Over the past couple of`days – since our boys lost to Japan – I have received a total of 16 memes about Saturday’s rugby disaster. You still can’t go online without seeing jokes about the game, people aggressively calling for Meyer’s head and others moaning about how rubbish the Boks are. To put it bluntly – I am over it.
YES, we lost to Japan, who were ranked 13th in the world as of Saturday morning while we were in third place.
It was a huge upset, but lets all just get over it. Did Japan knock us out the world cup? No, so let’s all hold back on the negativity and the “retirement home” and “can’t coach” comments until the tournament is over.
I’m 100% sure that the players go onto social media and since they’re already at rock bottom – confidence wise – going online and reading hate messages aimed in their direction is definitely not going to help much.
I’m not the biggest Springbok fan, but as a die-hard Protea fan – the kings of frustration and disappointment – the one thing I’ve learnt is that we need to support them until their tournament is over. And then once they are knocked out – they usually have the C word thrown at them.
It’s never over until it’s over.
Consider Pakistan at the 1999 cricket world cup. They were stunned by Bangladesh (who weren’t half the side they are now) and were the laughing stock of the cricketing world. Pakistan went all the way to the final that year, eventually losing to a superb Australian side. Then, in the 2003 world cup, Sri Lanka were beaten by Kenya… yes, KENYA! That didn’t stop the Lankans from going on to the semi finals though – where they again – fell victim to a phenomenal Aussie outfit.
Lets bring it back to rugby.
In 2007, a relatively unknown Argentine side beat the French 17-12 in game one of the tourney. That same French made it to the semi finals – dispatching the Kiwis along the way. In 2011, Ireland beat Australia in the group stages (at home), sure not a huge upset, but they eventually went on to get knocked out by New Zealand in the semi’s and finished third on the podium.
The point here is simple folks: losing in the group stages is not the end of the world.
Lets not lose hope.
The Springboks are in an “easy” world cup group, have some flair players like Willie Le Roux and Damian de Allende – players who can light up the tournament, while we also have man mountains like Duane Vermeulen and Willem Alberts in the squad.
We can, and should, still win all our remaining pool games and finish top of the group, but if for some reason we don’t and finish second – so what? We’re still in the world cup tournament and we’ll avoid the mighty New Zealand in the semi finals.
I’m not the type to say “don’t be negative”, but damn…. STOP BEING NEGATIVE! Until October 31, Meyer is our coach and the 31 men that are there to play, are our team, there’s no changing that. Let’s get behind the Boks and support them until the bitter end.
Sport is a funny thing and a hell of a lot can change in a week.
My blood is still green and gold and yours should be too.