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Xerox Golden Lions 10 10 48
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Pink ribbons and green armbands a poor subsitute

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 8 Sep 2015 at 11:05
Tagged with : , , , , , , ,

I note, with a sort of bitter-sweet emotion, that the Sharks will run out in a special jersey this weekend to commemorate 125 years of a proud tradition of rugby in the KwaZulu Natal province. As a passionate fan for all but the first 100 of those years, I have one very simple request to make to the team.

Play some rugby this weekend that honours that legacy.

Speaking as the voice of the average Sharks fan (I pray you’ll permit me that luxury), I can only air my frustration and deep sadness at the fare dished up by the Sharks class of 2015. There have been some very low patches in our history indeed, since that bright day 25 years ago when we announced ourselves as a serious force on the local landscape in winning our maiden Currie Cup. The “team of the 90s” went through a pretty dire slump in the latter half of that decade indeed, only to recover amazingly to appear in three successive finals around the turn of the millennium. Kevin Putt’s era, unfortunately, signalled a return to the doldrums and we as Sharks fans, having tasted the lows as well as the highs, rightly said “never again” after Dick Muir and John Plumtree restored our pride.

2015′s Sharks are not delivering results and performances at the level their fans expect. We have had to sit through a shocking 50-point drubbing against the Crusaders in Super Rugby (in a special “organ donation” jersey), watch as a proud 8-year undefeated record against the Lions tumbled (with pink ribbons on the sleeve) and grit our teeth as the team struggled to record a scrappy victory over the Pumas (in green armbands, the significance of which I have already forgotten) – in the process narrowly avoiding becoming the first Sharks team in goodness knows how long to lose at home to these minnows. We have un-grudgingly got behind each new marketing campaign and social responsibility drive, sent our SMS’es, made our donations, bought our commemorative t-shirts, changed the colour of our website. Hell, the latest (ongoing) campaign encourages fans to send messages of support and goodwill to the players ahead of each match, just in case they might have to face up to the fact that they’re disappointing their fans.

At what point, dare I ask, can we expect some payback? Could it be this week, Sharks, that you put aside whatever is troubling you and simply go out and play this game the way you know how to play it? Could we ask that when you don yet another special jersey – one that celebrates all that is special about Kwazulu-Natal rugby – you give us an 80-minute performance that does justice to those giants on whose shoulder you now stand?

It’s not unreasonable to expect at least that, is it?


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