Friday, October 24, 2008

Go Sharks!

As some of you may know, I have been trying to learn a little about rugby lately. Some of you have come to my aid. Thank you to all who have given pointers in comments, and thank you to Sage for making a special post on her blog (mostly for my benefit, I think.)

Today I am happy to have a special guest post from FrostyGirl, from the South African point of view. The SA point of view means SHARKS! of course. Thank you FrostyGirl.

As Sage has written a very comprehensive post on rugby and it’s rules I will share the other side of rugby with your readers.

What does rugby mean to the average South African? Fun, fun, fun! Braai’s (with heaps of Boerewors and Biltong), Castle Largers (a local beer), quality wines, seeing old friends and making new ones.

Having said that, we take the game extremely seriously and support our teams with great fervor, but you rarely see any acts of hooliganism as you do at soccer games.

How do we prepare for a home game?

It is a very festive occasion; we arrive at the stadium (Shark Tank) hours before the game, as you have to get a good spot on the outer fields close to the entrance of the stadium to have your braai (barbeque) and meet up with friends. In South Africa we are known to have one of the best pre-game atmospheres in the country. It does not matter who our team plays against, the opposing team’s supporters know that they will be welcome at the “before” party and the “after” party, regardless of the outcome of the game! Yes, you read correctly, the party carries on after the game. It has become so popular that companies now have “hospitality tents” erected and invite their clients to rugby and entertain them for the whole day…and most of the night.)

Of course we show who we support by wearing our team’s colours (colors for the Americans) just as most supporters of various games do. It is a real family outing as most females and children enjoy the game as well.

Before the game starts they have different forms of entertainment, i.e. skydivers do accurate landings in the stadium, Zulu dancers do their war dances, mini rugby games where the tiny tots (6-10years old) play a ten-minute game against each other, etc. Then it is time for the Sharks sexy ladies to come on field and cause the blood pressure of the guys to go up a notch, because they are clothed in bathing costumes and each one has a letter of the team drawn on them. SHARKS!

By this time the stadium is packed, the spirits are high and everyone is ready for the next 80 minutes of action packed, thrill a minute, totally physical game of rugby. The roar from the crowd when the teams run onto the field is deafening and if it is a good game the Mexican wave goes around the stadium many times amid a lot of cheering.

Now you can imagine what the atmosphere is like when the Springboks (our National rugby team) play against the All Blacks (New Zealand National Team) at the Shark Tank! These two teams have been rugby enemies (but we love them to bits) for many years and it is every South African rugby lover’s dream to watch a test match between them as the All Blacks play a wonderful game of rugby.

Win or lose we party after the game and the smell of braaiing boerewors and steaks permeates the air and a lot of analyzing of the game takes place over a cold Castle or other drink of choice and then eventually we start back home having had a wonderful day in the sun (hopefully, but we do the same even if it rains). The worst game in the rain we had was during the 1995 RWC when we hosted the games and the Springboks were playing in a semi-final against the French team. It literally poured down, the game was delayed, as they had to try and sweep the water off the field. If the game was cancelled the French team would have automatically gone through to the finals, so you can imagine that no South African was going to allow “a bit of rain” to rob them of this game. It was a nail biting game, but eventually we won and went through to the finals against the All Blacks. The rest is history, we won the championship and Nelson Mandela came onto the field (wearing a number 6 rugby jersey the same as the captains number) to hand the trophy to the Springbok captain Francois Pienaar and the party went on for a very long time that day!
Read the story about it here.

Every four years all the rugby playing nations (USA has a team too) play in the Rugby World Cup (RWC) to see who is able to lift the trophy at the end and be declared CHAMPIONS. Our Springboks became the world champions last year for the second time since we have been allowed to enter the competition and they made our Nation very proud.
Thank you FrostyGirl! It was great of you to do this post. I love the way you write!

And, check out another Sharks post (a little more earthy, as is her wont) at Briget's BecauseICan blog. Get down, little b.


  1. The atmosphere sounds great, and very similar to any rugby matches I've been to, whether school matches, small clubs or right up to internationals. I used to go to all the Ireland home matches for a while. Great fun and as you say, a family occasion.

  2. Thanks again to Frosty Girl! Go Sharks!!!

    a., Good to see you really love rugby again. :)

  3. Good to see that the SHARKS one it was long overdue.

    Thanks for allowing me to do a guest post on your blog Relax Max

  4. Good post. For someone who only likes the sport of sex, it sounds like fun.

  5. The sharks kicked ass.. hahahahah!!

    Was abit nervous towards the end because the BULLS gave it their everything and played a very good game.. BUT in the end the sharks came through the victors.. and the bulls got in their bakkies with horns downturned and went home..

    I am a proud of my boys.. Yes, I am..

  6. It was a good game, we watched that after the Welsh - Anglo game and enjoyed it immensely.


  7. This has been very interesting to follow. I'm going to have to find some rugby to watch. But they don't want me to wear that outfit. I haven't been able to get away with that sort of thing since 1987.

  8. Rugby, that's kind of like snookers, right?

  9. Read what one of the Sharks' players, a Frenchman (Frederic Michalak) had to say about this emotional match. Thanks again P.

  10. @Candy - Hmmm. Thought you were a Bulls fan. :)

    @FrostyGirl - Thanks for one of the most interesting posts in a while. :)

    @Ettarose - Sex is not a sport. It is a lifetime pursuit. Nothing to play around at. It does require touches to win, though. :)

    @Becauseican - Tell me again what you said you had to do to get tickets? :)

    @Sage - You think it was an accident which team logo I chose to put at the top of the previous post? No way. I am a stalker, big time. :) And you even went to see the REAL football game at Wembley Sunday. I am in awe!

    @Janet - If you find a channel that carries Rugby on DirecTV, let me know too. K?

    @Descartes - Are you on crack again? Heh. :)



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