Joost in Freedom Cup shocker

2006-09-04 10:01

Rustenburg - SuperSport commentator Joost van der Westhuizen got so carried away with the Springbok victory in Rustenburg that he incorrectly presented captain John Smit with the Freedom Cup in front of millions of television viewers worldwide.

The Freedom Cup is contested on a biennial basis between South Africa and New Zealand on a best-of-three format - much like the Bledisloe Cup is fought over between New Zealand and Australia.

The All Blacks had already secured the Freedom Cup by beating the Boks 35-17 in Wellington and 45-26 in Pretoria, making the Rustenburg Test a 'dead' rubber, yet Van der Westhuizen unbelievably still presented the trophy to Smit.

Perhaps even more astounding was the fact that Smit accepted it!

It's difficult to fathom that Smit wasn't aware that the Freedom Cup was also destined for a cabinet at New Zealand headquarters - to add to the Tri-Nations and Bledisloe trophies they had already secured.

As embarrassing as the two prior defeats to the All Blacks were, surely Smit couldn't have already blanked them from his memory?

All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw and coach Graham Henry were left wondering what on earth was going on and no doubt bemused at the incompetence of Van der Westhuizen as a master of ceremonies.

SuperSport then failed to acknowledge their mistake as they presented McCaw with the Cup off-air.

However the damage had long since been done.

To add insult to injury, SuperSport's post-match interviewer, Garth Wright, embarrassed the country even further during his chat with New Zealand centre Mils Muliaina.

Making no attempt whatsoever to be objective, Wright said "I'm sorry for you, but for the Springboks we're happy," the former Springbok scrumhalf told a visibly shocked Muliaina.

As the camera turned to Wright he added: "Well that's Mils Muliaina... let me tell you something, he looks a little disappointed, he should be disappointed."

When will South African broadcasters learn that the same dignity should be displayed in both victory and defeat and where, oh where, is it written that former players make for even half-decent commentators?

Matthew Pearce, with no prior rugby playing experience, did a fantastic job as match commentator. He could easily have doubled as post-match interviewer as well. At least English is his first language and wouldn't have left listeners cringing at the sight and sound of Van der Westhuizen bumbling his way through the formalities.

What on earth possessed SuperSport to entrust Van der Westhuizen to handle proceedings in a language which is clearly not his strongest suit, I guess we'll never know... yet hope we'll never see repeated.

  • Malan du Preez - 2006-09-04 08:57

    I agree. The incident was embarrassing. I do however think that News24 should mention who the brave faceless author of the article is. If the author makes brave statements like "where, oh where, is it written that former players make for half-decent commentators", he should be brave enough to publish his name as well.

  • Peter Downham - 2006-09-04 08:58

    What an embarrasment; it just shows that former scrum halves all suffer brain damage.

  • Gerrit - 2006-09-04 09:16

    Agreed, Garth and Joost were pathetic on Saturday, please do something about it Supersport. I was ashamed by Garth's continuous comments every time he spoke to an All Black about how devastating it must have been, as if we achieved such a huge thing. I won't be surprised if they have lost on purpose.

  • Andre Slabbert - 2006-09-04 09:24

    Forget the test win...we must learn to win with dignity!Look at how the NZ boys gave credit to us for winning and never made any excuses!And people like Wright thinks one win makes us champions?Well done Graham Henry and Richie are the real champs.But well done Boks for turning the corner...guts and determination!

  • Springbok fan - 2006-09-04 09:27

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA, dit is niks teenoor wat hy kwyt raak as hy kommentaar lewer nie. Soos Joost se: "Soos die Engelsman sal sĂȘ: Vice Versa"

  • Jelo - 2006-09-04 09:56

    Look, Joost is so dumb he struggles to tie his own shoelaces.....but John Smit isn't much better. Probably the worst, dumbest Springbok hooker ever, who almost NEVER gets a long line-out throw right, and only manages to do it right if Matfield is receiving! Save face now, Jake, and drop the idiot.

  • eksteen - 2006-09-04 09:59

    I dinot see the incidents mentioned and must agree -it sounds embarrasing to say the least. Then again, NZ/AB's are never to humble in victory either. Pity the writer has to go into the "first language" mentality to make the point. Typical British superiority complex still integral to so many english in SA.

  • Gerhard - 2006-09-04 09:59

    The supersport commentator selection panel is every bit as bad (if not worse) than the springbok selectors... We have decent commentators available, yet they stick to Joost and Joel, sabotaging both Afrikaans and English options. Hopefully one Van der Westhuyzen's exit will soon be followed by another...

  • johan zandberg - 2006-09-04 10:08

    Its bad enough to listen to the man commentating!! and especially a bulls game,please can super sport do something about this. Gatvol of hearing how he has to tell us that he has been there... And the man only sees blue,not everybody watching wants to hear the game from a bulls perspective

  • Erik - 2006-09-04 10:17

    Joost is trained as a prison guard, what do you expect? About John Smit, the Boks would be much better off playing with only fourteen men. I would not even select him for a Vodacom Cup side. By far the worst hooker in SA Rugby.

  • Buks - 2006-09-04 10:25

    The ex-players commentating during matches is also terrible. Joost is always complaining about the ref's decisions (and want to see it again), openly chooses sides(Bulls and Boks) and makes a lot of technical mistakes and bad English comments. Please appoint professional commentators and not rugby players.

  • Matthys - 2006-09-04 10:33

    Yes,ok,Joost made a mistake,maybe he got carried away in the moment,but hey,you can't fault the man for his enthusiasm and love of the game.I'm sure everyone will get over it.And as for his commentating,he's a legend,he knows what he's talking about!

  • Dirk Botha - 2006-09-04 10:42

    What a shame to Supersport. I knew it is going to happen one day. Some people might be good rugby players, but it is not to say that they will become good commentators. When Joost become a commentator all we heard was about the Blue Bulls this and that. It is time to train people to become good commentators without any attachment to any rugby side.

  • Nicolette - 2006-09-04 10:44

    Maybe you should ask Joost for a job. You seem a bit 'slow' yourself. The author's name is at the top of the article - please just don't be negative for the sake of it. If you have nothing interesting to say - then keep quiet.

  • Lourens - 2006-09-04 10:45

    Look, everybody makes mistakes; the problem with live TV is that it is live TV. There is not a ?take 5 or 6 ? at least our commentators are not bias during the match, as is Australia and NZ, and they do not shout, ?Go Your Good Thing?!!!!! If you can do better, apply for the job. Lets all be happy for the Boks!!!!

  • Jonathan - 2006-09-04 10:51

    Malan du Preez, if you look at the top of the article, you will see the writer's name clearly printed in quite legible characters. I agree with the writer, Joost has about as much mental agility as an dead parrot. As for the rest, they have obviously never heard of the phrase "gracious in victory".

  • JODY - 2006-09-04 10:54


  • Lourens - 2006-09-04 10:55

    Is Marianna van Rensburg who won at African Palace Online Casino single?????

  • Stuart - 2006-09-04 11:06

    I am an All Black fan and watched the match with my Bok supporting best friend on Saturday. Even he cringed at Joost's post match commentary - where, oh where, is it written that former players make for half-decent commentators?

  • Jon - 2006-09-04 11:13

    I would rather listen to the aussie commentators, as they are less biast against the springboks than joel and hugh! i struggle to not run out of things to hit when listening to these bumbling fools. I dont care who commentates, as long as they are good and can speak english properly, otherwise put them on the afrikaans channel! Let joost do something with steve hofmeyer, and leave the rest of the country out of it please!

  • Reenen - 2006-09-04 11:20

    I don't know if Malan's comment was fair or not, but surely after his comment at 04/09/2006 08:57 it's easy to add a name to the article before 04/09/2006 10:44, almost 2 hours (1.75) later. Especially if it's such a small mistake to fix. On topic though, Joost hasn't been that bad before, but if I was the head, he'd be gone. (Probably golden shake, but gone nevertheless)

  • Niel Roux - 2006-09-04 11:27

    I take offence to the comments made by a clearly ill informed and inept Mr Lambley. We will have to accept that everybody makes mistakes, even on air. As for the impartiality, has this person ever wathced an Nieu Zealand or Australian broadcast? Yes, sure, Joost is not a native tongue English speaker, but cut the man some slack. He has achieved more than this loser (Lambley) will ever achieve. Go jump off a bridge...

  • Ray - 2006-09-04 11:33

    I think the SA team also did a good job of emabarrassing themselves, it looked like they had won a world cup, after a signifiacant beating in the Tri-Nations? When new Zealand beat us their onfield behaviour suggests "just another day in the office"

  • Fred - 2006-09-04 11:35

    I saw this comming, thats now if you listen to him on Super Rugby on Kyknet aswell. He has no idea of impartiality. Poor very Poor!!!!! - Fred

  • albert - 2006-09-04 11:40

    I would kind of like to fanx joost on his very delicious english you make all idiots proud

  • Kobus - 2006-09-04 11:41

    Who is Garrin Lambley? Some sort of journalist from obscurity thinking he knows something about rugby? Joost is also not my favourite but at least he knows something about rugby. And most certainly former rugby players are best equiped to commentate on rugby. Anyone can make a mistake as long as he learns from it. It seems that you are the biased person around here. First make a name for yourself before thrusting your opinion down our throats.

  • funkyfinger - 2006-09-04 11:42


  • Gerrit - 2006-09-04 11:43

    Ek het lanklaas so 'n onprofesionele optrede gesien vir 'n aanbieder - net soos met die bokke speel geld weer die belangrikste rol. Joost, doen die regte ding en bedank asb. Ekskuus Supersport kry jul ga!$%^& in rat en fire hom !!!

  • Brian - 2006-09-04 11:44

    I once heard Joost comment that the other team should be careful because the Sharks are very strong in the second and third halves of the match.

  • Neal - 2006-09-04 11:49

    The few facts in this article regarding the presentation of the cup differ markedly from those reported by Stephen Nell in this morning's Cape Times whose version has more of a ring of truth to it. A 'visibly shocked Muliaina' must have been on some other channel that only this bloke was watching.

  • jk - 2006-09-04 11:51

    Joost should be fired!

  • Dman - 2006-09-04 11:59

    I agree with you Jody. If we had Chuck as the coach, player and commentator, New Zealand would never have won and Joost's behaviour would have been justified. Chuck would never have let that happen, because Chuck learns from the past and anticipates what will happen in the future.

  • Mike - 2006-09-04 12:01

    I agree, we should have competent commentators and master of ceremonies. Kobus Wiese is always half shouting, Joost's english is not up to standard, and so forth. I liked Andy Capistanio's style of commentating, he was better than most. I get irritated with the Aussie and NZ commentators sometimes, they can be VERY biased, but we are getting just as bad, and the post-match interviews are shocking. Sportsmanship, that's what it's all about.

  • Judy - 2006-09-04 12:04

    Just proves once again that Joost is a 'real' dumb blonde (actually an insult to dumb blondes) - he may have been good with his boots once upon a time but certainly not with his mouth and is much better off keeping it shut! As a South African myself I cringed with embarassment.

  • Jaun - 2006-09-04 12:07

    Malan you tool. Learn to read before you write. As for Lourens if these commentators are not capable of doing the job on live TV they should start making soapies.....take 1114,1115.

  • Kobus - 2006-09-04 12:09

    News24 is just as biased as the journalist who has written this article. They only publish selected comments which they favour and not those which critizise them. So much for impartiality.

  • Anon - 2006-09-04 12:21

    If I was John Smit, I would also have accepted the cup - what was he supposed to do, give the cup back & embarrass Joost more than he'd already embarrassed himself? I think John played extremely well on Saturday - he made some ripper tackles! He played better than he has in ages. And to "boo" him at Loftus 2 weeks ago was disgusting! How can you expect our players to have faith in themselves to win, if we don't have/display faith in them? As for Joost - no comment! Disappointing & Appalling!

  • Morne - 2006-09-04 12:21

    I believe that an English speaking person?s criticism of the way an Afrikaans person speaks English is very brave. When Joost spoke English on Saturday he was compromising on behalf of the English speaking people. The vast majority of Springbok players and fans speak Afrikaans and understands the mistakes Joost makes when he speaks English. If the mistakes are so upsetting, I think we should in future hold the presentation and interview in Afrikaans; we can get a translator for foreigners.

  • Peter Ponderer - 2006-09-04 12:26

    Such a mistake is unfortunate to say the least, but alas, rugby players do not good broadcasters make.

  • Briaan v Rooyen - 2006-09-04 12:32

    How much must we still endure from all the has beens,trying to solve all our rugby problems on air.Joost go get a real job prevreably as far away from rugby as possible,look what you have done with Tukkie rugby in one year.

  • Louis - 2006-09-04 12:34

    All Joost's commentating is done with the Bulls type of game in mind, once he actually said that a player should have kicked & they went on to score a try! He is so full of himself with arrogance just seeping out of him. Please Supersport, get rid of this fool!

  • Mike - 2006-09-04 12:37 have just strengthened the argument to get proper English or fully bilingual commentators/presenters. Boet, the vast majority of rugby fans are NOT just Afrikaans! Having a translator?? They present in English because the WORLD is watching...and they don't speak Afrikaans. Translator??? My mind boggles...are you serious? Are you buddies with Malan (above)perhaps? The bottom line is this: As a Supersport presenter you are paid to be PROFESSIONAL and PROVICIENT.

  • Rod - 2006-09-04 12:43

    On the topic of getting things right - when will our commentators (all channels in English) be taught that there is no such thing as "Springbucks"!!

  • Stryder - 2006-09-04 12:45

    I for one enjoy Joosts comemntary, I have never noticed any bias (I am a Shark supporter). Anyway, if we anti bias then maybe you should listen to the Ozzie and Kiwi commentary sometime. You cannot knock someone for having an accent. And just because he doesn't speak the Queens english doesn't make him stupid. Grow up you lot.

  • Lettie - 2006-09-04 12:48

    Garrin, Just wondering about the typo in paragraph three. Freedon Cup???? We all make mistakes!!!! Joost are not the only one!!!!

  • Mike - 2006-09-04 12:50

    As South Africans we will allways stick to "Brands" we know and grew up with, like Joost, KWV and VW. It is not their fault.

  • Hein - 2006-09-04 12:54

    Leave Joost alone. the rugby public are used to embarrassment by wings that cannot tackle or inept officials and the list goes on. If Joost had garlic, beetroot and lemon juice, maybe he would have been on a heigtened state of mental alert. Then again, maybe not, since is a bok win against the All Blacks is such a rarity one can easily suffer rugbydisalusionae. Wonder what the cure for that would be?

  • Karlo - 2006-09-04 13:03

    I find pride in the fact that SA commentators are some of the most unbiassed group especially when compared to the Aus/Nz, so a slip up like this is somewhat disspointing. Having said that put yourself (actually being involved directly in the SA Rugby team) in their shoes, the pressure they must have had from SA Fans. Are Aus/NZ commentators are somehow better than us. Hell no, Aussies are some of the most annoying in the world. Please don't compare the two.

  • kt - 2006-09-04 13:03

    So Mr. Lambley, how many of our 11 official languages can you speak?? I found it a bit arrogant that you would comment on Joost?s english. I think you should be thankful that you can still have the commentators speaking in a language that you do understand ? so easy for you to comment but I would love to hear you speak Xhosa, Shoto or Afrikaans for that matter?And for supporters ?boo-ing? their own team, it shows as bad sportsmanship as bias commentators.

  • kt - 2006-09-04 13:03

    So Mr. Lambley, how many of our 11 official languages can you speak?? I found it a bit arrogant that you would comment on Joost?s english. I think you should be thankful that you can still have the commentators speaking in a language that you do understand ? so easy for you to comment but I would love to hear you speak Xhosa, Shoto or Afrikaans for that matter?And for supporters ?boo-ing? their own team, it shows as bad sportsmanship as bias commentators.