Come on Thelo, toughen up

MARK KEOHANE labels WP President Thelo Wakefield as pathetic as the Cape Crusaders fans if that’s the reason SARU won’t accommodate All Black versus Springbok Tests in Cape Town.

‘It makes it tougher and tougher to get the All Blacks to play in Cape Town,’ Wakefield told the Cape Times newspaper. ‘I am losing the battle at Saru to convince the executive to play the All Blacks Test in Cape Town. I think all these incidents at Stormers-Crusaders games are the major reason why Saru takes the All Blacks rather to Port Elizabeth or up north.’

It smacks of weak leadership within Western Province. Come on Thelo, you’re older than that, wiser than that and enough of a political animal to know that a comment like that will only bring you ridicule.

The Cape Crusaders element that is disruptive is a minority. For SARU to bow to the disruption of this minority is ridiculous. There are many supporters of the All Blacks in Cape Town, black, coloured and white; supporters who respect the ethos of the game and pay their entrance fee to watch the All Blacks play because they love the All Blacks.

To punish them because of an uncultured minority is outrageous.

To suggest the Cape public is being denied the opportunity to watch the fiercest rivalry in world rugby because a handful of people (and it is a handful in the context of rugby lovers in Cape Town) says more about SARU and the Western Province Rugby Union leadership than those crass supporters who spit at players and abuse them on the basis of the jersey they wear.

Show some balls Thelo and tell those wizards at SARU to show some intelligence.

Cape Town’s support base for rugby has no equal in South Africa. Newlands deserves to host the two best teams in the world. Fight for the right to do so on the evidence of the incredible support for both teams in this city.

Don’t hide behind the excuse of the Cape Crusaders. Your comments are as pathetic as those you make them about.