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Wednesday Dec 13, 2023

A look back at Rugby's greatest ever post match interview

“Three Cheers for Sireli Bobo” is quite possibly one of the most iconic lines in rugby history.

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Delivering these well-placed words in about as sarcastic manner as possible was former Springbok Rugby World Cup winner Brendan Venter.

Then Saracen’s Director of Rugby, Venter, was speaking following a 24 – 21 home loss for the Londoners to Racing 92 in the Heineken Cup.

A qualified doctor, Venter was and remains a highly intelligent thinker of the game. Clearly incensed by an earlier fine for commenting on refereeing standards following Saracens 25 – 23 loss to Leinster.

The fine would total £25,000 as Venter publicly questioned referee Christophe Berdos as one Johnny Sexton would kick all 25 of Leinster’s points.

A week later, Venter took an unusual route to avoid being fined again in his post-match interview. Losing the match courtesy of a late try by Fijian superstar Sireli Bobo, Venter let rip.

Starting the interview, he said, “Bit of Genius. A bit of magic. Sireli Bombo, very interesting, very good ja. Very good.. Three cheers for Sireli Bombo. Very good, very good.”

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A few years later, Venter would explain the comical outburst by saying, “We were driving to Gloucester on the bus and they had the movie ‘Mike Bassett: England Manager’ on.

“It’s typical English humour and there was an interview with this really stupid coach. All he did was agree with the interviewer:

‘Yeah, really good, really good. Yeah, really poor, really poor. That’s me! That’s my next interview, I’m going to show passive resistance.” Venter chuckled.

“There’s another brilliant scene where a player called Ramirez scores three goals against them, and someone from the English team says: ‘Three cheers for Ramirez’. So, when the interviewer said to me that Sireli Bobo was really good I said: ‘Sireli Bobo, really good. Three cheers for Sireli Bobo’.

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“My mother actually thought I’d been smoking something or that the stress had gotten to me. No not at all, it’s just a game. Edward (Griffiths) was holding his head in the background. It was a bit of fun.

“With all of the stress and all of the pressure that goes into rugby, spending so much time with nice people is just a privilege. That’s what we keep saying to each other.”

Now thirteen years on, this interview remains one of the very best of any sport and is a gentle reminder that there is still space for some fun at the top level!

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