The great divide

May 21, 2012
Posted by

The current Super Rugby stand-off in South Africa is a pressure-cooker situation ready to explode.

I don’t know if anyone in SA Rugby has actually sat back and considered exactly what is going to happen should the Kings play in Super Rugby 2013?

No I am not talking about our SANZAR partners, commentators and fans ridiculing SA Rugby – they had plenty of practice of that by underperforming Saffa teams in the past – I am actually referring a level of hatred from SA fans towards another SA team at a level never before witnessed.

Some might think I am overreacting but do yourself a favour and go and read some letters, sms (sent into newspapers) and comments on blogs and social media whenever the Kings issue is raised – it is a situation that gets very nasty, very quickly on every single platform.

There are various factors in play that has led to this.  Some of the more obvious reasons include how this situation was allowed to develop because of political promises SA Rugby made to government (bringing Super Rugby to the Eastern Cape) in exchange for their backing for a World Cup bid (which failed).  Then add some more political fuel to this fire in the form of their president (Cheeky Watson), his son, poster boy and captain (Luke Watson) and their equity partner in waiting, Robert Gumede, and it becomes very easy to see why your average South African rugby supporter has absolutely no time for this team.

But even that could have been managed – most South Africans have become so de-sanitized and used to political meddling in everyday affairs and sport that most would have brushed it off as just another cosmetic attempt to score some political points but is sure to fail.  It is the other monster that SA Rugby have allowed to grow in playing the Kings off against some of the current existing franchises that has the potential for this to become very ugly, very quickly.

I have written two weeks ago how this (Kings) situation is one that has been brewing since 2005, and after 12 Rounds in Super Rugby in 2012 we are no-where close to finding a solution than what we were then.  In January this year SA Rugby announced that all 14 unions voted unanimously for the inclusion of the Kings in Super Rugby in 2013, and as true as that may be, it is important to note that none of the current franchises or teams voted for that to happen at their expense, or exclusion.

This has simply created another stand-off between existing franchises and the Kings as it did in 2005 and 2006 with SA Rugby neither having the ability or will to step in and make a decision.  They would seemingly rather just stand back and let the situation play itself out with the hope of a favourable result in the end – and that result currently seems to be the hope that the Lions in addition to their woeful results on the field will also be forced into a position to completely close their doors and call it quits.

Apart from the pressure currently on the Lions team given their poor results (one win from eleven played) it has also come to light last week that SA Rugby is putting administrative pressure on them threatening to relegate them should they not be able to settle a financial dispute between them and their Super Rugby partner unions.  It is particularly ironic given how many times SA Rugby has had to bail out other unions in South Africa who were on the brink of disaster including the unions in the Eastern Cape!  It is even rumoured in some circles that SA Rugby is footing quite a hefty bill to cover expenses of the Kings in waiting…

Of course I cannot see SA Rugby having it any other way – the fact that this has become a battle in the media between the Kings and Lions has conveniently shifted the spotlight of responsibility from them.

What I believe they do not realize is that this situation has got far greater consequences than what they realize.  It is one thing to hide behind politics as a reality in South Africa to support the Kings in Super Rugby, but when you idly stand by and watch another team with over 100 years of history and support being destroyed you are creating a far deeper divide amongst supporters of the game than simple provincialism has ever done.

The Kings are being held up as the ‘team of the people’ by some which is quite ironic, especially when I see ‘the people’ uniting against Kings which will no doubt become a visible, and embarrassing reality for SA Rugby come 2013.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to MySpace

Tags: , , , , , ,

82 Comments

  1. avatar Kat says:
    May 21st, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    :applause:

    :applause:

    :applause:

  2. avatar Kat says:
    May 21st, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Morné jy maak my dag! Tot Keo het SARU vandag in BusinessDay aangevat en gesê dis nie ‘n Lions vs Kings issue nie en moes dit nooi gewees het nie. Ek sê dit al lankal.

  3. avatar Kat says:
    May 21st, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Ek is baie lief vir die Oos Kaap en sy mense (my eie ‘roots’ lê daar) maar die Kings saga het ‘n hengse haat vir EP rugby wakker gemaak en die mense van die Oos Kaap verdien dit ook nie, net so min as ons Leeus mense hierdie kak verdien. Daar is mense wat nou al praat van anti-Kings truie en T-shirts laat maak wat hulle na wedstryde sal dra (en dis nie Leeu ondersteuners nie).

  4. avatar Kat says:
    May 21st, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Die haat lê gewortel in die politieke inmenging wat die Kings te weeg gebring het. AS die Kings in die ander kompetisies beter gedoen het en op meriete kans moes kry sou dit makliker gewee het maar nee, hulle eis om dadelik alles te kry op ‘n skinkbord (en dan spelers van orals te koop … heeltemal teenstrydig met die gees van hul insluiting).

  5. avatar Kat says:
    May 21st, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    ‘n Mens kan die gelieg en vraatsug myle vêr sien en ruik. Mense is nie stupid nie. Dis net soos die ander Spear is issue wat nou ‘uithang’ in die media … Zuma is ontsteld en kan nie verstaan hoekom mense hom so sal sien nie … WTF?!

  6. avatar Kaaskyker says:
    May 21st, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    @ Kat.
    Keo en sy vriendinne het ook maar lekker petrol op die vuurtjie gegooi. Hy is nie onskuldig nie, ‘n lekker “instigator”.
    :pdv:

  7. avatar Kat says:
    May 21st, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Reply to Kaaskyker @ 1:52 pm: Nee kyk dis verseker! Ek het ook al met hom op Twitter baklei daaroor dat die bits en bytes vlieg. Ek het presies dit wat hy vandag sê toe vir hom gesê.

  8. avatar biltongbek says:
    May 21st, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Politiek eerste, dan geld, dan weer n’ klomp politiek, en reg aan die einde common sense.

    Dan sit jy ook naturrlik met “accountability”

    SARU is accountable vie die petalje
    Die Knigs administraise en coaches “accountable” vir die feit dat hulle geen talent ontwikkel het nie.

    Op die einde van die dag, net nog n’ skaamtelose gemors. :dead horse:

  9. avatar Kat says:
    May 21st, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Ek wonder hoeveel steun het Watson regtig in PE? Is almal in daardie wêreld tevrede met hoe hierdie ding afspeel en hoe alles gedoen word?

    As my span so onbillik bevoordeel word deur politieke inmenging – en ek is tevrede daarmee en steun dit – sal ek nooit weer die ANC of enige ander politieke inmenging wat tot gewin lei kan veroordeel nie. Ek kan nie aan die een kant gryp en aan die ander kant pakgee nie.

  10. avatar Kat says:
    May 21st, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    http://www.iol.co.za/sport/rugby/the-lions-have-99-problems-1.1300107

  11. avatar Lion4ever says:
    May 21st, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    If the Lions are relegated for any other reason other than a good rugby reason, then I will start supporting the Crusaders, because at least if they have a crap season, they are still in contention for the play offs.

    But I am so gatvol of the anti Lions sentiments, from the media and even Lions fans. Yes, we are gatvol of the results, but we cannot turn on our team now, in their hour of greatest need.

  12. avatar ROOILEEU says:
    May 21st, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    ok, wat van die volgende, die lions gaan speel vir n seisoen of twee in die “heineken cup” tot die nuwe super rugby deal bespreek word wat nog spanne insluit. hulle kan dalk n bietjie geld daar maak en baie van ons spelers is klaar daar en speel vir ander klubs. dit kan dalk n tydelike oplossing wees vir nou. ek weet net nie so mooi van die home games nie he he.

  13. avatar Big_mac says:
    May 21st, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    This whole idea of takeing a team (not even a competative team) and just “slot” into Super Rugby is a pathetic joke. It is like the ANC demanding we have an athlete in the 100M Olympic final because in Bisho he can run at 15 seconds and we need to develop athletics in the EC.
    Ceeky and his son run the show at the Kings and I think Luke is the captian!! So much for transformation why no black player as captian? Where is the transformation of rugby in the EC? What structures are in place for development in rugby in the EC?
    I am not a Lions supporter but this is just a political decision and I detect a very strong smell somewhere.

  14. avatar Lion4ever says:
    May 21st, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Reply to ROOILEEU @ 3:17 pm: Something that has been put forward on some sites. Not sure if the Lions management are considering this option.

    Big_Mac, that is why so many people are against the inclusion of the Kings.

  15. avatar Vetgesmeerde Blits says:
    May 21st, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    The Kings should start fielding more black players if they want the the rugby public to take them seriously as the transformation/development franchise.

    I understand that this is a very complex issue, and the Lions haven’t helped their cause by their performance this year, but the Kings claim to Super Rugby is that they are the franchise that will unearth the talent of the black players in their region.
    So far they haven’t really done any better in this regard than the other SA provinces.

    Therefore I don’t think their promotion is justified.

  16. avatar JT_BOKBEFOK! says:
    May 21st, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Reply to Big_mac @ 3:27 pm: Reply to Lion4ever @ 3:54 pm:

    If the HC will even want any SH team there is another question! It will cost a European club a spot and they won’t stand for it.

  17. avatar Big_mac says:
    May 21st, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    It could be dangerouse for Super Rugby if the lions do indeed get int some european rugby comp. Firstly the money is higher than in Super Rugby and a fair number of other SA teams will be looking to do the same with the possible collapse of Super Rugby. I do think this is highly unlikley but it could be the beginning of the end if the Lions are accepted in some way.
    Everybody, including the EP Kings, know that next year they will only end up with 8 points (the 2 byes) and will come crashing out again after a play off.
    Suoer Rugby is like the English Premiership football scenario and then only the team that finishes top of the division below goes thru and they battle, here we have a team from the Vauxhall conferance trying to be competative in the Premeirship. It ain’t gonna happen.

  18. avatar DavidS says:
    May 21st, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    I have to agree that the Kings are set to become the most hated team in South Africa… for the first time I believe local fans will cheer for an opposition team from Australia and New Zealand that beats the Kings…

    Sure they will unite rugby fans and become a people’s team… in the way a hated dictator unites the people in hatred.

  19. avatar DavidS says:
    May 21st, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    The saying will be

    I support the Bulls and anyone who’s (note the apostrophe Morne) playing against the Queers

  20. avatar Boertjie says:
    May 21st, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    Fact is Saru does not have the balls
    to point out all the home truths above.
    Just too willing to lie down to their
    political bosses.

    As for the Kings: I will never ever support
    them, no matter who they play.

    Stand by for a disaster of epic proportions.

  21. avatar Timeo says:
    May 21st, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    The bright side is that many more people will be attending the Kings games.
    If only to see them lose and boo Luke Watson.
    Below all the hatred and vitriol will be higher profits to SARU. :whistling:

  22. avatar marko says:
    May 21st, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    I must admit, the whole Kings fiasco has been a laugh a minute. I’m a solid lurker who has watch this process both on this site and on Voldy’s since the beginning.
    I believe that the Kings have every right to play Super15 and I am looking forward to the day. When super15 money is on the table, no other team will ever get a look in, not for rugby reasons but because of politics.
    People blame the Kings and Cheeky for playing politics. Heck, the Big 5 have been playing politics for years. There is no other way to describe the reason for the Lions continued involvement after all these years. It certainly wasn’t for rugby reasons. There is no other way to describe what SARU allowed to happen @ EP and Border, or between EP and the Sharks or how they actively contributed to the corruption by paying the same crooks who destroyed EP, millions to destroy the Spears. All politics. They couldn’t step in and stop the destruction of EP rugby by incompetent clowns but when they needed to kill the Spears, in a blink of an eye they’d bought controlling interest and the Spears were history. All politics!
    The political bunfight with the Spears started long before Cheeky Watson got involved and to be frank, apart from a couple of opening salvo’s all those years ago, he has done a fantastic job turning EP around. Be fair now, when last did he say anything, nevermind anything controversial. He has kept his head down and slowly put the pieces of the EPRU back together. I don’t know him from a bar of soap but I appreciate the fact that it has been all pretty much low key. The high profile war has been waged on the blogs and to be frank, it is all aimed at Cheeky and Luke. Where is the hate and vitriol for SARU and Hoskins? Where is the Rabid hate for Roux or any one of the other executive members responsible for this monumental stuffup. Oh yes, there is frustration with SARU but nothing like the vile, disgusting comments spewing over the Net. The way I see it, Cheeky and the Kings have become the lightening rod for every ANC hating rugby fan with an axe to grind (and there are many). There are a hundred good rugby reasons to include the Kings but when has serious journalist been honest enough to even “go see”.
    So tell me, who promised the government that the Kings would participate in exchange for WC backing? Was that Cheeky or Hoskins? I’m pretty sure that the approach came fron SARU, not Cheeky nor the government? So how do the brain dead masses react? Hoskins walks off scot free and all the blame gets put on Cheeky. Why, because he committed the only sin unforgiveable in rugby, he’s white and supports the ANC. Now I’m solidly DA and I think he is nuts for continuing to do so but nowhere does that give me the right to carry on like he is the scum of the earth. And that, I believe, is the single biggest reason for the anti-Kings hysteria that has gripped so many bloggers. It has nothing to do with rugby and everything to do with politics. They never allow facts to get in the way of a good “hating” Hypocrites!! Oh Yes Go Kings!

  23. avatar Morné says:
    May 21st, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    Reply to marko @ 9:53 pm:

    Oh no, I think people are at last waking up.

    Yes there is a massive amount of hate for the Kings – all politically motivated.

    But finally people are realising this is the direct product of a governing body, SA Rugby, who has allowed this to happen.

    This very article deals with this hate, but I am sure it also puts the blame squarely on one body only – and its not the Kings – nor Lions.

  24. avatar marko says:
    May 21st, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    Yes, Morne, but one lone voice in the wilderness (ok a couple)is unlikely to sway the great unwashed. They need to hate.

  25. avatar Timeo says:
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    Reply to Morné @ 10:01 pm:

    Hoskins has always been between a rock and a hard place with this and in my opinion has handled it in the best way possible.

    What would you have done differently?

  26. avatar out wide says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 12:30 am

    Oh if only some of the decisions made by SARU made half as much sense as your very good article Morné or the balanced post by Marko above. Cry the Beloved Country! It was SARU who guaranteed the Kings a Super Rugby franchise without checking first with their SANZAR partners, it was SARU who made promises to the government to get them to agree to guarantee the financial backing so that they could tender for the 2011, 2015 and 2019 Rugby World Cup hosting rights. You guys are right, the anger is being directed at the wrong targets. SARU must show some backbone and own up. Their mismanagement of the whole sordid affair would have any decent private company’s management resigning en masse but it wont happen because Saffas have become punch drunk and too accepting of political meddling and mismanagement.

  27. avatar out wide says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 12:51 am

    And all of this while we should be analysing the Chiefs v Bulls and Sharks v Stormers clashes on the weekend. Hopefully the players and coaches have got their minds set on rugby but it must be hard if you are a Lion. All I can say to them and their supporters is that you have no idea how many of us previously non-Lion supporters, now are behind you getting that elusive victory every weekend.

  28. avatar Timeo says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 4:16 am

    If Hoskins had kept the promises to the Spears that he inherited from his predecessor the Lions would have been relegated back then.

    SARU buying out the Spears gave the Lions a 6 year reprieve. Six years to rebuild, get their house in order and become a dominant team.

    Instead of being angry, the Lions fans should be thankful to Hoskins and SARU for the extra years they got.
    It’s the GLRU they should be angry at. They are now are even weaker than they were back then.

    Time to call it a day.

    Let the Kings play. The haters will get over themselves.
    One team for each SA region is only fair after all.

    No mergers. The Jo’burg virus will ruin the other team also.
    Just shut them down.

  29. avatar Kevin_rack says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 5:09 am

    I think we should have relegation but not at the price of competiveness. So whoever beats the last team, the Lions, top of the CC goes through to S15. Go Griquas!!!

    But simply promoting a team that cannot even compete much lower down is wrong for rugby and for that team.
    How terrible its going to be when they constanlty get reamed. The supporters and players will have long term issues.

    There is a strangle hold on politics in South African rugby. But there are better ways than fixing problems by creating a bigger problem.

    No matter what, I could never bring myself to support a Kiwi or Aussie team over a Saffa team (yep even the Bulls).

    Good luck Spears, sorry Kings!

  30. avatar Kevin_rack says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 5:11 am

    I do fancy the Lions to go to the Northern Hemisphere, once Nicl Mallet is coach, and open up the rugby for us there too.

    Good idea. Wathc the stream of players signing for the Lions.

  31. avatar Kat says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 6:59 am

    Reply to Timeo @ 4:16 am: Timeo, not a fair statement. Relegate the Lions back then for the Spears who represented an area in complete turmoil? As Marko said, before Cheeky took over rugby in that region was completely mismanaged. And then you talk about SARU helping the Lions by giving them time? Nonsense. If anything the destruction of either the Lions or Cheetahs to create an open slot was more the case. In this time SARU through more and more money at EP Rugby while they starved the Lions. The Lions got zero help when they were fighting for survival. If Free State had no Grey College to resupply the Cheetahs player roster they would have died some time ago.

    The Cats killed the Lions and Cheetahs financially and the Lions without a Grey College struggled since. Where other franchises shared the droadcasting, sponsorship and gate income with one or two smaller teams the Cats had to divide it up in so many pieces that two large unions suffered immensely.

  32. avatar marko says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 7:19 am

    Morne, we know that you have contacts all over the rugby scene in South Africa. The one thing that no-one has written about is what has Cheeky or rather the Kings have actually achieved over the last four years. What is Luke really doing? Why are they playing a supposed “B” team in the Vodacom Cup? Not the rantings of a blog or the inside “gnosis” of someone with an axe to grind. There is stuff happening but it’s not contentious so no-one knows…. or cares. What have they achieved that will give us an idea as to how successful their Super15 challenge will REALLY be? How about a behind the scenes look? :soek:

  33. avatar Big_mac says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 8:11 am

    @ Marko. Yes agreed they need to develop rugby in the EP BUT you don’t take an area and just say “here is a Super Rugby franchise because EP is passionate about rugby” it is like the IRB saying to Kenya “sorry, I know you guys are passionate about rugby and you have not got all the facilities thatother countries have so here, don’t bother qualifying for ther RWC, we will just include you anyway”. It is not just unfair on the region but unfair to other regions. There is no representation in the Northern Cape, so SARU may as well just ask somebody there to start a Super Rugby team. It also has everything to do with the population to sustain the franchise financially. How many people support the Kings now? What are they going to expect in gate receipts if they are in Super Rugby? I cannot see the attendances being anything like the other SA franchises.

    Yes, by all means, have a promotion / relegation play-off and structure the tornaments in tiers, with Super Rugby at the apex but to just start at the apex makes no scence.

    Like any team supporters are crucial it determines how much sponsorship you will receive, what you can charge for boxes and game tickets. The sponsors are going to give Rxxxxx rand for a game watched by xxxxx people on TV and Ryy for YY people watching the game, it is just economics.

    We now come to the players. EP Rugby think that those players that are from the region will just come flooding back to play for the Kings. I would like to know on what basis? Freestate have the Cheetahs, a fair number of Freestate players do not play for the Cheetahs but for other Unions principally because they get paid more or they have a better standard of living in another region. Currently I cannot see one player at the Kings that would be a first start for any other SA franchise team.

    I just think this is a car crash moveing in slow motion, we all know the outcome, the car is still spinning and we all just waiting for the impact.

  34. avatar Morné says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 8:18 am

    Reply to marko @ 7:19 am:

    I can ask them if they want to talk. Keep you updated.

  35. avatar biltongbek says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 8:33 am

    Marko as much as I think the Kings should get an opportunity to play Super rugby, they have to get their home in order to do so.

    They have had 8 years since the talk of a possible inclusion in Super rugby strated, if they stuck by their word to be THE SA province that is going to develop “black” rugby then they had 8 years to do it in.

    By virtue of the fact that they have achieved very little in the development and performance stakes it doesn’t really give them any bargaining strength to say “Hey look at what he have done in 8 years”

    Just look at Argentina, they had to be placed third in the RWC before SANZAR would even consider them to join, and even then it took 5 years.

  36. avatar DavidS says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 8:36 am

    Culture of entitlement…

  37. avatar Big_mac says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 9:01 am

    @ Biltongbek 8:33, I agree. I have not seen more transformation down in EP than any other Union. Or at least, to qualify that, I have not heard of any more transformation. But you would have thought if they had made huge strides in transformation we would have heard about it. I find it staggering that Cheecky has his own son as captian. Nepotism is alive and well down in the EP. No matter what the mans politics is, you would not have your Son heading the team it just reeks of “jobs for pals”. It makes people look harder at the make-up of the board, contracts etc etc.

  38. avatar Methos The French Stormer says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 9:28 am

    Big Mac

    To be fair old Luke was also the captain of various other franchises. Stormers, WP, Bath etc. He obviously have leadership qualities etc.

    Cheers

  39. avatar Ollie says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 9:52 am

    In a way the old saying, “No news is good news” might just be applicable here. The EC rugby scene has been mighty quite lately and it would be nice to hear what is happening there, as somebody earlier mentioned.

    Another though that comes to mind is that it takes money to get good players in and nobody is willing to invest on just the word of SARU that the Kings will get a birth in the S15.

    That said, a hand out is not the right answer either imo.

    I imagine that there is a whole lot more happening behind the scenes that we are not aware of and the issue is a lot more complicated than we think.

    But bottom line is that getting angry with the Lions or Kings is pointless, they are pawns in the game.

  40. avatar Kevin_rack says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Luke is a good player and captain. But yes it does smell like the ANC’s culture of cronyism and nepotism.

    They are going to get reamed, I hope not, and the damage to the brand and the supporters will be massive.
    This is kind of like South Africa in general, quality sacrificed for medicority for short term politcal gain.

    We have yet to see the transformation promised in this region, the region with the worst corruption in South Africa. Do we have rugby refugees like the school kids from this province? Or is this another case of the governement trying to fill their SWC white elephants?

    The upside, the Force wont be at the bottom any more.

  41. avatar DavidS says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Reply to Methos The French Stormer @ 9:28 am:

    How good was he?

    At WP he caused a coach to be fired and divided the team into two opposing camps…

    Luke is NOT a good player… never was and never will be more than keo-political hype and self aggrandisement

  42. avatar Big_mac says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Reply to DadidS @ 10:31: I think he was an OK player earlier in his playing but I cannot see him in the green and gold anytime soon!!

  43. avatar JT_BOKBEFOK! says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 10:48 am

    Reply to DavidS @ 10:31 am: Reply to Big_mac @ 10:40 am:

    He proved IMO how good he was by going to Bath and becoming captain of that team. Played damn well too!
    He seems however to be a negative influence on a squad and has the unfortunate talent of deviding people… Not good for team sports but most teams have one of those – he just happens to be good at it!

  44. avatar Vetgesmeerde Blits says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Reply to DavidS @ 10:31 am: I disagree.
    Luke is a very good player and captain, and could have been a great player if he focussed on rugby alone.

    He made his Super Rugby debut at only 20 years of age, was the SA Super rugby player of the year in 2006, and was appointed as captain of Bath after a very short time at the club.

    A lot of supporters are blinded by their hatred for what he has said about the bok jersey, and the manner in which he became a Bok, but if he is judged on his rugby playing ability alone, I believe most will find him to be a very good rugby player.

  45. avatar DavidS says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 11:06 am

    So the question then is should he be captaining a nascent Super Rugby franchise team into its first campaign, particularly in an area which has of itself proven to have very divisive internal politicking between its various constituents…

    The truth is the SEC is as racially divided as the Western Cape on rugby playing fields…

    The difference is the Western Cape actually possesses a multitude of talented players boiling out of its schools. The Eastern Cape has shown a steady and marked decline in that area for 15 years.

    I love the eastern Cape as a holiday destination.

    Okay parts of it… not the whole… but as a rugby playing destination…

    Sorry

    The best would be for SARU to admit the layer drain is killing our rugby, and readjust ALL the regional teams so as NOT to be associated with any provinces.

    Start from scratch… kill them all.

    Follow the Kiwi / Aus model.

  46. avatar Big_mac says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Reply to Vetgesmeerde Blits May 22nd, 2012 at 11:06 am:
    Sorry I was not aware SA had an Award for Super Rugby player of the year but they do have a Rugby Player of the year. 2006 was won by fourie du preez and the award for Super Rugby player of the year was Dan Carter in 2006. Where is this award published? I ma not disputing the authenticity but it is just nt easily found.

  47. avatar Big_mac says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 11:51 am

    I am not against eiher of the Watsons or EC Rugby. I am against an artificial promotion to super rugby be it any other region or management.

  48. avatar Kat says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Reply to DavidS @ 8:36 am: Thát is the problem, and I see this problem all around me these days. People demand this that and the other and get very upset when the word “earn” comes up. “I want it so you must give it, now!”. Zimbabwe is a beautiful example of where this is going.

  49. avatar Boertjie says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Reply to Kat @ 12:58 pm:

    It’s called entitlement. BEE. AA.
    It all boils down to an invented “historical
    debt” that must now be paid.

    No country was ever as ravished as the two
    Boer Republics after the ABO (and I can give
    you the facts).
    Yet there was none of the above dished out.
    The Boers even had to pay for the “accommodation”
    in the concentration camps where they lost 28,000
    women and children.
    Thank you, Kitchener, you Rhodes and Milner.

    OK, I’m boiling off the point.
    Fact is that the best the EC could
    achieve is FOUR black faces in their
    22 and achieving zilch.

  50. avatar Kat says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Forget about promotion/relegation. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN if Kings end last in SA conference in 2013 and/or 2014. It will not be seen as fair on them, and I agree. The only solution I see working in any shape or size is a merger.

    A merger is the only way six goes into five and SARU will have to be strong on this and just make it happen. The longer teams try to run from this the longer it will take to get a solution. The Cats failed because one cannot expect the Lions and Cheetahs to share one piece of the SR money (sponsors, gates, broadcasting, etc) and then share it even further with several other teams. The Cheetahs and Lions lost many of their best players as the Cats because they couldn’t hold onto them and compete with a team like the Sharks who didn’t have to share anything with anyone (after they very conveniently got rid of EC teams with the help of there old official Hoskins).

    A new franchise with new branding and a new identity will have to be formed using a far better financial model (where SARU comes to the party in a big way to help make it work).

    The Cheetahs + Lions is the one most punted (my Wildcats concept). Will the Cheetahs bite? I believe they will if the financial incentives are right. Neither the Lions nor the Cheetahs want a repeat of the Cats disaster.

    Both teams need more depth. Just see what is possible when the Cheetah’s top 15 players is combined with the Lions’ top 15 to form a squad. Add someone like Mallett to the mix as DoR and things look a lot better. Such a setup CAN compete and win the title. On their own neither teams will get there. They will try to convince other that they can, but they can’t. SARU must cut through the bullshit and get this to happen.

    The players are professionals. Professional athletes go where they are told to go. This amateur and pro mix in rugby is a cause of many problems. The tail is wagging the dog.

    Politically there is an interesting thing waiting for whomever thinks Johannesburg should/could be without a franchise. Those who pushed for the EC are gone. Johannesburg/Soweto = ANC. This little gem awaits its unveiling.

  51. avatar Vetgesmeerde Blits says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Reply to Big_mac @ 11:44 am:

    It is awarded at the SA rugby awards each year. Not sure who the judges are, or how serious one should take these awards, but here it is.

    ABSA SA Rugby Awards – 2006 winners

    Absa SA Rugby Player of the Year: Fourie du Preez (Vodacom Blue Bulls)

    Player’s Player of the Year: Kabamba Floors (Vodacom Free State Cheetahs)

    Sasol SA Sevens Player of the Year: Stefan Basson (Vodacom Blue Bulls)

    Sasol Most Promising Player of the Year: Pierre Spies (Vodacom Blue Bulls)

    Vodacom Rugby Super 14 Player of the Year: Luke Watson (Vodacom Western Province)

    Absa Currie Cup Player of the Year: Kabamba Floors (Vodacom Free State Cheetahs)

    Vodacom Cup Player of the Year: Keegan Daniel (The Sharks)

    Sasol SA U21 Player of the Year: Keegan Daniel (The Sharks)

    SA U19 Player of the Year: Francois Steyn (The Sharks)

    Supersport Try of the Year: Gio Aplon (Vodacom Western Province)

    Fidentia National Club Championship Player of the Tournament: Deon Booysen (Progress Rugby Club, Eastern Province)

    British Airways Women’s Rugby Player of the Year: Mandisa Williams (Border)

    Marriott Referee of the Year: Jonathan Kaplan (SA Rugby)

    Coca-Cola Craven Week Player of the Tournament: Cecil Afrika (Griffons)

    Sasol Springbok Journalist of the Year: JJ Harmse (Rapport)

    Sasol Springbok Commentator of the Year: Kobus Wiese (Supersport)

    Sasol Springbok Photographer of the Year: Wessel Oosthuizen (The Citizen)

  52. avatar Kat says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Ek wil graag glo dat common sense die Kings gaan laat besef dat hulle eerder tot die volgende SR verandering eerder eers op CB rugby moet konsentreer. Hulle het hulle punt gemaak en hulle sal ingesluit word. Bou nou eers ‘n goeie CB premier liga span. Die “vraatsug” om nou alles te kry gaan lelik backfire. Stap vir stap manne. Wen mense se guns en kondig self aan dat julle eers net CB premier liga rugby gaan speel waar julle al julle nuwe aanwinste gaan warm maak vir SR. Julle weet dis die regte ding om te doen.

  53. avatar Kat says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Die Kings kan nou moerse guns wen by almal deur hul SR eis te laat vaar tot die nuwe kompetisie struktuur inkom. Die Kings het sulke guns nou nodig. Speel ‘n paar top Europese spanne in vriendskaplike wedstryde. SARU kan daarmee help. Hou op om die land randsom te hou en almal op te stres oor iets wat net haat veroorsaak en maak dat mense julle ondergang begeer (en selfs kan aanhelp). Staan nou eenkant-toe en kry onmiddelik groot steun by … dis tog waaroor sport eintlik gaan (ondersteuners), of hoe?

    SARU kan so paar games na NM/PE Stadium gooi om daai geld honger te stil.

  54. avatar Kat says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Wat daarvan as SR spanne elkeen een van hulle home games in PE moet speel vir die volgende twee jaar?

  55. avatar Kat says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    Verplig elke SR franchise om twee Kings spelers in hul squad op te neem en speelkans te gee in die SR ter voorbereiding van die Kings se toetrede en elke span speel dan ten minste een home game in PE elke seisoen? Die Kings word dan in die CB premier liga toegelaat en daai spelers van hulle wat by die SR franchises was is dan veel skerper om in die CB ‘n krag te kan word. ???

  56. avatar Kat says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    As die Kings self eenkant-toe staan sal die politici dit aanvaar. Die Kings hou die sleutel tot versoening hier en kan dit baie kragtig aanwend as hulle wil.

  57. avatar Morné says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Jurie Roux told parliament’s portfolio committee that Kings will play in 2013, but not at the expense of one of the other franchises…

    HUH???

  58. avatar DavidS says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    Reply to Boertjie @ 1:27 pm:

    Germany after WW2 was utterly annihilated and divided into four occupation zones where the occupying powers did their best to re-educate everyone and steal their industries and use them as slave labour.

    Today Germany’s economic might alone holds the EU together. That started in 1956 already when she became the most powerful economic entity on the mainland and in 1968 when she became the most powerful economic entity in Europe surpassing the Poms.

    23 years for Germany to achieve that and less 13 to return to the pre-eminent spot as regional power.

    We’ve had 21 years since De Klerk’s speech and 18 since the first election and we’re sinking… having started off a high base…

    Entitlement

    The worst of it is that I see these days more and more white people feel entitled and act entitled to things and acting dumbed down…

  59. avatar DavidS says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Swinton, then the preeminent New York journalist, probably one night in 1880. Swinton was the guest of honour at a banquet given him by the leaders of his craft. Someone who knew neither the press nor Swinton offered a toast to the independent press. Swinton outraged his colleagues by replying: There is no such thing, at this date of the world’s history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it.
    There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone.
    The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press?
    We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.

  60. avatar Kat says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Reply to DavidS @ 3:23 pm: Wow! Thát is one article I will hold onto.

  61. avatar Kat says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    Reply to DavidS @ 3:23 pm: Thát is what so many of us experience every single day. We have to shup-up to feed the family.

  62. avatar Kat says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Should read “shut-up”. Sooorry :) .

  63. avatar DavidS says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Reply to Kat @ 3:57 pm:

    Yup

    I’m thinking

    I had two growths removed from my back that could be cancerous…

    So they were supposed to contact me by yesterday to tell me everything is okay… but nobody has…

    I’m in existential angst at the moment…

    But ja we all do what we are told and like animals we exist till we die and the next group does the same and we pretend it all has meaning…

  64. avatar Boertjie says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Reply to Kat @ 3:57 pm:

    Not if you’re black.
    Blacks can’t be racists.
    Blacks are allowed to spew the worst
    racism thinkable – even from the
    benches of parliament.
    Check some of the comments on News24,
    and some of the Joe Soap articles
    they publish.

  65. avatar Kat says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Reply to Boertjie @ 4:39 pm: Net so Boertjie. ‘n Mens loop op eiers heel dag. Daar was ‘n tyd wat jy kak aanjaers kon uitkak maar nou moet jy hulle potensiaal beter benut en moer baie geld op tyd en geldmors opleiding spandeer wat nooit nodig was nie. Maar nou ja, ek moet stilbly.

  66. avatar Boertjie says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Reply to DavidS @ 3:21 pm:

    Germany made two major recoveries:
    After WW I and WW II.
    Japan made a major recovery in the
    1950′s after WW II.
    Even the Poms didn’t do all that
    bad after the raids on London.
    Ditto the other European nations that
    were devastated and where the Communists
    were not in charge.

    What a laugh, this furore about Zuma and
    his dick hanging out on a painting.
    Does a man with 783 outstanding (squashed)
    court cases, 22 kids with 10 different
    wives etc. etc. deserve any kind of respect?

  67. avatar Kat says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Reply to Boertjie @ 5:10 pm: Entitlement. Respect is demanded, not earned.

  68. avatar Timeo says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Reply to DavidS @ 3:23 pm:

    What the guy is really saying is that there was no such thing as an independent journalist.
    Journalists were writing in the interest of the newspaper owners. The rich men behind the scenes, who as ultimate owners, were thus independent.

    Who is: “The Press”? Journalists or news media owners?

  69. avatar Morné says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Reply to Timeo @ 6:26 pm:

    I wish I get paid to piss Blue Bulls supporters off! :)

  70. avatar Boertjie says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    Reply to Timeo @ 6:26 pm:

    Not many independent journos – they all
    toe to a certain line. Maybe Max du Preez
    and a few others don’t as much, but then Max
    see-seesaws with his views, pleasing both sides
    from time to time.
    Tim du Plessis of Beeld is quite outspoken and
    always worth the read.
    Add Moeletsi Mbeki, Jonathan Jansen and others
    whom I think has quite a free hand.

    I remember vividly how the parliamentary
    reporter of a certain Afrikaans newspaper
    often rebelled at the way he had to clad some
    reports of NP stupidity back in the 70′s.

    Some – like Mail%Guardian – are more
    “independent” than others.

    Sunday Times? Not quite, although it is
    often vitriol in its reports about the
    ANC. But they still fired David Bullard
    as a columnist when he got too close to
    the race bone.

  71. avatar Boertjie says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    Reply to Morné @ 6:45 pm:

    Naah, too easy. You won’t deserve the money.
    :pot:

  72. avatar Morné says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    Reply to Boertjie @ 7:00 pm:

    Love Jansen’s views.

  73. avatar Boertjie says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    There is also the case of a previous
    Fair Lady editor.
    She refused to publish an article
    honeying an unworthy advertiser
    who made dubious claims.
    She rather resigned.

  74. avatar Duiwel says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    Ja-ja,like everywhere.
    Editors rule.
    By shareholders consent.

  75. avatar DavidS says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    Reply to Duiwel @ 8:21 pm:

    Nou dit was fokken intelligent gestel

  76. avatar DavidS says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    Solank daar shareholders en ‘n board is wat geld moet maak kan daar nie onafhanklike media bestaan nie.

    Ons het in die ou dae van Argus Groep geleer op universiteit dat hulle besit word deur Anglo en dus sal jy nooit in die ou Star of Argus or MNercury koerante enige iets oor mynbou afval en besodeling gevind het nie… en dit was nogals die waarheid.

  77. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    Ek vat’n beak van rugby die naweek Africa Freedom day frydag in zambia gaan visvang op die kafue rivier kan nie wag nie sal maar sondag opvang met als :beer:

  78. avatar marko says:
    May 23rd, 2012 at 1:09 am

    And so the wheel turns….. \I like to think of the Kings like the Rebels. The Rebels didnt “deserve” a place, they didn’t win a relegation game. No rugby schools. The ARU simply decided that Melbourne was a big city with no rugby to speak of and planted a team their hoping to grow their support base and therefore their depth and no the ARU didn’t expect them to use only Melbourne based players, heck, they were allowed to break the recruiting rules to help them get up and running. So, how are the Rebels doing so far?
    Now that I think of it, the Rebels are nothing like the Kings. YES – the Kings have a big city, NO – they actually have a large white, coloured and POTENTIALLY? have a large black rugby population, NO – they have some of the top schools (yes DavidS, still -Last year this time, 5 of the top ten schools on the “log” were from the eastern cape – haven’t checked this year – although did see that Grey PE whacked Paul Roos – So many of Border’s schoolboys have been signed by the big five that Border are threatening to ban them from Craven Week selection – silly but kicks the comment re EC schools into touch). Nahh! Can’t possibly see the point of giving the Kings a shot at Super15. If you want to see ENTITLEMENT in action watch the Lions.

  79. avatar marko says:
    May 23rd, 2012 at 1:13 am

    Damn I see its only 5 of the top 15 schools in the eastern Cape, EC Schools definitely on their way out. Funny thing though, most of those teams are now black, hmmm……. :pot:

  80. avatar out wide says:
    May 23rd, 2012 at 2:28 am

    Reply to marko @ 1:09 am: You raise an interesting point but I wonder if there aren’t major differences in the origin of the Rebels and the Kings?. The Rebels were also created for a political agenda. There it was rugby politics. Melbourne with more than 4 million people in it is an Australian Football League bastion and with a sports mad public and fantastic sports facilities was just waiting for the introduction of some rugby union. Hence they won the rights to host Australia’s 5th Superugby team. All very professional, democratic and with the blessing of the ARU and never involvement of the Federal government who in Australia don’t meddle in these sorts of issues. No threats to an existing Superrugby side and given the recent defeat of the Crusaders in Melbourne, a side doing ok, even if it is only at home games.

    There is no real analogy with the Kings saga though. To begin with, does SARU think that the Kings are going to attract a viable supporter base with under a million people living in PE? OK Christchurch with just over 300 000 people supports a very successful Crusaders franchise but the circumstances are different. If the survival of the Lions with a potential 7 million people in the economic powerhouse that is the Greater Johannesburg area is threatened, what chance do the Kings have?

  81. avatar Ollie says:
    May 23rd, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Reply to DavidS @ 11:06 am:

    Actually one could argue that the EC schools (actually Border schools) have been climbing the ranks in school boy rugby.

    Namely Selborne, Dale and Queens have been doing particularly well the last 2 or 3 seasons.

    The problem at the moment is that very few players stay in the region and continue playing.

  82. avatar Boertjie says:
    May 23rd, 2012 at 10:23 am

    Reply to Jacques(Bunny) @ 11:02 pm:

    Kafue rivier?
    Is dit die regte spelling?
    :jester:

Switch to our mobile site