Bok captain Jean de Villiers was quizzed about his "new" midfield partner, Wynand Olivier, on the eve of yesterday's test.
NORTHERN Cape MEC for sport, arts and culture Pauline Williams could not contain herself in the presence of 50-odd muscular men when called to the podium during England's aftermatch function in Kimberley earlier this week. "Jinne. Maar die mans is darem mooi. (Damn, but these men are pretty)," she gushed. Almost the entire England team turned to Mouritz Botha to translate but he wasn't going to go there ... and just gave them a sheepish thumbs up instead.
BOK coach Heyneke Meyer couldn't contain his excitement when his squad was given a clean bill of health this week. The coach waxed lyrical about the players' disposition and their conditioning and even suggested he had not had the luxury of presiding over players so primed in 20 years of coaching. As it turned out, the only member in the Bok camp who required medical attention was media manager De Jongh Borchardt. He apparently slipped in the team hotel.
Tightheads caught up with former Bok and Azzurri coach Nick Mallett this week.
THE media were invited to a briefing with Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer at associate sponsor BMW's Rosslyn plant this week. Apart from picking the coach's brain, the media got to observe how the 3 Series gets put together . It was riveting.
TIGHTHEADS bumped into a referee who was quick to explain he had been picking up the flak for his assistants' mistakes. On consecutive weekends he received incorrect recommendations from the same source. "Problem is, everybody thinks I'm the poephol, but it was the assistant's call. Yet I'm the guy who gets nailed but nobody knows who Stefan Breytenbach is." Now we do.
TIGHTHEADS was shocked while walking past a newspaper stand in Bloemfontein. Without looking carefully, we mistakenly read an Afrikaans headline as "Bakkies word glo geteken" instead of "Bakkies word glo geteiken".
RETIRED Bok Victor Matfield took to the training field again this week. Matfield, a consultant to the Bulls coaching staff, performed defence drills with his former teammates. But it is unclear whether he has aspirations of getting strapped up for the real thing any time soon. Matfield may just be getting rid of the cobwebs in time for the John Smit tribute match in June, or maybe not.
THE person responsible for introducing Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder at the post-match press conference last week developed amnesia and was forced to ask the nearest journalist for his first name.
ON the field there can be no doubt that Bok utility back Francois Hougaard has gas and he gives a similar impression off it. Tightheads asked Hougaard, who has owned a Golf R32, a BMW M3, a Mercedes- Benz C63 AMG and a Ford Focus RS what he would choose if not constrained by budget. "I'm mad about cars. I'd go for a Lamborghini Aventador. It costs R6.3-million but I'm not even looking," he said humbly.
HA! Tightheads exclaimed when we heard of this case of mistaken identity. At some point we've all made the mistake but we really didn't expect one of the Ndungane twins to mistake himself for the other.
THE large-lettered information board outside St John's Presbyterian Church in Wellington's inner city tells passers-by: "JESUS loves the All Blacks" It opens itself up to all kinds of ridicule (of the All Blacks, not Jesus), the most obvious being the question why there was no divine intervention when the All Blacks played France in 2007, the Wallabies in 2003, France in 1999 ... You know where this is going. Maybe He just loves them when they're actually hosting the World Cup as opposed to playing in it, but Tightheads was always under the impression love in the biblical sense was unconditional.
During a chat to Willem Alberts it came to our attention that one of his nicknames is "Bone Collector".
Despite his hulking frame, England manager Martin Johnson was put through a mildly belittling experience this week.
AN e-mail dispatched on behalf of the beer maker who holds the 1895 exploits of Charles Glass in high esteem, further bulged the Tightheads' inbox on Thursday. "
THURSDAY'S South African Rugby Union (Saru) general council meeting at which the Currie Cup's Premier Division was reduced from eight teams to six apparently produced many verbal skirmishes. While some unions came running into the gusty winds of change, others stood their ground, holding on to the nearest lamp post. Fixture congestion made it impossible for the competition to continue in its current form next season and now at last the sponsors can say they have a competition that pits strength against strength.
SANZAR big wigs Greg Peters and Lyndon Bray are on a road show as part of their review of the inaugural Super 15 competition.
Oh dear, what was he thinking, thought Tightheads when reading about the case against Kurtley Beale, the Wallabies utility back, who was caught driving without a licence and with the wrong number plates recently.
THE folks in charge of Springbok sponsorship procurement may have shown remarkable foresight in the latest acquisition to their stable. The press release trumpeting the latest associate sponsor suggested: "Through the Vaseline and the Shield brands, Unilever seeks to meet the grooming needs of men, and nowhere is the efficacy of a grooming product put more to the test than on the sports field. This sponsorship is also in line with Unilever's target of doubling its business while reducing its environmental impact." As it turns out, at least one of those products could come in handy in the Tri-Nations when you're really up against it in an under-strength team.
CRUSADERS coach Todd Blackadder craftily broke through the Newlands post-semifinal gloom last week. When asked where his team will play their home games next year he did not miss the opportunity to remind Capetonians of the fervent support his team enjoys in the Mother City. "Perhaps the nice big stadium down the road from here that's not used very much," was Blackadder's tongue-in-cheek suggestion.