Sunday, May 13, 2007

Rugby: History is to be made in first all-South African S14 final (

It is a bridge too far for New Zealand's semifinal hopes in South Africa.

The Sharks stung the Blues 34-18 in a frenetic end to their top four battle in Durban, then the Bulls bullied the Crusaders 27-12 in a try-less affair at Loftus Versfeld.

Two sizzling breaks from Isaia Toeava sent the Blues into a four point lead early in the second half - but coach David Nucifora watched it all slip away in the last ten minutes.

The deadly boot of Derick Hougard kept the Bulls one step ahead of the Crusaders throughout a dour affair in Pretoria, and the Crusaders never looked like breaking the defensive line.

History will be made next weekend - when the Sharks host the Bulls in the first all-South African final.

See the good part of it, the All Blacks have now 3 full weeks to prepare their two matches against France on June 2nd and 9th...

As far as I am concerned, as many a you know, I won't see the match before Friday so I can't really comment on it! and as for the final, I'll cheer on the Sharks :

a. because the Bulls defeated the "Richie boys" ;
b. because the Blues defeated the Crusaders during the opening match ;
and c. because they (the Sharks) are the only S14 to have accepted a foreign rugby players in their squad for next season (our national Frederic Michalak!)

So Go Ruan and the boys...

And, Richie, don't worry, we all know that your main objective this year doesn't take place in May in South Africa but on October 20th, in Paris so we won't blame you (or the guys, or even the referee) for this defeat!

pictures from both semi finals
ps : the link at the bottom is a tribute to Tony Marsh (the only Kiwi Bleu ever!) who will have to be missed by every rugby fan round the globe!

Voyons le bon cote des choses, les internationaux ont maintenant 3 semaines completes pour preparer leurs test matches contre les Bleus...

En ce qui me concerne, je n'ai pas pu voir le match, qui sera -je vous le rappelle ou vous l'annonce- diffuse 2 fois vendredi sur Sport+ a 9h45 et sur Canal+ Sport a 20h45! Et pour la finale, je soutiendrai les Sharks parce que

1/ ce sont les Bulls qui ont battu les Crusaders
2/ les Blues avaient gagne le match d'ouverture, toujours face aux Crusaders
et 3/ parce que les Sharks sont la seule equipe du S14 a avoir accepte un joueur etranger (en l'occurance notre n°10 national Fred de Toulouse) pour la saison prochaine.

Alors Allez Ruan Pienaar et ses copains!!!

Et Richie, ne t'inquietes pas, on sait tres bien que cette saison est particuliere et que l'objectif n'est pas un trophee en mai en Afrique du Sud mais une coupe le 20 octobre au Stade de France! Alors on ne t'en veux pas (ni a tes coequipiers ni meme a l'arbitre)...

Photos des deux demi finales

ps : Lien pour une video hommage au seul et unique Kiwi Bleu, Tony Marsh ; qui va nous manque

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