Local battle for foreign honours doesn’t add up

Jon Swift

Jon Swift

It was, from the very moment that the Arithmetically-challenged Golfer – a legend in his own mind regarding all sporting matters – first opened his mouth to provide an opening statement, evident that this would be a long afternoon.

The instinctive hunching of Dave the Silent’s back into a kind of resigned bow shape gave ample proof that he was fully aware – if not of the intended specifics of where the Arithmetically-challenged One had taken aim – at least the general direction it was headed.

The Silent One was not disappointed as the self-styled expert opened with a broadside.

“I don’t see the point of the Cheetahs taking on the Kings at Bloemfontein in the Pro14,” he opined loudly.

“It is a European competition … not even ours … four teams each from Ireland and Wales, two each from Scotland and Italy and the Cheetahs and Kings tacked unwillingly on the end after the Sanzaar authorities sold them down the river and cut them out of Super Rugby.

“The Cheetahs, as you would expect from a union with such a proud heritage, are keeping their heads above water, clinging to a play-off spot as things stand, but in the case of the Kings – stone last by a country mile in their conference –they probably wish they had never heard of Pro14.”

The Silent One did not attempt an immediate response, preferring to keep his powder dry before entering the fray, but the lift of the
eyebrows signalled he was aware the Cheetahs had run up a 24-17 half-time lead and stretched that to a 45-24 bonus point victory, to keep the Kings winless in their maiden tournament.

Eventually he entered the fray.

“Have you never heard the old maxim of never shooting the pianist because he is playing as fast as he can?” he asked.

“I would hazard a guess that, along with the playing personnel both teams have lost by being jettisoned by Super Rugby, I read this week that Cheetahs wing Makazole Mapimpi, among others, has played his last game for the Free Staters.

“Doesn’t that prove my point about the pianist?”

The Arithmetically-challenged One seemingly remained unconvinced by the sensibilities or the logic behind the argument.

“What I am trying to point out though, is that you fail to understand where I am coming from,” he snapped back.

“That whole exercise does very little for South African rugby as a whole. The Cheetahs having to take on a side like the Kings, who no matter how fast they hit the keys in front of them, do not have either the class or rhythm”.

Again the Silent One paused before speaking.

And again he posed an interesting question.

“Just suppose for a moment you were a professional rugby player holding a valid contract,” he said.

“Getting paid presupposes that you play in whatever competition is placed before you.

“If you were the one being denied the means of making your living,” he continued, aiming a sly wink at the rest of the assembly, “I’ll make a small wager that you would be at the front of the queue at the CCMA”.

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8 December 2018 THE VAAL

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