If you don’t take the slightest interest in world affairs, or have been on an extended trip to Patagonia, you might be bemused by the number of people wandering around Cape Town’s streets today in blue and white shirts.
You will also deduce that blue and white aren’t the new black, because there will be a lot of black shirts on display too.
Indeed, if one were to suggest that the blue and whites were really wearing black – or vice versa – you would risk, at best, much derision.
The answer, as we all know, is rugby and not just any old rugby. The Currie Cup final at Newlands this afternoon between Western Province and the Sharks is driving many people dilly.
Many tens of thousands more will be in front of televisions, at home or in pubs and clubs, watching Province try to retain the trophy they won in Durban last year, while the Durban team will be out to pinch back the cup they last won in 2010.
The home team booked a Newlands final with a convincing win over the Lions, 33-16.
The Sharks beat the Free State Cheetahs 33-22 to cement their spot in the final.
Province won both their fixtures against the Sharks in the league stage of the Currie Cup, but WP coach Allister Coetzee said they were not favourites to win, with very little to separate the teams in ability.
Marisa Calvert, from the Western Province supporters’ club, agreed, saying a low-scoring game was expected – with the boys in blue and white taking the trophy.
“The Sharks are coming with a bag of revenge for their losses earlier this season, but we’re expecting a good game should we stick to the basics which has gotten us this far.
“Our biggest threats will come from Gio Aplon and Cheslin Kolbe, who have been a great form. It’s good to have our captain, Deon Fourie, back for such a big match as well.
“We’ll definitely have to watch out for Bismarck du Plessis and Pat Lambie, but our boys can handle them,” Calvert predicted.
Chairman of the Durban Sharks supporters club George Laas said a large contingent of Sharks supporters would be flying in for the match.
“We’ve got a good number of our guys down here, and we will have our own Shark tank at a few beaches, backing the boys throughout the match,” he said.
“Despite losing to Province earlier this season, we will focus on this match instead of the past. We respect Province and the hospitality they always show us, but we will head into this game to win it all.”
Both teams were very aggressive, and he predicted a few penalties.
But, “at the end of the day, we want rugby to be the big winner”.
Jonathan Kaplan has been appointed as referee for his sixth Currie Cup final. Kick-off is at 5.30pm. - Weekend Argus