It’s that time of the year again when we reflect on the days that were and start thinking about what we can promise ourselves we’ll do better in the new year.
My advice would be to take it day by day and just try to be an upgrade on yesterday - 365 days later and you’ll be amazed at what you’ve accomplished.
Anyway, not here to dish out advice on life, my job is to talk sport.
I’m not going to delve into what we want for 2022, instead I will look back at the rugby year that was and have decided to jot down my own end-of-year awards.
We all know that one person, might be an uncle or an aunt, who just learned of this social media ding.
You know them, they comment on elke storie, they wish you a happy birthday sommer before it’s your actual birthday, they gooi selfies that don’t make any sense and they support ieder en elk se elke move.
Good people. Sout van die aarde.
I reckon Rassie Erasmus is that bra in his family.
We’ve all seen the evidence. Was die man nou nie besig op social media die jaar nie?
Until it caught up with him and he’s now suspended for releasing that video.
Vat die man se media tools weg in die nuwe jaar!
Zelt Marais’ name has become a bit like that of Candyman’s in 2021- you’re too scared to say it out loud three times in the fear that he might pop up somewhere.
Alle grappies op ‘n stokkie, there was a big sigh of relief from a number of fans when SA Rugby decided to take over the administration at WP Rugby.
The face of the heartache of the last few years is undoubtedly former president Marais.
Such was the chaos and bedankings and suspensions at administrative level that I lost all lus for rugby in the Cape.
And then John Dobson’s team also couldn’t inspire on the field.
Let’s just hope Saru can ruk dinge reg at the union and that rugby, and not administration, once again grabs the headlines.
To be brutally honest, it’s become painful to watch in the Springboks’ No.15 jumper. Painful because he is such a talented rugby player, but clearly out of form in the last year or so.
At 32, he is no longer the attacking threat he was when he was younger. Yes, he still has the vision and is possibly a better creator than a runner, but it’s almost as if you want to help him under the high ball every time he goes up.
I don’t think he is best suited for this particular Bok game plan and the fact that he plays his rugby in Japan is not helping either. Experience is key and he has that, but to have back the Willie we know, maybe he should consider coming back to South Africa where he will once again get used to facing this sort of game, instead of the running game in Japan.
In these US tv shows they also have that one nerd in the classroom that the teacher just chooses to ignore. Daai mannetjie wie se hand altyd op is, but never gets a chance.
Picture a classroom with Jacques Nienaber as the meneer and Evan Roos as that laaitie.
The Stormers No.8 must be really close to cracking the nod at international level after his performances in 2021. Definitely the Rookie of the Year for me.
But will he get noticed by the big chiefs in 2022?
Siya Kolisi is fast becoming one of the most beloved human beings on the planet - the Lady Di of rugby. And it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.
His niceness is not an act. I can attest to that.
One day I was walking to the car park from work and heard a hell of a commotion as someone was trying to get someone else’s attention on his steering wheel. The hooter caught my attention and when I looked up, there was Siya hanging amper heeltemal uit sy kar uit just to greet me.
He didn’t have to do that. I wouldn’t even have known he just drove past. And it’s not because I’m special, that’s just how he is. And therefore he wins my fan’s favourite award. Kyk dan hoe teken hy die man se broekie in the UK, while also posing with Gerard Butler, travelling the streets of Switzerland with Roger Federer. Still, he will go out of his way to greet the man on the street.
Most of these awards have been off-field and a bit tongue-in-cheek.
But we have to get between the four white lines and here Damian de Allende and Eben Etzebeth stood out for me in 2020. De Allende was superb on the year-end tour of the UK, but my Player of the Year gong goes to Etzebeth.
Consistent in 2021, the Bok enforcer gave his all - even if the team wasn’t always on song.