Neil Jardine

Captained Rhodesia 1962 – 1969
Rector of Michaelhouse. (1978-1986)

"Rugby is a thinking game – its’ not a running or a kicking game. This mania for running with the ball and playing open rugby at all costs is stupid – you must adapt yourself to the circumstances and play to your strength"

Now 50 years later Niel Jardine writes for Frosty ...

24 JULY 2013

Well nobody could be critical of the Cheetahs' defence against the Brumbies last Saturday. They lost only because flyhalf Rian Smit had an off-day with his penalties. Leaiifano also missed a few, but Rian Smit's three misses past the left upright was the defining factor in the Cheetahs final defeat. They should nevertheless be proud of themselves. They have shown intelligent aggression on attack and an improving defence pattern. Naka Drotske and his coaching squad have done a fine job.

The Crusaders' performance against the Reds was 'awesome'. Their secret, once they have confidence and are properly focused on the overall strategy is simply to apply the basic skills of attack and defence to a very high standard. Their ruthless attack with unfailing support play is of the highest order. Have you noticed that when the backline gets the ball, someone always straightens the line. There is no simple shuffling of the ball horizontally along to the wing, Fundamental! And Carter more often than most modern flyhalves uses the swing pass and does not run at the first centre as he passes. When that happens as it does in many teams, my granny (deceased) could organise an effective defence against it.

Highlight of the recent games was the expertly judged grubber kick by the Blues flyhalf, Kerr, across the ingoal area for his centres to dive on the ball for a try. Great skill. The Stormers finally played the full eighty minutes of the match against the Bulls and deserved their victory. But where has this standard of play been all season? The Kings versus Sharks was a mismatch and boring. With the Kings omitting key players for the vital promotion/relegation matches against the Lions, they were just too weak in all departments despite much courageous play on attack and defence.

Next week more on 'passing', 'the spin-pass', the grubber kick' and 'aerial ping-pong'.

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