The Springbok tour of the UK has finally come to an end – a tour that will not be fondly remembered by both player and supporter. To return to South Africa winless is a tough pill to swallow and there is no doubt that much work has to be done in the coming months both on and off the field. It is interesting to note that Steve Hansen will assemble a group of 40 All Blacks in January 2017 as he begins his preparation for the mid-year tour by the British and Ireland Lions to New Zealand. After the camp the 40 players will go back to their Super Rugby franchises before the start of the 2017 Super Rugby Competition.
This past Saturday the club hosted a braai for those players who wished to attend. It was an enjoyable low-key afternoon spent out on the deck where team management, players and families socialised. The core of players who attended is a good indication of the player leadership and it was good to see them again as their energy served as a positive spur to the obligations of the rugby administration.
Villagers will re-introduce the Player-of-the-Day awards for each team during 2017. After each home matchday and at the conclusion of the 1XV match, the players of the different teams will assemble in the clubhouse where the award will be made to a team member of each team by a Club 100 member. Next year is about unity of all members – where there is unity, there is victory.
“Villager-in the community” will be launched next season where 9, 10 and 11 year old schoolchildren from schools in the Claremont/Lansdowne corridor who do not enjoy the use of proper facilities will attend fun coaching sessions at Brookside. Every Friday from 16h30 to 17h30 the schoolchildren will participate in hand/eye/ball skills games with the idea of having fun and improving their ball skills. Members of the 1XV will also visit schools in the area to make meaningful contributions in the areas of academics and sport.
An interesting reminder from the past. The first ever national tournament for “Golden Oldie” rugby players was held at Brookside and hosted by the Villager FC on 26 July 1983. Visiting teams included Harlequins, Jeppe Old Boys, Wanderers, Pirates, Collegians, Ammosal, The Knights, Crusaders and Boland Veterans. The final of the tournament was played at Newlands as a curtain raiser to Western Province versus the International XV – the match was between Uni-Mil and Bellville and was won by Bellville. The past legendary Fred Dieterle noted that the real winners were the chaps who survived the social events – official and unofficial!!
It was sad to note the passing away of referee Fred Corin at the age of 92 last Friday. Fred was one of the characters of rugby in the Western Province who had a great love for crossword puzzles and racehorses. HO de Villiers kept in regular contact with Fred and rumour/legend has it that in his playing days HO did manage to take the pressure off the Villager tryline and regroup his tired troops by mentioning to Fred that he had a hot tip at Kenilworth that he quickly had to discuss with Fred. Fred duly stopped the game to enter into this brief but important discussion whilst the Villager players managed to suck in much-needed oxygen. Fred was a true gentleman of the game of rugby and will be missed but not forgotten. Our sincere Villager condolences go out to the Corin family.
Jeremy Pinn, our lightning-fast wing of the 1980’s, has very kindly offered the Villager members a 30% discount at his jewellery store Destinee Diamonds and Jewellery (Office Suite 501, 130 Bree Street, Cape Town) which will be valid up to and including 24 December 2016. Please find attached the necessary voucher to your newsletter should you wish to take up this kind offer. Thank you Jeremy!
From a South African point of view the 2016 season has finally come to an end. Our stress levels will not again be tested until late February 2017 when the Super Rugby Competition will commence. It’s now time again for “sunshine, braai and chevrolet!” All of the very best.