Currie Cup

Bissie verdict: Box office dream

2013-10-22 23:24
Bismarck du Plessis (Gallo Images
Cape Town - Advocate André Oosthuizen has just spiced up the Currie Cup final in a manner which would make veteran, big-mouthed boxing promoter Don King proud.


Judicial officer Oosthuizen didn’t have to make an array of brash, soapbox proclamations, either: simply by clearing Springbok hooker Bismarck du Plessis of any further disciplinary action over his stamping offence (er, sorry, maybe we’d better revert to "alleged stamping offence" now) in the semi-final on Saturday, a healthy pinch of spice has been added to the showpiece pot this weekend.

Out of curiosity, I eavesdropped for a while in the queue at the Newlands stadium ticket office on Tuesday, day one of sales for Saturday’s final between Western Province and the Sharks.

Mind you, there seemed every likelihood that there would be no need for a day two, because consternation was already mounting that only standing room and a remaining handful of single seats were available after a notably brisk kick-off to both online and ticket-booth sales.

It wasn’t necessarily going to need pre-game controversy to sell out this particular final, especially as Newlands ranks as an altogether more pulsating place from an attendance point of view than Kings Park, sadly, these days.

But will it have helped? You bet.

Between anxious cell-phone calls to bosses, friends or relatives to ask whether they were prepared to stand on what remains of the terracing at the ageing venue, the vast majority of the chit-chat in the restless queue revolved around the hot-off-the-press verdict on the "Du Plessis affair".

It was never going to take a NASA scientist to deduce that home-town indignation ruled the roost.

Said one wag, in his classically Cape-scented Afrikaans: "If that wasn’t an intentional stamp (on Lappies Labuschagne) then my rotty is a Chihuahua."

Certainly the video evidence of the Kings Park flashpoint looks, bafflingly, no less damning every time you look at it, even if there is clearly also an old-school lobby quite prepared to deem it merely "handbags" and wonder what all the fuss is about in a game they perceive to be too neurotically policed by officialdom in their varying guises these days.

Sometimes, those folk do have a point.

Perhaps significantly, though, some of the other mutterings I overheard in the Newlands line were surprisingly philosophical, with people expressing some pleasure at their beloved blue-and-whites looking increasingly likely to have to topple a Sharks team more loaded than stripped of essential heavyweights like Du Plessis and the apparently fit-again Tendai Mtawarira and Willem Alberts.

"Kom ons sommer beat die hele damn lot again," was a delightfully mixed-lingo retort.

Me? I think I’ll refrain from taking a stance on Bismarckgate – especially as I deviously can’t wait for Bissie v Scarra II in the scrap of the hookers.

This sequel could be every bit as good as the original blockbuster just a couple of weeks back.

I am tempted to add even more mischievously and excitedly to the smell-of-napalm theme: what happens this Saturday if the Battleship Bismarck steams straight for the (Not So) Good Ship Eben Etzebeth again?

But I would also just like to point out that personally I’ve never, ever confused a Rottweiler with a Chihuahua ...

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing

Read more on:    wp  |  sharks  |  currie cup  |  bismarck du plessis  |  cape town  |  rugby

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