Tightheads & Loose Balls
● Lions coach Swys de Bruin this week got all philosophical when asked about the games his team let slip this season. “It’s sport. Roger Federer is a star and he has just lost. Croatia went through (in the World Cup) and England isn’t suddenly a terrible soccer team. When you lose you’re not suddenly a bad team. On Facebook you’re suddenly a bad team and you must get fired along with the captain.”
● De Bruin clearly has a beef with Mark Zuckerberg’s social media platform. It really raises his ire. “I’m a person of the heart,” he said. “My wife would say to me ‘don’t read Facebook, I’ll filter it’. Then she only reads me the good things. Then I feel better,” De Bruin joked. “When I get mad is when people attack players who don’t deserve it. Then I steam. I get mad when players are tagged and are taken out when they don’t deserve it.”
● Having watched a fair bit of Craven Week this week Tightheads was left wondering why acts of foul play carry different consequences at that level compared to Super Rugby. The schoolboys, it seems, are at each other’s throats with impunity.
● With the league stages of Super Rugby wrapping up this weekend, we thought it appropriate to name our team of the tournament thus far. Our Super Rugby team of the league stages — Israel Folau (Waratahs); Ben Lam (Hurricanes), Rieko Ioane (Blues), Ngani Laumape (Hurricanes), Taqele Naiyaravoro (Waratahs); Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes), Aaron Smith (Highlanders); Akira Ioane (Blues), David Pocock (Brumbies), Scott Barrett (Crusaders); Franco Mostert (Lions), Sam Whitelock (Crusaders); Taniela Tupou (Reds), Malcolm Marx (Lions), Steven Kitshoff (Stormers).
Substitutes: Emiliano Boffelli (Jaguares), Kurtley Beale (Waratahs), Will Genia (Rebels); Pablo Matera (Jaguares), RG Snyman (Bulls), Michael Alaalatoa (Crusaders), Akker van der Merwe (Sharks), Joe Moody (Crusaders).
Honourable mention: Solomon Alaimalo (Chiefs), Jessie Kriel (Bulls), Lukhanyo Am (Sharks), Damian de Allende (Stormers), Damian McKenzie (Chiefs), Michael Little (Sunwolves), Bernhard Foley (Waratahs), Kwagga Smith (Lions), Jean-Luc du Preez (Sharks), Michael Hooper (Waratahs), Matt Todd (Crusaders), Lood de Jager (Bulls), Izaak Rodda (Reds), Wilco Louw (Stormers), Agustin Creevy (Jaguares).