Visser penalised for preventing lineout


Tony Buckley's big handoff on Simon Shaw


Carlos Spencer & Stephen Larkham fight


The Top 5 Crazy Cards of All Time


Matt Toomua Falcon vs the All Blacks


Random great tries from 2008


Rupeni Caucau try and nice assist


Malakai Fekitoa smashes Conrad Smith


Isa Nacewa tackle on Gareth Owen

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Saracens beat South Africa at Wembley

Saracens beat South Africa at Wembley

South Africa's midweek side failed for the second time on this tour as they went down 24-23 to Saracens at Wembley on Tuesday night.

The visitors had a healthy 18-6 lead at halftime, but Saracens, whose team started with 10 'ex' South Africans, came back thanks to tries by Ernst Joubert and Brad Barrit, as well as a 75th minute match winning drop goal by Derick Hougaard.

It sounds like a report from a Currie Cup match, but the Brendan Venter coached side (who insist they're not London South Africa), quite simply had the better second half as they mixed it up physically and scored the points when it counted.

"This was a brilliant evening for the club," Venter said. "We have shown a lot of ambition, and with the guy hitting the crossbar, us winning in the end and with 46,000 people watching - it doesn't get much better than this."

Springbok assistant coach Dick Muir said "We have brought a whole lot of youngsters over here. Some have shown they are world-class players and others have not."

The South African's were impressive in the first half, but failed to turn up in the second as Saracens came back into the match. Hougaard had a horrible night with the boot, and was even booed at times as he kept persisting with badly struck drops.

Ironically, it was he who finally slotted one late in the game, winning the match for a jubilant Saracens in front of a highly impressive amount of fans at the stadium.

It was a strange night for South African fans though, because despite losing, all Sarries points were scored by their own countrymen. Hougaard was a Bulls legend, Joubert captained the Lions, and Barrit was a Sharks midfield warrior for years. The latter is now also eligible to play for England, so his SA days are over.

We've included some of the big hits from the match, as there were plenty on show. Enjoy.


Time: 07:26

Posted at 1:46 pm | 60 comments

Viewing 60 comments

Anonymous November 19, 2009 1:24 pm

Im glad the Boks(The team with the green on) lost.I hope that SARFU can realize that there Quota policy(Yes it exists behind closed doors, in International,Currie cup and Craven Week level) has driven alot of top players out of South Africa to other international clubs. These two games have been more then enough proof that SARFU has to go and rethink there strategys.Before more talented rugby players leave our Beautiful country.

And rethink the retarded rule of "If you play rugby for an overseas club you are not eligible for Springbok selection". Sounds like way to much politics in rugby thesedays.What ever happend to best XV play.

I didnt know who to support.On paper Saracens looked the beter team an was so on the field.

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Mr anonymous November 19, 2009 1:39 pm

in the voice of cartman:

Nyah nyah nyah nyah haa haa heh heh heh heh heh!

lol, good game though

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Rob November 19, 2009 1:51 pm

I don't know. I think the Irish will give them a pretty run for their money. SA are having a terrible tour and they really needed to win this game to get it back on track. They certainly won't be confident going into the Ireland encounter. Should be a good game!

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Robert November 19, 2009 1:57 pm

Correction. We are confident going into any game. Kind of makes us South African, that.

This is a good side. They will come good. The experience these young guys are getting will stand us in good stead over the next couple of years.

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Chris November 19, 2009 2:27 pm

I wonder what Gatland has to say about the strength of the Premiership now...

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Kenny November 19, 2009 2:54 pm

And rethink the retarded rule of "If you play rugby for an overseas club you are not eligible for Springbok selection".

Van de Linde was playing, he plays in Leinster, BJ Botha has been drafted in and he plays for Ulster so not sure what the overseas thing is all about??!!

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CRAZYBOKFAN November 19, 2009 3:06 pm

We need to get FSteyn in the team, we are missing his big boot!! Boks look tierd Come on PDiv, like the above says - why BJ and van de linde and no Fsteyn , jdv????
I also agree that it is good to give these young guys this exposure,however we need to chose the CORRECT young guys based on MERIT - not colour.
Sometimes wish the rest of the world would banish us into isolation again until we start to chose the guys on merit instead of skin colour!!! SORT IT OUT ONCE AND FOR ALL!!!

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Shaft November 19, 2009 3:12 pm

Kenny, they pretty much broke the rule for those two cases, ala Dan Carter and Luke McAlister & the All Blacks.

It's their own policy so I guess they have the power to break it if they get desperate.

Jean De Villiers, Frans Steyn, and Butch James (when fit) are overlooked though still, because of the policy. A few others too perhaps.

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Kenny November 19, 2009 3:14 pm

well its a bit of a silly rule to enforce some and not for others ie it makes no sense

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Canadian Content November 19, 2009 3:17 pm

Sorry boys, the Boks cannot go on winning forever. They've had an incredible run this past year and were bound to burn out. They are doing the smart thing and blooding new players in mid week games and not focussing on the result.

As for selecting players based on colour... As I said before, the end of apartheid has only seemed to benefit SA rugby. You've won two world cups since! What more do you want? All 4? It appears sometimes that some fans won't be pleased until its like the bad old days again and the Boks are a team of good old Afrikan boys with the token Englishman.

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RadEd November 19, 2009 3:30 pm

South Africa... WTF!!!

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greggs November 19, 2009 3:30 pm

Well, the team in the Guinness Premiership with probably the most South African players beat a poor Springbok side...kinda funny in my mind. In any case, I'm glad for the Saracens, especially for their fans. I think as someone else said, the Boks seem to be having a horrible tour at the moment. Sort of like the Lions tests - I went in thinking the Lions would sweep the tour, just like I thought the Boks would win most, if not all, their matches this time around...I guess I was wrong on both counts.

It could be good news or bad news for Ireland, and I'm not sure which. Hopefully, it means Ireland have a good shot at winning...I guess the Boks will beat Italy just fine, so that they won't go into the Ireland match with nothing to lose and everything to prove (like the Lions 3rd match).

I think a couple people have said this, too, that it's unfortunate that the Spingboks chose this tour to start implementing the quota even more seriously than ever - a sort of rugby-level affirmative action; however, in the long run, it will probably have a mostly positive effect for the SA team.

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Anonymous November 19, 2009 3:34 pm

Hey Boky do not be so sure....Italy can still beat your side..

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IRUGBYA November 19, 2009 3:38 pm

hahahaha SA your going to get creamed by the Irish, we nearly got oz, we can defiantly take care of you. CANT WAIT

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Kenny November 19, 2009 3:39 pm

not with the current italian backline, stale being a compliment to describe it.

Such a pity as they have the best front row around just whenever they win possession they lose it just as quick as they have no idea what to do wit the ball.

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Kenny November 19, 2009 3:41 pm

hahahaha SA your going to get creamed by the Irish, we nearly got oz, we can defiantly take care of you. CANT WAIT

Im Irish, stop being so arrogant about the forthcoming game. Me personnaly i cannot see us beating SA at all. They are nearly better in every facet but it should be a very interesting all the same.

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IRUGBYA November 19, 2009 3:45 pm

kenny nothing wrong with a bit of arrogance, mark my words, we have the SA game in the bag. We were a little rusty against Australia but the kinks are out now

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Anonymous November 19, 2009 3:46 pm

Kenny, please do not underestimate Mallet....I am confident he will well motivate the backs ...and let's see...if the Italians contain their mistakes...who knows how it will get.

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Anonymous November 19, 2009 3:49 pm

Wow some real irish douche bags here. France did beat SA yes but it was a very close game and France are a better team than Ireland, probably the best in NH at the moment.
So I would keep a low profile if I was irish right now

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Kenny November 19, 2009 3:49 pm

Anon no one hopes your right more than me, dont mind me im just a bit pessimistic. But believe you me, no one likes seeing the champs lose more than me and no one better to go through their scrum like a hot curry than misters castro and perrugini.

Im with you guys all the way!!!

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Kenny November 19, 2009 3:51 pm

Wow some real irish douche bags here. France did beat SA yes but it was a very close game

Looked like a total one sided game to me anon dont know what game you watched.

Agree on that performance France are the real deal but they sometimes are guilty of blowing hot(last friday) and cold (in twickenham last 6N) so dunno what to expect from the French.

Dont moind the others, irespect the boks but am (quietly) confident without being disrespectful.

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Anonymous November 19, 2009 3:54 pm

Who should have replaced Jean de villiers...BRAD BARRIT!!!

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Joost November 19, 2009 3:58 pm

Wow, some great hits in this match... I still don't understand how Olivier doesn't start instead of Adi Jacobs, who is a shitty player. Second try from Nokwe was classic. Odd to watch South Africa XV against South Africa Invitation though.

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IRUGBYA November 19, 2009 4:00 pm

me on the other hand i don't respect the bok, i think they were on of the last few great running rugby sides and now they have unfortunately gone the way of england. any side willing to play aggressive running rugby against a team like that will more often then not come out on top.

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Reds November 19, 2009 4:01 pm

IRUGBYA

fair call about the running rugby and lack of it with the bok and everything else you said actually but i don't know if Ireland will be able to pull one over on the bok just yet, i'll be rooting for the irish though.

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vinniechan November 19, 2009 4:06 pm

Well, all the Boks bashing aside, you can't overvalue the time getting the Dirt Trackers playing together. It's better for them to be beaten here now (however bad it looks) than getting found totally wanting when they're rushed into action in a Test.
Nick Mallet has done a lotfor the Azzuri and his effort to get everything in place cannot be overestimsated. It's just a matter of time to put things in motion.

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WelshOsprey November 19, 2009 4:12 pm

The boks have had a long long season and i hardly think games like these matter to them.
I think they'll come good against ireland in a hopefully great game.

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jackohos November 19, 2009 4:41 pm

Before any SA fans say it, we're all aware that the South African side was nowehere a first team.

However, there were at least four or five players who'd stand a decent chance of a matchday 22 such as Pienaar, Olivier and Rossouw.

It also wasn't that long ago that we were being told that Deysel would walk into any other countries' team!

I'm happy that a Saracens are developing some consistency. And as long as they keep winning, I'd much rather have our current bunch of Saffers than guys like Chris Jack and Scott Murray...

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Anonymous November 19, 2009 4:41 pm

Why do people really leave themselves open to the chances of having to eat their own words....

Obviously not all, but there were a few Bok fans saying 'the boks won't lose a single match to the NH' so, sorry to them, but they have to choke on those words....

and then Irish fans.....yes its good to be enthusiastic and hope the irish will beat the boks, but to say, 'the game is in the bag.' ......kinda open for a kick in the balls there really....

lets say irish have a bad day, and they lose by a significant amount....how embarrassed are you gonna be?

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FrankyH November 19, 2009 4:59 pm

Kenny mate, your comments are confusing at times as you don't quote what you're pasting from other users. Maybe just throw in the occasional " " or 'Bob said:'

Makes sense?

Other than that.. I dont think anyone should really be too concerned with the two midweek results in the grand scheme of things. In other words, the Springboks in theory have lost one Test out of 3 on this tour. If they win the next two, it's not a bad record. These matches don't mean a whole lot, although obviously it is nice to win them when possible.

SA can easily beat Ireland in Dublin. It's just a matter of turning up on the day mentally, something that Bok teams struggle with at times.. particularly in the 2nd half.

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FrankyH November 19, 2009 5:05 pm

And btw.. Ireland didn't deserve the draw (let alone win) against Aus in my opinion. They struggled against a poor Wallaby team. Where is this confidence coming from? They should be humbled by that performance if anything. Regardless of the final score, Aus were a far better team out there. That's my opinion anyway.

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Kenny November 19, 2009 5:13 pm

"FrankyH said....
In other words, the Springboks in theory have lost one Test out of 3 on this tour. If they win the next two, it's not a bad record."

Alot a ifs whats and buts dude they have lost 3 games on the trot, but i do still think they will beat Ireland and i dont mind as long as Ireland give it a real go.

We Irish dont think were the best, just like to talk up a good game thats all.

And Ireland didnt lose to Australia we didnt beat them either and by and large the draw while a strange result, in the end was a fair one as the Irish were all over the wallabies by the end even though they had been defending for alot of the game.

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BOKFAN4LIFE November 19, 2009 5:18 pm

Those of you laughing now at this midweek bok side losing, I think us bok fans will have the last laugh when some of them reap the awards of this experience and challenge some of the current boks for a place in the starting 15. Remember the WC is a while yet!
Well played by Saracens though & good on that bloke for winning the prize money at half time!
GO THE BOKS, WIN OR LOSE - YOU ARE MY TEAM ( IT JUST BETTER BE WINNING MORE THAN LOSING!!!)

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Anonymous November 19, 2009 5:27 pm

who exactly are all the 'quota' players South African fans are always going on about? Nearly all the black players who make it into the senior Bok side seem to be worth their place to me (Habana, the Beast, Pietersen, Jacobs..) Who are these amazing white players who they're keeping out?

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Anonymous November 19, 2009 5:58 pm

Good game.Last nights Ireland France game gave me further proof that rugby is a far better game than soccer.I mean I know there is cheating in rugby but its nothing compared to the farce that soccer has become.Boks scrum is amess these days they need to sort it out.

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FrankyH November 19, 2009 6:29 pm

Sure, 3 out of 3 but those weren't all Test matches, which is basically the most important thing on tour. They would have LOVED to win every match, but ultimately the midweek games are experiments.. nothing more nothing less. They SHOULD be good enough to win, even when experimenting, but they're not for some reason.

Because of the fact that they're aiming for the future, they've picked young players (mixed with some older Test hopefuls), as well as some players of colour who probably shouldnt be there. I mean, Raubenheimer - dont think I've heard of him. Cant say I follow Griquas much but players like Duane Vermeulen & Francois Louw are far better options.

Anyway.. about Ireland - it should be a good match, whatever happens. :)

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Anonymous November 19, 2009 7:06 pm

When we are talking about the quotas we are mainly talking about the mid-week sides, watch the currie cup and S14, hell even the emerging boks are better than this midweek side.... I guess we will never know what is going on in PDivs head????

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popeye November 19, 2009 7:08 pm

That was almost a nightmare of a match for Hougaard. I thought the fans were gonna come on the field and kill him at one point...that final drop goal (the only one he "should" have kicked, too!) was his saving grace....as it was the game winner. But when he almost kicked it out ahead of full time, that would've given the Boks the lineout...he just couldn't seem to do anything right. Oh well, the result is all that mattered.

...he sure does fancy a drop goal, though, huh.

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Anonymous November 19, 2009 7:15 pm

Come on, Yip no South African will deny that Habana is class and deserves his bok jumper. BEAST was good - but recently he has been out-muscled in the scrum ( and tI would like to note the rest of the front row aswell, so not just him) and Pietersen has lost his form, jacobs - should never be there. That being said - the thing is PDiv cannot drop these guys because our government say you have to have at least .... number of non-whites in the team, so I guess we are stuck between a rock and a hard place....I guess people outside SA just won't understand, because lucky for you, your government doesn't get involved in your sport...Trust me their involvement is deeper than most even know! I don't see them forcing whites into our soccer team..luckily our cricket team seems to be the only team selected on MERIT..

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Anonymous November 19, 2009 7:22 pm

To answer who the quoata players are in the test side. None that start. Habana and Peterson are world class.

This dirt tracker team is full of players (some white) that do not deserve to be there.

This midweek team is there to show how development in the game is progressing. Those who do not come from or live in South Africa cannot phathom how the politicians interfere.

Players like Earl Rose, Chiliboy Ralepelle,Odwa Ndungane etc have no place on current form being anywhere near a Springbok rugby jersey.

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Anonymous November 19, 2009 7:36 pm

Read an interesting article on a SA rugby site during the week about SA rugby going private - Most South Africans on there thought this was a good idea and believed it was their only answer to the so called 'quota-system'???
Interesting to see if it happens, I (for one) feel that all other rugby nations will be in trouble if it does go ahead...

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Huh!! the 3rd November 19, 2009 7:37 pm

What I don't understand about the IRB ranking system is that the Boks beat NZ in 3 games, take the No.1 spot, then lose 1 game (france, not the mid week games, they don't count), while NZ beat Wales and Italy, lower ranked teams and retake the No.1 spot in the world. Strange.

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Anonymous November 19, 2009 7:48 pm

I cant comment on quotas and such but Odwa in form I dont think ever deserved a spot. I dont doubt that politics plays a part as a double edged sword as The Beast situation shows

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pete November 19, 2009 7:56 pm

well played SA rejects 25 south africans on a pitch at the start is just rediculas the only good thing an englishman did at the game was the lucky dude that won 250,000

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Anonymous November 19, 2009 8:36 pm

that last try by nokwe was awesome. good tries. atleast pdv will now know that most of the players he picked were shit and wont pick them again.... hopefully. why does jacobs start in the bok team? why not olivier? jacobs could be used as an impact player off the bench
lol every point in this game was scored by a south african. even all of saracens points

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Anonymous November 19, 2009 9:07 pm

If Jonathan Kaplan was reffing this game he would have given yellow for those hits.

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OA November 19, 2009 9:15 pm

Dont listen to those commentators Pienaar is one of the worst Springboks of the last decade. Totally useless. I don't know how he is so highly rated.

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Anonymous November 20, 2009 12:06 am

Kaplan would have sent off both teams eight times each for takcling. Yellows everywhere.
Or actually, he probably wouldn't since it only seems to bother him when Islanders do it.
Kearney he had no problem with, so I'm sure he'd fine if Saffers did it.

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Anonymous November 20, 2009 12:07 am

Ironically, the Sracens team was probably closer to a South African XV than the South African A side.

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Gary November 20, 2009 1:26 am

Hougaard just loves being smashed doesn't he...

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Anonymous November 20, 2009 2:59 am

Hougaard has never been the same since Brian Lima smashed him!!!

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Dear Abby November 20, 2009 5:03 am

For everyone talking bad about Earl Rose - he's having a pretty decent time playing these midweek games, though, isn't he?

I haven't seen much of Currie Cup/S14 with him in it (probably more a lack of my chances to watch it than him not being involved in matches), but he doesn't look so bad here...what all has he done wrong before for people to dislike him so much?

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Anonymous November 20, 2009 9:54 am

That thrid SA try was a beauty!

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bokfan November 20, 2009 10:41 am

i think SA will beat the italians but it will be a good match to get all the kinks out before ireland. The Boks have the talent in the side, i just dont think they have played together enough, and we have to remember that many of the players are very young

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Jot November 20, 2009 1:25 pm

To all the Springbok supporters that continue to comment and blame PDV for putting quota players in the team, note that this is not his decision. After we won the Tri Nations (and the Lions series with PDV as coach) I read an article in Die Burger where PDV was criticised due to the fact that he did not have enough quota players in the SA team. It was said that he was a traitor and there were calls for him to be sacked!! The guy does not have a choice, its all political.

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Anonymous November 20, 2009 4:26 pm

Notice how only South Africans scored. Damn we're good.

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Anonymous November 20, 2009 4:28 pm

How do the Saracens fans feel? Do they like supporting a South African team? I'd imagine the English talent in the area would feel disgruntled, knowing they would make the team if it wasn't for those "pesky" Africans.

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Anonymous November 21, 2009 7:35 pm

It's a British passport. England is not a country its a nation.

GREAT GAME.

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David November 24, 2009 5:05 pm

'an English passport'

??????????????????????

Do you think someone doesn't know the difference between English and British? Oh dear ....

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RD November 24, 2009 7:52 pm

Oh dear @ the fact that SA have lost another player to England. But yes, apologies for the silly mistake. :)

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