Durban Sharks v Western Force, Saturday 28th March 2015, 5.05pm


We’d had completely different plans for this Durban weekend. The South African FA had announced a friendly against Argentina and we’d intended to travel on the overnight posh train. As you might have come to expect it didn’t turn out quite as we’d hoped.

Firstly the Premier Classe train service between Johannesburg and Durban was discontinued and then, after I’d booked flight tickets instead, the South African FA revealed that they’d decided not to bother with the Argentina game after all. Instead, they would play Nigeria. So, no Messi, although he would probably have played little more than a cameo in a friendly anyway. On the plus side, Nigeria meant Ken Omerou and he’s near enough a Boro player.

It wasn’t to be though as the South African FA then decided to switch the venue for the game from Durban to Nelspruit. Nelspruit! It’s nearly seven hundred kilometres away from Durban. I can understand that there might have been problems, probably financial, in getting the Argies over, although I’d have preferred that they addressed them before announcing the fixture, but moving the game against the replacement opponents seven hundred kilometres didn’t seem to have much to justify it.

Fortunately there was other stuff going on in Durban and we revised our Saturday plans to include a morning walk at the Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve followed by the Super Rugby game between the Sharks and Western Force.

We didn’t see much on the ten kilometre hike. A few zebras and plenty of bugs but the monkeys that we’d watched on our last visit were nowhere around.

I don't recall seeing anything like this on my Dad's cabbages.

I don’t recall seeing anything like this on my Dad’s cabbages.

A twenty-minute walk along the seafront took us to the Kings Park stadium. We arrived ten minutes or so before kick-off and it was still fairly busy outside.

Kings Park Stadium

Kings Park Stadium

We had seats in the Western Stand, which looked quite a lot older than the much taller and steeper Eastern Stand opposite. Getting a drink was easy enough, with two bars servicing the upper section. It was good to see that the Sharks management understand that when you go to the rugby you have a drink. We’ve got a few fellas at work who follow the Bulls, despite their policy of making you drink in a field outside of the ground. Madness.

View from the Western Stand.

View from the Western Stand.

A couple of minutes into the game a pigeon sitting up in the roof crapped on Jen. It missed her head but left a Wagon Wheel size deposit on her jeans. Fortunately the crowd probably wasn’t more than seven or eight thousand and we were able to move to seats that didn’t have pigeons loitering above.



The game itself was fairly poor with both sides making frequent handling and kicking errors. If I was a supporter of either side I imagine I’d have been pretty frustrated with the performance. As it is, I don’t give a toss who wins these games and am there purely for that odd moment of skill that makes it all worthwhile.

Moses Mahiba to the right.

Moses Mabhida to the right.

I suppose the best bit of the action was a Shark’s try from Lwazi Mvovo. As the home side ran out 15-9 winners I couldn’t help but glance over to the nearby Moses Mabhida stadium. It’s where I should have been watching Messi.


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2 Responses to “Durban Sharks v Western Force, Saturday 28th March 2015, 5.05pm”

  1. Eric Says:

    You can delete this comment once you’ve seen it; hopefully Gravatar hasn’t put me on the fecal roster for ever, but it looks like my attempt to be helpful by including lots of links to the Spanish baseball league flagged my last comment as spam (and my naïve attempts to resubmit it only exacerbating the issue). Check yr comments filter for inf0z about game times, grounds, etc. (and reinforcing that I’m not a spammer would be really, really nice!)

    • onthetrailofthelionking Says:

      Hi Eric,

      I can’t find anything in the spam box. I’ve checked the games out and and probably going to go to one at somewhere beginning with V (cant remember the name, it’s on the outskirts of Barcelona) on Sat 30 May.

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