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While Wallabies coach Robbie Deans is poised to unleash a pack makeover for Saturday’s Bledisloe II in Sydney, his All Black opposite Graham Henry looks to be more focused on his backline.

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Gerdie Karstens

Kimberley. – Die Suid-Afrikaanse skeidsregtersvereniging sal vandag ’n klag by SA Rugby indien ná ’n voorval waarin mnr. Willie Roos, die skeidsregter in die naweek se Curriebeker-wedstryd tussen Griekwas en die Blou Bulle, met drank in die gesig gegooi is. Continue reading

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Fellow bloggers,
I must admit I enjoyed a little Friday afternoon chuckle at the news that Springbok and Lions centre Jaque Fourie appears unlikely (for the moment at least) to be heading to Western Province and the Stormers.

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Johannesburg – Like fellow-Springbok centre Wynand Olivier, whose name had also been linked to Western Province and the Stormers, the Golden Lions’ Jaque Fourie will continue playing his rugby for his present union.

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Mike Greenaway
August 14 2009 at 07:21AM

The Sharks’ potential match-winning halfback pairing of Juan Hernandez and Rory Kockott will have to wait at least another week to make their Absa Currie Cup debut, but the Sharks have nevertheless been able to put together a more than useful combination to take on the Lions at Coca-Cola Park on Saturday (5pm).

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Was hierdie nie veronderstel om die Kaap van Vleuels te wees nie?
Dís die vraag wat die Westelike Provinsie se senior professionele rugby-afrigter, Rassie Erasmus, hom afvra noudat hy en sy afrigtingspan daarin geslaag het om ’n mededingende pak voorspelers te vestig.

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by Gavin Rich | 13 August 2009 (08:51)

When you have followed or covered rugby in South Africa for a long time, and you possess a reasonable memory, it is sometimes impossible not to spot the recurring themes and arguments.

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Die Britse en Ierse Leeus het dalk die weg gewys na ’n meer gebalanseerde spelpatroon iewers tussen aanvalle met die bal in die hand en taktiese skopwerk, maar moenie môre Boland-stadion toe gaan as u eensklaps lus kry vir ’n fees van hardlooprugby nie.

Dié kan ’n mens tussen die lyne lees as jy met die agterlyn-afrigter van die Westelike Provinsie, Robbie Fleck, gesels.

Fleck, in sy speeldae een van die dodelikste aanvallers en vroeër as hulpbreier by die Ikeys bekend om die vrye teuels wat hy sy agterlyn gegee het, erken die spel is nou gewis een van voet inlê.

“Die nuwe reëls het dit in ‘n mate teweeggebring,” sê hy, “maar verdedigingspatrone het gevolglik ook die afgelope twee seisoene soveel beter geword dat taktiese skopwerk die sleutel tot sukses is. Ek en jy en die toeskouers wil dalk meer aanvallende rugby sien, maar ons sal ’n ruk moet wag.”

Fleck glo nie die skopwerk gaan vir ewig die toon van rugby bepaal nie. “Die een of ander tyd sal die een of ander afrigter ’n nuwe manier bedink om die verdedigings te fnuik en dan sal die mode weer andersom wees. Die spel ontwikkel nou maar so.

“Ek dink tog die Leeus het op hul toer deur Suid-Afrika naderhand ’n goeie balans getref tussen taktiese skopwerk en aanvalle.

“Die Springbok-verdediging is van die mees gedugte wat jy kan kry en hulle kon soms hier verby.

“Maar die Springbokke en die Blou Bulle gee tans die toon aan en die res van ons probeer eerlikwaar nog om in te haal.

“Al spanne wat rêrig nog die ou styl van hardlooprugby speel, is die Nieu-Seelanders. Al is die nuwe reëls ook grotendeels daarmee heen, bly die sleutel vir eers hoe jy speel vir posisie en hoe jy jou teenstanders se vaste fasette aanval.”

Fleck sê die WP het vandeesweek ekstra aandag aan sy taktiese skopwerk gegee.

“Ek koop heeltemal hierby in.

“Ek kon as speler nie skop om my lewe te red nie – toe ek dié week met ’n oefening iets beduie het, skop ek dit toe ook direk uit! – maar dit gaan harde werk en geduld vat voordat ’n nuwe balans bepaal word.

“Chean Roux (Maties-afrigter) het my gesê die veld op Wellington is bitter swaar ná die week se reën en dié wedstryd sal voorlangs beslis word. Dit sal dom wees om te loop en voorspel van vier drieë druk en dies meer.

“Die weer was ons nie vanjaar besonder goedgesind nie,” sê Fleck.

Berlin – Rugby Sevens and golf virtually secured their spots as the two new sports for the 2016 Olympic Games when the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Executive Board voted in their favour on Thursday.

The decision, taken by secret ballot, is not binding as it has to be rubber-stamped by the entire IOC membership in a vote in Copenhagen in October – if successful it would take the amount of sports to 28.

For the five sports who lost out there is no hope of continuing their fight as IOC president Jacques Rogge has said they cannot come to the vote as an alternative option should one of the recommended sports be voted down.

Rugby had always been the front runner.

After failing in their previous bid to get into the 2012 Games the sport’s powerbrokers mounted an aggressive and effective campaign, with International Rugby Board (IRB) president Bernard Lapasset making it the priority of his first term of office.

His intention was to make it a truly global sport, ‘reaching out’ as he termed it, and as IRB chief executive Mike Miller pointed out the Sevens format is ideal for television as it is ‘fast and furious’ and also has the habit of producing upsets.

Golf had attracted a certain amount of scepticism even from golf lovers, in that it was too elitist and also several members hardly espouse the IOC value of sexual equality as they belong to male-only golf clubs.

Also as Australian golfer Geoff Ogilvy declared at one point ‘we are not members of a team we are individuals and we decide where we play’.

2016 is also a Ryder Cup year.

Several potential Olympic contenders who may be on the cusp of qualifying for either the American or European teams could well prefer to play in another tournament so they can garner enough points to make their respective Ryder Cup teams.

Softball produced a very passionate campaign led by their Korean War veteran, president Don Porter, who had been stunned when they were voted out of the Games in Singapore in 2005.

Indeed in a poll in the extremely influential Olympic publication ‘Sports Intern’ they topped the poll of IOC members, experts and specialist journalists – golf was fifth.

However, in the end that meant little as Rogge once again showed he is without doubt the master of the IOC – having initially begun his regime looking a bit shaky – and his will prevailed.

Olivier signs with Bulls till end of 2011

The Vodacom Blue Bulls’ Springbok centre Wynand Olivier has signed a two year contract with the Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd at Loftus Versfeld on Thursday afternoon.
The coach of the Vodacom Bulls and Blue Bulls, Frans Ludeke, is delighted with Olivier’s decision and says the fact that he declined numerous offers from other teams where he could have earned more money says a lot about his character and loyalty.

“Our team is build around experienced individuals and Wynand is without a doubt one of them. “His has been phenomenal for us in the Super 14 and he is one of those players who are able to deliver something special when all the odds are against us.

“His defence is superb, on attack he is more than a handful and as one of our main decision makers he has been exceptional. Wynand operates like a world class flanker on defence and the turnovers he forces are extremely valuable for us.

Ludeke added Olivier’s ability to get the Bulls over the advantage line is outstanding and his line-breaks combined with his innovative midfield play have been superb.

“All in all he is a huge asset for the team and to develop such a player takes several years and that is one of the main reasons why I am very grateful that he opted to stay on with the Bulls.

“He is also very keen to help us to develop the younger players in the system and with his professional attitude and unequaled work ethic he will surely add a lot of value to the Bulls in the years to come.”

A relaxed Olivier, who has been playing for the Blue Bulls since his schooldays, said in Barend van Graan’s office on Thursday afternoon that he is certain that it was the right thing to do.

“I have made the decision and I am happy with it. “All the structures are in place at Loftus and I want to play for the Bulls.”

Durban – Springboks Ryan Kankowski, Odwa Ndungane and Jannie du Plessis – who are all in the Tri-Nations touring squad – have been included in the Sharks squad to face the Lions in an Absa Currie Cup rugby match in Johannesburg Saturday. Continue reading

Rob Houwing – Sport24 Chief Writer

Right up to their thrilling 33-32 triumph over Western Province a few days ago, which made it a fairytale five out of five in the Currie Cup, I’d been amusing – or was it bemusing? – my Sport24 colleagues with my theory that log-leaders Griquas might yet “do a Hull City”.

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