Sport

What crazy rituals will you be performing come Saturday?

One of my favourite human behavioural idiosyncrasies is the level to which we all delude ourselves about our perceived rationality. Rubbish. Our “rationality” is at the same level as that of poultry. We might not bury our heads in the sand physically, but we sure do it inside our brains. One of the manifestations of…

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Kraai the beloved country

Manne, I believe the Bokke are going to crush the whingeing Poms on Saturday. That goes without saying. However, in the event of the impossible becoming a reality, you need to be prepared — you need to know how to deal with your emotions without making your name totally tottie. Accordingly herewith: Traps’s guide to…

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Where were you in 1995?

It came on suddenly during the week in the build-up to the 1995 Rugby World Cup final. I had been laid low by flu the previous week, but had recovered enough to make the most of the semifinal against France. But the flu boomeranged back and left me in bed — at least the All…

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Rugby should embrace more technology

France won their quarterfinal match against New Zealand on the back of a scintillating try that included a forward pass between Frederic Michalak and Yannick Jauzion. The pass was blatant to the millions of fans watching on television but was missed by referee Wayne Barnes and his two touch judges. Similarly, Fiji came within a…

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Why we’ll lose the World Cup

It’s Saturday evening. 9pm. The World Cup final. Fifteen men in green and gold line up to face fifteen men in white. It’s a showdown of epic proportions — England want to avenge past humiliations; South Africa are equally hungry and need to prove their worth as “past World Cup winners”. In the UK, millions…

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All Blacks and France plan Facebook revenge

France and New Zealand may be out of the Rugby World Cup, but they have come up with a desperate new attempt to prove they remain a force on the international stage. In just three weeks, France has doubled the size of its regional network on Facebook, from 141 000 to 284 000. The New Zealand network…

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Brian Ashton to be rewarded?

Barely weeks after the English media were telephoning vets across England to ascertain the price of having their coach spayed comes the heartwarming story of the English RFU’s decision to extend his contract. Wonderful news, which means I can now throw away my copy of Dr Alan Cresswell’s report. The vet from Bath was waffling…

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Real men don’t watch sport

My God, is it just me or is this crushing, pervasive near-religious rugby fervour downright depressing? I know, it’s just me. I don’t get sport. I mean, I get why people play it. Out there on the field in the sun. Breathe in some fresh air, kick a ball around, whack one with a racquet…

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Bring on the Poms!

So we’re in the final. Who would have guessed that we would be facing England there, for the second time in the World Cup? The Bokke played well on Sunday. The forwards were fierce, led by great performances by Juan Smith, Schalk Burger and Bakkies Botha. Os once again played out of his boots, even…

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Pumas, Boks, stats and the hypocrisy of a rugby community

The Springboks’ well-deserved win yesterday over Argentina in the Stade de France was built on three key pillars: a deadly instinct to take advantage of opposition errors; crushing dominance in the lines; and Jake White’s brilliant stratagem to suffocate the rather one-dimensional, albeit effective until then, style of play of the Pumas — a stratagem…

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