Mapimpi not in ‘bomb squad’

2019-10-10 06:00

The Webb Ellis Cup is at its last group stages and, as expected, it has been a great Rugby World Cup to watch, just from the few matches one has been lucky enough to see.

Powerhouses of rugby, such as New Zealand and South Africa, really stepped up to the plate, as anticipated.

Japan, the host, also came out with guns blazing, not to mention a great following behind them.

It has been really amazing to watch and see the fans rallying behind their nation.

Indeed, a World Cup has a special effect on host nations – our own 1995 Rugby World Cup victory comes to mind. But no mention the recent Cricket World Cup in England, the hosts crowned champions at the end of the tournament.

Who can forget the minnows of Russia who hosted the 2018 Soccer World Cup and proved a fierce adversary and a great team to watch all-round, winning former world champions the Spaniards in a thrilling match, ending the latter’s great run in the quarter-finals.

It seems the World Cup does generate a sense of national cohesion, however long it lasts! This is not only among the players, but among their countrymen and women on the whole.

People seem to forget their differences and forge a united front in their support of their respective teams.

Look at what the World Cup has done for a team like Japan, which also competed in the 1995 World Cup in our country. Their fortunes at the time, by virtue of their 145-17 defeat by New Zealand, were remembered only by a few in the mists of time.

But their plucky determination is on display this time around. Over time they have come full-circle and one has to take one’s hat off to this gallant, exciting team in the way they have represented their country.

It is up to them to continue their impressive display, seeing them represent their country in the quarter-finals. Who would have thought!

I certainly would not have . . .

This kind of unity is what one can only wish for the Springboks and the nation going forward.

Their thumping win against Italy last Friday (4 October) was a memorable one.

One snippet of the visuals, which I’m sure must have been shared by so many, shows Makazole Mapimpi, the Boks’ winger, seemingly being shunned by a group of players while in celebration, a charge made by many which he has steadfastly refuted.

He has mentioned some “bomb squad” (reserves on the tour) antics, although this is a term that remains a bit of a mystery. For me, the most interesting part in that short video is Mapimpi’s reaction to this group. Go back and look at the video again – why is he throwing his right hand away and what does that mean? He then turns back and walks away.

Knowing his so called “bomb squad” as he wants us to believe, why did he not wait for them to be done with their two-second noodle acts, then go and hug them along with the rest?

For those of us who were not there, what did he think we would make of all of this? I bet he did not think!

And for him to come out and defend such actions really leaves a lot to be desired.

But then again, one may think of the position he is in, the environment.

One will make noise about the “context” in this issue, but for me everything is plain to be seen.

Now Mapimpi, because he has come out to defend the situation, must tell us what his hand gesture meant in that video, but we’ll have to wait for him to write a book about the incident. But by then, many of us may well have forgotten about all of this and have moved on!

But for now, I don’t buy his assertions! After all, sometimes some behaviour conducted in corners have a certain way of showing themselves to the public. We shall wait and see.


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