By Timmy Hancox
World Cup fever has gripped our little campus along with the rest of the nation. Although, as Springbok supporters we blindly believe anything is possible, in this World Cup it could well be the case. As by some miracle from the rugby gods, the Boks have no more than a stroll through to Paris and the final, thanks to only Fiji and a slightly stronger Argentina standing in our way. This while New Zealand, France and Australia face a far tougher route should they find themselves in the French capital come October 20.
The boys in green and gold have built some momentum together with um, an interesting ad where green hulk-like beasts run and jump like what can only be described as gazelles on steroids. I confess to rather enjoying the 300 impression and having a patriotic heart flutter when it appears with the volume up. The performances have also produced a memorable drubbing of the hapless poms who struggled to score zero in their encounter with our boys. Safely through to the knockout stages and mostly still in one piece, no thanks the best efforts of Brian Lima aka “The Chiropractor”, who was later banned for an illegal ‘tackle’ on Johnny ‘Brittle Bones’ Wilkinson.
The pool rounds have been memorable and hats off to the French public who have filled the stadiums at every game including the likes of Portugal versus Romania. While enthusiastically cheering for the underdogs, the crowds have been better than a fresh croissant and some smelly sausages. The traditional French flair comes alive at every game with loud applause whenever the captain opts to go for the try instead of kicking for posts.
The lovable Portuguese side, comprising entirely of amateurs, have been a pleasure to watch. The team consists of a doctor, a dentist and other working heroes who are over the moon every time any points are put on the board. The drop goal early in their game against the All Blacks was the highlight, as a first time rugby observer could easily have been convinced they had just won the tournament.
In the quarter-finals the French hosts are taking on the favourites in what is going to give the dominant All Blacks their first real challenge. Nobody has forced the New Zealand bully boys to break into a sweat, after the spineless Scots sent out their dirt-trackers to face them. Sebastian Chabal or, as I like to call him, ‘The Cave Troll’ will offer a contest to the would-be Maori tacklers. The man, or creature, is the most frightening monster I have ever seen run upright. That man probably drinks red wine and eats children in his spare time. Although he has a look about him that makes me doubt that he has a library of great literary works in his chateau, the man will trouble the Kiwis. However, the French will need to bring their A-game come Saturday.Cheers to that.