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Archive for the ‘Sport’ Category

Read Pierre Francois Massyn’s Introduction to Springbok Rugby Quiz: 1001 Questions and Answers

Springbok Rugby QuizSpringbok Rugby VasvraSpringbok Rugby Quiz: 1001 Questions and Answers by Pierre Francois Massyn is a fascinating, fun look at rugby history and facts.

The book contains 1001 questions about Springbok rugby from the national team’s first test match in 1891, right up until the present. There are answers for the questions, along with relevant anecdotes, in the back of the book.

Massyn has shared an excerpt from the Introduction to his book on the Springbok Rugby Quiz website. In the excerpt the author writes about his love of rugby and the Springboks that inspire him. He speaks about the personal letter he wrote to Nelson Mandela about the importance of the Springbok emblem, and the effect it may or may not have had on the former president. The book is illustrated throughout with pictures of significant moments and characters of South African rugby.

Read the excerpt:

In 1965 we as a family were having a meal in the Gordonia Hotel in Upington. Sitting on his own, there was an unknown man at his table. “Go and ask that Oom his signature” my father encouraged me. Clutching my father’s Rembrandt van Rhijn’s cigarette box in my small hand, I bravely approached the other guest. Minutes later I proudly returned, with his signature on the back of the cigarette box. Sias Swart’s (Footnote 1) was the first Springbok autograph I had ever obtained. I have since collected a few more. I discovered I somehow had a penchant not only for the stories, but for the statistics as well. As a boy, I began to challenge anybody, sometime complete strangers, to ask me anything about rugby. I always knew all the answers. Players, matches, scores, tries … And to this day I have never stopped reading rugby books or stopped following the matches. This book is the natural progressions of my love for the Game.

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Dean Allen is Visiting His Old College to Speak About His Best-selling Empire, War & Cricket in South Africa

Empire, War & Cricket in South AfricaDean Allen, the author of Empire, War & Cricket in South Africa, is returning to his old school West Somerset College to speak about his book.

The Somerset County Gazette has featured a story on Allen and the positive reception of his book on “cricket in South Africa about the workings of the British Empire and the adoption of the game in Southern Africa”.

Empire, War & Cricket in South Africa is a South African best-seller, and is on the short-list for Jenny Crwys-Williams’ Book of the Year. The article lists a number of Allen’s other impressive accolades and engagements.

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Set during a time when the country was heading towards war with the British Empire, the book explains how Logan was instrumental in arranging some of the first-ever international matches between England and South Africa, hosting a number of these at Matjiesfontein, the town he founded.

“The book is filled with colourful characters, political intrigue and fascinating history, all with the theme of cricket running throughout,” Dr Allen said.

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Does John Mitchell Meet the “Strict Criteria” to be the Next Stormers Coach?

Mitch: The Real StoryJohn Mitchell, whose biography Mitch: The Real Story was released last year, is reportedly set to become the next Stormers rugby coach.

In an article for Business Day, Craig Ray outlined Mitchell’s career until this point, comparing it to Western Province director’s “strict criteria” of six or seven years’ Super Rugby experience and also international experience.

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Former All Blacks coach John Mitchell is edging closer to finalising a deal to become the next Stormers coach.

The 51-year-old Mitchell is set to replace Eddie Jones after the latter vacated his post less than three weeks into the job to become England head coach.

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“Jy is nou ’n Springbok” – Rugbylegende Frik du Preez onthou die grootste oomblik in sy sportloopbaan

Boots en brannewynFrik du Preez ken van stories vertel. Die oud-Springbok en skrywer van Boots en brannewyn: Snaakse stories uit die rugbywêreld het verlede jaar staaltjies met Bun Booyens gedeel oor hoe dit was om in die 1960′s rugby te speel.

Netwerk24 het die storie opgespoor, afgestof en weer gedeel, en hoe bly is rugbyaanhangers nie daaroor nie?

Du Preez het vertel hoe dit was om destyds vir die beroemde afrigter “Dok” Danie Craven te speel. Hy’t verder gesels oor 1965 wat ‘n besonderse moeilike jaar was vir die Springbokke, hul groot kragmetings teen Nieu-Seeland, Frankryk en Brittanje, die moeilikste speler wat hy ooit teëgekom het en die grootste oomblik in sy sportloopbaan.

Lees die artikel:

Wie was die moeilikste ou teen wie jy gespeel het?

Hulle was almal moeilik, maar [die All Black] Colin Meads en sy broer Stan. Hulle het mos saam gespeel, maar Stan het net daar in Nieu-Seeland gespeel, want iemand moes na die plaas kyk. Hy was baie beter as Colin in die lynstaan. Stan het vir my gas gegee.
Dan was daar Benoît Dauga. Daar in Frankryk het hy my geëet in die lynstane, maar gelukkig was daar nie televisie nie, so die mense kon nie sien hoe gee hy my pak nie.

As jy nou terugkyk, wat is die grootste oomblik?

Toe ek gekies is vir die Springboktoerspan sonder dat ek vir Noord-Transvaal gespeel het. Daardie Saterdagaand luister ek nie eens na die spanne nie, ek het nog ’n meisie drive-in toe gevat. Ek hoor toe die ouens langs my begin hande klap, maar ek is te skaam om te gaan vra. Toe ek by die huis kom, sê hulle vir my: “Jy is nou ’n Springbok.”


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Big-wave Surfer Chris Bertish Reveals His Most Terrifying Experience

Stoked!SAP HANA have shared a behind-the-scenes video from the 2015 Best Practices for Oil and Gas conference, in which champion surfer Chris Bertish discusses how he prepares, minimises risk, and proceeds with confidence, whether riding a 70-foot wave or managing a business.

Bertish says big waves reach about 50, 60, 70 feet – about the size of a six-storey building – “whatever mother ocean can throw at us”.

He says getting into big wave surfing is about pushing your boundaries, challenging your own beliefs, and shifting your comfort zone, adding “it’s amazing what you can achieve”.

Bertish’s autobiography Stoked! was released by Zebra Press in August.

Watch the video, in which he describes one of his most terrifying experiences: how he got caught in an underground cave.

“I was pretty young,” he says, “and I think I was unprepared for that kind of situation, because it happens to so few people on the planet, so your mind is trying to decipher what is happening to you. You have to calm your mind to make rational decisions.”

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“There is No Such Thing as Failure, Only Failure to Try” – Chris Bertish (Video)

Stoked!Big wave champion Chris Bertish, whose autobiography Stoked! was published by Zebra Press earlier this year, has been travelling all over to promote his book and documentary film Ocean Driven.

During an interview with Bonang Matheba from the Afternoon Express, Bertish chatted about Stoked! and told the story of how his ocean adventures began, saying he was exposed to the open waters from the youngest possible age. Since then, “the ocean has become my church, my temple and my sanctuary,” he says.

The accomplished waterman says he never planned on writing a book, but found he had so much more to say after his documentary was cut that he simply had to put pen to paper.

Bertish is a world-champion big-wave surfer and winner of the 2010 Mavericks Big Wave Invitational. “There is no such thing as failure, only failure to try,” Bertish tells Matheba, sharing more about his latest endeavour, which will see him stand-up-paddling across the Atlantic ocean.

The inspirational interview starts at 12:18:

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Introducing Springbok Rugby Quiz: 1001 Questions and Answers by Pierre Francois Massyn

Springbok Rugby QuizSpringbok Rugby VasvraZebra is pleased to present Springbok Rugby Quiz: 1001 Questions and Answers (Afrikaans: Springbok Rugby Vasvra: 1001 Vrae en Antwoorde) by Pierre Francois Massyn:

Which Springbok match saw the least number of spectators ever attending a test match?

Who was the unofficial arm-wrestling champion in the Springbok side on the 1981 tour to New Zealand?

Which Springbok lock played with a glass eye?

Welcome to the ultimate rugby quiz book for real rugby fans! Springbok Rugby Quiz examines the lore of rugby in an unusually entertaining way: it comprises 1001 questions and answers. Rugby lovers can now enjoy some of the most outlandish anecdotes, as well as cold, hard facts and statistics, about this game we all love.

This well-researched book covers the entire spectrum of our rugby history, from the first test match in 1891, up to modern times. The book has two sections: test yourself by reading the question in the first part and then cross-check your answer in the second part. Rugby fans will certainly find more than enough challenges among the 1001 questions included here. And, as a bonus, the author also includes his Dream Team – the best players of all time united in one super team. Fun, informative and factual, this is a must-read for all rugby fans.

About the Author

Pierre Francois Massyn is a retired journalist, an independent writer and the world’s number-one rugby fan. He and his wife live in Suiderstrand, South Africa.

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Luke Alfred: Kagiso Rabada is South African Cricket’s Poster Boy in an Untenable Situation

When the Lions Came to TownThe Art of LosingLuke Alfred, sports journalist and author of When the Lions Came to Town: The 1974 Rugby Tour to South Africa and The Art of Losing: Why the Proteas Choke at the Cricket World Cup, recently wrote an article for ESPN Cricinfo about Kagiso Rabada and what his success signifies about South African cricket.

In the article, Alfred writes about the early days of Rabada’s cricket career at St Stithians College, and his entry into higher leagues from there. He goes on to speak about the problems in South African cricket, which he says make it “like a poorly nailed-together tree house in a Highveld thunderstorm”. He believes Rabada is a talented “poster boy” who is helping to “patch over the widening cracks” in the rickety structure.

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When Kagiso Rabada arrived at St Stithians College in northern Johannesburg, he was a flash left-hander with every shot in the book. “He reminded us a little of Brian Lara,” said Wim Jansen, the school’s director of cricket. “He was pretty flamboyant when he joined the school in Grade 8.”

As a bowler, Rabada was wild. With his willowy frame and liquid slide to the crease, he could always bowl fast, but he was cavalier in his preparation and struggled with no-balls. Jansen said the school’s coaches forced him to measure out his run to the centimetre, and before long he was deep into the subtle arts of composing an over.

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“South Africa are Probably the Better-prepared Team” – John Mitchell Comments on the Rugby World Cup Semi-Finals

Mitch: The Real StoryJohn Mitchell, former coach for New Zealand and Lions Rugby and author of Mitch: The Real Story, has written an article for ESPN offering expert commentary on upcoming Rugby World Cup games.

The first semi-final game between South Africa and New Zealand will be taking place on Saturday, and the second, in which Argentina and Australia face off, is on Sunday. In the article Mitchell comments on the significance of having only southern hemisphere teams in the semis – it is the first time in the history of the tournament that this has happened.

Both semi-final games promise good rugby and stiff competition, Mitchell says. But he believes the Springboks have a good chance of reaching the final, even though they are by no means guaranteed an easy win against the All Blacks.

Read the article:

In South Africa’s favour, they are probably the better-prepared team for this semifinal. Since losing to Japan they have had to win every match, and they were given a good test by Wales. After their opening match against Argentina, the All Blacks cruised through their pool. They were sublime against France, who capitulated badly in the second half of the quarterfinal, but Hansen would have been hoping for more of an arm wrestle to prepare his charges for the semifinal. Meyer’s men are certainly not going to afford the All Blacks the same space and time as the French handed them at the Millennium Stadium.

That said, the Springboks take fewer risks than the other three southern hemisphere sides. They will need to take more risks in attack against the All Blacks.

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Jonathan Kaplan Rates the Refereeing of the Rugby World Cup Quarter-finals

Call It Like It IsJonathan Kaplan, retired referee and author of Call It Like It Is: The Jonathan Kaplan story, has shared his comments on last weekend’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final matches on his website Rate the Ref.

Kaplan calls the New Zealand’s demolition of the French team “the performance of the year”. He says the Irish “made a good fist of it, but ultimately ran out of juice” in their match against the triumphant Argentina.

The last game between Australia and Scotland was, Kaplan says, “clearly the most dramatic”. He comments on the close competition and the dubious decision by referee Craig Joubert to yellow card Scotland in the last few minutes of the game.

Read what he had to say about the South African versus Wales game:

The quarterfinals of the RWC were great spectacles for the rugby nuts around the world, for a variety of reasons.

The first, between SA and Wales was an incredibly tough test match. It won’t go down as a classic of the modern era, but it was tense, it was tactical, and the margin in the end was very small! Whoever lost this match, would have felt desolate, as both teams had clearly put a lot into it. It came down to one moment for the Boks. A simple blindside play, where man-on-man cover was exploited by Vermeulen to send Fourie du Preez over in the corner. Schalk Burger got the MoM award, but in truth it could have gone to Lydiate as well if the Welsh had prevailed.

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