Blitsbokke’s Games gold at the right time for SA

2014-07-29 00:00

CAPE TOWN — In the nicest possible way, I think we can say we also gave New Zealand a bloody nose over the weekend.

South African rugby enthusiasts, and those partial to the Sharks in particular, were left mortified on Saturday by the margin and immensely superior quality of the Crusaders’ Super Rugby semi-final triumph over the Durban-based visitors.

The Sharks, considering the eternally unsatisfactory imbalance caused by further long-haul travel at such a late stage of the campaign, were always underdogs, but the 38-6 and five-tries-to-nil outcome just said so much about greater, tournament-long NZ enterprise and commitment to entertainment in a year where the SA conference was (unusually) the palpably worst and least dynamic of the trio.

That is why the Blitsbokke earning the Commonwealth Games gold medal just a day later, beating the very might of the All Black Sevens team in the Glasgow showpiece, was a tonic of special substance.

Yes, you can’t compare apples with potatoes — Sevens and XVs are vastly, deliberately different products — but there was a certain, heartening poignancy all the same to Kyle Brown’s heroes so deservingly grabbing the gold and with a joyousness that was etched all over their faces and their midst-of-battle mindsets.

The South Africans looked likeliest winners, courtesy of both their polish and calmness, all the way through the event, one of the television commentators from 50 000-packed, vibrant Ibrox noted afterwards.

Similarly BBC Sport enthused: “A South African side full of searing pace and no little skill trumped them [New Zealand] ... even managing to match the All Blacks physically.”

In short, this was good PR for rugby in our country as a whole, and at a rather necessary juncture.

• Australia were always in control against Samoa in the bronze medal match, two first-half tries by impressive flyer Greg Jeloudev setting them nicely en route to a comprehensive 24-0 win.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.