisi, had kicked the ball out of the KZN player’s hand, denying the scrumhalf a legitimate touch-down.

Referee Mike Fraser after a close look at the filmed replay awarded it as a penalty try.

It was explained by some of the other experts at the bar counter that the ref’s reasoning was that a deliberate impeding of a try by the kicking of the ball from the halfback’s hand, amounted to a foul.

Therefore, according to the letter of the law a penalty try was the correct decision.

In all the match produced some 80 minutes of determined attack and breathtaking defence.

Players who stood out on both sides included Sharks’ Joe Pietersen, Willie le Roux, Marcel Coetzee and Jon-Luc du Preez, and for the opposition: Cheslin Kolbe, young Leolyn Zas, and in particular Schalk Burger and Eben Etzebeth.

Crossing from the rugby field to the cricket pitch – and in particular our one-time world No. 1 fast bowler, Dale Steyn, it’s one of the oldest sayings in the English language, but it truly is “make or break” for the Proteas’ reliable wrecker of opposition batsmen.

With the World T20 tournament in India already underway this deadly wicket-taker’s career comes strongly under the spotlight, starting with the Proteas’ first match against England this week (SS 202, 3pm).

Once even the best of batsmen’s knees shook a little as they awaited one of this speedster’s unplayable deliveries. Can he still do it? With bated breath cricket fans the world over will be watching closely.

And what of the blonde locks lady with the Hollywood looks, and the “performance-enhancing” drug she has been taking for the past 10 years? She’s pleading innocence. She was just doing what her doctor advised her to do. Oh, really? Maria Sharapova, go pull the other one please!

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