Thursday, May 28, 2009

The excitement builds!

South Africa rugby team (the Springboks) versus the combined English Welsh Scottish and Irish team "The Lions" produces one of the fiercest competitions in world sport. For generations the South Africans dominated physically with outright violent tactics. In 1974 Northern Ireland police sergeant and Lions captain, Willie John McBride, devised a strategy to beat them at their own game- if a a Lion was punched (or kicked,stamped on, eye gouged) the cry "Ninety nine" went up and every Lion punched the nearest Springbok. Some test matches were battles but eventually the Springboks were pushed back and the Lions won the series. When the Lions beat the invincible 'Boks Nelson Mandela and his fellow prisoners on Robin Island cheered and street parties broke out in Soweto.
When the current Lions go to SA it will be as competitive but hopefully less violent and the new 'Boks reflect the new RSA: their biggest fan is Nelson Mandela.

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