Saturday, October 14, 2006

This still matter 20 years later...

As a South African, jaku and i love RUGBY. and today it was the CURRY CUP final in South Africa (almost like the stanley cup in NHL) Our team {THE BULLS} and the cheetas drew the match and the cup is shared. in honor of that special day in SA, i want to post a story here that touched my heart. Pierre Spies Snr was a spiritual dad for Jaku and I almost 17 years ago and he was a springbok rugby player in his time. He died 2 years ago. we really loved him dearly and today his son is a star rugby player.

combine that with the challenge#2 of the MMIDOLS about the little things that will matter 20years from now and THIS STORY WILL TOUCH YOUR HEART.

Spies seizes the moment - in 1975
Thursday October 12 2006
That famous try

It happened at Free State Stadium, the linear antecedent of Vodacom Park, in Bloemfontein on 27 September 1975. It was the Currie Cup final

It was the first Currie Cup final in Bloemfontein and Free State were set fair for a share in rugby's Holy Grail, for, on that muddy, soggy field, they had just scored a try to make the score 6-6.

In those days there was no extra time. Draw and you shared.

The conditions were tough. A sudden thunderstorm had burst over the ground in rain and hail.

Keith Thoresson, the Northern Transvaal, kicked a penalty in the first half, making the score 3-0 at half-time. He kicked a penalty in the second half to make it 6-0 as time ran out for the battlers in the sticky mud.

There were just three minutes left when the Free State centre Pikkie du Toit broke through and scored. 6-4. De Wet Ras converted. 6-6, and the whole wet world cried VRYSTAAT.

Half a loaf is better than no bread. A share of the Currie Cup was more than Free State had ever achieved before. But it was not at all satisfying for the Northern Transvaal visitors. After all winning Currie Cup finals was their greatest cultural achievement.

Northern Transvaal kicked off and the forwards smashed into the maul at the kick-off and - suddenly - Louis Moolman had the ball and gave it to his backs as the Free Staters rushed up in ardent defence. Under pressure, Christo Wagenaar kicked high and diagonally towards his right.

Athletic Pierre Spies, a champion hurdler, raced after the ball. The ball came to ground. It bounced up high as Spies raced at it and Gerrie Germishuys and Kleintjie Grobler covered.

Spies leapt, long right arm fully extended, hand reaching upwards till his fingertips found the ball. It bobbled on his fingertips - Spies's hand dribble they called it.

Agonizingly, he did not lose the ball but managed to draw it down to race with long strides to the corner on his right as desperate Germishuys and Grobler covered, for the try which won the Currie Cup. Bending low Spies grounded the ball with his right hand.

Hearts in Bloemfontein stopped beating.

From touch Thoresson converted, and the referee Justus Moolman, a Port Elizabeth dentist, an Old Boy of Grey Bloem, blew the final whistle, giving glee to some and casting many into soggy gloom.

Danie Craven, president of the SA Rugby Board, and André Volsteedt, the Free State president, missed the try. They were on their way down from the stand to make the presentation, supposing that it would be to hand over the trophy to two teams for them to share it.

Pierre Spies's try is, perhaps, the most famous moment in the 114-year history of the Currie Cup.

Playing ballboy that day was a sports fanatic, 13-year-old Grey pupil, Joubert Strydom, son of Steve. He grabbed the ball that Spies scored the try with. He kept the ball.

Pierre Spies, the try-scorer, died of cancer two years ago. Steve Strydom died of cancer last year. On Friday Joubert Strydom, son of Steve, is to hand over the ball to Pierre Spies son of Pierre, for young Pierre will be playing on Saturday in the Currie Cup final against the Cheetahs (nee Free State) in Bloemfontein.

love and a kiss


Sophia said...

What a great post today...nice to remember the little things, I totally agree with you.

Jenny said...

I remember Pierre Spies as a hurdler rather than a rugby player. What a touching story!