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Surprise Surprise - Corne Krige


By: Corné Krige

I had the privilege of being invited to the MTN Supersport Shoot-out at Simola this past weekend. It is a golf tournament in which current and past Ministers, businessmen and sportsmen come together to raise funds for charity. This year the main beneficiaries were Gozololo Centre and The Jacob G Zuma Education Trust. President Zuma was present at the function on Saturday night and more than R5 million was raised for those two charities. It was great to see rugby legends like James Small, Francois Piennaar and Percy Montgomery again. Breyton Paulse, another ex Springbok, managed to win the individual and team trophy, which was good for the rugby players as the cricketers have always dominated the tournament.
How crucial will the Stormers loss be?

While all this was happening there were many surprises on the rugby field. The first surprise was that the Stormers lost to the Chiefs after leading by 20 points to 3. A yellow card for Gio Aplon and a penalty try to the Chiefs were major swings in the game. There is no doubt that the Stormers could have won and I am wondering how crucial this loss might turn out to be. The Sharks are now within one point of the Stormers, and it is going to be crucial to get the top spot in our conference. The Sharks play the Bulls twice in the next few weeks and the result of those games will determine if the Bulls make it to the play-offs. The Stormers now have to beat the Blues this weekend or their campaign might start derailing.

Cheetahs surprise

The big surprise of the weekend was the Cheetahs beating the Crusaders. What an incredible victory. I predicted on Superbru that the Cheetahs would beat the Crusaders by six points, but I always knew it was a wild shot. To beat the Crusaders 33-20 with Carter and McCaw playing is a massive achievement. The boys from Bloemfontein never cease to amaze me as they just churn out players, year on year. This year, Sarel Pretorius has made his debut at scrum half and what a revelation he is. There is no doubt in my mind that he should make the World Cup squad later this year. Let's hope the Cheetahs continue to do the Stormers and the Sharks a lot of favours.

Lions will become a force to be reckoned with

The other big surprise of the weekend was the Lions beating the Brumbies in Canberra. They really have had a tough season and have lost many games at the death. This time around they played really well and John Mitchell and his members of staff will be very happy about the win. There is no doubt that The Lions will become a force to be reckoned with if he remains the coach and they continue to spend money on buying decent players. Rugby in South Africa is looking healthy and I have no doubt that we will be able to field a strong team come World Cup 2011.

I am cycling the Sani2C mountain bike race this week. We are cycling from Underberg in KwaZulu-Natal down to the coast in three spectacular days. I will thus not be watching any rugby, but be assured that I will have all the games taped and I will watch them on Sunday night. Have a great week!