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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).

Last 2 holes boost Madsen into Tshwane Open lead 0

Posted on December 10, 2015 by Ken


The last two holes provided just the boost Morten Orum Madsen needed for him to claim the lead in the first round of the Tshwane Open at Pretoria Country Club on Thursday.

Madsen, who started his round on the 10th tee, spun a 54-degree wedge back a long way on the 123-metre eighth hole for a fabulous hole-in-one and then posted an eagle-three on the ninth for a seven-under-par 63 that gave the Dane, the 2014 SA Open winner, the early lead in the co-sanctioned event.

Englishman David Horsey also posted a 63 later in the day, with seven birdies and no bogeys, to share the lead after the first day, one shot ahead of South Africa’s in-form Wallie Coetsee and Australian Brett Rumford.

There are even more locals on five-under-par, in a tie for fifth, with Dean Burmester, Keith Horne, and Merrick Bremner all shooting 65s, while Chris Swanepoel, Oliver Bekker, last week’s Africa Open winner Trevor Fisher Junior, Justin Walters, Ockie Strydom and Erik van Rooyen are all on four-under.

Madsen’s efforts on Thursday follow closing rounds of 64 and 66 in last weekend’s Africa Open.

“I’ve put it in the fairway a lot more recently. I’m giving myself a lot more looks at birdie and that makes everything easier. It takes the stress off the putter a bit and it’s easier to relax,” Madsen said.

Horsey picked up three birdies on the front nine and was delighted with his finish, especially birdies on the 16th and 17th holes.

“The last five or six holes are tough and there aren’t many chances, so those were nice birdies. And it’s always good to not have any bogeys because one loose tee-shot here leads to bogey or worse,” Horsey said.

But it was Madsen who gained four shots on his last two holes to steal the limelight.

“I hit a fantastic shot on eight, I couldn’t hit it better, and it spun back into the hole. Then when you stand on the next tee you’re pretty pumped and confident. I succeeded in gathering my thoughts and hit a really nice drive and then a great second shot to 12 feet. It was the kind of thing you dream about, but don’t expect,” Madsen said.




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