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Ken Borland



Proteas in much better mental space – Boucher 0

Posted on November 10, 2016 by Ken

 

Former Proteas legend Mark Boucher believes it is the South African team which is in a vastly better mental space than the Australians following their wonderful victory in the first Test in Perth.

“It was sensational and it will have left Australia scratching their heads about which is their right side. I don’t think Mitchell Marsh is right at number six because he’s not the sort of guy to score you hundreds there, you compare him to someone like Mike Hussey and it’s chalk and cheese. So the Proteas are in a really good position if it’s the Australians asking questions after the first Test.

“The Proteas are in a much better space than Australia and their only real headache is selection for Hobart, which is a nice position to be in. Do they play Morne Morkel or Dwaine Pretorius, who has been in good form locally and can add extra with the bat.

“I believe we should be moving away from ‘horses for courses’ because we have guys who can perform in different conditions. I’m not too sure what Hobart will be like, they might give us a greentop and then maybe JP Duminy can do the spinner’s job.

“But thankfully we played the spinner in Perth, with the Fremantle Doctor that was a fantastic call, a spinner can bowl a lot of overs and Keshav Maharaj did a wonderful job. Australia don’t play spin too well, they don’t really rotate the strike, they just try to be aggressive. In the past, Paul Harris did a fabulous job for us when we won the series Down Under and they might decide to unleash Tabraiz Shamsi because they might feel the Australians don’t read him too well,” Boucher said.

The record-holder for most dismissals by a Test wicketkeeper paid special tribute to Kagiso Rabada, the 21-year-old fast bowler who had to shoulder so much responsibility after Dale Steyn broke down. Instead of buckling, Rabada flourished with five wickets in the final innings.

“We’ve seen in the past that KG really thrives on leading the bowling attack, when Dale and Vernon Philander were injured he really led from the front. When you put KG in that space, he seems to really enjoy the challenge, which is a big positive,” Boucher said.

 

 

Boks fail to make the country proud, says moer in Frik 0

Posted on September 21, 2015 by Ken

 

“They say they want to make the country proud but at the moment they just make us the moer in!” was Springbok legend Frik du Preez’s reaction to South Africa’s shock World Cup defeat at the hands of Japan over the weekend.

Japan beat the Springboks 34-32 in Brighton to register arguably the biggest upset in rugby history and cast into serious doubt the two-time champions’ ability to even make the knockout stages.

“We are all shocked and bleeding. Never mind the biggest shock in World Cup history, this is the biggest shock in rugby history, in my personal opinion. You have to look at the players – they were selected to represent South Africa but they were up to kak. When your senior players are getting 3/10 rankings then you’re in serious trouble. But you also have to blame the people who select them,” Du Preez, who was named as the Springboks’ player of the 21st century, told The Citizen from BelaBela on Sunday.

“Japan played wonderful rugby, but our Golden Lions team would beat them. Rugby is a simple game and there’s a simple truth in all sport and that’s that you have to qualify to play in a World Cup or the Olympics. You can’t just send anybody to a World Cup. We should have identified players from Super Rugby and sent them instead of a whole lot of injured players. They were brilliant in their day, but you can’t select on past form, you must select on current form,” Du Preez added.

Mark Andrews, another great Springbok lock and a 1995 World Cup winner, said he feared that every international rugby team now knows how to beat the Springboks.

“Teams have worked out how to beat us and that’s by stopping our momentum. They dominate our forwards, make sure we get slow ball and get quick ball for themselves. It’s because we don’t have players like Bakkies Botha or Os du Randt making the big hits. There were no significant big-hitters in the team against Japan and so we couldn’t get momentum.

“The pack is meant to be focusing on the breakdown, but every time they’re all standing in the backline, there’s nobody smashing guys on the gain-line anymore. We didn’t dominate the shortest team in the world either up front or in the aerial game. There are certain fundamentals of the game and the guys need to climb in up front,” Andrews said.

The performance of the senior players was also slammed by Andrews.

“Heyneke Meyer mentions all the experience in the side every time, but if you look at the senior players against Japan, they looked shellshocked! In 1995, we played Australia with about 40 caps between us compared to them having over 600 and we won; the number of caps really doesn’t matter unless those players are on form,” Andrews said.

http://citizen.co.za/780886/boks-make-us-mad-frik-du-preez/

 

Naas Botha & his love for a minority sport (in SA) 0

Posted on June 18, 2015 by Ken

The SuperBowl is a television extravaganza and one of the major sporting events of the year, and yet in this country only a minority of sports fans seem to pay much attention to it. But there is one South African sporting legend who is a keen follower of gridiron and American sport in general.

Naas Botha has had a fascination for American Football since his groundbreaking move to the United States in 1983 when he tried out as a placekicker for the Dallas Cowboys. It was a sensational move by the best flyhalf in the world of rugby, from the amateur game to the different world of American pro sport.

While it helped Botha establish himself as a true professional athlete, since 1995 and the end of amateurism in rugby union, there has been little interest by other rugby players in playing American Football.

But Botha believes it won’t be long before a top-class player is lured by the promise of a massive payday in the United States.

“The problem I had when I went over was that I turned up with nothing, with no track record. Half of the people there didn’t even know where South Africa was and they thought we were wandering around with lions. The whole structure of American Football means College football is very important and they take all your stats from there.

“It would be much better now for a player to go over. The rest of the world has a much better knowledge of American Football now and I think a lot more people involved in gridiron know about rugby. Thanks to social media, I think a lot of them will even know about Handre Pollard for instance.

“Organisations like Laureus also bring a lot more attention to American sports. World sport is at a different level these days: in the U.S. they know about our top rugby players and South Africans know about what opportunities there are outside the country. Look at how many players are in France or England; compare that to when I went to play in Italy in 1987 and there was such a big hoohaa,” Botha told The Citizen.

Kicking in American Football is of course not just about distance and accuracy: Botha estimates you have about 1.2 seconds to kick a field goal and it requires a different frame of mind compared to slotting conversions and penalties in rugby. Plus one has to get used to being allowed to be tackled without the ball in gridiron, hence all the protective equipment.

It was thanks to the innovative Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry, considered a legend in American Football after 29 years at the helm of the Texan franchise, that Botha played gridiron. But it was the presence of another Cowboys stalwart, Rafael Septien, that prevented the Springbok hero from making more of an impact. Botha was brought in as the back-up kicker, but Septien rarely broke down and so his appearances were limited.

Another South African placekicker, Gary Anderson, had better fortune and became one of the NFL’s leading all-time points-scorers with the Pittsburgh Steelers, even playing against Botha once.

It remains a regret for Botha that during those couple of years of gaining splinters on the bench, he did not take up other offers that came his way, particularly from College (university) teams.

“It was a great experience, being with a big team like the Cowboys, but I was just there at the wrong time. I hung around with the Cowboys, but I should have taken one of the university contracts I was offered. I could’ve taken my experience with the Cowboys with me, built a reputation and a stats base and worked my way through the ranks, but I didn’t know the set-up then,” Botha said.

As it was, he caught game time with the Dallas Harlequins in the national championship, inspiring them to their only triumph in that second-tier competition.

So what of this year’s SuperBowl?

Botha remains a Dallas Cowboys fan and was gutted when they lost 26-21 to the Green Bay Packers in the playoffs, but he concedes the New England Patriots have what it takes to claim their fourth SuperBowl title.

“I’m still a Cowboys fan and how they lost that playoff I don’t know, they blew it. I’ve watched both the Patriots and the Seahawks this year, they’re two very good sides, both very balanced. But I went for a mini-training camp with the Patriots and they are the team to beat, they’ve been fantastic lately,” he said.

What really intrigues SuperSport’s long-time rugby analyst about American Football though is what it can teach those running rugby in South Africa.

“The United States is where sport is at a different level, they’ve shown how professional sport should be run, why try and reinvent the wheel? They have franchises and I wonder if our top rugby teams should not be privately owned? Why postpone it any longer? The unions all have schools, junior and women’s rugby all to look after as well.

“In gridiron, players are on $50 million contracts, in baseball it can be $200 million. Here, if a union wants to keep Bryan Habana, they need to offer R30 million over three years but nobody can afford it. Do we really want to see all the top South African players based overseas?”

 

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    1 Corinthians 3:3 - "For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?"

    One of my favourite U2 songs is a collaboration with Johnny Cash called The Wanderer, and it features the line "they say they want the kingdom, but they don't want God in it".
    Many people say they believe in God, but they don't experience his loving presence. They may be active in Christian work, but only if they have their way. If they cannot be leaders, they refuse to be involved.
    Because they refuse to allow God to fill their lives with his love, they remain weak and powerless.
    Spiritual maturity means developing a greater love for others.

    "When the love of Christ saturates you, immature attitudes such as pettiness, jealousy and strife are dissolved.
    "It is only when you have an intimate relationship with the Lord that you receive sufficient grace to rise above this immaturity and enjoy the solid food that the Holy Spirit gives you." - Solly Ozrovech, A Shelter From The Storm



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