Weekly Whine #12
All Out Rugby’s Zelim Nel has a go at the Blitzbokke
WTF FUB!!?? This one is a smasher, one of my biggest critics Hanrick agrees with Zelim Nel in his latest column where Mr Nel reckons that the Blitzies are not Boks.
First up cuzzie, who cares, I mean really, do you really think that because the crowds come out and watch them means that we the rugby loving public expect them to be Boks? No Mr Nel we most certainly do not.
Instead of writing a response to this ridiculous article I have decided to tackle each and every mistruth head-on here goes…
Cape Town Sevens is a Rare feel good story and it took 16 unsuccessful attempts to launch
Wrong Mr Nel, so wrong… SA Rugby’s home sevens started in Stellenbosch in 1999, Durban in 2000 & 2001 then George 2002 – 2010, onto PE from 2011 to 2013 and finally in Cape Town. Your comment suggests that no one was interested for 16 years and only when it went to your town they were. that is rubbish, in the 3 early years Sevens was practically UNKNOWN outside of Hong Kong, the decision makers were clever in their decision to take this tournament to a small town that loved rugby, the George decision proved so good that they sold out many times and were forced to move to a bigger venue, yes the PE decision was not the greatest but Cape Town has proved to be the perfect place to be in Summer, no rain, beautiful blue sky etc. Had the decision to take this tournament to Cape Town been made earlier they would have sold out tickets a long time ago. Lastly on this topic it is not a RARE feel good story, sevens happens 9 or 10 times a year and that is not rare, the Springboks only play 13 times per year on average.
Sevens is the pro equivalent of B and C team rugby
Another shocker, Mr Nel it is A TEAM SEVENS, it is the highest level of the game, if you are suggesting that any one of a number of Boks could just slip into this sevens team you are way wrong, they are the best at what they do and they will beat the Boks by country miles in a sevens game, in fact I am of the opinion that the sevens guys would give the boks a closer run in a 15’s game than the reverse fixture.
The traditional powerhouse rugby nations send their leftovers
Rubbish Rubbish and 1000 more Rubbishes… to repeat the players plying their trade are playing sevens because they are good at it, not because they can’t play 15’s?
Almost anyone can win on the day
I take it you are not a punter, call your bet Mr Nel, I will stand it, whenever you want to take money out of your wallet for a minnow let me know, sure they can beat handicaps and win the odd tournament, what you are suggesting is a 50/1 shot outsider has the same chance of winning a sevens tournament than a big team, rubbish rubbish and another 1000 rubbishes!!
Trace the steps of the sevens is…impossible
Are you suggesting that a coach is not a big reason why a team wins instead of loses? Come on, I actually don’t believe you mean that?!
Have a shot at the Japan 2019
As alluded above, the SA Sevens players have a much better chance at getting to the Japan 2019 then any of the Boks have of representing the Blitzbokke, surely you know that? Really? No? Seriously? Again I don’t believe you, sorry I just don’t!!
No chance they will go 12 rounds with the REAL ALL BLACKS
They go against the REAL ALL BLACKS at every tournament, the best ALL BLACK sevens players, the same as above, none of the current All Blacks would make the All Black sevens team, none.
In summary I would like to point out two Sports stars that made it big on the not so big stage or B / C Team stuff and made money which besides the RARE feel good story you think is why we watch sevens, it is also about the entertainment, watching players at the top of their game playing an exciting brand of Rugby, where us punters love every minute of the spectacle.
Anna Kournikova, now this is a winner, this bombshell never won a single tournament in her professional career, however she made more money than some of the HEAVYWEIGHTS of her era, why you ask? Simply because she was good for business, tournaments lined up to have her play, whether she only played two sets at 6-0 or 6-1 she made them money, the crowds came out and the deals came out, FEEL GOOD yes please, RARE no way!!
Another not so HEAVYWEIGHT is the 50-0 Money Mayweather, Tyson would have smashed this kid to the mat faster than you can say RARE FEEL GOOD but do we care, no we watch why because he was entertaining and the Boxing promoters got us to, just like the tennis promoters and the Rugby sevens promoters.
Mr Nel, it would have been better to compare apples with apples and not irritate the rugby loving public with what can only be described as a weak attempt at irresponsible journalism. You appear to like the Blitzbokke, but your poor attempt of an article suggests otherwise, the gap may be inappreciable but it is there and I can almost see through it.
Lastly a BIG THANK YOU to the organisers of this tournament and series, it is enthralling and I cannot wait for Saturday!!