'Blades' in landslide poll win

2012-04-03 14:29

Cape Town - Almost 7 500 Sport24 readers polled have voted fairly overwhelmingly for veteran Hugh Bladen as their favourite South African rugby television commentator.

What’s more, the gravel-voiced ex-Transvaal flyhalf claims the crown with a significant amount of daylight between him and next best-placed candidate Bob Skinstad, the former Springbok and Stormers captain.

We posed the simple question recently: “Who is your favourite South African rugby commentator: English or Afrikaans?”

Some 21 names on SuperSport’s regular microphone roster were presented as choices, across the two languages.

At the time of writing, 7 415 readers had responded, with Bladen way out in front, hogging 34% of the vote.

It is clear that the legend of “Blades” more or less precedes him: he has been at the microphone for a period better described in decades than mere years, and is thought to be close to 70, considering that he played for Transvaal Under-20 in 1963.

There is a drop-off of some 21% to Skinstad, who pulled in 13% of support for his own contribution behind the English mike, and nobody else could get into double figures.

Earning “bronze” on the poll podium is Naas Botha (9%), more prolific for studio analysis than actual match-day commentary.

Then comes uniquely burly World Cup-winning Bok lock Kobus Wiese (top choice on the specialist Afrikaans front, it seems) with 6%, closely followed by the industrious Matthew Pearce (5%) who recently took over troubled Darren Scott’s long-time anchoring job on chat show Boots & All.

There is four percent support each for two further past Springboks, Ashwin Willemse and Joel Stransky, and three percent for Gavin Cowley and Andy Capostagno.

But an array of others earned only negligible approval.


  • Stormkaap - 2012-04-03 14:37

    What freaks is when commenators refer to the ground as the floor and when Bob Skinstad says 'taking the ball from the sky' when should be air.. Wonder where some of these okes went to school

  • winston.mullany - 2012-04-03 14:39

    Hugh is a legend!!!

      Jason - 2012-04-03 14:46

      First name basis huh? Introduce me please!

      Schalk - 2012-04-04 08:12

      It always comes back to "Hugh"!

      David - 2012-04-04 17:51

      'Blah, blah' Bladen does not do it for me. Never has. He is still a radio commentator, and the next time he really criticises or offers an opinion will be the first!

  • Derk - 2012-04-03 15:03

    it's uuuuuuuuuuuuunnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnbelievable

  • bluzulu - 2012-04-03 15:04

    Hugh what?

      Topsy - 2012-04-03 15:16

      hugh suck!

  • Allen - 2012-04-03 15:11

    Only Hugh Bladen makes a match exciting. I cannot get over how he remembers the players' names, especially when he commentates schoolboy rugby from time to time. He comes across flawlessly! Well done Mr Bladen, long may we hear your sageful views and comments.

  • Anthony - 2012-04-03 15:12

    I listen to him to hear his laughable, inane comments: " The foot belongs to the player..." ??? " His kicking style suits him..." ????

  • hc12345 - 2012-04-03 15:34

    The most monotonous boring voice on TV. I rather listen to the one eyed Aussies!

      johan.blertsie.cilliers - 2012-04-03 16:22

      at least their commentary is more exciting

      Terence - 2012-04-03 16:55

      The Aussies are less one eyed even when one of their own teams play. Whoever plays against the Bulls can't do anything wrong when he commentates.

  • allblacksfanatic - 2012-04-03 15:41

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!! #YAWN

  • marcel.verster - 2012-04-03 15:47

    He looks like hell though.

  • vdwjasper - 2012-04-03 15:52

    Personally Stransky would get my vote. At least he talks sense.

  • Peter - 2012-04-03 15:55

    He was the guest speaker at an Old Boy's dinner at my old school and he was an incredibly entertaining and interesting. He talks exactly like he commentates.

  • rex.aspeling - 2012-04-03 16:00

    What a Legend! Fair! In-depth Knowledge! No Bias! Unlike the rest of the Penguin Commentators. Commentating in Summer in a suit at a rugby game is a travesty. No wonder they are all so uptight!

      Terence - 2012-04-03 16:57

      Fair? No bias? Listen carefully when he commentates Stormers/Bulls games.

  • Joanne - 2012-04-03 16:00

    Blades , you are a legend !!!!!

  • Donny Doncaster - 2012-04-03 16:02

    Ashwin Willemse?!?! What about John van Rensburg? Blades is a legend though..

  • Bigrp - 2012-04-03 16:05

    Would just be nice if the commentators actually knew the laws of the game...the rubbish most of them spew when trying to explain a referee's decision sometimes boggles the mind!

  • Johan - 2012-04-03 16:33

    The fact that stransky, pearce and others (where is toksie?) get so few votes just proves how few stormers supporters we have in this country! O yes, and then there are the sharks and lions! Having said that - in the land of the blind!!

      Terence - 2012-04-03 16:57

      I agree Johan.

  • Ilse - 2012-04-03 19:03

    Christo Olivier. Best rugby commentator ever.

      Raymond - 2012-04-04 09:30

      Capostagno, the worst ever!

      Raymond - 2012-04-04 09:31

      And Warren TRY TIME Brosnihan. FFS.

  • Simon - 2012-04-04 07:03

    There is no denying that he has been around SA rugby for a long time but my word he is a shocking commentator. Bumbling, error strewn, monotonous, boring, you name it, its part of "Blades" commentary. All he does is call out who has the ball at the time, anybody who knows SA rugby teams and players even half reasonably well could do that. And as for Warren "I`m sure there is something stuck in my throat" Brosnihan...... he should bloody give up commentary and go back to high school with some of the garbage that spews forth from his mouth. It angers me when a decent rugby ( Sharks ) game is about to start and the commenators are announced as "Bladen and Brosnihan"....... Aaaaaarrrrrrrggggghhhhhh. Supersport, pleeeeeaaase keep those two idiots away from sharks games. In my opinion the two best english commentators are Messrs Pearce and Cowley. As for Naas Botha as a commentator and rugby analyst............... the less said the better.

      Bootman - 2012-04-04 09:54

      Simon I have to agree with you. Pearce and Cowly gets my vote too.............and why does Bob Skinstadt call a rugby field a paddock. WTF is a paddock.

      Joanne - 2012-04-04 14:09

      In your opinion ? Calling them idiots simple Simon is damn rude , have respect . Hugh Bladen knows more about rugby and commentating than anyone in South Africa . You know nothing so zip it , tool !

  • Ian - 2012-04-04 14:35

    "Fairly overwhelmingly"? Is that like "sort of pregnant"?

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