Believe me when I say that I’ve seen my fair share of fights, a gerollery, over the years.
Okay, okay, before I accepted that you’re better off turning the other cheek, I was involved in a hele klompie goompies myself.
Ek het lelike appels swaai – they called it kleinmannetjie sindroom I believe.
But what it taught me is that no matter the size of the dog you’re up against, if you strike hard and strike first you can level the playing field.
I hear people quoting Mark Twain, I believe, saying: “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”
Then they also say hy’s meer bek as binnegoed – the guys who talk that talk but don’t necessarily walk the walk.
You need both – die bek and the fight. That brings me to Western Province fighting the Bulls for a place in the Currie Cup final tomorrow night.
WP assistant coach Dawie Snyman labelled his team underdogs.
Nee bru, jy moet nou blaf soos ’n chihuahua en byt soos ’n pitbull.
These Bulls don’t need anyone to talk them up, they are not going to be complacent -–they’ve won all there is to win in South Africa over the last couple of seasons.
Instead, you want to create doubt. Everyone knows WP are underdogs, but walk tall – take pride in barking like a chihuahua, make some noise. Maybe that will unsettle Jake White’s manne.
Anyway, I’m not so sure that WP are actually underdogs for this match to be honest.
Allow me to run through the two teams as I think they’ll line up to see exactly why the Capetonians should not have an inferiority complex.
The Boogeyman, Warrick Gelant, should be fit for this one and alongside Sergeal Petersen, Ruhan Nel or Edwill van der Merwe in the back three, they have no reason to stand back for David Kriel, Madosh Tambwe and Stravino Jacobs or whoever the Bulls will field.
Pardon me, but doesn’t WP have the internationals in this department? Oh ja, the Bulls can call on forgotten Bok and new signing Ruan Combrinck.
In the midfield Juan de Jongh and Dan du Plessis are up against Stedman Gans, Cornal Hendricks or Lionel Mapoe. Again, I don’t see an underdog.
The halfbacks are interesting. Bulls pivot Johan Goosen is the big name and alongside Zak Burger they are dangerous.
But Tim Swiel is underrated and in my books the form Currie Cup flyhalf. Not only is he accurate with his goal kicking, but Swiel controls the game superbly and just has that calm demeanour on the park. You know what they say about players with a lot of time on the ball.
Anyway, if Swiel was impressive so far, then I don’t know what to say about Paul de Wet. Luckily the Springboks – thin on players in this department – have not yet seen his value. This game and a possible final might raise his profile.
Province, to me, has the stronger backline.
Up front, though, I do expect them to sukkel a bit.
But if Evan Roos (lammie) is fit, Deon Fourie (swollen thumb) ready to go and Hacjivah Dayimani (knee) are cleared dan is daar perde.
A fresh Nama Xaba, having played off the bench last week, makes it even more interesting.
Up against the likes of Elrigh Louw – I desperately want to see him against Roos at No.8 – Arno Botha and WJ Steenkamp, it will be a brutal battle. Still I see no reason for WP to not believe in themselves.
That’s until we get to the second row. Nou kyk hier, captain Ernst van Rhyn has played lock for the entire season now and if someone points out that he is a flank, I reckon the man is going to headbutt you.
He will go toe to toe with anyone while leading WP, so I don’t think Janko Swanepoel and Ruan Nortje, who I rate highly mind you, will scare him off.
Taking the field with flank convert Johan du Toit packing down behind Neethling Fouche and Leon Lyons, with Andre-Hugo Venter at hooker if Scarra Ntubeni is still injured, the Bulls might think they have the upperhand in this department with Mornay Smith, Jan-Hendrik Wessels, and Gerhard Steenekamp.
But let me be the one to tell you that the Springboks did WP a favour by taking Bulls hooker Johan Grobbelaar with them to Australia.
Without him, I don’t see a fear factor in that front three. There are good players, but not big names such as Lizo Gqoboka or Trevor Nyakane.
These might not be the lineups for the match. But it will be something close to this. And if I look at the two teams, I can’t see that Province are underdogs.
So come out and say you can win this game. Forget the excuses, challenge the big dogs. Tackle them in their yard.
Quick tip from Duidelike Dudley – strike first, strike hard and then keep your foot on the Bulls’ throat. Before then, waai daai rooi lappie.