So long, farewell...
Sport24 columnist JJ Harmse (File)
What a ride it has been since I wrote my first column for this website all those moons ago. There was so much to write about on so many aspects of rugby.
SA Rugby always provided a great source of copy with their inevitable habit of shooting themselves in the foot, whether it was on political maneuvering, appointing Bok coaches or trying to get another team into Super Rugby.
Their teams, though many ups and downs, brought us glory and despair, normally in the shortest time frames imaginable. Great defeats have been followed by great wins at Test match level and vice versa.
Same with our Sevens side, a team that I followed around the world with deep-rooted passion and support. I have seen them lose to Zimbabwe in Dubai, only to become one of the most successful sides later at that same venue.
The junior Boks were another that did not achieved the results expected, but I feel the structures are in place now to have a team that will challenge strongly in future.
Then there is Super Rugby and Currie Cup rugby of course, which over the years, created some wonderful memories. The Bulls' victories in Super Rugby will always be a highlight looking back and although a lot of critics will never recognise it, the reason for their success is hard work and more hard work. There is a work ethic in place at Loftus that is second to none and that is why they often finished on top.
You can attack their way of play, but never their commitment.
As you might have picked up from the slant of this column, this will be my last one on this forum.
I have moved on to another position in rugby and out of journalism and as such, will not be able to share my views with you any longer.
Please allow me to thank those regular ‘followers’ of my column for their support and time. I have copped a lot of abuse from certain people who were, strangely enough, reluctant to give their real names, but that is part and parcel of being a columnist.
Allow me to share a couple of my favorite moments in rugby in my time as a columnist with you.
No 1 must be the Boks winning the Rugby World Cup in 2007. That night in St. Denis is one I will never, ever forget.
A close second is the thrashing of England at Twickenham a year later. To silence a massive stadium like that with a performance like the one delivered by the Boks that day was unbelievable.
The Boks winning the Lions series of course was another great one, as was Jongi Nokwe scoring four tries against Australia.
On the Super Rugby front the Bulls have created some amazing memories, with all three Super Rugby titles right up there. In 2007 we had the unbelievable finish with Bryan Habana scoring late and Derick Hougaard kicking the winning conversion, in 2009 the Bulls destroyed the Chiefs and 2010 gave us Orlando, a day that changed the face of rugby forever.
On the Sevens front, sharing tournaments wins in Dubai, Singapore, Adelaide and George with Paul Treu and his men will always be massive for me.
Rugby has been good to me and the memories and friends will remain with me forever. Thanks for sharing that ride over many seasons.
Just do me one favour before I disappear out of your lives forever: Join a rugby club, pay your subs and support club rugby. Make it your own legacy and sign up at your nearest club!
Thank you and goodbye.Read JJ every Sunday in Rapport.
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