JJ Harmse

Pink? My bloed is blou

2012-02-16 14:17
Sport24 columnist JJ Harmse (File)
Have the Bulls gone mad? Wearing pink in Melbourne, Sydney, Dunedin and Hamilton of all places?

The decision by the players and new sponsors PUMA to have the pink jersey as their strip for the overseas leg of their Super Rugby fixtures certainly stirred up a lot of emotions among their fans.

It was an interesting call. It is clear that a lot of Bulls fans are very loyal to the blue, or as they would say, true to the blue. The ‘my bloed is blou’ slogan has also been punted quite a lot by their own marketing department, so to suddenly go pink certainly was unexpected.

I understand from some players that they were involved in the design, so they must be happy, but somehow they misread the feelings of their supporters.

I don’t believe the Bulls players are removed from their supporters, in fact, they are very approachable.

All training sessions at Loftus are open ones and you often find dozens of fans attending those sessions and getting their wish fulfilled for a photo with a player or a signature on a shirt.

Their ‘go red’ campaign in support of main sponsor Vodacom last year was also met by much resistance, but those jerseys became quite sought after, but somehow I don’t see the pink ones having the same effect.

Maybe the Bulls internal departments are losing touch with the needs of their fans?

It is sad that the Bulls are the only Super franchise not to have an official (or even unofficial) supporters club.

The union is doing a lot of things right, but they also seem to fall short on other issues. Having a supporters club does not seem very high on their agenda. It is a pity, as it could be a valuable way of communication between the team and the fans.

We have seen how much value the Sharks Supporters Club has added to their side’s fortunes. It is well run, well organised and there are very few times that, wherever the Sharks play, they are not joined by a branch of their Supporters Club.

Well done to them.

The colour of your jersey is not supposed to make you play better or worse, or as PUMA claims, confuse opponents. If that was the case, all jerseys would look the same, would they not?

The only colour rugby jersey I know of that strikes fear into opponents is the black ones the All Blacks wear.

The reason for other teams especially those North of the equator to fear the Kiwi side is because they know they are going to be whacked by them!

Which is why teams should be feared (or not) and respected (or not) by the way they play.

With the Super Rugby season almost upon us, it is going to be quite interesting to see how many changes there will be amongst the various ways our teams play.

Watching the very good game between the Bulls and Cheetahs in Polokwane last weekend, I picked up that packs are now trying to provide their scrumhalf with even more time for box kicks.

Have a look next weekend how players would pack behind each other at a ruck, almost in a straight line, with the scrumhalf at the end of it. It gives the No 9 another two or three metres to execute the box kick and obviously allows him to be more accurate in doing so.

There will be other changes as well and it is good to see that our coaches are trying to progress and improve all the time.

It is about time for South African teams and not those wearing black to dictate the way the game is played.

Read JJ every Sunday in Rapport.

Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.

Read more on:    super 15  |  jj harmse

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