FORGIVE yourself Dewald because your friends never will,
For the decisions you never took, which would have meant the Bulls would be in the Super 15 still,
Do not dwell on what might have happened or what might have not,
For your friends are there to remind you, lest you forgot.
My poetry skills clearly need some polishing. But forgive yourself Dewald for opting to go for touch three times in the dying stages of the semifinal against Brumbies last Saturday, when kicking for posts seemed the obvious, logical, option.
You are probably crying in your shower, cold water pouring over you singing an Afrikaans rendition of R. Kelly’s song “If I could turn back the hands of time” or bashing your head repeatedly against the wall of your garage to a concussion, screaming “Stupid, stupid, stupid!”
But, hear me out, I believe you are not entirely to blame for probably the worst ending to a contest Loftus will ever see. Sure, had you taken the first penalty with the scores at 20-19 in your favour, the Bulls would have put a massive blow to the Brumbies’ chances of winning the match.
Or if you had taken the next couple of three-pointers that you milked from the breakdown, the tie would have been killed as a contest (seven to ten-point leads garnered with less than five minutes to go in a rugby game generally do that).
I’m not one to pass judgement on right decisions or wrong, my track record proves as much: back in May, at my good friend Matt’s wedding, I made the ill-judged decision to take the after party to the top of the roof of the wedding venue.
The night ended with me falling bum first down many stairs. I’ve forgiven myself – my friends haven’t and they remind me of my stupidity every chance they get – because I’m the only one that made the decision and I promptly paid the price.
It was easy for me because I didn’t need the backing of team-mates to escalate the party (excuse the pun). You, on the other hand, needed total commitment from the men you led that day.
Call me crazy but I believe your team, especially the core, its forwards, failed to back up your decision to go for the line, in all three times that you decided to do so.
You probably don’t want to do this but let’s go back to those lineouts you chose – neither of them were successful, were they?
Your players, in their minds, opposed the decision to go for the line, so they never followed your option with belief. That is why the first lineout was spilt and the second and third amounted to nothing.
The Bulls pack, especially the lineout machinery, were supposed to back your decision wholeheartedly, regardless of what they felt about it. Instead they went to the throw-in in a sulky, tenuous manner, dragging their feet almost, like suburban children who were told to do farm chores.
They will never admit this right now but it explains why a Bulls lineout that had plenty successful mauls (to add to plenty successful steals of the opposition’s lineout), suddenly could not properly pluck the ball from mid air and bring it down safely and securely to earth.
I will forever be reminded of my epic fall, heck I might even haunt that flight of stairs after I pass on. You might suffer the same fate, so you may as well forgive yourself now, bro beans.