SPRED the Love

March 13, 2013
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Resident contributor, Shields, cautions against the hype around our teams following this weekend’s results.

Brendon Shields

Okay, so I am regularly berated on this site for advocating a fun-n-gun approach to rugby and seemingly do not care for results as long as the game is entertaining. I enjoy the banter even though I do realise many of you only get to watch rugby when your wives allow you to – hence the snotty remarks and the high levels of emotion on here at times.

However this weekend’s performance by saffa teams has made many bloggers pull a Brendon and get all happy-clappy about the running rugby we saw from our teams. Yes, right. Only problem is apart from the Bulls there really was not that much running rugby or enterprise from our teams. The Chiefs, in a losing match at Newlands; and the Bulls in a winning match in Auckland are the only teams eligible for the “Shields Prize for Rugby Enterprise and Distinction” (SPRED the love). These two teams not only played with confidence but also managed to use their backlines to create and round off try scoring opportunities. This is a key aspect of receiving a SPRED the love award. So congrats to the Chiefs and the Bulls!

Yet there is an aspect about our play this weekend that does fill me with warm and fuzzy: we played to win, not to avoid the loss.

My favourite game thus far in 2013 has been the low scoring match between Ireland and England in the 6 Nations championship earlier this year in Dublin. The reason this game stands out is because both teams really wanted the win and were willing to utilise every player on the field to try and gain an advantage.

And so we arrive at the “Shields Prize For Rugby Idiocy” (SPRI the shit) award. This award will be handed to (mostly South African) teams who through 80 minutes do everything in their power to avoid using their backline.

As this weekend has shown, a balanced approach is more likely to win you games. The Cheetahs remembered to tackle and the Bulls backed their talented backline to deliver the goods.  Our teams for some unknown reason decided to go out and play with confidence, yet my fear is that we did so because we mistakenly believed we cannot win those games.

As a Cheetah fan I know full well how great we can be once we realise we cannot win anymore. Then the slick moves and angled running gets exhibited and we are on fire – until we are ahead, then we play like dooses again. I hope for the life of me that our teams did not this week suffer from this Cheetah complex.

Here’s my hope that our teams aim for SPRED the love awards this weekend, and not for SPRI the shit ones. If we do then maybe the SPRI the shit XV, otherwise known as the Springboks – might just surprise this year.

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18 Comments

  1. avatar Boertjie says:
    March 13th, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    apart from the Bulls there really was not that much running rugby or enterprise from our teams

    My thoughts exactly.

  2. avatar The Year of the Cheetah says:
    March 13th, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    and to answer a question just received on twitter: Andries Bekker butchering backline ball with his fokken coathanger physique and slow hands does NOT qualify as Enterprise.

    It merely suggests a player who does not trust his backline to create opportunities and a coach who supports this fallacy.

    I’d withhold his match fees…

  3. avatar The Brand says:
    March 13th, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    Shieldsie ENJOYED this sooo much !!! Thanks.

    And how valuable and insightful : “Our teams for some unknown reason decided to go out and play with confidence, yet my fear is that we did so because we mistakenly believed we cannot win those games.

    As a Cheetah fan I know full well how great we can be once we realise we cannot win anymore. Then the slick moves and angled running gets exhibited and we are on fire – until we are ahead, then we play like dooses again. I hope for the life of me that our teams did not this week suffer from this Cheetah complex.”
    BRILLIANT !!!

  4. avatar Blokkies says:
    March 13th, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    I’ve picked Cheetahs, Bulls and Sharks all to win.

    Wishful thinking? Maybe.

    I just think that Bulls and Cheetahs are really starting to believe in themselves, and actually have the ability to do it. It all depends on whether they pitch up on the day.

    Sharks should win simply cos they have home ground advantage and Brumbies will not be used to playing in humidity.

    Oh, and I’m backing the Stormers to take 4 points too :whistling:

  5. avatar JT_BOKBEFOK! says:
    March 13th, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Reply to Blokkies @ 1:19 pm:

    my fear is that the guys will want to play like they did on Saturday but the forwards will want to join the backs this time and forget the hard graft needed so the backs have a little more space to do their stuff.

    Bulls I believe can do it on Saturday, Sharks also if they do what needs to be done! Cheetahs also have a good shot at a out-of-sorts Waratahs but the cheetahs could easily implode after a good performance so I will stick to the home teams for now. :?

  6. avatar Blokkies says:
    March 13th, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Reply to JT_BOKBEFOK! @ 1:47 pm:

    My hope is that SA teams are starting to believe in themselves and not being so kak bang of playing in New Zealand.

    The Bulls victory last week was their first ever at Eden Park, and they normally play badly in their first tour game and really well in their second. They have a slim chance of beating Crusaders at home which can possibly be called their best tour ever even if they lose the next 2. I’ll be screaming at my TV for them even though I’m a Stormer.

    As for Cheetahs, they are playing lekker rugby and the Waratahs are not. I hope the Blikore can make it count this time.

    Its about time SA sides as a whole start pomping the Australasians on a more regular basis and show them wie’s baas!!! :dead horse:

  7. avatar Blokkies says:
    March 13th, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    Ooooh jirre I am talking kaka again….. looks like Bulls actually do well in their 1st game and badly in their 2nd, not the other way around like a claim above. Sorrie.

    Still backing them to change that trend though!

  8. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    March 14th, 2013 at 12:39 am

    Haha… good one Shieldsy… have to agree on most accounts…

    Some stats you’ll enjoy from the Stormers/Chiefs game…

    Most Line-breaks- Andries Bekker
    Most Metres Run- Andries Bekker

  9. avatar JT_BOKBEFOK! says:
    March 14th, 2013 at 12:44 am

    Reply to bryce_in_oz @ 12:39 am:

    most rucks hit? NOT Andries Bekker. :whistling:

  10. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    March 14th, 2013 at 3:49 am

    Reply to JT_BOKBEFOK! @ 12:44 am:

    Haha… but he did also take the most line-outs, hit the second most rucks/mauls behind Kolisi…

  11. avatar Aldo says:
    March 14th, 2013 at 6:51 am

    Bryce, Andries Bekker does not hit rucks, he runs, touches the other players at the breakdown, then moves away swiftly. Last year was the only time ever he actually played like a lock, then got inkured and decided to stick to what he’s allways done, look flashy without playing lock.

  12. avatar Aldo says:
    March 14th, 2013 at 7:11 am

    Im finding the Bulls Saders game difficult to pick. Saders allways play poorly and lose the first couple of weeks and the Bulls did play really well last weekend, but the 2nd week of their tour is allways pisspoor. Ive got the Bulls on superbru and the saders on ratrace. Dont know who to pick.

    And then Cheetahs vs waratahs just as difficult, both teams have been poor, take away 2 intercept tries from the Cheetahs win, and suddenly it doesnt look all that good, but they defended well. And the waratahs have been poor. But then can the cheetahs win 2 in a row? Gopne for the waratahs for now.

  13. avatar JT_BOKBEFOK! says:
    March 14th, 2013 at 9:06 am

    Reply to Aldo @ 7:11 am:

    If I don’t know who will win I pick the team I don’t want to see win – that way if I am wrong I am happy and if I am right I console myself with the points made on RR or SB

    Simple ;-)

  14. avatar Americano says:
    March 14th, 2013 at 10:01 am

    Fans throughout SANZAR love taking in a Cheetahs game when they get thumped or horribly give games away in the end….all due to their French flair in attack.
    Can you imagine the fever if they start stringing together wins?
    Cheetahs popularity will rival that of cold beer.

  15. avatar Timeo says:
    March 14th, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    Andries Bekker does lock shit at every scrum and every line-out and are by all reports very good at it. In open and phase play, his coaches are clearly happy with him hanging out wide where his speed, bulk and considerable ball skills often comes in handy.

    I think you fans should be a bit more open minded about the way the game should be played or the roll of specific positions. The words create and innovate, are often bandied about on this site but then when a team does just so, there are no end to the protestations.

  16. avatar DavidS says:
    March 15th, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    Reply to Timeo @ 11:08 pm:
    Plenty of moronism apparent from fans who do not understand how “structure” works…

    You know the kind who think rugby is like they played it at school where coach made them fit, taught them rules, made the fat kids props, the tall ones locks and the fast ones wings and short one scrumhalf and then divided the rest up into whatever positions come to mind.

    And then gives them a ball a “gees” speech and chases them out to play against the Laerskool from the other side of town.

    Then like certain posters whinge because “ja that stupid Bekker always in the backline” thinking that Bekker actually chooses where and how he plays in a professional outfit with a coach renowned for his exceptionally structured play and planning.

  17. avatar Boertjie says:
    March 15th, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Reply to DavidS @ 1:56 pm:

    Is that why Spies was so utterly :poop:
    for Bulls and Boks the last 2,3 years?
    Maybe the coach had a rethink about how
    to apply him n the game plan?

  18. avatar Aldo says:
    March 15th, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    Ja davids, it is just a moron that would think that locks do not belong in the backline, glad to see him off to japan.

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