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Ken Borland



WP beat Blue Bulls because of 1st-half lead 0

Posted on August 15, 2017 by Ken

 

Western Province held on to beat the Blue Bulls 45-34 in their Currie Cup match at Newlands on Saturday, largely because they had built up such a formidable first-half lead that they only needed to add one penalty in the second half to clinch victory.

Western Province produced a superb first half against a Bulls side that simply did not pitch for the first 40 minutes, playing ponderous rugby marked by their inability to hang on to the ball and some extremely soft defence, with the home side racing to a 42-13 lead at the break.

The Blue Bulls came storming back in the second half, largely because they managed to hold on to the ball far better and built pressure. But with such a massive lead, the sting had been taken out of the game for Western Province and they went through the motions for much of the second 40.

The roots of the victory lay up front for Western Province, being based on the wonderful efforts of their pack. They enjoyed obvious dominance in the scrums and even managed to pick off a couple of Blue Bulls lineouts.

While flyhalf Damian Willemse was the choice of the official judges for man of the match, lock JD Schickerling looked a different class in being the focal point of the Western Province forward effort.

Apart from his set-piece prowess, he was constantly in the thick of the action as a ball-carrier and worked hard in defence and at the rucks.

Willemse also had a fine game, highlighted by his 11th-minute try when he ripped apart some flatfooted, ball-watching defence by the Bulls with some amazing stepping. The 19-year-old loves to attack the gain-line and, while one hates to heap the pressure of expectation on one so young, he does ooze class and has ‘future Springbok’ written all over him.

Willemse’s effort will no doubt be a contender for try of the season, but a long-range try by Blue Bulls wing Kefentse Mahlo could also be in the running. It will certainly be one of the most unlikeliest tries of the season.

Blitzbok Seabelo Senatla was racing for the Bulls line in the 57th minute and looked certain to score when he was caught from behind by eighthman Nic de Jager, who has been the object of much derision in the horror season for the Pretoria team.

De Jager kept working hard after bringing down the Stormers wing, counter-rucking superbly. Fullback Duncan Matthews then picked up the ball and counter-attacked, freeing Mahlo for a 75-metre dash to the line.

But the defeat, their second in succession, sees the Blue Bulls, the early pacesetters, falling to fourth on the log, behind the Free State Cheetahs, Sharks and Griquas.

Points scorers

Western ProvinceTries: Nizaam Carr, Damian Willemse, SP Marais, Seabelo Senatla (2), Scarra Ntubeni. Conversions: Marais (6). Penalty: Marais.

Blue BullsTries: Piet van Zyl, Kefentse Mahlo (2), Johan Grobbelaar. Conversions: Tony Jantjies (4). Penalties: Jantjies (2).

 

http://citizen.co.za/sport/south-africa-sport/sa-rugby-sport/1609524/currie-cup-first-half-blitzkrieg-enough-for-western-province/

SA A bowlers can finally celebrate victory 0

Posted on July 02, 2015 by Ken

The South Africa A bowlers still occasionally sprayed the ball around like confetti, but their overall performance was much better as they bowled the England Lions out for 209 to clinch a 78-run victory in the final limited-overs international at Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Thursday night.

After Reeza Hendricks’ century had carried SA A to 287 for six, just two English batsmen really troubled the home bowlers, with Jonny Bairstow scoring 64 and Samit Patel 55 as they added 76 for the fifth wicket.

Kagiso Rabada was the most successful SA A bowler with four for 51 (and one just had to love the way he kept bouncing back from being belted for a boundary by invariably dismissing his tormentor), but Chris Morris was the best of the attack with an outstanding two for 23 in eight overs.

SA A captain Dean Elgar called on him to bowl the first batting powerplay over with the England Lions still very much in contention on 180 for five, needing 108 runs off 90 balls to complete a 4-0 series triumph, and Morris delivered a superb spell, conceding just four runs in three overs and claiming the wickets of Adil Rashid (8) and Tim Bresnan (1).

It was a super evening all round for him as he had earlier made a vital contribution with the bat, lashing 35 not out off 20 balls to boost SA A after a middle-order collapse saw them lose four wickets for 37 runs.

The start of the England Lions run-chase was delayed for 35 minutes because the floodlights were not working to full capacity and they were quickly under pressure as Marchant de Lange and Beuran Hendricks each took a wicket with the new ball.

Captain James Vince looked threatening as he scored 23 before Rabada had him caught at cover-point, but it was Elgar who showed he’s an under-rated bowler when he claimed the key scalp of Bairstow, trapped lbw with a straight, full delivery, as he delivered an excellent spell of one for 16 in five overs just before the powerplay.

Hendricks stamped himself as a new contender for the national team’s opening berth as his splendid century carried South Africa A to 287 for six.

Hendricks and Elgar formed a wonderful partnership up front as they added 149 for the first wicket in 28 overs after SA A were sent in to bat.

What was most impressive about their stand was the way they married watchfulness with an ability to work the ball around and keep the scoreboard ticking over.

While Elgar fell for a determined 66 off 74 balls, Hendricks went on to score 107 off 128 deliveries, with 10 fours and a six, before being bowled by Bresnan with the total on 210 in the 39th over.

The England Lions were on top from that moment on, claiming three more wickets and it was only thanks to a fiery late burst from Morris that SA A were able to post 287, when something over 300 was certainly on the cards.

Hendricks went to his half-century first – his third of the year – off just 59 balls with seven fours.

Elgar reached his half-century six overs later, although he took two fewer deliveries, but his demise came when he tried to slog-sweep leg-spinner Rashid, but could only top-edge a catch to deep midwicket.

Hendricks brought up his second century of the series in the batting powerplay with a beautifully balanced and controlled flick off his pads off left-arm seamer Harry Gurney for his 11th four, but an over later, SA A lost their second wicket.

Theunis de Bruyn had breezed to 29 off 25 balls, as he and Hendricks added a run-a-ball 53, but then chanced his arm once too often against the impressive Jack Brooks and was bowled.

Brooks was the golden arm for the England Lions on Thursday as he also bowled Stiaan van Zyl for 21 and then claimed a return catch off Khaya Zondo (7) as the SA A innings just faded away.

Bresnan claimed the wicket of Hendricks in the 39th over, hitting the middle stump as the 25-year-old tried to drive through the on-side.

Gurney added the soft wicket of Dane Vilas (8), cutting to point, and it was only the bighitting Morris, smiting three fours and clearing the boundary twice, that lifted SA A in the last handful of overs.

Brooks was the best of the touring bowlers, finishing with three for 55, including two for 18 in his last three overs at the death.

http://citizen.co.za/321616/south-african-clinch-victory/

SA bowl in all the wrong places as Smith scores great series-winning ton 0

Posted on December 23, 2014 by Ken

Steven Smith produced a great century as South Africa bowled in all the wrong areas at the death, leading Australia to a three-wicket victory with an over to spare to clinch the series in the fourth one-day international at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday.

Chasing 268, some bizarre field placings and the poor execution of the South African bowlers saw Australia plunder 86 runs in the last 10 overs, Smith and Matthew Wade having lifted them from 98 for five midway through their chase with a stand of 121 in 20 overs.

Smith eventually fell with the scores tied after scoring 104 off 112 balls – an innings of great composure and skill. James Faulkner came in after Wade’s dismissal and took advantage of South Africa feeding his strengths as he belted 34 not out off 19 balls.

Smith and Wade brought Australia back into contention after Dale Steyn took two wickets in two overs to put South Africa in control.

But Smith produced a fine innings and Wade played an invaluable hand of 52 off 59 deliveries.

Wayne Parnell eventually removed Wade thanks to a great catch by Ryan McLaren running in from deep backward square-leg, but Australia went into the last five overs needing just 40 runs with the big-hitting Faulkner joining Smith at the crease.

Spearhead Steyn was brought back into the attack in the 21st over after Smith and George Bailey had added 30 for the fourth wicket and he struck in his second over as captain Bailey edged a slash outside the off stump to be caught behind for 16.

That brought the dangerous Glenn Maxwell in, but he could only score two before his flatfooted drive at an away-swinger in Steyn’s next over saw him caught at slip by Hashim Amla. Credit to captain AB de Villiers for having the slip in.

Smith and Bailey made bright starts to their innings after pace bowlers McLaren and Parnell took a wicket apiece to reduce Australia to 48 for three in the 14th over.

South Africa’s back-up seamers were under pressure as Australia reached 39 for one after 10 overs, but both settled after wayward starts.

Shane Watson will be furious with himself as he once again made a start, getting to 19 off 25 balls, before he reached out to try and drive a wide, full away-swinger from McLaren and edged a catch to wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock.

Opener Aaron Finch was looking dangerous on 22 when he pulled Parnell straight to Faf du Plessis at deep square-leg.

Opening bowlers Kyle Abbott and Steyn were spot on from the outset to have the Australian openers under pressure, with Abbott making the breakthrough in the fourth over when he trapped David Warner lbw for four, the left-hander being hit on the back pad as he was late on a delivery that straightened back into him.

South Africa’s batsmen fell away in the later overs as they faded to 267 for eight after winning the toss and electing to bat first in the day/night game.

AB de Villiers once again dazzled and David Miller can book his ticket to the World Cup, but the rest of the South African batting once again disappointed.

The Proteas are fortunate that they can call on De Villiers, already established as one of the all-time greats, as he was once again the mainstay of the innings, scoring 91 off 88 balls in another great display of skill and exquisite placement of the ball.

Miller was the one batsman to provide sturdy support to De Villiers, playing a fine knock of 45 off 61 balls as they set up the innings with a fourth-wicket stand of 122 in 20 overs.

But unlike South Africa, whose problems extend from the batting relying too heavily on De Villiers to dodgy death bowling, Australia can rely on their bowlers in the last 10 overs to really turn the screw. Once they removed Miller, caught in the covers in an attempt to hit over the top in the powerplay, they restricted the Proteas to a meagre 51 runs in the last 10 overs, while claiming four more wickets.

Fast bowler Mitchell Starc was outstanding with his mix of yorkers and slower balls as he finished with one for 40 in 10 overs – figures that don’t do justice to his performance. Fellow paceman Pat Cummins also bowled better than his figures of two for 61, being a threat throughout, while James Faulkner was also brilliant at the death with his back-of-the-hand deliveries, finishing with two for 45.

South Africa will be concerned that Quinton de Kock continues to struggle at the top of the order, scratching his way to 17 off 38 balls before popping a lame return catch to off-spinner Glenn Maxwell, who had had him dropped at slip in his first over.

Fellow opener Hashim Amla was looking good, however, as he cruised to 18 off 20 balls. He had identified the balls to go after well, collecting three fours, and was quite within his rights to pull the shortish delivery Nathan Coulter-Nile bowled to him in the sixth over, but unfortunately he hit it straight to midwicket, where Cummins hung on to a sharp, dipping catch.

Faf du Plessis also looked in good touch as he scored 28 off 37 balls as South Africa reached 70 for one in the 16th over. But Cummins, returning after Du Plessis had hit him for two fours in his previous over in the first powerplay, got some extra bounce outside off stump and found the edge of an attempted steer, the ball nestling safely in wicketkeeper Matthew Wade’s gloves.

De Kock had fallen in the previous over and South Africa were in some strife on 79 for three.

But De Villiers once again showed that he is in a different league, improvising brilliantly, while still playing off the basis of a sound technique, and hardly ever seeming to take a risk. He only collected six boundaries, but scored at better than a run-a-ball on a slowish pitch without breaking a sweat.

With the bowlers at their mercy – Australia’s attack were also one short when Coulter-Nile limped off with a hamstring strain – both found ways to get out. Miller was trying to hit over the top in the powerplay, but could only skew Faulkner high into the covers, while De Villiers charged down the pitch to Cummins and was reaching for a slower-ball bouncer, a tennis-like shot going to deep midwicket.

After that, the remaining batsmen could not find ways to dominate the impressive Australian attack, with Farhaan Behardien managing just 22 off 23 balls.

 

Bulls take on Griquas with just one more win needed 0

Posted on November 12, 2014 by Ken

The Vodacom Blue Bulls have won five of their nine Absa Currie Cup matches this season and they know that just one more triumph is all that is required to clinch a place in the semi-finals as they take on the GWK Griquas at Loftus Versfeld tonight.

Griquas, with just one away win to their names this season – a shock 21-18 triumph over the Sharks in Durban at the beginning of September, are not expected to halt the momentum of a two-match winning streak for the Bulls, but home coach Frans Ludeke is taking nothing for granted.

“Griquas, throughout the season, have been very competitive and they had two very good wins against the EP Kings. Especially in that last game, they had a very good second half and used broken-field very well. They have a strong pack and a good rolling maul, and it is going to be a huge battle on the gain-line and in the set-pieces,” Ludeke warned.

Griquas coach Hawies Fourie will be worried that injuries to five frontline players will have robbed his team of their momentum after the win over the Kings, but for Griquas tonight’s game is all about winning and giving themselves a chance of finishing in the top six and therefore avoiding any relegation playoffs.

“Injuries have plagued us this year, it is a problem with which any union struggles, but we’ve gotten the short end of the stick this year. It makes preparations very difficult and it disrupts any momentum we might have had.

“We still want to finish in the top six and we need to put in a winning performance against the Blue Bulls if we want to achieve that. But it is going to be difficult, now even more so in light of the many injuries. Hopefully we can produce some magic come Saturday,” Fourie said in verifying his concerns.

Teams

Blue Bulls – 15-Ulrich Beyers, 14-Akona Ndungane, 13-William Small-Smith, 12-Burger Odendaal, 11-Bjorn Basson, 10-Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9-Piet van Zyl, 8-Jono Ross, 7-Jacques du Plessis, 6-Deon Stegmann, 5-Grant Hattingh, 4-Paul Willemse, 3-Marcel van der Merwe, 2-Bongi Mbonambi, 1-Morne Mellet. Reserves: 16-Callie Visagie, 17-Werner Kruger, 18-Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, 19-Wiaan Liebenberg, 20-Rudy Paige, 21-Handre Pollard, 22-Jesse Kriel.

Griquas –15-Jacquin Jansen, 14-Danie Dames, 13-PJ Vermeulen, 12-Jonathan Francke, 11-Ederies Arendse, 10-Francois Brummer, 9-Tian Meyer, 8-Ruaan Lerm, 7-Jonathan Adendorf, 6-Marnus Schoeman, 5-Jaco Nepgen, 4-Hugo Kloppers, 3-Maks van Dyk, 2-Martin Bezuidenhout, 1-Simon Westraadt. Replacements: 16-Ryno Barnes, 17-Wesley Cloete, 18-RJ Liebenberg, 19-Burger Schoeman, 20-Rudi van Rooyen, 21-Dean Grant, 22-Doppies la Grange.

 



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