When are the springboks going to get the basics right

Jake White finally lost a home game.  He blames a lack of experience, but I do not agree.  Our guys are still making basic handling errors, and they don't seem to be getting better at all.  Also our defense was poor, especially in the backline, where there were quite a number of missed first tackles.  You just cannot afford to make these mistakes at international level.

On the attacking side, our guys seem to be scared to be tackled.  Nine out of ten times the ball carrier will offload without drawing the defense.  This leaves the opposition free to cover the new ball carrier, and he gets taken out without making any progress.

When are we going to concentrate on getting the basics right before trying the rest?

Do the guys even train basic handling skills?  In my opinion you need to train this as often as possible to keep the skill sharpened.

Another thing that a lot of the commentators are mentioning is that Jake selects a lot of players out of their normal position.  Maybe the powers that be should be giving him more power of the provincial coaches, so that he can instruct them to try some of the players in other positions, so that he can see how they do, and not have to use an international match to experiment.

Maybe he can also get the provincial coaches to include the basic skills into their training methods.


Part of unofficial statistics

So, I’ve finally become part of statistics (unofficially, more about that further down).  Me and one of my teammates were riding out in the South of Johannesburg, trying to get in some base mileage before the next Vets tour in two weeks time.  When on the Eikenhof road two guys crossed the road in front of us, pointing a gun at us, and telling us to stop.  The one holding the gun asked for 50 bucks (looks like he knows the exact amount us cyclists normally carry on long rides).  I tried to get the money out of my pocket, but with the winter gloves on it is an impossible task.

The second guy came around behind me, took my hand out of my pocket, and helped himself to the money my mobile phone, and a packet of jelly babies.  And then started pushing the bike telling me to go.  I went slowly at first, listening for sounds behind me, because they hadn’t let my teammate go yet.  So I was kind of waiting for a shot, or shouting, or something, not wanting to look around in case they do start shooting then.  About 200 metres down the road I snuck a quick look, and very relieved saw my teammate not far behind me, also riding.

We carried on down the road and stopped at the police station about 10 km further.  When we told them we’d just been robbed at gunpoint, they looked up for a few seconds, and turned around and carried on talking amongst themselves.  Nice service SAPS.  Don’t tell me to at least report a crime, and then not even be willing to take down my statement or let me use your phone!

Maybe the police should have a website where we can report these crimes, without having to go to a police station, since they’re not going to do much anyway.  At least then we’ll have more accurate crime statistics in this country, and not the bullshit (this is my site, I can say what I want) they’re feeding us at the moment.

Assos clothing

Over the weekend I took the plunge and bought myself a pair of Assos longs to go ride on these cold winter mornings, and took them out for the first time this morning.  I can only say that they are worth every cent I spent!  It feels like you're floating in the air, not sitting on a bicycle seat, and not a hint of cold.  Temperatures were warmer this morning, with a minimum of 4 degrees, so I'll put them to the true test tomorrow morning with temperatures expected to go below zero.

I'll definitely be buying more items of this make, as the savings allow.

Today’s news

Two things grabbed my attention on News 24 today.

The one was that they have uncovered a scam in the Gauteng housing department with fraud totalling more than R133 million.  People have been awarding themselves and their partners housing subsidies, even though they earn a decent salary etc.  People that were dead according to Home Affairs, also received grants. 

Very Nice!

When is our government going to live according to their own rules?  When are we going to get independant yearly audits on these departments?  When are we going to get controls in place to stop this type of fraud?

The second thing that grabbed my attention, was that all 21 municipalities in Mpumalanga decided to have inauguration parties for their new mayor ellects, costing more than R100,000 each.  Some up to R300,000.  In my book, that's enough to get him fired again.  How many people can you provide for with that 2.1 million rand?  Then there's one of them, that's budgeted R800,000 for a car!  Buddy, you're in charge of a small town, not a big city!  Same rules count here than in the corporate world, if you run a small company, you drive an affordable car, if you run a multi-million rand corporation, you've obviously proved yourself, and you get the expensive car.  Maybe you should manage your town out of the debt they're in, and will then get the promotion to mayor of a big city, where you get the expensive car.

Even though each municipality is independantly managed, I think it's time that government put certain restrictions and controls in place, same as you would get in the corporate world.  The manager of a branch office does not get the same perks as the area/national manager.  Not even close!  My opinion is, that if the country was run more like a company, with the correct strcutures and controls in place, we would have a much better country to live in.

Translate cyclist speak

Cyclists are the biggest sandbaggers and secret trainers around.
They'll say anything to soften you up for the kill. Don't let this
happen to you. Study this handy rider's phrasebook to find out what
they really mean when they

"I'm out of shape"

Translation: I ride 600 kilometres a week and haven't missed a day
since Muldoon was PM. I replace my 11-tooth cog more often than you wash your
shorts. My body fat percentage is lower than your mortgage rate.

"I'm not into competition. I'm just riding to stay in shape"

Translation: I will attack until you collapse in the gutter, babbling
and whimpering like a baby. I will win the line sprint even if I have
to force you into oncoming traffic. I will crest this hill first if I
have to grab your seat post, and spray energy drink in your eyes.

"I'm on my better bike"

Translation: I had this baby custom-made in Tuscany using titanium
blessed by the Pope. I took it to a wind tunnel and it disappeared. It
weighs less than a fart and costs more than a divorce.

"It's not that hilly"

Translation: This climb lasts longer than coalition negotiations. Be
careful on the steep sections or you'll fall over — backward. You
have a 39×23 low gear? Here's the name of my knee surgeon.

"You're doing great, honey"

Translation: Yo, lard ass, I'd like to get home before midnight. This
is what you get for spending the winter decorating and eating
chocolate. I shoulda married that cute Cat 1 racer when I had the

"This is a no-drop ride"

Translation: I'll need an article of your clothing for the search-
and-rescue dogs.

"It's not that far"

Translation: Bring your passport.

Security guard strike

Don't you find it ironic that while the security guard strike has been going on for the past two months, the reports in the news about Cash in Transit robberies have declined measurably.  Surely this is proof that most of these robberies occur because of inside information.

I think it is time that the security industry starts cleaning up their act.  Start bringing in measures that makes it almost impossible for any person, except the driver, to know where a certain truck is going to be at a certain time.  Randomise schedules etc.  If this is the case, no one can be threatened to supply the information to the syndicates either, because they don't know, and they can't find out.

Traffic cops

I had an awesome training ride this morning, except for a close call with a car out in Krugersdorp.  I turned right into a double lane road, and the car came through the slipway turning left into the same road.  She didn't bother to look at her blindspot, and just started to cross into the lane, OVER THE SOLID WHITE LINE!  Luckily I saw she was going to do this, before she even started, and braked.  What really ticks me off is that a traffic cop turned behind me, saw this happening, and did…NOTHING!  Typical of most South African traffic cops, they only do something if it requires minimum effort, and makes maximum profit, ala speeding fines and talking on mobile phones.  I haven't seen a cop pull over anyone for any other offence in a long time.  When will they finally wake up, and do what we pay them to do?