Province’s performance disgraceful

Sun, 16 Sep 2012 14:37
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Western Province’s performance against the Sharks was one the most disgraceful displays in Currie Cup history, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld.

Western Province’s atrocious performance against the Sharks at the weekend will be remembered as one of the most disgraceful displays in the 120-year history of the Currie Cup.

Certainly in the professional era it’s right up there as one of the most shameful displays of ill-discipline the game has seen. Outsmarted and outmuscled, the frustrated Cape side reverted to sheer thuggery.

Their focus shifted from ball to man as they made it their mission to hurt their opposition rather than beat them on the scoreboard. There’s no place for punching in the professional era, and while it will earn you cult status and a place in James Dalton’s next Rugby’s Greatest Hits DVD, it tarnishes the already fragile image of South African rugby.

Granted, Wilhelm van der Sluys was harshly yellow-carded for his late hit on Louis Ludik, but the actions of Jebb Sinclair and Tyrone Holmes cannot be condoned. Entertaining to the casual fan, embarrassing to the serious athlete. The duo should be reprimanded to the full extent of the law to set a precedent that such foul play will not be tolerated.

It cast South African and Western Province rugby in a bad light and made for a volatile and more importantly, dangerous, situation at the end of the match with Province, reduced to 12 men, forced to field a five-man scrum against a bewildered and committed Sharks pack honing in on a bonus point try from five metres out.

The eight against five scrum was especially dangerous given the slippery underfoot conditions and put Western Province’s front row forwards at risk of suffering catastrophic neck injuries. It also raised the question whether referee Lourens van der Merwe was in control of the game, which well and truly spiralled out of control in the final quarter.  
 
Paul Dobson, an icon of refereeing in South African rugby and recipient of the IRB Referee Award for Distinguished Service 2012, gave Van der Merwe his stamp of approval. He assured me that the lopsided scrum contest was within in the laws and that the set-piece should thus not have been deemed uncontested as many suggested.  

According to Dobson, it was up to Province to decide whether or not to level the playing field by injecting backline players into the scrum. This would, of course, have left a big overlap on the outside and Province duly decided against stacking the deck.

It must be said that the penalty try was inevitable, but possible injury avoidable. Fortunately the players escaped injury, but the team as a whole won’t have the luxury of escaping insult. A measure of respect would have been lost and the stench of Province’s unsportsmanlike conduct will long linger in the air.

Ultimately, September 15, 2012 will be remembered as the day of the infamous wet war at Kings Park.

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Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
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Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
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Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Argentina U20 v France U20 07h00 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 09h30 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Free State Cheetahs 8 8 0 0 39
Blue Bulls 8 6 0 2 30
Western Province 8 5 0 3 27
Golden Lions 8 5 0 3 26
Sharks 8 5 0 3 25
Griquas 8 4 0 4 21
Boland 8 2 0 6 11
Pumas 8 1 0 7 10
EP Kings 8 0 0 8 1