SA 'goon' targets Bryce
RWC Mediawatch with Rob Houwing
Cape Town - Is there a modern-day “Piet van Zyl” on the loose, angrily targeting referees perceived to be blowing the Springboks off the park?
The generous-girthed Van Zyl earned notoriety almost 10 years ago when he ran onto the Kings Park pitch to attack Irishman Dave McHugh during a Test between South Africa and New Zealand, leaving him with a dislocated shoulder.
Now, on a slightly lesser scale, it seems a successor is on the loose at RWC 2011, if a column by the Sydney Morning Herald’s Greg Growden on Tuesday is to be believed.
Growden wrote after the All Blacks-Wallabies semi-final, attended by a fair tally of lingering Bok supporters: “To the credit of the Wallabies supporters who were at Eden Park on Sunday night, they generally took with good grace the All Blacks triumph.
“However the antics of some Springboks supporters at the ground were well below what is acceptable. One of our good snouts was sitting near New Zealand referee Bryce Lawrence, and everything was fine until the whistle-blower was noticed by a South African moron, who began berating him about his performance in the quarter-final against the Wallabies.
“If you think Quade Cooper is New Zealand public enemy No 1, then Lawrence is South African public enemy No 1.
“Our snout said that someone from Lawrence’s party had to intervene and move the agitator away from the referee. And no, the South African goon was not Andre Watson.”
*The British and Irish Lions are due to tour Australia next, in 2013, and if at least one scribe is to be believed, the starting XV may differ substantially from the team which did duty in the 2-1 series defeat in South Africa two years ago.
Chris Foy of the Daily Mail suggested in the London-based paper this week that Wales’s status as best-performing Home Union at the World Cup might see them command as many as 11 places in the “first team” against the Wallabies two years up the road.
Foy picked a possible Lions XV “based on current form” and this was his notably Welsh-monopolised line-up: 15 Leigh Halfpenny (Wal), 14 Tommy Bowe (Ire), 13 Manu Tuilagi (Eng), 12 Jamie Roberts (Wal), 11 George North (Wal), 10 Rhys Priestland (Wal), 9 Mike Phillips (Wal), 8 Toby Faletau (Wal), 7 Sam Warburton (Wal), 6 Sean O’Brien (Ire), 5 Alun Wyn Jones (Wal), 4 Paul O’Connell (Ire), 3 Adam Jones (Wal), 2 Matthew Rees (Wal), 1 Gethin Jenkins (Wal).
That would be a rather less “representative” spread than started the dead-rubber final Test against the Boks at Coca-Cola Park in 2009, when the Lions won 28-9.
That side contained only five Welshmen, with six players from England and four from Ireland also getting a look-in.
Foy also suggests deposing Irish second-rower O’Connell as captain and installing Warburton in his place.
* RWC final odds on BET.CO.ZA: New Zealand vs France