Some say the Springboks played like it and now come claims they were training in it.
South Africa officials are said to be furious that the team’s preparation for their shock defeat to Japan at the Rugby World Cup was sent askew by loads of bird poo deposited on their training ground by hundreds of seagulls.
The Springboks had been honing their skills at a beautifully manicured base at Eastbourne College on England’s south coast, temporary home in previous years to Wallabies and All Blacks touring sides. However, an invasion of birds in the lead up to their visit made the plush green grass less than inviting.
“We had hundreds of gulls on the pitch after we had cut the grass and they were making an horrendous mess,” head groundsman Richard Maryan said.
England’s Daily Star reported that ground staff had brought in a hawk to try to deal with the intruders and had some success. However, the damage seemed to have been done.
“The hawks rarely harm the pest birds, they just discourage them from landing,” said Jon Whitehead, a representative of the company which provided the predator.
The school’s headmaster, Simon Davies, admitted to the problem, but said it was dealt with smartly, indicating the South Africans should have no complaints.
“Our Head Groundsman and his team did a fantastic job to make sure the grass on both training pitches was perfect,” he said
“At one point, before the Springboks arrived in Eastbourne, there was an influx of seagulls and a pest control company was called. George the Hawk was the solution proposed and he proved to be a first class and ethically sound deterrent. The seagulls took one look and stayed away, so the ground was in perfect condition throughout the Springboks’ training week.”
Personally we think this excuse is a load of sh*t.