Monday, February 27, 2012

The Cobras 41 - 10 Oppidani

The Cobras beat NMMU's Oppidani in Port Elizabeth on Monday night in Round 2 of the 2012 Varisty Cup tournament.


The Cobras at the Graham Gooch Cricket Carnival

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Into 2012... Varsity Cup here we are!

Jeez its been a long time since we had a post, our website seemly still suffering from the hangover of last season's success. After an awesome formal, some great festivals and carnivals, we finally made it alive into 2012. Being the Champions, we automatically qualified for the Steinhoff Koshuis Championship in the Varsity Cup. The Qualifications to be allowed to play in this tournament is that you must be a full time student at the prestigious University of the Mother City. Unfortunately, this lead to the exclusion from the squad some of the older members that are now working 8-5 jobs every week. This years varsity cup will not include the likes of our finalist flyhalf, Warren Butler, who currently holds employment with New Balance, his biggest customer in the tackies department, Graeme Steen, will also not be with us. These are just two examples of many that do not meet the requirements of being a student. Despite these losses, this lead to the opportunity for new Cobras to rise amongst the ranks and show there stuff out in the biggest scene of them all. Some committed Cobras even went as far as failing on purpose so that they could still be students, our Captain Callan Artus made sure that he failed at least 2 subjects so he could come back this year, Along with him, veteran centre/winger Michael Cockburn (who has recently got engaged by the way, be sure to congratulate him) also failed his sup last year so that he would be a Cobra in 2012.

We are the best there's no debate.... anyway, so the groups were drawn and we had two games on tour, one to Joburg, one to PE before the massive home game to finish the group stages. So joburg was the first stop for the Purple Cobras, with the squad confirmed, the team met at the Cobras' bar for the kit hand out and a few quiet ones, except for "Na na na na na na na na na, we've got Evan Strauss" who will have no memory of this night what so ever.

Airport sunday it was and excitement levels were through the roof, the Cobras were definitely the smartest outfit around, the black golf shirts, blue cobras caps, jeans and tiger shoes were all a testament to how we were approaching this Varsity Cup. All business... and a bit of fun, but we'll get to that. The plane trip was pretty smooth with the only eventful memory being a mix up with the seating arrangements seeing firstly our Zimbo centre, Josh Rowe, grabbing babies with one hand and moving them aside to get to his seat and therefore leaving Geoff van breda having to sit next to and assist where possible a new mother and her breast feeding tendencies. First try of the tour to Geoff, despite it looking dark for most of the flight, he pulled through in true Cobras style, just remember to wipe that upper lip next time Geoff. One private double decker bus later, we arrived in the hotel, 2 double head per room, inter-leading doors that create a type of 'dorm room' atmosphere, plenty of tea and we were ready to head to captains practice. After being lost for 20 minutes by our Joburg born and based bus driver, we had to turn to directions from of our own boys who knew a thing or two about the concrete jungle, Matty Crawford and Kyle Wickens, who safely lead us through to the UJ fields. After a good hard practice the team resigned to the hotel for a lovely buffet dinner at the hotel restaurant, MacRib, in which I think we ate at least 3 plates of food each. Sunday night movies followed and team bonding all in one room, a lot of awkward silences in the romantic slash slightly porno movies that show on tv these days, but we'll call it that we were all trying to focus on the task ahead of us. Good night Joburg.


9.30 - Buffet breakfast in hotel, lovely selection of Old English Breakfasts to the more traditional rice crispies with sugar.

10.00 - Last cigarette of the day before the game. Maybe 2 or 3...

10.30 - Cancel Tour of the University of Johannesburg, would've been way to boring and the hotel pool sounded more appealing.

11.00 - Use time at own leisure, sleep, TV and what ever Blake does in the bathroom for 20 minutes....

12.30 - Lunch, once again huge variety of sorts, guys take it a bit more easier this time, knowing that no1 wants to be too full come game time.

14. 30 - Top up, muffins, bananas ect. Nerves are setting in, looking around you can see that the guys are getting focussed. Atmosphere somewhat electric.

15.00 - Earphones in, Awande singing loudly to himself, maybe a quiet whistle of cobras' man in the bathroom to yourself. j

15.30 - Get onto bus, travel in absolute silence to UJ stadium, the boys are focussed, you can see by guys faces that its gonna be a big game.

17.00 - GAME TIME


1) Jonty Tatz

2) Warren Handley

3) Devan Knoetze

4) Zach Beukman

5) Evan Strauss

6) Rob "Silent Assassin" Inskip

7) Callan Artus (C)

8) Dino Loizides

9) Kyle Wickins

10) Doug Mallett

11) Matt Crawford

12) Awande "Doc" Khumalo

13) Josh Rowe

14) Stuart Black

15) Sisa Njongwe

16) Jason Bissict

17) Stephan Hartzenberg

18) Matt Daniel

19) Uncle Anton Taylor (Co-manager)

20) Andrew Loizou

21) Michael Cockburn

22) Geoff van Ryneveld

23) Jaimie Manuel

Managerial Staff:

Blake Gower (Co-manager)

Nic Lassen (Physio)

Matteo Viotti (Coach and technical advisor)

James Morris (Assistent Coach)

The Cobras came out the blocks in the first 15 minutes, all over the opposition, with fierce defense and good physicality, we asserted our dominance over a somewhat stunned Bastion side who came 3rd in last year's koshuis varsity cup. Despite most of possession, a try against the run of play and a miss hit drop goal that went over, we trailed 10-0 at the half. We came out the blocks firing in the second half and it wasn't long until big man Evan Strauss bust his way over for our first try of the campaign. Things got tough from then on, having 14 men on the field after a yellow card for a mountaineering incident we slumped behind 26-8. For most teams, this would've been the end of them but the cobras rallied on, coming back to draw it back to 26-24 through tries from Kyle Wickins and another by First Decent rockstar sensation, Evan Strauss. Doug Mallett made all three conversions in the game that we eventually ran out of time falling short by 2 points. Disappointing loss, but there were a lot of positives that came from the game that we will definitely take through to our final 2 group stage matches and hopefully through to the playoffs as well.

In true Cobras fashion, it was onto the changing room for a massive fines, lots of new caps to drink outta the boot and some new songs to be thrown around, as always it was very festive with the older members (Cobi, Matty Crawford and Uncle Taylor) showing us close we need to put the bin to them... from there the grass bank for the IKEYS game. Despite the IKEYS losing, the teams songs were in full force, standing on the other side of the ground I'm sure you would've heard "Sisa! Sisa! Siiiiiisaaaa!", and no doubt the UJ crowd will not forget the guys who stole the hurdle, were threatened for rape and jeered at every female that dared walk our path.

So he we arrived back to the hotel, after a festive bus trip saw Stu Black on the roof of the moving bus and many a song, we were given strict instructions to shower and change in 10 minutes for a night on the town. This time was extended due to the underwear brigade that was casually walking around the hotel lobby, no names mentioned on the naked man in the hall way or the mysterious smell down the passage.

If you were in Stones in Melville, Johannesburg on that Monday night you would've had the pleasure of having a joll with 25 (two members did not make it out) Cobras, all smartly... well as smart as those porno smoking section can be... but anyway, we were a great vibe, and by the end of the night, there were few girls that had entered "the trip to Mozambique" by letting us stick the TITS stickers on their... well... tits. It would be a lie to say we didn't leave our mark on that place, hopefully we'll be able to go back there and do it all again.

Many people thought we wouldn't but we all did end up on the plane, although it was a very dark day indeed, bus arrived at 6.30 for us and we managed to find our manager Blake Gower and captain Callan Artus just in time for us to rush through traffic, and jump onto the plane (quick visit to the smokers lounge in Oliver Tambo first though).

A great start to the Cobras year, although we didn't come back with the win, we picked up some valuable experience both on the field and off it. All the newly capped Cobras were a great vibe and will do the jersey proud for the rest of the tournament and hopefully join in to the internal league as well. WE ALL AGREE... THE PURPLE COBRAS ARE MAGIC!

Until next time...

Oh So Brave