From the Stands

By Adam Wakefield

So close yet so far. This was the overriding message of last weekend. The Sharks managed to find a way of clinching a loss from the jaws of victory, and as Bryan Habana dived over in the 83rd minute with a swan dive, a collective grimace crossed the faces of all those men, women and children wearing the black, white and the shark fin on top of their caps.

The saddest aspect of the Sharks’ loss at the hands of the not-so-rampant Bulls was that everyone involved in Saturday’s final knows which team should have lifted the trophy. Victor Matfield, sporting an epic beard which says “I eat biltong for breakfast,” summed up the mood after the game saying that the Sharks had outplayed his side for 79 minutes of the match.

All is not lost, however. The average age of this Sharks side is rather silly. With me at a mighty age of 21, I am older than half of their backline. Time is on their side to right the wrongs of that last Saturday afternoon though it won’t clear away the emptiness engulfing Durban ’til at least the next Springbok test match. I suspect that many tried filling that emptiness with SAB’s best.

Luke Watson is another person who characterises the slap-dash nature of this hurried weekend. His rugby career is being used as a political football by those who pay Jake White to try and achieve (if the conspiracy theorists are to be believed) some overriding greater purpose. Do I agree with what Mr Hoskins and his cronies have done? Negative.

My view on the mess that SA Rugby has seen fit to create is that even though Watson is good enough to warrant selection, SA Rugby has no right to impose their will on those who
they empower to pick the Springbok team.

What Oregan Hoskins has done is pull a move out of Brian van Rooyen’s epic playbook of administrative bungles and use his presidential power to influence selection. I have a feeling that this saga will be dragged out for weeks to come.

In a world where professionalism rules, this latest saga is another sad indictment of the administrative immaturity which appears to swallow up South African sporting bodies. It is comparable to the Friar’s dance floor, an evil black hole of madness and insanity with the only ones benefiting being those who are mentally disintegrated and are unfit to wield any true intelligence.

How do we react to such abominable ineptness? Is the route of apathy the way to go? To take the route of apathy is to accept ignorance and role over to allow misdirection to
brand us on the bum. Yes, we live in a world where Never-Neverland has a McDonald’s and flatulence abounds. How do we right such wrongs? Act. Do something. “How?” you may ask. I cannot tell, but it’s a damn sight better than doing nothing.


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