Thursday, August 25, 2011

Quarterfinal highlights...

The Cobras 41 - 8 Ubumbo

The Cobras produced their best performance of the year to smash a physical Ubumbo side 41-8 in perfect rugby conditions last night.

The Cobras dominated from the start keeping the ball in hand and taking it through phase after phase, after a spilt ball Ubumbo showed how dangerous they can be when giving space as with some slick hands they went through to score in the corner to take the lead, 5-0. After some sturn words and some great patience The Cobras worked their way into the Ubumbo half and were awarded a penalty which Warren converted to make the score 5-3. After this The Cobras turned it on as they ran in tries for the rest of the evening, with the large bench being used the momentum wasn't lost as every single guy who wore the Purple and White last night put up their hands and played with unbelievable heart and pride. Final score 41-8 to The Cobras

That's the first of 3 steps gone, now for the Semi Finals vs. Wild Boys which is in two weeks time.

A big congratulations to the first ever double winner of the Cobragator Man-of-the-match award which went to our captain who led from the front and was unbelievable physical in every aspect of play, a true inspiration.

What a game followed by an even better fines, here we go Cobras...

We all agree...

Oh so brave

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Eat, pray, ruck... The Bakkies Botha story.

As one of most senior and accomplished Cobras men; Dugald 'The Weatherman', is busy making controversial waves in Oxford academic circles, he has somehow managed to take time off from all the 'studying and sex' (his words), to review Bakkies Botha's new book; Eat, Pray, Ruck, which is set for release after the World Cup. As you mentally and physically gear up for tonight's massive game outing against Ubumbo, enjoy this enlightening sneak peak at what I predict to be this years bestseller (you should probably pre-order it from Kalahari now as Exclusives will be sold out come October. Dont say i didnt warn you.).

‘Eat, pray, ruck’ provides unique insight into the world of one of professional rugby’s most controversial and misunderstood players. This autobiography, co- authored by close friend and teammate Guthro Steenkamp, sheds light on the humbling tale that is the life of John Philip “Bakkies” Botha. Botha opens up time and again over the hardships of growing up in the coal mining town of Newcastle in Kwa- Zulu Natal. His parents, Sally and Ian Botha, did their best to bring him up ‘proper’ (as Bakkies says) but still he struggled to stay out of trouble. Having been born 4’5” and 35kg, and then shooting up to 6’3” by the age of nine, Bakkies would always be labelled an aggressor and a trouble maker by parents and authorities. A label he still wears today. In Eat, pray, ruck, Bakkies digs into his past to identify the root of his pain and anger. For four relentless Chapters Guthro and Bakkies take us through Botha’s painful and troubled youth. The authors make no apologies for their style, which is not dissimilar to a schizophrenic attempting to write a diary.
Finally, in Chapter 5 we discover the truth behind Botha’s aggressive nature. In what can only be described as truly profound self- reflection, Bakkies Botha explains that the fundamental reason for his extreme aggression is the fact that despite his strong Afrikaans heritage he would, having been born in Kwa- Zulu Natal, be expected to play for the Sharks when he matured into the professional rugby player that everyone knew he would become. Stylistically the book struggles for flow, but true emotion shown in these types of realisations are hard to come by in the world of sport. Now, and only now, is the rugby world coming to grips with this shocking revelation. Knowing what we know now- that Bakkies suffered terribly from inselachophobia (fear of becoming a shark), I am sure that the rugby world can once and for all forgive him for all his wrong doings on the pitch. No man should have to go through life knowing that they are expected to play for the Sharks one day. Like paedophilia, human trafficking and children in poverty, this is one of the worst burdens for a child to bear.
Springbok teammate and Provincial opponent Gio Aplon had this to say having read Bakkies’ book:
“When Bakkies head butted me that day at Newlands, as he has done many times before, I wanted him banned from rugby for life. I hated him. But now, now you tell me how he grew up angry and why he has all this aggression- I realise that it is fair. Bakkies, I am sorry you had to go through that. Had I grown up knowing what you knew I think I would have ended up a gangster. And I thought I had it rough in the flats.”
His fear of becoming a shark ran so deep that even when offered a R2 million bribe to join the Sharks in 2006, he flatly refused the offer.
From Chapter 5 onwards we learn how Bakkies turned his fortunes around. When he finally realised that he did not necessarily have to play for the Sharks his life changed forever. This news was like a message from God and so with his move to the Bulls Bakkies also became deeply religious. Finding freedom helped him to find religion. The expression; ‘he prays before he slays’, is born from Bakkies’ pre- game ritual of praying to God and thanking him for allowing him to change his path, a path that previously led to King’s Park in Durban. Despite his newly found spirituality, Bakkies still remained incredibly aggressive and dangerous on the field. It seemed he welcomed his newly acquired nickname; ‘the enforcer.’ However, what most people don’t realise is that when he prays he thanks God for allowing him the choice of not having to go to the Sharks, thus enabling all those old feelings of pain and anger to resurface. When he goes out onto the pitch these emotions can sometimes push him over that fine line between positive aggression and utter chaos. The controversial, ‘Justice 4’, campaign in the 2009 British Lion tour to South Africa was a statement from the Springboks to highlight Bakkies’ innocence, trying to expose the real reason for Bakkies’ aggression. Having heard about it after the game the ‘victim’, Adam Jones, had this to say:
"Botha shouldn't have been banned for it, nowhere near it. I don't have any complaints.” I grew up in a comfy Welsh mining village- I have no right to judge Bakkies given his terrible past. You see, in the Northern hemisphere we just aren’t exposed to the horrors of the developing world- like possibly playing for the Sharks.”
All things considered ‘Eat, pray, ruck’ is a well- balanced and truly inspirational sporting autobiography that really cuts to the core of what it is to be a misunderstood sportsman in the limelight. The timing for Botha couldn’t be any better with one sporting journalist claiming that:
“Bakkies Botha contributes to the sport of rugby in much the same way as the Old Testament contributes to the Christian faith- with a violent passion that was only really acceptable two hundred years ago."
Quite possibly the most accurate description of Botha’s character by any sports journalist in South Africa to date. Nonetheless ‘Eat, pray, ruck’ makes no excuses and helps to cement the reader’s view of Bakkies Botha as one of the greatest Springboks of all time.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Beer Roster for tomorrow night

K tomorrow is the big quarter final game. Excited, lets try all bring a case of castle lager cans if you are shown on the list, last week not everyone brought so lets try get it right this week, thanks. Here are the names:

1) Bailes
2) Khosto
3) Nic Lassen
4) Rayaan
5) Stu Black
6) Craig
7) Kyle, Kyle Rennie
8) Poen
9) Geoff
10) Dino

Monday, August 22, 2011

Here we go...

This Wednesday signals the start of the business end of the league, with a massive Quaterfinal fixture vs. Ubumbo. We go through to the knock out stages top of our pool, having won 6/6 for this season...

Ubumbo has been one of our older and fiercest rivals with the two teams having met 5 times in the past 6 years, here are how the results have gone...

2006: Cobras 14 - 0 Ubumbo
2007: Cobras 12 - 12 Ubumbo
2007 Semi: Cobras 19 - 15 Ubumbo
2008: Cobras 5 - 14 Ubumbo
2010 Semi: Cobras 15 - 3 Ubumbo

That's 3 wins to Cobras, 1 draw and 1 loss...which illustrates just how big Wednesday's match is...

It's the first knock out game of 2011, and is a big occasion which will require a big performance from the Purple and White.

The Cobras vs. Ubumbo

Kick off 19:30

Meet 18:30 SHARP below Cecil


1. Shane 2. Warren H 3. Baloo

4. Tom 5. Fridge

6. Callan (c) 7. Dino 8. Kyle, Kyle Rennie

9. Army 10. Warren B 12. Bailo 13. Nico

11. Raubs 15. Hawski 14. Stu

Captains Practice Tuesday 16:30 UCT C-Field

Please remember to bring all jerseys on Wednesday and keep checking site for beer list.

Time to turn it on,

Oh so brave

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Final stretch...

Result: The Cobras 24 - 10 Spanner

Touch today (Sunday) 4pm REGARDLESS of weather conditions..

Captains Practice Tuesday 16:30

Hudons Dinners 19:00

Quaterfinal vs. Ubumbo Wednesday 19:30 kick off

Here we go,

Oh so brave

Friday, August 19, 2011

Business time...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Rugby, Hype and Milestones.

Here we are on the brink of another Cobras’ Wednesday night, with another massive rugby game to be played, and another stupendous fines session to be held but before we get ahead of ourselves I believe it’s necessary to realise why this match on Wednesday vs. the Spanners is so important. I find myself sitting at the computer, choosing to write this instead of my sociology course essay that’s due tomorrow, hey you can repeat a course or two but we only got one shot at winning for this year. So lets have a look see at some of the stats: We have played the Spanners all of 3 times and emerged the victors in all three games, with a points difference of positive 33, with the last match being played last year when we won 10-0. Despite this somewhat one sided ‘rivalry’ between us and the Spanners, this game is even more significant as it will be the 50th time that the Cobras run out onto that ‘Green Mile’. Friday night at Tiger I managed to get hold of Graeme ‘the uncle’ Steen as well as Stefan Terblanche, as I pulled them off the dancefloor where they were starting to make their move towards 2 young possibly school girls, I managed to ask them what this big event would mean to them. Stefan, filled with emotion could not bare the though of not being able to run on for this monumental event, faltered briefly before tapping me on the shoulder with a “Do me proud out there Dino”, he then proceeded to grab this unsuspecting girl by the hand and yank into the bathroom, a true master of the art at work – how lucky I was to witness it. On the other hand I was then left with the uncle, who then explained to me how the Cobras had changed is life the last 20 years he’s been playing in the purple and no matter how many tall chicks he cooks dinner on a Wednesday night; the Cobras will remain at the center of his heart. Yes I shed a silent tear in awe of the man.

Anyway... Flashback - 49 games ago, Tom Brukman lead a young and talented side out onto the field for the first time (I was 13 at the time, I know fuuck some of these dudes are old haha). The crowd watched in anticipation as a somewhat unknown Cobras outfit took the field and with a dazzling display of running rugby, running in tries from all angles, the Purple Cobras had arrived onto the UCT internal league scene, the match ended 33-0. Ok exit flashback, back to this week - The Spanners, yes that’s their real name, stupid isn’t it? They have played pretty well this year and they’ll come at us hard as they try to steal that top spot in our group away. So we are going to need a massive performance to annihilate these dudes and crush their dreams at the throat.

I struck gold in the fact I managed to land an interview with Cobras stalwart and veteran flyhalf, Warren Butler himself, I caught him in the middle of his mid afternoon walk in the park with his pre-fiencee, Julz, and managed to persuade her to give me 10 minutes of their precious time. I also attempted to get Ian Armstrong some questions but due to the fact that he hasn’t been at one touch session or captain’s practice this year, I was unable to contact him. Back to the real deal, here it went:

Dino: Can you share with us your pregame ritual and how you get yourself amped to do what you do for what is now your 6th season in the purple and white?

Warren: I have a fairly basic pre-game ritual, which normally starts on a Tuesday night with lots of tossing and turning in bed as I quietly humm myself to sleep to the tune of Kyle, Kyle Rennie. Wednesday's are tough days for me, normally starts with a message onto the Cobras BBM group describing my excitement. I don't make many classes on Wednesday's as I feel it distracts me from the task at hand. I can't sit still for more than 5 minutes, over the years it would have been a walk down to Cavendish from the White House, kicking a ball and talking about the game at Bugs place and these days it normally starts by fetching you from your place, heading to the Cottage to have a game of Tiger Woods, one cup of Coffee (3 sugars on match day) one glass of water, a pass of a ball, past the bottle store to pick up a case and finally onto Cecil where I can't hide a big smile as I see the excitement of The Cobras as they gather for a-nother Co-bras vic-tory!

Dino: It was been an aweome season so far, what has been your best cobras rugby moment so far? and even more, what has been your best cobras 'everything else' moment off the field?

Warren: It has been a great season so far and the new faces in the family really has rejuvinated our vibe and brought a whole new dimension to The Cobras. It's hard to single out a specific on field moment as I feel every game and minute I get on the field is a special occasion in itself, it's such a privilidge to be able to be a part of something like this, and the fact is not many people have or will ever experience something remotely close to this. As for results, the white wash over a tough Wild Boys side was a highlight, also the maturity and composure shown while pushing aside Claredon was also pretty special, although I feel there are far bigger highlights to come! Off the field, has to be the moment when the tents were set up and all the guys gathered around in a cirlce on James Corder's farm in Elgin for the tour welcome, to look around and see 30 of my mates all amped and raring to go really did send shivers down my spine.

Dino: This year we have blooded alot of new faces into the purple and white, if you had to give them advice as young cobras for the next 4-7 years, what words of wisdom would you give them?

Warren: Firstly just to enjoy every single moment of The Cobras, whether it's on the field, standing in the rain as a reserve, sitting in the changeroom drinking a beer...grab every little piece of Cobras you can and hold on tight to it. Also to focus on the finer things, whether it's offering to pour beers, taking water bottles onto the field, running that extra 20 metres to make that final tackle whatever it is, if all the smaller things are done 110%, then everything else will be taken care of. No Regrets!

Dino: With the 'business end' of the competition coming up, how key will our experienced campaigners be in the road to that Illustrous trophey?

Warren: We all know the saying 'You can't buy experience' which is only partly true in our case, as the amount of talent, belief and ability amoungst the younger guys in the side most certainly keeps the older guys on their toes. I feel it won't be the influence of the more experienced guys but rather a combination of the two that will be far more beneficial to the greater cause.

Dino: And finally, tommorrow night, Cobras FTW?

Warren: You bet your fucking life on it!

The man really knows his stuff. Food For thought.

Ok back to details, we are having captain’s run 2moro at half 4 on the C field and dinner at Hudsons. We are meeting at cecil at half 4 sharp on Wednesday, kickoff is at 5.30. On this note with out further a due here’s the starting line up:
1) Shane
2) Warren Handley
3) Poen
4) Tom Horne
5) Fridge
6) Callan ©
7) Evan
8) Dino
9) Brian
10) Warren Butler
11) Stu Black
12) Blanky
13) Cobi
14) Mano
15) Hawski

Beer roster is:
1. Evan
2. Shane
3. Fridge
4. Maarzi
5. Warren H
6. Blanky
7. Mano
8. Khoury
9. Matteo

Camaan lets do this!