From good news stories for cycling to the stereotype of Campo, from the gore of a man called Hore, and from the legacy of the Punter to the blunter of the Australian attack, this has been one wicked beast of a week for sport.
It would be best to lead with the good news for cycling. There has been precious little to announce these past few months for those still in the sport who believe that honour and truth will triumph all.
On Wednesday night it was confirmed that MTN-Qhubeka had been confirmed by the UCI as Pro Continental team for 2013. It is a massive step for the team and for world cycling, as the first African-based team to be allowed to the second-highest tier of world cycling.
They can now be included in the World Tour races, the top level of the sport, at the discretion of race organisers, and it is understood that Doug Ryder, the team principal, and Brent Copeland, the team director, have been rather busy at securing those invitations.
It was unlikely that Kevin Evans would go without a ride for long after Nedbank withdrew their sponsorship following David George’s positive test, but it was a relief for all to know that he has found a new home. Evans will ride for FedGroup-Itec next year. A more decent man you could not wish to meet. I wish him strength for next year.
Andrew Hore has apologised profusely for knocking out Bradley Davies with a swinging arm, for which he has received a five-week (or five matches) ban. It seems a light sentence for an assault that left a man with memory loss, and in Wales the hills are alive with the sound of scorn for the Six Nations officials and their disciplinary system.
It is not just the Hore punishment that has been confusing and out of proportion this year. Sanzar judicial officers also seem to decide on retribution by tossing a coin rather than cold, hard guidelines.
David Campese was both cold and hard when he tweeted this week: “Why do smh get a girl to write about rugby? Growden who was a great jornio (sic) and now we have someone who has no idea about the game!”
The Sydney Morning Herald have employed Georgina Robinson to replace Greg Growden and Campo didn’t like it. As Australian journalist Alex Brown suggested this week, Robinson is probably a better defender than Campese ever was. The remark was a slight on a woman journalist and should he not have apologised before you read this, then he is a lot more goose than goose step.
There is little more that I can say about Faf du Plessis. Suffice to note that he has made a memory to treasure.
It takes a brave man to know when it is time to go, and Ricky Ponting has long been one of the bravest. This weekend we should salute him and the others who made the week such a glorious one. – The Star