Infernal mutterings from an ancient rugby relic – Late March Mutterings

‘Rugby, of course, is the perfect game. All the necessary elements are there. It is exceptionally difficult to play well, and to make a move work extraordinary precision and control are needed in the most hostile of circumstances. But at the same time- at the moment that finesse has to be put into action- it demands a boxer’s depth of resolution in the service of the skills of a master watchmaker.’  (Adam Nicholson)

Of all the descriptions summing up the essence of the greatest game of all, none captures the synergy of brute force and finesse better than Adam Nicholson’s four liner; and for thirty minutes late yesterday afternoon, the Ikey Tigers lived that mantra.

Nobody in South Africa writes a better rugby story than Paul Dobson, and his recent summary of the Ikey Tiger’s vs Shimlas clash at The Green Mile, tells it the way it was. A magical 30 minutes, wherein UCT produced the complete Varsity game, every man jack combining to produce thrilling tries from all quarters of the field. It was breathtaking, and one was prompted to can the memory for future reference.

The second half was a massive anti- climax, but the memory of those thirty minutes will linger. Yet again, the core of the UCT thrust was orchestrated by an inspirational Nick Fenton-Wells. The Shimlas would have been justified in saying that every time they went to tackle him, Fenton went one way, Wells went the other way, and all they got was the bloody hyphen(courtesy of Nick England).

The Green Mile was alive with Springboks, and hats off to them for sitting in to take telethon pledges for a good cause. It is always a pleasure to have the Free Staters on campus. They are a very civilized bunch of men, who despite being whacked on the field of play, joined in the after game celebrations with grace and charm.

A few classic quotations about rugby will be the appetizer for the main course in two weeks time. Off to Pretoria we go, to beard the Bull in his pen. So be it. The Tigers have the best wishes of all of us whose blood is striped blue and white.

‘Rugby is a wonderful show: dance, opera and, suddenly, the blood of a killing.’ ( Richard Burton)

‘The whole point of rugby is that it is, first and foremost, a state of mind, a spirit.’ ( Jean- Pierre Rives)

‘Run at the spaces, not the faces.’ Anon

There is far too much talk about good ball and bad ball. In my opinion, good ball is when you have possession, and bad ball is when the opposition has possession.’ ( Dickie Jeeps)

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