Back in 2008 the Longhair and I sniffed a resurgence in Eastern Province Rugby – and often formed part of the Boet Erasmus / Telkom Park media crowd stomping on the sidelines or sitting up in the ether of the media box quietly hoping and praying that the stream of schoolboy players to other provinces would stop and the tide would turn in our favour.
Pity we forgot that “Man does not live on Provincial Pride alone” – a little bit of bread with some stringy bits of meat is what keeps that tummy full.
Well, we are 8 years down the line, Eastern Province is playing in a shiny new stadium, the guys with pink pantoffels are nowhere to be seen and we have had: One year in Super Rugby; Many Years in SA’s second league; Are into our second year in the Vodacom Cup, Lost the Sevens; Have no major international games coming up and Lost all but one game in this season.
We cannot even create any controversy with regards to the home of black rugby.
And, reading the SARU match report I see that we have only qualified for a SINGLE paragraph off of the local game against Western Province this past weekend; “Western Province maintained their narrow lead at the top of the table with a 19-13 victory (halftime 12-5) over the Eastern Province Kings in a Vodacom Cup South Section rugby clash at NMB stadium in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.”
In contrast our mates in the Boland qualified for SIXTEEN paragraphs after beating the SWD Eagles 34-26 this past weekend.
What do you think? Are we as the local rugby loving public losing the plot and all sliding back into supporting teams other than our local one?