And, as is his wont, the Demented One successfully blotted out the prognostications of the pundits, grinning inanely at the rest of the gathering as if this was the most natural of behaviour.
“The man,” said Dave the Silent, stating the blindingly obvious, “has all the subtlety of a runaway steam shovel and the irritation quotient of a fistful of blackjacks in a jock strap”.
There were some anxious glances as the time for kickoff grew closer and the klaxon continued to blare. The Demented One continued to prance.
The Arithmetically-challenged Golfer was trying to ignore the sideshow. Scotland, he assured anyone who bothered to listen, would be no match for the Springboks, despite coming off wins over the United States, Canada and Argentina en route to their date in Port Elizabeth.
The anthems brought some relief. No klaxon, no wildly capering Miner. In fact, something approaching the levels of decorum you would expect from a rugby crowd.
There was indeed, no blaring accompaniment to the first of Marcell Coetzee’s two tries, which came just three minutes into the match. Nor to Willie le Roux’s effort on 10 minutes. Neither was there a strident reaction just six minutes later when Lwazi Mvovo went over for the first of his two tries.
And as the half ended with South Africa 19-3 ahead, the Arithmetically-challenged One began to pose the question over just what had happened to the Demented One. “Don’t ask,” said Dave the Silent, with a barely concealed shudder. “He might come back.”
The second half went according to the script, with the Boks running in try after try against a badly out-gunned Scots combination.
And when Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer flooded his bench onto the field, handing international debuts to Marcel van der Merwe, Stephan Lewies, Oupa Mohoje and Marnitz Boshoff to add to the start he had given flyhalf Handre Pollard in his first Test, any thought of a recovery by the visitors was truly dead and buried.
“We certainly have some young talent in the wings,” remarked the Arithmetically-challenged One. “Young Handre Pollard looks a special player, as does Lood de Jager. Two tries from a lock forward in one game is quite an achievement.”
But chuffed as he was in victory, he could not but help asking why the proceedings had been so quiet and what had happened to the Demented One.
“Well,” said the Silent One of the resounding 55-6 Springbok victory, “all’s well that ends well and thankfully, we didn’t have to put of with that air horn throughout the game.”
The Miner seemed to suddenly disappear. “Like the Scots, he and his noise-maker must have run out of puff.”
It was, in the analysis, as good an explanation as any.
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