Monday, September 21, 2015

Rugby World Cup 2015

This weekend saw the start of the Rugby World Cup, 2015. The English are hosts to this tournament and the flamboyant opening  ceremony took place  at Twickenham on Friday night. Prince Harry (called Prince Henry that night) Honorary RWC President, did the opening speech and  made a special reference to 1995 RWC in which President Nelson Mandela handed over the trophy to Francoise Pienaar, captain of that year's SA world champions. 

The first game: England v Fiji was at 9h00. We watched the kick-off and then went to bed. I awoke at 10h55 and went through to the entertainment area to see who had won. The final score was being queried by the TMO /Television Match Official upstairs. The result came through in favor of England's try being awarded and they beat Fiji 35/11. I could report this back to my sleeping husband! 

On Saturday afternoon we watched Ireland v Canada. What an amazing match by the world-class team from the Emerald Isle. Yet, although they seemed to dominate the game it took nothing away from Canada. In fact, when the first Canadian try was denied (by the dratted TMO!), we here in SA, booed the decision. Finally the second try made by a former South African called Van der Merwe-now playing for Canada-and we here in the Southern Hemisphere cheered like mad. 

The long-awaited and much-discussed match between South Africa and Japan eventually appeared on the screen. 
Skabenga, (this is his first Rugby World Cup!)  sensed the anticipation in the air, and pulled his blankie up to watch with the crazy yoomens 
Great feelings of patriotism as the Springboks and supporters in the Brighton Stadium sing the SA National Anthem  

Please DO click on the above link to hear our beautiful anthem - the best in the world - sung in five national languages! (I know blogger friends like, Mad Snapper / Sandra and Birding for Pleasure/Margaret will check it out!).  It's also the only neo-modal national anthem to start in one key and end in another.
Rina, knitting dishcloths as Christmas stocking fillers, doesn't seem to be that interested
 (but she says she was, LOL!) 
Grant kept saying: Don't underestimate the Japanese and their coach Eddy Jones (who, incidentally, led SA to world cup victory in 1995) 
The Japanese National Anthem was beautiful albeit very short! 
From the outset, we could see that Japan was not the pushover team it had been made out to be.The Japanese team controlled the scrums which have always been SA's strength
Great excitement though when this South Afrcan try widened the score 
 Even though SA had the lead here, the Springbok coach was biting his nails! 
The watch-dog had come to the conclusion that rugby was for the birds! 
Due to tension and nerves, I can't remember much after half-time except that Japan was now level with SA!

A few minutes later SA received a penalty and kicked to  make the score 32/29.  I can 't remember watching as I was far too tense at this stage, because SA then proceeded to be pushed to their limits and gave away a crucial penalty to Japan.
Although Japan could have opted to kick bringing them level with SA and so end the game on a draw, they took the scrum

There ensued seven nail-biting phases in extra time (Grant and I were standing against the screen to get a better view).
  And then Japan struck! 
The dye was cast! Japan beat Springboks 34/32 and caused one of the biggest upsets in World Cup Rugby (and in South Africa!) 

As I do this post on Sunday afternoon, USA is playing Samoa. (I'd better go and watch!) So SA needs to do something in this coming week to up their game else they could be on the plane coming home next Sunday. 

Here's wishing you all a wonderful week ahead. 


  1. Hi Jo, I'm afraid I do not follow rugby but I know it is HUGE in Europe and Africa. I enjoyed reading about the Canadian team. How did they do? I have heard your beautiful SA anthem when the Soweto Gospel Choir was here and I was able to treat myself to their concert. They are coming to NA again soon but am not sure if they will be stopping in Vancouver. The anthem is very moving. Blessings. xx

  2. Hi Jo. Now you make a good reporter. Sorry I don't follow the game unless I am in someone else's home and they are watching as I get soooooo excited and do a lot of shouting!! Hint! Could a LOVE of rugby be a great shot for SHS. Next week? Now I am going to click and hear the anthem which you kindly linked in for us. I think your dog and I are on the same page!

  3. HI Jo just to tell you I listned to the SA anthem. Loved the key change and it was really up beat. Thanks for letting us heaar that.

  4. Hello JO, what a great report on the Rugby World Cup. The SA Anthem is pretty. I love the shot of Skabenga puling up his blankie to watch the game. Thanks for sharing! Have a happy day and new week ahead!

  5. if i were there i would be in the same position as Skabinga.. with a blanket and a nap... or i could go outside and play with Skabinga... if the word sports is in the program i am in the other room. Hubby watches football, tennis, and anything that races with a motor.. i read on my kindle. i did listen to the anthem and it is beautiful... and Margaret says she only watches at others houses.. one time i went to a super bowl football party. ONE time. i thought i could laugh and talk with the other wives. all but me were glued to the TV screen.

  6. Sounds like Rugby for South Africans is a lot like hockey for Canadians!


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