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Monthly Archives: November 2012

Farrell shock nomination for IRB player of the year


Never without controversy, the IRB has named England’s second choice flyhalf as part of the final four nominees to contest the international player of the year award.

Hore apologises for his actions


New Zealand hooker Andrew Hore apologised on Thursday for a hit from behind on Wales lock Bradley Davies that resulted in a five-match ban, saying he had let down his team and the entire country.

Mitchell: ‘My reputation is stil intact’


John Mitchell, less than a week after saying he had ‘unfinished business’ with the Lions, has started coaching Sale Sharks and stated he was always going to return to the English club.

Hore gets slap on the wrist


Disgraced All Black hooker Andrew Hore received to what amounted to no more than a slap on the wrist for his unprovoked attack on a Welsh player.

Always the victim, never the perpetrator: All Blacks must own their acts of violence



For two days the world waited for Andrew Hore, Steve Hansen, Richie McCaw, Steve Tew or even the bloke who carries the bags to apologise for the All Black hooker’s unprovoked assault on Bradley Davies.

November 28, 2012 – 12:55PM

Mark Reason


New video angle of Hore assault

Instead, New Zealand rugby appeared stuck on an endless loop of John Cage’s soundless epic. At the time of writing there had not been a solitary public note of regret.

Andrew Hore talks to All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen and assistant coach Ian Foster after the match.Andrew Hore talks to All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen and assistant coach Ian Foster after the match. Photo: Getty Images

Many good men and women in this country are ashamed of this craven refusal to say sorry, but they should not be surprised.

When Adam Thomson took it upon himself to stand on Scotland’s Alasdair Strokosch’s head, All Blacks rugby reached for the euphemism.

The old melon, the bonce and the noggin had all got a bit of a scrape but there was apparently no malice in Thomson’s calculated decision to stamp on another human being’s skull.

"What Hore did has got no place on a rugby field as far as I'm concerned, it was an absolute disgrace" ... Wales attack coach Rob Howley on Andrew Hore's attack on Bradley Davies, pictured.“What Hore did has got no place on a rugby field as far as I’m concerned, it was an absolute disgrace” … Wales attack coach Rob Howley on Andrew Hore’s attack on Bradley Davies. Photo: Getty Images

The real villain of the piece was a Welsh rugby writer called Stephen Jones and the real victim was New Zealand rugby, which again was the unfortunate casualty of a media beat-up.

You do wonder if New Zealand rugby will ever learn how decent society behaves. When Dean Greyling disgracefully assaulted McCaw, the Springboks leadership reacted immediately. Coach Heyneke Meyer publicly called the attack “unacceptable” and said: “I want to apologise to Richie McCaw.” Captain Jean de Villiers said: “We’ll never condone playing dirty” and promised to take action.

But all we have had out of Hansen so far is evasion. Initially Hansen wasn’t sure if Hore “clocked him but he certainly hooked him out”.

A little later he said: “It looked like he was trying to clean out the Welshman in front of him It’s unfortunate that it’s happened.” Then Hansen said: “I am just resigned to the fact that he will probably get cited . . . think they think we’re thugs or something but we don’t play differently to anyone else.”

We should be thankful that Hansen is no longer a policeman. He would have presumably let Charles Manson off with a caution.

The All Blacks coach, like many of his predecessors, clearly suffers from Arsene Wenger syndrome, an unfortunate irritation of the optic nerve that causes temporary blindness when watching your own team.

The world accepts that rugby has always had its thugs. Martin Johnson and Danny Grewcock got up to some revolting things on a rugby pitch and many of the English press excoriated those men and their actions. But the world does not accept the code of silence that has pervaded the All Blacks and a supine part of their media for far too long.

Many years ago Cyril Brownlie became the first man to be sent off in a rugby match.

The Welsh referee was considered the finest in the world and he had already issued three general warnings. He then saw Brownlie stamp on an opposition player’s leg off the ball and he sent him from the pitch.

The All Blacks manager of the time said the referee had “made a mistake” and “a grave injustice has been done to Brownlie”, an occurrence that “could not help the spirit of imperialism”.

New Zealand papers whinged about the sending-off then and they are still crying about it now. True to future form, Brownlie has somehow become the victim of his own violent action.

It is this reaction that continues to gall the rest of the world. The recent list of All Blacks shame is a long one – the Canterbury front row deliberately beating up the 71 Lions, John Ashworth tearing open JPR’s face with a double stamp, Richard Loe’s assault on Paul Carozza, Jamie Joseph wrecking Kyran Bracken’s ankle, Keven Mealamu and Tana Umaga smashing Brian O’Driscoll’s shoulder.

These acts are bad enough, and other nations have similar shameful incidents in their rugby history, but what really grates is the consistent lack of a full and proper apology.

Steve Hansen talks of taking ownership, but when has New Zealand rugby ever taken ownership of these acts of violence? These players are national folk heroes just like Colin Meads, the daddy of them all.

The national exculpation of Mealamu and Umaga was a disgrace that still angers many people in Britain and other parts of the rugby world. It was an assault that came desperately close to breaking a decent man’s neck.

And yet many in the New Zealand rugby community portrayed the All Blacks as the victims of an hysterical over-reaction by the British media.

If there was any hysteria, it was caused by shock at New Zealand’s collective failure to say sorry for what constituted common assault.

Good on the many callers in to talkback radio who have condemned Hore’s attack on Davies, but the delay in a similar condemnation from either the All Blacks management or the NZRU shows how out of touch these people still are.

The nation may be growing up, but New Zealand rugby is still behaving like the child who won’t own up.

How glorious it would be if Tew, Hansen, McCaw and Hore faced the world’s media and apologised to Bradley Davies.

How glorious it would be if Joseph was told to strip Hore of the captaincy of the Highlanders.

How glorious it would be if the law in this country decided to prosecute rugby players for assault.

Is that really all so far fetched? Together we could make it happen.

Fairfax NZ News

Poll: Have the All Blacks shown enough contrition for Andrew Hore’s hit?



Total votes: 5249.

Poll closes in 2 days.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-union/union-news/always-the-victim-never-the-perpetrator-all-blacks-must-own-their-acts-of-violence-20121128-2acrh.html#ixzz2DTyfte6j

Lions announce the ‘Lions Challenge’


Despite not playing Super Rugby, the Lions will have no shortage of game time next season after their 2013 fixture list was revealed on Tuesday.

Morne linked to French move


Bulls and Springbok flyhalf Morne Steyn has been linked with a move to French Top 14 club Stade Francais.

Jean loof ‘passievolle’ Heyneke


Die Springbokke kon nie vir meer gevra het as die afrigtingspan wat vanjaar onder soveel kritiek deurgeloop het nie, meen kaptein, Jean de Villiers.

‘AB’s are not thugs’ – Hansen


All Blacks’ coach Steve Hansen says his players are not thugs and claims they would not intentionally injure an opponent.

Meyer happy with win


Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer applauded his team’s defence, discipline and guts after South Africa edged out England 16-15 at Twickenham on Saturday.

Wales 10 v All Blacks 33


The Welsh have lost all their incoming tour games so far and it will not get easier when they host the All Blacks in Cardiff.

England 15 v Springboks 16


The Boks will look to end their campaign of 2012 on a high by beating England at home – but this won’t be plain sailing.

Mitchell groet die Leeus


Die Goue Leeus het John Mitchell gister as afrigter gegroet, maar gaan hom steeds vir die volgende jaar betaal.

England make loads of changes for Boks


Wasps lock Joe Launchbury is set to make his first Test start after England coach Stuart Lancaster made six changes to the side for Saturday’s Test against South Africa at Twickenham.

‘Lambie must spark backline’


Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has urged flyhalf Patrick Lambie to play more to his natural attacking instincts against England at Twickenham on Saturday.

Sad state of Europe rugby


With the exception of France, northern hemisphere rugby is a bad joke, says Zelim Nel on IOL Sport.

Boks starting XV unchanged for Poms


Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer named an unchanged starting line-up on Wednesday for their final Test of the season, against England at Twickenham on Saturday.

Etzebeth not guilty


BREAKING NEWS. According to a tweet by his brother, Eben Etzebeth was found not guilty.

JC joins Boks


Golden Lions prop JC Janse van Rensburg will fly to London on Tuesday evening to replace the injured CJ van der Linde in the Springbok squad.

Matfield, Liefling appointed on Bulls coaching staff


The Vodacom Bulls on Tuesday confirmed the appointment of Victor Matfield as their new Forwards and Attack Coach for the 2013 Vodacom Super Rugby season, while also naming Derick Hougaard as a skills and kicking coach and Handrè Pollard as part of their extended playing squad for the new season.



South Africa never looked like losing this Test, so says Mike Bersiks, our guest writer as he embarks on an analysis of the Scotland test match.

Post weekend updates as they happen


Boks sweating over star wing

Seasoned Springbok wing JP Pietersen has a mild groin strain and is doubtful for South Africa’s final tour match, against England at Twickenham on Saturday. Bok team doctor Craig Roberts said the 2007 World Cup winner and 2012 SA Players’ Player of the Year will be “medically managed” this week, after he sat out training on Monday.

Bok lock cited for ‘eye-gouging’

South Africa lock Eben Etzebeth has been cited for making contact with the “eye or eye area” of Scotland flyhalf Greig Laidlaw, the International Rugby Board announced Monday. The alleged incident occurred 14 minutes into the second half of the Springboks’ 21-10 victory over Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday. He was cited by Alan Mansell of England. Etzebeth, 21, will appear before an IRB disciplinary hearing on Tuesday and if found guilty faces a lengthy ban – which could include the Springboks’ Test against England at Twickenham this coming Saturday.

Cooper walk-out rocks Wallabies

Controversial Wallaby flyhalf Quade Cooper has reportedly dropped a major bomb by walking out on Australian rugby. According to Channel Nine news the injured No.10 has turned his back on the Australian Rugby Union and the Wallabies and will look to continue his career overseas or switch to Rugby League. Cooper has a Super Rugby contract with Queensland, but according to the Channel Nine report that agreement is contingent upon a contract with the game’s governing body.

Marler set to miss Bok clash

England prop Joe Marler is set to miss Saturday’s Test against the Springboks after suffering a knee injury in last weekend’s loss to Australia. The Harlequins loosehead sustained a grade one medial collateral ligament tear during England’s 20-14 home defeat and is expected to be replaced by Alex Corbisiero. Coach Stuart Lancaster hinted that the injury-enforced change won’t be the only alteration to the team for the important match against South Africa. “We will potentially freshen things up with one or two changes. We have players on the return – Alex played 75 minutes yesterday and Jonathan Joseph played,” Lancaster said. Source

RIP Oom Ian


The South African Rugby Union expressed its sadness on Monday at the passing of former Springbok centre, and legendary Stellenbosch University coach, Ian Kirkpatrick. “Kirkie” died in his sleep on Sunday morning at home in Somerset West. He was 82.

Bok rugby round-up


The general feeling amongst Bok supporters this morning is one of frustration after the Boks managed to choke out a win against the Scots.

Cheetahs fighting to keep Juan


The Cheetahs are doing everything within their powers to try and stop loose forward Juan Smith from moving to France.

France v Argentina


Argentina has traditionally always troubled the French who comes off an impressive beating of Australia the weekend before, this one can go either way.

Brutal Boks rated


The Springboks made it two from two on their end-of-year tour with a 21-10 win over a spirited Scotland side at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Ireland v Fiji


Fiji will be hoping for some Island mojo their neighbours, Samoa, had last night but the Irish should be too strong.

Italy 10 v All Blacks 42


Even with 14 changes the All Blacks should have no problem dismissing the Italians comfortably. Match is delayed on SuperSport 6 at 18:30.

England 14 v Australia 20


A battered Australia will travel to Twickenham hoping for a miracle as Robbie Deans’ days seem to be numbered.

Scotland 10 v Springboks 21


The last time these two teams met in Edinburgh the Scots shocked the Boks with a victory. The boys in Green & Gold will be determined not to make the same mistake.

Beast is fine


Springbok prop Tendai Mtawarira is recovering from a successful minor medical procedure to correct an intermittent irregular heart rhythm he experienced last weekend.

Execution over innovation


It is a term one of the most successful coaches of Springbok rugby used on the magazine show Boots & All last night to describe Heyneke Meyer and our current Springbok playing style.

Wales 19, Samoa 26


Wales take on the dangerous Samoa tonight in Cardiff with the hope of rectifying their disappointing loss against Argentina last week.

Politics to save Boland’s president


The rugby revolution in Boland could end up in battle lines being drawn between old, ideological and political enemies.

Is Etzebeth doing his job?


Former Springbok lock Mark Andrews is worried about Eben Etzebeth’s commitment at the breakdown area.

Chaos in Boland Rugby


Daar is chaos in Boland rugby nadat klubs in die unie besluit het dat hulle genoeg van unie president, Francois Davids, gehad het.

Murray back for Scotland


Euan Murray, the Scotland tighthead prop, returns as one of two changes made by coach Andy Robinson for their Test with South Africa at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Boks change two


The Springbok team to face Scotland on Saturday has two changes from the one that beat Ireland last weekend, with Gurthrö Steenkamp and Juan de Jongh being included in the starting line-up at Murrayfield.

Time to punish ping-pong rugby


The five-second rule has really sped up the matches, but we need more changes.

Community Cup details released


THE 20-team field for the inaugural SARU Community Cup for SA’s top club rugby teams was confirmed by SARU on Tuesday. The competition kicks off in February 2013.

Mitchell back and raring to go


Lions head coach John Mitchell returned to work at the Golden Lions Rugby Union offices yesterday morning, following a four month period of absence, and is looking forward to his future at the Union.

WP fans; Have your photo taken with the Currie Cup


DHL Western Province will be giving their supporters an opportunity to have their photo taken with the Absa Currie Cup trophy on Wednesday, November 14 at DHL Newlands – for free.

Beast coming home, Malherbe called up


Springbok prop Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira will return to South Africa on Monday following a decision that it would be in the player’s best interests not to continue with the tour.



Guest writer Mike Bersiks takes a look at the Bok players and rates the game against Ireland.

Scotland 22, All Blacks 51


The All Blacks are expected to run over the Scots at Murrayfield and should have no trouble starting off their European tour with a win.

France 33, Australia 6


The match has the potential to be a real try-fest with two team loving to run it from anywhere but France will be desperate to record their first win in 6 years over the Aussies.

Ireland 12, Springboks 16


Viewed by many of the toughest of the Springbok fixtures this November, they take on Ireland at the Aviva stadium.

Beast uit toets


Die Springbok-stut Beast Mtwarira is kort voor die afskop van die toets tussen Suid-Afrika en Ierland in Dublin, weens hartkloppings onttrek.

Wal 12, Arg 26


Two internationals will preceed the Springbok test this afternoon both kicking off just after 16:00.