A Quick Recap
What a First Test match that was. Even in times of hyperbole and meetings of the century this was a good one. England were as good as South Africa were bad in the first 21 minutes. South Africa reversed the roles soon after and the game got wilder and wilder by the minute before the Springboks ran out the deserved winner 42 – 39.
As an England rugby fan we all need to take the rough with the increasingly absent smooth. That is where a rugby tour comes in. To tour is not just a case of sitting around during the week and waiting for games to come around. There are places to explore, friendships to be made and almost certainly stories to be created – and told if you’re Mike Pyrgos, our stupendously well versed tour manager and all round fine bloke.
On The Bright Side
So, the result did not go our way and, nor could it be argued, did the performance merit anything else. It is also down to the press to point out all that is rubbish with our game. What about if we tried to find some plus points in the game? The last International team to score 39 or more points at Ellis Park? New Zealand in August 2000. They scored 40 points. The Springboks scored 46.
Johnny May! What a performance. He popped up everywhere, scored an individual try from the running rugby gods. Had a NZ wing scored that there would be rhapsodies from around the world and we’d all get terribly self-conscious. May’s try was at the end of the game proving that perhaps England had not wilted as much as has been reported. His pass to set up Mike Brown was also signs of a back line finally starting to get their head around creativity. And whisper it quietly responding to a new backs coach.
Those first 21 minutes. Their opponents may have been all over the place but we could argue that was because of the rugby being played by England. It was fast, dynamic and damn fine to watch. Nobody would have stood a chance. Maybe. Never mind that it fell to pieces and discipline became an issue – again. It’s something to be addressed and we all need to improve.
Rugby Tours & Excursions
As we all know rugby tours aren’t just about the rugby. A rugby tour to South Africa is certainly no different. After all, the game only last 80 minutes, the party may then continue into the night but what about the following 6 days. It’s no good to sit around and just wait for the rugby or to see Eddie Jones. There’s a country to explore.
Our clients had the chance to enjoy a safari in Hluhluwe, a couple of days in Durban. They travel up to the Drakensburg mountains and a tour of Rorkes Drift before heading to Bloemfontein for the second test and a certain victory. Surely, you can move on from a narrow defeat (and a wonderful game of rugby) with a spring in your step with so much to do on the horizon.
What’s next on tour?
The good thing about three test rugby tours is that there is the chance for the team to make amends quickly. England will make the changes required though expect them to be minimal. No real need, especially if we are going to focus on what went right.
Our clients for the second and third tests arrive on Thursday and they’ll be ready to support the England rugby team to a famous victory. The last test in Bloemfontein yielded 54 points as Australia and South Africa drew. In 2010 the same teams shared 80 points.
Aside from the rugby there’ll be the Garden route to travel and game drives to enjoy between the test matches plus a couple of nights in Knysna. And if you really must… a chance to visit the winelands of Stellenbosch.
See, so much to look forward to. Off and on the pitch. Happy Touring!