The choker label did not help our Proteas as they lost their composure when they were beaten by New Zealand in the knockout stages of the World Cup.
The only way to lose that choker label is to go and win where it matters most. That is on the field!
The Sharks and Crusaders gave a great exhibition of how modern day rugby should be played. The New Zealanders prevailed 44-28 but the try count was closer at 5-4. If you edited 30 minutes of this game you will show case to the world the way the Southern Hemisphere sides perform. It amazes me how the biggest cheer is reserved for the player that makes the biggest hit.
The rugby supporters in the past appreciated the skills of Keith Oxlee, the balance and composure of Andre Joubert (he should’ve been a footballer). Anyway the game was played for the right reasons and both franchises must be complimented.
Bafana Bafana scored in the last 20 seconds of their qualifying match against Egypt, to record a well earned victory. The ball was played into space and Katlego ‘Killer’ Mphela glided into the 18 yard area, controlled the ball and slotted it into the far post. A section of the crowd had derided the striker all evening and Mosimane must take the credit for supporting his player.
The reaction to the goal was similar to when Simphiwe Tshabalala scored the first goal against Mexico in the opening match of the World Cup 2010. So where is our game going? Bafana Bafana head their section with seven points, but I get the feeling that we are beginning to play like a team that knows how to win in Africa.
They were times when Egypt dominated for long periods especially in the second half and they created by far the most opportunities. However our central defenders were equal to the occasion and both Morgan Gould and Bongani Khumalo gave the impression that they were always in control. This combination reminds me of the Mark Fish/Neil Tovey/Lucas Radebe era. I see a similarity between the 1996 team and the current one, in that we dominated Africa first and then took on the world. The return match against Egypt will endorse this belief and if we win then we will qualify for the Nations Cup Finals in Equilateral Guinea/Gabon.
It may be the end of a dynasty as it is difficult to imagine Egypt bouncing back.
At home AmaZulu prepare for their last 16 clash against Carara Kicks in the Nedbank competition. This will be head coach Manqoba Mngqithi’s chance to get his hands on some silverware. It has been a difficult season for the mighty Usuthu as they have had an abnormal amount of injuries/suspensions to contend with.
The biggest factor in AmaZulu’s favour is the way the front three are performing. They know where the back of the net is and cup competitions are won, by the side that makes the least number of mistakes and capitalizes on opportunities that come their way. The Absa league run for AmaZulu is going to be difficult as the last five matches sees the boys in green and white having to come up against league contenders Ajax Cape Town, Mamelodi Sundowns FC and the last game of the season against arch rivals Kaizer Chiefs.
This game is to be played at the Moses Mabhida Stadium and the result could decide who is crowned league champions. What a way to end the season!