As we near the end of 2015 – it’s again time to reflect on the year that has been and to look ahead to 2016 which is brand new and ripe with possibilities.
So that’s exactly what we’re going to do in this post; reflect on the highs and lows of 2015 and then to some of the things we can look forward to the world of SA sport in 2016.
Let’s start with the lows.
Japan vs Springboks
We are fairly sure that this would be top of the list for all South Africans. The Springboks enjoyed a below average 2015 – losing to Argentina for the first time before going on to humiliate themselves at the hands of the Brave Blossoms in their first game of their RWC2015 campaign. The coach blamed the senior players, the public blamed the coach and all the while Eddie Jones smiled knowing that he had dished out a lesson in the importance of a game plan in the modern game of rugby.
The wounds are still so fresh.
Proteas vs India
After winning both the T20 and ODI series – the number one test side on the planet went on to lose the test series 4 nil. Like any quality side, it was only a matter of time before we started feeling the effects of losing players like Jacques Kallis, Graeme Smith and Mark Boucher and the tour of India brought this all to the fore. So far the England series is not going any better but here’s hoping that our boys can show the mental fortitude required to compete on the test arena.
And that the selectors can start including the best players in SA in the side!
SA Super 15 Season
This probably should’ve been a sign of things to come. During 2015 – the Cheetahs won 5 games, the Bulls and Sharks 7, the Lions 9 and the Stormers 10 (out of 16) and if it wasn’t for the conference system – the whole of SA (including the players) – would’ve been catching the playoffs from the couch. The Stormers won the SA conference and went on to play the Brumbies at home in the quarter finals. The Brumbies issued a rugby lesson that day trouncing the flat footed Stormers 39 – 19. In a season characterized by accurate tactical kicking and tries for days – only the Lions could keep up.
Now let’s look at some of the highs:
The Lions won the hearts and support for every neutral rugby fan in South Africa during 2015. Playing an enterprising brand of rugby – the Lions went on to almost take home the SA conference champion crown but lost out by a whisker to the Stormers. The Lions are not a team of stars but have the heart and pride to be competitive in a competition full of them. Looking forward to seeing more of the same in 2016?
AB de Villiers vs the Windies
AB is a freak and it’s not just South Africans that feel that way. I bumped into an Aussie cricket fan in Rome who felt the exact same way I did and for Australians – the sight of him striding to the wicket filled them with dread. One innings in particular comes to mind however and that was his 149 run knock off 44 balls in January 2015. Clobbering 16 6s in that innings and setting a plethora of records in the process – AB cemented his name in the minds of cricket supporters everywhere.
Wayde Van Niekerk
Wayde Van Niekerk arose from relative obscurity to go on and win gold in the 400m at The World Championship in Beijing. The South African star completed the sprint in 43.48 seconds – the 4th fastest time ever – and in the process went on to become the fastest non-American on the planet. With Rio 2016 around the corner – here’s to hoping for Olympic gold next year.
Cape Town boy Jared Houston became in the 2015 Association of Professional Bodyboarders (APB) World Tour champion – quite a mouthful but another celebration worth celebrating for sure.
What to look forward to in 2016:
A new Bok coach
Whether it’s Coetzee or someone else – the reign of a new Bok coach is the dawn of a new Springbok era and we certainly need it.
Olympic Games 2016 – Rio
The Olympic Games is again upon us and with guys like Wayde Van Niekerk on the track, the Blitzbokke on the field and Chad and Cameron in the pool – we’re hoping for some silverware.
There you have it guys – some of the highs and lows of 2015 and some things to look forward to in 2016.
We’d also just like to take this opportunity to thank our fans for their support. We certainly could not do it without your ongoing support!
See you on the other side!