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ASSEBLIEF!!!!!.......Handle Sharks' fans with care


Guest Big H
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Guest Big H

 

0Pietermaritzburg - If you know any Sharks supporters, anywhere, you will not need reminding that they have endured the most traumatic of weekends. Handle them with care.

The Super 14 final against the Bulls at King's Park on Saturday was, for the Sharks and all who have sailed with them, the stuff of the most vivid of nightmares; for the Bulls, who will still be pinching themselves, it was a dream victory, a triumphant end to a romantic, fairy-tale season.

After 15 games in 16 weeks, more than 20 hours or 1 200 minutes of biff-bash rugby, day after day of preparation and travel, the Super 14 competition came down to the final move of the competition, a try in injury time, after the final hooter, by a Bryan Habana and a Derick Hougaard conversion for a 20-19 Bulls win.

No one could have imagined a closer, more dramatic climax to an extraordinary competition. But no one can be in doubt that the script-writer was dressed in blue.

The Bulls team and their management were quick to concede that the Sharks had the edge on the day.

"The Sharks outplayed us for 79 minutes but our character won it for us in the final minute," said Bulls captain Victor Matfield. Coach Heyneke Meyer agreed:

"The Sharks were the better team on the day but the character of my players came through at the end."

Dick Muir, the devastated Sharks coach, blamed basic error in those decisive final moments for the loss.

'Deserved to win'

 

"We are shattered. I think we deserved to win. We did all the playing. We did not drop the ball, we dropped the trophy. We've won games in this way before and now we've lost one. It all boiled down to a small basic error at the end."

The Sharks missed several golden opportunities to close the door on the Bulls in the closing seconds and botched them all. They, and the King's Park crowd, thought the game was over when reserve lock Albert van den Berg stretched over a ruck to score a try with just over two minutes left on the clock.

The Sharks went 19-13 ahead and a successful conversion would have taken them out of reach.

Francois Steyn missed the relatively easy kick and Matfield, with 80 seconds left on the clock, told his men "to get the ball and hold on to until we score."

They did just that but the Sharks played perfect hosts by twice handing (or kicking) them possession in the closing moments. The final kick - by Steyn - missed touch as the final hooter sounded and the Bulls took the ball superbly through six phases before Habana, cutting back across the flow of the cover defence, scored close to the uprights.

"I asked Bryan (Habana) for a special try and he gave it to me," said Meyer.

Muir refused to blame the missed conversion for the defeat. "When we beat the Crusaders, scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar grabbed the ball and kicked over a vital kick and this time Frans said he would take the kick.

But it wasn't just because of that conversion. We made too many mistakes. We just had to hold on to the ball in those closing seconds and we did not."

Have done exceptionally well

 

Muir refused to admit it was his biggest disappointment on a rugby field.

"I don't think we should lose perspective here. It has been an excellent Super 14 and the players have done exceptionally well. That shouldn't be forgotten in the disappointment of defeat." Sharks captain John Smit described the contest as "an epic final."

"It is obviously massively disappointing to lose like that in the final minute but credit to Victor Matfield and the Bulls for showing the character to come from behind and scoring a try to win. Our disappointment is the Bulls' ecstasy."

Meyer, with every reason, was emotional about the victory, dedicating the trophy to his wife who has been ill, paying glowing tribute to his players and adding that it was an honour and privilege to coach the Bulls.

"I don't coach for trophies but the reward is seeing how these players are growing as men. I hope to earn their respect and if one of two of them name their sons Heyneke in the future that will be my trophy."

The Bulls, who turned the match on its head in a flash, celebrated extravagantly and none more so than their prima donna Jaco van der Westhuyzen, one of their reserves and former Natal Shark, who climbed up the poles moments after the final whistle and stood on the cross-bar waving at the crowd before rushing from the field to re-appear wearing a T-shirt with the words "Jesus is King" emblazoned on the front.

The Sharks, for 78 minutes, did just about everything according to the Muir plan. They were more urgent, played at a higher tempo as the Bulls tried to slow the game and they looked sharper.

The one area where they were constantly exposed, predictably, was the lineout and they provided the Bulls and the towering Matfield with eight turnovers in that area.

But they outscrummed the Bulls and with flank Jacques Botes leading the way they were stronger at the breakdown. "It was very physical," said Matfield, "and credit to the Sharks. Their counter-rucking was superb."

The Sharks defence, with Butch James in exceptional form, was strong and they were able to pressure the Bulls backs and Hougaard for most of the afternoon.

In the end, though, it came down to a hectic, gut-wrenching final minute, one that will be a part of Bulls' dreams and Sharks' nightmares for weeks to come.

The Witness
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Guest Big H

I think this is the definitive chapter on the SUPER 14 saga..... but still THE BULLS WON!!!!! YIPPPEEEEE!!!!!!!!

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Cant we please keep all this rugby K*k on one thread..please? Im sure there's atleast two hubbers that does not give a rats ass who won the curry cup or super13.

 

http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/36/36_11_16.gif
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Cant we please keep all this rugby K*k on one thread..please? Im sure there's atleast two hubbers that does not give a rats ass who won the curry cup or super13.

 

http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/36/36_11_16.gif

 

Am I one of the two? If not, then there's three of usBig%20smile

 

I agree, put all this meaningless cr@p in one thread, and label it the Cr@p Odd Shaped Ball Thread.... Mods? Anyone?

 

And while you're at it, teach the Nigerian road builder how to copy and a paste a link to the articles he always posts... Who reads all that drivel anyway?

 

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Mud Dee ,I agree!!

What really worries me is that there is n post of Barloworld getting a entry into TDF (this is probably the best SA cycling news this year) with 19 replies and we have hundreds of posts on the super 14 going around!!Dead
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ja agreed stop this k@k and get on with something more positive !!! we all know who won and how and why please mods we have all had our say so delete all this trival usless bits of crap.   5Angry

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Guest Big H

Suurtiete....!!!!!!!!! DO NOT READ THE DAMN POSTS IF IT ANNOYS YOU!!!!!!!!Big H2007-05-21 04:35:16

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Big H Ek is n groot Bulls suporter ,maar ek vind dis net n bietjie snaaks op n fietsry forum dat RH n Stage race in Europa WEN!! en Barloworld word in die TDF ingesluit en dan word daar so te se geen belangstelling getoon nie!!

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Guest Big H

Van WIE praat jy nou.... Middelvinger Robbie?????? Nie 'n goie toonbeeld vir die sogenaamde sport van fietsry nie ne!!!!!!!!

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and I suppose you thing mongloid habana and bakkies are great examples of the sport of rugby?

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Guest Big H

Kalmeer AAR TOO DEE TOO .... gaan drink jou Ritalin ...... dit is net 'n game. Ons Mongloids het ten minste nog nie die toeskouers probeer aanval soos mr Robbie nie!!!!!!!! Habana het ten minste die wendrie gedruk terwyl daai HOOKER Smit op die bench gesit en rus het..... nie 'n geoie voorbeeld van leierskap nie of hoe!!!!??????

Big H2007-05-21 06:26:55
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I can agree with you on John Smit, useless lump of lard. Point is that habana should have been sent off in the first 5 minutes for a dangerous and illegal tackle, or do the laws change for finals? Your players may have not yet tried to attack the spectators but your fans sure have which is why I avoid the klippies & coke loftus cesspit at all costs.

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I can agree with you on John Smit' date=' useless lump of lard. Point is that habana should have been sent off in the first 5 minutes for a dangerous and illegal tackle, or do the laws change for finals? Your players may have not yet tried to attack the spectators but your fans sure have which is why I avoid the klippies & coke loftus cesspit at all costs.[/quote']

 

.....No! No! No! Get it right!!! It's Klipdrift Versfeld!!
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Guest Big H

Are you disputing the decision of the referee?????? As far as I have it he has 15 years experience in refereeing test rugby..... how many years experience do you have to make qualified decisions as the one you have just made....mmmmm???????

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It's an age old problem with rugby being governed by laws and not rules!!! Rules as in soccer are fairly straight forward "you can or you cannot'" Rugby's laws need to be interpreted hence 90% of the problem of consistency!!!

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