Great Rugby Arguments, No 4: Brendan Venter vs Everyone in England

"Move to the left a bit Brendan, the bloke behind you can actually see the game"

As we all know, Saracens are very much the Newcastle United of rugby. Despite all their money, big players and delusions of importance their trophy cabinet remains as desolate as the shelf Gordon Brown put aside for  "Sorry to see you go" cards.  

For a long time, they simply seem to have lacked that something extra.

This year things look a little different.  First of all, they are in the semi-finals of the Guinness Premiership, and having just rolled over Leicester at Welford Road their tails are up somewhat.  On top of this, their manager, former Springbok and winner of  2010 David Carradine Lookalike (Southern Region) Competition, Brendan Venter, is leading the way in making them nasty.

Great Rugby Arguments: No 3, Rob Andrew vs Olivier Azam (and all of Gloucester)

Rob_andrew300 December 2001.  Enron is filing for bankruptcy, the Tora Bora caves are having the shit beaten out of them, and Robbie Williams & Nicole Kidman are number one in the charts. In the midst of all of this misery, Gloucester had just beaten Newcastle 29-25 at Kingsholm and during the game the Falcons' Epi Taioni and Gloucester's Olivier Azam are sent off for a set to. 

In yet another example of his fabulous judgement SMFT Rob Andrew decided to calm the situation down by accusing Azam and the whole Gloucester crowd of racism in the post-match press conference. "Azam called Epi a black bastard and spat in his face. It was a cracking, lively game but it pales into insignificance for me. I don't want to even talk about the game. This is about racism. It came from the crowd too. I could hear it from where I was sitting. I've never experienced anything like it before. It was disgusting. Players inciting crowds to chant racist filth has got to stop. It has got to be rooted out. This is bigger than just a game of rugby.

Great Rugby Arguments: No 1, Luke Watson vs everyone in South Africa (and Adidas)

Lukewatson06vcr_3 The selection of flanker Luke Watson for the SA touring team this Autumn has led to some reported ructions in the Springbok squad.  As the first part of a new regular feature here on, we’ll take a look at what it’s all about.

You could say that a rebellious streak is probably part of Western Province’s Luke Watson’s make-up as his father was Cheeky Watson a famous anti-Apartheid campaigner, but even Cheeky would not have stirred up as much trouble as his youngling has these past two years.  He bites so many of the hands that feed him it is amazing he has any teeth (or food) left. 

Watson was first not selected for the Boks in 2006, despite some decent showings in the Super 14 of that year.  Many felt the non-selection was due to a personal issue between the flanker and then coach Jake White but White denied this saying that it was basically because he thought Watson was shit at rugby (I paraphrase).  Watson was finally selected in 2007, after much political meddling by the board, to play against Samoa and put in an average performance.