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Ferrari jibe: Smit and Masotti smoking the peace pipe?

REACTION: Sharks owner Marco Masotti and former Springbok captain John Smit are playing down the social media fall-out over Smit’s Ferrari jibe last week.

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Smit, 45, last week delivered a very peculiar portrayal of his former franchise – where he was also the CEO for three years.

In an emotion-charged allegory, the 2007 World Cup-winning Bok skipper compared his former team to a ‘good-looking’ Ferrari without a gearbox.

This was in the build-up to their 23-13 United Rugby Championship Round 13 win over Edinburgh this past weekend.

“They have a magnificent-looking team,” Smith said of the Sharks in a media Round Table event.

“It’s like walking through a parking lot and seeing a Ferrari, but as you peer through the window, it has no gearbox.

“That’s the reality.”

* To read the full interview and watch the video, CLICK HERE!

(Article continues below …)

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That did not go down well in some circles.

Masotti used parody in his response.

“I am grateful for the comparison to a Ferrari,” he said in a post on social media.

“A Ferrari is always a Ferrari.

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“A gearbox will eventually be fixed.

“Thankfully we are not an old Corolla from the past.”

Some social media users failed to see the funny side of the response and stirred the pot.

“It is unbecoming of both @MarcoMasotti_ and @JohnSmit123 to snipe at each other in this veiled manner,” was the response of one social media user.

This prompted Smit to set the record straight.

“Correct if that were true, but I wouldn’t use this platform which allows keyboard warriors hero status to get into a spat,” said Smit, South Africa’s most capped hooker and fifth-most capped Springbok off time.

“I’ve had one line in a long emotional answer quoted by journalists that’s created a stir and some have decided to respond on the one line.

“[The] Sharks mean a lot to me,” he concluded.

Masotti also set the record straight.

“Just because I enjoy the occasional banter does not mean I intended to criticize @JohnSmit123,” the Sharks owner said.

“He is an absolute hero of mine and I am grateful for all his advice.

“Not all decisions have worked, but he understands it is a journey and shares our goal of turning [it around].”

The Sharks resume their European Challenge Cup campaign this week when they Zebre in a Round of 16 encounter in Durban on Saturday.

Out of the running for the URC play-offs, they are now targeting the Challenge Cup – where they can gain entry back into the Champions Cup by winning Europe’s second-tier competition.

@rugby365com

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