for quality writing

Ken Borland



Cape Town hides many things … 0

Posted on February 01, 2016 by Ken

 

 

Cape Town, the Mother City, is renowned for her tranquility and the purity of her environment, but beneath the veneer there is probably as much devious wheeler-dealing as anywhere else in the country.

I say this because of the politics and individual agendas that have been going on in Western Cape sport for some time, proving that although Cape Town may feel like it is on another continent, the other side of Table Mountain experiences similar problems to the rest of the country.

The sport’s body that is putting out the most fires at the moment is probably the South African Rugby Union, based in Plattekloof, and it all starts at the top with the CEO, Jurie Roux.

Saru president Oregan Hoskins had to issue a statement on Friday stating that Roux wasn’t appointed back in 2010 with any cloud hanging over him. The Stellenbosch University allegations of financial impropriety against Roux are, in my opinion, opportunistic and stem from a long-running feud within Maties rugby itself.

I have been assured by other leading rugby administrators that Roux certainly wasn’t the only university administrator to allegedly divert funds in order to obtain top players. I am sure, based on the ugly power struggle raging behind the scenes in Stellenbosch rugby circles, that there are two sides to this particular story and perhaps those accusing the Saru CEO of all sorts of things should allow him to defend himself in a court of law.

But the battle to defend their CEO, and at the same trying to make sure that the Southern Kings are not a complete disaster in Super Rugby, is certainly distracting them from what should be their most pressing commitment at the moment and that is finding the new Springbok coach.

Rassie Erasmus is now the favourite but while I am sure the former Springbok loose forward has the technical and strategic skills for the job, the national coach’s position is about so much more than just the on-field training and preparation.

It’s also about handling the media and the voracious television demands, as well as meeting the expectations when it comes to the key area of transformation.

Erasmus has had a cocoon around him in the Saru offices, quietly and efficiently getting on with his work as a director of rugby type figure, and there have been suggestions that whoever will be assisting him with the Springbogs (Johan van Graan is one probability) will front up for the media and PR duties.

This would be totally unacceptable. Only a little less unacceptable is the suggestion that Saru will only make an interim appointment.

The Springbok coach has a position of enormous responsibility and, unlike so many leadership positions in this country, there needs to be accountability to the public. Heyneke Meyer may have failed to bring home the World Cup and perhaps struggled to grasp transformation imperatives, but kudos to him, one could never accuse him of not fronting up and trying to explain himself.

Cape Town is a beautiful place, but she hides many things and Erasmus will not be able to hide away if he wants to be Springbok coach.

Otherwise the fairest Cape has another coach she has watched grow and who has handled often antagonistic media in a mature and effective way and that is Allister Coetzee.

 

Porteous keeps the confidence but loses the arrogance … and wins 0

Posted on January 18, 2016 by Ken

 

Haydn Porteous said his mother Belinda always told him to sound confident but not be arrogant, and the 21-year-old heeded her advice both on and off the course, leading to a life-changing victory in the Joburg Open at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club on Sunday.

Porteous claimed his maiden European Tour victory as he shot a rock-solid 69 on the final day to beat Zander Lombard, also a former South African amateur star, by two strokes. The measure of how well he played was that he hit all 18 greens in regulation, an astonishing achievement, but a cold putter made life difficult for Porteous as he only collected three birdies.

Coming a week after Brandon Stone’s triumph at the South African Open, Porteous’s victory just reinforced the feeling that the new generation of local golf stars has arrived.

But the Johannesburg-born golfer acknowledged that Stone’s win had also been the catalyst for him to take a good look at how he was approaching his golf.

“My mother always says that I must sound confident but not be arrogant, and there is a hint of arrogance in me. I needed to get into the right frame of mind, I knew I could practise more and gym harder. If you know you’re doing the right things, then your confidence increases.

“Brandon’s win gave me a big kick in the arse, he’s been doing all the right things, while I was not. It was very motivational and inspirational to see him win and I knew I couldn’t carry on the way I was. I definitely played more conservatively this week and I had a good game plan, just aiming for the middle of the green all the time,” Porteous said.

While golfers of lesser composure would have been tearing their hair out after all those missed putts, Stone and Lombard’s 2012 Eisenhower Trophy team-mate remained philosophical.

“I hit the ball incredibly all day, I missed a few fairways but not by much, and I really found my groove with my irons, especially on the back nine where I really flushed them. But every day is different and I putted well in the third round. Maybe I didn’t see the lines today, maybe I was reading too much into them, but 69 is not a terrible score,” Porteous said.

Lombard had a two-shot lead after six holes after two birdies, but a frustrating three-putt on the ninth and two further bogeys on the 11th and 14th holes saw him slip back. In the end, he had to birdie the last to sneak into second on 16-under and qualify, alongside Porteous, for the Open Championship, by a hair’s breadth, the day before he turns 21.

Englishman Anthony Wall claimed the third qualifying spot for the Open by virtue of his superior world ranking, after a frustrating level-par 72 left him in third place on 15-under tied with Sweden’s Bjorn Akesson, South African Justin Walters and Daniel Im of America.

 



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